The Outstanding Employee awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Research and Advisory Service, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.

This year, we are pleased to present the Outstanding Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades to Raymond Forrest.

Mr. Raymond Forrest (standing) takes part in a VIMS oil spill response drill.Raymond has been a dedicated VIMS employee for more than 35 years. He started at VIMS in 1974 as a part-time employee in Buildings and Grounds. While working part time, he attended Rappahannock Community College and earned an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology. In 1977 he was hired as a full-time mechanic to maintain the Institute’s motor vehicles and grounds equipment. Raymond quickly earned a reputation for excellent diagnostic skills and his meticulous nature.

In 1987, Raymond became Boatswain of VIMS’ fleet of trailerable vessels. However, the Institute’s vessel needs called for him to serve onboard the larger vessels as well. Raymond earned a 100-ton Coast Guard license in 1995 while working onboard the R/V Captain John Smith, R/V Langley, and the R/V Bay Eagle. Between 1995 and 2000, Captain Forrest served 509 days on the water.

Since 2000, Raymond has directed his efforts to the trailerable boats. His wide experience, along with gaining certification from the Coast Guard Auxiliary as a Courtesy Marine Vessel Safety Examiner, allowed the department to address mounting safety concerns. In addition to Raymond’s responsibilities as Boatswain, he is an excellent assistant supporting the Personal Survival Training Program.

Raymond has a positive attitude towards his work and shows great pride in doing the job right. He helps with anything asked of him and does so cheerfully and to the best of his ability.

For these and many more reasons, Raymond Forrest is most deserving of the Outstanding Employee award.

Congratulations, Raymond!