The staff and board of Communities of Excellence 2026 would like to congratulate Nick Macchione on receiving the 2018 Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award. Awarded each year by the Baldrige Foundation, the "Hertz Award recognizes leaders that have inspired, encouraged, challenged, and empowered others to achieve performance excellence."
Nick is Agency Director for the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) and an early supporter of the Communities of Excellence 2026 vision. Under his leadership the agency adopted the Baldrige criteria as a governmental unit and in healthcare for its long term care facility, and in 2015 adopted the Communities of Excellence criteria county-wide, beginning with the South Region of San Diego County through Live Well San Diego: The county's vision for a region that is healthy, safe and thriving.
From the beginning Nick and his team recognized the importance of evolving Live Well San Diego from an HHSA Initiative to a broader community-led leadership system representative of all sectors in the community. They have actively supported Communities of Excellence 2026, through their input into the criteria itself and then as one of the first communities to adopt the criteria. Throughout their journey HHSA's support and commitment as a backbone organization has been inspirational.
This recognition brings much deserved attention a role model leader and advocate for the pursuit of community-wide excellence.
Stephanie Norling, Director, Communities of Excellence 2026