Federal Executive Boards Leadership Winners Back to PSRW home Federal Executive Boards Leadership Winners Each year during PSRW, Federal Executive Boards recognize high-performing Federal employees in their local communities and highlight innovative efforts that advance the missions of Federal agencies. Participating FEBs received nominations from local agencies, that were reviewed by leadership panels using criteria for a variety of categories, such as: Leadership, Customer Service, Community Service, Diversity and Inclusion, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement, Distinguished Military/Military Support, Extraordinary Contributions in the Accomplishment of Agency Mission, Administrative Support, and Law Enforcement. This year, we are highlighting the Leadership Category award winners that is open to all individual, civilian and military federal employees regardless of job title, grade, or rank. The criteria for the award is that Leadership was exemplified by the employee who, regardless of position, demonstrates the character and ability to influence and motivate others in accomplishing a major program and/or change that resulted in substantial contributions to improving service to the public. Nominees should exhibit high levels of integrity, inspire trust, and exemplify dedication to public service. Nominees should serve as role models for both inspiration and generating results. Accomplishments might include areas such as: empowering employees, mentoring and developing others, promoting creativity; facilitating collaboration; and building diversity. This year’s Leadership category winners span nine FEBs from across the country and are highlighted below. CDR Kristen Hahn U.S. Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Coast Guard/District 14, Sector Honolulu City: Honolulu, HIFEB Location: Honolulu-Pacific Federal Executive Board CDR Kristen Hahn, Sector Honolulu Response Department Head, exemplifies the attributes of a Coast Guard officer. She is an inspirational leader who leads 250 people across six sub-units and two divisions who volunteered monthly to provide professional development training to junior officers at the unit and mentor members Coast Guard-wide. Most notably and of utmost impact, as a Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator at Sector Honolulu, she executed 219 cases, saving/assisting 224 lives and $105M in property. She directly supported the White House Indo-Pacific strategy through deployment of three cutters that reduced the threat of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and increased US partnerships with Pacific Island Nations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Susan Labman General Services Administration, Mid-Atlantic Region City: Philadelphia, PAFEB Location: Philadelphia Federal Executive Board Susan Labman is the Deputy Regional Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service, Mid-Atlantic Region. From August 2022 to March 2023, she successfully served as the Acting Regional Commissioner overseeing a geographic federal market that spends $6+ billion per year via General Services Administration contracts while continually demonstrating unparalleled leadership qualities. She creates judgment-free zones and meaningful connections with employees all while driving results. Sue has innovatively transitioned her approachable leadership style to meet the needs of today’s virtual workforce by starting “What’s new with you?”, regular 15-minute calendar spots for employees at all levels to meet for an informal discussion on a topic of their choice, and “Coffee and Kudos”, quarterly celebrations of success in an informal virtual setting. Cynthia Morales United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development City: St. Paul, MN FEB Location: Minnesota Federal Executive Board Cynthia Morales is a very effective leader, mentor and communicator. Throughout 2022 she held three key leadership positions for Minnesota USDA Rural Development, serving as State Associate Enterprise Director, Deputy State Director, Acting State Director, and held more than one position concurrently. Cynthia is actively involved in all state leadership, administrative, and human resource actions. Additionally, Cynthia was instrumental in establishing a Director Leadership Training Program and coordinating an all-staff policy meeting. Cynthia demonstrates many key leadership skills, including establishment of a collaborative culture for the Minnesota Rural Development team. Cynthia excels at informing the team and engaging on various administrative and technical aspects pertaining to the efficient delivery of fifty plus agency programs and initiatives. Sonia Pendergrass Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency City: Kansas City, MOFEB Location: Kansas City Federal Executive Board Sonia Pendergrass is a Special Agent with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency’s Kansas City Field Office where she works in the personnel security investigations program, commonly referred to as background investigations. Sonia has regularly sought to take on many active roles locally to better support her colleagues and DCSA’s mission. She has worked tirelessly to be a voice for her peers in bringing recommendations to senior program leaders, empowering others, and promoting change that benefits not only DCSA operations, but also better serves customer agencies and others involved in the Federal Government’s personnel vetting mission. She has been integral in regional efforts towards outreach to external stakeholders, and seeking solutions to problems that impact the program. Heriberto Tellez Bureau of