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Announcing the 2021 Class of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors

The SEE Ambassadors program recognizes individual Departmental employees for their outstanding performance in implementing exceptional cost-saving projects and/or programs that help the Department achieve its mission to implement sustainability and improve energy efficiency, water conservation, environmental performance, and awareness.  Despite the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, these colleagues persevered and brought their thoughtful leadership, innovation, and expertise to the table to help institute and promote a culture of sustainability at the Department. 

On behalf of the Department’s Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, the Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Program is excited to announce the Department of Commerce 2021 Class of SEE Ambassadors:


  • Trung (Michael) Nguyen – For his tremendous contributions in reducing paper use as part of the Census Reimagined project, including supporting the development of records management procedures and developing training materials to assist with transitioning paper records to a digital platform.
  • Chante' Sawyers – For her exemplary leadership within the Census Records Management Office, where she collaborated with the Administrative and Customer Services Division during the Census Reimagined project to drastically reduce paper use and to generate renewable energy by processing recycled paper at an Energy-from-Waste processing facility.

International Trade Administration (ITA)

  • Victoria Yue – For demonstrating great initiative and inclusive leadership as the new leader of the International Trade Administration Climate Working Group. Ms. Yue has been instrumental in ITA's efforts to develop a climate strategy.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • Christopher Best – For supporting energy conservation efforts on the NIST Gaithersburg campus by troubleshooting and repairing aging heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, initiating procurement requests to have contractors repair or replace failing equipment, and ensuring air exchange systems are operating smoothly, which has been especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Stephen Coulter – For closely monitoring and adjusting the direct digital control systems that serve as the heartbeat of the numerous HVAC systems on the NIST Gaithersburg campus; Mr. Coulter carefully addresses any system malfunction and restores the system to its efficient, energy-saving operational condition.
  • Noli Manaloto – For his expertise in air balancing and airflow calibration techniques, which helps to maintain energy-efficient operations and ensures the many HVAC units on the NIST Gaithersburg campus deliver the proper number of fresh conditioned air changes per hour, a metric which has become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • George F. (Frank) Potts – For embodying the concept of energy conservation throughout his workday, including developing a daily “energy to-do list” during his morning commute, skillfully executing energy-saving adjustments to building equipment, and helping to ensure success for NIST Gaithersburg’s Demand Response program.
  • Thomas Salvermoser – For his excellent work managing NIST Gaithersburg’s HVAC building automation and related IT security systems to help maintain proper temperature and humidity in NIST's research lab spaces; and for ensuring the energy conservation measures that apply to the HVAC mechanical systems remain malware-free and operating at peak performance levels.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Jennifer Melton – For her exceptional leadership shepherding NOAA's environmental and sustainability programs during a period dominated by the impacts of and response to COVID-19; her actions continue to help institutionalize environmental management and sustainability considerations in NOAA leadership’s decision-making processes.
  • Dr. S. Kalei Shotwell For dedicating much of the last five years to growing the conceptual, methodological, and now technological framework for including environmental information and adapting the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) stock assessments, which provide valuable information on fish stock and are at the foundation of NMFS’s mission to sustainably manage the Nation’s fisheries.
  • Rob Vivian – For supporting a safe and healthy work environment at the NMFS Pascagoula laboratory during COVID-19 by equipping the building HVAC air handling unit with a UV-C system that disinfects airflow. UV-C wavelength systems are used in many hospitals to inactivate or kill microorganisms, including antibiotic-resistant germs.
  • Scott Walker – For ensuring Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) practices and standards are maintained throughout the NOAA Campus in Silver Spring, MD.  Mr. Walker works hand-in-hand with building management to perform audits and find ways to conserve energy and save money.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

  • Kurt Gruell – For leading the vision and effort to implement the Pharos printing project, which involves utilizing the Pharos print management tool to optimize printing for efficient resource use and to save on the agency’s paper printing costs.
  • Jason Lott – For successfully pivoting from USPTO’s traditional in-person delivery of trademark information to a robust online offering, namely, the Trademark Basics Boot Camp series. Mr. Lott was key in both developing the program materials and delivering the virtual programs.
  • Craig Morris – For quickly adapting to new formats for delivering educational content to an online audience. Mr. Morris was instrumental in leading his team to develop and launch the first online Trademark Basics Boot Camp, thereby lessening the demand for air and vehicle travel and cutting the associated carbon emissions.

If you have questions about the SEE Ambassadors program, please contact Sarah Yardley at syardley@doc.gov.