ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- (May 5, 2017) U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, employees brought home the gold during the Baltimore Federal Executive Board's 50th Annual Excellence in Federal Career Awards, or EIFCA, luncheon held at Martin's West in Baltimore in May.

This year ATEC's finest from its headquarters and two of its subordinate organizations, the U.S. Army Evaluation Center, or AEC, and the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, or ATC, brought home four gold awards, 11 silver and seven bronze in 13 categories.

Karen L. Taylor, chief of staff at ATEC, said how blessed she felt to work with so many dedicated and smart individuals who believe in ATEC's mission to provide the best equipment to our warfighters.

"I am always so proud when an ATEC employee receives a prestigious award," Taylor said. "The ATEC Federal Executive Board awardees are an example of the high caliber men and women we have working in ATEC."

The purpose of the EIFCA program is to honor outstanding federal employees who have performed exceptional and meritorious work with high standards of performance in the federal government during the past year.

The EIFCA is held the first Friday in May during Public Service Recognition Week -- a week set aside to recognize the hard work and dedication of America's public servants. The EIFCA is hosted by the Baltimore FEB to honor the best in public service professionals in the Baltimore area. Supervisors from federal agencies around the Baltimore region submit nominations weeks in advance and a Blue Ribbon Panel of judges determine if the nominee's actions warrant bronze, silver or gold awards.

For more information about the Baltimore Federal Executive Board Excellence in Federal Career Awards, visit the Baltimore FEB website at http://www.baltimorefeb.us/

Gold awardees from ATEC, AEC and ATC included Judy M. Matthews; Sgt. 1st Class Twana S. Burrow; Tina L. Pollitt; and the Physical Security Team.

Read their stories below:

2017 Excellence in Federal Career Gold Award Winners

Category 1A -- Outstanding Supervisor, GS-13 and Above
Judy M. Matthews, HQ ATEC

Protocol, public affairs, printing and publications, are just a few of the functional areas Matthews manages as ATEC's executive officer and secretary of the general staff.

Over the years, she's become somewhat of a "jack of all trades and master of most" because of the roles she's had to assume in highly specialized areas where she's had little to no experience, training or education.

Her mental agility enabled her to quickly and effectively assimilate a broad range of information to keep her senior leadership advised and to step in and quickly resolve conflicts as they arose.

The ATEC commanding general, Maj. Gen. John W. Charlton, is known to often repeat the mantra, "Mission First, People Always." Taylor said that Matthews exemplifies Charlton's mantra because she recognizes that leadership is a balancing act between people and goals.

"She (Matthews) is one of the leaders who understands that missions are accomplished through their people," Taylor said. "She succeeds by creating an environment where people feel appreciated and respected."

One of Matthews' greatest strengths is the ability to "lead by example" and Taylor said she does this by giving her employees the same dignity and respect she gives to her senior leaders.

Matthews said she was "totally surprised and truly honored to have won gold" but credits her win to the exceptional members of her staff who made her job so easy.

"Supervisors can't be effective without good staff members, and I'm truly blessed to have an outstanding group of folks on my team," Matthews said. "My selection as a gold winner was definitely a reflection of my extraordinary team, and I am truly grateful for all of them."

Category 2B -- Outstanding Professional Administrative Management Specialist
Tina L. Pollitt, ATC

Pollitt played many roles at ATC, but none more important that being a good steward of government funds. In addition to being the ATC Logistics Operations team leader, she was also the Property Book Officer, or PBO, for ATEC, ATC and AEC. She was always looking for ways to save the Army and the command money by finding excess serviceable equipment that could be reutilized. She was able to redistribute 150 pieces of excess property back to ATC with a cost savings of $27,000.

Pollitt's dedication and attention to detail was evident when she was called upon to provide guidance to customers on the procedures for property accountability. She displayed a high level of compliance while managing three property books estimated at over $521 million.

Col. Morris L. Bodrick, ATC commander, praised Pollitt for her skill as PBO and the cost-savings she achieved, which he said will go a long way toward making sure the test center is able to meet all of its operational needs.

Category 4B -- Outstanding Administrative Work Group or Team
Physical Security Team, ATC

"Our (ATC) combined physical security team executed seven critical security projects across the command that were vital to us being able to operate in a secure and safe environment in executing critical testing for our warfighters," Bodrick said.

Members of the Physical Security Team, or PST, are Lonny F. Andersen, Richard P. Beeghley, Joann D. Buckingham, Matthew C. Young, Jenell Bigham, Dianne Swauger, and Ronnie G. Keithley.

The team was responsible for full-installation access control for Aberdeen Proving Ground's 71,000 acres of restricted area located in Aberdeen and Edgewood. The team managed two security support contracts to make live-fire ranges safe and secure, and to keep access limited to mission-essential personnel and approved visitors.

