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GRQC: Helping Rochester's Economy Win Through Performance Excellence

Voice of Business Newsletter, Spring 2020

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce


By: Michael Caceci, Board Chair

      Greater Rochester Quality Council


Anyone familiar with Rochester’s history knows we’ve invented, innovated and created some of the world’s greatest brands, products, technologies and companies. And despite market forces and other factors impacting our region in recent years we continue to fight, compete and win.


Not long ago, Rochester’s traditional manufacturers faced unprecedented foreign competition. Many turned to timeless methods of continuous improvement to stay competitive. Introduced as “Total Quality Management” (TQM), firms that adopted these tools did more than survive - many thrived. From this nascent ‘quality movement’, Greater Rochester Quality Council (GRQC) was founded in 1992 as a Chamber Affiliate to help meet the challenges of that time.


Rochester’s economy has evolved since then and GRQC has adapted to this transformation. Our unwavering commitment to performance excellence drives us toward our vision of making Rochester a nationally recognized showplace for performance excellence. But, we are not a heady group of statisticians. GRQC is a member-led organization that helps Rochester and Upstate NY organizations make continuous improvement a driver for better results. We serve key sectors that power our region’s economy: business, healthcare, non-profits, education and government.


The proven principles of quality and continuous improvement apply to any organization that relies on processes to get work done, or seeks to instill a culture that prioritizes excellence in the delivery of products and services that delight its customers.


GRQC offers a great value; with programs and events that promote continuous learning, connecting to resources and celebrating excellence. These include:


GRQC Showcase & Performance Excellence Awards: Wouldn’t you rather do business with an organization committed to excellence and great customer service? The GRQC Performance Excellence Awards program is Rochester’s equivalent of the prestigious Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award. Local organizations are invited to apply for recognition of the work they’re doing to continuously improve operations and results. Applicants receive an on-site visit from a team of experts in quality, lean and other methods. They receive a detailed feedback report based on our criteria and site visit findings. (The feedback report alone would cost thousands if done by paid consultants.) We provide insights on how an applicant is performing in Operational Excellence, Team Excellence or Customer Excellence. But wait - there’s more! We celebrate their success with an evening of sharing and recognition of applicants’ efforts and results at our annual GRQC Showcase and Awards Dinner in May.


Quality for Leaders: Held multiple times during the year, this educational session gives managers the tools they need to drive continuous improvement and change into their culture.  Participants leave with concrete action plans to immediately implement an improvement strategy. And Rochester Chamber members receive our member discount, plus a one-year free GRQC membership for attending this program.


Performance Excellence Forums: Offered throughout the year, performance excellence forums are stimulating networking opportunities and talks from leaders on a range of topics. Forums are held at convenient times of day, so professionals can participate in these thought-provoking, action-oriented discussions. 


Day of Quality: GRQC members are active volunteers, committed to spreading the gospel of excellence to all that ask for help. That’s why we started our Day of Quality. Modeled after United Way’s Day of Caring, volunteer professionals devote a day with requesting organizations who want to improve a process or start their journey of continuous improvement. To date, we’ve helped over 40 organizations! With guidance from GRQC volunteers, anyone can implement improvements with measurable results the very next day.


In summary, GRQC is not just about “TQM” or quality theory. We are all about performance excellence in action.  If the Rochester area is differentiated by our workforce, and our economic future depends on the ability to deliver the next generation of inventions, innovations and companies, we must make performance excellence an integral part of every Rochester and Upstate NY organization.  GRQC wants to be your partner on your journey to excellence, and would love to help your organization achieve its goals. Contact us at to learn more.

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