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Federal Employees in Colorado

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Federal Employee of the Year Awards

Eight (8) non-monetary awards


  1. Rookie of the Year – Outstanding performance by a new employee, regardless of grade or series, who had less than 18 months of service as of 12/31/14.
  2. Employee of the Year – Outstanding performance by any employee, regardless of grade or series, who had more than 18 months of service as of 12/31/14.
  3. Supervisor of the Year – Outstanding performance by a supervisor, regardless of grade or series.
  4. Executive of the Year – Outstanding achievement by an executive level manager, who demonstrably links supervisory leadership to outstanding group performance and achievement of the agency mission.
  5. Outstanding Customer Service – Outstanding achievement by an employee, regardless of grade or series, who exemplifies the attributes of internal and/or external customer service to which all Federal employees’ should strive.
  6. Improved Federal Image – Achievement or action that resulted in a better public image and understanding of the Federal government.
  7. Special Project or Achievement – Outstanding achievement by an individual or team, regardless of grade or series, leading to a significant accomplishment toward achieving the agency mission.
  8. Scientific Project or Achievement – Outstanding achievement by an individual or team, regardless of grade or series, leading to a significant scientific accomplishment toward achieving the agency mission.

These awards recognize on the job performance from January 1 – December 31

January 1 - February 28, 2015 (Deadline is 5:00 pm MST)

May 5, 2015 | 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Lakewood Cultural Center Theatre | 470 S Allison Pkwy | Lakewood 80226


  • Anyone can prepare a nomination providing that they have first-hand knowledge of the nominee and the nominee’s duties, and they have permission from the nominee and the Agency Director to submit the nomination.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted
  • One nomination per agency, per category, multiple entries will result in disqualification
  • All nominations must be approved and authorized by the Agency Director


Previous winners are not eligible

Nominees must be a:

  • Legal resident of the state of Colorado or serving in Colorado, if military
  • Full time employee of a federal government agency (civilian, military or postal) within the State of Colorado for a minimum of twelve (12) months prior to December 31, 2014.


  • The Selection Committee is comprised of members of the Colorado Federal Executive Board (CFEB) Executive Committee and federal agencies in Colorado.
  • The selections will be based on an assessment of the scope, impact, and outcomes of the nominee’s contributions
  • The winners will be notified by April 10, 2014


  • One nomination per nominee
  • Nominations must be completed online by 5:00 pm (MST), February 28, 2015
  • We recommend that you download the following Nomination Criteria document and gather all the information you will need before starting the online nomination.





Kendra Rooney, Department of Labor

Kendra Rooney is an energetic, hard-working and dedicated new employee of the U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation, who began her position as a Claims Examiner April 2014.  Kendra is a new mom to beautiful baby girl Hannah and enjoys crossfit training.  An active member of the Colorado Army National Guard for over 18 years, Kendra uses her experience as an Injury Compensation Program Administrator for the Guard to enhance her knowledge as a claims examiner.  After her initial training, she took on her first caseload and from June 2, 2014 through December 31, 2014, achieved successful adjudication of over 315 claims – 100% of them within their set timeframes.  Thanks to Ms. Rooney’s hard work and dedication to deliver timely decisions to injured workers, the Denver District Office met and exceeded its national operational plan adjudication goals for fiscal year 2014.  Kendra’s attention to detail and willingness to take on additional tasks not only reflects highly upon her as an employee, but represents the Denver District Office in a positive light among our constituents in the 7 states that they serve.  Ms. Rooney displayed a remarkable example of teamwork and spirit, as she not only rose to become one of the top adjudicators in the office, but she reached out to her peers and offered assistance to help them adjudicate their claims, as well.  Her work ethic displays her strong commitment to the mission of this agency, which is to help others in their time of need, both externally and internally.


Bob Sommers was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO.  He graduated from Western State College in Gunnison, CO and was commissioned into the Marine Corps in May1984.  He served three years in Hawaii at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay as a communications officer and was released from active duty in Sept 1988.  Bob worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative in Colorado until June of 1990 when he returned to active duty in the Marines.  During the next 19 years, he served in various positions in Quantico, VA; Kansas City, MO; Camp Lejeune, NC; and the Pentagon.  His last position during active duty was as Director of the Marine For Life Program, Wounded Warrior Regiment.  He retired from the Marine Corps in June of 2009.

