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December 13, 2023


Iowa Quality Center
Performance Excellence Network
Karen Kiel Rosser, Board Chair
Brian Lassiter, President

Iowa Quality Center & Performance Excellence Network Announce Partnership

Collaboration Provides IQC Members Access to PEN Resources, Supports Performance Excellence throughout Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, December 13, 2023 – The Iowa Quality Center (IQC) and the Performance Excellence Network (PEN) today announce a partnership that expands the mission of both organizations throughout the Upper Midwest. Both organizations are 501(c)3 nonprofits, PEN based in Minnesota (and also serving North and South Dakota) and IQC based in Iowa.

“During its regular strategic planning, the IQC board considered several strategic alternatives to ensure long-term viability and member value, and partnering with PEN made the most sense to our members,” says Karen Kiel Rosser, IQC’s board chair (and Vice President at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames). “With PEN’s resources, infrastructure, and portfolio of member services and benefits, we thought this was the best way to sustain and expand IQC’s mission into the future.”

Says Brian Lassiter, president of the Performance Excellence Network: “The collaboration between our two organizations just makes sense. Our missions are both focused on helping leaders, organizations, and communities improve their outcomes, and we both use the Baldrige Framework as the foundation of our work. Our partnership strengthens the network, providing access to other high performing organizations in the region, which is a benefit to both organizations.”

Effective immediately, IQC members have access to PEN’s member resources, services, discounts, and benefits. In partnership, the two organizations serve over 200 members, conduct Baldrige evaluations in four states, and train well over 2000 leaders and professionals annually on best practices in continuous improvement through webinars, workshops, peer roundtables, a cohort-based executive development experience, conferences, and an online digital library. Both nonprofits will continue to remain as separate corporations, with independent governing boards and separate brands in each market.

About Performance Excellence Network

Founded in 1987 by the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Rudy Perpich, the Performance Excellence Network (legally the MN Council for Quality, Inc.) is a nonprofit that advances improvement and performance excellence within organizations, individuals and communities in the Upper Midwest. PEN helps leaders identify strengths and improvement opportunities, and it builds networks that bring information, resources, knowledge and best practices to organizations desiring to improve. PEN serves nearly 200 members and organizations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. For more information, visit

About Iowa Quality Center

Originally formed in 1993 as the Woods Quality Center, the Iowa Quality Center focuses on performance excellence across Iowa and provides access to training and consulting services through partner organizations. IQC administers the Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence (IRPE), a Baldrige-based assessment and recognition program for organizations of all sizes and types throughout the state. For more information, visit

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