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Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher announced yesterday that Julia Parker, Indian Cultural Demonstrator, and Stephen “Stevie” Lynds, Trails Supervisor, are the recipients of the 2013 Barry Hance Memorial Award. Although the award is typically presented to one Yosemite employee annually, the Awards Committee felt that two nominees were deserving of the award. The awards were given during an all employees meeting on Thursday, June 12, 2014, in Yosemite Valley. The ceremony was attended by approximately 300 people, including several past Barry Hance Award recipients.
Parker began working in Yosemite 54 years ago. She started her career as a Laborer, followed by an Interpretive Park Ranger, and is currently working in the Yosemite Valley Museum. Her primary duties include teaching visitors about the history of American Indians, providing cultural demonstrations, and basket weaving demonstrations.
“The greatest basket Julia has woven is the basket of the Yosemite people,” said Shelton Johnson, Yosemite National Park Interpretive Ranger, who presented the award to Parker.
“When I stand here, I think about how your lives have helped me become who I am today. We come from the north. We come from the south. We come from the east. We come from the west and today we are all part of the same family,” said Parker after receiving her award.
Lynds, who currently serves as a Trails Supervisor, has worked for Yosemite National Park for 22 years. He started his career plowing roads in the park and working in the machine shop before becoming a Trails Supervisor. His primary duties include maintaining and building park trails and supervising crews to build trails projects around the park.
“Stevie is the epitome of hospitality. If you need someone to help cut wood, help you move, or help with a repair, he will do it. And he will do it with a smile every time,” stated Mark Marschall, a retired National Park Service (NPS), and co-author of the award nomination for Lynds.
“I had the honor and privilege of working with Barry Hance. Knowing what a hard worker he was, the positive energy he brought to work every day, and his impact on other employees, I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Lynds upon receiving his award.
The award is named in honor of Barry Hance, a long-term Facilities Management employee who died in an avalanche while plowing the Tioga Road in 1995. This award is given annually to employees who exemplify the qualities and attributes of Barry Hance. These include a positive attitude, a concern for fellow employees, a willingness to work with other divisions in the park, getting the job done, and a love for Yosemite National Park.