Nov. 27, 2018
Previous Next

Workforce magazine announces LLNL as a winner of two 2018 Optimas Awards

Carrie L Martin, martin59 [at], (925) 424-4715

Two programs and teams of employees within the Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) Department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been honored with gold and silver 2018 Optimas Awards by Workforce magazine, a Human Capital Media publication.

The awards program, celebrating its 28th year, recognizes companies achieving successful measurable business outcomes through visionary and impactful human resources initiatives that achieve business results for the organization.

Thirty-one companies were named winners from this year’s pool of nominees. Gold, silver and bronze Optimas Awards were given in the following categories: benefits, business impact, corporate citizenship, global outlook, innovation, managing change, partnership, recruiting, training and vision. Additionally, General Excellence was awarded to one company demonstrating excellence in at least six of the categories.

LLNL earned a gold award for managing change and a silver for vision.

"For over 28 years we’ve seen companies place increasing importance on human resources initiatives, realizing the potential a strong HR department can have on business growth," said Rick Bell, editorial director of Workforce magazine.

"This year’s finalists stand out in an ever-expanding field of qualified nominees, and we’re pleased to see so many organizations using innovative HR practices to improve their business." Bell added.

Managing programs for such a large-scale population of employees at LLNL takes foresight and an efficient implementation plan for things to run smoothly. Over the years, the Laboratory has proven successful at solving a variety of business challenges. Receiving recognition through receipt of two awards is evidence of the Laboratory’s significant accomplishments.

2018 Optimas Gold Award


SHRM’s International Services Office received the 2018 Optimas gold award for managing change. "This award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated adaptability and agility in successfully developing a program in response to the changing business environment."

The Laboratory received this award specifically for its efforts to use HR management international services initiatives to conduct science at a large scale with the most qualified international candidates. The team of employees receiving this award includes Debbie Eaton, Linda Canaan, Michael Nguyen, Sheril Burke and Jorge Intal.

"Our team is honored to be recognized for our contribution to the Lab," said Renee Breyer, SHRM director. "One of LLNL’s key values is inclusiveness — drawing on the widest possible diversity of talents, thought and experiences. We hope that this award brings a spotlight to how much LLNL values and works toward bringing the best and brightest to work at the Lab, regardless of where our employees come from."

The advancement of science and technology is tied to the Laboratory’s ability to attract and retain world-class scientists from around the world.

"Lawrence Livermore brings in more than 600 international employees and visitors each year," Breyer said. "The International Services Office aims to harness the multiple perspectives and experiences of international employees where science today knows no borders."

The International Services Office has improved its HR management practices in leadership and diversity and inclusion, including improving the J-1 visa program through feedback from exchange visitors and international stakeholders.

"We strive to continually improve our program to provide the best support for our employees as well as maintaining flexibility and foresight to manage the constant procedural changes and reinterpretations of immigration law and regulations," Breyer said. "We hope to not only provide a welcoming environment to attract the best talent, but to continue to provide our international employees with support in recognition of the value of their contributions."

2018 Optimas Silver Award


SHRM’s Livermore Laboratory Employee Services Association (LLESA) received the 2018 Optimas silver award for vision. "This award recognizes organizations that anticipated internal or external trends and responded creatively, effectively and proactively."

The competition is high in the Bay Area to attract and retain employees with well-known companies in the same vicinity offering competitive compensation packages. Lawrence Livermore and LLESA realize the importance of work/life balance for employees and have implemented successful programs such as onsite fitness, a children’s center and blood drives. The team of employees receiving this award includes: Melissa Sale, Kellie Glaser, Colin Yamaoka, Pam Didway, Ahnileen Martinez, Erika Cisneros, Allison Masi, Cindy Northcutt, Mary Townsel, Christine Hearn and Cayla Zayas.

"Our LLESA team is honored and humbled by this recognition," said Sale, LLESA general manager.


"We are dedicated to providing quality recreational, educational and convenience programs that build connections and enrich the lives of our members. Receiving this award is great recognition for the Laboratory as we continue to compete for talent in an area where work/life perks are pretty amazing. Winning this award illustrates our management’s ongoing commitment to employees. Offering a variety of recreational services also is a way to help employees save time and to promote health and well-being."

Optimas Award winners were initially announced on and LLNL will be profiled in the November/December issue of Workforce magazine.

"Being recognized with these two high-level awards will only further showcase LLNL’s dedication to its mission and values," Breyer said. "By embracing our community and valuing the diversity and inclusiveness of our scientific endeavors, the Lab will further show world-class scientists that our institution is committed to advancing science and technology while providing work/life programs that employees desire."

For more information on the program and past winners, visit the web.