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  1. Welcome to Day Three of the Annual Awards Ceremony 2020! The Staff awards are only for those members who have achieved the rank of Commander or higher. Just like with last year, the first officers of the fleet were asked to vote on the nominations for each staff award, providing recommendations to the EC about who should receive each award. We’re so happy to have this valuable feedback and guidance for our staff awards! This year, we’ve introduced two new awards into the fold to celebrate the magnificent achievements of our long-term staff members, for the love and dedication they have poured into our community. These awards recognize the hard work of our community members who go above and beyond to ensure that everyone has a great experience here. There's so much behind-the-scenes work required to keep the engine of our community running, and these folks are a central part of that. Elinor of Kanist Order of Excellence Named for one of UFOP: StarBase 118's most significant founding members. This award recognizes those who have served the fleet as a staff member for at least 5 years, attained the rank of Rear Admiral or higher, previously been awarded the Picard Award and Staff Member of the Year Award, and continue to serve the fleet to the betterment of all members. This is the highest staff honor, celebrating longevity, dedication to the fleet, and the perseverance for wearing the Admiral's belt. Quinn Reynolds, USS Gorkon Presented by Aron Kells: "I first met Emma, aka Vice Admiral Quinn Reynolds, back in 2007. I had just been assigned to the Triumphant as its new first officer, and Emma had just seen Quinn promoted from ensign to lieutenant JG in the Triumphant's engine room. The Triumphant crew was very new, and when our CO took increasingly extended (and unannounced) breaks, I looked for help in navigating the uncertainties of my first XO gig. Even then, Emma was endlessly competent and a clear leader and I relied very much upon as Quinn became my acting XO at the tender rank of JG. In fact, my positive impression predates even that tomfoolery, back to when she reached out to me following my transfer to Triumphant. She'd noticed that I was running a PNPC whose last name was Reynolds and suggested that, since Quinn's surname was Reynolds, might they be related? If you've ever noticed the positive simming opportunities that Emma provides to others, then know that this, too, has been there since the beginning! Years later, when I took over the Mercury (and then launched Garuda and Invicta), I very much wanted Emma to return to sim with me, as she was then on a long-term LOA from the fleet. I'm delighted to say that she accepted and wrote Quinn as a captain of intelligence for a few important years. At the same time, after I had a couple of XOs who went on LOA and had no viable candidates, she offered to create a new character who could serve as XO — not because she wanted to sim the position necessarily, but because she knew the ship could use the help. We designed the character with a "kill switch" wherein he'd defect as a part of whatever mission if (and then when) another player was ready for the XO spot. Again, I want to draw your attention to the positive attributes on display here — playing cooperatively, making sure the ship came first, helping out and always adding to the ongoing story. When she launched the Gorkon, I hated losing her, but of course, I recognized that she was a stellar simmer and would come roaring back into that center seat. It's worthwhile too to highlight her choice of ship name — the Gorkon is the first ship in the fleet named for a fictional character, but specifically a character who embodied optimism regarding interactions between individuals and groups, as well as the peacemaking processes as a whole. Emma's credo is right there in the Gorkon's motto: "We succeed together in a greater whole." Nowadays, everyone in the fleet has likely had some interaction with Emma in some way, whether on the Gorkon, as a part of her service on the Executive or Captains Councils, on Discord, or as a part of her long-running leadership in the Academy (or something else entirely!). In fact, the Executive Council of 2015 would routinely seek Emma's opinion on tricky matters, even before she had returned to captain the Gorkon or serve on the EC. It is entirely fitting that Emma is the inaugural recipient of the Elinor of Kanist Order of Excellence, the group's new highest honor — and that she was also the only nominee for the award, and still received half a dozen nominations for the honor! She is the flesh and blood of Starbase 118, and I do now and will always toast to that once-JG who helped me figure out what the heck I was doing back in 2007." Honor of the Admiralty The highest award that can be conferred upon a UFOP: Starbase 118 staff member under the rank