Reclamation Employees Receive Awards for Outstanding Service, Valor From DOI Secretary

Media Contact: Robert Walsh, 702.293.8421

For Release: February 07, 2005

At the 62nd Department of the Interior Honor Awards Convocation on Feb. 2 in Washington, D.C., Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton recognized several Reclamation employees, including 10 employees from the Lower Colorado Region, for outstanding service and valor.

The employees were honored for sustained, outstanding service and exceptional contributions in meeting the Department's goals, and for putting themselves at risk while performing unselfish acts to help save others.

"The Reclamation employees being honored exemplify the dedication, commitment and professionalism of Reclamation employees throughout the West. They come to work every day and not only to do their job, but to go above and beyond," said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner John Keys.

Rodney L. Tang of the Region's Phoenix Area Office (PXAO) received the Unsung Hero Award for his valuable behind-the scenes contributions to Interior. He is the only civil engineer on Reclamation's dive team, which inspects dams across the West and is often called upon by other agencies because of the team's expertise. He also serves as a member of the Regional Climbing Team, which performs inspections, repairs, and improvements to Reclamation structures.

John Johnson, Bill Martin and Tom Burke of the Regional Office were honored with the Secretary's Four C's Award for their work on the Lake Havasu Fisheries Improvement Program Partnership. The award, named after the Secretary's philosophy -- Conservation through Communication, Consultation and Cooperation, is granted to those employees who demonstrate exceptional contributions, methods and efforts to promote the Secretary's initiatives. The partnership on which Johnson, Martin and Burke serve includes federal agencies, the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada; private businesses, special groups and non-profit organizations. It was able to work together to complete the nation's largest fisheries improvement project under budget and ahead of schedule.

Chief Richard P. Melim, Lieutenant Charles E. Stevens and Officer Kevin R. Lister, all from the Hoover Dam Police Department, each received Valor Awards. The awards were for demonstrating unusual courage involving a high degree of personal risk in the face of danger and for putting their own lives in jeopardy while preventing two potential suicides at the dam.

Carol Lynn Erwin, PXAO area manager, earned recognition for her participation on a 27-member, multi-agency team convened by the Fish and Wildlife Service to address Joint Ventures Partners in Stewardship Conference Corporation Planning

Also acknowledged were employees who had received awards prior to the convocation, but whose recognition warranted attention among their peers.

Robert W. Johnson, Lower Colorado Regional Director, was spotlighted for his selection as a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award in recognition as a career Senior Executive Service member who has performed exceptionally at the executive level for an extended period of time. This is the highest performance honor awarded to federal civilian employees.

Deborah A. Saint and Bruce L. Stockinger were each named as recipients of a Meritorious Service Award, second highest honorary recognition granted to employees in the Department of the Interior, for their important contributions to management, superior service in administration, execution of duties, and initiative in devising new and improved work methods and procedures.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.