Governor recognizes State employees for their public service

DENVER ­— Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — This afternoon, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Department of Personnel & Administration Interim Executive Director Kara Veitch recognized 20 State employees for their superior service to the people of Colorado. The lunch at the Governor’s Residence was part of Public Service Recognition Week, for which the first full week of May each year is designated by Congress and the Governor to honor public employees and to educate the public about the many ways government workers make life better for all Americans. 

To celebrate the important contributions of our State employees, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) asked each State executive branch agency to select a single employee who most exemplifies the significant and invaluable contributions public servants make to the quality of life in our state. These honorees were selected for regularly demonstrating efficient, effective and elegant service to the people of Colorado:

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Colorado Energy Office – Ryan Manzik – Weatherization Performance and Relations Manager

Ryan Manzik was selected for this award based on his dedication to high level work product over his five year tenure with the office.  Ryan works hard to improve all who work around him through his team mentorship and program improvement efforts.  Ryan has pioneered risk assessment within the program and developed systems which have greatly reduced administrative load for our entire team.  Ryan exemplifies a team member who is dedicated to his program and takes pride in working for the Colorado Energy Office.  Ryan is a leader for his whole office and is an asset to strong program administration.  He truly exemplifies the Three E’s in state government. 

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Department of Agriculture – John Addison – International Marketing Specialist

John Addison serves as an International Marketing Specialist at the Department of Agriculture and has distinguished himself by providing excellent customer service and outstanding leadership. John went over and above the call of duty to assist executives of FIP Global when they were seeking a location for their U.S. operations. It is expected that this new venture will create demand in Colorado for additional cattle, valued at about $90 million annually. John's leadership to create “Colorado Pavilions” at international trade shows created new and unique opportunities for Colorado food and agriculture suppliers, and advanced the Colorado brand. He has taken a lead role in buyer-seller networking projects on behalf of 13 western states, making him the "go to guy" for his peers in the region. John builds relationships at all levels of the value chain and is recognized for his customer service, ability to manage multiple projects, and achieving results. His efforts embody the principles of Efficient, Effective and Elegant government.

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Department of Corrections – Todd Rundle, Academy Instructor

­­According to Executive Director Raemisch, the DOC has its own three "Es" to describe Todd Rundle: Todd is Eloquent, Exemplary and Enthusiastic, all the while being Efficient, Effective and Elegant.  Lieutenant Rundle is a 17-year public servant for the State of Colorado, dedicated to providing public safety while at the same time, improving education and training for over 6,000 employees of the Department of Corrections. Todd was instrumental in the development of the Department's new curriculum to move firearms training from the basic training academy to in-service training at the facility, thereby saving budget dollars and getting officers into assignments more quickly. His curriculum exemplifies who he is, in that the curriculum is researched-based, it has accountability built in and it is innovative. While the training is rigorous and challenging, he delivers it in an effective, cost judicious and articulate manner.  Todd receives rave reviews for his keen sense of humor and undeniable knowledge.

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Department of Education – Judith Martinez, Director of Dropout Prevention and Student Re-engagement

Judith Martinez has been with the Department of Education for nearly eight years and in that time has played a variety of roles focused on helping our State’s most underserved students.  She led the creation of the first Office of Dropout Prevention over five years ago.  Her leadership at CDE and support of schools and districts has helped lead to a consecutive five-year decrease in state dropout rates and consecutive five-year increase in state graduation rates.  Judith is skilled at identifying how resources can come together in a braided fashion to support new ideas for reaching struggling learners.  Judith thinks beyond one agency.  She has led and participated in a variety of informal and formal cross-agency partnerships, most recently in championing work over the last two years to support Colorado’s foster care students in achieving improved educational outcomes.  Judith’s style has been described “like water,” in that she gracefully finds a way to flow around obstacles without ever losing sight of the ultimate goals of her work.

