Recognition Programs

VPPPA Recognition Programs

VPPPA features a number of programs to recognize the extraordinary efforts of member sites and individuals who go above and beyond in their efforts to improve safety and health for the American workforce.

The VPPPA Annual Awards recognize association member sites and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the mission of VPPPA during the previous year.

The VPPPA Safety & Health Achievement Program recognizes the outstanding contributions of hourly workers at VPPPA member sites who are not safety and health professionals and do not spend more than 25% of their time on safety and health related activities.

The VPPPA Scholarship Program supports students who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to safety and health in their schools and communities.

To support VPPPA's Scholarships and future leaders in safety and health, please find out more about the VPPPA Scholarship Fund.


Congratulation to our 2015 Scholarship Recipients and Award Winners:


Scholarships Recipients

The June Brothers Scholarship is designed for a student pursuing a degree in the safety, health, and environmental discipline. 

The June Brothers Scholarship
Debra Henze
Ammon, Idaho

Debra Henze’s mother is an employee for CH2MHill-WG Idaho, LLC in Idaho.  Debra is pre-med with a partial athletic scholarship for softball.  She is active with the public health group in her community and presented “Tobacco Free Youth” presentations along with briefings to help children with substance abuse.  She is active in 4H and an advocate for the DARE program.  Congratulations Debra.

The William “Sully” Sullivan scholarship was designed to recognize an employee at a VPPPA full member site who has made a significant contribution to the VPP management system at his/her site. 

The William “Sully” Sullivan Scholarship
Tyler J. Dean
Richland, Washington

Tyler Dean is a current employee at the Waste Treatment Plant operated by Bechtel National in Richland, WA.  Tyler is a teamster and is the chair of the Construction Safety Alliance-the site safety committee with a focus on VPP elements and principles.  Tyler also is involved with the site SETO team (Safety Education Through Observation).  Tyler is continuing his education for business with a safety emphasis.  As an active EMT and safety committee member, Tyler understands and embodies the spirit and passion for safety and brings this home to wife and children.  Congratulations Tyler.

Stephen Brown Scholarship is given to an individual pursing education in the trades’ profession. 

The Stephen Brown Scholarship
Garrett Hamby
Kennewick, Washington

Garret Hamby’s mother is an employee of Mission Support Alliance in Richland, WA.  Garret is currently attending Perry Technical Institute in the Electrical Technician Program.  Garret received a recommendation for this scholarship from Perry where he is currently obtaining A’s in all his course work.  With the support of the scholarship, Garret can continue his pursuits in becoming a highly skilled electrician at a private and prestigious technical college.  Congratulations Garret.

Safety & Health Achievement Program

The VPPPA Safety & Health Achievement Program offers a unique recognition of the association’s members, which is a vital aspect in maintaining the momentum of employee involvement in a safe and healthy work environment. The Voluntary Protection Programs could not be a success without workers, so the association created the award to recognize hourly and non-managerial workers who take the initiative to learn and apply safety and health best practices.

Candidates are required to demonstrate their safety and health knowledge and training by completing the program criteria as well as a safety and health workbook that tests their familiarity with workplace safety and health requirements, accident investigations and VPP procedures and requirements.

Colleen Schmidt
GE Healthcare – ISS
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kevin M. Schoonover
Mission Support Alliance, LLC
Richland, Washington

Michael Kinder
Newport News Shipbuilding
Newport News, Virginia

Robert Hill
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
Aiken, South Carolina

Sharon Kidd
Savannah River Remediation LLC
Aiken, South Carolina

Annual Awards

The VPP Outreach Award recognizes our “VPP ambassadors,” which are those who reach out to communicate and persuade others of the benefits of pursuing VPP approval.

VPP Outreach Award
Tropicana Products, Inc.
Jersey City, New Jersey

Tropicana provided VPP outreach and mentoring through a joint employee management team that mentored three companies for VPP, provided SGE support for OSHA, and conducted community outreach to local and state safety organizations.  Tropicana’s employee & management team have jointly presented for the past five years at the regional VPPPA conference demonstrating the elements of VPP along with improvements and best practices describing the impact to their company, community and across the nation.  Congratulations Tropicana.

The VPP Innovation Award recognizes an individual, company or worksite that has developed and successfully implemented an innovation and emphasized the value of creativity and flexibility in the resolution of worker safety and health problems.

VPP Innovation Award
Washington River Protection Solutions
Richland, Washington

Washington River Protection Solutions, LLC established a multi-disciplined group of workers, contractors, and customers to develop a method to reduce worker exposure during the removal and storage of equipment from pits and underground tanks that contain radioactive waste.  Historically, the process of removal of this equipment resulted in significant radiation exposure with little improvements made in the last 10 years.  Collectively, a tool utilizing the ALARA concepts of time, distance, and shielding to reduce the dose to employees what developed.  This eliminated the need for employees to be exposed and created a safe mechanism to remove the equipment.  This tool was also used to record the radiological dose again reducing the potential employee exposure. Time was saved using this innovation-half the time needed to accomplish the work.  Remote monitoring was conducted to eliminate the need for two employees to have any potential exposure.  Lastly, the new tool was lightweight and could be used behind shielding to further reduce the potential exposure to employees.  Congratulations WRPS.

Raytheon - Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) Indianapolis Site
Indianapolis, Indiana

Raytheon developed the Total Employee Engagement process based upon innovative and easy to implement ideas.  The concept was for front-line employees with intimate knowledge of the work process to be trained on how specific tasks were performed to help identify problems and develop solutions…thus empowering them to eliminate non-value added activities.  It evolved into  the employee identification of safety issues such as electrical and machine guarding that could be addressed by employees without management approval.  This resulted in the employees empowered and acting proactive to recognize and eliminate safety issues before an incident occurred. Over 2,100 safety ideas have resulted since the inception in 2009 with national impacts seen in VA, CA and TX.  Cal/OSHA recognized this program as a best practice at the Chula Vista VPP audit.  Congratulations Raytheon.

The Safety and Health Outreach Award is given in recognition of “VPP Models” who reach out to share the safety, health and technical management expertise developed at their sites.

Safety & Health Outreach Award
CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company
Richland, Washington

CH2MHill employees, working through their employee safety councils, chose to support the nonprofit organization “After School Matters” at a local elementary school in Richland, WA.  This program emphasizes building relationships between young people and adults through academic tutoring, homework assistance, mentoring, physical fitness development and assists students from families whose parents are unemployed or “underemployed.”  Employees volunteered to go to the schools, talk about their professions, the hazards they face, and allow the kids to experience hands-on activities related to those jobs.  The goal was to get kids thinking about how careers, hazards, and safety awareness go hand in hand.

Marathon Petroleum Company LP
Robinson, Illinois

Marathon Petroleum Company has embedded S&H mentoring into the site contractors and expanded their influence to manufacturing, industrial, and mining companies in their community, their state, and the nation.  The Illinois Refining Division held a behavior based safety conference in 2013 and 2014 reaching out to over 400 people and 40 companies with mentoring requests continuing into 2015.  The goal for IRD’s BBS conference was to broaden the influence of behavioral safety from within the refinery to external companies across the nation.  The IRD philosophy is that there are no trade secrets when it comes to safety and health with their conference the embodiment of that idea.  Congratulations Marathon Petroleum Company.