Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Field Office Employees Recognized at National Awards Ceremony

El Paso, Texas – A total of six employees working at El Paso Field Office locations were recently recognized for their achievements during the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. They were among a group of distinguished employees who were recognized for their leadership and achievements during the March 25 ceremony.

In addressing the award recipients, their guests, and colleagues, CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin made clear his appreciation for the 60,000 CBP employees who work together as a team to protect each and every citizen. He said the day was one “in which we can come together and celebrate the actions and the distinctive roles we play in the protection of the American homeland.”

“We honor the past, but we prepare for the future," said Bersin. "Today, we salute the heroes who labor on the frontlines and those who work behind the scenes."

Those from El Paso who were recognized during the ceremony included four CBP Supervisors who work at the Ysleta commercial cargo facility. CBP officers Juan Aguilar, Benito Barron, Hector Herrera and Michael Yanke received the Trade and Facilitation Award for their work on the Ysleta Cargo Facility Diversion Project. The group was recognized for their outstanding ability to oversee and process significant increases in traffic without extending the cargo facility’s hours.

El Paso Field Office Supervisory Mission Support Specialist Christina Daly received the Excellence in Mission Support Award. Ms. Daly was instrumental in identifying and obtaining funds exceeding $10.7 million for construction and repair projects in the El Paso Field Office. Not only has Ms. Daly identified errors in estimates and cost bids on reimbursable work authorizations with the General Services Administration, but she also acquired funding from other governmental sources to support CBP’s construction and operational goals.

Chief CBP Officer and Public Affairs Liaison Ruben Jauregui received the Customer Service and Professionalism Award. Officer Jauregui is recognized for his exceptional dedication. Because of the ongoing issues in Mexico, the Port of El Paso has become a geographical point of interest for members of Congress, government agencies, and the news media. Mr. Jauregui showed outstanding initiative in preparing for port tours, public speaking engagements and radio and television interviews. He also has demonstrated a keen ability for working with senior officials on the federal, state, and local levels.

Prior to presenting the awards, all stood for a moment of silence to honor those brave employees who lost their lives in the line of duty. Their stories of self-sacrifice serve as a chief example of the risks that each employee takes in order to protect the homeland.

Each of the different achievements honored exemplified the complexity of the agency's mission, as well as the fact that integrity is a 24/7 job that is instilled in each and every member of CBP. The stories told of those who received awards reflected the recipients' selflessness and valor. Their actions saved the lives of thousands and protected citizens from potential harm.

Throughout the ceremony, audience members rose to honor the heroes that stood before them. Whether the stories reflected heroism and bravery or simple dedication to the task at hand, it was clear that their work was valued by all.

“This ceremony is a reaffirmation of who we are,” said Bersin.

In closing, Linda Gray of the Office of Human Resources Management delighted the audience with a soulful rendition of ‘America the Beautiful.’ Gray's voice and this song served to remind everyone of the grandeur of America and the importance of CBP’s mission to protect the people who make the nation a source of inspiration to the world.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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