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June 9, 2009

Chris McGee, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Stennis Presents Honor Awards

John C. Stennis Space Center Director Gene Goldman and NASA Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance Bryan O'Connor presented annual NASA Honor Awards during an onsite ceremony June 4.
Six Stennis employees received NASA's Exceptional Service Award. The prestigious medal is awarded for significant sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creative ability that clearly demonstrates substantial improvements or contributions in engineering, aeronautics, space flight, administration, support or space-related endeavors that contribute to NASA's mission.
The 2009 recipients of the Exceptional Service Award were:

  • Robert S. Harris, of Kiln, Miss., deputy procurement officer, serves as a consultant and advisor to the procurement officer in the Office of Procurement. During his career, Harris has served with the Office of Procurement in several capacities. He maintains unlimited monetary contracting officer signature authority and has been involved in numerous key actions. For instance, after the Columbia tragedy in 2003, Harris provided key leadership and managerial expertise to support Return to Flight efforts at Stennis. A recognized contingency contracting expert, he set the agency disaster recovery benchmark with his efforts during Hurricane Katrina recovery. In another first for NASA, Harris also was the procurement lead for the execution of the $128 million Test Operations Contract, the first to combine rocket propulsion test services across two centers.
  • William "Kirk" Miller, of Lacombe, La., center operations deputy director, has made lasting contributions to NASA through various roles within the Center Operations Directorate during the last 19 years. He was a critical member of the Hurricane Katrina recovery team. Previously, as chief of the Program Management division, Miller used his expertise in facility engineering, construction and project management to position the center to receive much–needed facility and project funding. As chair of the Engineering Construction Innovations Committee in 2005, Miller was a catalyst for agency wide support of the Construction Safety Training Initiative. Miller has provided guidance and counsel to new leaders across the organization throughout his tenure.
  • Jon Roth, of Gulfport, Miss., exchange operations manager in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, has made sustained and significant contributions to NASA and Stennis Space Center since his arrival in 1988. During his 20–year tenure, Roth also has served as special assistant to the director and procurement officer. His efforts in these various capacities have been instrumental in improving Stennis operations, as well as the quality of life for all Stennis employees. Roth has been instrumental in developing the annual Stennis Economic Impact Report. His efforts have been a key factor in improving the accuracy and timely release of this important study. Roth's work as Exchange operations manager has been exceptional. His work has resulted in increased revenues to the Exchange for major enhancements in local facilities, such as the Child Development Center, the Wellness Center, expanded banking facilities, expanded visitor center retail facilities and various athletic facilities.
  • Stanley Warren, of Poplarville, Miss., test support operations manager in the Center Operations Directorate, is a 30–year career federal employee with 19 years of service at Stennis Space Center. He is responsible for the oversight of daily maintenance and operation activities at the high–pressure industrial water plant and cryogenic propellant storage facility. He also has extensive duties at the high–pressure gas facility. During his tenure, Warren has resolved various maintenance issues at the facilities through intensive engineering work and adherence to difficult schedules to resolve. These efforts have earned him the admiration of his peers and managers. Throughout his career, Warren has worked with contractor counterparts to establish a team environment and to recognize the work of others.

Two Stennis employees received NASA's Exceptional Achievement Award. The prestigious medal is awarded for significant, specific accomplishment or contribution clearly characterized by a substantial and significant improvement in operations, efficiency, service, financial savings, science or technology that contributes to the mission of NASA.
The 2009 recipients of the Exceptional Achievement Award were:

  • Deborah Norton, of Gulfport, Miss., lead of the Integrated Business Management Team in the Office of the Chief Financial Director, has provided significantly advanced business support to Stennis Space Center as well as the Level II Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office. Her efforts included the utilization and standardization of a business management software package that now integrates and resource loads the Project Directorate's operating plans. This accomplishment enabled increased efficiency toward the achievement of Project Directorate goals. The Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office also adopted a modified version of the software to use as its primary strategic planning tool, and Norton worked to assist personnel at other NASA sites to use the program as well. Norton received accolades for her innovative efforts and willingness to share this business process improvement throughout the agency.
  • Paul Rieder, of Slidell, La., mechanical system design engineer with the Engineering and Test Directorate, is the J–2X engine test project design lead at Stennis for NASA's Constellation Program to go back to the moon and possibly beyond. The multi–faceted development goal for the J–2X engine is to evolve the Apollo/Saturn era J–2 engine by substantially increasing its thrust capability and propellant performance; to develop the J–2X nearly two years faster than any other engine in its class; and, to ensure it meets stringent safety and performance requirements. Rieder is a key contributor to this historic engine development and validation effort, as he has successfully completed four major engineering accomplishments central to the project. These include three major designs on Stennis' A–1 Test Stand. He also is responsible for the center's A–2 Test Stand design to transition that facility from space shuttle main engine testing to J–2X engine testing.

One Stennis employee received NASA's Exceptional Public Service Award. The medal is presented to those who are not government employees but have made exceptional contributions to the mission of NASA.
The 2009 recipient of the Exceptional Public Service Award was:

  • Michael Gaudin of Bay St. Louis, Miss., whose career at Stennis Space Center spans more than 32 years in the work control arena with Jacobs Technology Inc. During that time, he developed expertise in inventory management and work planning/scheduling and served as the work control senior specialist and work control supervisor for eight years. He was on the 1994 team that selected the Reliability Centered Maintenance Program and Computerized Maintenance Management System for work processing, subsequently leading the Stennis transition to a server system that generates 33,000 work orders annually. Gaudin has led several teams that developed key service systems at Stennis, such as the Facilities Operating System Contract Information System, the NASA Service Request System and the Funds Availability System. He also has served as ISO champion and auditor, Six Sigma Green Belt, Emergency Operations Center lead and supervisor for the Energy Management Control System group.

In addition to those honors, various individuals and groups received awards for length of service and for significant contributions to the NASA mission at Stennis Space Center. These awards included the NASA Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award, presented to Michael J. Blotzer, environmental officer and environmental team lead in the Stennis Center Operations Directorate. They also included the Peer Recognition Award for Professional Achievement, presented to Andrew L. "Bo" Clarke, contracting officer's technical representative for many of the initial contracts for the A-3 Test Stand being built at Stennis.
Stennis Director Gene Goldman and NASA Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance Bryan O'Connor presented the annual awards during the June 4 ceremony.

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For more information, call the NASA Public Affairs Office at Stennis at
1-800-237-1821 or 228-688-3333.


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