Former College of Charleston President P. George Benson was the master of ceremonies at the recent Baldrige National Quality Awards, the nation’s highest honors for innovation and performance excellence.

P. George Benson

Benson, who is serving his third consecutive term as chairman of the awards foundation, hosted the Baltimore event on Sunday, April 8, 2018. Walter Copan, U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director, presented five U.S. organizations with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s only presidential award for performance excellence and innovation.

This year’s honorees were:

  • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol, TN (small business sector)
  • Stellar Solutions, Palo Alto, CA (small business sector)
  • City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO (nonprofit sector)
  • Adventist Health Castle, Kailua, HI (health care sector)
  • Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK (health care sector)

The event was put on by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, a public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence. Baldrige defines performance excellence as a management approach that delivers ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, improving an organization’s overall effectiveness and capabilities and learning for an organization and its workforce.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses.

Benson, who holds a doctorate in decision sciences from the University of Florida, served as the College’s president from 2007 to 2014 and currently teaches courses as a professor in the School of Business.