Welcome everyone to the 70th Annual Honor Awards Ceremony for the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is my privilege to be here, and to recognize the individuals in our Department who have excelled in their jobs, and who have gone the extra miles in making this country better for every American.
Thank you also for those in our Human Resources Management office who help make the Department of Commerce one of the best places to work in the government, and who have made these awards — and this event — so successful.
Since my arrival here last year as the 39th Secretary of Commerce, I cannot tell you how impressed I have been with the dedication of the employees of our Department. It is truly my honor to work with such devoted civil servants.
I have witnessed how hard people work, well beyond eight-hour days, with many nights that go into the early morning hours, and on weekends, to meet deadlines. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. We know that you are doing these jobs for all the right reasons.
Due to rapid changes in our society caused by technology, innovation, and globalization, our Department has taken on more work than ever before. In this changing landscape, you are adapting to our expanded mission, and are helping to assure that the United States remains prosperous and free.
Our Gold and Silver Honor Award winners have devoted themselves to causes that are much greater than their own. You have sacrificed time away from your families and your own personal interests. You have planned your lives around the needs of your Commerce Department clients and fellow workers.
In the next few minutes, as the citations for the awards are being read, we will be in awe over the achievements for which you are being recognized, the diversity and importance of the work that you do for our country, and for your acts of heroism.
For those winning awards today, thank you for your service, your enthusiasm, and your resolve. This year’s Honor Awards recipients are role models for every one of us. We value the manner in which you carry out your duties. Thank you for your service to our Department; to your co-workers; to the 328 million citizens of our country. And, thank you, especially, for all of the work you do for me — on my behalf.
Congratulations! Your awards are well deserved.