WASHINGTON, D.C. – During this year’s third annual USDA family day the USDA employees from across the agency enjoyed a family day of celebrations, including a farmer’s market tailgate and a National’s baseball game.
As part of the festivities, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue took to the field to recognize eight USDA employees for the exemplary service they provide to USDA’s customers every day. The secretary met each of these Spirit Award winners prior to the tailgate to discuss all of the ways in which they are helping make USDA the most efficient, most effective, most customer-focused department in the entire Federal Government.
Among the employees who were recognized was Miriam Mazel, assistant director for Lands and Realty Management at the Washington Office. Mazel has been with the Forest Service about three and a half years but has a federal government career that spans 23 years. During her time with the Forest Service, Mazel has led a national initiative to improve customer service and the delivery of a myriad of uses on National Forest System lands such as communications uses, energy, electric transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, reservoirs, water delivery, hydropower, recreational cabins, commercial filming, research, agriculture, etc.
Additionally, Mazel has also led the Forest Service’s nationwide effort to modernize and improve business processes, enhance customer service, address expired permits and streamline the special uses program, overall. This effort has resulted in reducing the number of expired permits by 30% while at the same time continuing to process and issue approximately 3,000 new permits, annually.
Other USDA employees recognized for their exemplary service to USDA customers were Lillie Brady, Karen Dawkins, Maria Teresa Espinoza, Sasha Gersten-Paal, Sasha Harrison, Karen Hunter and Shanna Siegel.