Five honorees reflect on the power of the Sammies
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Five honorees reflect on the power of the Sammies

January 3, 2022 | Updated on January 8, 2024

Public servants work tirelessly on behalf of the people of this country, and the more than 660 honorees of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals® are some of the best employees our federal workforce has to offer. The Sammies program spotlights their significant contributions to the health, safety and security of our nation. Here, five Sammies honorees from over the years reflect on what the recognition from federal leadership, media, celebrities and the public has meant to them:

Rory Cooper
Department of Veterans Affairs
2017 Science and Environment Winner

“The Sammies have had a tremendous benefit on my career, bringing recognition to the wonderful work that our federal employees do, and to those of us who serve veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Read his full Sammies profile.

Sara Meyers
Department of Housing and Urban Development
2014 Emerging Leader Winner

“For me, winning a Sammie was truly a thrill. An absolutely unforgettable moment in my career. It validated what I already knew, but in this hugely public way—that there is real dignity in public service and that each of us in our individual daily toils can and does make an outside impact on the world. It caused me to redouble my commitment to a career in public service.”

Read her full profile.

Jacob Moss
Environmental Protection Agency
2015 Science and Environment Winner

“Winning was a great honor, of course, and I was very appreciative of how it brought greater attention to the work I was recognized for. The thing I appreciated most at the time, and now, was the chance to meet so many amazing people across the government, people I never would have otherwise met.”

Read his full profile.

Matthew Nims
U.S. Agency for International Development
2018 Safety, Security and International Affairs Finalist

“This was an important thing in USAID and was incredibly rewarding for the team. It brought us together—just the fact that we were nominated. It was a time when we could recognize our efforts internally, but also have a greater audience within the federal government and outside recognize some of the wonderful things we’ve been working on for a long time. The ceremony and coming together and sharing that with other government people was something we still talk about and remember to this day.”

Read the full profile of Matt Nims and the Food for Peace Team.

Nora Volkow
National Institutes of Health
2013 Science and Environment Finalist

“It’s an absolute honor and privilege to have been nominated for a Sammies award. We’re very privileged to work for the government and towards a mission that helps so many people. And to be recognized for the quality of that work and the impact is meaningful. I cannot be thankful enough for the opportunity to be a government official fighting the fight against substance abuse disorders, but also on top of that, being recognized for it.”

Read her full profile.

The Sammies program offers an amazing opportunity to recognize federal employees for their work and highlight the accomplishments of so many deserving public servants.

If you know incredible individuals or teams in government, nominate them for the 2022 Sammies by Jan. 14, 2022.

Find more information, and stories of all Sammies honorees, on the Partnership website.

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