An Ohio-based leasing finance company is among this year's four winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Dana Commercial Credit of Toledo claimed the government's highest business excellence award in the service category.

The firm, which has roughly $1.5 billion of assets, finances leasing operations ranging from aircraft to desktop computer systems. The company, founded in 1980, has 547 employees.

"We won the Baldrige award because we have a commitment to our employees, customers, suppliers, community, and stockholders," Dana Commercial chairman and chief executive Edward J. Shultz said.

"We take care of our people. When they come to work here from college we expect to see them stay here until they retire," he added. "Last year, every employee had 48 hours of additional job education relating to their department."

The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to promote the achievements and performance strategies of U.S. companies. The award program, managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, recognizes companies in three categories: manufacturing, service, and small business.

The other winners this year are ADAC Laboratories, Milpitas, Calif., for manufacturing; and Custom Research Inc., Minneapolis, and Trident Precision Manufacturing Inc., Webster, N.Y., both for small business.

Companies submitting applications are judged on leadership, information and analysis, strategic planning, human resource development and management, process management, business results, and customer focus and satisfaction.

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