Agency Awards & Achievements
Awards & Recognition
Each year, every FSIS program makes sure that every penny of award money is spent to recognize our employees. FSIS employees are honored for their significant contributions to the advancement of FSIS’ strategic goals, mission objectives, and overall excellence.
FSIS recognizes the achievements of employees with a variety of awards: Administrator’s Awards for Excellence (AAFE), achievement awards, peer-to-peer awards and coins recognizing Agency core values.
Types of Awards & Recognition
Administrator’s Awards for Excellence (AAFE)
Administrator's Award for Excellence in Food Safety
Food Safety Administrative Hearing Team – For successfully arguing complex disputes against FSIS’ food safety standards, thereby affirming the Agency’s actions were correct and necessary to protect public health.
- Team Leader: Ashley Etue – OIEA
- Team Members: Denise M. Amann – OIEA, Carrie A. Clark – OPPD, Gwynn N. Datsko – OFO, Elizabeth Shane Evans – OIEA, John W. Linville – OPPD, Tracy M. McGowan – USDA-OGC, Robert Grant Reeder, Jr. – OFO, Elizabeth Starrett – OIEA, and Ciarra A. Toomey – USDA-OGC
Administrator's Award for Excellence in Modernization and Innovation
COVID-19 Operational Impact Tableau Team – For developing the COVID-19 dashboards which provided the Agency with real-time data to quickly respond to pandemic-related trends.
- Team Leader: JenAlyse Arena – OPARM
- Team Members: Paul K. Dolan – OPARM, Julie A. Smith – OPARM, and Maria A. Spassova-Nikolova – OPARM
Egg Products Inspection Regulations Workgroup – For developing and publishing the new, modernized, Egg Products Inspection Regulations.
- Team Leader: Victoria A. Levine – OPPD
- Team Members: Ryan N. Edwards – OPPD, Jose Francisco Gabiola – OPPD, Bryan Keith Maculloch – OPPD, Udit Minocha – OPHS, Brianna Robinson-Verloop – OIC, Shinhey Schwartz – OPPD, Dawn G. Sprouls – OFO, Erika Katherine Stapp-Kamotani – OPPD, and Lisa Volk – OFO
Administrator's Award for Excellence in Operational Improvement
e-device Project Team – For successfully deploying e-devices that provided electronic access to approximately 3,000 line-inspectors who did not previously have access.
- Team Leaders: Maribel Borrero Glass – OCIO and Arriell N. Garner – OFO
- Team Members: Leigh Ann R. Acree – OCIO, Frances Byrd – OCIO, Charmaine B. Carr – OCIO, Patricia S. Jennings – OM, Lisa Y. Johnson – OCIO, Frank A. Núñez – OCIO-CEC, Dennis A. O’Brien – OCIO-CEC, and Lori Ann Woods – OCIO
Public Health Veterinarian (PHV) Recruitment and Retention Incentives Team – For outstanding efforts in researching, analyzing, documenting, monitoring, verifying, and allocating the funds associated with the FSIS In-Plant PHV Retention Incentive Program.
- Team Leader: Alicia D. Taylor – OCFO
- Team Members: Paul M. Ambrozewicz – OCFO, Babar Bilal – OCFO, Maria de Lourdes Esteras – OFO, Laura L. Frantes – OM, Arriell N. Garner – OFO, David W. Laes – OM, Bridget O’Connor – OM
Administrator's Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion
OEED Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC) – For revitalization of, and commitment to, the EEOAC in the Office of Employee Experience and Development.
- Team Leaders: Micheall K. Myrie – OEED and Sonya L. Stewart – OEED
- Team Members: Brien R. Aho – OEED, Adrian Larine Jones – OEED, and Lula W. Wallace – OEED
Administrator's Award for Excellence in Customer Service
Center for Learning (CFL) Virtual Training Team – For outstanding contributions in converting classroom training to virtual training and fulfilling mission critical training needs.
- Team Leaders: Hala Bessyoung – OEED and Jennifer K. Webb – OEED
- Team Members: Courtney Baldwin – OEED, Ramon A. Cana Alvarez – OEED, Michael G. Chung – OEED, Tracy Hewitt – OEED, Colette Mayfield – OEED, Beatriz Miguel – OEED, Michael Sheldon – OEED, Benjamin Sun – OEED
COVID-19 Protective Equipment Acquisition, Delivery, and Distribution (PEADD) Team – For keeping the FSIS workforce safe while they worked to keep our Nation’s food supply strong and safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Team Leader: Yolanda A. Chambers – OM
- Team Members: Frantz G. Israel – OM, Cathy Martin – OM, Inga L. McNeil – OM, Madonna J. Montgomery – OM, Karen R. Petty – OM, Tracy A. Pope – OM, Jeremy Roper – OM, Eric W. Schnitzler – OM, and Mark D. Williams – OM
Administrator's Award for Employee of the Year – In Plant
Michael Piotrowski – OFO – For unwavering dedication and excellence to the Food Safety mission.
