U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Nov. 16 that Bristol, TN, ES is a 2017 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The Baldrige National Quality Award is a Presidential-level award, presented annually to U.S. manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in the seven Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has presented the Baldrige Award to 110 organizations in the past 30 years. Bristol ES is the first utility to win a  Baldrige Award.

“Continuous improvement and performance excellence are part of our culture,” said Dr. Mike Browder, CEO at Bristol ES. “We are honored to accept this award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology as we continue on our journey to be the best electric, Internet, telephone and cable television provider.”

Established in 1987, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program seeks to enhance the competitiveness, quality and productivity of U.S. organizations for the benefit of all residents. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award uses the Baldrige Excellence Framework to provide organizations feedback in seven major categories: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results.

“This program is about much more than recognizing successful organizations or winning a single award,” Ross said. “The organizations given the Baldrige Award embody the competitive spirit that drives the American economy forward.

The Baldrige Awards honor the memory of the nation’s 26th Secretary of Commerce, who served under President Ronald Reagan and died in 1987. The 2017 Baldrige Awards are scheduled to be presented at an April 2018 ceremony in Baltimore, MD.