Lefevre earns top business honors

A FORMER Morristown resident, considered “one of the top executives in public and private sector organizations worldwide,” credits her family and Ohio roots for her managerial style.

Maria S. (Robinson) Lefevre, whose parents are Bo and Cheryl Robinson, Morristown, was honored by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business for her accomplishments at the U.S. Government Printing Office where she is the first female chief of staff in the 150-year history of the GPO.

“Lefevre took executive of the year honors, as one of the top executives in public and private sector organizations worldwide,” according to a press release from the GPO.

Like Loretta Lynn, Lefevre indicated she is proud to be a coal miner’s daughter. Her father, now retired, had worked for Consolidation Coal.

She mentioned the deep roots that her parents, grandparents and brothers instilled in her in regard to trust and a work ethic, adding that “is what makes me who I am today. I really believe that – that Ohio blood.”

Her brothers are Kelly and Pete, who live in Morristown and Grove City, respectively.

Adding that she is honored and humbled to be recognized for the work she does at the GPO, Lefevre also commented, “This award would not be possible if it were not for the support I received through the years from all the wonderful people in Ohio. I truly owe my family and friends a thank you for the success I have achieved in Washington.”

After being graduated from Union Local High School, Lefevre went on to study political science at The Ohio State University and then finished her college work at the University of Maryland. She added, however, “My heart will always be a Buckeye.”

It’s obvious that the former East Ohioan has to be organized. In addition to her work as GPO chief of staff, she has a husband and two children, one of whom was born in July.

Her husband, Doug, is a Brookeville, Pa., native, and he is a major in the U.S. Army. They have a 2-year-old son, Dylan, and a baby daughter, Morgan.

In fact, Lefevre was on maternity leave when she was nominated for the executive of the year honors by Public Printer Robert C. Tapella and Gary Somerset, also of the GPO.

“If I’d been here, I’d never have let them do it,” she said, but then added, “It’s quite an honor that they think that highly of me.”

Tapella said that he regards the former Morristown resident as his right hand “in helping to transform this government agency. Her tenacity, fairness, openness and uncanny good judgment have won the respect of managers and employees alike.

“One of the secrets to her success is she listens, gathers the facts and develops a solution. That philosophy has made a positive difference for GPO employees.”

She is responsible for advising the public printer on all aspects of the agency’s business and managing the direction, policy and goals for one of the largest manufacturing and digital information facilities in the world.

In addition, Lefevre is a member of the executive team responsible for turning the agency’s balance sheet from losses of $100 million to profits of $10 million.

She oversees the day-to-day operations and budgets for the GPO’s executive offices that include congressional relations, communications, general counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity, inspector general, quality assurance and chief technology officer.

With her workload and family responsibilities, it’s not surprising that Lefevre has a BlackBerry as a constant companion. “It goes everywhere with me,” she said, explaining that she receives about 250 e-mails a day.

She lives in Springfield, Va., and it’s 20 miles from her home to the GPO in Washington, D.C., so she handles some of the e-mails in traffic on her way to work. “You have to do as many as you can whenever you can,” she said.

Lefevre received her executive of the year award at a banquet in a hotel in Times Square, New York City. Executives from organizations such as Dow Jones & Co., Blackboard, Travelocity and AARP were among contenders for this year’s awards.

The Stevie Awards honor women executives, business owners and entrepreneurs for making a positive impact in their profession.

Lefevre was named as GOP chief of staff in October of last year.

The GPO is the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating and preserving U.S. government information in all its forms. It was pointed out in a news release that the GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government.

In addition to publication sales, the GPO makes government information available at no cost to the public through GPO Access (www.gpoaccess.gov) and through partnerships with approximately 1,250 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program.

Pokas can be reached at timesleadeer@timesleaderonline.com.