Michigan Athletics Honors Four at Annual Leaders & Best Awards
From left: Chantel Jackson, Kyle O'Neill, Katy Hepner and Kathy Wilson

June 25, 2014

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department held its third annual Leaders & Best Awards event today (Wednesday, June 25) at the historic Michigan Theater. Four athletic department staff members were the recipients of awards presented at the department-wide event.

Special Events Coordinator Katy Hepner received the Wolverine Innovator Award, Business Systems Analyst Kathy Wilson was awarded the Maize and Blue Driving Change Award, General Manager of the Michigan Golf Course Chantel Jackson received the Bo Schembechler Team Player Award and Executive Assistant for the Academic Support Program Kyle O'Neill was recognized as the Valiant Victor Teammate of the Year.

"Katy, Kathy, Chantel and Kyle performed at an extremely high level this academic year and set lofty standards for others within our athletic department to follow on a daily basis," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "They are highly motivated individuals that are dedicated to our department's strategic plan and high-performance culture. We are proud of what they accomplished this year and thank them for their commitment to making Michigan Athletics the leaders and best in every way!"

Hepner was named the recipient of the Wolverine Innovator Award. This award is given to a Michigan Athletics team member who created and implemented a great cost-saving idea or improvement or assisted in generating revenue for the department through a new product or service idea during the Fiscal Year. The winner supported the strategic plan by helping Michigan Athletics grow in a specific way.

The Maize and Blue Driving Change Award was presented to Wilson. The recipient is a team member who embraced the opportunity to work beyond what was comfortable, took smart risks and created positive changes within their department during the Fiscal Year. The winner practiced the "If It Ain't Broke, Break It" philosophy established in the department's strategic plan. The recipient is an individual who thrives on change and lives the principles and values that exemplify the Michigan Athletics culture.

Jackson was the recipient of the Bo Schembechler Team Player Award. Named for iconic Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, the award is presented to a staff member who not only consistently helped his/her department get the job done but went out of their way to assist co-workers in other departments during the Fiscal Year. This teammate helped whenever and wherever necessary to get the job done and was truly in it for the good of Michigan Athletics.

The Valiant Victor Teammate of the Year was awarded to O'Neill. The honor is presented to the Michigan Athletics team member who exhibits the ability to be innovative with cost-savings or revenue generation, who demonstrates a commitment to positive change and assists other teammates throughout the department during the Fiscal Year. This co-worker participated in community or charitable activities, provided customers with exceptional or improved service, motivated others, participated in department functions and had the Michigan Athletics spirit!

The four winners were nominated by their peers and were selected by a committee of their team members within the athletic department.

Wolverine Innovator Award: Katy Hepner, Special Events Coordinator
Maize and Blue Driving Change Award: Kathy Wilson, Business Systems Analyst
Bo Schembechler Team Player Award: Chantel Jackson, General Manager of the Michigan Golf Course
Valiant Victor Teammate of the Year: Kyle O'Neill, Executive Assistant in the Academic Support Program

Media Contact: David Ablauf (dablauf@umich.edu)