Meridian CUSD 223 Awarded 2018 Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence by the ILPEx Recognition Program

Peoria, IL – November 19, 2018 – IMEC has announced Meridian CUSD 223 of Stillman Valley, IL as a recipient of the 2018 Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence.

“The ILPEx award was a great reminder that we are headed in the right direction. But certainly, it does not mean we are at our destination. We value the continuous improvement process and found that no framework nor support organization would fit our needs as a rural school district as well as the ILPEx framework,” said Dr. PJ Caposey, Superintendent of Meridian CUSD 223.  “I am beyond thankful that we adopted this framework to serve as the backbone of our improvement efforts. It truly has made Meridian a better school district and without a doubt it has made me a better leader.”

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. A general improvement orientation must be evident in the organization, along with key approaches by senior leaders to guide and sustain the organization and prove the use of systematic approaches to improve key work processes. Additionally, the organization must report results for several areas that are important to the accomplishment of their mission.

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.

“For a rural school district like Meridian CUSD 223, meeting the needs of the variety of stakeholders can be especially challenging,” said Ben Krupowicz, Executive Director of the ILPEx Recognition Program.  “We are confident that the strength of Meridian’s early commitment to excellence is an indicator of future success for the district.  Beyond receiving this award, Meridian’s leadership is equipped with feedback reports to guide the district through continuous improvement for the betterment of the greater community.”

The 2018 Board of Examiners – comprised of 52 experts in business, education, health care and government – spent more than 2,000 hours assessing each applicant in seven categories: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. The ILPEx Panel of Judges is responsible for validating the integrity of the ILPEx award process and determining recognition levels for each applicant. The panel is composed of experts selected from all industry sectors and represents various geographic areas of the state of Illinois.

Since 1994, there have been 283 applicants, approximately 1,600 examiners, representing nearly 170,000 hours of work, resulting in appropriately $7.4 million in volunteered time – all to make Illinois organizations more competitive, create jobs, and improve communities. As your preferred resource for growth and enterprise excellence, IMEC also offers training and support to help you address the Baldrige Criteria from leadership to results.

For more information on how your organization can benefit from services provided by Illinois Performance Excellence, visit, or call 888-806-4632.

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, visit


About the ILPEx Recognition Program (IMEC)

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

Meridian CUSD 223 Media Contact:

Dr. PJ Caposey

Illinois Performance Excellence welcomes new Executive Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Krupowicz as Executive Director of Illinois Performance Excellence (ILPEx), effective April 18, 2016. Krupowicz will lead the efforts to ensure ILPEx is the leading choice in Illinois for organizations on the path to world-class performance, including oversight of the annual ILPEx Awards for Excellence process.

Krupowicz is a seasoned quality executive with over 20 years of experience focused on process improvement. Most recently, he served as the Director of Business Improvement for Viavi Solutions; prior he was with Tellabs as the Director of Process Improvement. With extensive experience developing and implementing effective programs resulting in improved business performance, Krupowicz is adept at creating demand for organizational improvement.

“We have a tremendous opportunity ahead to support and partner with organizations on their journey toward performance excellence, transforming our state into a leader of economic opportunity,” shared Krupowicz.

David Boulay, Interim ILPEx Executive Director and IMEC President, offers his positive vision for the future of the organization. “The addition of Ben to the team comes at a time of extensive strategic planning for ILPEx and IMEC. We are excited for the knowledge and excitement he brings, especially as we outline the future of our statewide focus on the competitiveness and process optimization of local companies. Ben has demonstrated the ability to successfully develop and implement effective programs that result in improved business performance. We look forward to the experience and energy Ben will bring as the Executive Director of ILPEx.”

For more information, contact Emily Lee at 309-677-4633 or