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Join FEMP in honoring the 2023 FEDS Spotlight nominees and learn about the amazing work they've been doing.
US Department of Energy

This livestream recording features the 2023 FEDS Spotlight Recognition Ceremony where 26 individuals were honored as part of FEMP 50, an event celebrating 50 years of federal energy management.

The FEDS Spotlight Recognition Program provides an opportunity for federal agencies to honor federal employees going above and beyond typical day-to-day responsibilities to achieve mission success while also cutting energy waste, reducing costs, optimizing performance, and advancing America's progress toward energy independence, resilience, and security.

>>Mary Sotos:  And this is FEMP's sixth year hosting the FEDS Spotlight. So as you know, this is where federal agencies have the opportunity to be honored and to shine for their accomplishments. And this is an occasion that I really – this is my first one I should say and I've been really looking forward to this and treasuring this not only because it's a chance to be in person which is a joy, but really the people here you when we talk about the accomplishments like we did this morning of 50 years of energy management, it boils down to individuals passionate, dedicated, smart, understanding their facilities, understanding their agency mission, working through obstacle after obstacle to get to the ultimate goals that you have. And just due to how things work in the federal government, a lot of the time we kind of remain anonymous. So your name might not be on the new energy system that's installed in the location or on a new procurement plan, but this is our time to put your name right up front and to thank you for your contributions. 

And it's not just a nice to have. To me this is an essential part of our theory of change. Change only happens when we value the people who are at the heart of it. And so with that, since the 2017 FEDS spotlight, which was I think our first year, we've honored a total of 196 individuals across the federal government and this year, we're pleased to honor 26 FEDS Spotlight honorees. I think 20 of you or so are present today and that represents folks across 11 federal agencies. And you're being recognized in three different categories. So we're recognizing those who are in the professional category, people who consistently show exceptional professionalism and integrity while leading agency mission critical projects and programs. We're recognizing innovators, people who are committed to finding new and creative ways of carrying out dynamic projects and programs that inspire change. And future leaders, so people who are new to the federal energy management role but already you're embodying and exhibiting characteristics and skills needed to propel key projects and diverse programs going forward. 

And so, without further ado, please join me in honoring our spotlight honorees. And I will invite Tracy Niro up to the stage who's our FEMP UESC procurement program manager. She's going to call out the names of each honoree. And as you're called, to the stage to be recognized if your other folks, your VIP's, agency coordinators can join you on the stage for the group picture and you can stay on the stage if you have more than one honoree for your agency. And I think we stand more or less where these pieces of tape are. So with that, I'll hand it over to Tracy.

>>Tracy Niro:  Great. Thanks. All right. Thanks, Mary. First, I just want to say, let's just start with a round of applause just to get ready because we're going to be. I'm really excited to be here. I'm happy to be a part, a small part of this, of recognizing everybody. I do have a few more instructions to add to Mary's that as I read your name, if you wouldn't mind, please coming up to the stage on your left and kind of passing behind me as I read your bio and then smiling for your photo. And any VIP's and agency coordinators that are also in attendance, you're welcome to join your colleagues up on stage. And then once the photo is done you will pass over stage left to pick up your certificate from Terry over there. All right. So I think you guys were in receipt of a document that tells you the order. So if you could just help me out a little bit and as you see your names getting closer, maybe kind of casually make your way over there. That would be great. Ok. 

And since we know the first person today is from the General Services Administration. Her name is Shawna Ramthun, and she won an innovator award. She exhibits an exceptional and innovative approach in measuring and verifying complex, financed energy contracts. Her influence within the GSA has led to the establishment of new accuracy, efficiency and financial optimization benchmarks. Shawna's leadership trades and collaborative approach have notably contributed to cultivating a culture of innovation and continuous improvement within the organization. Great. I will note that not in attendance from GSA are Leon Walker, who is a recipient of a professional achievement award and Wayne Hughes, who is also the recipient of an innovator award. We acknowledge them. 

All right. Next up from NASA, we have Spencer Davis, who is being awarded a professional achievement award. Spencer Davis spearheaded NASA Kennedy Space Center's vehicle fleet charging expansion, optimizing their shift to a zero emission fleet. His coordination capitalized on a new utility program under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, enabling the installation of 56 electric vehicle supply equipment units. His exemplary actions expedited Kennedy Space Center's zero emission fleet transition to 2025, a decade ahead of the presidential executive order 14057's goals. All right. Thank you. 

