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NASA Goddard SAVE Award Winner Meets President Obama
01.10.12
 
The President and the SAVE Recipient President Barack Obama talks with Matthew Ritsko, the winner of the 2011 Presidential Securing Americans' Value and Efficiency (SAVE) award, in the Oval Office, Jan. 9, 2012. Ritsko, a financial manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, proposed the space agency create a "lending library" where specialized space tools and hardware purchased by one NASA organization will be made available to other NASA programs and projects. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
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The 2011 winner of the White House SAVE award, Matthew Ritsko of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., accepted his award yesterday from President Obama.

On Jan. 9, 2012, Ritsko met the president in the Oval Office after winning the Presidential Securing Americans' Value and Efficiency (SAVE) award, which gives front-line federal workers the chance to submit their ideas on how their agencies can save money and work more efficiently.

"Spending time with the president was a unique experience," said Matthew W. Ritsko, Financial Manager at NASA Goddard. "President Obama was very welcoming and easy to talk with. It will be a highlight of my career that I will always remember."

Ritsko's idea calls for NASA to create a "lending library" where specialized space tools and hardware purchased by one NASA organization will be made available to other NASA programs and projects. It was selected out of 20,000 ideas submitted.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, "The NASA family comprises some of the most innovative and creative people in government, and we're pleased that Matthew's simple idea can help our nation's space program be more efficient and get more bang for the taxpayer's buck. I congratulate Matthew and all the NASA employees who submitted SAVE ideas. Keep them coming! We are always open to the fresh insights of NASA employees in every capacity across the nation. You're helping us reach for new destinations and making it easier to meet the big challenges we are privileged to tackle for the nation."

Ritsko said, "I think the SAVE Award is a great opportunity to stress that Federal Employees everywhere are try to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We are always striving to find ways to be more efficient and effective."

For more information about the SAVE Award, visit: www.whitehouse.gov/save-award

For the original NASA story on Ritsko's win, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/people/features/ritsko-save.html