NATICK, Mass. -- Six employees from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center received 2017 Greater Boston Federal Executive Board Excellence in Government Awards during a ceremony at NSRDEC on June 23.

President John F. Kennedy established the Federal Executive Boards in 1961. The Greater Boston Federal Executive Board, or GBFEB, represents about 150 federal agencies in the New England area.

Kim Ainsworth-Klaskin, executive director for GBFEB, urged federal employees in general, and Natick employees specifically, to tell people about the great work they do. NSRDEC is a leader in science and technology, or S&T, development for the warfighter.

"This organization in unbelievable …" said Ainsworth-Klaskin. "I really appreciate everything you do every day."

During the ceremony, Harold "Doc" Holliday received the Unsung Hero Award. The award honors an employee who often works behind the scenes to enhance the workplace. Holliday is a supply technician for multiple teams in NSRDEC's Warfighter Directorate. He was commended for working tirelessly to ensure customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

"Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is on the leading edge of Soldier protection for our country," said Holliday. "For me, customer service is my watchword in accomplishing my part of this contribution to our Soldiers. Whether it is to our Soldiers, my teams or our customers, I do not ever hesitate to do my part to make us shine -- that is my responsibility, my obligation and my commitment."

Beverly Lange, a workforce management support specialist, G1 -- Human Resources, was presented the Career Achievement Award. The award acknowledges an employee who has been in government service for 20 years or more who embodies the highest ideals of public service every day. Lange was recognized for her accuracy, dependability, commitment and integrity.

"I was truly honored to receive the GBFEB Career Achievement Award," said Lange. "I have been very lucky to have worked for such a great organization for so many years. The work that is done at Natick every day to support our warfighters is truly amazing. What a blessing it is to know and work with so many wonderful, and wonderfully talented, people."

George Moorachian Jr., a senior aerospace engineer in NSRDEC's Aerial Delivery Directorate, was presented the Management Excellence Award. The award acknowledges an employee whose contributions exemplify efficient, effective and results-oriented government. Moorachian was responsible for an important effort for the Special Operations Command, which involved the airdrop certification of the DoD Service Common, Inflatable 4.7 Meter Combat Rubber Raiding Craft. Under his leadership and technical expertise, work that would normally take one year was completed in 60 days.

"I'm honored to have been chosen for a GBFEB award, and it's nice to be recognized for the work I do," said Moorachian. "However, my motivation is to do right by our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen, by giving them the aerial delivery capabilities needed to do their jobs. And in the process, I'm fortunate to work side-by-side with them."

Ekaterina "Katya" Makarova, a general engineer in NSRDEC's Aerial Delivery Directorate, was presented with the Fresh New Hire Award. Makarova had an immediate positive impact on the team, providing much-needed program management and contract support. Within two months of being hired, Makarova became a certified contracting officer representative, enabling her to begin initiating new contracts for the following fiscal year.

"I am deeply honored to be considered for this award and hope to continue to be able to serve the nation's Soldiers to the best of my ability," said Makarova.

Jennifer Koven, a textile technologist in NSRDEC's Aerial Delivery Directorate, received the Strategic Partnership Award. The award honors an employee who develops and sustains effective coordination, collaboration and community with internal and external partners. Koven, a subject matter expert for the T-11 parachute deployment sleeve, became aware that some of the sleeves had been provided to the field without being inspected by the government. She addressed the nonconforming equipment in a technical manner that helped ensure Soldier safety while preventing some units from having their airborne operations grounded.

David Colanto received the Leadership Excellence Award. The award recognizes an employee who develops innovative ideas, promotes creativity, empowers employees, and inspires trust. Colanto is a mechanical engineer in NSRDEC's Warfighter Directorate, serving as the Thrust Area Manager for the ballistics and blast S&T portfolio. During 2016, Colanto took on the additional responsibility of leading a cross-organizational Integrated Product Team. Under Colanto's leadership, the effort culminated in the development of realistic and effective research goals and allowed for a comprehensive and executable deliverable.

Douglas Tamilio, director of NSRDEC, congratulated the winners and said that their "hard work, dedication and commitment to our nation are truly appreciated."


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The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.