Next up. If you could exit left, that'd be great. Is U.S. Department of Commerce, Rachel Chang for a professional achievement award. She has been instrumental in fostering a sustainable and energy conscious community at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her expert review of NOAA's building portfolio identified obsolete facilities, ensures data quality and rectifies gaps. Her meticulous approach, analysis and diligent work ethic enhanced data quality for NOAA facilities, a substantial part of the Department of Commerce's portfolio. She achieves this in a temporary capacity alongside her permanent role at NOAA and is vital in helping the Department of Commerce meet Federal Sustainability goals. 

Next up, we have the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force, Lucinda Notestine, professional achievement award. Lucy Notestine, director of special projects for the Air Force Civil Engineers Center's Office of Energy Assurance, is critical in bolstering energy and water security across the enterprise. She oversaw contracting, scheduling, reporting and leadership briefings for more than 50 installation energy plans pivotal for energy and water resilience improvement. Her leadership, project prowess and dedication strengthened mission assurance, making her invaluable to the Air Force. 

Next up, another winner from the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force, Mr. Dan Soto, a professional achievement award. Dan Soto, deputy director for the Department of the Air Force Office of Energy Assurance, is instrumental in advancing alternative energy solutions to enhance mission reliability. In 2022, he organized a workshop uniting stakeholders to develop a nearly $1 billion execution plan for Air Force energy resilience. His contributions exceed the expectations of his role and demonstrate, as demonstrated by his dedication to teaching the importance of energy assurance. Congratulations. 

Next, we have U.S. Department of Defense Army, Miss Rose Holzhauer, professional achievement award. Rose Holzhauer serves as the Army Material Command program manager for advanced metering and information technology control systems. In the past three years, she assessed 114 installations and 410 sites, securing funding and scheduling smart meter installations. Holzhauser analyzed the Army's meter data management system, identifying and addressing issues. Under her leadership, meters reporting to the system rose nearly 45 percent since January 2022. Congratulations. 

Next up, another winner from the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army, John Veracruz professional achievement award. Major John Veracruz, an esteemed energy professional in the Army National Guard G9 Energy Branch, serves as an energy programming officer. He has been pivotal in the development and execution of the energy, resilience and conservation investment program and the resilient energy funding for readiness modernization program. His expertise spans the Army National Guard's energy resilience and sustainability realms, making him a recognized subject matter expert. Congratulations. 

And another winner for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Mr. Michael Lohan, an innovator award. Michael Lohan, chief of operations at the 99th Readiness Division, U.S. Army Reserve Directorate of Public Works, is an acclaimed leader in energy and climate resilience. Leveraging partnerships and innovative funding. Lohan drives further energy and water reductions in the Army Reserve, and he ensures the integration of new US Army and federal policies, strategies and technologies for 99th Readiness Division personnel. Congratulations. 

Next, we have U.S. Department of Defense, Marine Corps, Mr. Michael Feeney, a professional achievement award. Lieutenant Commander Michael Feeney, the public works officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia, has been a driving force in cultivating a comprehensive. Commitment to lasting energy resilience across the base. His exemplary leadership has resulted in one of the most forward-looking sustainability programs within the Department of Defense. Congratulations. 

Next we have another award for the U.S. Department of Defense, Marine Corps, Mr. Gary Jackson, a professional achievement award. Gary Jackson, installation energy manager for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point exhibits remarkable leadership in enhancing energy resilience, reducing consumption and fostering sustainable facility infrastructure. His dedication resulted in the successful execution of a complex $47 million utility energy service contract, which was completed in 2022 and revitalized more than 125 buildings spanning 3.29 million square feet. Congratulations. 

And another from U.S. Department of Defense Marine Corps, Belton, Mr. Belton O'Neill Tisdale, a professional achievement award. As the installation energy manager for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Neil Tisdale has spearheaded pioneering energy resilience efforts. His leadership enabled the execution of significant energy and water products utilizing performance contracts. Additionally, Mr. Tisdale directed the development of energy resilience and conservation investment program projects, advancing aviation readiness at the installation through a micro grid. Congratulations. 

