The State Attorney’s Office recently hosted an internal awards ceremony to recognize the exceptional efforts of attorneys, investigators, and support staff from the past year. In all, 12 individual awards were presented during the annual event, along with milestone honors for those who have been with the office for extended periods of time.
The individual awards were:
Oustanding Administrative Assistant – Josephine Rodriguez, secretary in the Special Assault Division (SAD). The award recognizes the support staff member whose work ethic and work product was particularly exemplary in the past year. Rodriguez was presented the award by SAD Director Adair Newman.
Oustanding Trial Support – Renae Lewin, victim advocate. The award recognizes the investigator, paralegal, or victim advocate who consistently provided exceptional assistance to attorneys, victims, and witnesses in the trial process. Lewin was presented the award by Nassau County Deputy Director Donna Thurson.
Oustanding Investigator – John Sheppard, investigator. The award is presented to the investigator who provided extraordinary assistance to attorneys, victims, and witnesses. Sheppard was presented the award by Chief Investigator Tim Quick.
Leadership – Brian Hughes, paralegal. The award recognizes the support staff member who showed he or she is willing to go above and beyond to help others in the office, demonstrates leadership skills, and works as a team player when coverage is needed. Hughes was presented the award by Homicide Director Alan Mizrahi.
Community Service – J.J. Thurne, investigator. The award recognizes an employee who provided exemplary volunteer service to the community through one or a series of organizations. Thurne was presented the award by Chief Investigator Tim Quick.
Group Achievement – The State of Florida v. Victor Reed trial team. The award recognizes a team within the office that executed a particularly difficult trial, has founded and led a new initiative. The Reed trial team was presented the award by Special Assault Division Director Adair Newman.
Significant Achievement – Tom Mangan, senior trial attorney. The award recognizes an attorney who stood out for his or her performance in a single case or trial, or an attorney who contributed above and beyond to the office in terms of overall performance or leadership. Mangan was presented the award by Chief Assistant Mac Heavener.
Trial Advocacy – Lauren Huish, senior trial attorney. The award recognizes an attorney who performed with exceptional skill in trial work and preparation throughout the year. Huish was presented the award by Circuit Deputy Director Pam Hazel.
Rookie of the Year – Christina Stifler, assistant state attorney. The award is given to a young attorney who has shown particular trial skill, work ethic, and professionalism that exceeds all expectations. Stifler (pictured with her mother, ASA Theresa Simak) was presented the award by Circuit Director Mark Caliel.
Distinguished Service – Pam Hazel, Circuit deputy director. The award is personally selected by the state attorney and presented to an attorney who shows dedication, professionalism, and a willingness to step up and take on roles and responsibilities throughout the office. Hazel was presented the award by State Attorney Melissa Nelson.
State Attorney – Chris Huband, assistant state attorney, Special Prosecution. This newly created award is presented to an employee for exceptional effort and diligence in serving the people of the Fourth Circuit. State Attorney Melissa Nelson presented the award to Huband, who was unable to attend the event due to a work obligation.
Employee of the Year – Jim McMillan, Trial Support Services. The award is personally selected by the state attorney and presented to an employee whose efforts, work, and spirit truly stood out in the past year. McMillan was presented the award by State Attorney Melissa Nelson.
In addition to the individual awards, employees were presented certificates and honors for their milestone years of service to the people of the Fourth Circuit.