<< All News Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 01:30 pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum has announced the recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service, recognizing team members for their positive impacts on state government and the lives of North Dakota citizens.

“We’re continually impressed with our team members’ willingness to embrace challenges as opportunities and step forward to lead at every level as we pursue our purpose – to Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success,” Burgum said. “Their dedication shined through in every nomination, and we are extremely grateful to these individuals and teams for their exceptional service and sincere commitment to our great state and its citizens.”

About 300 nominations were submitted this year. The awards were presented during a luncheon Thursday at the Capitol during State Team Member Recognition Week.

The awards and recipients are:

Heritage Award for Customer Service: Michelle Gayette, Assistant Director of the Aging Services Division, Department of Human Services, for leading efforts to expand, improve and increase training for the Vulnerable Adult Protective Services team and serving on numerous boards and coalitions to improve the network of services available to assist vulnerable adults.  

Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology: Chad Gumeringer, Enterprise IT Architect, Information Technology Department, for his efforts in moving North Dakota from a “cloud-never” mentality to a leader in adopting “cloud-first” technology and his role as a team leader in two hackfest competition wins, garnering national attention for North Dakota as a leader for excellence in technology.  

Pioneer Award for Excellence in Innovation: David Roggenbuck, Case Manager with the Behavioral Intervention Unit of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for his leadership in implementing reforms including limiting the use of restrictive housing, increasing and improving interaction between staff and residents, and increasing access to productive out-of-cell activities, and for playing a crucial role in integrating these reforms into the Behavioral Health Intervention Unit, all while balancing the need for the safety of staff and residents.

Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Jenna Clawson-Huibregtse, Cultural Liaison Officer with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, for her vision that led to the creation of a cultural liaison program within the Highway Patrol. She is helping to develop department policy incorporating proven best practices to address the challenges and opportunities that cross-cultural work offers, and also has instructed Law Enforcement Academy students on cultural issues and understanding.

Landmark Award for Excellence in People Management: Gary Vetter, Director of Enterprise Services with the Information Technology Department, for creating a team environment that emphasizes innovation and learning and empowering team members with the support and knowledge to reach the full potential and improve the standard of service delivered to the citizens of North Dakota.

Frontier Award for Excellence in Continuous Learning: Jennifer Einrem, Transportation Engineer and team lead for the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s Vision 2030 initiative, for her role in launching Vision 2030, a program which has educated North Dakota students, inspired future members of Team North Dakota and generated innovative solutions for community planning.

Harvest Award for Excellence in Quality: Holly Gaugler, Accounting Manager for the North Dakota National Guard, for her critical role supporting North Dakota’s first responders and Nation Guard member in times of emergency and once the crisis has passed; for her excellent understanding and attention to those affected in times of emergency and in the months and years to come; and for her exceptional stewardship of public funds.

Sodbuster Award for Excellence in Growth Mindset: Ann Clapper and Tom Hall, Program Coordinators for the North Dakota State University Educational Leadership Program, for creating and implementing the Teacher Leader Academies, which provide an opportunity for current teachers to earn a master’s degree in their school or district, using coursework and projects that reflect strategic priorities to prepare graduates for success in their environments. There are currently nine Teacher Leader Academies across the state.

Roaming Bison Award (Team): MSI Dashboard Team, North Dakota Department of Commerce, for leading efforts to develop the Main Street Community Dashboard, an interactive tool that provides local leaders with cross-state and community-specific data including livability, demographics, education and economic data to help them create healthy, vibrant communities that can attract and retain a 21st century workforce. Receiving honorable mentions for the award were the Human Resources Cabinet Leadership Team and Workforce Safety & Insurance.

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