Ken Westlake of Mount Prospect Named 2019 FMA Manager of the Year

  • Ken Westlake's official U.S. Environmental Protection Agency photographToby Wall, USEPA photographer

    Ken Westlake's official U.S. Environmental Protection Agency photographToby Wall, USEPA photographer

 
Updated 4/6/2020 8:24 AM

Recognized by his peers, Westlake provides exceptional leadership at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chicago Regional Office.

Greg Stanford, Federal Managers Association,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Alexandria, VA - The Federal Managers Association (FMA) is proud to announce Mr. Kenneth A. Westlake as the winner of FMA's Manager of the Year award. He is president of FMA Chapter 375, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chicago, Illinois.

The Federal Managers Association strives to promote excellence in public service and is proud to name Ken Westlake of FMA Chapter 375, Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, Illinois, as FMA's 2019 Manager of the Year. He exemplifies the Association's mission at his agency, in his community, and as a leader within FMA.

FMA National President Renee Johnson praised Westlake, saying, "Ken is an inspiring public servant who is most deserving of this recognition. He provides clear leadership in fulfilling EPA's mission, creating a positive culture for his fellow managers and his community. FMA is proud of his steadfast service to our nation and defending its environment, his selfless giving to his community, and to FMA. Our nation is grateful for his vital work to preserve and safeguard our water, air, and habitats for us, our kids, and all future citizens."

Ken has devoted his entire career to public service and safeguarding the environment, working more than 41 years for the EPA's Chicago Regional Office. From 1987 through 2000, Ken served as the State Relations Manager for Illinois and Michigan in the Office of the Regional Administrator. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Tribal and Multimedia Programs Office. Since 2000, Ken has managed the Region's environmental review program, implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for EPA's Great Lakes Region.

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Ken has achieved numerous accomplishments as the NEPA program manager, with his efforts directly translating to preserving and improving the Great Lakes environment for all generations of Americans. He is credited with adopting efficient processes to streamline the review process, allowing EPA to do more with fewer resources. Ken has improved many major infrastructure projects in his tenure, resulting in reduced impacts to wetlands and upland habitats, protecting groundwater in sensitive geological areas, promotion of transit-oriented development, protection of a hazardous waste sites and cleanups, and other improvements to water quality, air quality, waste management, and habitats. He also successfully negotiated reduced noise impacts for thousands of multifamily residents on the O'Hare Airport Modernization Project.

Ken joined FMA Chapter 375 in 2001, and was elected Chapter President in 2019. He has served in many leadership capacities in the chapter, including multiple terms as First Vice President, Secretary, and Sergeant-at-Arms. He has long provided leadership to the Chapter's engagement with senior management on issues important to the workforce, including telework, training, and succession planning. He has been a leader on Chapter 375's charitable activities, notably Feds Feeds Families and the Chicago Public Schools Science Fair, where the chapter provides judges and monetary prizes to winners. He also recently led a well-received training workshop on Social Interaction Styles at FMA's regional conference held in Chicago in November 2019, sharing practical tools to promote effective collaboration in a diverse workforce.

Ken is active in his local community, serving as an adult scouting leader for nearly 25 years. He served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 235 in Mount Prospect, Illinois from 2003 to 2013, and continues as the troop's Outings Coordinator. He is currently North Woods District Chairman, covering Wheeling Township in Cook County, Illinois. He was Scoutmaster for national jamboree troops in 2010 and 2017. Ken has been honored with numerous awards, including recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to scouting and the community, a 2020 Silver Beaver, a District Award of Merit, and a District Scoutmaster of the Year. He was chosen in 2009 for the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow, which is the highest honor in Scouting's honor society.

Further, he served four years as congregation president at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, and continues as a long-time homeless shelter volunteer, assisting minister, usher, Green Team member, and Endowment chairman. He currently heads the Lutheran Church's Metro Chicago Environmental Committee. He also chaired the Mount Prospect Solid Waste Commission from 1988 to 2000. Ken has selflessly donated blood and platelets throughout his adult life, with over 380 lifetime units donated. He is also a life member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and continues to teach Fraternity leadership courses to undergraduates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The FMA Manager of the Year award is presented annually to an outstanding manager or supervisor in the federal government who is a member of the Federal Managers Association. Chapters may nominate one member to their respective region director, and that officer submits up to two nominees from the region, along with supporting documentation, for consideration of the award. The selection committee reviews three categories in determining the winner:

* Workplace accomplishments/contributions

* FMA involvement at the chapter, regional or national levels

* Local community accomplishments/contributions

"FMA, the EPA, and our nation are privileged to have a leader like Ken Westlake," Johnson continued. "His guidance has a profound positive impact in improving the quality of life for all Americans, and particularly those in the Great Lakes region. At a time when the nation is grappling with the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19, Ken is a shining example of the countless federal employees who seek to do their best each and every day to keep us safe and provide necessary services. We are honored he represents the best of the Federal Managers Association. Thank you, Ken, for your incomparable service and resolute leadership."

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