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  1. 1. Building Partnerships for a Better Government FederalExecutiveBoardofMinnesota OfficeoftheExecutiveDirector 1FederalDrive,Suite2250 St.Paul,MN55111 (612)713-7200 Facsimile(612)713-7203 www.minnesota.feb.gov Thursday,October17,2013 From:JosephG.Schmitt,ExecutiveDirector,USDept.ofInterior,InnerOfficeoftheSecretary Subject:LetterofRecommendationforNicholasTheiss ItiswithgreatpleasureIhavebeenaffordedtheopportunitytowritethisletteronbehalfofNikTheiss.I havehadgoodfortunetoknowandobserveNiksperformanceandcharactersincetakingapositiononmy executivestaffwiththeFederalExecutiveBoardofMinnesota(FEB)inJanuaryof2013.Nikisoneofthemost innovative,creative,andself-motivatedexecutivewehavehereattheFEBwhichservesasthecentralnervous systemfortheFederalgovernmentcommunicationsandliaisoninMinnesota.Wehaveallseenacademically giftedstudentsandemployees,butwerarelyhavetheopportunitytoobservegiftedstudentswholeveragea multitudeoftalentstoreachtheirtruepotential;Nikdoesthisineveryaspectofhislifeandhehasearnedmy admirationandrespect. Niksworkethicandlevelofcommitmenttohisestablishedgoalsareevidentineverythinghedoes.His unmatchedsuccesscomesinpartfromintellectualabilitybutjustasmuchfromhispassionandselflessattitude. AsaretiredMarineOfficer,CorporateSr.ExecutiveandnowaFederalAppointee,Ihaveworkedwithbrilliant peoplewholackedsuccessintheirlivesforanumberofreasons.WhatIbelievemakesNiksosuccessfulinhis currentcommunicationsroleandlifeingeneral,ishisabilitytostrategicallythinkthroughwhatisimportantto him,hesetsaplanofactionandmilestonesinplace,expertlycommunicateshisintent,andfinallyhehasthe disciplinetofollowthroughtoseehisgoalstocompletion. NiksacademicprowessisevidencedbyhimbeingselectedastheOutstandingStudentoftheCollegeof ArtsandSciencesandhegraduatedwithhonors,MagnaCumLaudefromMetropolitanStateUniversity.Heisalso thepublicrelationsofficeroftheStudentSenateatMetropolitanStateUniversitywhichcomeswithastrict complimentofprerequisitestoincludeGPA,attendance,professorrecommendations,andstellarstudentservice. Whilethisisimpressive,itpalesincomparisontohowNikaccomplisheshisgoals.Blessedwithinnate intelligenceandasuperiorabilitytodrawuponcommonsense,heisaforcemultiplierwithinhisschool communityandequallyasimpressiveherewiththeFederalExecutiveBoard.Heislookeduptobyhispeers, soughtbyhisfellowworkersandheisrespectedbyourBoardofDirectorsandmepersonally.Nikisacreative andengagingrolemodel,andasourceofinspirationforallwhoknowandworkwithhim.Demonstratingstrong valuesandadesiretohelpothers,heproactivelysoughttoserveasastudent-to-studentmentor,hesupportshis communityinneed,andhedeliversexcellencebeyondexpectationswithour77,000Federalemployeesand retireesweserveandliveinMinnesota. Nikisalsoadecisivedecisionmakerwhodrawsuponhisknowledgeofworkingwithdiversepopulations tomaketimelyandthoughtfuldecisions.Leveraginghisexpertiseincorporatecommunicationsandmedia,Nik washand-selectedbymeandmydeputytoleadour2013CivilServantoftheYearAward(CSYA)Celebrationfor theStateofMinnesota.Thiseventtookplaceonly4shortmonthsafterNiksarrivalandtheannualCSYAis nothingshortofaherculeantask.Nikexpertlyworkedanddelegatedtasksassociatedwithpublicrelations, Federalcommunications,brandingandmarketing,audiovisual,seating,andeventlogistics.Thisformal
  2. 2. Building Partnerships for a Better Government recognitioneventdrewineveryseniorFederaldirectorinMinnesotatoincludeMinnesotasSecretaryofState, MarkRitchie.ThiseventwhichrunsmuchliketheOscarswasthebesteventattendeeshadeverparticipatedin andwasexecutedunderbudget.ThisannualcelebrationwasskillfullyplannedandwonderfullyexecutedbyNik, drawingmanyverbalaccoladesbyVIPsandour600attendees. Nikfreelydonateshistimetochildren,peopleinneed,andhebalanceshislifebyfollowinghispassions whichbringjustasmuchjoyashisacademicandprofessionalsuccess.Nikspassionsincludecommunications, writing,andphotography.Nikhasleveragedhistalentsintheseareastosupportallofourmajoreventsin2013to includeGovernmentonDisplayExpowhichbroughtinover389,000visitorsforourtwodayeventheldattheMall ofAmerica.OurFederaleventsbringinhundredsofthousandsofpeopleannuallyandNiksabilitytocasthis vision,plananevent,communicateourapproachtoabroadanddiversepopulation,andthenexecutetheplanwith precisionisoneofhishallmarkstrengths,andatraitIampersonallythankfulfor. Nikisunflappable;nomatterhowfasttheoperationaltempoorhowdifficultthechallenge,hemakeshis complexroleappeareasy.Duringourtimetogether,Ihadtheopportunitytoadmirehisperformanceinavariety ofchallengingsituationsandattimes,undergreatstress.Eachtime,Nikconsistentlydisplayedthehighest standardsofprofessionalism,leadership,anddedicationthatunquestionablydemonstratehisabilitytoleverage hisstrengthsservingonyourGovDeliveryTeam.Beingthesecondincommandofalargemilitarybaseatone pointinmycareerputmeinadelicatepositionofbuildingrelationswiththecommunitywhileseamlessly preparingforcombatoperationsinIraqnotaneasybalanceconsideringthenoiseofaircraftoverhead,vehicle convoys,anddroppingofliveammunitiononourmanyranges.Iworkedcloselywithgreatpublicaffairs/relations expertsandIcantellyouwithoutquestionthatNikTheissisthetypeofpersonIwouldseekouttoleadmypublic affairs,communications,andmediateamsinthemostchallengingofcircumstances.Nikcontinuallydemonstrates apatternofexcellencethatistypifiedbyhisintellectualcapability,maturity,character,andthecouragetomakea tangibledifferenceinthelivesofthosehecomesincontactwith. Insummary,IconsidermyselffortunatetobepartofNikTheissprofessionalcareer.Asayouthful leaderoftoday,heepitomizestheidealsofwhatisbestinallAmericans.Heisanoutstandingindividualwhotruly caresaboutpeopleandheexemplifiestheconceptofservicetoothers.Hehascontinuallydeliveredexcellenceon hiscommitmentswithahighlevelofemotionalintelligenceandhewillensurethatthispositionisservedtothe bestofhisabilitiesandinamanneralignedwithyourorganizationalvalues.Icansharewithyouingreat confidencethatNikwillbeoneofthebesthiringdecisionsyouwillmakebecausehewillnotrestuntilyourshared goalsareaccomplished.ProfessionalsofNikscaliberareextremelyrare;pleasedonotpassupthisopportunityto hirethistrulyremarkableperson. Sincerely, JosephG.Schmitt ExecutiveDirector