John W. McCormack Annual Award of Excellence to Congressional Employees

Speaker <a href="/People/Detail/17779" title="John W. McCormack">John W. McCormack</a> (left) and Sergeant at Arms <a href="/People/Detail/38410" title="Kenneth R. Harding">Kenneth R. Harding</a> (center) stand with awardee, Superintendent of the Radio-Television Gallery Robert M. Menaugh (right), during the McCormack award ceremony in 1972. Behind the group is a plaque displaying the names of previous recipients./tiles/non-collection/m/mccormack_award_PA2019_03_0039.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John W. McCormack (left) and Sergeant at Arms Kenneth R. Harding (center) stand with awardee, Superintendent of the Radio-Television Gallery Robert M. Menaugh (right), during the McCormack award ceremony in 1972. Behind the group is a plaque displaying the names of previous recipients.
The McCormack Award, created in December 1970, is named for longtime Speaker John W. McCormack of Massachusetts. McCormack served as a Member in the House from 1928 until his retirement in 1971, serving as Majority Leader before holding the Speakership for the last nine years of his career.

(From left to right) Speaker <a href="/People/Detail/8360" title="Carl Albert">Carl Albert</a>, Jeannette Petinaud (Ernest Petinaud's wife), awardee and House Restaurant Headwaiter Ernest Petinaud, and Sergeant at Arms <a href="/People/Detail/38410" title="Kenneth R. Harding">Kenneth R. Harding</a>, pose during the 1973 McCormack award ceremony./tiles/non-collection/m/mccormack_award_PA2019_03_0038.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives (From left to right) Speaker Carl Albert, Jeannette Petinaud (Ernest Petinaud's wife), awardee and House Restaurant Headwaiter Ernest Petinaud, and Sergeant at Arms Kenneth R. Harding, pose during the 1973 McCormack award ceremony.
The award recognizes longtime House employees who have displayed bipartisanship and dedication to the institution. For several years after his retirement, McCormack returned to the Capitol to personally make the award presentations. “I traveled these corridors for 42 years and they mean a lot to me,” he recalled during one such ceremony. “I’ve always been touched by the actions of employees. There has always been an affection between the employees of this House and myself—one I shall always treasure.”1

Early in its existence, a committee composed of House Officers and senior staff chose the honorees; in modern practice, House leaders select awardees. For the first decade of the award’s existence the House bestowed it annually. After the late 1980s, however, it was awarded more intermittently.

The first individual to be honored with the McCormack Award was Lew Deschler, the longtime House Parliamentarian who, over nearly half a century, served nine different Speakers from Nick Longworth to Carl Albert. 

NamePositionYear
Lewis DeschlerParliamentarian1970
Turner N. RobertsonChief Page1971
Robert M. MenaughSuperintendent, Radio-TV Gallery1972
Ernest PetinaudHeadwaiter, House Dining Room1973
Charles A. HenlockAdministrative Officer, Architect of the Capitol’s Office1974
D. Thomas IorioDeputy Sergeant at Arms1975
Gilman G. UdellSuperintendent, House Document Room1976
Francis P. HoyeJournal Clerk1977
Charles W. Hackney, Jr.Reading Clerk1978
John Marshall Martin, Jr.Chief Counsel, Committee on Ways and Means1979
Edward T. KellaherChief, Property Supply Service, Office of the Clerk1980
Wilbert McDonaldInspector, U.S. Capitol Police1981
Helen Winfield SewellSnack Bar Attendant, Cloakroom1982
Herbert M. BottsDirector, Members’ Health Facility1983
Tommy Lee WinebrennerMinority Doorkeeper1985
Keith F. MainlandStaff Director, Committee on Appropriations100th Congress (1987–1989)
Ural Thomas WardSupervising Engineer, United States Capitol Building101st Congress (1989–1991)
John CorbinMaître d’, Members’ Dining Room107th Congress (2001–2003)
Sarah CroweHostess, Members’ Dining Room107th Congress (2001–2003)
Charles W. Johnson IIIParliamentarian108th Congress (2003–2005)
George CrawfordChief of Staff, Democratic Leader
Chief of Staff, Committee on Ways and Means
109th Congress (2005–2007)
Billy PittsChief of Staff, Committee on Rules
Chief of Staff, Republican Leader
109th Congress (2005–2007)
M. Pope Barrow, Jr.Legislative Counsel111th Congress (2009–2011)
Paula T. NowakowskiChief of Staff, Republican Leader111th Congress (2009–2011)
John V. SullivanParliamentarian112th Congress (2011–2013)
John A. LawrenceChief of Staff, Office of the Speaker
Chief of Staff, Democratic Leader
113th Congress (2013–2015)
Janice MaysStaff Director, Committee on Ways and Means 114th Congress (2015–2017)
Hugh HalpernDirector of Floor Operations, Office of the Speaker115th Congress (2017–2019)
Bernard RaimoCounsel to the Speaker, Office of the Speaker
Counsel to the Democratic Leader
115th Congress (2017–2019)
Augustine T. SmythePolicy Director, Office of the Speaker115th Congress (2017–2019)

 

Footnotes

1Rachelle Patterson, “McCormack Back in House—for a Day,” 12 May 1976, Boston Globe: 15.