Denali Peak Performance Award Winners 2012
Commissioner Hartig Congratulates DEC 2012 Denali Award Winner and Honorable Mentions
For the second year in a row, DEC has a winner in the Governor's Peak Performance Award program. Kent Thomas, of the Division of Air Quality, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Exceptional Performance Award. We also celebrate the Honorable Mention of the Nome Winter Fuel Delivery Team in the Exceptional Performance Team category. You can read about Kent and the team in the words of their nominators below. Please join me in congratulating our honorees and thank you all for your service to the State of Alaska.
Click here to view a list of all DEC nominations and their contributions in excerpts from their nominations.
~Commissioner Larry Hartig
Kent Thomas, Air Quality: Exceptional Performance Individual Award Winner
The Air Non-Point and Mobile Sources Program regulates mobile and area sources of air contaminants. Kent Thomas, an Analyst Programmer in this program, deserves the Denali Exceptional Performance Award because of his pivotal role in developing DEC's Air Online Services (AOS), an interactive internet site designed for the public with functions that save many hours of staff time. During his career, Kent has developed two complex Air Quality data systems, IMTools and AirTools, resulting in substantial savings to the state and its citizens. His skill and inspiration in developing and implementing AOS mark yet another achievement and contribution to the state. Kent's efforts truly reflect the criteria for this award: productivity, problem solving, creativity and prioritizing objectives
The web application includes five categories: air alerts and information sign up; air permits, approval, and public notices; air quality advisories; air quality complaints; and point source emission inventory. As lead software developer, Kent provided leadership and guidance to new staff that assisted with developing aspects of the system. Not only was AOS developed within a short period, but the timing allowed the Division to convert its website to the state's new aesthetic standard many months ahead of deadlines.
Kent's approach to AOS demonstrates his aptitude at problem solving, unique creativity and ability to prioritize objectives. He generated innovative solutions to various problems in order to maximize the benefits of AOS to the public and the Division. The result was money savings, staff time savings, ease of use and lasting benefits into the future.
Nome Winter Fuel Delivery Team, SPAR: Exceptional Performance Team Honorable Mention
(Betty Schorr, John Kotula, Martin Farris, Samantha Smith, Tom DeRuyter, John Ebel, Paul Lhotka, Leah Durocher, Vince Kelly, and John Engles)
An unprecedented winter marine fuel delivery to Nome highlights the expertise and commitment of a DEC Spill Prevention and Response team. The event garnered international attention as the DEC team worked quickly and competently to negotiate extraordinary circumstances to protect Alaska's environment. When Nome missed one of its scheduled open water deliveries followed with a severe November storm, the wheels were set in motion to arrange for a winter fuel delivery. Vitus Marine, the fuel company, secured the Renda, a Russian ice-strengthened tanker to deliver through the ice to Nome. A waiver to the Jones Act was required. The USCG made the cutter Healy available to break ice for the Renda.
For DEC this involved the expedited review of a modification to the Vitus Marine Oil Discharge and Contingency Plan. Then, once the vessels arrived in Nome, the operation required over a mile of hose to transfer the fuel from the Renda over the frozen sea to the community. Members of the DEC team traveled to Nome to monitor the transfer and to assure maximum protection of the environment through preparedness and spill prevention. This field response coupled with the expedited review combined to make this fuel delivery a safe success story and is a shining example of service to the people of Alaska. As a footnote, Senator Donny Olson recognized DEC's tremendously coordinated effort during a legislative floor speech at the start of the 2012 session.