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2013 National SGE of the Year Award

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Assistant Secretary David Michaels, PhD, MPH presenting SGE award to Deb Clingan
Assistant Secretary David Michaels, PhD, MPH presenting SGE award to Deb Clingan

Winner: Deb Clingan, Miller Coors

Winner: Deb Clingan, Miller Coors


Deb Clingan is the EHS Manager for Miller Coors, Rocky Mountain Metal Container End Plant in Golden, Colorado. She has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2007 and participated on five Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) onsite evaluations in 2012. In addition, to serving as a team member on several VPP onsite evaluations, Deb also assisted with SGE training courses in Region VIII and at the 2012 National VPP Participants' Association (VPPPA) Annual Conference.

Deb has been extremely active in Region VIII's structured networking program. She has opened her plant to visitors from multiple other VPP sites and prospective VPP sites to tour the facility, hear presentations on VPP and best practices, and to initiate mentoring relationships. Deb also visits other sites with crew members from her plant to cross-pollinate the culture of VPP safety excellence that exists in her organization. In 2012, Deb actively mentored two VPP sites to help prepare them for their VPP recertification evaluations and four potential applicants in the Colorado area.

Deb serves as a member on the Region VIII VPPPA Board. Thru her participation on the board, Deb has helped to establish and perpetuate alliances with groups to promote VPP at their safety and health conferences. Many of the improvements and new initiatives undertaken by our Regional VPPPA Board are the result of new members like Deb. Her fresh perspective, professional and pleasant demeanor has brought renewed interest, energy, and enthusiasm to the VPPPA Board.

Deb has a great deal of technical expertise. She is very knowledgeable about safety and health, but most importantly, Deb is an advocate for a systems-based approached to safety. She has a profound knowledge of cultural change processes, as well as, knowledge about the importance and value of employee involvement. Deb willingly offers to share all of this knowledge with others in and outside of her organization. Deb is an SGE who exemplifies commitment to the VPP.

FINALISTS:

Stephen Gauthier, General Electric - Nominated by Region I
Stephen Gauthier, General Electric - Nominated by Region I
 
Kenneth Mueller, Knoll, Inc. - Nominated by Region III
Kenneth Mueller, Knoll, Inc. - Nominated by Region III
 
Daniel Evans, Southwire Company - Nominated by Region IV
Daniel Evans, Southwire Company - Nominated by Region IV
 
Karin Wetzel, Eli Lilly and Company - Nominated by Region V
Karin Wetzel, Eli Lilly and Company - Nominated by Region V
 
Tim Nolen, Fite Fire & Safety - Nominated by Region VI
Tim Nolen, Fite Fire & Safety - Nominated by Region VI
 
Kathy French, General Electric - Nominated by Region VII
Kathy French, General Electric - Nominated by Region VII
 
Cliff Acles, Marine Logistics Base -  Nominated by Region IX
Cliff Acles, Marine Logistics Base - Nominated by Region IX
 
Jennifer Olson-Morzenti, Life Technologies - Nominated by Region X
Jennifer Olson-Morzenti, Life Technologies - Nominated by Region X
 
 

Note: Dale Long, SCA Tissue - Nominated by Region II (no photo)

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2012 National SGE of the Year Award

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab presenting SGE award to Jon Alexander
Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab presenting SGE award to Jon Alexander

Winner: Jon Alexander, Monsanto

Winner: Jon Alexander, Monsanto


Jon Alexander is the Contractor/Guest Safety Lead for Monsanto World Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2006 and participated on three Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) onsite evaluations in 2011.

Each year, Jon arranges for his site to host the SGE course. In 2011, his site hosted the SGE course in July and he served as a co-instructor for the course. Jon has been a co-instructor for the SGE course for the last six years. Also, he arranged and co-instructed two VPP Application Workshops in 2011 and two VPP Strengthening Star Quality workshops. Jon has conducted presentations about contractor safety and health at the Iowa Governor's Conference and at the St. Louis Chapter of the National Safety Council.

