Peer Appreciation Award

Pierre Youssef

September 2020

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Allow me to congratulate Pierre Youssef for the September 2020 OPPA Peer Appreciation Award!

Pierre is recognized for his dedication and support to the Argos Program including the "Virtual Acceptance" of the Argos-4 instrument flight model (FM01). The French National Center for Space Studies (CNES) was unable to travel to the US in September for FM-01 acceptance at the Argos contractor facility because of COVID-19 restrictions. Pierre accepted the challenge to develop and coordinate a "Virtual Acceptance" of the CNES FM01 payload. Teaming with NOAA, CNES and Aerospace, Pierre led the development of the approach, documented the plan and supported the successful "Virtual Acceptance" of FM01. Pierre's efforts have helped keep Argos on track during a pandemic and established a valuable example that other programs may want to follow in the future.

Congratulations, Pierre!



David Fritz

August 2020

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Allow me to congratulate David Fritz for the August 2020 OPPA Peer Appreciation Award!

David is recognized for his efforts toward the requirements development process for the SWFO Antenna Network (SAN) and for his support of ongoing acquisition processes.

As the SAN Element’s Systems Engineer, David has been leading the development of the Level 3 SAN requirements document (SAN RD). The SAN RD began as part of an existing requirements spreadsheet that covered all aspects of the SWFO Ground Segment with over 900 requirements and many notes and open questions. David helped form a cohesive document out of this working spreadsheet even as it was going through multiple drafts and changes in direction. Showing leadership and great attention to detail, he was able to track numerous moving parts while working towards tight deadlines. David kept a diverse team of subject matter experts on task with patience and dedication to help create this comprehensive document that will be an important piece of the future SWFO program. Throughout the process, David has always been willing to explain and discuss things, and is always eager to listen and learn new things from his colleagues. He consistently seeks input from other members of the SWFO team, and helps the team realize how decisions in the SAN element can affect other pieces of the SWFO program.

Congratulations, David!



Rob Hanni

July 2020

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Allow me to congratulate Rob Hanni for the July 2020 OPPA Peer Appreciation Award!

Rob is recognized for his efforts toward the requirements development process for the SWFO Ground Segment Project.

Rob has been instrumental in the progress made by the SWFO Ground Segment team. He joined the team very early in its formation and was put in charge of the requirements development process. He single-handedly developed the tools and processes that the Ground Segment team used to develop Level 2 and Level 3 requirements. He established the regular working groups that worked on the Ground Level 2 requirements. He identified NESDIS Subject Matter Experts to provide input. He kept the process moving forward and ensured that decisions were documented and implemented. He then turned the working spreadsheets into a Level 2 Requirements Document suitable for configuration control. As the process moved to the more complex development of Level 3 requirements, he established the baseline processes and tools that each of the element teams used to create the 400+ level 3 requirements. Without his leadership, organization, and tireless work, the Ground Segment team would not have been able to establish the requirements baseline on a timeline to support the SWFO development schedule.

Congratulations, Rob!



Jeffrey Clegg

April 2020

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The OPPA peer appreciation award has been on hiatus since January. But we are restarting it back now! Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I name Mr. Jeffrey Clegg as the OPPA Employee of the Month! Serving as the NOAA OPPA Resource Manager to the OPPA Director, Jeff has established an integrated formulation and implementation team that successfully manages all day-to-day planning and execution budget operations. His integrated approach to budget program and planning has resulted in major improvements to the OPPA Budget oversight, planning and execution, and ultimately, the budget-reporting framework that supports NOAA and NESDIS program goals and objectives.

Each day, Jeff works seamlessly across the OPPA Organization to support a multitude of OPPA programs in formulation or implementation. Jeff has an inherent talent to interrelate, synthesize and analyze complex data to obtain unique perspectives on the total OPPA financial situation that greatly assist the OPPA Director, Division Chiefs, and Program Managers in program planning and decision-making.

Jeff is constantly sought out for his in-depth knowledge of NOAA budget processes and procedures. Jeff’s professional, kind and mild demeanor is enthusiastically welcomed as he thoroughly, expertly, and swiftly addresses numerous budget actions, tasks, and questions throughout any given day. Jeff’s “can do” attitude makes him one of the most sought out OPPA Employees to offer guidance and direction and sometimes even advice to a friend.

Jeff continually seeks inventive methodologies to communicate and interface with program managers across the OPPA portfolio as he recently has stood up a monthly tag-up with program managers to conduct deep-dive analyses of the budget material presented at the OPPA Monthly Status Reviews (MSRs). This direct engagement has already produced positive results as program managers have a better understanding of the budget process that ultimately serves the Director's budgetary vision.