Administrator's Award for Employee of the Year – Non-In Plant
Jeanetta Denise Tankson – OPHS – For creating critical COVID-19 Continuing Operations Programs to keep FSIS laboratories analyzing mission critical samples.
Administrator's Award for Leader of the Year – In Plant
Rigoberto Baeza – OFO – For excellence in leadership, supervision, and recruitment of new Food Inspectors.
Administrator's Award for Leader of the Year – Non-In Plant
Paul A. Cole – OFO – For many years of trusted, inspiring, and diplomatic leadership and service to others.
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Food Safety
Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program Review Team – For implementing, overseeing, and enforcing the CIS Program for the interstate shipment of certain State-inspected meat and poultry products.
- Team Leaders: Randall C. Kumpost – OFO and Patrick Stillwell – OFO
- Team Members: Heather M. Bopes – OFO, Russell Clyde Clark – OFO, Dana Ewald – OFO, Daniel T. Jozefowski – OFO, and Tiffiny A. Pierce – OFO
Public Health Information System (PHIS) Integrated Product Team – For demonstrating leadership and outstanding contributions to the successful development and maintenance of the FSIS Public Health Information System.
- Team Leaders: Joe Marm – OCIO and Carole Spencer – OFO
- Team Members: Lakshmi N. Ballijepalle – OCIO, Jonathan B. Coleman – OIEA, Jeanine F. Cranford – OCIO, Robert Mosheyev – OCIO, Markietta C. Robertson – OCIO, Bryan L. Seidel – OPPD, Lily C. Thienard – OCIO, Carlos Vega – OCIO, Katina D. Weems – OFO, and Neal W. Westgerdes – OPPD
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Modernization and Innovation
Adulterated Products Monitoring Team – For documenting, monitoring, and overseeing reports of official establishments that shipped or received adulterated or misbranded products which entered commerce.
- Team Members: Stephen T. Calhoun – OFO, William Langer – OFO, and Tanya Phillips – OFO
Business Application Modernization Technical Team – For improving the customer IT experience by modernizing and standardizing various IT solutions, notably: Human Resources General Support Services (HRGSS), FSIS Incident Management System (FIMS), and Financial Reporting Improvements and Optimization (FRIO) applications.
- Team Leaders: Sandra H. Minor – OCIO and Jay Sutaye – OCIO
- Team Members: Jing Bai – OCIO, Lakshmi N. Ballijepalle – OCIO, Dan J. Beseris – OCIO, Jeanine F. Cranford – OCIO, Yue Li – OCIO, Xing Rong – OCIO, Naresh R. Shah – OCIO, and Lily C. Thienard – OCIO
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Operational Improvement
PHIS Export Billing Workgroup – For developing and implementing improvements to the PHIS Export component and Agency billing processes.
- Team Leader: Jackson K. Crockett – OCFO
- Team Members: Bryce A. Carson – OPPD, Matthew C. Didday – OCFO, Hoa Le – OPARM, Kim Quigley – OPARM, Shannon Marie McMurtrey – OIC, Veronika Pfaeffle – OPACE, Matthew W. Sanderson – OCFO, Carole Spencer – OFO, and Mary H. Stanley – OIC
- Adam Wayne Tittor – OFO – For displaying enthusiastic leadership and a passion for coaching by developing various coaching tools and techniques to engage his circuit and district team members.
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Customer Service
- Kenneth S. Davis – OFO – For consistently providing superior leadership and customer service to FSIS personnel under his supervision, with emphasis on the safety, health, and welfare of all.
- Dennis Depperschmidt – OFO – For tireless efforts to the Denver district office and field personnel, ensuring they received timely and quality customer service.
OPACE COVID-19 Rapid Response Team – For efficiently disseminating coordinated responses to COVID-19 inquiries from internal and external sources.
- Team Leaders: Shayla May Bailey – OPACE and Roxanne Smith – OPACE
- Team Members: Sally Ann Iverson – OPACE, Maria Machuca – OPACE, Buckley Hays McKay – OPACE, Yolande Mitchell – OPACE, Leo O’Drudy – OPACE, Spencer Pretecrum – OPACE, and Felicia Thompson – OPACE
P01317 1st and 2nd Shift Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI) Team – For maintaining the Agency’s mission of providing safe, wholesome poultry products to consumers worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Team Leaders: Bosko Rak – OFO and Harold Wes Tillison – OFO
- Team Members: Brandon L. Lee – OFO, Charles M. Parker – OFO, Dana L. Ramirez – OFO, Joseph B. Slaton – OFO, Laura I. Stone – OFO, and Peggy S. Taylor – OFO
Honorable Mention for Employee of the Year – In Plant
Timothy Soule – OFO – For continuously helping achieve the Agency’s mission and standards by patiently and knowledgeably educating new line inspectors and PHVs on proper inspection techniques, knife skills, and pathology.
