It’s all in a day’s work, explains an unassuming Margaret Goertz. Part of her professional responsibilities. No more than colleagues do every day.
John Moffat, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Pacific Northwest Region, would respectfully disagree. He recently presented Goertz, a financial specalist for ITD’s Office of Traffic and Highway Safety, with a certificate for her work to help counterparts in Alaska complete federal reports on time.
Goertz, the region’s senior specialist in financial management and grants tracking, has taught a number of half-day sessions on the NHTSA reporting system in Oklahoma City. All of her colleagues in the region’s three other states (Alaska, Washington and Oregon) have moved on, leaving her as the longest-tenured financial specialist in the Northwest, and apparently, the expert of choice when help is needed.
Turnover in Alaska’s Highway Safety Office, left administrators in a bind to complete the reporting system by the end of the year. After three or four days of telephone consultation – representing as much as 10 hours – Goertz successfully guided administrators through the recording process.
“I don’t consider it anything special… they just needed help understanding how some of the reporting pieces fit together,” she said.
Still, Alaska would not have completed the reporting process by the NHTSA deadline without her help. “We only do it once a year, so it’s not something they were very familiar with,” she explained.
An embossed, framed certificate acknowledges the value of her contribution:
“In recognition of her service as a regional resource on highway safety fiscal matters and the Grants Tracking System and for providing expert assistance to the Alaska Highway Safety Office that ensured timely closeout of Fiscal Year ’05 finances…”
Goertz, who admits she has never traveled to Alaska, is in her 10th year at the transportation department after transferring from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in 1995.
While she takes in stride her assistance to Alaska, Goertz is most satisfied by the contributions she makes to “save lives in Idaho. It’s a way to give back to my state,” she says.