Dear Maryland Performance Excellence Community:

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of the Maryland Performance Excellence Foundation (MPEF) and Awards Program.  The Board of Directors and Transition Team would like to inform you of changes to the 2010 Awards Program and to update you on our progress and future plans.

 Maryland Performance Excellence Awards (MPEA) Program Changes

The Maryland Performance Excellence Foundation (MPEF) is now the sponsor for the MPEA program.  We are working on plans for a scaled-back 2010 awards program to begin in early 2010.  In these financially challenging times, we are far short of our financial goals and no longer have a salaried, full-time Program Director.  After continuing to support the MPEA as a volunteer for the last several months, Marty Stephens recently left the program to pursue other career goals .

The scaled-back 2010 MPEA Program plans include:

  • Utilizing only previously trained, experienced examiners, as training new examiners requires a significant investment of resources.
  • Running the program with 100% volunteers who would serve in key roles as awards program coordinators.  We are currently recruiting for an examiner coordinator, training coordinator, applicant coordinator, and awards ceremony coordinator. 
  • Limiting the number of award applications from organizations for full assessments, feedback reports, and award recognition.

The scaled-back 2010 awards program will provide continuity to keep the MPEA viable during this difficult economic period and will afford applicants who are actively pursuing Baldrige journeys the opportunity to receive feedback and recognition.  It will also keep our dedicated, talented pool of experienced examiners engaged, and help them continue honing their knowledge of the Baldrige Criteria and improving their skills for assessing applications and writing feedback reports.

Once we have obtained additional resources, we plan to offer a full program, including recruitment and training of new examiners, workshops, user groups, and other activities in support of the MPEA program and the Baldrige Criteria. 

 MPEF Corporate and Funding Update

Below is an overview of our progress and results:

  • The Maryland Performance Excellence Foundation is incorporated in Maryland and has been approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, charitable organization.
  • The Foundation has a Board of Directors of experienced examiners, but is seeking additional members with name recognition, well-established networks, and diverse experience in all sectors in Maryland.
  • Our grant-writing team has submitted 22 grant applications.
  • Members of the Board and Team have met with more than 30 government and business leaders throughout the state to solicit support for and raise awareness of the MPEF and MPEA program.
  • The Partners in Excellence Campaign has received cash and in-kind contributions totaling more than $12,000, but that is far short of our goal of $275,000 to $300,000 to staff, house, and run a successful full-scale performance excellence program in Maryland. 


We hope that you will continue to partner with us as we navigate through these challenging times.  We have at the helm an energetic, incredibly capable group of volunteer leaders, who are long on dedication and hard work, but we still have a lot of work to do in the coming months to make continuance of the MPEA program a successful reality.  We need everyone’s help.

 We hope that you or a person or organization you know is interested in and will consider volunteering, making a cash or in-kind contribution, or submitting a name for consideration as a Board member.  Please feel free to contact any member of the Board or Transition Team if you have a question or suggestion.

Thanks again for your interest in and support of our program to enhance the lives of all those who live and work in Maryland.  We will send more details about the 2010 awards program in the next few weeks and will continue to keep you apprised of our progress and future plans. Also, please continue to watch our website at  for updates and information about the program.

 Milton Finch
Maryland Performance Excellence Foundation
Photo of Mike Novak

Photo of Mike Novak

Michael J. Novak is an independent consultant specializing in knowledge management, human capital management, and organizational performance assessment and improvement using the Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria and methodology.  He is also President of the Center for Public-Private Enterprise, a Washington, DC-based research organization dedicated to enhancing public-private enterprise at the international, national, state, and local levels.  His extensive career in government includes positions with the Internal Revenue Service Office of Procurement, the IRS Office of Research, Department of the Treasury Office of Strategic Planning and Evaluation, the IRS Office of the National Director of Quality, and the Defense Logistics Agency Executive Directorate of Quality Assurance.  His significant duties have included drafting the Treasury Department Strategic Plan; serving on task groups chartered by the Vice President’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government; developing and implementing Defense Department procurement policy; and serving as an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and other Baldrige-based award programs.

Mr. Novak is a specialist in knowledge management and organizational assessment and improvement, particularly within the context of the Baldrige Award Criteria for Performance Excellence.  He lectures and publishes extensively on knowledge management, human capital management, and assessment and improvement of organizational performance, and in particular as guest lecturer at colleges and universities including the University of Denver and the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Division of Business and Management.  He has been interviewed on Federal News Radio, and has been featured in periodicals such as Talent Management, Federal Computer Week, and Government Leader.  His writings have appeared in FedTech magazine, PMBoulevard, GOVTek Newsletter, EA Zone Journal, and the Government Transformation Journal.

Mr. Novak is President of the Washington, DC, Chapter of the Knowledge Management Professional Society, and has served as Co-Chair of the Federal Knowledge Management Working Group and as Co-Chair of the Knowledge and Human Capital Retention Special Interest Group.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Maryland, and the U.S. Naval War College.  He is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and a Certified Quality Engineer.

Mr. Novak is a resident of Dumfries, Virginia.  During the warmer months, he lives in a cabin in the woods near Harrietta, Michigan, where he fishes for brook trout, cooks gourmet campfire meals, and dances with beagles.