News Release 474

Heather Rudy named August 2010 Employee of the Month by Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Volume 38-474 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Philip J. Tremblay
573-751-7629

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 18, 2010 --- Heather M. Rudy, a cultural resource preservationist with the Resource Management and Interpretation Program, Division of State Parks, Jefferson City, has been selected as the August Employee of the Month by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She was nominated for her rapid and professional response to calls for the immediate inventory and moving of two important collections of Missouri historic artifacts.

In late March 2010, Rudy and her supervisor, Kim Dillon, were notified that the Cabin Gallery at Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, in Monroe County, was scheduled for an asbestos remediation project. Within four weeks, the gallery, which contains Twain’s birthplace cabin and over 300 objects and photographs, would need to be cleared out so an old asbestos ceiling could be removed, asbestos cleaned up and a new acoustical ceiling installed in the building.

Rudy quickly organized the artifact removal and inventory, which included photography and condition reporting before the more than 300 objects could be returned to the restored gallery. She worked several days of extended hours and some weekends to get the job done.

“Due to Heather’s hard work and professional approach to the task, all artifacts were moved without damage and without delaying the contractors,” said Dillon, who nominated Rudy for recognition. “The overall project was successfully completed on time, because of her efforts.”

In April 2010, Linda Endersby, acting director of the Missouri State Museum, Jefferson City, requested Rudy’s assistance. With key staff unavailable, the MSM was in the middle of several high-profile projects, including a federally funded grant to inventory its large artifact collection and a mandated, short-notice move of one-third of the artifacts – about 10,000 items – from storage in the Missouri State Capitol to the new Riverside Collection Facility.

While coordinating the move, Rudy doubled the amount of time she spent doing physical inventory of the artifacts remaining in the capitol. “Without Heather’s assistance, MSM would not have been able to comply with the required moving dates while keeping the artifacts safe and accounted for,” said Endersby. “MSM [also] would not have been able to meet deadlines to retain the $150,000 federal grant for the inventory.”

Rudy was able to maintain her normal duties of providing expertise in the cataloging and preservation of Division of State Parks’ artifacts. “She moved artifacts for MSM on a day when illness would have kept most people in their sickbeds,” said Dillon. “Her dedication to her job and the excellence with which she performs her duties has been nothing short of astonishing.”

Rudy has worked for the department since August 2005. She lives in Columbia.

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Editor: Photo is available at dnr.mo.gov/newsrel/images/rudy-EOM-8-10.jpg.