Jon served as the Region VII VPP Participants' Association (VPPPA) Chairperson in 2011 and has led the Region VII VPPPA for six years. In this capacity, the Regional VPPPA developed a set of financial policies and began an annual $5,000 scholarship award. Since he began his chairmanship, the Regional VPPPA experienced a growth of over 300 percent in their finances. Also, the Region VII VPPPA developed a first-rate mentoring program. In 2011, Jon actively mentored three VPP sites to help prepare them for their VPP recertification evaluation and six potential applicants in the St. Louis area.

Jon has a great deal of technical expertise. He possesses excellent hazard recognition skills especially in the areas of contractor safety, machine guarding, fire protection, and life safety code. Jon excels in assisting employers with improving employee involvement programs and in improving their safety and health training. He willingly offers to share his employer's safety and health programs with the site being evaluated if it will assist the site in bolstering their own programs.

FINALISTS:

William Anzovino, Dolce International - Nominated by Region II
William Anzovino, Dolce International - Nominated by Region II
 
Chris Meeks, Southwire - Nominated by Region IV
Chris Meeks, Southwire - Nominated by
Region IV
 
Mike Kinney, National Security - Nominated by Region IX
Mike Kinney, National Security - Nominated by Region IX
 
  Dr. Richard Zimmerman, Mission Support Alliance, LLC - Nominated by Region X
Dr. Richard Zimmerman, Mission Support Alliance, LLC - Nominated by Region X
 
 

Note: Steve Jocher, Evonik - Nominated by Region I (no photo)
          Dino Avarino, Delta Air Lines - Nominated by Region III (no photo)
          Rich Bizek, ABB, Inc - Nominated by Region V (no photo)
          Tim Nolen, Fite Fire & Safety - Nominated by Region VI (no photo)
          John Keller, Tesoro Petroleum - Nominated by Region VIII (no photo)

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2011 National SGE of the Year Award

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Acting Director, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Kimberly A. Locey, presenting SGE award to Gilbert Aceves
Acting Director, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Kimberly A. Locey, presenting SGE award to Gilbert Aceves

Winner: Gilbert Aceves, Morton Salt

Winner: Gilbert Aceves, Morton Salt


Gilbert Aceves is the Production Lead Person for Morton Salt in Long Beach, California. He has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2009. He participated on two VPP onsite evaluations in 2010.

Gilbert has conducted numerous presentations on the benefits of VPP to Union sites, and also presented to Hispanics the benefits of VPP in their organizations. He created safety memos and documents in Spanish that describe and explain the VPP to the Hispanic work force. Gilbert has been on the Region IX Board of Directors as a Representative from the Site with a Collective Bargaining Agreement for the past six years. In addition, Gilbert instructed and coordinated the VPP Application Workshop at the 2010 Region IX VPPPA Conference.

Gilbert has 14 years experience as a mechanic, electrician and welder in addition to 10 years of being involved with the VPP process. He is trained in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70-E I applications. In 2010, Gilbert actively mentored six sites. Nine out of the 15 facilities that he has mentored have reached VPP status.

Gilbert was recognized by Morton Salt for his commitment to VPP. He was awarded the Morton Salt Safety Champion Award in 2010. This award is given every year to that individual who shows safety initiative and leadership. Also, Gilbert received a letter of acknowledgement for outstanding performance for the cultivation and promotion of the culture and spirit of the VPP from Len Welsh, Chief of Cal-OSHA.

To Gilbert, VPP is a way of life. He prides himself in that he has never turned down a request for assistance with VPP. Gilbert is known for being available at all times of the day or night and providing guidance to help the safety community advance along their journey with VPP.

FINALISTS:

Alice Tatro, Acushnet - Nominated by Region I
Alice Tatro, Acushnet - Nominated by Region I
 
Donnie Allen Cook, L.E. Myers - Nominated by Region IV
Donnie Allen Cook, L.E. Myers - Nominated by Region IV
 
Christopher Gobris, Georgia Pacific - Nominated by Region V
Christopher Gobris, Georgia Pacific - Nominated by Region V
 
Carlton Fite, Fite Fire and Safety - Nominated by Region VI
Carlton Fite, Fite Fire and Safety - Nominated by Region VI
Diane Goertz, Monsanto - Nominated by Region VII
Diane Goertz, Monsanto - Nominated by Region VII
Ed McGrail, Bechtel - Nominated by Region VIII
Ed McGrail, Bechtel - Nominated by Region VIII
 
