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Awards & Recognition​

Governor Matt Bevin recognizes public servants

What do public servants do in their spare time? They help start a facility that will house teenage foster boys. They save an 
unconscious driver from a burning vehicle. They spend a lifetime advocating for child victims. October 6, Gov. Bevin recognized some of Kentucky’s most generous public employees with the presentation of the eighth-annual Governor’s Ambassador Awards. Commemorating Public Service Recognition Week Oct. 2-9, he recognized the employees for exceptional service in the workplace and in their communities.

"Each award nominee serves as a beacon in their workplace and in their community," said Gov. Bevin. "You are being the best version of yourself, and the ripple effect of that is great. People will watch what you do. And what you have done has caused others to say you are worthy of being recognized. I thank you for being a beacon."

Created in 2008, the Governor’s Ambassador Awards highlight stories of employees who have made a positive impact on others. Nominations for the awards are accepted throughout the year in six categories: customer service, courage, leadership, professional achievement, teamwork, or community service and volunteerism. The 2016 awards generated nominations involving nearly 234 employees.

"Part of our mission is to create a positive, supportive work environment that values all our employees, provides opportunities 
for growth, and celebrates your contributions and achievements," said Personnel Cabinet Secretary Thomas Stephens, whose agency administers the Ambassador Awards. "We are proud to stand among these amazing employees."

A selection committee reviews the submissions and three finalists are chosen in each category. Governor Bevin selected the six overall winners in each category. All names are removed from the submissions to ensure fairness and anonymity. Award recipients are honored by having a personalized engraved brick placed along Ambassador Avenue outside the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

The 2016 award recipients include:

Community Service
Heidi Miller has dedicated her life to adopting and fostering children. But she and her family also volunteer and raise money for a new facility in central Kentucky that will house teenage foster boys. The facility will not only give the boys a home to live in and return to when they need guidance, it will also provide them with resources to realize brighter futures. (Photo: Sandra Harp accepting on behalf of Heidi Miller)

Professional Achievement
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Sheryl E. Heeter has been a staunch advocate for child victims of crime since 1999. She has worked tirelessly throughout her career and has made it her mission to prosecute child predators and abusers. She has also spent many years as a Guardian Ad Litem in the Family Court System and regularly serves on a multi-disciplinary team for child abuse where an inter-professional team discusses child abuse incidents in the county. Despite the horrific and emotionally taxing details that surround her cases, Sheryl stays the course in her advocacy for children.

​Customer Service
Greg Waddle works at the front desk of the Lincoln County Department for Community Based Services. He provides exemplary customer service to staff as well as clients, and consistently delivers a high level of compassion in the course of his work. In a job that deals with some of the most traumatic abuses of children, where caseloads are challenging, clients are often unhappy and stress can be at a maximum, Greg still brightens everyone’s day with his enthusiasm, empathy and encouraging demeanor.

Conservation educator Clay Brummal came upon a mangled car just minutes after its driver lost control and crashed. He ran to the vehicle and found the driver badly injured, bleeding and unconscious. As flames began to rise from the engine, Clay knew the driver needed to be removed from the car. With the help of two other motorists, he pulled the driver up through the window and out to safety, just moments before the car was engulfed with flames. The driver was air-lifted to the hospital, and fully recovered.

Kathy Moreland has been a Department of Revenue employee for 30 years. During her career, she has worked hard, always looking for learning opportunities. She isn't afraid to accept assignments that took her beyond her comfort zone, and has earned the lasting respect of her co-workers and management. Just a few of the things she has accomplished since returning to 
state government include getting her division moved to one floor so they could work together as a team. She changed procedures for speedier processing and greater efficiency. In addition to establishing wellness breaks for the division, she has organized several staff activities to promote personal and professional employee improvement.

During the past year, the Kentucky Emergency Management Assistance Team has managed $5.6 million in grant funds. These funds have improved the county EMA programs, enhanced public safety, and increased emergency response across the Commonwealth. The length of time required to process a claim for reimbursement to the counties has decreased from three months to one day. For the first time in 17 years, the Emergency Management Assistance Team was able to provide counties with an additional $550,000 in special project funds to enhance their EMA programs.

Recognize your employees

As Public Service Recognition Week comes to a close, we want to thank all state employees for the work you do to serve Kentucky's citizens. Help us continue to recognize our amazing employees throughout the year by sending us their stories and accomplishments. Submit stories here.

Here are some we have already received:

Lori Miller
"I would like to recognize Lori Miller. I receive compliments from her customers daily. She is pleasant, accurate, dedicated, and does what it tak​es to get projects accomplished. She is not afraid to take on new challenges; she is an excellent trainer and very knowledgeable of her job responsibilities. Lori you are appreciated!"

David Morris​​
Director of Administrative Services
Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

Phyllis Bruning​
Special Projects Coordinator
Department for Business Development​
Cabinet for Economic Development

"Phyllis Bruning is a true servant leader. In addition to her business development and event planning duties here at the Cabinet 
for Economic Development, here are some of her extracurricular activities. As a member of the Frankfort Good Shepherd Church, Phyllis participates in the following:
• Parish Pastoral Council (advisory board to the pastor)
• Cooks and serves at the local soup kitchen
• Serves as camp counselor at the Catholic Heartwork camp (camp for teens)
• Coaches Good Shepherd School middle-school volleyball for girls
• Implemented, participates, and oversees a program that provides meals to the homebound during lent
• Acts as Assistant Coach for YMCA volleyball league for 3rd – 7th graders"

Joe Lilley, Cabinet for Economic Development​

​Health plan members receive step challenge awards

In June, the Kentucky Department for Public Health created the Step It Up, Kentucky! campaign, to address rising rates of chronic disease by calling on Americans to increase walking by designing communities that encourage physical activity.
To support this effort, KEHP launched a new step challenge. The15-day step challenge was held September 14-28. 

We asked for your stories, about what inspires you to get and stay healthy. Ashley Hoseclaw's story was randomly chosen from the submissions, and she won 1,000 Vitality Bucks. Read her story here.

Congratulations to all the teams on a fantastic step challenge. You logged more than 863 million steps! That’s an average of almost 9k steps per day per person, 408,821 miles and 16 times around the world! More than 100 individuals maxed out with 225,000 total steps!

Our grand prize winners (winning 5,000 LivingWell Vitality Bucks):
Jennifer Gathright, CCES 
Amy Porter, HMS Tigers
Thea Sellers, Faithful Walkers
Jacqueline Perry, Open Group
Erika Spight, Colt Canter

Our top teams:
Legislative Five, 14,071 average steps
DJJ/BRJDC, 13,676 average steps
Kentucky High Five, 13,333 average steps