Ever since I handed off the production of the Awards Ceremony to an "Awards Facilitator" – in 2012, I believe – I've been writing a section for special thanks. Looking over those past notes of thanks I've written, they've grown considerably from 2012's very modest couple of lines mentioning the assistance I received, to 2020, which included a detailed description of the rather insane lengths we go to produce this event – our largest, oldest, and most special event of the whole year.
This year I want to jump right into the thanks without further ado because the folks who have helped here deserve nothing less than the world.
Let's start with @Jo Marshall, Emily, comparable only to Captain Marvel in feats of strength and focus! From appointment as the Awards Facilitator in May, Em took the job of coordinating everything with aplomb, ensuring that each step of the process runs smoothly. If you've read last year's special thanks, you know that Em also facilitated last year and so now has managed two years without a hitch!
It's really hard to imagine, if you haven't done this kind of thing, all the plates you need to keep spinning at once but also how much "manual labor" is required. At the staff level of this community, we value making things as easy and expeditious for each other as possible. We have dozens and dozens of administrative forms that allow us to easily catalog data and format it into tables. We have administrative forums, where we organize threads of data. We have Google Sheets galore where everything must be ordered and colored correctly. The goal here is often to present data and tasks to others in a way that feels as seamless and easy as possible, but often it means putting in a hell of a lot of work to move data from one place to another in a format that works. You can't describe it as anything other than a labor of love to help other people participate in the Awards process, even when it means spending a lot of time to make that work.
A former boss of mine once wrote in an evaluation that I have a "high tolerance for bureaucratic process," and now I want to pass along this rather backhanded compliment to Em, who never complains, is good natured, funny, quick to volunteer and adapt to the challenges posed. She navigates the intricacies of this bureaucracy with ease and ensures that the rest of us can pick up exactly where we need to. I can't help but feel an affinity for her, and a deep appreciation for her skilled dedication to what we're trying to accomplish when it comes to the awards and any other task she takes on.
Next, I want to thank everyone who had a hand in the selection of our awards and other setup:
@Addison MacKenzie (Matt): Who assisted Em with the entire process and helped to get everything posted
The Awards Committee: Who carefully read a lot of nominations and made the best choices for those awards. Thanks to each of the following people who put in extra effort for this part of the process and it is a HUGE lift to read all these nominations.
VAdml. @Quinn Reynolds
Com. Aron Kells @Tony, aka Kells
Com. @Jalana Rajel
Our Commanding Officers: Who not only tirelessly command and manage their ships, but also ensure that members of their ship are justly rewarded for their contributions during the awards – which requires reading lots of nominations and balancing them all appropriately, all while simming and everything else they do! Thank you for your dedication, your enthusiasm, and the work you put into this process and everything else you do. I know that this is an incredible lift for all of us each year, and your efforts do not go unnoticed!
Our First Officers: Who help advise the Executive Council in deciding what Staff Awards are received, by reviewing all the nominations and making recommendations. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into considering the nominations!
Everyone who nominated someone else: Your nominations really do matter! These nominations inform the entire process and help the staff and Awards Committee recognize the contributions we couldn't possibly have seen alone. Thank you for putting in that time.
There's also a couple other "special thanks" for the year on behalf of the Executive Council. I recognize that putting these at the end of our Awards Ceremony, at the bottom of other thanks, sends a signal about their importance. But I want to counter that impression by saying that the fact these are being mentioned here, and chiseled in the stone of Wiki Mountain in our Awards Ceremony archive, should also say something about how important these notes are!
Cmdr. Serala (Jim) deserves recognition for stewarding the crew of the USS Chin'toka after their commanding officer abruptly resigned without notice. Jim's loyalty to our community and skilled intervention helped ensure a smooth transition to Capt. Mei'konda. We want to thank him for making that transition as easy as possible for everyone
Capt. @Oddas Aria (Nick) deserves recognition as the EC's Captain At Large who keeps the most consistent and well-communicated office hours for Captains Council questions!
Com. @Roshanara Rahman (Rich) deserves thanks for taking on the EC Magistrate role, facilitating and helping to push forward boatloads of to-do items across 2020-2021, keeping us on task and making sure things got completed in a timely fashion as well as taking lead on a bunch of projects. Also, for being an open-minded individual who helped foster meaningful discussions that helped our staff understand other's points of view
And Com. Taybrim also had these thanks to offer:
So that's a wrap. Awards are presented, thanks are given, and we now head into our 27th year of operation as a community. I hope you all enjoy your time here and feel recognized and rewarded for your efforts, and that the joy of being in fellowship with each other is a reward of its own. Until next year!
-FltAdml. Tristan Wolf