Announcing the 2019 McWherter Leadership Award

The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) is proud to announce former Tennessee Commissioner of Health John J. Dreyzehner, MD, MPH and Charles E. Shoopman, Jr., Assistant Vice President at the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service, are recipients of the 2019 Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award.

The Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award 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. Both recipients have demonstrated their commitment to excellence by promoting the use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in their own careers and organizations and through their advocacy of performance excellence to others. Dreyzehner and Shoopman have recently concluded several years of service as volunteer TNCPE board members.

“Both Dr. Dreyzehner and Mr. Shoopman have personally promoted performance excellence not only within their own organizations but also across Tennessee and the Southeast,” says Tamera Fields Parsons, TNCPE President and CEO. “Their commitment to and knowledge of performance excellence is evident in their personal actions, and both of these men should be considered as role models of excellence.” 

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.

Dreyzehner and Shoopman will accept their awards from Mike McWherter, son of the late Ned McWherter, at the 2019 Excellence in Tennessee Awards Celebration & Banquet on Thursday, February 28, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, Tenn.


John-Dreyzehner-1.jpgJohn J. Dreyzehner, MD, MPH

With more than 25 years of service in clinical and public health leadership, Dr. John Dreyzehner has shown a commitment to excellence in every step. His tenure with the Tennessee Department of Health focused on improving public health across the state with a performance improvement framework they employed, earning national recognition including the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Vision Award. Dreyzehner was awarded the inaugural Baldrige Leadership Excellence Award in 2018.



Charles E. Shoopman, Jr.

From outreach and engagement at the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service to recruitment and retention with Tennessee Valley Authority, Charles Shoopman has gained tremendous experience in his nearly 40-year career. His dedication to performance excellence has driven improvement not only throughout his organizations, but others, as president of the University Economic Development Association and a board member of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.


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. Previous honorees include Dr. Bob Bell (President, Tennessee Tech University), Dr. Andy Czuchry (AFG Chair of Excellence, ETSU), Jan McNally (Director, Leadership Development Covenant Health), Robert Otwell (CEO, Maury Regional Medical Center), Ed Scott (Treasurer, Caterpillar, Inc.), Dr. Susan Williams (Professor of Management, Belmont University), Dr. R. Michael Browder (CEO, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services), David McClaskey (President, Pal’s Business Excellence Institute), Dennis Vonderfecht (CEO, Mountain States Health Alliance), Dr. Joe Alexander (Associate Dean, Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University), Lewis Lavine (President, Center for Nonprofit Management), Thom Crosby (President and CEO, Pal’s), Jim Duensing (EVP & CEO, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation), and Donald Fisher(Executive Director/CEO of MSQPC-The Quality Center (Mid-South Quality/Productivity Center).


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 regional 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. Nearly 1,500 organizations have participated in and benefited from the TNCPE program. Five Tennessee businesses— Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, Pal’s Sudden Service, Eastman Chemical Company, and Federal Express—have received 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.