LANSING — 2020 has brought challenges like none the State of Michigan has experienced in over a century. Responding to a pandemic and catastrophic flooding are just some examples of the difficulties Michiganders and state employees have been working on throughout this year.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is known by many for its commitment to customers, for being problem-solvers, for its dedication to growing the state’s food and agriculture sector, and for the tenacity to overcome the most unique challenges. The 2020 MDARD employee award winners as nominated by their MDARD colleagues personifies those traits. Additionally, 68 employees celebrating 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40-year anniversaries were also honored during MDARD’s first-ever virtual Employee Awards Ceremony.
“I am humbled to have the opportunity be part of the MDARD team who work to protect public and animal health each day and have invested themselves in the growth and success of Michigan’s food and agriculture community,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD Director. “This year’s award winners exemplify the culture and dedication within the department to continually provide the highest level of service to Michiganders and our constituents.”
The 2020 award winners are:
Leadership Award: 2020 Recipient: Elizabeth Weier of Lansing – Elizabeth serves as MDARD’s Emergency Management Training, Exercise and Planning Coordinator.
The “Leadership Award” is designed to provide recognition to those staff who are viewed as exceptional leaders by their peers, supervisors, and customers. The award recognizes an MDARD employee who rises to a challenge to lead, inspires others to act, and seeks opportunities to innovate and improve areas within the department.
Every Day Hero Award: 2020 Recipient: Tammy Martin of Charlotte – Tammy serves as the administrative assistant for the Pesticide Section in the Pesticide & Plant Pest Management Division.
The “Everyday Hero Award” affirms the value MDARD has in employees who may not be in the spotlight, yet steadily and faithfully get things done every day. It’s given to an employee who consistently demonstrates dependability, diligence, initiative, and teamwork.
Front Line Ambassador Award: Natasha Horne of Inkster – Natasha is the Southeast Region Senior Food Safety Inspector in the Food & Dairy Division.
The “Front Line Ambassador Award” is given to an employee who is regularly put in precarious and difficult situations, all the while demonstrating a positive attitude, identifying creative options for resolution, and following through with the constituent. The award is not given for a singular achievement or activity, but rather reflects a continuing commitment to the mission and values of MDARD.
Rookie of the Year: 2020 Recipient: Dr. Jennifer Calogero of Howell – Jennifer is the Cervid and Small Ruminant Species Animal Health Program Manager within the department’s Animal Industry Division.
The “Rookie of the Year Award” recognizes a new employee (on the job less than three years) whose service has set a benchmark for all others to attain. It is designed to provide recognition to those staff who are viewed as up and coming leaders within the department.
— Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
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