She received the award March 29, at the Retention Conference, which took place in Orlando, Fla.
Sgt. Conaway was selected from candidates from all 54 states and territories.
Nominees for the award had to have been in the job for less than two years.
Dealing with the Reduction in Force, caused by the mission change, and all the outreach programs she started, Sgt. Conaway thought that this would be a good candidate to compete for the award.
"With everything going on, I thought that I would have a good package," she said.
Since taking over the position of retention office manager, Sgt. Conaway has tackled a number of challenges.
She said that addressing and processing the two-year backlog of student loans was the most high-profile accomplishment of her first two years in the job. Being in her job for only a few months, and before going to technical school, Sgt. Conaway, with the help of her counterpart, Master Sgt. Michael Schaefer, were able to process all of the student loans, a highly visible program that commanders were getting many complaints about.
Sgt. Conaway is most proud of her unit outreach programs.
"With my outreach programs, I am going to people where they work, letting them know that I care, and getting stuff out there," she said. "When I say outreach, I mean the e-mails that I send out, quarterly news letters, Transition Assistance Program briefings, career fairs, job fairs; that's all part of reaching out."
Sgt. Conaway credits much of her success to her fellow ROMs in Ohio, who all work together as a team. They depend on each other to make their individual programs successful.
"There is no way that I would have won Rookie ROM if it weren't for the other ROMs in the state of Ohio," she said.
First Lt. Matthew Smith, Director of Personnel, along with Senior Master Sgt. Mark Wofenden, Recruiting and Retention Superintendent for Ohio, helped Sgt. Conaway create and tweak her package for the competition.
Sgt. Conaway is the daughter of Marvona Welsh, Terre Haute, and Mike Deakins, Staunton, and is the granddaughter of Marvin and Madonna Campbell, Brazil.