In Dec 2009, Bob became a contract employee with NORAD-USNORTHCOM as the Training and Education Representative for the Interagency Directorate at Peterson Air Force Base, CO.  In Sept 2010 he shifted positions within the Interagency Directorate and became an analyst with the Private Sector / Nongovernmental Organizations Program Office.  Bob and his wife Jaci have two sons and enjoy outdoor activities including mentoring Boy Scouts, hunting, fishing, cycling, backpacking, skiing (downhill and cross country), and hiking 14ers in Colorado’s high country.

William Kepler, DOI Bureau of Reclamation

William F. Kepler, P.E., Ph.D has been with the Bureau of Reclamation for 28 years, eight of them as the Manager of the Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory (MERL).  Prior to that, he worked as a technical expert in concrete technology.  He has a M.S from Purdue University and earned his PhD in Civil Engineering while conducting state of the art research on nondestructive evaluation of concrete dams. 

Dr. Kepler was honored with this award because of his significant contributions to Reclamation by improving and strengthening MERL.  When he became Manager of MERL, the group had only 18 employees and a 67% billing rate.  Through his vision, strong leadership, determination, and sound understanding of Reclamation's needs, he reshaped the group.  MERL now has 31 employees with a 93% billing rate and is among the strongest performers in Reclamation’s Technical Service Center. 

This transformation is even more critical considering that the agency and industry as a whole is placing more emphasis on maintaining and sustaining our critical infrastructure.

William Bonds, OPM Western Management Development Center

William Bonds was selected as Group Director for OPM’s Western Management Development Center and Custom Solutions Line of Business in January 2013.  William joined federal service and OPM in 2006.

As Group Director, William oversees the Western Management Development Center’s classrooms and team of program and account managers, customer support specialists and business operations personnel. The team is also responsible for the full life-cycle of single-agency, custom leadership and training programs.  Activities include needs analysis, program design, program delivery, client relationship management and funding and procurement requirements.

Prior to joining OPM, Bonds was president of Bright Ideas Training and Development, a company he founded in 2000. Bright Ideas worked primarily with local and federal government organizations in the development of supervisors and customer service personnel.

He began his public service career as a Police Officer in the City of Plano, Texas in 1989. In 1996, William became the city’s first training specialist and was promoted to Training and Development Manager in 1998.

An almost native Texan (he was born in New Jersey, but settled in the Lone Star state at the age of one), William studied communications at Southern Methodist University and earned his Master of Public Affairs degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. 

Andrew Hamilton, DOD Air Force Personnel Center

Andrew E. (Andy) Hamilton is assigned to the Reserve of the Air Force Selection Board Secretariat, Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center (HQ ARPC). Under the auspices of the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF), he serves as 1 of only 9 certified reserve promotion board recorders.  In this capacity he ensures the parity and legal integrity of the operation of the board by providing wide-ranging personnel expertise and guidance in the conduct of over 200 boards annually, affecting over 7,000 officers through the grade of Colonel.  Further, he provides post-board counseling to officers who have been non-selected, imparting crucial career-impacting guidance, records review and advisement to aid in future promotion opportunities.

Mr. Hamilton joined ARPC in 1987 and has served in a variety of supervisory and management roles across the personnel field. In his capacity as Chief, Master Records Management Division he was integral to the early development of the Automated Records Management System (ARMS) legacy conversion to an open enterprise platform. He later served as a Quality Assurance Evaluator on a $26M records management and maintenance contract while overseeing the digital conversion of the center’s 217,000 paper records and 13M microfiche images to the ARMS. Additionally, he was able to provide reserve records management expertise to the Air Force Personnel Center in the testing and development of the Personnel Records Display Application (PRDA). This lead to his involvement in the testing and integration of ARPC’s case management system known as Right Now Technologies (RNT), also serving as a training instructor to the organization in operations and use of the system. Andy joined the Selection Board Secretariat in May 2013 and provides board and customer support in the Policy and Procedures Division.

