Vandalia native Drenda Williams, NRCS from Temple, Texas was selected as an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Unsung Hero Award Program.
She was nominated by her peers for the Unsung Hero Award. With many nominations received from throughout the USDA, an independent nominating committee comprised of OPEDA and USDA officials selected 12 individuals and teams for the Unsung Hero Award. Additionally, Williams was chosen as one of 16 Honorable Mentions selected.
The Organization of Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (OPEDA) selected Williams because they said they were inspired by her extraordinary devotion to public service and to the USDA.
Her name, agency, and state were included in the Program Brochure for the 2015 Unsung Hero Program Observance held on May 5 at the USDA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., attended by Assistant Secretary of Administration, Dr. Gregory Parham as well as several other senior officials of the USDA.
Williams’ key management accomplishments in Texas includes:
• Motivating a reduced workforce who processed 1,200 personnel actions on new hires, promotions, awards, separations for 683 employees.
• Coordinating property acquisitions, contracts and leases for 244 offices.
• Assuring timely payments totaling over $120 million dollars to 5,000 farmers and ranchers, covering 32 million acres (that is one out of every three acres in Texas).
• Shortening paperwork processing by simply requiring the use of electronic signatures in all work areas, increasing usage from 10% to 98%.
• Leading team-building and morale-boosting events such as delivering Fall Festival treats to needy preschoolers, with staff parading in costume.
Williams is the daughter of Lois and Richard Vardeman. She is a 1993 graduate of Van-Far High School.
Starting with the agency as a college intern, working her way up the ladder, Drenda is committed to excellence. In her 21 years as a federal employee, she has developed a keen ability to delegate and communicate. Her career path has taken her beyond her soil science background and thrust her into the challenging arenas of budget, finance, and HR. She is confident, approachable, and involved. Her positive attitude is considered to be contagious.