Each year, the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, or Sammies, recognizes excellence in the federal workforce and honor the civil servants “breaking down barriers, overcoming huge challenges and getting results.”
But this year is a little different.
For the first time, the “Oscars of government service” will be hosted virtually on Oct. 5, due to the ongoing pandemic. The mission and the message, however, are no different, said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, which hosts the awards event. In fact, Stier is planning to make a little bit of “lemonade” out of life’s offering of lemons by opening the Sammies up to more people than ever before.
Typically, about 650 people attend the Sammies at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. And each year, “we wish the rest of the United States could see this because they should,” Stier said on a new episode of Gov Actually. “And lo and behold, we are trying to make that happen this time … And my hope is we will get 2,000x, 10,000x, 30,000x in terms of viewers that will actually be able to see and participate in a way that we would never have done otherwise.”
The event will be broadcast on Bloomberg TV and livestreamed on multiple platforms online, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
During the episode, Stier goes on to talk about the importance of recognizing the federal workforce, how a post-pandemic federal government will look, and what surprises are in store for the virtual Sammies.
Lastly, Gov Actually’s Dan Tangherlini and Danny Werfel are hosting a special virtual Sammies watch party. Starting at 7:25 p.m. EST on Oct. 5, they’ll host a pre-show with special guests, before watching the program live and wrapping up with a post-show discussion. Register for the watch party here.
Let us know what you think in the comments on those platforms.