People's Choice Award Winners

In anticipation of the Oscars, GovWebworks/Portland Webworks has presented some awards of our own. A tradition since 2013, the People’s Choice Awards go to the top three employees with the most votes from the company as a whole. Award titles have evolved over the years to become Most Valuable Player, Grace Under Pressure, and Best Kept Secret.

It’s important to note that while many employees receive ample votes and praise from their peers during the voting process, we decided to only recognize the top three. And they are…

1. Most Valuable Player: Hellen Fitzpatrick

This is the employee who has been most essential to the company’s mission over the past year. Hellen is one of three project managers who keeps everything running smoothly on our teams. As one fellow employee noted, “Hellen brings strength, leadership and organization to every project she manages. She always has several projects going at once and manages to keep them all on-schedule, on-budget, and organized all while delivering excellent service to her customers.”

Hellen’s hard work is all the more impressive because she recently became the mother of a baby girl, who we refer to as “Fern” around the office. As a team member remarked, “Hellen is always making sure that projects are managed even in tough situations. She’s still sending messages and prepping at 9-10pm at night, even with a newborn.”

Another noted that, “Her contributions have definitely added to the company’s bottom line.” For all of these reasons, Hellen was an obvious choice for MVP. Furthermore, as another employee pointed out, “Hellen’s ability to tackle any challenge with stoic resolve benefits all the teams she works with. You can’t help but keep calm when Hellen has your back.”

Some of the clients that benefitted from Hellen’s project management include:

2. Grace Under Pressure: Kevin Ferguson

This is the employee who is best known to be unflappable, and who demonstrates tact, consistent productivity, and exceptional grace when under pressure. As one of our senior developers, Kevin also “brings strength and leadership to his teams, and is always thinking about continuous improvement and cross-team benefits even when he has a full workload of sprint deliverables,” says a coworker.

Like Hellen, Kevin also underwent some life changes in the past year. These included living in Peru (where he could only work with private sector clients), getting married last summer, and finding out he is expecting his first child this year. Wow! Through it all, as one team member noted, “Kevin is a mentor, leader, and a big advocate for people on his team. He’s always highlighting other people’s great work and encouraging others. He can do this no matter where he is, in Peru or in Maine.”

Last but not least, Kevin “knows everything about everything, is willing to help, and likes semicolons!”

The following projects were developed by Kevin in 2018:

3. Best Kept Secret: Liem Khuu

This awards goes to the person who stands out for consistent delivery of value to the organization, but doesn’t always receive the recognition deserved. As an accomplished Drupal developer, Liem is reliable, hardworking, and humble. For instance, said a coworker, “Liem is such a humble guy that he doesn’t broadcast everything he does, but I think he should get credit for it.”

Furthermore, said another, “Liem’s calm, unassuming exterior doesn’t give away that he’s wearing a Superman suit underneath. He repeatedly swoops in to save the day on projects, then he’s gone before you had a chance to ask his name.”

Ultimately, Liem was described by a team member as the project’s “orchestra conductor that everyone dreams of becoming.” It was also noted affectionately that he consistently provides cookies on his desk for hungry coworkers. “On top of that he is always willing to jump up and help anyone out.”

The following are among the websites Liem developed in the past year:

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