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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2021

NSWCPD Employees Win Medals at 2021 Philadelphia FEB Excellence in Government Awards Virtual Ceremony

By Gary Ell

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) participated in the recent 2021 Philadelphia Federal Executive Boards (FEB) Excellence in Government Awards Ceremony, with numerous NSWCPD employees winning Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. The virtual awards ceremony held on May 20, 2021, reflects the work of many people from a number of Philadelphia region federal government organizations supporting the betterment of the federal community as a whole.

Each year during Public Service Recognition Week, FEBs recognize high-performing federal employees in their local communities and highlight innovative efforts that advance the missions of federal agencies. Award nominations are reviewed by leadership panels using criteria for a variety of categories, such as Leadership, Customer Service, and Innovation.

This year, the Philadelphia FEB received 79 nominations from 21 federal agencies representing 491 federal employees in nine categories (seven individuals and two groups). There were 52 nominations for individuals and 27 nominations for groups.

“NSWCPD congratulates all of our 2021 FEB Award winners and nominees on this noteworthy honor! As always, the competition is tough and I am proud that we had several medal recipients, especially as we all had such a challenging, unprecedented year,” said NSWCPD Commanding Officer Capt. Dana Simon.

“The FEB revamped their awards program in 2021, eliminating over half of the categories and reducing the number of submissions per agency. This program year, NSWCPD submitted a total of seven nominations, placing in three categories (medalist) and receiving distinguished nominee certificates for the remaining four nominations,” stated Pam Megathlin, NSWCPD Labor and Employee Relations.

Michael Gray earned a Gold Medal in the category of “Outstanding Achievement – Non-Supervisory,” for attaining outstanding results in the area of obsolescence management with his initiation and growth of the Asset Recovery Program. This program harvests parts from control systems that are being upgraded and uses those parts to provide obsolete assets to the fleet. Utilizing these free issue recovered assets to support open requisitions for both Amphibious Ships and Surface Combatants, has surpassed $25 million in cost savings for the fleet. With the use of recovered assets, the program satisfied 929 equipment casualties and 2,107 other requisitions.

A Silver Medal was awarded to Cassandra Zook for “Outstanding Mentor / Coach.” The achievement recognizes demonstrated commitment to the growth and development of others. When NSWCPD lost key program managers driving the need to use junior engineers in lead project roles, Zook assumed the team lead role for the Carrier Ship Controls and Navigation, providing engineering, system integration, modernization and fleet support to the Navy. She personally covered numerous programs while concurrently turning her focus toward mentoring and coaching new hires and junior engineers to assist with their development and transition into lead roles. Her dedication to mentoring has greatly benefitted the Navy.

Tracy Hannon earned a Bronze Medal for “Steadfast Achievement.” Hannon pushes the capabilities of NSWCPD forward in the domain of Power and Energy modeling. She developed high-fidelity models to characterize the behavior of electrical systems that are instrumental in future Surface Combatant and Amphibious design programs. Through her technical acumen, she paves the way for electric weapon integration. She always goes the extra mile to mentor more junior engineers and improve the competency of those around her. Throughout the pandemic she has fostered critical skills such as digital engineering, agile development, and model curation.

“The nominees for this year's Excellence in Government Awards continue to represent the best of the best of the federal workforce in our community. In challenging times, the nominees and medalists remain focused on serving the American people. It is truly a privilege to honor and work with them,” stated Lisa Makosewski, Executive Director of the Philadelphia FEB.

NSWCPD groups and individuals earning Distinguished Nominees certificates were: The Advanced Weapons Elevator (AWE) Engineering Team, with 76 team members for “Collaboration Champions;” the Compatibility Test Facility (CTF) Test Team, with 13 team members for “Outstanding Achievement in the COVID Environment;” Roger Guill, for “Outstanding Achievement in the COVID Environment;” and Allyson Jones-Zaroff, for “Outstanding Achievement – Supervisory/Manager.”

According to the Philadelphia FEB website, the FEBs, established by Presidential Directive in 1961, are a forum for communication and collaboration among federal agencies outside of Washington, D.C. The need for effective coordination among the field activities of Federal departments and agencies was then, and is still, very clear. Approximately 85 percent of all federal employees work outside the National Capital Region. Federal programs have their impact largely through the actions of the field representatives of the departments and agencies. In addition, federal representatives are the principal contact with the federal government for the citizens of the United States. The national network of 28 FEBs, located in areas of significant federal populations, serves as the cornerstone for strategic partnering in government.