Three Information Technology employees cited for excellence

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National Press Release
Thursday, August 19, 2004

WASHINGTON – Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is pleased to announce that three of TSA's Information Technology employees, Rebel McFetridge, Ramona Bush and Heather Wood, have been recognized by the General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Technology Service (FTS).

The three employees received the Management/Administrative Excellence Award for their contributions to aviation security during the stand-up of TSA in 2002. They were cited for rapidly deploying telecommunications necessary to support thousands of Federal screeners who were being assigned to the nation's 450 commercial airports.

The award is presented to government employees who make an outstanding contribution through their use of FTS services, including telecommunications and information technology, to improve the quality and/or cost effectiveness of telecommunication services for their agency.

"Rebel McFetridge, Ramona Bush, and Heather Wood are fine examples of the high caliber personnel who joined TSA to help fight the war on terrorism following the events of September 11th," said Stone. "The contributions have been critical in the rapid deployment of telecommunications which affects TSA's ability to distribute vital threat and security information to the field."

Rebel McFetridge, the Wireless Services Manager for the Office of Information Technology, provided invaluable management guidance and support during TSA's start-up, a time of extreme deadlines and budget pressures. Her efforts ensured that thousands of TSA personnel received the basic telecommunications equipment necessary for critical mission support at headquarters and in the field. Ramona Bush, Telecommunications Service Lead, worked diligently to ensure the deployment of required land line telecommunications service including telephones, fax lines, and secure lines. Heather Wood, Wireless Services Lead, was responsible for ordering and deploying cellular phones, pagers and, more recently, Blackberry voice/data devices. This technology was essential for Federal Security Directors who create field offices at commercial airports nationwide. Wireless technology became their only link to headquarters until their offices were established.

Each year, the awards are presented during the GSA/FTS Network Services Conference, held this year on August 18 in Nashville, Tenn.