of Rear Admiral. This award recognizes those who have served as staff members for a minimum of five years in a multitude of disciplines. From facilitating our task forces, engaging with the Captains Council, and leading with the utmost dedication, these writers volunteer their time, effort, and skill to building our game and community and have comprehensively earned the respect and loyalty of members. Roshanara Rahman, USS Veritas Presented by Aron Kells: "Writes one of Rich's nominators: "He is quite literally the reason that I am still a member of this community." You can't ask for higher praise than that, and yet I think Rich, aka Fleet Captain Roshanara Rahman (and roughly 6000 other characters), has earned not only the respect this award signifies but all the substantial accolades that have come his way over the past decade. I was honestly not sure what to make of Rich at first when he transferred to the Mercury eight years ago. He was already a lieutenant commander and introduced Roshanara as such, so he was well-regarded around the fleet, but then he started suggesting ... things. Not bad things, certainly, but things I hadn't seriously considered before: long-ranging character arcs that lasted for months or years, novel ways to track and recognize promotions (which eventually morphed into the player achievement system), and then, once he became my XO and was able to access the Captain's Council, even bigger ideas about how specific aspects of the group ought to change. Many of the big, structural changes that have occurred over the past several years, from giving commanders the right to vote on most matters in the Captain's Council to the ongoing reform of rights for players on LOA, found their inception in Rich's ongoing fight to make the group more fair and equitable for all. And that's well before we even talk about the wiki! Along with Deliera (aka Lt. Cmdr. Blake and also about 6000 other characters) and a few others, Rich has completely revolutionized how we use the group wiki. Try the Six-Degrees-of-Rich game sometime: Find your way to a random article on the wiki and then click around through a few more linked pages. Odds are, most of those pages will have either been directly edited by Rich or will use a template that Rich either designed or dreamed up. Especially when we talk about the wiki, it's hard to imagine what Starbase 118 would look like without Rich. Despite all of his work, believe me when I tell you it was quite a job getting him to even think about going for promotion and command, even though I knew he'd be amazing. But for a long time, Rich was content to write and edit and work in the background. No matter the way in which you've encountered him, though, I hope you're able to see that Starbase 118 is an endlessly richer place (no pun intended, or maybe pun very much intended) for Rich's presence and all that he's accomplished and will continue to accomplish as one of our most productive and laudable staff members. He is absolutely deserving of the inaugural Honor of the Admiralty, and I'm only sad that he can't win this one twice, as I'm sure that he'll continue to dazzle us all with everything he does and the ways in which he makes Starbase 118 better for everyone." Staff Member of the Year Award For staff members who have contributed tirelessly to the organization through any number of OOC channels, while maintaining excellence in simming on their vessel. Oddas Aria, USS Juneau Presented by Roshanara Rahman: "The past year has been an eventful one for Nicholas, the writer behind Captain Oddas Aria, and the fleet has soared because of his many contributions. While continuing to serve as commanding officer of his vessel, Nicholas planned and executed Project Capstone, a daring and unprecedented 12-week event where players came together to post as a new crew on the shakedown cruise of the USS Juneau. The event was the culmination of a wider yearlong fleetwide plot arc about the development of the Warp XV engine and arguably the most ambitious “joint” simming occasion since Operation Bright Star in 2010. After Capstone’s completion, Nicholas and his crew on the USS Eagle made the Juneau their new home, and behind the scenes, he took on a new role as the Captain-at-Large on the Executive Council. Since his term began, Nicholas has introduced regular CAL “office hours” on Discord and monthly summaries of EC business to the Captain's Council to ensure more of our staff know what’s happening at our fleet’s highest levels. This is all on top of his continuing duties as an Academy Deputy Commandant and co-facilitator for the Advanced Starship Design Bureau team! Our community’s finest staff members and captains are those who grow beyond just the bulkheads of their ships to see themselves as caretakers of the wider fleet as a whole. It is this legacy of service that has enabled our community to thrive for twenty-six