Bigham expressed how excited she was to be recognized by ATC and the FEB for the part she played as a member of the PST.

"Being nominated is an accomplishment alone, but being a Gold winner was even more gratifying," Bigham said. "It made me realize that ATC management appreciates its employees and the myriad of tasks that are completed on a daily basis and the team effort it takes to run such a large organization."

After 28 years of federal service, this was Keithley's first FEB nomination. To win gold the first time around was an honor that Keithley said couldn't have happened without the combined efforts of the great group of professionals he works with.

"This award shows me that people that care can make a difference and it's also nice to be recognized," Keithley said.

"It makes me feel very proud to be part of an organization that recognizes hard work and dedication by their employees," Bigham said. "It was a true honor representing ATC and the great organization that it is."

"The FEB awards provides us an important opportunity to recognize our great employees outside of our organization," Bodrick said. "We pride ourselves on being a cohesive and multifunctional team, and the awards we received this year reflected the important work we are doing as one of the Army's six test centers."

"Great team effort!"

Category 6 -- Workforce Diversity Equal Employment Opportunity Service
Sgt. 1st Class Twana S. Burrow, HQ ATEC

Burrow is an equal opportunity advisor on ATEC's Equal Opportunity Diversity Team who leads by example and believes in standing up for what is right.

"It's not often that you see someone actually living up to the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage," Taylor said. "SFC Burrow lives them every day in everything she does."

Burrow helped develop and implement the command's first Teambuilding Program and served as one of the coordinators. The excellent rapport and team spirit she developed with ATEC's civilian and military employees increased participation in each teambuilding event and boosted turn-out and command support.

Burrow said she was "ecstatic" and very surprised when she realized she had won gold.

"It's a great accomplishment to be recognized for the hard work you contribute to an organization as big as ATEC," Burrow said. "It lets you know that the work you value doing doesn't go unnoticed."

"All our FEB award winner's accomplishments are remarkable, unparalleled and are evidence of their professionalism, fortitude, tenacity, commitment and dedication to the ATEC mission and its people," Taylor said.

ATEC is not resting on its laurels however and is already gearing up for next year's FEB awards and making room for the gold, silver and bronze awards it plans to bring home.

Robert M. Miele, ATEC's executive technical advisor and a member of the Senior Executive Service, commended the high quality of professionals who represent the command each year at the FEB awards.

"I am always so amazed on the level of competition at annual FEB events and very delighted to see how well this organization does each year, which is really a tribute to the quality of employees and supervisors within this command," Miele said.

"The FEB is just one way to recognize our great folks!"

2017 Excellence in Federal Career Awards HQ ATEC, AEC, and ATC winners

Category 1A -- Outstanding Supervisor, GS-13 and Above
Judith M. Matthews, HQ ATEC
Michael Schulz, ATC

Category 2A -- Outstanding Professional, Technical, Scientific and Program Support
Brian Smith, ATC
Robert Duffy, ATEC
Frank G. Whitehead, AEC

Category 2B -- Outstanding Professional Administrative Management Specialist
Tina L. Pollitt, ATC
Jennifer Eyet-Kunkel, HQ ATEC

Category 3A -- Outstanding Para-Professional (Non-Supervisory) -- Technical, Scientific and Program Support (Individual)
Brian Gatewood, ATC
Diana Reeves, HQ ATEC
Donald Keith Wise, AEC

Category 3B -- Outstanding Para-Professional (Non-Supervisory) -- Technical, Scientific and Program Support (Team)
Soldier Protective System Ballistic and Blast Test Team, ATC
Command Staff Relocation Working Group/Team, HQ ATEC

Category 3C -- Outstanding Administrative Management Analyst, GS-8 and Above
Courtney White-Gilbert, HQ ATEC

Category 4A -- Outstanding Administrative Assistant, Management Assistant or Administrative Work Group or Team
Christina Meadows, AEC

Category 4B -- Outstanding Administrative Work Group or Team
Physical Security Team, ATC
Command Civilian Hire Team, HQ ATEC

Category 6 -- Workforce Diversity Equal Employment Opportunity Service
SFC Twana Burrow, HQ ATEC

Category 8A -- Volunteer Service Award (Individual)
Darlene Sturgill, HQ ATEC

Category 9 -- Distinguished Public Service Career
Judith Tredway, HQ ATEC

Category 10A -- Rookie Administrative/Management Analyst
Sarah Tinnelly-Williams, HQ ATEC

Category 10B -- Rookie Technical, Scientific and Program Support
Allison Moore, AEC
Joseph Venuti, ATC