Ruggles Named to 2016 Baldrige National Board of Examiners

(July 12, 2016 – Gaithersburg, MD and Fair Lawn, NJ): The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named William S. Ruggles, COO/Managing Partner at the Ruggles2 Center for Organizational Performance Improvement (COPI) based in Fair Lawn, NJ, to the Board of Examiners for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.


Appointed by the NIST Director, examiners are responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the Baldrige Award, as well as other assessment-related tasks. The examiner board is composed of more than 350 leading experts competitively selected from industry, professional, trade, education, health care and nonprofit (including government) organizations from across the United States.  NIST manages the Baldrige Award in close conjunction with the private sector.

Those selected meet the highest standards of qualification and peer recognition, demonstrating competencies related to customer focus, communication, ethics, action orientation, team building and analytical skills. All members of the board must take part in a nationally-ranked leadership development course based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and the scoring/evaluation processes for the Baldrige Award.  Mr. Ruggles becomes the 12th National Examiner in the State of New Jersey.

2005 NJ State Baldrige Examiner Team-RVCC

Bill previously served as a New Jersey State Baldrige Examiner in 2005-06 (see the 7-person Team photo above) and, immediately prior to his current position with the Ruggles2 COPI, he served as the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Workforce Enhancement for the State of New Jersey’s Office of Information Technology (NJ OIT) in Trenton and as Program Manager for the WTC Medical Monitoring & Treatment Program’s Data & Coordination Center at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in NYC.

He is currently assigned to a 9-person, virtual team of National Examiners evaluating a Health Care sector application using 17 assessment items across seven  categories:  Leadership; Strategy; Customers; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Workforce; Operations; and Results.

“My selection to the National Board of Examiners would not have been possible without the leadership development sponsorship by America’s Small Business Development Center New Jersey, led by State CEO/State Director Brenda Hopper and State COO/Associate State Director Deborah Smarth” according to Mr. Ruggles, who has provided the NJ State Network with strategic planning and additional consulting assistance for the past year.

Malcolm Baldrige

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care and nonprofit. The Award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. Since 1988, 102 organizations have received Baldrige Awards (six have received it twice), including the 2016 winners: MidwayUSA, Columbia, Mo. (small business; won in the same category in 2009); Charter School of San Diego, San Diego, Calif. (education); Charleston Area Medical Center Health System, Charleston, W.V. (health care); and Mid-America Transplant Services, St. Louis, Mo. (nonprofit).

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program also offers the 2015–2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework: A Systems Approach to Improving Your Organization’s Performance, which includes the world-emulated Criteria for Performance Excellence; Baldrige Excellence Builder, an entry-level version of the framework; nationally ranked leadership training; and the Baldrige Collaborative Assessment and other assessment tools. For information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award application process, call (301) 975-2036, send an e-mail to, or visit

Media with questions, needing background or wishing to arrange interviews with Baldrige Program officials should contact Michael E. Newman, NIST Public Affairs Office, at (301) 975-3025 or

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