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Southeast Regional Director Cindy Dohner stands between Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius (left), and agency Director Dan Ashe (right). Photo by Tom MacKenzie, USFWS.

Department of the Interior honors Fish and Wildlife Service employees at 66th awards convocation ceremony

Two Southeastern employees among recipients

During a special awards ceremony this month in Washington, DC, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar cited the safety efforts of the Service’s heavy equipment operators and the career accomplishments of one member of senior management, Cynthia Dohner, Deputy Regional Director of the Southeast Region headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mrs. Dohner was honored with the Department’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award and cited for her long-standing dedication to public service leading to outstanding national accomplishments in the field of wildlife conservation. Most recently, she was instrumental in efforts to secure water allocations for endangered mussels in the Southeast and has been involved in a number of major accomplishments regarding endangered species. She was presented the award during a special ceremony last December.

“Cindy is my strong right hand,” says Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. “Her ideas, energy, and commitment have helped shape the Service’s future, especially in the areas of workforce planning, strategic habitat conservation initiatives, and emergency preparedness.”

As Deputy Regional Director of the Southeast Region, Ms. Dohner helps oversee the work of more than 1,300 employees in 10 southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. She assisted in the development of a ground-breaking carbon sequestration program, and oversaw the creation of agreements with corporations leading to the restoration of 100,000 acres of wildlife. Ms. Dohner also championed the family-friendly workplace, overseeing implementation of flexible schedules and telework. In addition, she established a Regional Mentoring Program and personally mentors Service leaders of tomorrow through two Service leadership programs.

A heavy equipment program manager and the regional heavy equipment coordinators also were honored with awards.

Steve Flanders, the Service’s heavy equipment program manager received the Award of Merit, the Department of the Interior’s most prestigious safety award for his outstanding leadership and contributions to heavy equipment safety. His efforts include development of a successful training program and comprehensive written safety policies.

According to Acting Service Director Rowan Gould, “In terms of managing habitat for wildlife, we too often forget the major role played by heavy equipment operators and their work in adapting lands so they are more suited to wildlife. This includes moving earth and altering water regimes and any other number of heavy construction efforts on behalf of wildlife and waterfowl.

Stan Zazado, the Southeast Region’s heavy equipment coordinator, was honored, along with his peers from other Service regions, with a Departmental group award, the Organizational Achievement Award. This award recognizes contributions to safety and prevention of injuries and losses. Stan is based at the Service’s Southeast Regional headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Stan’s knowledge and dedication to the heavy equipment program has resulted in the increased safety of our employees throughout the Region,” said Hamilton.

Other heavy equipment coordinators receiving the Organizational Achievement Award include:. Pat Hickey, Regions 1 and 8, Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA; Ed Bass, Region 2, Albuquerque, NM; Dale Pittman, Region 3, Minneapolis, MN; Charles Glock, Region 5, Hadley, MA; Wade Briggs, Region 6, Denver, CO; and Thomas Siekaniec, Region 7, Anchorage, AK.

Jim Chandler, the Service’s regional Safety Manger in Denver, Colorado, also received the Organization Achievement Award for his involvement in the development of a training course for the investigation of serious accidents he developed along with safety personnel from other governmental agencies.


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