DM/CDS Excellence in Defence Award

June 15, 2020 - Defence Stories

Video / June 15, 2020


(Deputy Minister) Hi, I’m Deputy Minister Jody Thomas and I’d like to welcome everyone to this year’s Virtual Celebrating Excellence Awards ceremony. National Public Service week is the perfect time to recognize members of the Defence Team who have demonstrated excellence in achieving results for Canadians. In light of the challenges facing all Canadians, General Vance and I are happy to take part in this year’s virtual event. Congratulations to this year’s winners!  

(Chief of Defence Staff) Good day!  I hope you all will join the DM and myself in congratulating all of the recipients of this year’s Celebrating Excellence Awards.  We would, of course, prefer to present these awards in person, but in light of the current situation facing all of us, we are pleased to take part in this year’s virtual ceremony. I want to say a big congratulations to all this year’s winners, and thank you for your great service to the Department of National Defence. Bravo Zulu! 

(Andrew McKelvey) Hello and welcome to the 2020 Virtual Celebrating Excellence Awards, taking place this week during National Public Service Week!

My name is Andrew McKelvey, form DND’s Corporate Internal Communications team, and I am proud to announce this year’s recipients virtually throughout the course of the week.

Which brings me to today’s award. 

The Deputy Minister/Chief of Defence Staff Excellence in Defence Award recognizes individuals or teams who significantly contribute to ongoing Departmental priorities through extraordinary innovation, leadership, and/or sustained contribution to Defence.

This year there are no fewer than 13 recipients of this award.  And they are:

Abderrahim Bellahnid,

Renaud Delisle,

Maj Nicole Deschamps,

Dr. Peter Kwantes,

Robert Larocque,

Margaret-Jane Malcom,

Sia Salehi,

Dr. Christopher Salisbury,

Catharine Zimpleman,

The Emission Security Team,

The HR GO Team,
The Kapyong Barracks Settlement Team,

And the Litigation Implementation Team,

Congratulations everyone, and check out the Maple Leaf for the reasons why these individuals and teams received these awards, stay tuned for more awards this week!

This award recognizes individuals or teams who significantly contribute to ongoing Departmental priorities through extraordinary innovation, leadership, and/or sustained contribution to Defence. Here are this year’s recipients.

Abderrahim Bellahnid

Awarded to: Abderrahim Bellahnid

Citation: for his dedication to the advancement of strategic Military Satellite Communications outcomes for DND and for your contributions to the DND joint space program.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: For more than a decade Mr. Abde Bellahnid has dedicated his professional life to the unwavering goal of delivering the best possible MILSATCOM program to the members of the Canadian Defence Team.  His initiative and extensive collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, including Five Eyes and NATO partners, have directly contributed to the delivery of global space-based communications upon which virtually all CAF operations and national outcomes rely.  We are fortunate to have his intellect, experience and passion as part of our collective team.

Renaud Delisle

Awarded to: Renaud Delisle

Citation: Commended for his remarkable contributions to transform a former landfill site at the Valcartier Research Centre into a wetland, creating a legacy that cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: We would like to highlight the remarkable contribution of Mr. Renaud Delisle to the project to transform a former landfill of the Valcartier Research Centre (VRC) into a wetland.  For nearly 10 years, Mr. Delisle managed elaborate water and soil sampling campaigns throughout the VRC's territory, in order to analyze the present contamination related to past DND activities.  Building on his knowledge of contaminated sites, Mr. Delisle initiated an innovative project to decontaminate a former landfill site.  Mr. Deslisle's initiative, rigour and perseverance enabled him to successfully complete this major project, which is a first for the VRC.  Through his vision, Mr. Delisle has contributed to improving DND's environmental legacy for generations to come.

Maj Nicole Deschamps

Awarded to: Maj Nicole Deschamps

Citation: Commended for her dedication as the commanding officer of 5 Operations Support Squadron at Goose Bay and for significantly advancing the operational readiness of the facility under challenging conditions.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Nicole, congratulations on winning this award that recognizes excellence in Defence! Since your first day in Goose Bay, you’ve provided superb leadership and relentless energy to always ensure 5 Wing’s priorities were met, while at the same time advancing all aspects of operational readiness. We’ve been able to move forward many of the Wing’s long-standing challenges because of your vision, your cooperative approach, and your decisiveness. So well deserved!

