IMEC Announces Eight Recipients of the 2018 ILPEx Recognition Program Awards for Excellence

Peoria, IL – (November 16, 2018) IMEC has announced eight organizations as recipients of the ILPEx Recognition Program’s 2018 Awards for Excellence. The high-performing organizations were evaluated against the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence by the ILPEx Board of Examiners as part of the annual application process. Application scores and award determinations are made by the ILPEx Panel of Judges.

“The recipients of our 2018 Awards for Excellence exemplify an incredible dedication to the ongoing journey of performance improvement and the achievement of excellence. This is a never-ending cycle and these organizations are true believers of that commitment,” said Ben Krupowicz, Executive Director of the ILPEx Recognition Program.  “We are pleased to celebrate organizations learning and implementing this proven system for organizational improvement.”

The ILPEx Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence is granted to those organizations that demonstrate systematic approaches that respond to the basic requirements of the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence criteria.

The 2018 Bronze Award recipients are:

HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital – Effingham
Since 1875, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital has provided for the health care needs of the residents of the Effingham community and the south-central region of Illinois. St. Anthony’s is one of 15 hospitals in Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), a health care ministry with hospitals and multi­specialty medical groups in Illinois and Wisconsin. HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is a 133-bed licensed acute care facility, providing inpatient, ambulatory, home health and hospice, with more than 700 colleagues and over 70 physicians on its Medical Staff. St. Anthony’s approach to health care combines its Core Values of Respect, Care, Competence and Joy with the most modern technologies available today. Being honored by Illinois Performance Excellence is an example of the continuous quality improvements undertaken by St. Anthony’s, also seen in their achievement of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement, enhancing overall patient safety and experience, and increasing engagement with colleagues and medical staff.

Meridian CUSD 223 – Stillman Valley
Meridian CUSD 223 is an award-winning public school serving nearly 1700 students primarily from the Stillman Valley, Davis Junction, and Monroe Center communities. Meridian 223 prides itself on providing an outstanding learning experience for all of its pre-K through 12th grade students with all 250 employees being fervently committed to serving the whole child to best prepare each child for their tomorrow.

The ILPEx Interest in Excellence Awards is presented to those organizations who complete the Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence organizational profile, demonstrating an organizational interest in improvement to accelerate change, growth, and drive continual improvement throughout the organization.

The 2018 Interest in Excellence recipients are:

Alternatives – Moline
Alternatives (for the Older Adult, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3), private, non-profit organization serving sixteen counties in Midwestern Illinois.  Since 1984, it has been the mission of Alternatives to promote the independence and quality of life for older adults, adults with disabilities and their families.  Alternatives’ professionals are connecting with ONE IN FIVE individuals over the age of 60 in our sixteen county area.  Alternatives connects individuals to the right resources at the right time to help them stay safe and as independent as possible, saving Illinois taxpayers more than $12 million due to successful deflection from nursing home costs of care.  As we age, there are daily, new challenges and Alternatives staff have the expertise and resources to help navigate through next steps.

Graycor – Oakbrook Terrace
Established in 1921, Graycor Construction Company is a leader in building construction throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Clients benefit from their financial stability, a vast network of resources and a strong commitment to safety. Graycor’s Continuous Improvement Process and The Graycor Way ensure their projects are delivered with the highest level of quality and consistency across all markets and geographies. Headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, Graycor has offices strategically located in Charlotte, NC; Phoenix, AZ; San Jose, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Atlanta, GA and Boston, MA.  Graycor specializes in commercial projects in the retail, entertainment, cold storage + food processing, manufacturing, logistics & distribution, living & lodging and corporate markets.  

NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative – Rock Island
NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative was established in 2008 to create public awareness, promote early detection, and support research for ovarian cancer, giving voice to those who lost their lives to ovarian cancer.  It was based on the premise that sisters share a lot of things; ovarian cancer should never be any of them.  With a mission to enrich lives through early detection education, patient support services and research funding for ovarian cancer, NormaLeah is empowering women (and those who love them) to recognize the subtle symptoms, assess their personal risk, explore risk-reduction strategies and advocate for proper medical attention for the best outcome. Our efforts are contributing to reduced incidence and mortality rates of ovarian cancer.

QCAIR – Davenport, IA
QC Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees (QCAIR) assists immigrants and refugees integrate into the Quad City community by advocating for immigrants and refugees and collaborating with appropriate service providers.

River Bend Foodbank – Davenport, IA
River Bend Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organization in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, having distributed over 14.5 million meals per year to hungry people in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The mission of the River Bend Foodbank is to lead the community-wide effort to end hunger in Iowa and Illinois. We do this through food distribution in partnership with their 300 agencies as well as Mobile Pantries, Senior Pantries, School Pantries, and Backpack Program.

Watchfire Signs – Danville
Watchfire Signs designs and engineers the best looking, most durable outdoor LED signs and digital billboards that stand out in a competitive market place. The company has more than 60,000 Watchfire LED signs in operation worldwide and has more digital billboard customers in the U.S. than any other brand. Watchfire employs a passionate team of over 300 individuals, many of whom have been with the company for decades.

The 2018 ILPEx Board of Examiners – comprised of 52 experts in business, education, health care and government – volunteered over 7,500 hours assessing applicants. The ILPEx Panel of Judges is responsible for validating the integrity of the ILPEx Awards for Excellence recognition cycle and determining recognition levels for each applicant. The panel is composed of experts selected from all industry sectors and geographic regions across the state of Illinois.

For more information on how your organization can benefit from services provided by the ILPEx Recognition Program, visit, or call 888-806-4632.

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, visit


About the ILPEx Recognition Program

IMEC leverages the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a foundation for driving organizational improvement and innovation across the state of Illinois. By providing a range of hands-on, goal-oriented solutions in the areas of leadership; strategy; customer engagement; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; operations; and workforce, IMEC leads organizations in their mission to improve business results and to create sustainable competitive futures. Through the ILPEx Recognition Program, IMEC celebrates the organizations committed to achieving enterprise excellence and sets them apart as a true class of distinction.

IMEC Media Contact:
Kristy Johns
Marketing Manager