Next is U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Gennaro Gargiulo, professional achievement award. Mr. Gennaro Gargiulo, installation energy manager at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, oversees the NSA Naples Energy program, annually outlining energy requirements and projects. In this capacity, he has coordinated training for energy managers and leaders across tenant commands, achieving a remarkable 32.4 percent reduction in water intensity since 2007 and a 9.4 percent decrease in energy intensity since 2015. Congratulations. 

Next, we have the U.S. Department of Defense Department of the Navy, Mr. Joseph Sprague, an innovator award. Mr. Joseph Sprague, installation energy manager at Naval Submarine Base New London, is responsible for developing all energy requirements and energy projects annually. He previously served as an engineering technician during the implementation of a $183 million energy savings performance contract to support mission critical energy security projects and a micro grid over a three-year period until the project was fully operational this last year in December 2022. Congratulations. 

Next, we have the U.S. Department of Defense Department of the Navy, Mr. Jason Timothy McGee, future leader award. Lieutenant Jason McGee, a production officer at Naval Station Mayport, is responsible for utilities, transportation and facility service contracts. In his current role, Lieutenant McGee identified energy security gaps across critical infrastructure prioritized by the installation commanding officer and developed projects, including a $68 million utility energy service contract to build a 24 megawatt natural gas fired turbine power generation plant using $1.15 million of centralized funding. Congratulations.

Next, the U.S. Department of Energy, Isabelle Heilman, a professional achievement award. In response to President Biden's Executive Order 14057, Isabelle Heileman from the Department of Energy Sustainability Performance Office led the creation of the inaugural climate awareness training for DOE employees. This course explains the impacts of climate change to the nation and to DOE's mission. This introduction to climate change reflects DOE's commitment to reinvigorating, sustainability and improving climate literacy within the agency. Congratulations. 

Next we have from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Hunt, a future leader award. Mr. Matthew Hunt, general engineer in the National Institutes of Health Sustainability Branch, leads climate vulnerability assessments that are critical to identifying climate risks, enabling the NIH to prioritize infrastructure investments. Hunt worked with contracting staff to award a climate vulnerability assessment contract for each NIS, NIH campus. By leading these assessments, Hunt is preparing NIH to have a more climate resilient infrastructure and facilities. Congratulations. 

Next from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Miss Andrea Taylor, a future leader award. Miss Taylor, Indian Health Service Sustainability coordinator, identified and rectified a critical gap in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services draft federal flood risk management standard procedure s which include consideration of flood hazards due to climate change and climate conscious design for HHS owned real property. Congratulations. Also from HHS, but not in attendance today is Mr. Alex Gamble, a recipient of an innovator award. Let's just give a quick round of applause. 

And next from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mr. James Scales, future leader award. Within his two years as a general engineer at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Facilities, James Scales has made an immediate impact on the facilities efficiency. He leads the departments lead recertification with the aim to achieve platinum, a first for a cabinet level headquarters. With meticulous coordination, Scales exhibits the necessary characteristics and skills for driving successful key projects and diverse programs forward. Congratulations. Also from the Department of Transportation, but not in attendance today is Mr. Russ Goring, recipient of a professional achievement award. I hope everybody goes back and tells their colleagues we clapped for them. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is next. A team of three professional achievement award. Mr. Joseph Harnois, Sean Martin and Jeffrey Barnes, who is not in attendance today. Responding to executive order 14057 prioritizing zero emission vehicles in the federal fleet, Veterans Affairs Boston's nominees teamed up with local electric utility National Grid to collaborate on developing a road map for fleet vehicle electrification. the VA Boston healthcare system, through the energy champions, established a partnership with National Grid to develop this road map and a planning portal to transition to ZEVs. zero emission vehicles. The partnership currently thrives, with periodic updates to the ZEV planning portal and acquisition plans. Congratulations.  Our next winner is not in attendance today from the Defense Logistics Agency. It's Miss Dorothy Statler, who's a recipient of a professional achievement award. Congratulations, Dorothy. Again, my Congrats to all of you. And with that, I will hand it back over to Mary. Thanks so much.

>>Mary Sotos:  And initiatives that was undertaken. So thankfully we have some time at a reception and I hope that you can share the stories with each other. That's also part of why we come here together. And so with that I think we are concluded for the afternoon. And there are some specific instructions that I will share and the FEMP staff will guide you to the cafeteria for drinks and the cutting of the cake. So with that. I think we're ready. We're ready to proceed. So let's go have some cake.

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