Dr. Peter Kwantes

Awarded to: Dr. Peter Kwantes

Citation: Commended for being a visionary scientist and a role model for the defence scientists at Defence Research and Development Canada and for the sharing of his expertise for the benefit of Defence priorities.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Congratulations to Dr. Peter Kwantes from DRDC-TRC who is being recognized as an outstanding role model and an exemplary mentor. Peter, you motivate and inspire those around you through your enthusiasm for your research, your hard work and your supportive nature. The dedication you demonstrate toward DRDC, its people and our CAF partners is greatly appreciated by your colleagues and shines through in the quality of the research you conduct. Thank you!

Robert Larocque

Awarded to: Robert Larocque

Citation: Commended for his dedication to the NATO Flying Training in Canada Program, resulting in improved pilot training, increased oversight of program management, and significant cost savings to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: For years now you have been the very heart and soul of the NFTC program. Your depth of knowledge forged through countless hours piloting the CF18 and applied to this program whereby future generations of aviators benefit from your experience and expertise epitomizes what it means to give back. I consider myself fortunate indeed to have had the opportunity to work with you and to have benefitted from your tutelage. I truly can’t think of anyone more deserving of this level of recognition and I hope you see this as a small token of the esteem in which you have been and continue to be held.

Margaret-Jane Malcolm

Awarded to: Margaret-Jane Malcolm

Citation: Commended for dedication to excellence, a commitment to the development of people, and for efforts to develop an audit function for the Director General Audit.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Margaret-Jane’s work ethic, her willingness to always lend a hand and put others before self, her positive attitude and composure in the face of difficulties, as well as her ability to always overcome obstacles and produce results are invaluable to the Directorate General of Audit, the ADM(Review Services), and the entire Defence Team. Her exemplary leadership, dedication to excellence, integrity, resilience, professionalism and respect inspires staff to strive for excellence, do the right thing and focus on adding value to the Defence Team. Margaret-Jane is a rare public servant that always exceeds expectations and is truly an asset to the organization. There’s no other way to say it: we would be at a loss without her!

Sia Salehi

Awarded to: Sia Salehi

Citation: Commended for his outstanding leadership in delivering the Government of Canada’s first net-zero ready facility, the award-winning and self-sustainable Explosive Ordinance Disposal Training Facility in Gagetown.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Congratulations Mr. Sia Salehi, for your outstanding leadership, dedication and initiative in delivering many Major Capital Construction Projects. Thank you Sia for your superb work on the 3,889 m2 Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Training Facility 5 Canadian Division Support Base (5 CDSB) Gagetown, N.B facility. The successful realisation of this first Government of Canada Net Zero Ready facility, was made possible by your exceptional level of initiative and problem-solving ability in meeting all the challenges related to the use of new, complex and evolving technologies. I commend your dedication to your work by completing this challenging project well within the budget, and proposing to use the remaining allocation of funds to further enhance the energy savings of the facility with the addition of a solar array. This solar array will render the facility totally energy Net Zero, another first for the Government of Canada.

Dr. Christopher Salisbury

Awarded to: Dr. Christopher Salisbury

Citation: Commended for his outstanding efforts, dedication, and resourcefulness in institutionalizing the Land Force Intelligence Centre's Level Two Exploitation Capability. It’s now safer and more effective, making it a sought-after product by our international partners.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Dr. Salisbury, as the Command Team of the Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment, we would like to offer you our sincere congratulations on this significant award. Your invaluable contributions to the advancement of the Canadian Army Level 2 Exploitation Capability has undoubtedly put the Army at the forefront of this developing area of expertise and has become the envy of other international partners. We are grateful that you are part of our team and thank you for the outstanding support you have been providing to the Regiment over the last years. LCol Danny Pomerleau & CWO Martin Renaud

Catharina Zimplemann

Awarded to: Catharina Zimplemann

Citation: Commended for her outstanding service and dedication as accommodation manager on the move of five L1s to National Defence Headquarters (Carling), totaling over 2,700 members, and for leading the design activities of five of the complex’s buildings.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: On behalf of the entire DG Headquarters Team, I would like to Congratulate Ms. Zimpelmann as a recipient of a Celebrating Excellence Award. Ms. Zimpelmann exemplified a strong work ethic, and a selfless drive to accomplish team and organizational objectives that resulted in the successful transition of many L1 organizations to the new NDHQ location at Carling. Her pro-active approach, creative problem solving skills, and initiative to support other team members to get the job done represent the best qualities of the public service and a credit to this department.

