Tammy Flanagan, 54
On a crusade since: 1983
Day job: Senior benefits director, National Institute of Transition Planning
Achievement: Aiding federal workers with retirement decisions
Why she's a hero: Flanagan's longtime job has been to educate U.S. government employees about their retirement benefits. But it has also been her calling.
Beyond the seminars, articles, and broadcasts central to her work, she rises early and stays up late to answer up to 1,000 e-mails a month, helping workers select pension options or ensure that they haven't been shortchanged on benefits.
"No one is explaining things. I make sure people know what they're entitled to," she says.
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