Robert Kapp, DHS Transportation Security Agency

Bob Is the Customer Support Manager and the Stakeholder Manager and serves as the Chief Liaison for the Federal Security Director in Colorado with the traveling public, the local community, and a variety of consumer and special interest groups. Bob is also responsible for responding to issues from carriers, vendors and the airport.  Bob provides direct support to the Federal Security Director.
Bob began his TSA career in March of 2002 as a part of the first group of Mobile Screening Supervisors hired by TSA. He trained and was certified as a Lead Instructor for that group at the FAA Academy at the Mike Munroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Bob and his instructor group trained and certified the first-ever TSA officers as Baltimore International Airport was federalized in April of 2002.

Bob has over twenty years of experience in the Customer Support and Quality fields, including sixteen years with a large Colorado company where he served as Quality Manager, Customer Technical Support Manager, and Quality Engineer. Bob is a past member of the American Society for Quality and is a founding member of the Customer/Supplier and Quality Education divisions of that organization.

Bob is a regular participant in Quarterly Community Engagement Outreach meetings to connect with community leaders and present available federal programs and assistance. He has long-standing relationships with The Make-A-Wish foundation, the National Honor Flight Network, local congressional offices, local law enforcement agencies and military groups, as well as numerous federal agencies. He maintains an extensive network of national contacts and can arrange airport assistance at every airport in the country.

Willie Pratt, Jr., DOD US Army

Mr. Willie Pratt Jr. is a native of Chicago, Illinois.  He joined the Active Duty Army in February 1984.  After serving in the military for over twenty years as a 92Y (Supply Sergeant), Mr. Pratt was hired as a Department of the Army Civilian in the position of Supply Specialist, Mission Support Element (MSE) G4, at Fort Carson.  His primary duties include: Logistical Support to all FORSCOM units stationed at Fort Carson, Equipment Asset Visibility, Mission Support Element Property Book Officer, Government Purchase Card Holder, and G4 Audit Readiness Liaison.

As the Mission Support Element Property Book Officer, Mr. Pratt manages over $43M worth of government property.  In addition, as the Equipment Asset Visibility Manager, he directs equipment alignment and redistribution for over $6B worth of equipment.  Mr. Pratt is a key leader in collaborating with Fort Carson sustainment agencies, military installations throughout the United States, and government agencies to ensure equipment requirements are met in support of US Army redesign directives.  With limited resources, Willie directs the movement of over 26,000 pieces of equipment worth billions of dollars while maintaining a superior work ethic, demonstrated by his positive attitude, superb innovation, and advanced technical knowledge. He takes on three times the normal workload for his position to ensure timely coordination of equipment movement and utilizes the Army's new accountability/visibility system to provide transparency and review of all actions regarding the movement of the equipment.

P5I Team, DOD Air Force Personnel Center
Lt. Col. Bruce Winhold, SMSgt. Arlic Nunerley (ret), Sara Jenkins,
Orlando Medina

P5I is an acronym that stands for Policy, Plans, Program, Presentations and Process Improvement.  Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Bruce Winhold, SMSgt. Arlic Nunerley (ret), Sara Jenkins, and Orlando Medina developed and executed a 5-year Strategic Plan that streamlined Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) assessment processes into an enduring roadmap for the future.  The P5I team instilled a process improvement culture that culminated in eleven events and three policy changes that saved 2,000 annual man hours.  They created organizational efficiencies by aligning policy, plans and Lean functions, and developed a SharePoint based Internal Dashboard that linked metrics with execution OPRs, enabling easy tracking and updating of tasks and milestones.  The team led AF Reserve field training for 6,000 personnel on command procedures, provided strategic vision policy initiatives, streamlined 46 duplicative areas with the Active Reserve program, and developed the Air Force Reserve Capital Management Strategy for 3.3M users.  The team provided stellar leadership by driving organizational strategies that placed ARPC at the tip of the spear for critical impact.


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