The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security honored five individuals and one team at the 2023 Honolulu Pacific Federal Executive Awards ceremony. The 67th Annual Excellence in Federal Government Awards Program and EXPO took place on May 5, 2023.

This year DKI APCSS awardees are:

  • Federal Employee of the Year (Leader, Supervisor, Manager):  Doris Dyogi – Regional Engagement Operations Coordinator
  • Federal Employee of the Year (Professional, Administrative, Technical):  Merrick Lambaco – Budget Analyst
  • Federal Employee of the Year (Clerical and Assistant):  Catrina Manabe – Lead, Human Resources Specialist
  • Mentor of the Year:  Richard Vuylsteke – Professor
  • Exceptional Community Service:  Ethan Allen – Professor
  • Team Excellence: PAO
    • Ms. Mary Markovinovic – Chief, Public Affairs Officer
    • Mr. Eric Bartolome – Public Affairs Specialist
    • Mr. Allan Criss – Digital Communication Specialist
    • Mr. Douglas Carroll – Photographer/Videographer
    • Ms. Dena Austria – Portal Manager

Winners from DKI APCSS came from all corners of the Center… from the College of Security Studies, the Admissions & Business Operations Department, and from the front office staff.

“I am both humbled and honored to receive this award from an organization that I admire so much,” said DKI APCSS Federal Employee of the Year Merrick Lambaco, a budget analyst in the Resource Management Office.  “I’m genuinely grateful for the recognition and thankful to my RM team and leadership.”

Human Resources’ Catrina Manabe was also recognized at the awards.  “It is a great honor to accept this award as Federal Employee of the Year (Clerical and Assistant),” said Catrina. “I really enjoy the interactions that I have with internal and external employees and contacts. It gives me great pleasure in assisting anyone in any way that I can offer. It certainly makes my day when I receive positive satisfaction comments for resolving issues or providing assistance. “

DKI APCSS Federal Supervisor of the Year Doris Dyogi successfully runs a high-stress program that requires her to coordinate more than 2,000 visitors per year to the Center.   Her advice to others is to “trust and help each other to succeed.  Stay positive and always learn from your mistakes.”

Dr. Richard Vuylsteke was recognized as Mentor of the Year.  According to Richard, “One of the best aspects of mentoring is having the opportunity to ‘pay it forward.’ Over the years, I benefitted from having many excellent mentors who really made a difference in my personal and career development. I’d like to think I can be of use to others in the same ways.”

Community service is important to Dr. Ethan Allen. “We give to our communities because it’s the right thing to do.

“We contribute what, when, and where we can – that’s the basis of civilization. I happen to have been born with type O-negative blood – a relatively rare blood type (especially here in Hawaii) that can be safely transfused into anyone without the need for matching blood types – and so I donate blood regularly. I joined Rotary International as a way to meld my efforts with those of others around the world in building better communities through wide-ranging local to international service projects. When we all kick in, each sharing what and as they’re able, the world works better, and our communities thrive,” said Allen.

The PAO team –
Mr. Allan Criss, Mr. Eric Bartolome, Ms. Dena Austria , Ms. Mary Markovinovic and Mr. Douglas Carroll

Selected for the Team Excellence award is the Public Affairs Office. DKI APCSS PA team runs an expansive program from general public affairs and marketing to podcasting and maintaining the Center’s online programs.

“I’m very lucky to have such a talented and dedicated team,” said Mary Markovinovic, Chief of Public Affairs.

Finally, Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jim Hirai was also recognized for 10 years of service as he steps down from the Honolulu Federal Executive Board.

The Excellence in Federal Government Awards Program allows organizations to recognize high-level contributors and the best in public service. For more than 60 years, outstanding federal employees working in Honolulu – Pacific Federal Executive Board (HPFEB) agencies have been recognized at an annual awards ceremony. The ceremony is held jointly with an EXPO, where federal benefit and other partners staff booths to educate employees on their offerings and benefits and corresponds to Public Service Employee Recognition Week nationally.

The HPFEB Excellence in Government awards allows HPFEB Member Agencies to celebrate the innovation & quality of work performed by federal agencies and employees.  It also gives others a chance to learn about best practices from partner agencies and promotes the excellent work of federal agencies and their top performers.