2018 Federal Employee of the Year Awards

It’s time for the
Chicago FEB Employee of the Year Awards!

Congratulations to the 2018 Nominees!
See the full list of nominees here.

Of the 40,000+ Federal employees in Chicago, who are the ones that stand out as awe inspiring performers?

Thank you for nominating  the exceptional employees within your agency for a Chicago FEB Federal Employee of the Year Award!


Category Descriptions and Eligibility Criteria


Note:  For 2018, since Agency geographic footprints differ within the region, Agency Directors may determine they want an individual or team from an adjacent county or state to participate in the Chicago FEOY program.  We will accommodate the requested alignment.

  • Generally, a nominee’s permanent duty location must be within one of the following counties:
    • ILLINOIS: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will
    • INDIANA: Lake or Porter
  • An individual may only be nominated for ONE individual category but may be included in a second category as a team member.
  • The nominee for an individual award must be a current federal employee    (civilian, military, or postal). Retirees who have served in FY2018 are eligible.
  • Former award winners of a specific category are not eligible for consideration in the same category.
  • Former nominees may be nominated again, however such nominations must reflect current performance and accomplishments.
  • Nomination for any individual should be for performance and/or accomplishments within the past calendar year (January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017)
    • There may be special accommodation for long-range projects or other extended duration work.
    • This does not apply to the Career Achievement category as the criteria should expand throughout the career of the nominee.


1) Agency of the Year  

This category recognizes one agency for achieving an outstanding level of success in implementation of federal initiatives to provide public service to citizens in their community. Initiatives could include:

  • Employee engagement
  • Diversity and Inclusion

Note: The agency that won the previous year is not eligible for nomination the following year.

2) JFK Leadership  

This category is to honor outstanding leadership skills. Accomplishments may include:

  • Recognizing responsibility to lead means leveraging your team’s talents
  • Engages their staff as professionals; makes them aware of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” so they can make the best possible informed decisions
  • Empowers employees to fully utilize their skills
  • Cultivates the next generation of leaders
  • Role-modeling a standard of excellence through principle based, high integrity leadership
  • Develops new and innovative ideas that result in significant organizational changes
  • Promotes creativity and risk-taking and supports results
  • Understands and develops diversity within the organization

3) Citizens Services Employee 

This category recognizes significant contributions in activities related to public and community service.

Areas may include: economic development, education, health care, housing, labor, and transportation.

Accomplishments may include:

  • Skill and compassion of employees who go the extra mile to provide services to the public.
  • Perform significant volunteer services in their communities or general public.

4) Citizen Services Team 

This category recognizes significant contributions of teams in activities related to public and community service. Areas may include: economic development, education, health care, housing, labor, and transportation. Accomplishments may include:

  • Exceptional dedication to public service
  • Enhancement of public service image
  • Promotes a special act or service in the public interest.
  • Sets standard for interdisciplinary teamwork

5) Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Team 

This category recognizes one team with significant contributions to homeland security and/or law enforcement. These areas may include: border and transportation security, civil rights, counter-terrorism, emergency response, fraud prevention, and intelligence.  Attributes may include:

  • A calm, even-handed approach to handling crises; de-escalating tensions
  • Objectivity and a respectful approach in handling difficult situations
  • Excellent application of emergency management skills
  • Effective communication skills evident in working with employees and citizens
  • Practicing “seek first to understand, then to be understood”
  • Exceptional contingency planning and proactive mitigation of issues that would otherwise have a detrimental impact on employees and/or citizens

6) Management Excellence 

This category recognizes an employee that demonstrates superior leadership and management excellence through significant contributions that exemplifies efficient, effective, and results-oriented government.  This category recognizes supervisors, managers, and any level of professional work. Nominees will be compared on the basis of competency, efficiency, and accomplishment that distinguish them in the professional/supervisory field. Accomplishments may include:

  • Educating the workforce or the public in their field of expertise
  • Applying their expertise to solve problems previously perceived as unfixable
  • Empowers employees to be results driven
  • Assuming leadership roles as a subject matter expert
  • Skill in directing and developing subordinates
  • Improving efficiency and making process redesign recommendations

7) Mission Support Employee 

This category recognizes an individual that demonstrates superior dedication to the mission of their agency or office. Accomplishments may include:

  • Ability to execute job priorities efficiently in spite of possible chaotic environmental challenges (power outages, weather related emergencies)
  • High inner work standards and attention to detail for accuracy and completeness in what is prepared
  • Excellent listening skills and a willingness to offer insights about alternative approaches that may yield better results; promoting innovation and organizational efficiency
  • Ability to anticipate risks/vulnerabilities.
  • Ability to translate complex technical issues to user friendly language

8) Mission Support Team 

This category recognizes a team that demonstrates superior performance along agency-specific guidelines for planning, design, and execution of programs supporting their agency’s or office’s mission. Team background could include: Safety standards, health care, environment, energy, or information technology.

9) Career Achievement  

This category recognizes a federal employee for significant accomplishments throughout a lifetime of achievement in public service. Nomination must showcase accomplishments throughout their career, not just in the past year.  The candidate must have 20+ years of career federal civil service.  Accomplishments can include:

  • Impacts of employees work throughout their career
  • Financial savings of long term process changes
  • Shifts in workplace or community culture from employee’s efforts

10) Call to Service 

This category recognizes professional achievements that reflect important contributions that a new employee brings to public service.  The candidate must have 5 or fewer years of federal civil service.

Accomplishments may include:

  • Innovation that challenges conventional thinking
  • Implementation of new technologies
  • Management reform
  • Private sector integration into the public

The nomination period for Employee of the Year has closed. If you have questions, please contact the Chicago Federal Executive Board at chicagofeb@gsa.gov, 312-353-6790 or refer to the FAQs 2018 Employee of the Year Awards.

2017 Individual & Team Nominees and Winners

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