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The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named Dr. Deborah Manzo, Management Systems and Quality Improvement Specialist at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions in Raleigh, NC, to the Board of Examiners for the 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

Appointed by the NIST Director, examiners are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Baldrige Award, as well as other assessment-related tasks. The examiner board is composed of more than 300 leading experts competitively selected from industry, professional, trade, education, health care, and nonprofit (including government) organizations from across the United States.

Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition, demonstrating competencies related to customer focus, communication, ethics, action orientation, team building, and analytical skills. All members of the board must take part in a nationally ranked leadership development course based on the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence and the scoring/evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award. They must also complete an independent review of a Baldrige Award application or other comparable examiner task.

Dr. Manzo directs the North Carolina Performance Excellence Coaching Program. She provides coaching, facilitation and training for leaders, managers, supervisors and associates in government, business, healthcare, manufacturing and education sectors. Her areas of proven expertise in transforming organizations include: leadership, strategic and action planning, customer engagement, data analytics and cascading scorecards, knowledge management, workforce engagement and satisfaction, process improvements and results based decision making.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. The Award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 119 awards have been presented to 110 organizations (including eight repeat recipients). The 2017 winners are Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol, TN (small business); Stellar Solutions, Palo Alto, CA (small business); City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO (nonprofit); Adventist Health Castle, Kailua, HI (health care); and Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK (health care; Southcentral Foundation is the first, two-time, health care recipient of the Baldrige Award).


NIST manages the Baldrige Award in close conjunction with the private sector.

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program also offers the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework: A Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization’s Performance, which includes the world-emulated Criteria for Performance Excellence; Baldrige Excellence Builder; Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder; nationally ranked leadership training; and the Baldrige Collaborative Assessment and other assessment tools. For information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award application process, call (301) 975-2036, send an e-mail to, or visit

Media with questions, needing background, or wishing to arrange interviews with Baldrige Program officials should contact Gail Porter, NIST Public Affairs Office, at (301) 975-3392 or