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Branch-Smith Printing Chairman Gets Ear of Dick Cheney & Don Evans at Baldrige Ceremony

Press release from the issuing company

May 21, 2003 -- Vice President Dick Cheney and Commerce Secretary Don Evans today honored three organizations with the 2002 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in recognition of their performance excellence and quality achievements. The 2002 Baldrige Award recipients are: Motorola Commercial, Government and Industrial Solutions Sector, Schaumburg, Ill. (manufacturing); Branch-Smith Printing Division, Fort Worth, Texas (small business); and SSM Health Care, St. Louis, Mo. (health care). “With a focus on continuous improvement, the Baldrige Award-winning organizations have made excellence a part of their culture. The recipients represent the best of American organizations, and they are models for others to learn from and emulate,” said Secretary Evans. Branch-Smith Printing experienced a 72 percent growth in sales over four years and held that gain in 2002, when the industry declined 6.6 percent. The company grew its customer base from 91 in 1998 to 167 in 2002. Below are the comments from David C. Branch, Chairman and President, Branch-Smith Printing Division ----- Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, honored guests and friends: I am honored to stand before you representing an incredible group of people - the members of the Branch-Smith Printing team. Without their hard work and determination to shape their own experiences in the workplace and thereby improve the experiences of our customers, I would not be standing here today. Our team is grateful for the insight and commitment of Malcolm Baldrige and the many people who worked to build this program dedicated to his memory. This devoted group realized the impact that such a disciplined code of conduct could bring to America’s organizations and with it strengthen our competitive position in the world economy. As our organization can testify, it is a further credit to the creators that small business was recognized as a driver of economic success in America and the legislation specified its inclusion. Our team has benefited from this wisdom. We have also benefited from the inspiring legacy of my great-grandfather, Aaron Smith - a man who was born with no arms and yet read for his law certificate in 1889, became a newspaper editor by the turn of the century, and founded our printing and publishing company in 1910. We are each called to follow in his footsteps down the road of using wisely our God-given talents, facing obstacles without complaint, and doing whatever brings about the greater good for all in whom we come in contact. This culture of discipline and caring has led to strong company results for our team - employee turnover and accidents falling to benchmark levels, a productivity increase per employee of 33%, with sales doubling over four years while industry demand has been flat or down. We can never forget that, by the grace of God, we live in this great country - the United States of America. The Baldrige process could only be successful where democracy flourishes and economic freedoms depend on integrity in leadership as it truly embodies. I would like to thank the entire Branch-Smith Printing family who brought us to this significant milestone in our journey. I would also like to thank our many friends and extended team members who shared so much with us to help make it possible. You have all truly made a difference. Thanks so very much.