Honorable Mention for Leader of the Year – In Plant
Andria N. Coker – OFO – For exemplary leadership and contributions to food safety by working with multiple inspection teams to significantly improve the verification and documentation of tasks.
Honorable Mention for Leader of the Year – Non-In Plant
Christina J. Mercer – OCFO – For maintaining a well-trained, engaged workforce and improving processes and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FSIS hosted the 2020 Administrator’s Awards for Excellence (AAFE) and the Under Secretary’s Awards ceremony for 2020. A the virtual gathering was held by FSIS and the Office for Food Safety (OFS) leadership to recognize employees throughout the Agency for supporting the food safety mission with stellar customer service, innovative work projects and other achievements.
Excellence in Food Safety- Grand Rapids Circuit, First Shift Inspection Team
For exemplary performance and dedication to the FSIS mission by covering multiple assignments along with current duties during a high-stress time period.
- Team Leader: Aamen Blattner
- Team Members: Miranda Boomstra, Charles Clement, Shai Lyn Donaldson, David Ellefson, Thomas Kersjes, Tim Stonerock, Kristin Overhiser, Dominic Bushouse, Kenneth Elliott
Excellence in Modernization and Innovation- Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection Team
The Swine Slaughter Inspection Team for developing a new
inspection system that will facilitate pathogen reduction in
pork products, improve animal welfare and make better use of
- Team Leader: Melissa Hammar
- Team Members: Andrew Pugliese, Melanie Abley, Scott Seys, Lisa Volk, Michael Sheldon, Maria Machuca, Davi LaBarre, Amber Pasko, Thomas Vermeersch
Excellence in Operational Improvement- Strategic Assessment of Sampling Resources (SASR) Team
For the development and application of an innovative approach to maximize the impact of FSIS’ sampling resource allocation.
- Team Leaders: Rebecca Fields, Joanna Zablotsky-Kufel
- Team Members: Matthew Gonzales, Jackson Crockett
- Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion- Kimberly Kelley
Excellence in Customer Service- The Financial Service Center Team
For tireless efforts to ensure FSIS employees received pay during and after the longest shut down in history and their inspiring commitment to the FSIS community.
- Team Leaders: Julie Hove, Christina Mercer
- Team Members: Matthew Didday, Dee Finnell, Rebecca Johnson, Tammy Parker, Lori Requist, Karen Sommer, Joanne Swesey
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Food Safety- Salmonella Newport Illness Outbreak Traceback Investigation Team
For work on the Salmonella Newport illness outbreak traceback investigation that resulted in a Class I Recall of over 6 million pounds of product
- Team Lead: Jannette Pagan
- Team Members: Stephanie Calkins, Andrea Cote, Michael Dunn, Bonnie Kissler, Ana Marin, Adriana Perez, Stacy Tyrala
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Modernization and Innovation- Electronic Consumer Complaint Form Development Team
For enhancing end-to-end customer service in consumer complaints.
- Team Leader: Kristal Southern
- Team Members: Jennifer Freiman, Kysha Hendricks, Francheska McClendon, Doug Noveroske
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion- OPPD EEOAC
For championing diversity and inclusion within OPPD and FSIS by sponsoring innovative events throughout the year, such as an Aging Workforce Conference.
- Team Leaders: Bryan Maculloch, Melinda Mallon (no photo)
- Team Members: Tammie Ballard, Carrie Clark, Andrew Pugliese, Shercoda Smaw, Erika StappKamotani, Tawana Harrington (no photo), Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins (no photo), Susan Hammons (no photo)
Honorable Mention for Excellence in Customer Service- AskUSDA Contact Center
For exceptional service in implementing the Secretary’s pilot AskUSDA contact center, providing thousands of Americans answers to their questions about food and agriculture.
- Team Leaders: Chris Bernstein, Aaron Lavallee
- Team Members: Maribel Alonso, Keyana Francis, Lynn Williams, Clara Yuvienco
Honorable Mention for Leader of the Year (In-Plant)- David Vasquez
For outstanding leadership in developing a diverse team of well-trained inspection personnel who worked collaboratively to ensure safety of regulated product.
Honorable Mention for Employee of the Year (Non-In-Plant)- Frank Niagro
For being a champion and visionary in the modernization of the FSIS Laboratory IT System.
Honorable Mention for Leader of the Year (In-Plant)- Anne DelVecchio
For exemplary work monitoring foreign animal diseases and residues in cull sows and boars.
Honorable Mention for Leader of the Year (Non-In-Plant)- Dawn Sprouls
For exceptional and effective management of two FSIS district offices.