Combined Federal Campaign
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Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent In Charge, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations – selected as recipient of the National “CFC HERO –LEADERSHIP AWARD” by the Office of Personnel Management CFC Operations.
SAC Dennis celebrated his success as CFC Civilian Campaign Executive Advisor. In 2012, SAC Dennis led the Civilian Campaigns to a record breaking result by raising over $1,276,684.00. ($33,575, 3% increase than 2011).
Some highlights of Mr. Dennis’ exemplary leadership in the 2012 CFC:
- -64 civilian offices and agencies in 8 counties surpassed their campaign goals in 2012 by an
average of 35% and participation rate at 42% in average. (Overall campaign participation rate is
25.6% in 2012 in the Atlantic Coast Region.)
- - 3% increase in total Civilian Campaign Results than prior year.
- - Average Gift for Civilian Campaign in Dade & Broward is $299.10. A 3% increase than prior
year. 17% higher than the overall campaign average and 16% higher than National Average
($258) in 2012.
- - 13% Increase in number of leadership donors ($390 and more) than prior year = 1838 civilian donors gave $390 or more in 2012 (compare to 1230 donors in 2011 Civilian Campaign.)
SAC Dennis' leadership was instrumental to the success of the 2012 campaign. His leadership and direction re-vamped and renewed interest to jump start old and new supporters to open their hearts, dig in their wallets and positively impact the lives of those we serve.
Happy Retirement to Edward Kiess, former Altantic Coast CFC Director!
Edward Kiess, former Director of Atlantic Coast CFC, is retiring from United Way of Palm Beach County effective April 26, 2013. We wish him a wonderful retirement. He will be missed but never forgotten. Ed has done so much for the federal community in his 15+ years of CFC experience in D.C. and in Southeast Florida. Some of his major contributions to the Atlantic Coast CFC include successfully merging two campaigns to reduce overhead cost, record-breaking campaign results, and reduction of campaign expenses associated with the CFC. His diligence, wisdom and guidance were appreciated by all LFCC members, Loaned Executives and Key Workers that he worked with and he will always be remembered! He has left an indelible mark with his professional expertise and his friendships. CFC wishes you happiness in future endeavors of your dreams!
Congratulations to Mr. Darrell Roberts, Technical Operation Manager, FAA Miami Center
Congratulations to Mr. Darrell Roberts, Technical Operation Service Manager – FAA Miami Center, former FEB chairman and 2012 EEO Special Performance Manager Awardee, for being invited to a special meeting with the President today for his outstanding contributions to the community.
The Atlantic Coast Combined Federal Campaign applauds Mr. Darrell Roberts for his tireless effort, commitment and dedication to help the underprivileged children in our community. Mr. Roberts is a long time supporter to promote education through his partnership with the non-profit organizations to improve quality of education for the children in Miami. Mr. Roberts offers the youth in our community the precious opportunities for professional trainings and internship programs. His effort has significantly helped increasing graduation rate and reducing drop out rate in the region through mentoring youths by opening their eyes and experiences to the possibility of success regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
Please click on the link for more of Mr. Roberts' endeavors : Spotlight
Meet Thomas G. Wilson, U.S. Department of Agriculture
I have been a foster father for about 5 years with the Place of Hope. My wife and I have had 7 foster kids in our home throughout that time, some for a few months and others for years. Five of my children were infants, two of those infants I picked up straight from the hospital - both born addicted to drugs. I specialize in caring for children from 0 to 5 years old, and all of them were extreme cases: from a 10-month-old with a fractured skull, babies born addicted to cocaine that needed to be detoxify, and even a 5 year old boy who was sexually abused. Each one of the children were victims of unspeakable things and in need of great care. I have always felt that they will not find the type of care that they need in a state-run shelter, but rather in a family environment. There is nothing more healing than the unconditional love of family. No matter the situation they come from, in my home they are family and are treated like the blessings that they are. Give children your time, hope, compassion, patience, and love them like they were your own. A child deserves nothing less than to be loved for the rest of their life, by someone who will love them with the best of their life. I have seen miracles: torn bodies healed, hard hearts softened, and broken spirits renewed. If you want to see a miracle, walk in my shoes for a mile. The miracles - they never stop. My Father often told tell me this old saying: "A man's life isn't always measured on how far he goes, but in where he makes his stand." This is where I make my stand. In 2012 my wife and I were given a great honor. We were awarded “Foster Parents of the Year”. Being a foster parent is not what I do, but who I am
Meet Juan Beltran, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Good morning ladies and gentleman! My name is Customs and Border Protection Officer Juan Beltran. It is an honor for me to be here today sharing my story with such an amazing audience. For me nothing is worth more than this day, not only because I have been invited to such an amazing event as the CFC Ceremony, but also because last night I went to sleep and woke up this morning still breathing, and I thank GOD for that! Life is precious!
