Written by Phil Cerroni
Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez will be named a Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumni for his innovative leadership, which led to the City’s receipt of the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest award for operational excellence. The City of Irving was the first municipality in Texas to receive the award and the second city in the nation since the Baldrige inception 25 years ago.
“It will be an honor to be back in Lubbock and celebrate with my alma mater,” Gonzalez said. “I’m always pleased to share what I’ve learned through our implementation of Lean Six Sigma principles and Baldrige criteria. The journey drove tremendous results for which we are proud, and the awards underscore the fact that private sector business principles apply to government as well.”
Gonzalez became the Irving City Manager in 2006 and oversees a $500 million City budget and more than 2,100 City employees. Through the use of Lean Six Sigma (LSS), the organization found breakthrough improvements in City services provided to residents, visitors and the business community. The City of Irving has saved more than $44 million and 50,000 hours in productivity through the use of LSS methodologies.
The City also received a double AAA bond rating from Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for the last six years. Irving was ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of its Top 50 “Best Places to Live” and by 24/7 Wall St. as one of the Top 20 Best Run Cities in America.
Despite the sluggish economy, the City of Irving has had much economic development success. In 2012, jobs added or retained in Irving totaled 7,642. In addition, more than $180 million of taxable investment was added to the community. In a relatively short amount of time, the city’s appearance has improved dramatically with corridor enhancements, the removal of substandard structures and strengthened code enforcement. Moreover, Irving has realized a historic crime rate decrease for eight consecutive years with an overall 43 percent reduction in violent crime.
Prior to joining the City of Irving, Gonzalez was Assistant City Manager in Dallas; City Manager of Harlingen; and he served in a number of positions with the City of Lubbock, including Deputy City Manager.
Gonzalez earned a master’s degree in public administration from Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM. He was a recipient of Eastern New Mexico University’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012. Gonzalez is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the University of Texas at Austin.
Source: City of Irving