Missouri business leader Larry Potterfield, the founder and CEO of MidwayUSA in Columbia, will explain how the Baldrige Framework can improve and strengthen organizations during a free event June 27 at Logan University in Chesterfield.
MidwayUSA is a two-time winner of the Baldrige National Quality Award.
The St. Louis Baldrige Community of Excellence event, sponsored by Logan University and the Midwest Excellence Institute (MEI), is set for 8-10 a.m. at the university’s Purser Center, 1851 Schoettler Road.
MEI is a Primaris affiliate.
MidwayUSA received the 2008 and 2015 Missouri Quality Award as well as the 2009 and 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. MidwayUSA started as a small retail firearms store in 1977 and has since evolved into an industry-leading retailer for shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and hunting products.
Potterfield, a proponent of leadership and modern management practices, said his company “strives to be the best-run business in America, and the most successful, most respected business in our industry, for the benefit of our customers.”
Industry, youth and community supporters.
An active supporter of the National Rifle Association and the Shooting Sports Industry, Larry Potterfield and his wife, Brenda, created the NRA “Round-up” program in 1992, which has collected over $13.5 million for the National Endowment for the Protection of the 2nd Amendment.
The Potterfields were the genesis of the Friends of NRA program, putting together the first event in Columbia in 1992. Today there are over 1,000 Friends of NRA fundraising events around the country each year. The Potterfields also have donated generously to the NRA Foundation, and in 2008 they created the Scholastic Shooting Trust Fund to help fund high school and college shooting teams.
Examiners receive leadership training.
The Baldrige and Missouri Quality awards are based on specific criteria involving leadership, strategic planning, customer and employee engagement and a variety of other factors that drive improved performance.
Specially-trained examiners evaluate the 50-page applications submitted by organizations, conduct site visits and provide a comprehensive, written feedback report to each applicant.
Midwest Excellence Institute CEO Sherry Marshall said Baldrige recipients are recognized as “industry role models, setting a standard for employee engagement, efficiency and high customer satisfaction ratings.” MEI is the Missouri and Kansas state level partner of the National Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, established by Congress in 1987.
The June 27 event is free, however registration is required. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided, beginning at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Melissa Warren at 636-230-1975 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baldrige Framework: 'A blueprint for success.'
To date, MEI has distributed over 50,000 copies of the Baldrige Excellence Framework and has trained and certified over 2,000 examiners. The institute also has provided education through consulting, workshops and conferences.
Marshall said MEI serves two roles: overseeing the Missouri and Kansas Quality Award programs and serving as a consultant to help companies apply the Baldrige framework to their businesses.
The application and review process is beneficial for businesses even if they don’t achieve award status. Applicants receive a feedback report – generated by specially-trained examiners – that is almost as lengthy as the application.
“It’s a blueprint for success,” Marshall said. “It’s a roadmap for their planning process.” The feedback report details a company’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Marshall said the examiner training is a rigorous process. Volunteer examiners contribute an average of 160 hours of time for the training, which gives participants skills to take back to the companies they represent. She said MidwayUSA’s leadership program involves sending its employees to examiner training.
“It’s a framework that will improve every aspect of your business if you apply these principals,” she said.
Christi Johnson, MEI Director of Administration, said examiners represent a wide variety of professions and occupations, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, service, non-profit and others.
“They literally walk around and interview employees,” Johnson said. “They put the business’s application and processes under the microscope.”
Marshall said award recipients agree to make their applications public, but companies can remove proprietary information.
“The goal is to show the model for others to follow,” she said.