Awarded to: The Emissions Security Team (EST)

Jacques Angel

Jeff MacDonald, Photo unavailable

Michel St-Pierre

Paul Garant, Photo unavailable

Eric Pinard

Donald Turcotte, Photo unavailable 

Marc Lapierre

Jason Shelp, Photo unavailable

Citation: Commended for the team’s efforts as emission security test and evaluation experts dedicated to protecting Canada and its allies in an ever-changing threat environment.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: I would like to send a shout out to present and past members of The Emission Security Team.  I am really proud of the manner that you have professionally carried out your mandate as the Emission Security testing Team for the entire Department of National Defence since 2007. In particular the item that stands out is your innovative efforts to modernize your suite of testing tools.  As such you folks have become internationally recognized for your expertise among our Five Eyes allies. Your efforts in the application of knowledge, innovation, and perseverance to protect the security needs of Canada and of our NATO allies is very much appreciated.  Thanks Team!

Awarded to: The HR-GO Team

Sharon Cardiff-Pilgrim, Photo unavailable

Dalal Eldali

Michael Palmer, Photo unavailable 

Sean Dalrymple, Photo unavailable 

Leonard Fleischer

Graeme Rombough 

Julie Albert

John Douglas, Photo unavailable 

Mireille Genest, Photo unavailable

Diana Scheper

Citation: Commended for the team’s commitment in designing and implementing HR GO RH, the first stand-alone HR mobile application in the Government of Canada.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Congratulations HR GO team for the Celebrating Excellence Team Award! The team developed, designed and implemented the first of its kind standalone HR mobile application in Government, HR GO RH. The team’s tenacity, open mindedness, innovative spirit and consistent desire to build a tool that puts meaningful HR information and tools at the fingertips of the Defence Team should be commended. They continued to be inspired to develop productive relationships with clients, colleagues and achieve the launch of HR GO RH. The app has been a cornerstone for delivery of content and tools during these unprecedented times. Well done team!

Awarded to: The Kapyong Barracks Settlement Team

Nathalie Berubie

LCol Peter Glaicar

Kimberley Stephenson

Bonnie Brathwaite-Lee

Karen Koster, Photo unavailable

Ron Stevenson

Kaitlyn Brennan

Francois Lourette, Photo unavailable

Citation: Commended for years of collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation between the Kapyong Barracks Settlement Team and the Treaty One First Nations to transfer part of the site for development of Canada’s first joint urban reserve.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Rob Chambers, Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) and Lyse Langevin , Director General Indigenous Affairs (DGIA) at the Department of National Defence, recognize the hard work that went into the negotiation of the Kapyong Barracks Comprehensive Settlement Agreement, exemplifying reconciliation with Indigenous peoples by representing Canada in long and difficult negotiations culminating with the signing of a landmark agreement to sell the Kapyong Barracks lands to 7 First Nations. This historic agreement is an example of DND's commitment to building renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, recognizing the importance of the lands to these First Nations and helping create economic development opportunities.

Awarded to: The Litigation Implementation Team

Najwa Asmar

Bernadette Cook

Linda Legros

Marie-Josee Young

RAdm Jennifer Bennet

Camilla Gallibois

André Pilot, Photo unavailable

Mary-Ann Buske

Tim Kerr

Chadley Wagar

Citation: Commended for the professional and sensitive way in which the Litigation Implementation Team worked with all stakeholders to respond to the class action lawsuit resulting from the LGBT Purge.

Virtual “Shout-out” from the Nominator: Virtual “Shout-out”: I am thrilled to recognize the Litigation Implementation Team for receiving the DM/ CDS Excellence in Defence Award for Sustained Contribution. The Team led and coordinated the DND/ CAF response to the major class action lawsuit resulting from the LGBT purge that took place from 1955-1996. The Team played a significant leadership and coordination role for other government departments as well as the LGBT Purge Fund, internal partners and key stakeholders in the development and production of apology letters, Canada Price Citation certificates and insignia, obtaining additional funding and resources, and liaison with the Administrator Assessor. Through their remarkable dedication, exemplary initiative, visionary approach and tremendous commitment, the Litigation Implementation Team has not only brought great credit to DND/CAF and set up this institution for success in future litigation, but they have demonstrated a rare standard of professionalism in the execution of their responsibilities with care, compassion and concern for those who were harmed and affected by the LGBT Purge. They played a crucial role in reconciliation and resolution for which they are to be commended.

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