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Robins financial management specialist wins highest GEICO public service award

Michael Hobbs, from 78th CPTS, was awarded the 2006 GEICO Public Service Award in the Physical Rehabilitation Category service-wide. U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp

Robins' Michael Hobbs was awarded the 2006 GEICO Public Service Award in the Physical Rehabilitation Category service-wide. (Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

Robins Air Force Base, Ga. -- Michael Hobbs may have never shaken hands with anyone or walked a country mile, but what he has done has made a lasting impression with the people that know him and those he has never even met.

Mr. Hobbs, a financial management specialist in the 78th Comptroller Squadron's Accounting Liaison Office, was recently recognized as the overall winner of the 2006 GEICO Public Service Award in the Physical Rehabilitation Category for all federal agencies.

The 51-year-old Georgia native was born with a birth defect that left him with no hands or feet, making him a quadruple amputee. But the jovial go-getter has never let his handicaps hold him back.

"The only difference between me and a normal person is that I'll have to watch how they do something and then I adapt," he said.

Mr. Hobbs has impressed many people at Robins with his positive attitude.

Lucille "Lou" Godfrey, a financial management specialist who works with Mr. Hobbs in the 78th CPTS Accounting Liaison Office, said her co-worker is nothing shy of a "superman."

Ms. Godfrey said she admits that before she met Mr. Hobbs face-to-face, she had some concerns about how she would teach her physically-challenged co-worker the ropes of his job. But, true to his nature, Mr. Hobbs tackled his new civil service career as he does everything -- with modest confidence.

Twenty-five years later, Mrs. Godfrey's admiration for Mr. Hobbs remains strong.

"He can do anything he wants to do," she said. "He can do anything that he's tasked to do. He's just great."

And Mr. Hobbs is just as passionate about his work in helping others like himself in the community.

Mr. Hobbs provides video services at his church as well as films Sunday services for Wesleyan Baptist Church in Macon. He has also been authorized to start three pilot TV shows on Cox Cable and is learning to edit video in the process.

Mr. Hobbs has delivered meals for Meals on Wheels and gathered donations for the Nursing Home Transitions program.

The proud father and grandfather is actively involved as the chairman of the board of directors for the Disability Connections-Middle Georgia Center for Independent Living, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities in 12 Middle Georgia counties with advocacy, independent living skills and peer support.

Jerilyn Leverett, executive director of Disability, said "Mr. Mike," with the support of his wife, Carol, has been involved in her organization since 1996.

Mrs. Leverett said the GEICO award couldn't have gone to a better person.

"I think it is so well-deserved in every aspect," she said. "I feel like Mr. Mike has so much to offer and cares so deeply about individuals at his job as well as in the community. He doesn't just sit idly by. He wants to get involved and he's excited about things. I think it's a well-deserved award because he has been a stellar force in our organization for 11 years."

While the financial management specialist is modest about his accomplishments, he's proud to receive his latest honor.

"I felt very proud and very honored," he said. "It means a lot to me because whenever you get an award out here, it's about what you've done. This award says, 'Okay, you get an award for not only working at Robins Air Force Base, but for other things too.'"

Mr. Hobbs will be presented with his award May 7 during a ceremony at the National Archives and Records Administration building in Washington, D.C.