Congrats to Nicole Curzydlo, Special Tree’s Quality Program Manager, who was named to the Board of Examiners for the 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In the world of organizational quality, being selected as an Examiner is a pretty big deal. Nicole joins a national team of 350 experts who were competitively selected to evaluate and provide feedback to organizations across the U.S. who submitted applications for the Baldrige Award, the nation's highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence. The feedback report is a key reason why organizations (including Special Tree!) apply for the award. Nicole also served as an Examiner for the state-level Baldrige Award in 2014 and 2015. Special Tree is proud to have had 19 staff selected as state and national Examiners since adopting the Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria in 2008.
To become a certified National Examiner, Nicole recently attended an intensive three-day training in Washington DC on how to evaluate an organization’s processes and results and to write actionable feedback to help them improve. Nicole said she learned a lot from the course but that her previous experience doing site visits was a definate plus. “I was nervous at first but later I felt more confident because not a lot of people had previous state experience. Plus I'm working on our Special Tree application so that helped," she said. "It was a great experience and I hope to get invited back next year."
As a member of Special Tree's Quality team, Nicole works closely with Quality Officer Mark MacAleese to manage the rigorous process for Special Tree's national and state-level Baldrige award applications. Special Tree received Michigan's Performance Excellence Award in 2010 and is applying for the state's highest quality honor in 2019. Stay tuned!