Welcome Remarks for the Archivist’s Awards Ceremony
Welcome to the 21st annual Archivist’s Awards Ceremony!
I hope you are all staying safe and healthy.
Our ceremony is virtual once again this year. I truly hope we will be able to meet in person in the near future.
Lots of great work has been done in the last year under these unprecedented circumstances. We are here today to celebrate those achievements.
I look forward to this ceremony every year. It gives me the chance to highlight your accomplishments, sing your praises, and more importantly, the opportunity to say thank you. Amazing work happens at this agency every single day. And I am so proud of what you do each and every day.
This past year, we provided our employees with NARA-issued laptops to build a modern and engaged workforce; we implemented cutting-edge strategies to improve business processes and make better use of technology; we creatively commemorated the centennial of the 19th Amendment during a pandemic; we launched the next-generation finding aid to enhance access to photographs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; we responded to the National Personnel Records Center’s most urgent requests during the pandemic; we created the innovative Digital Delivery Process; we supported the joint NARA/Veterans Affairs Blue Water Navy Deck Log Digitization Project; and most importantly we maintained NARA operations during a global pandemic. And we came together and supported each other while working from home.
I would like to thank our staff who volunteered to come back to provide mission critical services––a testament to the passion which NARA staff brings to our mission. Many of the services we provide to other agencies, veterans, and the public can only be accomplished on-site. The dedication of all NARA staff has allowed us to continue to provide access to Federal Government records throughout this pandemic.
We had 73 nominations for awards this year. Today, we get the chance to recognize our colleagues who dedicate their time and talents to make the National Archives a great place to work. We acknowledge colleagues who went above and beyond expectations and succeeded in ways not intended.
I would like to recognize with special pride those NARA employees who are currently serving or have served on active duty as members of the Armed Forces during the past year. Thank you to:
Derrick Burrous, Army Reserves;
Erica Costello, Army;
Benjamin Davis, Army National Guard;
Michael Davis, Jr., Army National Guard;
Warren Doby, Air Force National Guard;
Darrah Fielder, Army Reserves;
Shane Frost, Navy Reserves;
Jacob Haywood, Army National Guard;
Robert Herbert, Army;
Kinata Jones, Army;
Kimberly Keravuori, Army Reserves;
Shane McCuen, Army;
Max Miller, Air Force;
Alec Pallardy, Army National Guard;
Joseph Penaranda, Air Force Reserves;
Jordan Saddler, Army National Guard;
Shaun Sellers, Army;
John Simms, Air Force Reserves;
William Stevens, Jr., Army Reserves;
Corey Stevenson, Army Reserves;
Demetrios Tasheuras, Navy;
Catherine Nolan Taylor, Air Force;
Michael Wharrie, Army;
and Wilson Yu, Army Reserves.
Thank you all for your service.
Before I conclude, I would like to take a moment to remember our colleagues who passed away this past year: Allen Anderson, Jr., Donald Doheny, Jr., Freddie Freeman, Aisha Lavender, Shelia Mayo, and Brian Smith. Let’s acknowledge their lasting contributions to the work of the National Archives.
Thank you for your passion and commitment and for your service today and every day. I look forward to seeing you soon. But until then, take care of yourselves and each other.