NEWS | Jan. 27, 2021

NSWC Panama City Division virtually recognized 2020 Annual Award recipients

By Cierra Burch NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Each year, the Commanding Officer (CO) and Technical Director (TD) of  the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) host an annual awards ceremony recognizing the command’s exceptional personnel. Despite trials faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSWC PCD is continuing to host the annual ceremony, only virtually this year.

In November 2020, the nomination call went out to the entire command encouraging the workforce to submit nominations for the annual CO/TD awards.  As in years past, any government civilian or military member could nominate someone as long as it was submitted through their chain of command for approval. This year, 72 nominations of teams and individuals across 12 award categories were received. Though there are only 15 award recipients, Capt. David Back, NSWC PCD CO recognized the dedication and performance of everyone nominated.

“We recognized our colleagues who gave their time and talents to make NSWC PCD a great place to work,” said Back. “We recognized colleagues who went above and beyond expectations and succeeded in ways not previously thought possible.”

The annual awards ceremony was pre-recorded and digitally enhanced to prioritize safety following COVID-19 protocol and risk mitigation, including social distancing and mask wearing. Recipients were photographed individually and the NSWC PCD’s visual information team composited the team photographs. Each individual was independently recorded to respect social distancing protocol, and the video was digitally enhanced to mimic a formal awards ceremony. The awards ceremony premiered January 27 on Facebook, YouTube, and internal streaming platforms.  

Dr. Peter Adair, NSWC PCD TD, thanked the nominees and personnel involved in the success of the command in 2020 despite unprecedented challenges faced.

“Your work has contributed to the success of this command and U.S. Navy and we thank you for all you have done,” said Adair. “Though COVID-19 presented us with unprecedented challenges, each of you adapted well and your work ethic never wavered.”

Of the 15 award recipients, there are ten individuals and five teams awarded. The NSWC PCD 2020 Annual CO/TD Award recipients are:

Collaboration Excellence Award

Dr. Cameron Matthews

Dr. David P. Skinner Outstanding Scientific and Engineering Award

Dr. Robert Cole

Exceptional Technical Support Award

Jessica Haig

Exemplary Leadership Award

Rachael Robinson

Hall of Fame

Stephen Hudson

New Professional Exceptional Achievement Award

Emily Keihn

Outstanding Fleet Support Award

The Deployable Joint Command & Control Virtual Secure Enclave In-Service Engineering Agent Team: Kevin Wooten, Zachary Hartley, Michael Barrenechea, Wendy Najacque, John (Trey) Christmas III, James (Jim) Nelson, and Manuel (Manny) Rodriguez

Outstanding Innovation Award

EX28 Team: Brian Toole, Kirk Vandzandt, Jacob Cornman, Dylan Gouletas, Anthony Bleichner, Jonas Hudson, Al Porteus, and Frank Crane

Outstanding Organizational Support Award

Komal Patel

Leslie O’Brien

David Neet

Outstanding Program Success Award

Clandestine Delivered Mine Projecy Team: Marty Richardson, Stephen Hoyer, Tony Simpson, John Sojdehei, Steve Akin, Matt Warrell, Jim Keith, Donnie Kiper, Austin Schwarz, Matt Naughton, Jordan Bolduc, Phillip Cederstrom, Steve Crowley, and Raymond Myers

Outstanding Team Achievement Award

Mine Countermeasures Mission Package Test & Evaluation Team: Erin Cotton, Amanda Elkins, Le’Derick Smedley, Jason Newton, Bruce Potemken, Jonathan Shiver, Shin Miin A. Tzuoo, Nate Waldstein, Logan McCall, Gabriel Perez-Figuerola, Jeffrey Blankenship, Russ Wilson, Mike Sullivan, Robert Gilardi, Nicole Pagan-Montanez, Douglas Guardino, Steen Jenson, and Thuy Tran.

Pre-VENT Team: Dr. Andrew Schicho, Dr. Greg Murphy, Dr. Christopher Musto, Jason Scott, Michael Kirke, Gavin Taylor, Dustin Bride, Jesse Waymire, Holly Gardner, Bill Ramey, and Greg Holbrook

Technical Excellence Award

Leonard Maxwell

The Annual Awards ceremony program, including each recipient’s contributions plus all nominations for each category, is available for viewing at: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Portals/103/Documents/NSWC_PCD/AnnualAwardsProgram.pdf?ver=uzaqxjrA16XZqpslWXoyFg%3d%3d