Midwest Region


Outstanding Skills in Closing the Deal

Upper Mississippi River. Photo by Gary J. Wege/USFWS
Upper Mississippi River Photo by Gary J. Wege/USFWS

Lois Lawson’s "outstanding skills, positive 'can do' attitude, responsiveness and a true sense of customer service" helped her win the 2010 Rudolph Dieffenbach Award. Lawson is a senior realty specialist in the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The national award is given annually to an employee who exhibits outstanding accomplishments in the field of land acquisition.

Lawson’s skills were particularly important during acquisition of portions of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (MN, IL, IA, WI).  She has been praised for her "calming voice and the ability to work around numerous barriers that ordinarily would derail a transaction for years." Jim Nissen, La Crosse district manager for the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, says Lawson "always seems to find a way to make the system work for both sellers and the Service." Since she began working with the refuge in 2002, she has acquired 13 tracts of land totaling nearly 1,200 acres.

The award honors Rudolph Dieffenbach, who was the first to begin acquiring land for the Upper Mississippi River Refuge in 1925. He was responsible for organizing and directing the appraisal and acquisition of lands for 272 national wildlife refuges during a federal career that lasted more than 44 years.


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Last updated: June 15, 2016