Raymond Illingsworth, Marvin Wood Products- Nominated by Region X
Raymond Illingsworth, Marvin Wood Products- Nominated by Region X

Note: Randall Kresge, Cabot Supermetals - Nominated by Region III (no photo)

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2010 National SGE of the Year Award

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Assistant Secretary Dr. Michaels, PhD, MPH., presenting SGE award to Raymond Magruder Assistant Secretary Dr. Michaels, PhD, MPH., presenting SGE award to Charles Soderquist
Assistant Secretary Dr. Michaels, PhD, MPH., presenting SGE award to Raymond Magruder
 
Assistant Secretary Dr. Michaels, PhD, MPH., presenting SGE award to Charles Soderquist
 

Winner: Raymond Magruder, Quaker Manufacturing

Winner: Raymond Magruder, Quaker Manufacturing


Raymond Magruder is the Regional Sales Operations Safety Manager for Quaker Manufacturing in Columbia, Missouri. Raymond has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2008. He has participated on multiple VPP onsite evaluations, four of which were in 2009 alone.

Raymond has assisted Regional OSHA staff with numerous workshops. He was a guest speaker in workshops at the 2009 Region VII VPPPA Conference covering the subject matters of "Becoming and SGE" and "Mentoring - Practical Methods". Raymond served on the Region VII VPPPA Board of Directors for two years. During his tenure, Raymond was an active member of several committees.

Raymond has an exceptional knowledge and experience in safety and health regulations and the VPP program and principles. He has demonstrated outstanding hazard recognition skills especially in the areas of machine guarding, lock out and tagout (LO/TO), confined space, contractor safety, electrical hazards, fall hazards, power industrial trucks and ergonomics. In 2009, Raymond mentored several potential VPP applications. Seven of the sites mentored either reached VPP Star status or have been recertified as Star site.

Raymond is strongly committed to worker safety and health and the VPP program. This commitment can be seen in his coordinator of the local Health, Safety and Environmental Network with industries in the Columbia, Missouri area.

Winner: Charles Soderquist, Sturgeon Electric

Winner: Charles Soderquist, Sturgeon Electric


Charles Soderquist is the Safety Supervisor for Sturgeon Electric in Henderson, Colorado. Charles has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2008. He has participated on multiple VPP onsite evaluations, two of which were in 2009 alone.

Charles has assisted Regional OSHA staff in organizing sessions for the "construction track" at conferences and obtaining guest speakers and participants from the industry. He participated in an open forum on VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration at the Region VIII VPPPA Annual Conference in May 2009. In addition, Charles has instructed several OSHA training courses.

Charles is an ambassador for safety and health excellence and has embraced his role as an SGE. He is active in the community and played a key role in the development of the OSHA, NECA, IBEW alliance. Charles conducts monthly first aid and CPR training for company employees, spouses, family members and other non-company personnel free of charge. In 2009, Charles mentored several potential VPP applicants and internal business units for Sturgeon Electric. One of the sites mentored by him has been approved into VPP in the past year.

Charles has a reputation for reliability. On several occasions he was there for VPP when called at the last minute to assist in a site visit. He is always willing to assist when called upon by OSHA or the VPPPA.

FINALISTS:

Stephen Gautheir, General Electric - Nominated by Region I
Stephen Gautheir, General Electric - Nominated by Region I
 
Gregory Poupore, Wyeth Rouses - Nominated by Region II
Gregory Poupore, Wyeth Rouses - Nominated by Region II
 
Jeffrey Medrano, Norfolk Naval Shipyard - Nominated by Region III
Jeffrey Medrano, Norfolk Naval Shipyard - Nominated by Region III
 
Robert Royal, DAL Global Services - Nominated by Region IV
Robert Royal, DAL Global Services - Nominated by Region IV
Bill Burke, Miller Valentine - Nominated by Region V
Bill Burke, Miller Valentine - Nominated by Region V
Kirk Crandall, NRG Texas - Nominated by Region VI
Kirk Crandall, NRG Texas - Nominated by Region VI
 
