Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
News ReleaseMay 25, 2006
Photo credit: Bonnie Strawser
Bruce Creef is a true professional and dedicated to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Refuge System. As recipient of the first-ever Southeast Region Wage Grade Employee of the Year Award, he sets a lofty standard to which future recipients will aspire.
Local Refuge Maintenance Supervisor Wins Regional Award
Joseph Bruce Creef, Maintenance Supervisor for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges, received the first-ever Southeast Region Wage Grade Employee of the Year Award in Atlanta last week. The award was presented by USFWS Regional Director, Sam Hamilton who commented, "Bruce’s leadership and influence on wage grade issues has made him widely known and highly respected in the Fish and Wildlife Service. He is a true professional and dedicated to the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Refuge System. As the first recipient of this award, he sets a lofty standard to which future recipients will aspire."
He added, "Bruce Creef has been an outstanding employee throughout his 34-year career. In 2005, exceeding all expectations during a difficult and demanding year at Alligator River and Pea Island Refuges, Bruce summoned his experience, knowledge, and common sense to ensure the maintenance of these Refuges to his exacting standards. Bruce demonstrated dedication to the resource on a daily basis. His maintenance staff was reduced by 60 percent over the past two fiscal years, impacting the operation and viability of the extensive Refuge infrastructure, including more than 150 miles of roads, five impoundments, three farming units, four pump stations, nineteen buildings, more than 50 vehicles, construction equipment, agricultural equipment, and a variety of watercraft. Using skill mixed with plain hard work, Bruce motivated the maintenance crew, fire crew, and management staff to work together. He made tough decisions to prioritize maintenance activities to complete the highest priorities of impoundments, dikes, water-control structures, pump stations, roads, and public-use facilities. His enthusiasm for accomplishment was contagious and buoyed the entire staff during a very challenging year."
Local refuge staff were not surprised by the award. Bonnie Strawser, Interpretive Specialist who has worked with Creef for 26+ years said, "When I heard our station was nominating Bruce Creef, there was no doubt in my mind that he would win. In my mind, he was a shoe-in. His official nomination outlines all his extraordinary work in maintenance organization, planning of the Maintenance Workshops, his pace-setting in heavy equipment training, and his many and varied successes on and for refuges. And, those are all wonderful accomplishments. Bruce loves the refuges, and he loves the resource. But, he offers a love of and servanthood toward his fellow man that is rivaled by no one else I've ever known. He's honest and hard-working to a fault. Bruce has always been a solid link between our refuges and this community, and I'm proud to say I've worked with him!"