Talking about being thankful, sometimes we have great days and enjoy what we do in our jobs. Sometimes we have disappointing days, and don’t like too much what we do in our occupations. We might complain about how much workload we have; we might complain about how early we might have to wake up in order to make it to work, or probably how late we end up getting out of work. We might even complainabout having to go work. But you know what the most important thing is? That, regardless of what we all have been appointed to do, regardless of what our duties and responsibilities are, at the end of the day we still have a job and we all should be thankful! Do your best and be your best!
I believe that life is like a rollercoaster: when we are having great times, we feel like we are on the top of the rollercoaster. When we are having tough times, we feel like we are on the bottom of it. I also believe that everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes we won’t understand the reason why certain things happen to us.We might think thatwe are having bad luck, or probably that we are being reprimanded, but reality is that life if full of obstacles. Obstacles that we are sometimes predestined to face in order to make an impact in our lives and to help us become stronger human beings than what we already might be.
The good news is that, in the long run, regardless of what your situation might be, regardless of how small or big these obstacles could be; the odysseys that we encounter in life will neverbe greater than what we can allhandle. So hold on tight. Everything in life has a purpose...
In 2005, after serving for 8 years to this country as a Medical Service Executive Officer of an Army Medical Company deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I decided that I needed a career change. Unfortunately, multiple deployments were affecting the welfare of my family. Even though my passion was the military, my family was priority number one! That is why in 2005, after a 14 month deployment to Iraq, the decision was made. I applied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was hired as a Customs and Border Protection Officer and assigned to Miami International Airport, the location in which I have been stationed since then.
The first 4 years of my career as a Customs and Border protection Officer were great! I loved what I was doing and always had a passion for it, and still do! Even though I was working extra hours in order to compensate such salary pay cut from my previous position, for the first time I was finally able to go to work, do my job, and go home with my family. For me that was a luxury that I never had during my career as a Medical Service Corps Officer with the U.S. Army. That was priceless! During those years I was actively involved with the CFC Campaign as a key worker From 2007 to 2010.I was on the top of the rollercoaster, but what I didn’t know was that the rollercoaster I was riding was about to hit a free-fall that would impact my life in such a dramatic way that no one, not even myself, would ever expect.
If I told you right now that you have been diagnosed with a malignant tumor at an advanced stage, what would you do? You don’t have to respond, but I bet you that the first thing that is going to go through your mind is: Am I going to live? Am I going to die? Who’s going to take care of my family if I don’t make it? Am I going to be able to afford medical treatment? How am I going to support my family if I have to be absent from my job during medical treatment? You might actually go through a period of denial, depression, and most probably loss of hope…
That was my case. In January 2010, when I thought I was on the top of the rollercoaster, all of the sudden I encounter a 90 degree free-fall that changed my life in a split second! I was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer or cancer of the larynx.
The cancer was revealing as a Stage 1 malignant tumor localized in the vocal chords. It was such an aggressive tumor that it actually increased its mortality rate from stage 1 to stage 3 within less than 30 days. What does that mean? It means that I was one stage away from the tumor being metastasized. The news was obviously devastating for me and my family. For a moment I thought I was having a nightmare and I just wanted to wake up from it. Unfortunately I wasn’t having a bad dream! My reality was that I was facing a life threatening situation and that time was of essence. I decided not to lose control of the situation, to stay calm, be positive, proactive and focus all my energies in doing whatever needed to be done in order to get rid of this malignant tumor that was taking my life away from me.
Instead of asking myself: “Why this is happening to me?” I asked myself: “What do I have to do to win this battle? I never lost hope… I always knew I was not fighting alone. I had faith in GOD…
By late January 2010 I was referred to a tumor board who decided that, since I was a young man, I was going to be able to tolerate an aggressive cycle of chemotherapy with radiation therapy administered simultaneously, with a 99% chance of treatment success.
