Announcing the 2020 McWherter Leadership Award


David M. Jones leads a workshop at the 2018 TNCPE Excellence Conference.



The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) is proud to announce David M. Jones, Vice President of McClaskey Excellence Institute (formerly known as Pal’s Business Excellence Institute), as the recipient of the 2020 Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award.

“David Jones is many things: a wise leader, an expert on performance excellence, a knowledgeable trainer and coach, and above all he is a genuinely kind and humble person,” said Tamera Fields Parsons, President and CEO of TNCPE. “David sincerely wants to help individuals and organizations be excellent, and he shares his knowledge and experience freely. He is very deserving of this distinguished recognition.”

The Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award annually recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance excellence and has worked to further performance improvement beyond the boundaries of his or her organization. As a trainer, coach, speaker, and consultant for many years, most recently through McClaskey Excellence Institute, Jones has personally taught Baldrige-based performance excellence principles and practices to thousands of managers and leaders from around the world.

“David has not only professionally guided many organizations to improve using performance excellence, he has also volunteered his time and talent to help many non-profits and community efforts use performance excellence to better serve society,” said David McClaskey, President of McClaskey Excellence Institute.

Jones has also served in many volunteer capacities promoting excellence in Tennessee and nationally, including nice years on the TNCPE Panel of Judges; serving as a TNCPE examiner, team leader, and trainer; and 13 years as a National Baldrige Performance Excellence Program trainer, examiner, and team leader.

McWherter Leadership Award winners can come from any industry sector. They are committed to the core values of TNCPE and the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the nationally recognized framework that helps organizations align resources; improve communication, productivity, and effectiveness; and achieve strategic goals.

The McWherter Award is named after the 46th governor of Tennessee, who was instrumental in TNCPE’s founding in 1993. Ned McWherter’s support for the program acknowledged the value of the Baldrige Excellence Framework as an integral tool that can help Tennessee businesses and organizations thrive. A listing of previous honorees can be found here. Jones will accept the award at the 2020 Excellence Celebration on Thursday, February 27, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, Tenn.


Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership, the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence strives to promote economic development and drive organizational excellence by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace through affordable, in-depth assessments. A statewide nonprofit, TNCPE is grounded in the Baldrige Excellence Framework—a holistic framework used by organizations across multiple industries to improve their performance and achieve sustainable results. More than 1,500 organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE program. Six Tennessee businesses—Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, Pal’s Sudden Service, City of Germantown, Eastman Chemical Company, Federal Express and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services—have been honored with both the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award and the TNCPE Excellence Award.

TNCPE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PO Box 101310 Nashville, TN 37224. 615-532-4590.