Gov. Doug Burgum has announced the recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service, recognizing team members for the positive impact they have made for North Dakota citizens.
“We deeply appreciate the commitment and dedication of our team members who work hard every day to deliver high-quality services to North Dakotans as part of our relentless pursuit of exceptional,” Burgum said. “It’s with great pleasure and gratitude that we recognize these individuals for their outstanding work, commitment to continuous improvement and superb service to our state and its citizens.”
A record number of nearly 300 submissions were received this year. The awards were presented during a luncheon Monday at the Capitol to kick off State Employee Recognition Week. The awards and winners are:
Heritage Award for Customer Service: Jeff McKinnon, Administrative Supervisor for Addiction Services with the Southeast Human Service Center, Department of Human Services, for his work as a tireless advocate for access to substance use disorder services and creating and implementing programs and training that address emerging trends.
Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology: Cliff Heyne, ND Online Program Manager, Enterprise Services Division of the Information Technology Department, for his leadership in launching the NDResponse.gov website and a new ND Online program to advance citizen engagement and digital government.
Pioneer Award for Excellence in Innovation: John Nowatzki, Extension Specialist, NDSU Extension, for his cutting-edge work in precision agriculture technology, including putting North Dakota at the forefront of farm applications for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Colleen “Kelly” Weiand, Veterans Specialist with the ND National Guard, for her strong commitment to connecting veterans and their families with services in a 27-county area, making more than 7,600 contacts across the state since 2013.
Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Ben Ehreth, Planning Asset Management team, Department of Transportation, for his work in public engagement, strategic planning and making data-driven decisions about infrastructure that will help create healthy, vibrant communities.
Landmark Award for Excellence in Management: John Axtman, Williston District Supervisor with the Department of Mineral Resources’ Oil and Gas Division, for creating a learning environment and ensuring team members are at the forefront of regulation in the U.S., benefiting all North Dakotans.
Frontier Award for Excellence in Continuous Learning: Dr. Lisa Peterson, Clinical Director, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for increasing understanding of incarceration impacts and sharing knowledge to innovate new programs to address behavioral health.
Harvest Award for Excellence in Quality: Karlene Fine, Executive Director of the state Industrial Commission, for her wealth of institutional knowledge and integral role in coordinating and facilitating virtually every Commission function with the expertise of 40-plus years of service.
Roaming Bison Award (Team): Unified Command – the cross-cutting team represented by North Dakota National Guard Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann, Highway Patrol Col. Michael Gerhardt Jr. and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier – for their work coordinating the complex response efforts and identifying solutions to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and this year’s drought and wildfire disaster, using a whole-of-government approach.