We’re Building a Better Place to Live

“Perfection has to do with the end product, but excellence has to do with the process.”
– Jerry Moran

June 16, 2020

Black Lives Matter to PENW


To our Customers, Neighbors and Friends:

Performance Excellence Northwest stands up for the crucial transformation that we must carry out because Black Lives Matter. We are outraged by the injustice, inequity, and systemic oppression that has been foisted upon people of color. We are tired of seeing our loved ones, colleagues, and society abused and persecuted. We reflect on how these barriers prevent our nation, society, industries, organizations, and us, as individuals, from achieving the excellence that we all seek.

But we are about action, not just words. Performance excellence must be practiced systematically—it is not accidental. It is not a matter of good people or bad people. It is a discipline that requires a foundational approach, deployment of action, cycles of learning, and integration within, across, and between everything we do.

We encourage organizations, schools, governments, and healthcare services to ask themselves the difficult questions about racism and enact policies that assure that Black Lives Matter. What is your approach to racism and bias? How are the processes that identify, correct, and prevent racism and bias deployed? What learning from those processes promote understanding and adjustment? How are these measures integrated at all the different levels of the organization, including your customers, suppliers, and governance structures? And, importantly, how are the results measured in a manner that fosters continuous improvement?

Performance Excellence Northwest is dedicated to building a better place to live, inspiring a new vision of civility, justice, and pride both at home and at work. Our mission is to help organizations achieve best-in-class performance and celebrate improvement. Undoing structural racism requires systemic action. Performance Excellence Northwest supports all organizations as they seek to understand and improve how their systems impact the communities and customers served. Collectively, we will not be deterred.


Joni L. Dixon

Board President

Performance Excellence Northwest

PENW’s Primary Objectives:

  • Help organizations achieve best-in-class levels of performance
  • Share best management practices, principles and strategies
  • Celebrate role-model organizations

20 Years of Serving Organizations Across the Northwest

After servicing a single state for nearly 20 years, the Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) expanded operations in 2013 to help organizations in Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. This formed Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW) and expanded the mission to enhance the vitality and economic health of our region and provide support organizations with the training and feedback needed to improve their competitiveness and performance. PENW is fully committed to building relationships that bring information, resources, knowledge and best practices to organizations in the four state area.


Based on the Global Standard for Organizational Success

Performance Excellence Northwest uses the internationally recognized Baldrige Excellence Framework, the standard for performance evaluation and improvement. As a member of the Baldrige Alliance , we are the only program in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington recognized to evaluate organizations using the criteria and one of approximately 36 state and regional performance or business excellence programs in the nation and over 100 programs around the world.


Affordable Assessments from a Volunteer-Driven Team

As a non-profit, volunteer-led 501(c)(3) organization, we operate with an independent Board of Directors and over 200 volunteers. Our volunteers represent health care, education, manufacturing, government and small and large service organizations. They serve on the Board of Directors and Panel of Judges and as Examiners and Mentors. They also take other positions helping with PENW’s operations and marketing.

As a volunteer-driven program, we provide professional and affordable training and assessments for organizations of all sizes—businesses, schools, governments, and non-profits—that seek continuous improvement using the Baldrige Excellence Framework. PENW administers the only state award and recognition program for performance excellence in the Northwest. These assessments provide detailed feedback across seven areas:

  1. Leadership
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Customer
  4. Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management
  5. Workforce
  6. Operations
  7. Results

Our Values