The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named Natalie Dean Hawkins, Assistant Village Manager at the Village of Pinehurst in Pinehurst, NC, to the Board of Examiners for the 2017 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence. 

        Natalie Hawkins

Appointed by the NIST Director, examiners are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Baldrige Award, as well as other assessment-related tasks. The examiner board is composed of more than 340 leading experts competitively selected from industry, professional, trade, education, health care and nonprofit (including government) organizations from across the United States.

Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition, demonstrating competencies related to customer focus, communication, ethics, action orientation, team building and analytical skills. All members of the board must take part in a nationally ranked leadership development course based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework and the scoring/evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award.

Natalie Hawkins has led the Village’s continuous improvement efforts, using the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, since 2012 when the Village Council initially adopted the framework. During this time, Natalie has been instrumental in implementing numerous organizational improvements at the Village including: implementing a robust performance management system using a Balanced Scorecard model; instituting an organization-wide, annual strategic planning process; implementing a central service request system (MYVOP); and ensuring sytematic annual surveys of residents, businesses, and the workforce to determine levels of satisfaction and engagement. In May 2016, the Village was recognized by North Carolina Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla for the Level 3 Milestone in the NC Awards for Excellence Program for its achievements in performance excellence. 

Prior to working for the Village, Natalie worked for six years in public accounting as a Certified Public Accountant, serving publically traded and privately held clients in the manufacturing, healthcare, government, education, and non-profit sectors. Natalie attended the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master Degree in Accounting.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care and nonprofit. The Award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 114 awards have been presented to 106 organizations (including seven repeat recipients). The 2016 winners are Don Chalmers Ford, Rio Rancho, N.M. (small business); Momentum Group, Irvine, Calif. (small business); Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation–Mountain Valley, Kellogg, Idaho (health care); and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, Sugar Land, Texas (health care).

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