years, a legacy that Nicholas has continued as our 2020 Staff Member of the Year." The James T. Kirk Cross Given to new Commanding Officers who show outstanding potential in the field of command. Jarred Thoran, USS Atlantis Presented by Jalana Rajel: "There aren't enough words to describe the impact that this year’s James T. Kirk Cross recipient has had on the fleet and his fellow writers, but I'll try. In his three years adventure of writing with us, he has won numerous awards showing that he is a dedicated writer that his fellow shipmates simply love to write and work with. He has shown early on that he was eager to do more than just show up: he trained new members of the fleet, mentored new players to his ships, became a First Officer, lead the publicity team and has shown great promise from the beginning of his Starfleet career. That potential has not stopped; on the contrary, he brought it into the way he is leading his ship, the USS Atlantis. While researching Richard's accomplishments it was anything but difficult to find voices who spoke highly of him. One of the strongest impressions he made was when he received command of the USS Atlantis. Under the best of circumstances that is a busy and stressful time, even though full of excitement. Things go very fast and are turbulent, especially when joining a new crew. But Richard has taken up this difficult role in a stride and quickly established himself as the kind of CO that inspires his fellow writers and brings out the best in them. Richard has an eye for what the members of his crew need to thrive and he assists them to the best of his abilities to get to their best selves. Richard's crew knows him as a hardworking, fair and compassionate CO who is always willing to listen, communicate and give advice. Between all this work behind the scenes, he does not forget to have fun while writing or joining in the playful banter in his ship's chat, which makes him a well rounded Commanding Officer. He is admired by his crew and the fleet at large and it's my honour and pleasure to congratulate Richard - and his IC counterpart Jarred Thoran - for receiving this great award, which is very well deserved. I can't wait to see where the next year leads you! " Chief’s Citation Recognizing the essential staff members whose determined work has benefitted the group In Character, and/or Out Of Character, even while their primary service was not as the Commanding Officer of a simming installation. Inspired by the non-commissioned and enlisted personnel who are the backbone of any starship but were rarely recognized in Star Trek lore in favor of the officers. Randal Shayne, USS Arrow Presented by Oddas Aria: "The recipient of the Chief's Citation Award is often one of those members of the fleet who works behind the scenes to make the fleet a better place, putting the hours in adding to those activities outside simming that make the fleet more of a club than just a place to come and play a game. Through their endeavors, they work to make the fleet a place to hang out, talk about our favorite things, and participate in a larger universe. Randal Shayne, the recipient of this year's Chief's Citation, meets the above criteria and more. As the Poll of the Week Co-Facilitator, a member of the ASDB, heading up the Picard Canon Committee, serving on the Captain's Council, and more Shayne is involved in several activities around the fleet that make our group the group it is. Congratulations to Commander Shayne!" The Sarek Star Given to a command officer who shows great diplomatic ability in working with members and staff. Sal Taybrim, StarBase 118 Ops Presented by Aron Kells: "It's my honor and delight to award this year's Sarek Star to Jamie, aka Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim. Though I've never simmed directly with her, I've known and respected her since she first came to my attention, the better part of a decade ago now. I was lucky to oversee her captaincy exam about five years ago, and not only was she clearly an excellent CO, but she also helped me rethink how to interact and empathize with my crew. I was predisposed to think positively of her already, though, after an event that had occurred a few years before in which Jamie had approached me on behalf of herself and others who, it seemed, didn't quite know how to articulate what sort of help they needed. At that point, Jamie was firmly established in my mind as someone who not only works well with others but advocates on behalf of others. Over the half-decade or so she's commanded Ops, I've only seen those qualities improve, and so it's very much time to recognize Jamie with the Sarek Star. However, I also recognize that I often view others from the very privileged position of having been a captain for quite a few years and that one's colleagues and crew are often the best when it comes to telling the real story. I read Jamie's