contributed

Stephanie (Stevie) Hretz is the deputy director of the Workplace of Protection and Program Construction’s (OPPD) Possibility Administration and Enhancements Employees (RMIS). Before starting the place of living in June 2021, Hretz served as a biological science technician and microbiologist within the Workplace of Public Health Science (OPHS) and a senior staff officer in RMIS. In her most up-to-date characteristic, Hretz leads and supports a various staff of scientists that capabilities chemists, microbiologists, meals technologists and veterinarians. The team develops sampling program instructions, supports modern meals security applied sciences and collaborates across FSIS to bring many perspectives cohesively into policy.

Stephanie Hretz

Her 20-year FSIS profession began while Hretz became as soon as an undergraduate student on the College of Georgia (UGA). She became as soon as in quest of a job that complemented her training so she would possibly per chance per chance per chance perchance furthermore be taught each and every inside of and originate air the college room. She responded to an ad in UGA’s college paper, and landed a segment-time job as a lab technician in FSIS’ Jap Laboratory in Athens – correct down the avenue from UGA – the place she labored from 2001-2005 while ending her bachelor’s level in microbiology. Wishing to amplify her perspectives in public smartly being beyond the lab bench, Hretz attended graduate college from 2009-2011 at Florida World College the place she performed her Grasp of Public Health level. At some level of this time, she analyzed samples with OPHS and attended classes on the subject of.

Repeatedly increasing

To boot to her promotion earlier this year, Hretz just nowadays graduated from the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) whose mission is to “misfortune [federal] executives to cultivate the abilities, attitudes and behaviors serious to dynamic and transformational public sector management.” This year’s program became as soon as held on the subject of because of the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Said Hretz, “My job makes me feel admire there’s continuously one thing to be taught, continuously any other segment of my mind to flex and that that you can per chance perchance perchance gain a difference on one thing major from anyplace within the Agency. I again others to step out of their consolation zone and build increasing. There are of us there to enable you to.”

Importance of mentoring and teamwork

In 2019, Hretz participated within the FSIS Mentoring Program the place she became as soon as matched with Pete Bridgeman, Executive Affiliate for Worker Expertise. Said Hretz, “Pete has if fact be told helped me question, via his example, that that you can per chance perchance perchance help wellness and steadiness while entering developed roles within the Agency.” With his guidance and help, Hretz has seen some major dreams that they living together in terms of fruition – being chosen for FEI and becoming a deputy director, as an instance. Bridgeman continues to help Hretz achieve her profession dreams.

All the map via her profession, Hretz has been a member of many excessive-performing teams, each and every within the laboratory and in headquarters. Hretz doesn’t correct incorporate teamwork in her job. She says, “Teamwork IS my job. Protection doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it takes the irregular perspectives of many program areas to gain the absolute top decisions,” she explains. “Drafting policy is ready gathering that recordsdata, finding general ground and gaining consensus forward of shifting forward.” The need for policy comes out of the working teams with representation from all program areas. These working teams are collaborative teams made up of representatives from OPPD, OPHS, the Workplace of Planning, Prognosis and Possibility Administration, the Workplace of Area Operations and others. These teams title, prioritize and implement FSIS priorities and evaluate development to divulge recordsdata-pushed methods to toughen meals security.

Hretz employs a “humans first” formula. She explains, “It’s the realization that staff are of us first forward of they are ‘human capital’ and that we ought to care about them holistically.” She builds relationships and begins with the working teams’ input referring to priorities and considerations; then it goes via the clearance direction of, which contains the working teams, OPPD directors, program rental assistant directors, and the FSIS Administrator. Her job is to search out the “candy living,” making obvious every person’s considerations are addressed and wants are met. Hretz finds negotiation is required to finding irregular alternatives and outmoded ground. She is pleased with her work; “I’m privileged to impeach the affect of my characteristic in accurate time. One key portion of policy is evaluating effectiveness, and I admire to impeach the place we’ve made development and to exercise the recordsdata to continuous enchancment.”

FSIS core values personified

Whereas she embraces all four FSIS Core Values – Responsible, Collaborative, Empowered and Solutions-Oriented – Hretz believes Empowered most carefully aligns with her bear core values of Authenticity, Advocacy and Autonomy. “I had been empowered over my profession to bring my entire self to work and to unfold that empowerment to others. Embracing our diversity capability creating a rental the place staff will even be their most legit selves, so as that the Agency fully advantages from the entire lot they must provide,” she said.

Her supervisor, RMIS Director Dr. Melvin Carter, believes Hretz demonstrates all four FSIS Core Values. “Stevie is all of these and then some. You don’t must agonize about her being to blame resulting from she is on the total out in front of the solution,” said Dr. Carter. “At some level of the direction of, she collaborates across the Agency to gain the correct subject topic consultants enthusiastic with the dialog and the solution. She is empowered and she makes obvious that these working with her feel the equivalent. For many, she is the ‘hasten to’ resulting from of her capability to bag consensus and stay just oriented.”

Start air of work

Whereas working on the Jap Laboratory, Hretz participated within the Companions in Education Program, which affords mentors, science educators and diversified assets to local most major colleges. A student whom Hretz began mentoring in third grade is now a 2019 graduate of UGA and the first in her household to help college. Hretz’ protégé is now pursuing a certificate to present English as a 2d language. She says that she is proud that her inclined protégé has embraced the root of “humans first!”

Hretz married Matt Willcox on Halloween in 2010. Even supposing their 10-year anniversary time out to Ireland became as soon as cancelled because of the the COVID-19 pandemic, they are busy planning a “enact-over” time out. To boot to roller-skating, she enjoys instructing her Greyhound, a retired racer named Luck Dragon, and Ibizan hound named Levert in dog sports the place they compete in conformation shows, agility, dock diving and scent work competitions.

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