RPI Honors Barbara Ruddy with Recognition Champion Award

BOSTON – July 19, 2023 – Recognition Professionals International (RPI) honored Barbara Ruddy, CRP, recognition coordinator, Arizona Department of Economic Security (AZ DES) with the Recognition Champion Award in honor of Pamela Sabin. The award was presented during the recent Incentive Marketing Association - IMA Summit Awards program earlier this week at the IMA Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ruddy has been at the forefront of employee recognition programs at AZ DES since 1995. Her visionary approach and dedication to fostering a culture of appreciation led her to design, develop, and implement a cutting-edge recognition platform that has positively impacted nearly 10,000 employees. One of the key challenges Barbara faced in her role was limited funds for employee recognition activities and events due to governmental constraints. Undeterred, she meticulously devised a budget that adhered to these requirements while increasing the value of milestone service awards based on length of service. Additionally, Barbara collaborated with other state agencies to establish a statewide contract for recognition awards and products, enabling smaller organizations to benefit from volume discounts. Her exceptional budgeting skills and strategic approach ensured a meaningful recognition program for all agency teammates.
Ruddy was nominated by co-worker Melinda Borucki who wrote that Ruddy, in addition to her many achievements, is “outgoing and friendly; she acknowledges everyone she meets with a smile no matter who they are.”

The Recognition Champion Award was established in 2000 to honor Pamela Sabin, a founding member of RPI and a dedicated advocate for employee recognition. This award recognizes individuals who embody the qualities of a recognition champion by:
  • Demonstrating leadership in spreading the message of recognition within their organization.
  • Exhibiting passion and overcoming obstacles to promote recognition principles.
  • Creating ongoing recognition programs that emphasize measurement and commitment.
  • Serving as role models for recognition practices through their words and actions.

Pamela played a pivotal role in shaping RPI's vision as the go-to organization for motivation and recognition guidance. She envisioned a community where ideas, programs, initiatives, and data were shared to ensure that employees across all companies received the recognition they deserved. Pamela's warm and sincere nature, along with her infectious laughter, made her a cherished figure in the field of employee recognition.

Pamela passed away in 2001 after battling leukemia. As a tribute to her remarkable contributions, this prestigious award now bears her name, recognizing outstanding individuals in the field of employee recognition.

About Recognition Professionals International

Recognition Professionals International (RPI) is the only professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition through its sole focus on recognition innovations and education as a systematic method for improvements in the workplace. RPI members are recognition experts who practice the art of recognition at their companies and recognition solution providers who provide services, tools and platforms to companies (including consultation, program design and technology).

Ione Terrio • iterrio@incentivemarketing.org • 952-928-4649