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It is time again to look around and recognize the people who provide outstanding public service in Washington DC. Do you know of an outstanding DC Government employee or an innovative team? Members of our community are encouraged to submit their nomination for the 16th annual Cafritz Awards. Self-nominees can simply log on and apply directly starting on December 10, 2016.

Each year five individuals whose contributions, commitment and performance demonstrate outstanding public service to DC residents are recognized and rewarded through The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Awards for Distinguished DC Government Employees. Last year we introduced a new Innovation Team Award, designed to honor the achievements of work units, groups, or teams of 3 -10 individuals in one or multiple District of Columbia Government agencies.

Over the past 15 years, Cafritz Awards have been presented to 77 exceptional individuals and a team who played a vital role in providing outstanding service to DC residents. Award recipients have come from 36 various DC Government agencies, offices, and the University of DC.

 

“It's like the Academy Awards for unsung heros in public service.” Over the last 14 years the Cafritz Awards program has brought to light the extraordinary accomplishments of DC Government employees who serve the residents of our nation’s capital.

Cafritz Awards winners are selfless, delicated public leaders who have distinguished themselves by seeking to address some of the toughest problems in the District through innovative and collaborative solutions. Here are just a few of the winners, featured on the latest episode of one of the DCN’s most popular series, the Washington Full Circle.

Lt. Sean Murray Egan, Division of Homeland Security and Special Operations, District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department has improved the safety of the District by creating the most aggressive fire hydrant modernization program in the country with less than one per cent of the fire hydrants out of service, pending repairs or replacement. He is also responsible for creating one of the largest Toys for Tots programs. An estimated 80,000 toys worth about $4 million are collected annually. Lt. Egan has saved many lives, millions of dollars, and many National Treasures within DC. while building community around him.

José L. Colón, Jr., IT Software & GIS Manager, District Department of Transportation has made the lives of citizens, business owners and DDOT employees simpler and more productive by using his IT expertise and extraordinary communications skills to create powerful new systems for the city. Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS) is an online system that enables residents and businesses to obtain and pay for the permits they need to do work in public spaces. Since its inception, TOPS has issued tens of thousands of permits and saved thousands of dollars that the District can deploy elsewhere. The Cityworks Work Order and Management System that Jose created is a web-based program to effectively create work orders and service requests via the city’s 311 system to help DDOT get things done faster. Both new systems make work in the District easier, faster and cheaper for the taxpayers.

Beatrice Williar, Program Manager, Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has made a huge difference for children in the District’s foster care system. She created “Partners for Kids in Care,” a public-private partnership that has successfully focused on helping foster children feel loved and valued by providing them with books, computers, toys and fashionable clothing. Partners for Kids in Care generates $400,000 per year, every dollar of which goes to purchase the things these children need. Beatrice’s creativity, passion and drive has enabled foster children in the District to have improved self-images and increased their chances for successful and happy lives.