|1) CompTIA letter informing me “You have now earned the designation: A+ Certified Technician”. The program not only included this certification but also learned the entire MS Office Suite which at that time automatically included Access.
2) The official A+ Service Technician Certification – At this time Windows 95 was just coming out so not all companies had converted from Windows 3.x which was a Graphical Overlay on top of DOS. Windows 95 merged these two together so I had to also be familiar with both OS’s, just in case. Fortunately I was able to get a hold of a set of floppy disks with Windows 3.11 so it was very interesting to understand the difference between these two. I don’t remember which OS the test was based on. It was the suggestion of the teacher that it would be in our best interest to be familiar with both. Thus began the many adventures of the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) which eventually created the never ending Mantra of “Save and Save Often”.
|First Institute’s Entry Level Network Admin program also included the above mentioned modules to round out the skill sets for entry into Corporate America. Little did I realize that I’d never utilize the Novell Administration information taught and that on April 12, 1999 a Metrics Career would begin that turned into ongoing passion that’s never died after all these years|
|My manager first exposed me to programming via SAS on Mainframe as I watched him do it. During some downtime I asked him to show me some things. He gave me his book and some basic direction and allowed me to hack my way through it. When I demonstrated an ability to do this, the Department Manager agreed for me to take the official course. Yet I never got the chance to really use it because there was a department programmer who handled all of this. As a result all that training fell by the wayside but was not lost totally because it allowed me to know what was and was not feasible when needing specific data requests. Many people when reviewing my work said my use of Excel functions was like programming indicating a natural ability for it which eventually led to VBA.|
|This is actually my very first award and was given to me during my initial contracting period of one year. During a departmental meeting, the Department Manager begin saying things like “this individual asks what more can I do” along with several other similar statements. Little by little I thought this sounds like me but couldn’t be because I’m a contractor until she announced my name. I was able to choose from several options but once I saw this sweatshirt the decision was done.|
2001 UNITED AIRLINES CARGO MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
During a major quarterly meeting where people from around the world were attending, I was able to meet face to face with the many “email names” I had been working with, there was an award ceremony. I was astonished when I was announced as the 2001 Most Valuable Player. Because my reporting touched so many people in the room, it was followed by the loudest applause of all reward recipients.
1) This is the letter from the VP of Cargo congratulating me on being an outstanding contributor in 2001.
2) This is the verbiage that my manager put together that was read while announcing why I won Most Valuable Player. You can see it references the Pacific, Atlantic, and Latin American regions. There was also the European region and of course North America. There was a joke back then that because my reports were distributed globally, my name was literally known around the world even if they were only airline employees.
3) The certificate to honor my 2001 Most Valuable Player signed by the President of Cargo.
4) This clock was the physical award that I received for being the 2001 Most Valuable Player that’s still ticking all these years later.
|United Airlines Cargo issued quarterly minor monetary awards for best performance for the quarter. After winning 2-3 times in a row, my manager silently announced to me that “technically” I was the best performer, but after so many quarters in a row, they needed someone else to win to avoid possible accusations of favoritism.|
|Some time in the latter half of my time at United Airlines Cargo there was an initiative where I believe they wanted cargo to be delivered on time 95% within the next 5 years. A commendable effort indeed unless you were elbow deep in their mainframe data knowing full well of its issues. The adage from the programmer was approximately 20% of the data had to be thrown out due to data issues. This brought up the fact that how can you be 95% successful when you’re throwing out 20% of the data? I wrote a detailed email to my manager that fell on deaf ears because management is notorious for not fully understanding all of the caveats of their data especially when it doesn’t jive with their directives. Sometime in the following year or so a salesperson was touting the data I produced on how well UA Cargo was performing until these Freight Forwarders started to show what metrics they were keeping based on their experiences. The feces hit the fan and from that arose a Dashboard Team to address the issue and create a Customer Scorecard. This letter is an acknowledgement from the President for our efforts.|
|During my final months at United Airlines Cargo, they bought into Business Objects XI. Word made it to me that Excel was “too cumbersome” and this was going to “change the world”. When I took these two courses plus a third one for WebI which I never received a certificate of completion for, it was obvious early on that the course databases were setup for a “perfect data world”. I quickly noticed that many of the issues I dealt with were not being addressed. This also involved working with Crystal Reports from which comes the story of how I “broke” it in the first 30 days of using it. Something that I easily did without effort nor issue in Excel was not possible in Crystal Reports without having to update the database structure. So much for Excel being too cumbersome which obviously was a “sales technique”. There was no willingness to spend the money to update the database so this “Excel Report” couldn’t be done in Crystal Reports.|
Business Objects XI
|There were two additional training classes after the initial Report Design classes. We all asked about the Certificates of Completion for both of these classes. For whatever reason they never arrived.|
|Several months after starting to work at Allstate in their applications development area, a division wide announcement was sent out that everyone needed to minimally have ITIL Service Management Essentials and those whose jobs entailed more were required to get higher certifications in support of their aggressive move to integrate ITIL. The courses were run by the Pink Elephant organization and this is their Certificate of Completion.|
|EXIN was the governing body issuing the actual ITIL Foundation Certificate.|
|1) This is my second major award of my Metrics and Reporting career and the first one that came with a large bonus. Level 2 was the company’s second highest award. It was primarily for the rebuilding of their massive quarterly report that was originally a 5-7 day nightmare that I automated to be a 2-3 day “walk in the park”. I was informed of this by my manager just as we were heading to the meeting room for a quarterly meeting.
