The Staff Recognition Task Force, established in August 2004, explored ways to create and enhance recognition provided to and by staff at Western. This Task Force was composed of staff group representatives from across the campus community. Western’s Strategic Plan, Making Choices, was a driving force behind the Staff Recognition Task Force’s work. This plan recognizes the need to recruit and retain the “best people in a competitive environment” and, with respect to Western Staff, there is a commitment to “facilitate staff development and encourage exceptional performance.”The Staff Recognition Task Force was responsible for the development of the Western Award of Excellence. To help guide the creation of this new staff recognition, they held a series of focus groups to get input from the campus community resulting in the launch of the awards in 2005.