St. Louis Fed Earns 2008 Missouri Quality Award


ST. LOUIS — The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has won a Missouri Quality Award (MQA), one of only five organizations in the state to be so honored this year. Modeled after the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the MQA is recognized as one of the strongest state-level quality award programs in the nation.

Prior MQA recipients include Boeing, Honeywell, SSM Healthcare and Northwest Missouri State University.

Contenders for the MQA are evaluated on their processes in place and associated results of six criteria:

  1. leadership,
  2. strategic planning,
  3. customer and market focus,
  4. measurement, analysis and knowledge management,
  5. work force focus and
  6. process management.

The St. Louis Fed submitted a 50-page application for the award in April of this year and was selected for a site visit by the MQA evaluation team in September. The site visit included interviews of hundreds of St. Louis Fed employees, which assisted the team to determine how well the Reserve Bank met the criteria.

"Being selected as an award winner is, of course, a great honor and reflects directly on the hard work and professionalism of our employees," said James Bullard, president and CEO of the St. Louis Fed. "Day in and day out, they embody every characteristic of quality that you'd want in a work force, and I'm proud to be associated with them."

David A. Sapenaro, first vice president and chief operating officer of the Reserve Bank, said, "I believe that a compelling reason we won this honor is our emphasis on living our core values, which guide every phase of how the St. Louis Fed operates."

As outlined in the application for the award, those core values are:

  • Commitment to the public interest. "Being mindful of our legacy and opportunity to positively influence society, the Bank strives to provide outstanding service to the public, the U.S. government, and the financial community," he said.
  • Integrity and respect. "We try to operate in a transparent manner, and adhere to the highest standards of honest, fairness and discretion, whether we're dealing with the public, our business partners or our co-workers."
  • Independent views. "We appreciate that no one person, no matter how experienced and intelligent, has all the answers," said Sapenaro. "That's why we seek out input from a variety of sources and value professional judgment."
  • Innovation. "We work hard to create a culture in which creative ideas are encouraged."
  • Teamwork. "We value the diversity of one another," he said, "and the benefit that comes from collaborating and working together in an atmosphere of open communication."
  • Ownership. "We've found that giving employees personal ‘ownership' and accountability for their work results in outstanding performance."
  • Customer satisfaction. "Whether we're dealing with internal or external customers, the Bank wants to ensure that they are receiving the best possible service."

With branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes community development and financial education.


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