Brian Ward, National Security Technologies - Nominated by Region IX
Brian Ward, National Security Technologies - Nominated by Region IX
 
Ella Iott, Potlatch - Nominated by Region X
Ella Iott, Potlatch - Nominated by Region X
 
 

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2009 National SGE of the Year Award

Acting Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab, presenting SGE award to Robert Sander
Acting Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab,
presenting SGE award to Robert Sander
 

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Winner: Robert Sander, United States Postal Service

Winner: Robert Sander, United States Postal Service


Robert (Bob) Sander is the Safety Specialist for the United States Postal Service in St. Louis, Missouri. Robert has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2005. He has participated on nine VPP onsite evaluations, four of which were in 2008 alone.

Robert has assisted Regional OSHA staff with numerous SGE workshops. He assisted with the SGE workshop session at the Region VII 2008 VPPPA Conference; served as an instructor for the SGE training class in St. Louis, Missouri in July 2008 and is a member of the VPPPA Region VII Mentoring Committee.

Robert has a great deal of technical expertise and possesses excellent hazard recognition skills especially in the areas of machine guarding, lockout/tagout, walking/working surfaces, fire protection and life safety code. He excels in assisting employers with improving employee involvement programs and in improving their safety and health training. In 2008, Robert mentored five potential VPP applicants. One of the five sites mentored by him has been approved into VPP in the past year.

Robert serves as the Chairperson of the St. Louis Federal Safety and Health council since 1994. The Federal Safety and Health Council has become very active in the community under Robert's direction. In 2008, the Council received a Superior Performance Award from the OSHA Regional Administrator as a result of Robert's outstanding leadership.

FINALISTS:

Daniel Montanaro, General Electric Aviation - Nominated by Region I
Daniel Montanaro, General Electric Aviation
Nominated by Region I
 
Marianne Krawiec, Infineum - Nominated by Region II
Marianne Krawiec, Infineum
Nominated by Region II
 
Allen (Donnie) Cook, United Space Alliance - Nominated by Region IV
Allen (Donnie) Cook, United Space Alliance
Nominated by Region IV
 
Jack Burton, General Electric Aviation - Nominated by Region V
Jack Burton, General Electric Aviation
Nominated by Region V
 
Jerry Hale, Chevron Phillips - Nominated by Region VI
Jerry Hale, Chevron Phillips
Nominated by Region VI
 
Anthony Stoner, Integrity Winds & Doors - Nominated by Region VIII
Anthony Stoner, Integrity Winds & Doors
Nominated by Region VIII
 
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas - Nominated by Region IX
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas
Nominated by Region IX
 
Jeffrey Carlson, ConocoPhillips - Nominated by Region X
Jeffrey Carlson, ConocoPhillips
Nominated by Region X
 
 
Note: Cindy Estes, General Electric Fanuc - Nominated by Region III (no photo)

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2008 National SGE of the Year Award

Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Jr., presenting SGE award to Larry Shaffer
Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presenting SGE award to Larry Shaffer
 

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Winner: Larry Shaffer, International Paper

Winner: Larry Shaffer, International Paper


Larry Shaffer is the VPP Coordinator for International Paper, Franklin, Virginia. Larry has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2002, assisting in more 10 VPP onsite evaluations.

Larry has assisted National and Regional OSHA staff with the SGE workshop session at the National VPPPA Conference in August 2007; he assisted in the SGE training class in Virginia Beach May 2007 and two application workshops for the Region during 2007. Also, Larry spoke on the benefits of VPP to a class of OSHA compliance officers in Washington, DC and also presented at a Virginia OSH conference.

Larry received the "2008 Mentor of the Year" for Virginia for his successful efforts in mentoring Coors Shenandoah Brewery and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals who recently reentered the Virginia VPP. Additionally, Larry mentored the Dept. of Defense Yorktown Weapons Depot, Norfolk Naval Base unions. He was very instrumental in attaining the support of the Regional Metal Trades Council and local unions at the Norfolk Naval Base. Furthermore, Larry set up a VPP information booth and answered employee's questions at Wyeth's Safety Day in May 2007 (there are over 1,100 employees at the site).

