"Oscars" of Government Service Recipients Work in Washington, D.C., Colorado, Florida, California and Haiti
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service presented eight Service to America Medals (Sammies) at a Washington, D.C. gala on September 15 to outstanding public servants for their remarkable work assisting Americans in need, keeping us safe and advancing our national interests.
Renamed The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals this year to commemorate the organization's founder, the Sammies have earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious awards dedicated to honoring America's civil servants.
The top medal, Federal Employee of the Year, was presented to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) Pius Bannis for providing assistance and hope for Haitian orphans following the devastating earthquake in January 2010. A U.S. immigration officer, Bannis helped hundreds of orphans escape the tragedy and find safety in the United States with new families already in the adoption process.
Additional Service to America Medals went to seven federal workers whose achievements range from protecting our environment to safeguarding our children from sexual exploitation.
Medalists come from the Departments of Army, Energy and Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Social Security Administration, EPA, FBI and USCIS. They work in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Key West and Haiti.
"As our nation faces unprecedented challenges – from rebuilding a collapsed financial system to addressing the worst environmental disaster in our history – America needs, and our public demands, an effective and efficient federal government," said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service president and CEO.
"The recipients of the Service to America Medals showcase the good that government does, which positively affects our lives every day," continued Stier. "By honoring these outstanding public servants, we give America's unsung heroes the long overdue thanks and recognition they deserve."
The 2010 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal recipients are:
- Sandra K. Brooks, Homeland Security Medal
At Joint Interagency Task Force South located in Key West, Brooks enables military, law enforcement agencies and partner nations to better combat crime on the high seas.
- Jeffrey M. Baker, Science & Environment Medal
At the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Laboratory Operations in Golden, Colo., Baker led the design and construction of the world's largest net-zero energy office building, proving that buildings can be created to decrease energy consumption at no additional cost.
- Shane Kelley and Eva Ristow, Citizen Services Medal
At the Social Security Administration's Center for Automation in Denver, through two-way video technology Kelley and Ristow developed a way to bring services to citizens living in impoverished and remote locations in the country.
- Jamie Konstas, Justice and Law Enforcement Medal
As an intelligence analyst at the FBI's headquarters in Washington, D.C., Konstas is advancing the fight against the sexual exploitation of children. Her work has resulted in the conviction of more than 600 pimps and predators, and the rescue of more than 1,150 children.
- Teri Glass and the Army Medical Support Systems Team, National Security and International Affairs Medal
At the U.S. Army Medical Support Systems Project Management Office located in Fort Detrick, Md., Glass and her team developed life-saving medical evacuation equipment that is increasing survival rates of American soldiers wounded in combat.
- Saskia van Gendt, Call to Service Medal
Seeking to reduce the nation's carbon footprint, van Gendt, a 29-year-old EPA scientist based in San Francisco, is fostering the innovative design of reusable and sustainable construction and packaging materials.
- Susan Solomon, Career Achievement Medal
Working for NOAA in Boulder, Colo. as a senior scientist for nearly three decades, Solomon led internationally acclaimed atmospheric research that set us on a path to restoring the ozone layer and demonstrated the long-term harm to the environment caused by global warming.
The Service to America Medals gala was hosted by Norah O'Donnell, chief Washington correspondent for NBC News' 24-hour cable channel, msnbc, and contributing correspondent for the network's top-rated TODAY show.
Medal presenters included: Secretary Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security; Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Administrator Jane Lubchenco, NOAA; Director John Berry, Office of Personnel Management; Admiral Thad Allen retired Coast Guard commandant; and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
The Service to America Medal winners were nominated by colleagues familiar with their work and selected by a committee that includes Carol S. Larson, president and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Craig Newmark, founder, craigslist; Samuel J. Palmisano, chairman, president and CEO, IBM; Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; William E. Kirwan, chancellor, University System of Maryland; and U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). More than 400 nominations were submitted for medal consideration this year.
National sponsors for the Service to America Medals are Booz Allen Hamilton, CH2M Hill, Chevron, DuPont and United Technologies Corporation.
Nominations for 2011 are being accepted at servicetoamericamedals.org.
The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals program honors the best in our federal workforce and works to inspire a new generation to consider public service careers by sharing the inspiring stories of unsung heroes. Surveys show that many Americans do not know what the federal government does for them each and every day – or that there are federal jobs available in practically every interest and skill area, in all 50 states and around the world.
The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. Visit www.ourpublicservice.org for more information.
SOURCE Partnership for Public Service