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Tom Standen Receives Yosemite’s Highest Honor

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds (Right) and Roads and Trails Supervisor Gene Smith (Left) honor Tom Standen (Center) as the Yosemite National Park 2018 Barry Hance Memorial Award Recipient. (NPS photo)

YOSEMITE — Yosemite National Park (YNP) is proud to announce that Thomas (Tom) Karl Standen III is the recipient of the 2018 Barry Hance Memorial Award.

A ceremony in his honor was attended by approximately 400 Yosemite National Park employees, retirees, volunteers and park partners including several past Barry Hance Memorial Award recipients.

The Barry Hance Memorial Award is a peer-nominated award that is named in honor of Barry Hance, a longtime employee of the park who died in an avalanche while plowing the Tioga Road in 1995. Recipients of this prestigious award are employees who exemplify the qualities and attributes of its namesake, including team work, a positive attitude, concern for the public and fellow employees, public service and a deep love for Yosemite.

Tom Standen embodies the qualities of the Barry Hance Memorial Award — both on and off the job — every single day. Since its inception, the Barry Hance Memorial Award has a history of recognizing those employees who labor behind the scenes and who have a significant impact upon the park and park visitors.

Tom has been working in the Roads and Trails Branch of Yosemite National Park’s Maintenance Division since 2002. His official position is a Maintenance Mechanic, but this title fails to convey the full extent of the many contributions that Tom brings to the park. In addition to being able to drive any type of heavy road equipment with precision, he an innovative problem solver and an excellent welder. Tom has used his skills in welding to assist with many park improvement projects, including designing and fabricating a specially-designed mechanical claw to help with the removal and installation of hundreds of bear boxes throughout the park.

“Tom’s genuine sense of pride in the impact of his contributions to the park is an inspiration to all who work with him and represents the essence of what the National Park Service strives to stand for,” say the peers who nominated him. “Tom is an expert machinist, welder, and heavy equipment operator, but what makes him stand out is his natural creativity and ability to solve complex problems while working to improve safety on the job.

“To many of his peers, Tom and Barry Hance are kindred spirits in this regard.”

Tom has a deep love and appreciation for Yosemite and serving Yosemite’s visitors. His favorite part of working in the park is having the freedom and support to fabricate, engineer and build things to improve park operations and working to support co-workers and the public.

Tom Standen has remarked on more than one occasion, “I have got the best job ever.”

The leadership team and staff at Yosemite National Park are proud to honor and recognize Thomas Karl Standen III as the 2018 Barry Hance Memorial Award recipient.

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