2019 Governor's Ambassador Award Winners
2019 Governor's Ambassador Award Winners Press Release
Community Service and Volunteerism Award
Dianna Shashina, Kentucky State Police
Dianna Shashina is a Program Coordinator for the Kentucky State Police. She works year round on the Gold for Grey Gala, a fundraising event for the Kentucky State Police Foundation. She assisted with this event in 2017 and 2018 and is in more of a leadership role for 2019.
Additionally, she volunteers as an instructor and role player for the Kentucky State Police Academy, focusing on crisis intervention and autism. During summer, Dianna spends a week as an adult chaperone at Trooper Island, a camp for less fortunate kids operated by the Kentucky State Police.
For the past two years, she has assisted with the Annual Eric K. Chrisman 5K which benefits the Eric Chrisman Scholarship Fund and Trooper Island. Dianna has worked with a local soup kitchen to have the KSP Facilities Security Cadets serve lunch to the community. She somehow finds the time to volunteer at the State Fair working at KSP's Safety Town.
Dianna is truly dedicated to serving others and the Kentucky State Police.
David Lassiter, Kentucky Department of Parks
On January 23, 2019, while off duty, Ranger Lassiter received a call from the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park manager, who advised him of a complaint received by the Kentucky State Police of a possible suicidal male in the vicinity of Eagle Falls Trail. Ranger Lassiter understood the possible severity of the situation and the danger it posed for park employees and guests. Ranger Lassiter asked the Park Manager to close down the snack bar area adjacent to the Eagle Falls Trail, and move the employees to a safer location.
After arriving to the Eagle Falls Trailhead, Ranger Lassiter came into contact with the armed subject that was holding a gun to his own head. Ranger Lassiter was able to convince the subject to sit down on the pavement but the subject still wouldn't relinquish the weapon. Later, Ranger Lassiter approached the suspect while staying out of the troopers' line of fire and began engaging the subject in conversation. The subject at this point relinquished his weapon to Ranger Lassiter and was provided with medical assistance.
Ranger Lassiter risked his life to diffuse a dangerous situation without having to resort to the use of his own weapon.
Customer Service Award
Natasha Kloeker, Administrative Office of the Courts
As a Court Designated Worker, Natasha had three siblings on her caseload who witnessed an older brother's bad experiences with law enforcement, which led to the children being afraid of police officers. Natasha treated the children to lunch with a local policeman who was able to spend time with the children on a one to one basis and help this family overcome their fear.
Natasha also had a juvenile on her caseload who didn't want to go to school because of bullying. The child was self-harming as a result of the way she was treated by her peers. The child is being raised by single father who was doing the best he could to provide for his daughter's needs. It was always dad's desire to be able to send his daughter to catholic school but was unable to afford the tuition. Natasha contacted several sources and was able to reduce the tuition by several thousand dollars and the child will be enrolling in Newport Catholic.
She goes above and beyond what is required, with no expectation of acknowledgement.
Greg Berry, Department of Public Advocacy
Greg Berry is the Directing Attorney for Glasgow Kentucky. This is a Trial Office that serves four counties. The Trial office caseload here is extremely high, this office in particular is the highest in the state of Kentucky with 42.4% in Circuit Court.
Greg pours hours into a case, and treats each one with same equal importance. He never complains about his time spent at work as his main focus is always on the client. Despite the amount of work, Greg always has time to help a new employee with advice on a case, meet with a client's family member, etc...
He comes in each day before the other employees, always dressed to perfection, and greets everyone with a smile. Not only is Greg a good Attorney, he is also an admired person in our office. He has true concern for all of us here and makes each person here realize they have something of value to add.
Being a former Marine, he is the true image of what hard work, dedication, and courage looks like. Greg is a husband, father, and grandfather.
Professional Achievement Award
Janice Johnston, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
Janice Johnston is a Program Administrator at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. Janice is passionate about increasing access to specialized services and support that transition-age youth and young adults need to lead healthy, productive, and satisfying lives. Janice knew that targeting attention to the needs of this age group would require a collaborative approach to be successful.
In 2008, she pulled together partners from over 17 agencies to form the Kentucky Partners for Youth Transition. In 2014, Janice wrote and was awarded a federal grant she named TAYLRD (Transition Age Youth Launching Realized Dreams) to support the development of two youth drop-in centers in Kentucky. These centers provide peer support, career planning, educational or employment supports, life skills, care coordination, evidence-supported treatment and support in health care navigation. Five years later, there are fifteen (15) youth drop-in centers at five (5) community mental health centers across the state. Janice began iHOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence), an initiative to increase access to early intervention, specialized services, and support for youth and young adults who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, psychosis. There are now 8 iHOPE programs and every community mental health center across the state has designated staff who have received specialized training to serve this population.
Janice has been able to successfully bring services and supports to Kentucky's children, adolescents and young adults with behavioral health concerns.
Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
There are two hatcheries owned by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources responsible for culturing the fish that are requested by biologists to promote a sustainable fishery for the sportsman. There is also a National Fish Hatchery, which cultures trout that are stocked in Kentucky for fishing opportunities. The Fish Transportation Branch was reorganized to transport fish for all the hatcheries.
When the reorganization began, two employees from the hatchery volunteered to haul fish - agreeing to add these additional duties to their position description. One employee volunteered to be transferred to the hatchery and change his position description to haul fish and work at the hatchery.
Many employees in the Transportation Branch found other jobs and only two positions were filled at to both work at the hatchery and haul fish. With six vacant positions, one employee, a Fish Biologist II volunteered to get his Commercial Driver's License (CDL). He and another employee studied very hard and both obtained their CDL in a two week period. Not only was there a shortage of drivers but the person who scheduled the fish hauls left. These employees have stepped up and committed to the challenges of scheduling and getting everything hauled.
This team made sacrifices by working longer hours, without complaint, so that fish can be stocked for the sportsmen and sportswomen of Kentucky. They are always willing to help each other.