2020 Thomas S. Green Public Service Award Recipients Announced


Date: October 16, 2020
Contact: Paul Matthews, Executive Director & CEO
508 479 8234,

Worcester Regional Research Bureau releases winners of the 2020 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards. The Green Awards publicly recognize the efforts of individuals exhibiting:

  • exceptional competence and efficient handling of all assigned responsibilities;
  • enthusiastic performance of tasks above and beyond the call of duty;
  • cooperative, helpful, and friendly attitude toward the public and fellow employees; and
  • community involvement outside the scope of job-related responsibilities.

This year, The Research Bureau honors five employees from across the region who have made outstanding contributions to public service. The Research Bureau’s Award Committee, composed of representatives from diverse community organizations, selected the recipients from nominees submitted by the public at its February Meeting. Due to the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement was delayed, until now. The following recipients embody the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards.

  • Peter Dunn, Worcester Executive Office of Economic Development
    • Mr. Dunn was the Assistant Chief Development Officer at the time of his selection. Recognizing the same value that the TSG Committee did, Mr. Dunn was promoted to the Chief Development Officer. As one nominator noted, he “epitomizes the ideals of this award.” He is innovative, creative, and dedicated to ensuring that Worcester is economically thriving, specifically with business development.
  • John Franco, Worcester Fire Department
    • Mr. Franco is a Lieutenant on the Rescue Company, one of the most competitive positions in the Department. As a 32-year veteran of the Fire Department, he is highly-respected firefighter, an exceptional instructor, and an effective community coordinator organizing “so many fundraisers that we called him the cruise director, he was always the go-to-guy.”
  • Edward Gagne, MassHire Central Region Workforce Board
    • Mr. Gagne is the Director of Youth Services & Adult Literacy Programs and is responsible for managing multiple, essential programs that allow youth to acquire skills and training to secure employment and succeed as adults. One nominator said it best when he wrote, “Ed’s remarkable (and to date, largely unsung) public service career is an indefatigable commitment to helping youth.”
  • Paul Jornet, MCJROTC, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
    • First Sergeant Jornet is the lead instructor for the MCJROTC program. His commitment to public service is clear with his extensive military career and his role as a MCJROTC instructor, founding the program at Monty Tech. He coordinates thousands of hours of community service projects for hundreds of students. As one nominator praises, “His service to our country makes him a hero, but his service to our community has made him an indelible role model for the young men and women of Monty Tech.”
  • Katherine Ota, for her service at the Worcester Public Schools
    • Ms. Ota was the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Superintendent and had too many responsibilities to list. Every item that goes through the Superintendent’s Office crossed her desk and she handled all issues, large and small, with detailed attention providing her invaluable expertise. She is “one of the uncelebrated lynch-pins of our government.”

The Award is named in memory of Thomas S. Green, a founder of The Research Bureau and one of its original Directors. Mr. Green was a civic leader for many decades and a Vice President of Norton Company (now Saint-Gobain). This is the thirty-second annual Green Awards presentation, which has honored 123 public servants over the past three decades.

Ellen Ganley, Chair of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Committee, said “It is my pleasure to serve as the Chair of the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Committee. While these are unprecedented times, the Thomas Green Awards will continue to celebrate the unsung heroes of municipal governments. This year’s recipients embody the ideals of this prestigious award. Congratulations to all!”

Paul Matthews, Executive Director and CEO of The Research Bureau, said “Especially this year, we all owe our hard working municipal employees our thanks and gratitude, and these honorees exemplify the spirit of public service. The Bureau also wants to thank the members of our Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards Committee for their leadership, and PENTA Communications and the Beechwood Hotel, since all of their support has been integral to this year’s awards program.”

The Awards ceremony, which typically takes place at Assumption University, will be held virtually this year on Thursday, December 3rd at 5:00PM. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. You can register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrcOuvqTgvH9J4SL1EF56Nyw26cZUS3Cyx.

The Research Bureau, founded in 1985, serves the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent, non-partisan research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making. For more information see www.wrrb.org, Facebook (The Research Bureau), and Twitter (@WRRBureau).