Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (September 6, 2001) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and its employees proudly awarded Gwen Goode its Employee of the Year honors during the state agency’s recent annual picnic.

Goode, a 31-year employee of state government, is responsible for employee training and staff development, which includes in-house training, tuition reimbursement, employee orientation and MDE’s employee incentive award program .

“Gwen is involved in many things that touch our lives at MDE in addition to acting as the catalyst that helps stimulate positive morale here,” said MDE Secretary Jane Nishida. “It is heartwarming to see a hard worker, such as Gwen, finally receive the recognition she deserves especially when that recognition comes from the employees themselves. So Gwen should take comfort knowing that this honor has been voted on not by a committee of managers but by her peers, something that makes the award even more special.”

Goode has demonstrated her value over the years by leading MDE’s Maryland Charities Campaign, which through her leadership and encouragement has been more successful each year in helping the less fortunate citizens of Maryland through her charitable activities on behalf of MDE.

“If there is a cause or campaign you want to get off the ground, give it to Gwen,” said Allan Jensen, director of Administrative and Employee Services Administration, the section of the agency in which Goode has spent her years.“It will be a success. Gwen’s hard work and leadership have lifted morale at MDE, with her upbeat attitude and her infectious good humor.

“Gwen has had a guiding hand in putting together the annual awards ceremony and picnic. Her enthusiasm at the monthly employee recognition programs, and her leadership at this year’s Ravens Pep Rally are just a few examples of the exceptional job Gwen does day in and day out,” Jensen added.

Goode worked as a secretary in the music department at Morgan State University for more than 17 years when, in September 1987, a friend told her of a new state agency being established to focus solely on environmental issues.

Goode, a Baltimore native, said her interest was instantly piqued. “Coming here was a professional career decision. A graduate professor asked me , ‘If you don’t move, how do you know if you have grown professionally?” MDE’s Employee of the Year recalled . “I didn’t go there with the intention of getting a job. I left the interview just like I left the [recent] awards ceremony.

When Goode first joined MDE, the agency consisted of one department while it is now composed of five separate administrations and the Office of the Secretary. And as the size of the agency has grown, so has the impact of its efforts, according to Goode.

Before joining MDE, Goode juggled her full-time job at Morgan State University with caring for her family and her ambition to earn a college degree. After completing 13 years of work to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Goode headed back to school where she eventually earned a Master’s Degree.

And like MDE, Goode has grown over the years into her role as a leader with a remarkable enthusiasm for the work she does and the people she works with — a sentiment her co-workers, who voted to honor her with the Employee of the Year award, share.

“There is no doubt to look at where you were and where you have been. I’m truly blessed,” Goode said. “And the good thing about being employee of the year is that I’ll have these memories for years to come.”