Lisa Rice, an employee of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), was recently honored with the Patriot Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The ESGR is the Defense Department agency promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees.
The Patriot Award honors supervisors for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve employees by presenting them with a public acknowledgement of their support, a framed certificate of appreciation and a lapel pin. Nominations must come from a National Guard and Reserve member or a family member.
Lisa is my supervisor in NRCS’ Business Management Leaders Program (BMLP) West Region Class. I nominated her for this award because she consistently goes above and beyond the normal duties of a supervisor to ensure I am taken care of.
Lisa is the direct Supervisor of 39 BMLP participants. The BMLP program rotates participants every three months to a new location in the U.S. With all of that going on, Lisa finds the time to ensure that my military training schedule is accommodated. While I was on military assignment, she maintained contact with me and made sure I was doing all right. When there was a problem with may pay due to my military leave, she swiftly took care of the issue and ensured I received back pay. The amazing part is that she does it all with grace.
I know from my experience at NRCS, in management operations, and as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves how important good leadership is. Lisa is a prime example of how to lead, motivate and inspire a group of employees. I consider myself lucky to be in this leadership program, and privileged to have Lisa as my boss and my mentor.
The Patriot Award is more than just a certificate and a lapel pin. They are symbols of Lisa’s unwavering commitment to her military employees. The Patriot Award shows that Lisa goes that extra step above and beyond the written policy to ensure that her employees are taken care of, whether they are fulfilling duties under her at NRCS or conducting missions with the U.S. Army Reserves.
The award ceremony took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portland, Oregon on August 2, 2011, in front of an audience of about 50. The award was presented to Lisa by retired Major General Dan Hitchcock, and Lisa’s supervisor, Kay Joy Barge, was there to show her support of Lisa’s amazing efforts.
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