RCAP field staff honored with awards for service
Originally posted to the RCAP news blog on Sept. 23, 2009
Nine RCAP staff members were honored for exceptional service in their positions during RCAP’s national conference Sept. 15-17 in Arlington, Va.
The staff were honored at a lunchtime banquet held during the conference, which was a training event for RCAP technical assistance providers and other staff from all of RCAP’s six regions. Honorees, who are staff in four of RCAP’s regions, were each presented with a glass award etched with his/her name and a framed certificate.
This is the first time RCAP has presented awards at the national level. RCAP staff across the country were invited to nominate their fellow staff members in five award categories. Technical Assistance Providers and State/Regional coordinators were eligible. The honorees were chosen by a panel of RCAP board members and the RCAP Executive Director, Robert Stewart.
"RCAP is fortunate to have so many talented and highly committed staff working to improve living conditions in rural America. The nine staff members whom we honored for their service are outstanding examples of the hard-working staff we have in every state across America," said Stewart.
"Each of these awardees demonstrates an exceptional level of dedication and perseverance to their work and to the communities that they serve. The RCAP Board of Directors is elated to honor these staff members who have continuously demonstrated their ability to provide critically needed technical assistance and training to small and low-income communities," Stewart added.
Following is a list of awards and their recipients:
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
Given to RCAP staff members who repeatedly go above and beyond the call of duty in serving their communities, building their capacity and helping them achieve the outcomes that are critical to their future health and development. Recipients are staff members who give more than 100 percent in the service of their communities and whose commitment and dedication to RCAP’s mission is obvious to all.
OUTSTANDING ROOKIE AWARD
- Melissa Melton, Technical Assistance Provider with WSOS Community Action Commission, the Great Lakes RCAP
- Harold Hunter, Sr., Development Management Specialist with Community Resource Group, the Southern RCAP
- Olga Morales-Sanchez, Rural Development Specialist-Environmental with Rural Community Assistance Corporation, the Western RCAP
Given to a staff member who has been with the RCAP program for two years or less but who has made contributions over and above what would be expected for a new staff member. The recipient has adapted to her job quickly, has made positive suggestions and contributions for program improvement, and has shown outstanding initiative.
Awarded to: Karen Conrad, Operations Management Specialist with Community Resource Group, the Southern RCAP
RCAP HALL OF FAME
Inductees into the Hall of Fame have made significant positive contributions to RCAP in the course of their work over the years. All are long-term staff members.
OUTSTANDING MENTOR AWARD
- Joe Dvorak, Regional Director for North and South Dakota and Nebraska with Midwest Assistance Program, the Midwest RCAP
- Deb Martin, Director of WSOS Community Action Commission, the Great Lakes RCAP
- Mark Rounsavall, Director of Community Resource Group, the Southern RCAP
Few jobs are as important, yet often receive as little credit, as teaching and mentoring new Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs) and helping them become productive members of the RCAP team. This award is given to a TAP or State/Regional Coordinator who has made a difference in the program through his/her expert guidance and valuable knowledge and being a nurturing, fostering leader.
Awarded to: Chris Fierros, Chief Operating Officer of Midwest Assistance Program, the Midwest RCAP
THE BILL FRENCH BRIDGE-BUILDER AWARD
This award is named for Bill French, one of RCAP’s founding members who leveraged the RCAP program to build a strong and well-respected agency. This award is given to an RCAP staff member who has been successful in building his state RCAP program, whether in reputation and credibility or in funding. He has advanced his state program to a higher level of operations through new and enhanced relationships with funding and/or primacy agencies or other partners, new services offered to communities, and/or new grants or contracts obtained. This award is given to a recipient who has successfully advanced his state program to a higher level of operations. The recipient has, in the sense of being a bridge, enabled a program to cross over barriers, led a program along a road to realize a vision, and brought a plan to fruition. The person has been a true connector and has led programs to success.
Awarded to: Tommy Ricks, Mississippi State Coordinator for Community Resource Group, the Southern RCAP