TSA honors the “very best of 2020” with awards to high performing employees and teams

National Press Release
Monday, December 14, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is recognizing the agency’s highest performers and the most effective teams of 2020. The 2020 TSA Honorary Awards celebration will be conducted virtually this year to highlight the distinguished work of the recognized individuals and teams.

“Despite a global pandemic, the men and women of TSA rose to an occasion that none anticipated in 2019, and they continued to reveal their mission focus,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “It is an honor and privilege to recognize so many performers, leaders and effective teams who displayed excellence throughout this past year.”

Blogger Bob Award

In memory of Curtis “Bob” Burns, who was dedicated to building a social media presence for TSA as “Blogger Bob,” this award recognizes those with the interest, talent and skill to educate, inform and represent the best of the agency.

Crystal Cherry is this year’s Blogger Bob Award recipient. Cherry is a TSA employee at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. She engaged passengers through creative solutions which included a local video illustrating best passenger practices for efficient checkpoint experiences. Her helpful tips reached thousands of travelers and enhanced efficiency at the checkpoint. She successfully produced the first-ever Virtual Febbie Awards for the Federal Executive Board (FEB) awards program, which was released on the FEB YouTube channel in August 2020.

Gerardo Hernandez - “In the Line of Duty” – Award

Honoring the memory, service and sacrifice of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez, this award recognizes employees who distinguish themselves through bravery, valor and heroism in the line of duty. Hernandez was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport on November 1, 2013.

The 2020 award recognizes a team from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. In October 2019, this team ignored personal risk and responded to the scene of a burning plane crash on the runway. They provided aid to survivors and assisted first responders. The team includes Steven Blindbury, Thomas Gannon, Burke Doria, Faustino Colon, Joel Ketchale and Peter Coombs.

Norman Y. Mineta “Cornerstone Award”

Each year, this award recognizes and honors the leadership legacy of former Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Mineta was instrumental in establishing what TSA is today.

The 2020 Norman Y. Mineta “Cornerstone Award” recipient is Patricia Bradshaw, the TSA assistant administrator for human capital. Bradshaw is recognized for exemplary leadership in helping TSA fulfill its mission by fostering a diverse, inclusive and transparent work environment and cultivating a skilled workforce prepared and equipped to meet future challenges. She led a transition within human capital that reinvigorated a spirit of camaraderie, cooperation and customer service, noticeable to stakeholders across the agency.

Public Service Award

The Public Service Award recognizes those with a commitment and dedication to protect the public trust and provide exemplary service.

The 2020 award recipient is Katherine Coyle, a TSA training instructor at the TSA Academy. She has a penchant for serving others on the job and as a volunteer. In her role with TSA, she prepared new training security officers for success in their new jobs at TSA. As a volunteer, Coyle serves as director at the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation, which her great-grandmother established in 1942. Additionally, she volunteers at House of Hope, which is dedicated to caring for girls rescued from human trafficking, and Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.

Other 2020 TSA Honorary Award winners include:

  • Unsung Hero Award for outstanding “behind-the-scenes” performance: Darryl Rogers from Jacksonville International Airport, Constance Tonu from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Susan Bowen from TSA headquarters, Rudolph Selitsch from the National Transportation Vetting Center, Nicole Renner from Bismarck Municipal Airport, and Kevin Wolinski from TSA headquarters
  • Transportation Security Officer (TSO) of the Year: Kimberlee Green, Pocatello Regional Airport
  • Lead TSO of the Year: Matthew Quintana from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Supervisory TSO of the Year: Steven Petrokovitch from Yuma International Airport
  • Transportation Security Manager of the Year: Breanna Dryden of Miami International Airport
  • Coordination Center Employee of the Year: Maria Morelli of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport
  • Assistant Federal Security Directors (FSD) of the Year: Dawn Baptist of Fairbanks International Airport and Bill Hamilton of Norfolk International Airport
  • Deputy FSD of the Year: Anne Cross from Denver International Airport
  • FSD of the Year: Stephen Taber from Portland International Airport
  • Canine Handler of the Year: Keith Gray, with his partners Ttirado and Ari, from Indianapolis International Airport
  • Inspector of the Year: Gregory Smith from Juneau International Airport
  • Transportation Security Specialist (Explosives) of the Year: Shane Langerud from Bismarck Municipal Airport
  • Federal Air Marshal (FAM) of the Year: Gerino Laqui from LE/FAMS San Francisco Field Office
  • Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge (SAC) of the Year: Steven Petrick from LE/FAMS, TSA headquarters
  • Supervisory FAM or Assistant SAC of the Year: Bradley Curtis of LE/FAMS Chicago, Illinois
  • Management, Administrative or Professional Employees of the Year: Dr. Fabrice Czarnecki from Human Capital/Enterprise Support and Jill Segraves of Security & Administrative Services/Enterprise Support
  • Passenger Support Specialist of the Year: Naomi Eckstine from Portland International Airport
  • Security Training Instructor of the Year: Amber Powell from Peoria International Airport
  • Intelligence Analyst of the Year: Greg Wright from Intelligence and Analysis at Denver International Airport
  • National Deployment Force Officer of the Year: Albert Stallcup from Security Operations Management in Orlando, Florida