Recently, Larry traveled with OSHA to Germany to serve as the first SGE to participate on VPP team evaluations in Europe. The Region III VPP team was invited by the Dept. of Defense to visit Wiesbaden and Stuttgart. These evaluations took place at National Security Agency (NSA) Department of Defense worksites. Larry's VPP experience knowledge of VPP concepts and requirements was a key factor in the success of the OSHA team evaluations. Implemented VPP safety and health management systems are ensuring American employees are protected on the job while they support and safeguard our security interests, here and throughout the world. The commitment of Larry and his company, International Paper in supporting VPP at NSA worksites has interested and impressed the senior leadership of the Defense Department. The National Security Agency Wiesbaden and Stuttgart facilities were strongly impressed by Larry's professionalism, knowledge and commitment to VPP. The Department's recognition and the value of VPP is now strengthen and reinforced.

Larry has served on the Region III VPPPA Board of Directors for over 4 years -- two years as Treasurer and now as Vice-Chairperson. His commitment and dependability are greatly counted on by the VPPPA Board and OSHA. He is frequently sought out as spokesman and an Ambassador for the VPP Program.

FINALISTS:

Jack Popp, Hasbro Nominated by Region I
Jack Popp, Hasbro
Nominated by Region I
 
Diane Palmer, General Electric Nominated by Region II
Diane Palmer, General Electric
Nominated by Region II
 
Rick Thacker, Trinity Rail Nominated by Region IV
Rick Thacker, Trinity Rail
Nominated by Region IV
 
Jack Burton, General Electric Nominated by Region V
Jack Burton, General Electric
Nominated by Region V
 
Don Schwertner, Valero Nominated by Region VI
Don Schwertner, Valero
Nominated by Region VI
 
Ernie Nold, Weyerhaeuser Nominated by Region VII
Ernie Nold, Weyerhaeuser
Nominated by Region VII
 
Robert Finnie, MillerCoors Nominated by Region VIII
Robert Finnie, MillerCoors
Nominated by Region VIII
 
Robert Finnie, MillerCoors Nominated by Region VIII
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas
Nominated by Region IX
 
 

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2007 National SGE of the Year Award

Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presenting SGE award to Michael Pendergrass
Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presenting SGE award to Michael Pendergrass

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

Winner: Michael Pendergrass, Superior Industries

Winner: Michael Pendergrass, Superior Industries

Michael Pendergrass is the Corporate Safety Director for Superior Industries located in the Pittsburg, Kansas. Mike has been an active Special Government Employee (SGE) since 2000, assisting in more 10 VPP onsite evaluations. In 2006 alone, Mike participated in four audits as an SGE.

Mike has a great deal of technical expertise. He possesses excellent hazard recognition skills especially in the areas of machine guarding and ergonomics. As a participant on VPP audits, Mike brings an excellent private sector perspective to the audit. He excels in assisting employers with improving employee involvement programs and in improving their safety and health training. Mike willingly offers to share Superior's safety and health programs with the site being audited if it will assist the site in bolstering their own programs.

As the Corporate Safety Director, Mike mandates that each of his site safety managers become an SGE and conduct at least two SGE audits with OSHA each year. Seven of Mike's staff members are active SGEs. Together, they have assisted on 15 VPP onsite evaluations in 2006. Under Mike's direction, four of Superior's six domestic locations have achieved STAR status. Their location in Mexico is participating in Mexico's equivalent of VPP.

Mike was recently selected by Assistant Secretary Foulke to be an SGE for the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard VPP onsite in Hawaii. Mike assisted on this audit and was a valuable addition to the onsite team. Mike is actively involved in the DOL VPP as a mentor for Region VII OASAM. Mike is also serving as a mentor for the Fort Riley Army Base (Ft. Riley, Kansas) to assist them in their VPP endeavor under the Army/OSHA Partnership.

Mike was an instructor for a VPP Application Workshop during the past year and also serves as a member of the Communication Committee and the Mentoring Committee of the Region VII VPPPA. He also conducted a workshop on VPP at a local university and at a state safety and health conference.

