Governor Polis Announces Tom Clements Better Government Award Winners, Recognizes State Employees Working to Ensure Every Coloradan Can Thrive

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

DENVER — Today, Governor Polis announced the Tom Clements Award winners, individuals and teams within Colorado’s State Government who go above and beyond to deliver real results to Coloradans, elevate the standard of excellence in government, and adapt systems and processes to meet Coloradans where they are with what they need. 

“Colorado’s innovative, creative, collaborative spirit shines through in our top-achieving government workers whose dedication to public service makes our state a better place to live, work, and play,” said Gov. Polis. “Each of the award winners dedicated their time and energy to improving our great state, and their terrific work honors Tom’s legacy of excellence and his love of public service.”

These awards honor Tom Clements, who was tragically killed in March of 2013 during his tenure of service to the state as Executive Director of the Department of Corrections. In honor of his legacy of improving state government, the Tom Clements Better Government Award recognizes the work of individuals and teams who, like Tom, enhance the performance and outcomes of state government. 

This prestigious award inspires teams to elevate the impact of their work and further cement Colorado's commitment to building a lasting culture of excellence. The award categories include: Outstanding Innovation in Government and the Outstanding Service in Government. In addition, the Chief of Staff Recognition for Operational Excellence was also awarded.

Award winners were nominated through their Departments and submissions were judged by a panel of nonprofit partners and business leaders in Colorado. Judges reviewed submissions to understand how data was used to drive outstanding service and innovation, and how an individual or group’s work aligns with the Administration’s goals.

The winners of this year’s awards are:

Outstanding Innovation in Government: 

Winner: Department of Revenue - Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Awardees: Mark Ferrandino, Executive Director, Department of Revenue; Mike Dixon, Senior DMV Director; Rosalie Johnson, DMV Director; Benjamin Mitchell, Driver Control Director; Flavio Quintana, Deputy Senior Director, Motor Vehicle; Adam Wilms, DMV Director

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) - Road Recovery on I-70 Corridor: Andrew Knapp - Professional Engineer II-Region 3 Resident Engineer

  • Colorado Energy Office - Rooftop Solar Systems

  • Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) - Take Two Team: Buena Vista Correctional Complex

Outstanding Service in Government:

Winner: Colorado Department of Public Safety - Cold Case Investigations

Awardees: Stan Hilkey, Executive Director; Aaron Koning, Assistant Director - Forensic Services; April Hrenya-Wood, Criminal Investigator II; Audrey Simkins, CBI - Investigative Lead Analyst; Carrie Zais Davis, Forensic Laboratory Manager; Kirby Lewis, Agent in Charge; Rachel Harmon, Criminal Investigator III; Yvonne (Missy) Woods, Forensic Scientist - DNA 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Office of Information Technology (OIT) - Monthly Service Data: OIT Budget Team

  • Colorado Department of Education - COVID Response Team

  • Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) - Staff Testing & Vaccination Program: DOC COVID Team

  • Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) - Rural Opportunity Office: Katharina (“Kat”) Papenbrock

Chief of Staff Operational Excellence Award:

Winner: Office of State Planning & Budgeting (OSPB)

Awardee: Lauren Larson, Director and the staff of the OSPB