PENworks 2013: The ROI of Excellence

05/14/2013 - 05/15/2013 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Keynote speakers include Irving, TX's City Manager, and CEOs of Southcentral Foundation (healthcare) and K&N Management (restaurants)

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce that its annual conference, now called PENworks, has been expanded to a two-day event to explore the value of and return on performance excellence.

Click Here to Register for this event

Program of Events

Day 1: May 14 will feature three national keynote speakers. Three senior leaders are from organizations that have received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The speaker to kick off the day will focus on how organizations move from a compliance to excellence culture. Day 1 also will feature three organizational case studies, each providing an example of how to move from compliance to performance excellence.

Day 2: May 15 will include another national keynote, followed by 15 traditional breakout sessions, each featuring local best practices that improve leadership, customer focus, workforce engagement, operations, and other outcomes. PENworks also will offer an expanded exhibitor hall, a lunch that recognizes organizations receiving the Performance Excellence (Minnesota Quality) Award, and a highly interactive session (and optional reception) to conclude the proceedings.

Click here to see the complete Program of Events for this conference.

Conference Speakers

Conference key-note speakers scheduled include:

  • Tommy Gonzalez, City Manager, City of Irving, TX (winner of the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award)
    • A few of the investments made by the city that have garnered a huge return—fiscally, emotionally, and environmentally—include: obtaining and acting on citizen feedback through strong cross-functional collaborative teams, implementing a strategic planning process integrated with key customer requirements and Lean Six Sigma process enhancements, and best practice sharing.
  • Ken Schiller, CEO of K&N Management (owner of Rudy’s BBQ & Mighty Fine Burger restaurants in Texas and winner of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award)
    • To promote a philosophy of “guest delight,” their restaurants rely on innovation and technology (such as their EyeClick interactive iPad survey system) to create product offerings that meet or exceed guest requirements.
  • Katherine Gottlieb, CEO from Southcentral Foundation (Native-run healthcare system in Alaska, and winner of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award)
    • This Alaska-based non-profit has based its Nuka System of healthcare on four principals: (1) customers driver everything, (2) customers must know and trust the health care team, (3) customers should face no barriers in seeking care, and (4) employees and supporting facilities are vital to success.
  • Terry May, CEO, MESA Products (a small, privately held business that designs, manufactures, and installs cathodic protection systems that control the corrosion of metal surfaces in underground and submerged structures, such as pipelines and tanks, and 2012 Malcolm Baldrige Award Recipient, Small Business Category)
    • Since 2006, MESA has outperformed competitors in growth (by almost 40 percent) and customer satisfaction (leading in 20 out of 20 performance attributes according to a third-party survey). A core competency includes its “great-place-to-work” culture that reinforces high performance, supported by cross-training to develop career paths, profit sharing, and deployment of multiple communication vehicles.

Other speakers scheduled to share their experiences and best practices include speakers from a wide range of organizations including those in health and services (Benedictine Health Systems, Cardinal of Minnesota, HealthEast, Opportunity Services, and Winona Health), industry and manufacturing (DuFresne Manufacturing Company, Hormel Foods, Seagate), education (Austin Public Schools, Centennial School District 12, Lakeville Public Schools, Rochester Community & Technical College. St. Paul College), retail (Kwik Trip), Baldrige coach Core Values Partners, and government (City of Minneapolis, Olmsted County).

A complete list of speakers may be viewed on the Program of Events.


Demonstrate your products and services to the people that are most likely to purchase and use them by exhibiting at PENworks 2013.

The Performance Excellence Network will be holding its annual conference May 14-15 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.  This year’s event is projected to attract more than 400 leaders from all sectors—businesses, healthcare, nonprofit and government, and education.

PENworks 2013 has made some significant improvements for exhibitors that will help you showcase your products and services as part of the conference on May 15.

  • Dedicated exhibitor space, in the same room where attendees will break for snacks.  This, as well as increased break times, allows for increased traffic to your exhibitor space, as well as better opportunities to network.
  • An audience that is able to make decisions about purchases.  The typical attendee has more than 15 years leadership experience and most have budgetary control.  Attendees include continuous improvement professionals as well as senior leaders in health care, school systems, and other public sector businesses.  And, with our expanded format, we anticipate exceeding last year’s attendance of 375 participants.
  • Increased exposure for your company through PEN marketing materials, website, and PENworks 2013 program.
  • Option to present in the exhibition hall, by claiming one of the four 20-minute speaking slots reserved for exhibitors. Seating, a podium, and focus on you and your company is your benefit of investing to be one of these exhibition speakers.

Click here to learn more about being an exhibitor at PENworks 2013.


A block of rooms have been reserved at the Embassy Suites Minneapolis – North (next to the Earle Brown Center!) for May 13, 2013 –  May 16, 2013. Book by April 22nd (or before  the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first) to receive the rate of $109/night.

CLICK HERE to learn more, book online, and receive the preferred rate.

PENworks 2013 Member Pricing

PENworks 2013



Early bird by March 15th $350 $200
Before April 15th $400 $250
After April 15th $450 $350

By becoming a member of Performance Excellence Network, PENworks 2013 participants can save $450.00 for the two-day program….PLUS benefit from access to current trends in performance excellence and discounts on all PEN-sponsored events.  CLICK HERE to learn more about becoming a member.

Non-member pricing

PENworks 2013



Early bird by March 15th $700 $400
Before April 15th $800 $500
After April 15th $900 $700

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to learn, share, and network with others about the journey to performance excellence! 


Sustaining Sponsors

Contact Performance Excellence Network to become a Sustaining Sponsor.

Platinum Sponsors

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This event is fully booked.

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