Performance Excellence Network Recognizes Six Organizations

May 27, 2015

2014 MN Performance Excellence Awards Presented at PENworks 2015 Conference;

Coach Jerry Kill Offers Remarks; Governor Celebrates Excellence in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 30, 2015 – The Performance Excellence Network (PEN), formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality, today honors six recipients of the 2014 Performance Excellence Award (formerly the MN Quality Award), five from Minnesota and one from South Dakota. The Award is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization’s management system. Evaluation Criteria includes leadership, strategic planning, customer-related processes, measurement and information systems, workforce engagement, and operations and recognizes organizations that are systematically improving results.

The organizations receiving the Award are: Du Fresne Manufacturing Company (Vadnais Heights), Seagate Technology Normandale (Bloomington), South Dakota National Guard (Rapid City), and The Goodman Group (Chaska), all at the Advancement Level; and Hennepin Technical College (Brooklyn Park) and Olmsted Medical Center (Rochester), both at the Commitment Level.  These six organizations join 127 others recognized since 1991 for their systematic improvement efforts and superior outcomes.

In addition, PEN recognized seven organizations for successfully completing the Baldrige-based self-assessment, also designed for organizational improvement. These organizations are: District One Hospital, Allina Health (Faribault); H. Brooks & Associates (New Brighton); Industrial Contractors (Bismarck, ND); Lakeville Public Schools (Lakeville); Mayo Clinic Health System, SE Region (Rochester); Olmsted County Public Health (Rochester); and Pine Island Schools (Pine Island).

These organizations were featured at PENworks 2015, April 27-28 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center.  The Awards were presented during a luncheon Tuesday.  The conference also featured five keynotes, four delivered by leaders from 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient organizations: Gerry Agnes, CEO, Elevations Credit Union (CO); David Huffstutler, CEO, St. David’s Healthcare (TX); Scott McIntyre, Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice (VA); and Jayne Pope, CEO, Hill Country Memorial (TX).  All shared how their organizations have achieved world class outcomes using Baldrige and modern improvement techniques.

Jerry Kill, head coach of the Minnesota Gophers also delivered a keynote on how he is turning around the football program.  Kill said: “the same principles that are improving our football program can help improve a business.” He went on to comment on the importance of strong coaches and leaders, teamwork, building a culture that encourages and sustains excellence, and focusing on fundamentals.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Performance Excellence Network for our systematic approaches with all our operations and our game-changing innovations in our industry,” said Chairman John Goodman of The Goodman Group. “We are dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare services and programs, and the Baldrige principles are a ‘guiding light’ for our organization to create sustainability for future generations.”

Said Bob Du Fresne, President and CEO of Du Fresne Manufacturing Company: “I have an ‘oblitunity’ to provide performance excellence and financial security for the company and our employees.  Our workers have the right to meaningful work to have a meaningful life.  Baldrige was the cure that helped DMC recover from the recession.  We look forward to continuing our journey with the Performance Excellence Network.”

The event also recognized the 2014 Board of Evaluators, a group of nearly 70 volunteers supporting PEN’s mission of advancing performance excellence in the region.  Evaluators include CEOs, business managers and professionals, physicians and surgeons, school superintendents and school teachers from throughout the Upper Midwest, each giving over 100 hours of volunteer service to help other organizations reach higher levels of performance.

Matt Massman, Commissioner of Administration for the State of Minnesota, offered remarks on behalf of Governor Dayton: “I congratulate the recipients of this year’s Performance Excellence Award.  Organizations committed to continuous improvement see gains in productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, and outcomes important to customers, workers, and other stakeholders.”


About Du Fresne Manufacturing Company

Based in Vadnais Heights, Du Fresne Manufacturing Company is a high precision sheet metal company.  DMC has over 90 associates, operates two facilities, and has been in business since 1991.  For more information, visit

About Hennepin Technical College

Established in 1972, Hennepin Technical College serves 9500 students and over 10,000 individuals through its customized training and continuing education services through two campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie.  Hennepin Tech has been focused on continuous improvement for more than 15 years.  For more information, visit

About Olmsted Medical Center

Olmsted Medical Center is a not-for-profit that has served the Rochester area since 1949.  OMC’s 165 clinicians join 1,000 other healthcare professionals serving through 18 locations.  OMC has more than 20 specialties, and each year, the Olmsted Medical Center team sees 250,000 patients, performs 3,000 major surgical operations, cares for 38,000 patients in their Emergency Care department, and delivers nearly 1,000 babies.  For more information, visit

About Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology is the leading provider of hard drives and storage solutions in the world.  One of five facilities in Seagate’s Recording Head Group, the Normandale facility performs electrical and mechanical technology research and development and product development, design, and supports the production of wafer manufacturing and other assembly processes. Seagate Normandale employees nearly 1800 workers in its Bloomington, MN-based plant. For more information, visit

About South Dakota National Guard

The South Dakota National Guard provides units to assist and support authorities in the protection of life and property, preserve peace, order and public safety under the direction of the Governor of South Dakota.  The Guard also provides combat-ready, mission-capable forces throughout the entire spectrum of conflict under the direction of the President of the United States. For more information, visit

About The Goodman Group

The Goodman Group is private long-term care system based in Chaska MN, operating 13 locations in eight states.  Founded in 1965, The Goodman Group manages over 1500 skilled nursing beds, 2500 assisted living apartments, operates a home health unit, and employees nearly 4000 employees. For more information, visit

About Performance Excellence Network

The Performance Excellence Network was founded in 1987 by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Rudy Perpich, and was spun off into a private 501(c)3 nonprofit two years later. PEN advances improvement and performance excellence within organizations, individuals and communities. It helps leaders identify strengths and improvement opportunities, and it builds networks that bring information, resources, knowledge and best practices to organizations desiring to improve. The network serves members and organizations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. For more information, go to