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Coral Springs, Fla., first local government named winner of Baldrige Award.

Coral Springs, Fla., is the first local government in the nation to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a Presidential honor that recognizes U.S. companies for organizational performance excellence.

This is the first year nonprofits could apply for the award. Of the five winners, two were in the nonprofit category, including Coral Springs.

"We are proud to be the first local government in the nation to win the Baldrige Award," said City Manager Mike Levinson. "We are even prouder of the business improvements and results that have earned us this most prestigious award."

Named for late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, the award was established by Congress in 1987 to raise awareness and reward excellence in quality management.

Of 84 total applicants, Coral Springs was one of 13 nonprofits to apply and one of only four to receive a site visit in its category.

Organizations applying for the award undergo a rigorous evaluation process. Nine examiners spent a week with city staff members, evaluating the city's business processes against seven strategic criteria, including leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement and analysis, human resource focus, process management and results.

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"The real value in applying for this award is in the rigorous evaluation process," Levinson said. "The constructive feedback from Baldrige helps us improve the way we do business. The community benefits when we deliver goods and services in the most responsive and responsible manner."

In 1993, Coral Springs began using a business model that takes customer input and data analysis into consideration before mapping initiatives in the Strategic and Business Plans. The city develops process improvements while comparing results to Fortune 500 businesses and top local governments.

Expenses for the site visit to Coral Springs were underwritten by the local business community.

"We have so much gratitude for our Chamber of Commerce and the many local businesses that made this site visit possible," said Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook. "Their commitment and support is part of what makes Coral Springs an exceptional community."

Recipients of the 2007 award will be honored next month in Washington, D.C. In addition to Coral Springs, the other winners include:

* PRO-TEC Coating Co., Leipsic, Ohio (small business)

* Mercy Health System, Janesville, Wisc. (health care)

* Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, Calif. (health care)

* U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. (nonprofit)

Details: For more information on Coral Springs, visit www.coralsprings.org. For more information on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, visit www.nist.gov.
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Title Annotation:Coral Springs Properties Inc.
Author:Hogan, Cyndy Liedtke
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 3, 2008
Words:421
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