I spent most of my day celebrating excellence in government today and in a true government project fashion, it cost way too much and lasted much longer than we expected. I promise that's the last joke I'll make about federal employees. (At least for today)
Ryan was recently named a finalist in the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board's Excellence in Government Award for Creativity and Innovation. He's been working on a project for years to help the CG more efficiently and effectively target safety and fishery law violations. It's taken countless hours of his time to define the problem, learn the computer language coding, develop, test, run, document and maintain the program. None of it is a duty in his job description, and in fact, he's done all of this innovation while still running the day to day executive operations of the CGC Grand Isle as XO. You could say I'm more than just a little proud of his accomplishments. I'd brag about him all day, but I'm not sure how much of what he does is secret.
Unfortunately, Ryan's program was edged out by a worker at the Volpe Transportation Center's initiative to reduce reuse and recycle. It apparently saved them $98,000 last year. I'm not as impressed as I should be, but I'm probably biased.
There were awards for public servants and community service. Two of the most notable:
The Senator Paul E. Tsongas Award for Exemplary Community Service went to Father Paul O'Brien who runs Cor Unum in Lawrence, MA. It warms my heart to see what his hard work and dedication to service through Christ has done for his community. Thinking back to my days volunteering at Open-M in Akron, OH, I know serving food to hungry people is so much more than filling a stomach. I'm inspired to get involved again, since I shamefully haven't served our brothers and sisters in years. It could just be hormones, but I cried when Father O'Brien spoke about the children who come to Cor Unum by themselves.
Another award, the Outstanding Federal Volunteer award went to Anne Sullivan, a volunteer at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Anne is 86 and has completed 10,000 hours of service over the last 20 years, serving our vetrans when they are most vulnerable. Again, the tears sprung to my eyes. The bureaucracy surrounding the VA system is frustrating to anyone, and to have a kind volunteer to help guide you through the process is such a blessing. I can only hope to be that dedicated to serving our community when I'm 86.
In the end, I find it amusing that neither of the most moving awards of the day went to actual federal employees, but that goes back to my belief that anytime you get the government involved in something useful the government only messes it up. Oh, wait, sorry, I promised I would keep this clean and free of political jokes.
Please join me in thanking all of the nominees, finalists and recipients of the 2011 Excellence in Government Awards (especially my awesome husband who should have won!)