I started treatment in February 2010. During the time I was under such an aggressive treatment I avoided staying at home. I decided that I was going to work until the very last day I couldn’t handle the pain any longer. Even though I was diagnosed with cancer, I was still a head of household responsible for the wellbeing of a beautiful wife and three lovely children, that were 14, 8, and 6 years old at the time. I couldn’t really financially afford to stay at home! I still remember going to my chemotherapy and radiation therapy sessions, getting them done, and hitting the airport like a normal day. Only a handful of people knew what I was going through. During the evolution of my chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment it became obvious something was happening to me. My fellow co-workers started to notice the dramatic physiological changes I was going through. Weight loss, hair loss, changes in skin pigmentation, the strange noises coming out of my jacket which was being produced by the infusion pump I had to carry every day for certain chemo drug administration, and mostly my inability to speak. During the late stages of the treatment I had to make some adjustments; since it came up to a point in which I couldn’t eat, drink, or swallow anything due to the radiation therapy to the neck.
During the final weeks of treatment I had to feed myself through a feeding tube that was previously placed on one of the multiple out-patient surgical procedures I had, but that didn’t stop me from going to work. I was still trying to be productive as a CBP employee and never quit. I tried my best to make the best out of it and be the best!
By the end of August 2010, eight (8) months after I was diagnosed, I was finally able to finish both treatments. I have to confess that it was a tough challenge, but I was tough enough to handle it. I never lost control of the situation. The following two months were full of joy because I was able to surpass what I thought was the toughest test in my life. What I didn’t know was that this odyssey was not even close to being over yet! I was about to hit another unexpected vertical free-fall.
Even though I was hoping to be on the 99% bracket of treatment success I was guaranteed, guess what? I was the lucky one to be part of that only 1%. The 7 months that I spent under the chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy treatment were considered a failure. The tumor that had previously disappeared revealed again, this time with a more aggressive approach.
When I was informed of my new prognosis I didn’t lose faith! I always knew I was not fighting alone. I was still ready to fight this battle until the very end! After a series of consults with specialized head and neck surgeons the decision was made. The only way for me to survive this cancer was by executing a total laryngectomy, which is removal of the larynx and all its components. This news was even more devastating for me and my family! The only way to survival was losing my voice, which I barely had because the tumor had already consumed it. I instantly thought about what was going to happen if I wasn’t able to talk! I needed a voice to communicate, especially on my job!
I started to go off tangents with so many concerns, but then I reformed myself and remembered that I was not fighting alone! I had faith in GOD!
I remember asking my ENT surgeon if I was going to be able to talk again, and he told me that it was not going to be an easy process, but that eventually I was going to be able to talk even more clearly than what I was talking at the time.
Time came, and in November 8, 2010 a total laryngectomy was performed, to include removal of the voice box, the neck lymph nodes, the thyroid, and reconstruction of the esophagus as well as the trachea for a total of 12 hours of surgical intervention. Back then I truly didn’t understand why I was going through this odyssey, but now I do, and I have to confess that the day of the surgery was a great day! It was a great day because I went to sleep, this time under anesthesia, and woke up the next day on my own still breathing, but this time through my neck! Yes, for those that were wondering, I am a neck breather. Not only have I lost my voice during the surgery, but also 2 (two) of my 5 (five) senses were gone, and that was my tasting as well as my smelling sensation. During that time my life tasted a little bitter, but even though my smelling as well as tasting sensation were totally disabled, even though I wasn’t able to talk, I was still breathing and I thank GOD for that!
Life changes in split second! From being a “normal person” on the top of the roller coaster, to falling down on a 90 degree free-fall and end up underlying on a bed literally speechless. But I always knew I was not alone! I never lost my faith in GOD!
Four months after such a radical surgical procedure I was finally able to go back one more time to surgery for a voice prosthesis insertion. That day was also great day because I was able to produce sound! I had a voice! After a several months of speech therapy sessions I was finally able to learn and master a speech technique that allowed me to articulate the same air that I breathe into words. I finally was able to communicate freely once again!
It is interesting, and it called my attention, that when I calculated the time that I was basically forced to leave from work, against my own will, to fight this battle against cancer, I was absent for a total of 14 months, which is exactly the same amount of time I was gone during my deployment to Iraq back in 2004. During my unit deployment to Iraq in support of the war on terrorism we were not alone. We had friendly forces fighting with us. Ironically, this time I was deployed in support of a different war, the war against cancer, but I was not alone either. I was given direct support by the ultimate friendly force, the ultimate surgeon, the ultimate army, the ultimate warrior, the one that rescued me from such a life threatening decease and save my life, and that was my GOD! That’s whytoday, 2 years and 3 months after such a radical surgical procedure and after a total of 12 surgical interventions,I am thrilled to say that I always knew I wasn’t fighting alone! I have prevailed and came out victorious thanks to GOD!
