By Jim Eckles & Erin Dorrance
Suggestion #1. Get help. Some nominations are submitted by loved ones or friends who don’t have a deep understanding of what the nominee did. You need information about the person’s accomplishments and why they were meaningful. The person’s personnel file will help if you have access to it – asking the nominee for his records is one way to get accurate data. You need to find the nuggets of excellence and put those in the package. It is highly recommended to work closely with the nominee’s colleagues who may be able to strengthen the nominee’s package with technical information and quantifiable statistics and information on the impact of work accomplished.
Suggestion #2. Remember the intent of the program—the WSMR Hall of Fame recognizes past WSMR employees who went above and beyond. Thousands of great people have worked at the range in its 70-year history, but this honor is for those who made significant contribution while at WSMR.
Suggestion #3. The nominee should have made accomplishments individually, since the honor is not presented to a group or a couple. If a nominee “collaborated” or “contributed” to a project then they can’t solely take credit for the accomplishment. On the other hand, if the nominee “spearheaded,” “led” or “single-handedly accomplished” a project, they would comply with the intent of the honor.
Suggestion #4. Do not include obscure documents, evaluations, award certificates, etc. In fact, if you look at the latest rules you will find that the board limits the narrative submission to four pages.
Suggestion #5. Find the good stuff – grab it and jettison the rest. It is in the mountain of paper you want to submit but won’t. Take the real examples of the nominee’s great work and succinctly write up what he or she did, how it made a difference, and support it with a quote from an evaluation or an award certificate. If John Doe designed a new camera widget or lead an effort to save millions of dollars, explain what it was. The quotes from the evaluation or award are then the proof that he or she did them and that they are, indeed, important.
Suggestion #6. Make sure everything is specific. I’ve seen a lot of packages where nominators sought an endorsement from their congressman thinking it would impress. Those letters don’t help but the key facts from those who worked with them carry much more weight.