Unsung ‘Sheroes’ Receive Recognition

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By on May 9, 2018 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW): May 6 - 12, 2018

You might be asking yourself what an “Unsung Shero” is. Broken down, unsung is pretty easy to define – not praised or acclaimed.

But what’s a “shero?” You won’t find it in Webster’s dictionary. It’s an invented word that combines “she” and “hero” and for the definition, think heroine.

The Unsung Shero Award has been presented annually since 2007 to a worthy recipient in the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Federally Employed Women “FEW” by one of our FedSmith authors, Ann Vanderslice, and her firm, Retirement Planning Strategies. It began when Ann noticed that a lot of the employees she met through her retirement classes were doing remarkable things with little or no recognition. 

Having worked in corporate America for more than a decade, Ann knew how valuable people who go above and beyond their job descriptions are to an organization. She approached FEW to see if there was a way to partner with them to present an award during their annual Rocky Mountain Regional Training Event. FEW enthusiastically agreed, and the Unsung Shero Award was born. 

This year, the Unsung Shero award was presented to deserving federal employees in four FEW regions – Great Lakes, Rocky Mountain, Southeast and Western. For the first time, a National Unsung Shero will be selected from the regional winners and will be recognized at FEW’s National Training Program to be held in Atlanta in July. 

Public Service Recognition Week has been celebrated during the first week of May since 1985 as a way to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. This makes it a particularly good time to share a little about each of the four regional Unsung Sheroes. 

Great Lakes Region

The FEW Great Lakes Region Unsung Shero is Teresa Pack Hockey. Teresa works for DFAS in Cleveland, Ohio, and was nominated by her supervisor, Anita Jenkins. As Anita wrote in part of her nomination:

Teresa is always engaged in seeking ways to move the organization forward. Teresa’s actions earn her the respect and gratitude of those for whom she serves, her senior management, and her peers. Collaboration across sites and functional areas is difficult, but Teresa makes it look easy.

Unsung Shero award recipient Teresa Pack Hockey with her award

Unsung Shero Award Recipient Teresa Pack Hockey

Western Region

Lisa Zimmerman was awarded the FEW Western Region award and was nominated by Cheryl Monzon, a co-worker at the Department of Navy, Port Hueneme, California. Cheryl’s nomination included:

Lisa is a powerhouse who is forever spreading goodness to those around her. Lisa is an Information Technology Specialist and has managed many high profile Information Technology Projects. Lisa’s professionalism, effective communication style, teamwork, and ability to meet a complicated and demanding schedule resulted in her receiving recognition from NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Engineers Admiral Loose for her outstanding achievement. I am in awe of Lisa’s giving spirit and hope you also recognize the enormity of her contributions to instilling multiculturalism, diversity, and advancement of minorities and women in the workplace.

Rocky Mountain

The Rocky Mountain FEW Chapter presented its 12th Annual Unsung Shero Award to Dr. Alisa Mast from the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. Suzanne Paschke, Dr. Mast’s supervisor, and David Clow submitted her nomination which shared the following:

Dr. Mast is a Research Hydrologist in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Colorado Water Science Center (CWSC), where she has conducted studies related to snow, soil, surface-water, and groundwater chemistry since 1992. While her career has been highlighted by research contributions in the fields of alpine hydrology and water quality, she also has become a selfless leader, mentor, and role model within the CWSC and the USGS.

Unsung Shero award recipient Dr. Alisa Mast

Dr. Alisa Mast

Southeast Region

The final Unsung Shero of 2018, Cassandra Getter, came from the Southeast Region of FEW. Sandra, who works for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, was nominated by Joette Feeney:

She began her career with NASA as a secretary and worked her way up to become a Management Program Analyst working within the engineering directorate. Sandra is known for her tireless efforts as an advocate for the annual community outreach holiday stocking endeavor for the Salvation Army. She is a very compassionate, caring person who has the innate ability to interact with anyone.

Portrait of Unsung Shero award recipient Cassandra Getter

Cassandra Getter

The quality of these winners is just a small sampling of the character of dedicated public servants working across the country. After reading the short descriptors of this year’s winners, you’ll likely understand the definition of an “Unsung Shero.”

© 2019 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47