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Celebrating the 2019 Employee of the Year & Director’s Award Winners

from left: Rich Mallory, Sam Beirne, Director Mary Beth Tung, Jessica Wakefield, Caitlin Madera and Chief of Staff Chris Rice

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) celebrated the quarterly winners of the Director’s Award and the 2019 Employee of the Year yesterday. Quarterly winners receive a cash bonus of $250 and the Employee of the Year receives a trophy and a cash bonus of $500. This is the third year for these awards.

from left: Director Mary Beth Tung, Chief of Staff Chris Rice, Jessica Wakefield and Caitlin Madera at the celebration breakfast

MEA also highlights team members on a monthly basis and highlights team members who receive positive customer service reviews based off of interactions with the public. MEA team members can also highlight particular team members for excellent team customer service.

Gold Star Customer Service winners from the left front row: Mike Jones, Meg Cefail, Abigail Peryea, Bella Francois / from back left: Brandon Bowser and David Comis

Quarter 1 of 2019 Winner: Caitlin Madera

Caitlin Madera received the Director’s Award for the first quarter of 2019. Everyone who works with Caitlin or Cait knows what a positive energy she brings each day and to every project. She has been with MEA for almost five years. She began as a program intern then she became a grants administrator before moving up to be a program manager. Cait is also part of our MEA team that supports the Maryland Emergency Management Agency during storms and emergencies. She has traveled to Florida twice to help with hurricane relief efforts and managing the fuel reserves. She has been recognized for her contribution to Maryland’s energy and emergency sectors in Jmore magazine.

Cait manages MEA’s Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural grant, MDE’s Energy Water Infrastructure Program grant, and the Next Generation Energy Efficiency Gains effort.   She is an enthusiastic and constructive team member as well as mentor to new staff.

This year, Cait successfully led National Governor’s Association GRIDX exercise to identify opportunities for improved emergency response. Very recently, she has begun supporting our policy team in Annapolis. Cait does an amazing job balancing her new role with policy along with MEA and MEMA commitments. We are very fortunate to have her on the MEA team.

Quarter 2 of 2019 Winner: Samuel Beirne

The second quarter award winner for 2019 was Sam Beirne who will mark four years with MEA next month. Sam started out here as a legislative inter and advanced to become a program manager.

Sam manages multiple agency programs including wind (land based and off shore wind) as well as energy storage. Maryland was the first in the country to be approved for an off shore commercial level wind farm. Sam coordinated with multiple agencies to highlight how Maryland is uniquely equipped to become the off shore wind industry supply chain hub. Sam is the face of the Maryland Energy Administration and state of Maryland to the off shore wind industry. He is a nationally recognized subject matter expert in offshore wind energy and is a sought-after speaker for conferences across the country.  He manages exceptionally sensitive and complicated issues related within offshore wind with admirable professionalism.

Sam’s other current program is energy storage which is a landmark program; first of its kind energy storage tax credit to be offered in the U.S. Under Sam’s management over 200 credits were awarded which means 100% of the budgeted funding was distributed. Sam’s efforts strengthen our agency and we cannot thank him enough for his contributions.

Quarter 3 of 2019 Winner: Jessica Wakefield

Jessica Wakefield is our third quarter award winner and Queen of MEA finance. The third quarter of our fiscal year is a triple threat, it is packed with end of fiscal year accounting plus start of fiscal year planning and budgeting for the next fiscal year. It is a grueling quarter in any year but 2019 brought systemic accounting problems, departure of half the financial team and a new budget system known as BARS wrought with implementation challenges.

Jessica’s performance during the third quarter was truly noteworthy by any measure. We appreciate her efforts immensely, MEA would not function without Jessica.

Quarter 4 of 2019 Winner: Richard Mallory

Richard Mallory received the fourth quarter award for 2019. Rich began with MEA nearly three years ago with the policy team and branched out to work in programs as well. Rich is an exemplary employee that has worked arduously on natural gas pipeline expansion in the State. He spent countless hours working to ensure Maryland’s interests were protected. This process was never sure from the beginning, but Rich worked hard to bring this resource to communities in need on the eastern shore.

Rich’s pursuits walked a very thin political tightrope, gracefully as he launched the new Maryland Energy Infrastructure Program, funded via the Maryland Gas Expansion Fund. This is a tremendously well-planned program that increases benefits to businesses and residents while protecting them from traditional utility expansion fees. Thank you, Rich, for remaining ever vigilant in your efforts to provide energy options to Marylanders. We are grateful to have you on the tea

The 2019 Maryland Energy Administration Employee of the year:

Congratulations Sam!

Thank you to all of our MEA team members. To read about the winners from 2018 and 2017, click here.