nominations for the Sarek Star as impartially as I could, and I was pleased (but not surprised) to learn that she's very much held in esteem by folks on Ops and around the fleet. According to one nominator, "Jamie handles everyone she contacts professionally, with an outstretched hand of friendship and with firm guidance." Importantly, that nominator writes, Jamie has perfected that very tough balance between establishing firm boundaries and cultivating simmers with collaborative and unique opportunities on Ops. Another nominator notes that Jamie is "always on hand should there be a problem, or a crewmember has plot ideas for character development or plot point, always finding a pleasant and interesting balance between the two." And I'm sure that most folks, whether on the forums or on Discord, or somewhere else entirely, have noted Jamie's positive disposition — or, as one nominator put it, "the ever-present encouragement for all." Simply put, Jamie is not only a diplomat but is also a delight, an outstanding CO whose dedication to the growth and sustainability of her crew is second to none. This award is long overdue and extremely well deserved!" Christopher Pike Pendant Awarded to commanding officers who command their ship with honor and dedication, and help to provide a creative atmosphere which fosters outstanding simming. Oddas Aria, USS Juneau Presented by Roshanara Rahman: "Through the words of his nominators, the impact that Nicholas, the writer behind Captain Oddas Aria, has had on his crew is clear. They cite not just his creative energy but the care and support he gives to those under his command. One person noted, “He is humble, exceedingly competent and possessed of a fighting spirit. For every hit, problem and issue, Nicholas has the patience to face it and the desire to find the best answer possible.” As his former training CO and now fellow captain, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Nicholas develop from a cadet in 2016 to an outstanding first officer and now one of our finest captains. One thing Nicholas has never stopped doing since his first days in 118 is asking questions and advice when he comes across new or challenging situations. That humbleness cited earlier by a nominator has only helped him ensure that he is always learning and becoming the best player and now CO that he can be. And now with his first officer Commander Randal Shayne embarking on a new chapter of his own, Nicholas has ensured that the high standard he has set for himself and his crew will continue to spread throughout the fleet and to the next generation of officers. Congratulations and well-done, Captain!" Kathryn Janeway Award For retired Commanding Officers who have made a great impact on their crew and left an indelible legacy on our community history. Rear Admiral Toni Turner Presented by Tristan Wolf & Oddas Aria: "The retirement of Rear Admiral Toni Turner (Ann) was a sad day earlier this year, as she ended a 14-year run with the fleet, having made a mark on nearly every area of our community. We want to recognize her dedication and loyalty, her boundless enthusiasm for simming, and her fierce advocacy for her crew. How do you encapsulate a career this long and mention all the things that need to be said? I recall so many moments from her time with us, even from those early days as a Counselor at Duronis II Embassy when she struggled to find her voice as someone who had only experienced Star Trek casually and wasn't intimately versed in all the fandom and lore. She was nothing if not persistent and determined, though, to command her own vessel and lead a crew, and nothing was going to stop her. She earned the affection of many in the group with her tireless willingness to volunteer for anything that needed help. As a result, she rotated through many positions in the fleet – winning 19 awards along the way, including the Boothby Award and Staff Member of the Year. In later years of her command, she was an active participant on the Captain's Council and then the Executive Council as a full member. As a Commanding Officer, she returned to the Embassy — after having served on the Challenger and Resolution — and earned the James T. Kirk Cross, Christopher Pike Award, and even the Picard Award. She was single-minded in her pursuit of finding and elevating new officers, encouraging them to look toward leadership and command. She was a booster of everyone she worked with and was incredibly empathetic to those who struggled with finding their voice as she had. We thank her for her long-time service to the fleet and hope she enjoys a restful retirement!" Please join us in congratulating these members of the staff!
  2. I didn't see a Red Carpet thread so I wanted to start one! Let's show off those fancy "formal" avatars. Here is Quentin at the BAFTAS...erm...Embassy banquet...
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