2) This is the ETSP Rewards and Recognition form used to nominated me for this award containing the justifications for it one of which was taking the quarterly report from 240 hrs to 40 hrs and how my efforts have led to much better insight into ETSP performance and is providing a focus on metrics that was not easy to do before.
|There was a monetary gratitude program at Allstate where anyone could give a minor amount as a Thank You for some kind of assistance. Managers could give larger amounts. I received a number of these things being the local Excel Help Desk of varying amounts depending on who I assisted. These that could be “cashed in” for a variety of gift cards.|
|The level of this Abbott Bronze Award is similar to the Allstate Miscellaneous Monetary Awards that were given for various “favors” I would do for people. My comment always has been “If you think it’s taking too long and there’s got to be a better way, I probably already know how to fix it and if not can figure it out relatively quickly.” Sometimes those little favors had actual paybacks beyond the numerous “Thank You’s” and “You’re a Lifesaver!!” As she states, this would have taken her days and I did it in several hours at the most.|
|The woman who issued this was responsible for the major enterprise wide report that was used during the monthly AMR (Abbott Management Review) that I contributed to. It was very complex with lots of Excel Functions and VBA coding. I caught some glitches which I reported to her. We worked closely to maintain the highest level of quality for this report.|
|Shortly after I was converted from Contractor to Employee, the company announced that my division along with some others were going to be split off into a separate company that would eventually be called AbbVie. Not only did I initially upgrade our local Management Review Dashboard and accompanying PowerPoint file but was also integral in converting all of them to the new AbbVie version. Once that occurred, the division I was in was the largest of the new company and I found my role had become highly visible as the top AMR analyst of this new company.|
|Some awards were not for performance but for what you do outside of your required job performance. I had adopted one of their previous laboratory Beagles. Every so often a group of them reached the maturity level that ends their participation which is normally between 3-5 yrs old at which time they are put up for adoption. Although these dogs were well taken care of, they have never been in a “real home” so have to get used to things like Potty Training at an adult age, what is a Treat, and many more things. I offered to speak to all of the prospective adopters to explain what it was like, the challenges to expect and the joys received.|
|As an Excel Power User I’ve come across a series of caveats that can occur that can affect the results. I received a frantic call for help for this tool used for 3rd Party Suppliers. It went through their Validation Process to ensure the quality was always functioning, hence the frantic call. This issue had the potential to cause serious fallout due to contractual obligations. I recognized the problem in just a few minutes of poking around which was an issue with Validation boxes when you copy and paste them which was being done frequently. Because of an error in a validated file, an Exception Report had to be opened and I then had to supply the Root Cause and created a tool that would assist where there were record issues and how to correct it. This same tool had been used prior to the Abbott/AbbVie split so the Abbott counterparts also had to be informed and use this correction tool; it was a really big deal. Because this was a standard known Excel caveat that I knew but no one else had experienced, this also resulted in a company wide announcement of this caveat especially when using Validation boxes in Validated files.|
|Although these two are not really Certifications or Rewards, it’s not everyday that someone gets to be a part of Day One of a brand new company. A little over two years after I started working at Abbott Laboratories as a contractor and just after I was hired as a permanent employee the announcement that Abbott was going to spin-off a new company from certain internal divisions. It was interesting to be involved with a lot of the work being done for this conversion along with hearing when the name was originally chosen to walking to my desk on January 2 to find an “AbbVie Welcome Package” that contained not only this letter from the CEO but also the Founding Employee certificate along with other “goodies” including watching the executives ring the bell of the stock exchange in a grand ceremony to kick it all off.|
|Although this is not technically an award nor a certification, the line that states “Refinement of the MOR Report distributed by the CIO” was referencing a major overhaul to this monthly Executive PowerPoint Presentation I did and was a surprise when it was first mentioned at the end of 2015 listing the NGS accomplishments for that year. I knew I had greatly upgraded the format as it was given to me but did not know it was considered one of the major accomplishments of 2015. I was also involved with “reporting of first time quality” and heavily involved with the 2016 SCAMPI Preparation Activities. This is a picture of my screen during the Directors Q1 Division Meeting as you can see the buttons of the monitor on the lower right.|