Twenty-seven organizations from throughout the state were presented Arkansas Governor’s Quality Awards by Governor Asa Hutchinson during the 22nd Annual Awards Celebration for the Governor’s Quality Award Program on Tuesday evening, September 20 at the Marriott Hotel in Down town Little Rock. More than 300 business and civic leaders from throughout Arkansas attended the celebration.
Springdale Water Utilities was recognized and given a Commitment Level Award for business excellence and practices. SWU is the first municipal water and wastewater utility in Arkansas to be recognized at this level. SWU serves over 100,000 people in NW Arkansas that includes not only Springdale, but some form of services to Lowell, Johnson, Bethel Heights, Tontitown and Elm Springs. This is the first year the utility had ever applied.
“It took a team of seven people 10 months to analyze information and put the 50 plus page application together. I am very proud of our team and for our community having the first municipal water utility to be recognized by the Governor and State Chamber for business excellence and best practices," said Heath Ward, Executive Director of SWU. “The Governor encouraged more municipal and government agencies to get into the program to improve their operations and service to the people. We could not agree more. Next year, we hope to get top honors as we continue to improve our processes.”
The goal of the Governor’s Quality Award Program is to encourage Arkansas organizations to engage in continuous quality improvement, which leads to performance excellence, and to provide significant recognition to those organizations. The program is dedicated to assist in building a strong infrastructure for Arkansas businesses and excellence in organizational performance.
The awards ceremony includes four award levels of Performance Excellence (in descending order of qualifications): the Governor’s Award, the Achievement Award, the Commitment Award and the Challenge Award. Recipients also receive an in-depth evaluation of their management systems and a written feedback report citing strengths and areas for improvement.
DD&F Consulting Group of Little Rock took top honors in receiving the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence. The Achievement Level Award was presented to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center of Harrison. A total of 27 organizations, including Springdale Water Utilities, were recognized.
The Governor’s Quality Award program partners with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. The Chairman of the program board is Chris Weiser, president of JV Manufacturing in Springdale. JV was a previous winner of the top award, the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence. Organizations and companies interested in participating should contact Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce by calling 501-372-2222 or go to www.arkansasquality.org.