At our 10 year anniversary celebration last year we announced two new annual awards for PFS staff and volunteers to honor and perpetuate the legacy of two of our founders.
The John Mendesh Award will go the employee or volunteer that most exhibits the following traits: Boundless enthusiasm/results delivered with a smile. Clear thinking that leads to strong results. Creative problem solving.
The Peter Erickson Award will go to the employee or volunteer who most demonstrates the following traits: Tenacity and grit. Wisdom. Humility.
We are pleased to announce the first ever winners of these two awards:
The John Mendesh Awards goes to the following two people…
Christian Dedzo PFS Sr. Program Manager in Ghana. Christian was our first direct field staff hire and has excelled in every way.
"Christian has a been a trailblazer in many aspects and has delivered with boundless enthusiasm and always with a smile. He tops this with clear thinking and creative problem solving. I have learned a lot from what Christian has shared with me and the team.”
"Christian leads by example and has pioneered much of the way we approach our field work.”
Katarina Slettengren, Head of Analytical, Bühler is always willing to help - she has served on multiple projects at one time in the past year, and has always been willing to share analytical laboratory roles with her colleagues due to the high demand.
"Katarina has served on a variety of project - from aflatoxin to shelf life - she is always willing to learn and grow where the project requires. She and Simon from TNS Ethiopia are paired as mentor and mentee and have so far struck up a really productive relationship after meeting in person in Utzwil, sharing a passion for analytical food science."
The Peter Erickson Awards goes to the following two people…
Dan Winderl, General Mills Grain Technology Engineer. Dan has served on multiple PFS projects over the years quietly and humbly serving many clients and fellow volunteers with excellence.
"Dan's humility, tenacity and wisdom are matched by his sense of urgency, expertise and unflappable commitment. In the last six months alone, he has stepped up to guide University of St Thomas engineering students on a technical study of maize bran drying for Tanzania and he's now leading a group of GMI scientists on a study to identify the cause of a product defect impacting the fortification of maize flour in Kenya. He does this with no limelight but is compelled by his choice to make a difference. People follow him because he picks up the baton every time he senses the need.”
"Dan embodies everything that we LOVE to see when volunteer subject matter expertise combines with leadership and client value.”
Steve Berger, General Mills Plant Technical Manager. Steve has incredible knowledge about milling and food production. Though he is soft spoken, his insights are always relevant, thoughtful, and valuable.
"Steve has served in many PFS capacities over the years, including new roles like leading the knowledge management for fortification equipment installation in the SAFE program, and stewarding the material by presenting at field staff visits, and training SAPFF Client Leads on how to access and utilize the materials. During these engagements he served, and continues to serve, as a Client Lead, using his significant leadership capabilities to ensure projects are delivered on time, with high quality results."
Please join me in congratulating these outstanding individuals for their great work and service on behalf of the PFS mission.