The recipient of the 2022 CPSE Ray Picard Award is Senior Management Analyst Norma Jean Valdez with the Los Alamos County (NM) Fire Department, a CFAI Accredited Agency. Ms. Valdez has been involved with accreditation since the beginning, when Los Alamos was selected as a beta site for the accreditation process. According to one of her colleagues, she has since been continually a part of the department’s accreditation, having “vision, dedication, heart, balance, determination, and the desire for continuous improvement to keep LACFD’s accreditation quest alive and striving, always being the one to carry that torch towards success.” Ms. Valdez serves as a champion of the accreditation process, both in New Mexico and beyond, and exemplifies the spirit of Ray Picard in receiving this award.

Congratulations, Ms. Valdez!

In 2000, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) established the Ray Picard Award. We designed this annual award to recognize Chief Ray Picard’s vision in pioneering quality improvement for the fire and emergency service. Chief Picard was one of the earliest champions of the self-assessment and accreditation process that has led to a culture and paradigm shift within the fire service.

This annual award will be presented to an individual who exemplifies the ability, character, dedication, leadership, and visionary attributes Chief Picard exhibited. The individual should personify Chief Picard’s contributions and exceptional leadership to the CFAI and the accreditation of fire service organizations.

Learn about other CPSE awards or contact CPSE if you have any questions.

Previous Recipients

2021 – Christian Jacobs, CEMSO 2010 – Ken Helgerson
2020 – Thomas Thompson, CFO 2009 – Mark Puknaitis, CFO
2019 – Mike Hall, FO 2008 – No Award
2018 – Brad Brown, FO 2007 – Gary Tokle
2017 – Rob Ugaste, CFO 2006 – Gary Curmode, CFO
2016 – No Award 2005 – Dennis Gage
2015 – Brian Dean, CFO 2004 – Ronny Coleman, CFO
2014 – Ernst Piercy, CFO 2003 – Ray Flowers
2013 – Cliff Jones, CFO 2002 – Martel Thompson
2012 – Barry McKinnon 2001 – Bill Killen, CFO and Randy Bruegman, CFO
2011 – Mike Brown