8-10-2015: Simer Named Examiner for 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named Lauren Simer, vice president of institutional effectiveness at Greenville Technical College (GTC), to the Board of Examiners for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

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 350 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 Criteria for Performance Excellence and the scoring/evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award.

Simer has served as vice president of institutional effectiveness at GTC since March 2010, and is responsible for directing the activities of the offices of accreditation, assessment, grants, information technology, marketing, planning, public relations, quality, and research. Prior to this role, she served as chief information office at Black Hawk College in Illinois, where she worked for 10 years in progressively advancing roles within information technology.

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.

Last September, Greenville Technical College was named a South Carolina Governor’s Quality Award Bronze Achiever, becoming the only educational institution in South Carolina to ever win at any level. This award, sponsored and administered by the South Carolina Quality Forum, an affiliate of the South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce, is designed to promote performance excellence. The award process is consistent with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award process, depending upon a trained, volunteer board of examiners and judges who evaluate candidate organizations and recommend award recipients.

“The knowledge that Lauren Simer has gained through her role as a Baldrige Award examiner has helped Greenville Technical College move forward in our continuous quality journey,” said Dr. Keith Miller, president of Greenville Technical College. “Our goal is to become a role-model organization that ensures continuous improvement, demonstrates efficient and effective operations, and provides a way of engaging and responding to students and other stakeholders that is recognized as world class. “