When is the last time you heard someone win an award, walk up to the microphone and say, “There’s no one to thank; I did it all myself. So, I’ll going to put this award on my mantle where I can easily share it with me, myself and I.”

While such a narcissistic display might make for a great bit for late-night television, the reality is that few people get where they are in the world without the help of others. It takes hard work, innovation and a strong discipline to focus on the task at hand. This is even more true for companies looking to grow and sustain those increases; a team must work together to achieve a common goal.

This year it took a collective group of 1,200 people to make Ford Motor Co.’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, MI, the 2008QualityPlant of the Year.

As Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” This seems to be a sentiment held in high regard at the Van Dyke Transmission Plant.

According to the company’s application, the Van Dyke Transmission Plant has an exceptional workforce and management team that has embraced new technologies and set a world-class standard for high-performance, high-volume, environmentally friendly and quality-focused production for machining complex aluminum transmission cases, converters houses and valve bodies using state-of-the art, high-performance CNC machining centers. The people and the plant also deserve recognition for their intimate involvement and discipline in the development and deployments of the innovative manufacturing technologies.

By the time you read this, the Van Dyke plant will be producing all of the 6F midrange transmissions for Ford. Plant Manager Alexandria Maciag and others are quick to point out that the plant wouldn’t be where it is today without the people. The employees come up with the ideas, as well as implementing and embracing them.

It’s also these people that allowed the plant to successfully introduce two all-new, high-volume and high-quality six-speed FWD transmissions to market in a short time frame. Both programs were launched 18 months apart, all while going through aggressive launch ramps-full capacity of 450,000 in less than six months after the first job.

It truly is the sum of the people that helps a company achieve greatness and achieve its goals.

On behalf of theQualityMagazine team, congratulations to the Van Dyke Transmission Plant on being named the 2008 Quality Plant of the Year.

We’ll wait while all 1,200 of you take your turn making your acceptance speech.