The Department of Commerce General Counsel Distinguished Employee Awards – 2008

The Department of Commerce General Counsel's office recently recognized eight individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the agency.

picture of award winners

Front row: Jane Chalmers, Roxie Allison, Gina Deliz, Lily Claffee, Tom Street, Paul Barker.
Back row: Glenn Tallia, Jeff Dillen, Joel LaBissonniere, Mary Beth Ward.
Not available: Shepherd Grimes, Lisa Lindeman, M.E. Rolle, and Julie William

Roxie K. Allison (GCW) is being recognized for her key role in the development of the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Over the last four years, Ms. Allison has served as the legal advisor to the NOAA team, resolving numerous legal challenges associated with the establishment of the Hall, and keeping the project on track for its October 2008 opening. In a very short period of time, the Ocean Hall has become a highlight of the Museum, receiving both national and international accolades.

Paul Barker (GCHQ) is being recognized for his valuable role in improving NOAA GC's execution of its $20 million budget, including strengthening relations with the NOAA Budget Office, securing additional technical support for NOAA GC' budget analyst, and instituting a management calendar with specific deadlines for headquarters and field offices to keep budget execution and formulation on target.

Jeannette (Gina) Deliz (GCSE) is being recognized for her exceptional service to NOAA GC in volunteering to be detailed part time from her office in GCSE to work in GCOS in Silver Spring. She provided essential paralegal and administrative support during a time of critical need at GCOS, while it had pending several complex, high profile appeals to the Secretary under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Shepherd Grimes (GCSE) is being recognized for exceptional work in establishing nationwide import restrictions on a critical fishery resource, requiring coordination with several Fishery Management Councils, the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative; and in establishing a sound legal foundation for development of an individual fishing quota program for the Southeast region.

Lisa Lindeman (GCAK) is being recognized for her outstanding leadership and management of GCAK. Ms. Lindeman created new lines of communication with both the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries-Alaska Region staff, through quarterly priority setting meetings with the Region, and pre-meetings with Council Chair and staff to identify and resolve in advance issues likely to arise it upcoming Council meetings. Ms. Lindeman also successfully managed the retirement of a very experienced senior attorney and the selection and training of two new attorneys.

M.E. Rolle (GCNR) is being recognized for her excellent work in developing NOAA's proof of multi-million dollar claims for natural resource damages in a bankruptcy proceeding involving over 100 hazardous waste sites nationwide. Coordinating closely with the Department of Commerce General Counsel's office, Ms. Rolle developed and successfully executed a plan in six short weeks to produce the necessary proofs of claim and preserve NOAA's interest in this matter.

Tom Street (GCOS) is being recognized for his exceptional effort in the organization and successful completion of a large and contentious public hearing in a major appeal to the Secretary under the Coastal Zone Management Act. Mr. Street took the lead in planning this effort, reviewing thousands of requests for a hearing, assisting in development of a "frequently asked questions" document, and most significantly, coordinating with NOAA contracting personnel to develop a strategy for procurement of a facility and resources necessary for a hearing.

Julie Williams (GCNE) is being recognized for her outstanding achievement in coordinating and providing legal advice on a series of controversial, inter-related agency actions subject to court-ordered deadlines, including her work on a gear rule for a sensitive fishery in the Northeast region and a related biological opinion. Julie's organization, attention to detail, and sound legal advice contributed to timely and well-informed decisions and better positions NOAA to defend its actions.