On October 29, 2001, The South Carolina Quality Forum presented Dr. Thomas J. Malone with the prestigious Milliken Medal of Quality Award. Governor Jim Hodges made the presentation. The award is given every year by the Quality Forum to recognize South Carolinians of vision, who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and outstanding achievement in the implementation of quality systems in their organizations. Malone is president & chief operating officer of Milliken & Company. Roger Milliken, chairman & CEO of Milliken & Company, in whose honor the original award was established four years ago said, "Tom Malone's leadership has been the single most important ingredient in the success of Milliken's Quality Process. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, won by our company in 1989, was a direct result of his personal leadership and involvement." Dr. Malone received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1966 and immediately was hired by Milliken & Company to start its "Fundamental Engineering Department." Seventeen years later, he was named president and chief operating officer. Milliken & Company is of one of the largest privately held textile and chemical manufacturers in the world. "It is an honor to be recognized. We in Milliken have been blessed to have the leader of all leaders of quality," said Malone, referring to Roger Milliken. "We have been equally blessed to have the people who are the heroes of our accomplishments and recognition around the world," he added. A member of the Chief Executives' Organization and the Presidents' Circle, Malone also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Engineering of the National Science Foundation, the Council on competitiveness. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States of America and was chosen 1991 Honorary Textile Leader of the year by the Kappa Tau Beta Leadership Fraternity and Phi Psi Professional Textile Fraternity at N.C. State University. He was also named 1994 Leader of the Year by Textile World and was recently named as one of the top 50 "Textile Leaders of the Century." An ardent supporter of education, he established the Dr. Thomas Joseph Malone Scholarship Fund at Georgia Tech and the T.D. "Dobie" Holden Scholarship to Pearl River Junior college in honor of his mentor, football coach and lifetime friend. He is a founder and trustee of LaGrange Academy (Georgia) and a major supporter of the Spartanburg Day School (South Carolina). Dr. Malone is dedicated to "empowerment," a concept cited by President George Bush in 1989 as the company received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Dr. Malone has demonstrated proactivity through leadership, initiative and cooperation. As an individual he has demonstrated a history of learning through perceptive observation and empathetic listening and has shown champion leadership and the spirit of continuous learning. All which are key components to be eligible for this award. "I am thrilled the Quality Forum selected Tom for this award," said Milliken. "He is a passionate believer in recognition and has awarded, recognized, and applauded thousands of associates in our company for their accomplishments. It is certainly appropriate that he receive this recognition."
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