Human Capital

Award Recipients for 2002

The Denver Leadership Group & Leslie Holland-Bartels

In recognition of their outstanding acts, services, and achievements that exemplify and support the USGS goal of developing a leadership-centered culture throughout the bureau.

Their award citations from the Director follow:

Excellence in Leadership Award



Greg Auble, Tim Bartish, Stafford Binder, Doug Cain, Coleen Chaney, Sue Cannon, Deborah Douglas, Poul Emsbo, K. Lea Ginnodo, Cynthia Harris, Lynn Highland, Ed Johnson, Mario Jones, Cassy Mitchell, Tom Owens, Jeff Simley, Janet Slate, Donald Sweetkind, Alan Ward, and Sandie Williamson

It gives me great pleasure to applaud the accomplishments of the Denver Leadership Group (DLG). These 20 individuals are leading by example by incorporating the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Guiding Principles into their daily lives. As a grassroots effort, they have taken the leadership knowledge and skills gained from attendance at the USGS Leadership 101 and 201 courses and are spreading the leadership message throughout the 15 Central Region (CR) States. They have ignited Biology, Geology, National Mapping, Water, and the Regional Office with the leadership fire by sharing the vision "To create a leadership-centered culture throughout the USGS."

The DLG strongly believes in continuous learning and has provided the CR employees with tools to help bring the leadership vision to fruition. They have successfully educated and encouraged the Central Region Executive Leadership Team (CELTS) to support their leadership activities. In October 2000, the DLG organized, coordinated, and sponsored two 1-day interdisciplinary Leadership Forums. The positive response following this forum was overwhelming with recommendations to make this an annual educational event. The annual forums have grown to two 1.5-day sessions with active participation of the CELTS and where DLG members give presentations and facilitate the event. The group also sponsors monthly brown-bag luncheon sessions on topics including "Science in the Public Interest," "Scientific Ethics," and "The Art of Storytelling as a Leadership Tool." They exemplify servant leadership.

Although the DLG has no budget, they have managed to feature highly sought after educators and presenters by forming cooperative working relationships throughout the various disciplines of the USGS. Though small in number they are big in heart. I applaud their tenacity, creativity, vision, initiative, and most of all their willingness to serve others. They are true examples of excellent leadership.



Excellence in Leadership Award



Since assuming her duties in the fall of 1998 as the Center Director of the Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center (UMESC) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Dr. Holland-Bartels has demonstrated outstanding capabilities as a leader, manager, and visionary. She has been successful in integrating and merging two science centers with significantly different science foci into one unit whose capabilities compliment and enhance each other. Dr. Holland-Bartels was successful in this challenging task by providing visionary science leadership that evaluated the strengths of the two components and capitalized on them to form a unified Center with a broader range of capabilities. By integrating these components the data compiled from the long-term monitoring studies designed to provide valuable scientific information for the management of the Upper Mississippi River by the Army Corps of Engineers, became fundamental to address pressing research issues.

One of the by-products of the merger of the two Centers was the formation of a more streamlined management structure that reduces middle management and flattened the organization to be more efficient. Dr. Holland-Bartels' expertise in management, especially techniques for producing high-performance teams, has been widely recognized within the U.S. Geological Survey. She is also a highly regarded instructor in the Leadership Development course where she gives a presentation about building high performance teams.

Dr. Holland-Bartels has also been a leader by personal example in the area of promoting local support for the science programs of the Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center. She and her family have participated in Science Open Houses that are now extremely popular events in the community and with the congressional delegation. When the Open Houses began, attendance was approximately 500-600 people. Last year over 1,600 people attended the UMESC Open House and the Department of the Interior publication, "People, Land, and Water" highlighted this activity as an example of outstanding events in the Department.

Dr. Holland-Bartels has clearly demonstrated outstanding leadership talents and is widely regarded as a Center Director to be emulated by younger managers. She possesses not only exceptional management skills and vision but also the truly unique talent to convey her vision and wisdom and, in the process, gain willing and supportive followers.

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Sandy Bruner

Leadership Development Program Manager
Office of Employee Development
Phone: 703-648-5764

Kim Miller

Mentoring Program Manager
Office of Employee Development
Phone: 304-743-5429