The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence announces Rebecca Hunter as the recipient of the 2021 Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award. Ms. Hunter served on Governor Bill Haslam’s cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Human Resources for eight years. Prior to that appointment she spent six years as director of Human Resources for Hamilton County Government and held management positions in governmental finance for over 20 years.
Tamera Fields Parsons, president and CEO of TNCPE said, “Rebecca Hunter is a role model leader, advisor, mentor, citizen, and fellow Tennessean. She is truly an expert in so many areas, and at the same time is one of the humblest persons I have met. Her passion for customer service and performance excellence is sincere and runs deep, and so many have benefited from her tireless work. She is truly a model for the Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award.”
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.
Serving as a leader on several boards and within several associations, Ms. Hunter has influenced and encouraged several CEOs and leaders to adopt performance excellence tools. She has shared her passion for customer service and performance excellence as a highly sought-after state, regional, and national speaker. Ms. Hunter has personally coached many individuals as they started their own journey toward excellence.
Michael McWherter, son of Governor Ned R. McWherter, in his presentation of the award to Ms. Hunter, said, “During her tenure with State Government, Rebecca established the Department of Human Resources as a leader in innovative human resources practices, while also developing the best workforce for state government.
"She led a successful effort to transform the State’s employment practices which move the State from a focus on seniority to a focus on performance – truly an example of outstanding leadership in the pursuit of performance leadership which is one of the qualities of the Ned R. McWherter Leadership Award."
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 on the TNCPE website www.tncpe.org.
Ms. Hunter accepted the award from Mike McWherter, son of Governor Ned McWherter, at the 2021 Excellence Celebration.