By Philip Reed

A number of employees were recently recognized with prestigious awards for their work both at WAPA and in their personal lives.

In late January, outgoing Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced the latest recipients of the Secretary’s Honor Awards. One of those awards, The Secretary of Energy Achievement Award, went to the United States Department of Energy Office of Emergency Operations – Primary Mission Essential Function #3 Team for their extraordinary contributions to the Department of Energy’s COVID-19 response.

The team included employees from many organizations, with WAPA represented by Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel, as well as Chief of Staff Melissa Ardis, Senior Vice President and General Counsel John Bremer, Supervisory Contract Specialist Jerad Gaines, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Kevin Howard, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Rodgers, Senior Vice President and Assistant Administrator for Corporate Liaison Dionne Thompson and Legislative Liaison Kathy Tyer, among others.

“Their efforts have demonstrated the highest standards of dedication to public service and significant benefits to the Nation,” read the award description. “The superior leadership and crisis management expertise of the Office of Emergency Operations was invaluable to the Department’s ability to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of the pandemic. The early response actions and sound continuity practices championed by the Office of Emergency Operations enabled the Department’s ability to maintain essential functions.” 

“Although we’re not able to host an award ceremony at this time, it’s important we recognize and celebrate these notable accomplishments,” said Brouillette in his announcement. “I want to thank all the recipients for their vital contributions to the Department and our country. I am truly honored to work alongside such brilliant, talented individuals who show unwavering commitment to public service. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.” 

Additionally, High Voltage Electrician Randy Hammit was recently named a recipient of the Civil Air Patrol Silver Medal of Valor, the highest decoration a Civil Air Patrol member can receive. The honor recognizes “distinguished and conspicuous heroic action, at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of normal duty.”

Hammit and High Voltage Electrician Marvin Moone happened to be nearby during an active-shooter incident at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Arizona, on May 20, 2020. They – along with Hammit’s wife, Kelli – put themselves in harm’s way to administer first aid to  two wounded victims before paramedics were able to arrive.

The Civil Air Patrol supports America’s communities with emergency response, including search-and-rescue and disaster-relief operations, aerospace education for youth and the general public and cadet programs for teenagers. It is a federally funded nonprofit that serves as the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force and includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles and occupations. 

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers has presented proclamations to the Hammits and the Glendale Fire Department has also presented them with its Life Safety Award. 

Note: Reed is a public affairs specialist.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023