Our People

2020 Core Value Award Recipients

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) named its annual Core Value Award recipients at its staff meeting at the end of February. The award is peer-nominated and began in 2019 to recognize employees for their exemplification of our core values. Five awards are given each year based on each value: to be Safe, Ethical, Engaged, Effective, and Professional. All awardees demonstrate work ethics encompassing all five core values in an extraordinary way.

We are proud to share our 2020 Core Value Award recipients:

Be Safe: John Oleksik, Research Engineer
John has been instrumental to his team’s safety, bringing safety issues forward, putting safety ahead of job site concerns, and developing procedures for field COVID-19 protection. He has worked extensively with plant engineers and subcontractors to ensure safety and efficiency, documenting changes with his colleges. In 2020, John was also responsible for the setup, removal, and operation of the carbon capture system at Minnkota’s Milton R. Young Station and Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station.

Be Ethical: Ryan Klapperich, Principal Geoscientist
Ryan has been a great mentor and educator to new staff at the EERC. He offers valuable advice for writing proposals and reports; asks questions that keep work on track, unbiased, and honest; and is protective of his colleagues and teammates while remaining measured and just. Ryan serves as an EERC ambassador, part of our onboarding program, and leads the EERC’s involvement in the Northland Rescue Mission’s Backpack Program.

Be Engaged: Kyle Dye, Technology Development Operator
Kyle jumped right into field work with Project Tundra, maintains a positive attitude, challenges himself to learn constantly, and is always looking for ways to do more and do better. His favorite words are “What’s next?” and “How can I help?” which make him an asset to any team. He is also involved in the operational safety task force and the employee development committee at the EERC, creating a meaningful and long-term impact.

Be Effective: Marla Berge, Administrative Assistant
Marla has a no-nonsense, positive, and willing-to-help attitude that has sustained her team through the last year. She is as good at teaching as she is at learning, allowing the pilot plant to go paper-free after learning a new program, and developing a system for travel coordination between groups that allowed field work to continue more smoothly. Marla also plays a key role in our IT group, helping set up and organize laptops, computer hardware, and training for remote workers.

Be Professional: Chantsa Dalkhaa, Principal Reservoir Engineer
Chantsa has been an example of how to communicate expectations and solutions clearly and consistently in a timely and professional manner. She inspires ambitious but achievable goals, supports professional development for all, and empowers her team to meet and exceed project deliverables.

Congratulations and thank you to all who were nominated and awarded for their outstanding work and values!

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