You all might be wondering why I am sharing my story with you and what, if any, is the relationship between my story and the CFC. I am definitely not sharing this chapter of my life so you could be sad, or to get tears in your eyes. That is definitely not my intention. I am sharing with you my story to prove a point, and that is that “we, regardless if federal employees or not, wealthy or poor, are vulnerable and are not exempt from catastrophic diseases, tragedies, losses and mishaps in life”.
Unfortunately, we as human beings take for granted the true meaning of “giving” until we are actually in need of being given. Even though I had a great job and a great health insurance, I still wasn’t able to cover all the medical expenses generated by the treatments I was receiving at the time. I had to incur in personal loans and even work overtime until the very last week before my surgery. Medical treatment for cancer or any other catastrophic diseases could be extremely expensive! This is when the CFC had a great impact in my life! Through one of the hundreds of non-profit organizations that are currently part of the CFC, in my case The Roger L. Von Amelunxen Foundation, I was able to apply and receive financial assistance that helped me immensely in lowering all those medical bills that were piling up. I always pledged to the CFC without even thinking that one day I was going to become a CFC recipient. I became a CFC recipient, and I’m very thankful for that!
CFC has hundreds of non-profit organizations dedicated to a variety of causes. Regardless if it is research, animal services, health and human services, or medical assistance, they all share the same goal and that is to give back the hope, that at some point was lost, to those in need. You could be the next one in need, and the CFC will be there for you!
These nonprofit organizations are fighting this battle alone. When we make a pledge to CFC we are becoming the friendly forces, giving them the direct support they all need in order to fight and prevail. Imagine having an army of federal employees supporting this cause! Who’s going to defeat us? That's why it's called the Combined Federal Campaign... We all are part of the CFC Task Force and I am very proud of you all! You all deserve a big round of applause!
That being said, it is our responsibility, as a CFC supporters, to maintain that commitment and also become the recruiters of those federal employees that for some reason do not understand the mission, vision, values and goals of the CFC.
When I read the email that I received asking me if I was willing to accept the invitation as a guest speaker for the CFC Ceremony, I paused for a second. Then I went back and read it again and I said to myself: “Really! Am I being asked to speak to an audience? Are they really asking a person with a speech disability to give a speech?” Isn’t that odd? Then I answered to myself: “Why not? If I could share my story with others, and make an impact in peoples life’s, for their own benefit, that’s all it matters! That’ll make me feel full of joy! So here I am today, a person with a speech disability giving testimony that nothing is impossible in life!
Then I realized that: if we all apply the principle of sharing to the CFC concept; if we all share just a little bit of what we have, making an impact in the lives of those in need, giving them back the hope that they all have been waiting for, we will be then contributing today for the creation of better tomorrow.
So let’s forget about the past, move forward, and focus all our energies in making out of this present a better future! Life is precious!
Asa former Army Medical Executive Officer, a proud disabled American Veteran and a proud CBP Officer, I salute you all and I thank you for being part of such a noble cause. Your contribution to the CFC is already making and impact! Believe me or not, you have become someone’s hero!
I would like to take this opportunity to first and foremost, thank GOD. Thanks to HIM I am where I am, and I am who I am. Life took a voice away from me, but He gave me back a more powerful one! Thanks to the CBP for all their support during the time I was absent. Special thanks to my lovely wife Inabelle! Honey, thank you so much for being there right next to me every day and night. If my nickname is the “Iron man” then your nickname should be the ‘Iron woman”! I love you!
Special thanks to CBP Supervisor Bradley Martinez for all his support during these harsh times. Like I mentioned before, life has a purpose. I met Supervisor Bradley Martinez during our deployment to Iraq back in 2004. I was the executive Officer of a Medical Company and he was a highly motivated soldier. I am glad I took care of him during war, because today, 9 years later, he is my Supervisor and I am his highly motivated officer! Hopefully I’m right! And last but not least thanks to the CFC for having me here today. It is really appreciated!
Now I leave you now with the following thought: “If you never give up, if you embrace every possibility, if you make every moment count, if you trust in yourself, if you have faith, if you believe in miracles, if you can dream it, if you follow your heart, if you live for today, if you show compassion, If you follow your heart, and if you remember to breath, nothing will be impossible in life; the sky will be the limit. That’s what I call the art of living!”
Let us be the change we wish to see in the world. “We are the hope for a better tomorrow!”
GOD blesses you!
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