FINALISTS:

Paul Kniskern, Curtis Lumber - Nominated by Region II
Paul Kniskern, Curtis Lumber -
Nominated by Region II
Larry Shaffer, International Paper - Nominated by Region III
Larry Shaffer, International Paper -
Nominated by Region III
Wayne Punch, Milliken & Company - Nominated by Region IV
Wayne Punch, Milliken & Company -
Nominated by Region IV
 
George Hall, AmerGen Energy, LLC Nominated by Region V
George Hall, AmerGen Energy, LLC -
Nominated by Region V
Paul Savage, United Space Alliance - Nominated by Region VI
Paul Savage, United Space Alliance -
Nominated by Region VI
Jimmy Jacquez, Morton Salt - Nominated by Region VIII
Jimmy Jacquez, Morton Salt -
Nominated by Region VIII
 
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas - Nominated by Region IX
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas -
Nominated by Region IX

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2006 National SGE of the Year Award

Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presenting SGE award to Brian Bennett
Former-Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., presenting SGE award to Brian Bennett
 

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. at the 2006 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.


Winner: Brian Bennett, Basell USA, Inc.

Winner: Brian Bennett, Basell USA, Inc. Brian Bennett is the corporate safety and health manager for Basell USA, Inc., Edison, New Jersey. Brian is a true VPP Champion who has been instrumental in many sites successfully achieving VPP status.

Brian has been an active Special Government Employee in Region 2 since 1998, assisting in more than 20 on-site evaluations. He has participated on six (6) on-site evaluations in 2005 alone auditing various worksites including electric power generation, silicone manufacturing and an OSHA Area Office. Brian is noted for his extensive knowledge and technical expertise in safety and health arena and is often called to serve in a variety of capacities, such as, Industrial Hygienist, Safety Specialist, Process Safety Management Specialist or emergency responder.

Brian has co-instructed the SGE 3-day training course along with several other OSHA courses and has contributed developed and formed two OSHA Alliances (Hispanic Outreach and Chemistry Council of New Jersey). Brian currently serves as the Chairman for the Region 2 Chapter of the Voluntary Protection Program Participants' Association (VPPPA).

FINALISTS:

Joel Plante, Pratt & Whitney - Nominated by Region I
Joel Plante, Pratt & Whitney - Nominated by Region I
Jeff Wetzel, Rohm & Haas Powder Coatings - Nominated by Region III
Jeff Wetzel, Rohm & Haas Powder Coatings - Nominated by Region III
Durwood "Sonny" Weeks, Arkema, Inc. - Nominated by Region IV
Durwood "Sonny" Weeks, Arkema, Inc. - Nominated by Region IV
 
Ron Mauermann, Georgia Pacific - Nominated by Region V
Ron Mauermann, Georgia Pacific - Nominated by Region V
Charles Gibson, United Space Alliance - Nominated by Region VI
Charles Gibson, United Space Alliance - Nominated by Region VI
Mike Pendergrass, Superior Industries - Nominated by Region VII
Mike Pendergrass, Superior Industries - Nominated by Region VII
 
Kelli Heflin, Scott's Liquid Gold - Nominated by Region VIII
Kelli Heflin, Scott's Liquid Gold - Nominated by Region VIII
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas - Nominated by Region IX
Robert Hafner, Rohm & Haas - Nominated by Region IX
Bonnie Anderson, CH2M-WG Idaho, LLC - Nominated by Region X
Bonnie Anderson, CH2M-WG Idaho, LLC - Nominated by Region X

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2005 National SGE of the Year Award

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) National Special Government Employee (SGE) Award recognizes an SGE who epitomizes and exhibits exceptional support, time, effort, and action in VPP, setting him/her apart from other SGEs. The person selected is actively involved in volunteer activities that benefit the VPP and its stakeholders, and demonstrates outstanding commitment to the partnership ideals of the VPP. The first annual SGE of the Year was awarded by Deputy Assistant Secretary Jonathan Snare at the 2005 National Conference of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). The award will be given on an annual basis.

The following profiles are based on information provided by OSHA's Regional Offices in their award nominations.

