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Clinton Presents Business Awards

February 25, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton on Friday presented the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to four companies whose performances have enhanced U.S. competitiveness.

The winners provide processed eggs, electronic circuits, business consultation and luxury hotels. One firm, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC, won the award once before, in 1992.

The awards were named in honor of Baldrige, commerce secretary under President Reagan who died in a horseriding accident in 1987.

Besides Atlanta-based Ritz-Carlton, the companies that received the award were STMicroelectronics Inc., of Carrollton, Texas; BI, a business performance company based in Minneapolis, Minn.; and Sunny Fresh Foods, of Monticello, Minn.

Several cheering BI employees stood and waved purple pom-poms as president Guy Schoenecker accepted the award from Clinton.

``I thought about all the things that Minnesota has given our country _ Garrison Keillor, Jesse Ventura,″ Clinton told the crowd of about 1,000. ``This is the only group I’ve ever seen that had pompom boys as well as pompom girls.″

The awards ceremony was cut short when the hotel ballroom was evacuated because of a fire alarm. No injuries were reported.

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