K&N Management Celebrates Malcolm Baldrige Award By Establishing Scholarship at McCombs School

Local restaurant company KandN Management has announced a $10,000 endowment to the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin to celebrate the company's recognition as a recipient of the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence.

KandN Management was recognized last week by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as one of seven recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The company was founded in Austin in 1993 and is the developer of the Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q Austin franchises as well as the creator of Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes. The $10,000 endowment, which will be called the Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes Performance Excellence Scholarship, was announced during an on-field presentation at the Texas-Texas AandM football game on Thanksgiving.

"We're all about business excellence at McCombs, so it is a distinct honor to receive this gift from KandN Management after they were recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award," said Thomas W. Gilligan, dean of McCombs School of Business. "It is a significant gesture that advances business thought and practice not only in Texas, but everywhere the university has influence."

KandN Management is the first Austin-based organization to earn a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the second restaurant company to be recognized with the prestigious national honor in the award's 23-year history. The company was one of three recipients from the small business category this year, and will be presented with the award in a ceremony with President Barack Obama at the White House next year.

"We are a proud Austin-based business and are honored to celebrate this recognition with the McCombs School of Business," said Ken Schiller, co-owner of KandN Management. "The McCombs School is a nationally respected institution that focuses on business excellence. We are pleased to help advance that cause with the creation of this scholarship."

The Baldrige Award is named for Malcolm Baldrige, who was U.S. secretary of commerce from 1981 to 1987 and whose managerial excellence contributed to long-term improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of government. The award program is managed by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology in conjunction with the private sector. The program rigorously evaluates the recipients in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results.