Former-Deputy Assistant Secretary, Jonathan Snare presenting SGE Award to Kerry D. Fischman
Former-Deputy Assistant Secretary, Jonathan Snare presenting SGE Award to Kerry D. Fischman
Kerry D. Fischman

WINNER:
Kerry D. Fischman

Nominated by Region V

Kerry Fischman is the corporate VPP Manager of Georgia-Pacific-North. Within the company, he is a full-time VPP Champion who has been instrumental in at least ten Georgia-Pacific sites successfully achieving VPP status.

Kerry has been an active Special Government Employee in Region V since 2000, assisting in more than five on-site evaluations. He is noted for his extensive VPP knowledge and technical expertise. He is a regular participant of National and Regional VPPPA conferences and is active on the VPPPA National Board as a member of the VPPPA's Mentoring, Legislature, and Regulatory Committees.

Kerry has volunteered his services to OSHA's Training Institute (OTI) in Arlington Heights, IL, providing technical and management assistance associated with preparing for VPP application and approval.

Former VPPPA Chairperson, and Georgia-Pacific Vice President Corporate Safety June S. Brothers spoke about him as follows:

"Kerry Fischman has been invaluable in helping sites within Georgia-Pacific Corporation to strengthen their safety and health management systems to qualify for VPP. His work contributed greatly to Georgia-Pacific Corporation becoming the first company to be approved by OSHA as a participant in the VPP Corporate Pilot Program. But his devotion to improving worker safety and health through partnership programs does not stop with Georgia-Pacific. Through his outreach, mentoring and SGE activities, he helps VPP grow in other companies and other industries."

FINALISTS:

Greg Arbise

Greg Arbise

Nominated by Region IV

Greg Arbise is the Safety and Environmental Coordinator for the Component Maintenance division of Delta Air Lines. Greg has been an active SGE since 2003. According to Susan Sikes, Region IV VPP Manager, he has been a great asset to VPP in the past year, participating on four on-site evaluations and spending a total of 16 days of his time helping VPP as a Special Government Employee.

In addition, Greg made several VPP presentations to prospective VPP applicants and made a presentation at the last Georgia Safety, Health and Environmental Conference. His session was attended by over 75 people. He also served as a mentor to a prospective applicant

Greg's efforts in the past year have greatly enhanced Region IV's VPP and have been of tremendous assistance to other VPP member employers.

Don Jones

Don Jones

Nominated by Region VI

Don Jones, an Engineer and Safety & Health Professional, is a Regulatory Expertise Leader for Dow Chemical Company. Don was one of the first individuals to qualify as an SGE. Over the years, he has participated in numerous VPP on-site evaluations, and continues to participate in at least a couple of evaluations each year.

As a mentor, he recruited into the VPP program a number of sites both inside and outside of Dow Chemical Company. Several of the Dow Chemical Company sites that he mentored qualified for VPP status. Dow Chemical Company has seen 33% fewer OSHA recordables at the corporation's VPP sites, as compared to its non-VPP sites.

Don also assisted the government of Ireland's Health and Safety Authority to establish their VPP program, leading a team that assessed a chemical plant in Cork, Ireland.

Don served as a member of the Region VI VPPPA Board as both Treasurer and Chairman and currently serves as the Region VI VPPPA Government Affairs Committee Chair. From 2000-2002, he was a member of the National VPPPA Board and still is actively involved, serving as a member of the Bylaws and Legislative/Regulatory Committees.

Don also served as a member of the team that helped OSHA develop the VPP Corporate Pilot, and he helped convince Dow Chemical to volunteer and make a commitment to participate in the pilot.

Don also contributed his skills as an instructor and presenter for various workshops and sessions nationwide.

Paul Kniskern

Paul Kniskern

Nominated by Region II

Paul Kniskern is the Loss Control Director at Curtis Lumber.

In 2004, he participated on two VPP on-site evaluations as a Special Government Employee.

In addition to his SGE duties, he served on the OSHA Challenge development committee. He currently serves as an administrator in the OSHA Challenge Pilot Program. He oversees seven coordinators and is mentoring 26 companies participating in OSHA Challenge across the mid-Atlantic Region.

Paul currently serves on the VPPPA Region II Board of Directors as a Director at Large. He also serves as the Region's Upstate Mentoring Coordinator and National Mentoring Board Representative.

