Presidential Award Team Visits IMRF

October 3, 2019

OAK BROOK, Ill. - - In September and early October, IMRF hosted some very special guests, examiners for a United States Department of Commerce honor, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

IMRF entered an application for the esteemed designation, earlier this year, after earning the Illinois Performance Excellence (ILPEx) Gold Award for 2017. IMRF was one of 12 organizations selected to receive a site visit, the final stage of the national evaluation process.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Graphic

Examiners are essentially interviewers or observers, as each one gets a first-hand look at organizational operations by personally visiting eligible finalists, nationwide. Their duties include speaking with people from all levels, data collection, evaluating IMRF's processes against the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and reporting the information for award consideration.

A high, national distinction from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Baldrige Program is the only public-private partnership in the U.S. that is dedicated to these select objectives:

The Baldrige examiners interviewed about half of IMRF’s staff members, approximately 100 people. The information and responses gathered here will form the basis of a feedback report that identifies IMRF's strengths and improvement opportunities. 

One look at the core values for the Baldrige Program and it is easy to see how IMRF earned a state-level Gold Award last year:

These values virtually mirror those of IMRF and describe our daily operations model.

In November, judges will review the on-site feedback from IMRF and other finalists, and Baldrige will announce the award recipients in December. IMRF would be the first public pension in the nation to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Established by Congress in 1987, the Baldrige Program has recognized 115 organizations with 123 awards. NIST manages Baldrige, which receives partial funding from user fees and support from the Baldrige Foundation.