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President Honors Leadership of Seven GSA Executives

GSA #9620

November 12, 1999
Contact: Peggy Strain (202) 501-1231

Washington, D.C. -- Seven members of the Senior Executive Service at the U.S. General Services Administration have received the 1999 Presidential Rank Award. The honor salutes the government's top executives for leadership efforts in federal programs essential to the nation's welfare.

Frank P. Pugliese, Jr., commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply Service, received the 1999 Presidential Rank Award as a Distinguished Executive. His organization has become almost entirely self-funded and his business acumen has expanded FSS beyond traditional "product" orientation. The agency's Federal Acquisition Center is the government's premier service contract organization. Pugliese, who lives in Alexandria, Va., also has been an aggressive proponent of information technology to improve efficiency and customer service.

Other GSA executives of the Presidential Rank Awards for Meritorious Executive are: Sandra N. Bates, Dennis J. Fischer, Don Heffernan, Janice K. Mendenhall, Aki K. Nakao and Shereen G. Remez. The award confers esteemed standing upon the honorees who are among approximately 6,000 members of the Senior Executive Service.

The SES is the federal government's core of managers who oversee some of the nation's most important medical, social, environmental, human resource and defense programs. Candidates are submitted by their agencies and selected by the President after recommendation by a citizen review board appointed by the Office of Personnel Management. The Distinguished and Meritorious awards are among the highest honors bestowed by the government upon career executives.

More than 300 government-wide SES members were honored by the President this year. The other six GSA executives are listed alphabetically, followed by a brief description of their accomplishments:

¿ Sandra N. Bates, Deputy Commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service and a 30-year veteran of federal service. Her leadership has led to innovative solutions to problems in agency and the government, where she is highly respected for her work in telecommunications and information technology. Notably, she helped devise a highly successful acquisition strategy for a contract providing services for the world's largest telecommunications network. She is a native of northern Virginia.
¿ Dennis J. Fischer, Commissioner of the GSA Federal Technology Service, who in 29 years of government service has provided distinguished leadership in an array of positions. He was cited for his work in budget, accounting and finance, financial management systems and general management. At GSA, he has lead a $3.5 billion technology business, shepherding business growth and revolutionizing the way the government acquires desktop computing support. A resident of Arlington, Va., he also has awarded a new long distance telephone service contract, providing a $4 billion savings to taxpayers.
¿ Don Heffernan, Deputy Chief Information Officer, also served as GSA's Director of Personnel and presided over a personnel reduction at GSA of about one-third of employees to date. Heffernan was cited for bold efforts to give Internet access to GSA's 14,000 employees. A native of Chicago, he lives in Washington and was an early proponent of "peer" awards and is known for his ability to motivate and encourage others.
¿ Janice Mendenhall, Assistant Regional Administrator for GSA's Federal Technology Service in Atlanta since 1982, manages network services and information technology solutions for federal agencies in eight states. A Wichita, Kan., native, she oversees a $160 million budget and has initiated a highly successful web site regarding federal laws and regulations. She also has tirelessly advanced opportunities for federally-employed women.
¿ Aki K. Nakao, Deputy Regional Administrator of GSA's Pacific Rim Region, was cited for achievements during an extraordinary public service career of 32 years. A Berkeley, Calif., resident, he has been integral to the evolution of information technology initiatives and has helped simplify network management. From new construction programs for U.S. Courts, border stations and other federal buildings, he has been a leader in promoting design excellence.
¿ Shereen G. Remez, GSA's Chief Knowledge Officer, has a strong communications background and has focused efforts to the critical need of helping people adjust to technology. She is credited with helping Congress and the White House shape the future of government technology. Remez also has helped GSA transform its manner of doing business by moving it from a mandatory source of service and supply to a competitive growing concern attracting customers as the supplier of choice.

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