Vector Security, a provider of intelligent mobile security and automation solutions to homes and businesses, in partnership with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins, presented the 2020 Vector Security Defender of the Year award to Melissa Nadeau of Monroeville, Penn.

The Vector Security Defender of the Year award honors a frontline worker for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nadeau was selected jointly by Vector Security and the Pittsburgh Penguins from a number of entries submitted during the contest period.

An ICU nurse for 18 years, Nadeau has worked at the VA Hospital in Oakland for the last two years. When the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the Pittsburgh region, she started to work with hospital patients who were impacted by the virus.

“She didn’t hesitate to volunteer,” said her husband Ken Nadeau, who secretly nominated Melissa. “Running toward danger, she’s inspired by the very heroes she takes care of.”

Vector Security, the official security partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, developed the Defender of the Year award and designed a custom, one-of-a-kind goalie mask as a centerpiece of the recognition. To bring the design to life, the Penguins reached out to David Arrigo, who paints masks for NHL goaltenders.

Throughout the first half of the 2019-20 NHL hockey season, Vector Security showcased the helmet with select fans. Over that time, several Penguins players autographed the mask, including Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Tristan Jarry.

“Vector Security is proud to honor Melissa with our first-ever Defender of the Year award for the work that she has done throughout her career and especially the last eight or nine months fighting COVID-19 at the VA hospital,” said Pam Petrow, president and CEO of Vector Security. “It takes a special person to step up in times like these and help our veterans who are most in need. The award and the goalie mask are just a small token of our company’s gratitude for what Melissa and other frontline workers do every day to keep us all safe.”

Josh Getzoff, radio broadcast host and PensTV host, helped Vector Security surprise Nadeau with the award by hosting a video call, which she believed was supposed to be a special Penguins update to a few select fans.

“I was thrilled that Vector Security reached out to us about this program and that I was able to be involved,” said Getzoff. “It’s really an honor to be able to recognize Melissa for the critically important work she is doing at the VA Hospital. And to know that she is a huge Pens fan and will be awarded this autographed mask makes it even more special.”

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald joined the virtual announcement with a proclamation that declared December 11, 2020 to be Melissa Nadeau, Defender of the Year Day, in Allegheny County.

“Melissa represents one of the core values that make Allegheny County uniquely special, bravely stepping up to help when there is a need,” said Fitzgerald “She is a true example of the frontline workers dedicated to ensuring our residents and communities.”