Narrowing the list of nominees for the 2007 Equal Employment Opportunity Awards Ceremony was no easy task for the deciding panel, said Karen Swindell, complaints manager for the installation’s EEO Office.
“If it was up to me, I would have given every nominee an award, they were all so worthy of an award,” Swindell said at Tuesday’s ceremony.
But in the end, six awards were presented by Maj. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee commanding general, and Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, Quartermaster Center and School commanding general.
Selena Hamilton, Security Division, Directorate of Plans, Training Mobilization and Security, received the Special Emphasis Program Committee Member of the Year Award. Leon J. Hence, Software Engineering Center - Lee, received the EEO Counselor of the Year Award. Sherry Kidd, Quartermaster Center and School, received the EEO Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award. Supervisor of the Year was awarded to Gary Lichvar, Software Engineering Center - Lee. Eric Palco, director of the internal review and audit compliance office, was presented an honorable mention award for Supervisor of the Year, and was largely credited with coordinating the transitioning efforts on post with the National Security Personnel System.
Larry Toler, deputy to the QMC&S commander, accepted the Organization of the Year Award on behalf the Quartermaster Center and School. Toler said that no organization is defined simply by a diagram, group of offices or even the sum of its parts.
“It’s about people and their shared values, their shared beliefs, shared priorities and their actions,” said Toler. “Within the Quartermaster Center and School, we don’t talk EEO just when we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday. It’s a commitment year-round.”
The event, held in conjunction with the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance, received a standing room-only attendance.
Swindell told the audience their participation in the event was deserving of the work performed by the awardees.
“It is always important to recognize our employees for the work that they do,” Swindell said. “Not only for the work they do in their jobs, but for how they support each other. We’re fortunate to be a part of such an enthusiastic and dynamic work force … and it is wonderful to see a full room here to recognize the achievements of these individuals.”
Anna Swann Thweatt, EEO officer, was also enthused by the attendance.
“I’m overwhelmed and humble to have seen so many come out for this event,” said Thweatt. “These people are very busy, and to see all the command officers, military members and civilians come out today is very humbling. We’ve had programs here before, but never have we filled the auditorium as we did today. That means a lot to me personally, but it also says a lot about the support for EEO on Fort Lee.”