For Immediate Release:
May 07, 2009

Media Contact:
Doris Howe

Owen Torres

Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department wins 2009 Governor’s Sterling Award

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department has received the 2009 Governor’s Sterling Award.  The Award, presented by Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Sterling Council, recognizes organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.  Miami-Dade County’s Park and Recreation Department is the first park and recreation agency in the State of Florida to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award.

“This is a great achievement for the County’s Park and Recreation Department and for our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez.  “Parks and open spaces are the keys to quality of life.  We understand that without a great system of parks and open spaces we will not have livable communities that sustain business and education, and provide residents and visitors a greener, healthier place to live, work and play.

“I am proud to say we are national leaders in providing parks’ services to our residents and visitors,” said County Manager George M. Burgess.  “Great parks and public spaces shape our County and define the character of our community.  But in the end, it’s about knowing that our beautiful parks will bring a healthier lifestyle and endless smiles for our customers.”

“The employees of our Department have demonstrated why we are recognized as first in the State to receive this award,” said Jack Kardys, Director, Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department.  “Winning this prestigious award demonstrates our commitment to consistently providing quality programs and great parks and facilities to our community.”

About Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department

Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department operates and manages 258 park properties in Miami-Dade County, Florida comprised of active and passive parks, as well as protected environmentally sensitive properties.  It is one of only 55 park and recreation agencies nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies.  The County’s Park and Recreation Department serves 2.5 million residents countywide.  The department offers a diverse array of services including auditoriums, museums, cultural art centers, the Deering Estate at Culter and Miami Metrozoo, rated among the top 10 zoos in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure Magazine.  For more information on Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, visit

About the Governor’s Sterling Award

The Governor’s Sterling Award process is comprehensive and rigorous, and is the highest award an organization can receive for performance excellence in Florida.  Organizations submit a 50-page application that is scored against the seven categories of the Sterling Criteria: Leadership; Strategic Planning; Customer and Market Focus; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Workforce Focus; Process Management; and Results.  The Sterling Criteria are based on the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria, which are nationally recognized as the world-class standard for organizational excellence.  Expertly trained Sterling examiners independently review the application, and then conduct a substantial five to six day site-visit.  The examiner team interviews employees at all levels of the organization and analyzes every aspect of the organization and its performance.  Next, the team prepares a detailed feedback report highlighting key strengths and opportunities for improvement. The Sterling Panel of Judges then selects organizations that have successfully implemented the Sterling Criteria and are role-model organizations.  For more on the 2009 Governor’s Sterling Award Recipients, visit


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Hickman Building
275 N.-W 2nd Street, 5th Floor Miami, Florida 33128
(305) 755-7800


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