Congratulations again Jeff! All the best from your OPPA colleagues and your partners throughout NOAA and NASA.



Trish Weir

October 2019

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Please allow me to congratulate Patricia Weir for the October 2019 Peer Appreciation Award.

Trish is recognized for her efforts of developing and coordinating the Technology Maturation Program (TMP). This is was one of the most innovative and creative programs that I have seen in NOAA. Using her advanced portfolio management knowledge and decades of experience as a satellite system engineer she has delivered substantial progress towards aligning emerging technology with NOAA’s needs. The results that were delivered at the Science Support to the Technology Maturation Program Annual Review Meeting last month were exciting and inspiring. Today's research will be tomorrow's operations thanks to Trish.

Congratulations, Trish!



Lauraleen O'Connor

August 2019

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I am pleased to nominate Lauraleen O’Connor for her strong commitment to OPPA’s mission and her long-term, significant contributions to the data analytics and visualization capabilities here at OPPA and more broadly at NESDIS and collaborating agencies. Lauraleen has a long experience in meteorology-related technologies including forecasting and climatology. She is proficient in translating large arrays of individual and sometimes conflicting user needs to clear operational requirements. While her initial work was focused on individual polar satellite programs, in recent years she has expanded her scope to comparisons of systems to support TPIO’s goals in developing future mission profiles. In particular she has significantly upgraded the Office’s planning and integration capabilities through her data science work using Tableau and its business intelligence applications. Her dashboards, reports, and graphs have been valuable for trade studies and decision making on new imagers, sounders, and other instruments, and their satellite platforms.

Congratulations, Lauraleen, for your hard work and consistent results!



Dimitrios Vassiliadis

July 2019

Dimitrios VassiliadisSWFO Senior Science Support Dimitrios Vassiliadis has shown himself to be a great resource and addition to the OPPA organization. Dimitrios uses his wealth of knowledge and instructional skills to clarify the scientific objectives as well as the operational impact of instruments that will be developed and used by the SWFO program. His willingness to be a team player along with his ability to take ownwership over task completion speaks multitudes of his diligence and dedication to the initiatives of OPPA. His eagerness to explain SWFO goals through presentations and written documents warrants his hard work to be recognized. It is a pleasure to work with someone with these strengths, and such a pleasant disposition toward colleagues. With acclamation, I highly recommend Dimitrios for the OPPA Peer Appreciation Award.

Congratulations Dimitrios!



Tanisha Holland

April 2019

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Tanisha Holland has been diligently building up OPPA’s Risk Management capability for the past several months. Coming to OPPA from OSGS, where she was the ESPDS Risk Coordinator, Tanisha has brought OSGS’s defined practices to OPPA. It is very difficult to introduce a defined process to a new organization, but Tanisha has accomplished this through patient interaction with OPPA Management and the PMs for the active OPPA projects. Her pleasant disposition and dedication have been invaluable to making this possible. As a result, OPPA Risk Management from Office-Level down to Project-Level is being effectively executed. This is proving to be a great asset to the OPPA projects as they are proceeding through their lifecycle phases. I am pleased to recommend her for an OPPA Peer Appreciation Award.

As part of OPPA's Peer Appreciation Award Program, Tanisha will nominate and announce next month's Awardee.



Ken Jensen

March 2019

Ken JensenIt's with great pleasure to nominate INDEC/SCATSAT Chief Engineer Dr. Ken Jensen for the OPPA Peer Appreciation Award in recognition of his exceptional support and tireless efforts for the success of the project.

Ken joined the SCATSAT team in August 2018 and quickly learned the project to make remarkable contributions to Level 1 Requirements Document (L1RD), Project Management Plan, (PMP), Project Implementation Plan (PIP), System Requirements Review (SRR), and SCATSAT Milestone Review (SMR).

Shortly after the SMR, which took place on December 17, 2018, the longest government shutdown in American history started while I was furloughed without any communication with the SCATSAT team. During the shutdown period, Ken worked closely with Josh Henry, who is the SCATSAT Systems Engineer, to lead the SCATSAT project without any government direction to prepare for a Critical Designed Review (CDR) that was initially scheduled for January 16, 2019. Because of these efforts, Ken has earned not only the Peer Appreciation Award, but also the respect and gratitude of other NESDIS offices supporting the SCATSAT project. As one of those peers whom Ken has inspired and motivated for the success of the SCATSAT project, I am very thankful for having Ken in my team!



View the OPPA Employee of the Month archive