Visual Information Specialist Micheall Myrie has worked for FSIS for over seven years, primarily supporting the graphic design needs of the Office of Employee Experience and Development (OEED). “As a skilled visual communicator, I support my team members with concepts and ideas to help transform the way FSIS trains and develops employees,” said Myrie. Much of his work involves developing training for inspectors, where he uses his visual design expertise to incorporate interactive video, touch screens and question and answer capabilities into the training sessions.
Using Technology to Improve FSIS Training
Several years ago, inspection training consisted mostly of binders filled with pages of photocopied documents. In 2018, OEED began transforming training for FSIS inspectors by incorporating visuals. The process started after laptops were distributed to the districts so all FSIS employees would have access to the tools they needed for training.
At FSIS, Myrie uses all his skills as a designer. His role in creating training for OEED includes videography, photography, graphics and animation. A typical workday for Myrie involves addressing graphics requests from OEED clients. These requests can include PowerPoint slides, document layouts or visual collateral such as illustrated characters, icons and buttons.
Currently, Myrie is focused on enhancing the visual content FSIS uses for training, incorporating 3-D modeling and animation to improve user experience, aid employees’ understanding of the material and increase engagement during the training session. 3-D modeling and animation will be significant improvements, especially in the training components for identifying pathologies. To ensure the accuracy of the model, Myrie is working closely with Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Shoshana Tanenbaum in the Des Moines District to get the close-up, high resolution photos of a bovine head necessary to create a 3-D model. Said Myrie, “I get immense satisfaction from my job because I’m a part of an innovative team that has completely changed the training and development method for FSIS.”
AAFE Award Winner
In December 2021, Myrie received the Administrator’s Award for Excellence (AAFE) in Diversity and Inclusion for his role as chairman of OEED’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC). He led the development of a quarterly EEOAC newsletter highlighting OEED’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Said Myrie of the award, “It was totally unexpected. I was aware of the appreciation and support I received for my work, but I never imagined being recognized at this level. It was a good feeling.”
Said OEED Training Modernization Specialist Salina Nájera, “Micheall is a creative and innovative employee who is always looking for ways to deliver state of the art visual content for training. When working with clients, he strives to exceed their expectations through his work product and always have an open-minded approach to new ideas.”
Becoming a Member of the FSIS Team
He began his career with FSIS as a contracted graphic designer for one year before becoming a federal employee as a visual information specialist in September 2015. The transition to the federal position made sense to Myrie, who sought job security to support his young family. Myrie’s first assignment was to develop an animated video series to train food inspectors on the export certification process. Once he completed the animated series, he was shown a slaughter video using virtual reality goggles and was excited to learn everything he could about the new technology and how it could be used to improve the agency’s training.
Myrie describes his coworkers as the best group of people he has ever worked with professionally. Everyone wants to contribute and is respectful of others’ feelings and perspectives. He believes it all starts from the top — that leadership influences everyone to work with each other in a professional and harmonious way. Of the four FSIS core values — Accountable, Collaborative, Empowered and Solutions-Oriented — Myrie said, “I think it’s vital to equally possess all of the FSIS core values. Leadership does a great job encouraging employees to become new leaders, and each of these values influences your success.”
Previously, as a graphic designer in the private sector, Myrie served as writer, content editor, marketer and project manager on many projects. In his current FSIS role, he always is conscious of the audience when creating materials; for example, he applies awareness of diversity to every assignment. He doesn’t want to offend anyone with his work, so he pays attention to what is written, how it is written and whether it is appropriate for the intended audience.
More About Myrie
Born in Panama but raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, Myrie is a graduate of the University of Maryland Global Campus where he majored in graphic communication. He chose that major because it took him beyond the level of graphic designer and taught him how to be an effective communicator.
Long before he developed an interest in graphic communication, Myrie served in the U.S. Army from 1990 to 1994. He joined the military because, in Myrie’s words, “A young lady broke my heart, and I needed a vacation.” A track and wheel vehicle mechanic in the Army, Myrie believes his military experience prepared him for life, and he appreciates the opportunities FSIS provides to former service members.
Single father to Xander (age 9) and Kaia (age 15), Myrie enjoys cycling, swimming, strength training and playing basketball. Other hobbies include storytelling and developing animated cartoons. His dream is to put together an animated series of a superhero.