Paul is an active trainer and instructor. He has developed materials for and administered Region II's Application Workshop. He also has been responsible for various Region II Conference classes including: VPPPA/OSHA Outreach, Tools & Programs, and Fleet Safety Programs. He recently presented a course to 38 participants at the OSHA Training Institute.

He is the Executive Board Member of two Regional VPP Safety Groups: Capital Region Safety and Health Council and Adirondack Safety and Health Council.

Mike Pendergrass

Mike Pendergrass

Nominated by Region VII

Mike Pendergrass is the Corporate Safety Director for Superior Industries, Inc. Since 2000, he has participated in eight audits as an SGE.

In his current position, he mandates that each of his site safety managers become an SGE and conduct at least two SGE audits with OSHA each year. He made this part of their annual performance appraisal and part of their job descriptions. For the year 2004, Superior Industries, Inc. contributed 11 SGE's for VPP audits and also mentored 12 sites.

Under his direction, five of Superior Industries' seven facilities have achieved STAR status, including three during 2004.

He participated in the SGE Workgroup in Washington, D.C. He is actively involved in the Department of Labor's efforts to qualify for VPP, serving as a mentor for Region VII OASAM. He also serves as a mentor for the Fort Riley Army Base in Kansas, assisting them in their VPP endeavor under the Army/OSHA Partnership.

Joel Plante

Joel Plante

Nominated by Region I

Joel Plante is Safety Engineer for Pratt & Whitney, North Berwick, Maine, and is the Chair of Region I VPPPA. He has been an SGE since 2003, joining the program not long after his facility became one of the Region's first Star sites.

According to Region I, Joel embodies the very principles of VPP and has an unsurpassed level of commitment to the program. His stewardship in the VPPPA has resulted in the recruitment and retention of more than 25 sites in Region I. His participation in the SGE program began in 2000.

In 2004, he served as an SGE on two initial VPP on-site evaluations, one of which was the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the largest VPP on-site evaluation of 2004. He also successfully mentored more than 20 sites in Region I during 2004. He assisted OSHA Region I and the Vermont Dept. of Labor and Industry in the development and administration of the 2004 Vermont VPPPA Application Workshop. This effort resulted in the approval of our first two VPP sites in the State of Vermont.

His experiences in training are also extensive. First, he co-taught two VPP 101 courses; both resulted in the instruction of more than 24 potential VPP sites. Also, he co-instructed and organized the 2004 Region I SGE course. He also co-instructed OSHA Region I's Machine Guarding Course at his facility.

As a licensed electrician, he was an invaluable regional resource during OSHA's adoption of NFPA standard 70 E. Also, as a volunteer firefighter and previous instructor at the NH fire academy, he developed an expertise in hazardous materials handling and management that is infused into the Region I VPP.
 

Paul Snyder

Paul Snyder

Nominated by Region III

Paul Snyder is the Director of Safety and Industrial Hygiene Systems, Global Environmental, Health and Safety for the Rohm & Haas Corporation.

He has always supported a systems approach to safety and first submitted a VPP application to OSHA's Regional Office for the Rohm & Haas Philadelphia Plant in 1988. Under his leadership, the site became the first VPP site in Region III, qualifying for Star status in 1992. He has mentored Rohm & Haas sites throughout the country, and the company now has 12 sites benefiting from VPP Star recognition.

Paul is a charter member of the VPPPA, where he helped to start the Region III VPPPA Chapter in 1997 and has served as its Secretary, Treasurer, and currently as a Director. He has mentored many other companies in Pennsylvania and Delaware, encouraging them to become VPP participants. He has participated in more than a dozen VPP Application training classes, conducted VPP outreach activities with OSHA, and frequently hosted VPPPA Board meetings at the corporate site in Bristol, PA. Additionally, he has hosted at least four SGE training classes in Pennsylvania and in Texas, where he also participated as a class instructor.

He was sworn in as an OSHA SGE in 2003 and participated on 2 VPP evaluations in 2004 in Region III. As a corporate safety director, he has encouraged his sites to support VPP SGE participation. Under his direction, Rohm & Haas in Region III has contributed a number of employees to the SGE Program.