PENworks 2023 Annual Conference

May 4, 2023 (pre-conference & reception May 3)
Hybrid Event! -- Mystic Lake Conference Center, Prior Lake MN & Interactive Online!


Experience the region’s largest, most powerful conference focused on continuous improvement and organizational excellence!

This year's conference theme reflects our collective aspiration of overcoming challenges, improving and/or sustaining high performance in 2023 and beyond -- ascending together! And the sub-themes of Connecting, Discovering, and Imagining will set a powerful framework for this year's session topics, focusing on concepts like innovation, resilience, people & relationships (workforce & customer engagement), staffing, partnerships, visionary leadership, equity & inclusion, and others. We are excited to host what promises to be another powerful conference, focused on the best and emerging practices that facilitate excellence in people, organizations, and communities!


So invest in yourself, your team, and your organization!  Three reasons to attend PENworks 2023:

  • It's an an affordable, high value professional development event, packed with insights, tools, best practices to help you navigate today's challenges and to begin to position for improvement, innovation, and future growth.
  • It's a hybrid event, offering the networking & energy of an in-person option or the convenience, efficiency & accessibility of an online option. Either way, the same great content, same great energy!
  • It's being recorded, so you'll have access to all proceedings after the conference: you can view ALL sessions, not just the one you pick to see live. Or watch one a few times to catch more insights. Now PENworks has a shelf-life!

Powerful Speakers! Powerful Insights!

PEN is excited to announce a powerful lineup of nearly 20 local, regional, and national speakers, each sharing insights, tools, and best practices to improve organizational and community outcomes! Sessions will focus on methods, insights, tips, and tools for improving leadership, workforce and customer engagement, innovation, and many other areas. 

We will also feature leaders from the country's highest performing organizations -- winners of the prestitigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award -- who will share their insights & best practices for achieving and sustaining excellence.  Full schedule -- topics, abstracts, bios -- announced soon.


Pre-Conference Workshops

We are also excited to offer two (optional) half-day pre-conference workshops on May 3 -- both 1:00-5:00pm CT. You can treat these as pre-conference workshops (you get a discount for attending a workshop along with the conference itself) or -- if you can't attend the conference -- just attend a workshop ala carte!  Fees for the pre-conference workshops are separate from the conference.

Tips to Build a World-Class Workplace

Building DEI into Core Operations

Explore best practices to create & sustain a workplace that attracts & retains high performers. Special emphasis will be on developing a powerful onboarding experience for new team members and ways to drive personal accountability and team cohesiveness. Come explore ways to improve team engagement and address some of the challenges we all face with staffing.

In-person only.

Explore how to make key processes more inclusive & equitable. Focus on customer listening posts & relationships, product/service design, supply chain, and measurement processes.  Learn how to make DEI hardwired into your systems, not just a training program!

Hybrid available, in person or online.

Facilitated by Dr. Bryan Williams (also opening keynote!)

Facilitated by Sandra Ogunremi & Lisa Tabor

Click Here for More Information & Registration!! >>> Click Here for More Information & Registration!! >>>


Thank You, Sponsors & Exhibitors!

We are grateful for organizations and individuals who support PEN's mission and the PENworks conference as sponsors or exhibitors. There are few slots still open, so if you are interested in the value of being a sponsor and/or exhibitor, please email brian [dot] lassiter

In addition, we are pleased to honor member discounted rates for members of the following marketing partners: ASQ Sections 1203 & 1216; Association of MN Counties; Center for Principled Leadership; Greater Mankato Growth; LeadingAge Minnesota; Mid-Atlantic Award for Performance Excellence (MAAPE); Michigan Performance Excellence (MIPEx); MN Change Management Network (MNCMN); MN Chapter of the International Society for Performance Improvement (MNISPI); MN OD Network (MNODN); Partners in Performance Excellence (PiPEX); Project Management Institute (PMI); Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce; Quality New Mexico; St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce (SPAC); Southeast Service Cooperative (SSC); Tennesee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE); Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence (WCPE).

If you are a member of one of those organizations, just select "member" when registering and then in the question of "how did you hear" select "other" and enter the provided marketing partner code.  Spreading excellence throughout the region & the nation!

Hear What Others Have Said!

"PENworks is one of the best conferences I've attended in 30 years!"

-- Marvin Plakut, CEO, Episcopal Homes of MN, St. Paul

"PENworks is an absolute must for those driving improvement in their organizations.  The caliber of learning opportunities is outstanding, and the atmosphere is energized by a netwrk of leaders eager to share their best practices." -- Michael Garner, Olmsted County, Rochester

"PENworks allows me to peer inside regional and national organizations who are leaders in their industry and learn from their best practices." -- Philip Zeccardi, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis

"I always look forward to the PENworks as a way to learn more about what's possible.  I have gained valuable nuggets that I have been able to take back and apply immediately to my team's work.  Content is timely, relevant, and can be used across multiple industries.  Well worth the time!" -- LaToya Bell, State of MN, Department of Human Services

"This is one of the most affordable, high value conferences I've ever attended." -- Pam Helgeson-Britton, former Vice President, Strategy, Performance System and Process Excellence, Essentia Health, Duluth

PENworks 2023 Pricing

Conference rates start at $400.  Early Bird, Group, & Member discounts available. 

Full pricing listed on registration page:

CEU and Clock Hours Available!!

PENworks 2023 Location/Format

The conference will be a hybrid in 2023, hosted at Mystic Lake Conference Center (2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake MN 55372) -- as well as streaming live online.  You may switch your preference up to three weeks before the conference (last minute changes to in-person allowed as space is available).

Hotel room block available at Mystic Lake Casino -- call 800-262-7799 and ask for "PEN" or "PENworks" rate.  Discounted room block expires April 12!!

Cancellation for full refund (either format, in-person or online) 14 days in advance -- April 20. Substitutions allowed anytime.