Prisons, Department of Justice City: Three Rivers, TXFEB Location: San Antonio “Alamo” Federal Executive Board Mr. Heriberto Tellez provides daily leadership of 21 prisons in the region, including four complexes with penitentiaries, two medical clinics, a detention center, and the federal transfer center. In addition to having custody of almost 26,000 inmates, he is also responsible for managing over 5,400 staff members. Mr. Tellez streamlined the First Step Act program which allows incarcerated individuals an opportunity for reduced sentencing. He also emphasized the importance of infrastructure funding to properly maintain Federal Correctional Institution Three Rivers and ensured the workplace is well suited for staff and the inmate population. Mr. Tellez’s dedication to staff ensures the Chief Executive Officer of each institution has the resources to properly run safety and security of their institution. Donald (“Don”) Haley United States Department of Agriculture City: Pittsburgh, PAFEB Location: Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board Linda Reed and Don Haley exemplify Leadership Excellence through their day-to-day roles at their agencies, active participation on the Board of the Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board, and passionate support of the Combined Federal Campaign. They value the importance of connection and collaboration, learning and growing, going above and beyond the call of duty, personal responsibility, and inclusion which reflects in their noteworthy accomplishments. Their energy and resilience are contagious, and they successfully deliver excellence in any engagement. Linda and Don continue to improve conditions of others on the job and in the wider community. Under their leadership, Zone 29 Local Federal Coordinating Committee was the second-best in the nation for funding and the fourth best for donor retention and engagement. Linda Reed Internal Revenue Service City: Pittsburgh, PAFEB Location: Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board Linda Reed and Don Haley exemplify Leadership Excellence through their day-to-day roles at their agencies, active participation on the Board of the Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board, and passionate support of the Combined Federal Campaign. They value the importance of connection and collaboration, learning and growing, going above and beyond the call of duty, personal responsibility, and inclusion which reflects in their noteworthy accomplishments. Their energy and resilience are contagious, and they successfully deliver excellence in any engagement. Linda and Don continue to improve conditions of others on the job and in the wider community. Under their leadership, Zone 29 Local Federal Coordinating Committee was the second-best in the nation for funding and the fourth best for donor retention and engagement. LCDR Steven Michael Galvez Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration City: Fresno, CAFEB Location: San Francisco LCDR Steven Galvez deployed to an emergency intake site to oversee the Unaccompanied Minor mission for the Office of Refugee Resettled in the Administration for Children and Families. On his first day, he filled the vacant Operations Section Chief position. His accomplishments included coordinating 30 staff from federal agencies, private security firms, and case managers. He demobilized the site three days early, saving the taxpayers an estimated $4.3 million. His accomplishments impacted the lives of 1,528 Latino children and their families. He authored an after-action report which the agency now adopts as the standard for future missions focused on unifying unaccompanied minors. LCDR Galvez sets the bar through his commitment to the agency’s mission and empathetic oversight of vulnerable children. Lisa McArthur Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 City: Seattle, WAFEB Location: Seattle Federal Executive Board Lisa McArthur is a passionate advocate for responding to climate change. She built an EPA Region 10 Climate Change team focused on developing tools to address climate change at facilities that manage solid and hazardous waste. With Lisa’s leadership, her team developed a real-time map that allows site managers to incorporate Environmental Justice and Climate Change into decision making. Lisa also facilitated integration of climate change into hazardous waste management decision-making at the national level. She was recently chosen for an assignment in EPA Headquarters to continue this effort. Lisa actively supports the Region 10 LGBTQ+ group, consistently utilizes practices that address unconscious bias in the selection process, and mentors a new manager from an underrepresented group. Commander Amy Whisler Indian Health Services City: Warm Springs, OregonFEB Location: Oregon Federal Executive Board As a clinical pharmacist with the Indian Health Service at the Warm Springs Unit, Commander Amy Whisler distinguished herself as the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Program Coordinator. Commander Whisler’s leadership helped decrease the morbidity and mortality of the American Indian and Alaska Native population. She wrote vaccine policy and procedures that were recognized as national resources, trained providers, set up the clinic’s Vaccine Administration Management System, and coordinated vaccine clinics. Commander Whisler often traveled between 100-400 miles to pickup vaccines, provided medication to save the lives of patients, and helped the community achieve a vaccination rate of > 80% for patients older than 50. Through her unselfish dedication, Commander Whisler was a leader and a healer during a national crisis.