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Department of Health Care Policy & Financing – Vicki Foreman Colorado Interchange Systems Section Manager, Provider Payment Division  

Vicki exemplifies the three E’s - Efficient, Effective, and Elegant - by attending and successfully managing more than 30 hours a week worth of system implementation meetings for the new Colorado Medicaid Information Management System (MMIS).  Vicki guides fellow employees in the Department’s strategic direction to transform Colorado Medicaid into a more efficient, effective, and elegant program for our clients.  Vicki, without fail, demonstrates the positive can-do attitude that is infectious to the Department and to the vendors that work with her on a daily basis.

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Department of Higher Education – Celina Duran – Lead Financial Analyst

Celina is the Budget and Finance Services Team lead for the state’s financial aid programs. She exemplifies outstanding public service by effectively and efficiently overseeing programs providing more than $150 million in aid to 232,000 Coloradans. Celina was the driving force behind the development and implementation of the Completion Incentive Model, a nationally-recognized, best practice model for the administration of need-based financial aid.  A 10-year Department veteran, Celina serves as the expert on tuition policy, and is known for seeking elegant solutions to thorny problems.  This year Celina spent long hours assisting in the implementation of an outcomes- based funding model for higher education. Celina is a steady, unifying force who works with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, colleagues, and the postsecondary education community “to improve the quality of, ensure the affordability of, and promote access to, postsecondary education.” 

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Department of Human Services – Betty Bendetti – Client Care Aid II

Some people have a deep-seated need to give back to their community, and Betty Bendetti is one of those people. When she was in her 70s, a time when many people slow down, Betty decided to take a Certified Nursing Assistant class.  For the last 20 years, she has been working full-time as a CNA in the Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center in Rifle.  What makes her remarkable is not just the fact that she's now 90 years old and still serving others. Betty's dedication to her job and compassion for others make her truly stand out. Residents at the community living center look forward to her visits every day.  While she often brings much-appreciated treats, her real gift is the friendship she extends to each and every resident. Betty loves what she does and it shows.  Betty exemplifies public service and the 3Es - Efficiency, Effectiveness and Elegance - in the work she does every day to care for our country's military heroes.  Her inspiring fortitude and exemplary commitment to service makes her the Employee of the Year for CDHS.

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Department of Labor & Employment – Kelly Pierce – Labor and Employment Specialist 

Kelly was at the forefront of efforts to impress the largest employer in Moffat County, and the Chair of the Northwest Workforce Investment Board. Stephanie Gibson, with Tri-State/G&T Energy, was new to the area, her job and the Board.  Stephanie turned to Kelly for assistance. With an already small staff of two, Kelly was able to help Stephanie solve some of her biggest challenges. Kelly offered and administered testing for Administrative Assistant and Training Assistant positions, including facilitating a solution to accommodate a handicapped individual when she was faced with an unfamiliar situation. Kelly also suggested that the employer refer candidates to the Workforce Center to help improve test scores on pre-employment math and reading tests. Candidates were directed to ConnectingColorado.com’s Tool Kit and to adult education math and reading tutorials to help them prepare to enter the workforce.  This recommendation increased success rates from 50% to approximately 75%. In addition, Kelly scheduled and proctored testing for Tri-State.  One applicant provided feedback to the employer of how impressed he was by Kelly’s professionalism and multi-tasking abilities.

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Department of Local Affairs – Melissa Nord – Hearing Specialist with the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals 

Melissa consistently provides superior service to the people of Colorado in a manner that is Efficient, Effective and Elegant.  Melissa developed a form for informing Board members of important issues in advance of hearings.  This form has helped hearings proceed much more efficiently.  Melissa also developed a process for reminding self-represented taxpayers of their hearing dates and their obligation to provide documentation in advance of their hearing.  This very effective process has eliminated a tremendous waste of resources that often occurred when a taxpayer requested a continuance.  Melissa also performs her role as a hearing specialist in a manner that is the epitome of elegance.  Melissa meets directly with taxpayers shortly before their hearing.  Melissa helps diffuse an often difficult situation and puts taxpayers at ease about the hearing process.  As a result, hearings are more efficient.  Melissa’s exemplary performance has been an integral component in the BAA’s successful effort at reducing the amount of time it takes for taxpayer's appeals to be resolved.

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Department of Military & Veterans Affairs – Andrew Flores – Patrol Officer

On March 12, 2015, a vehicle traveling westbound on East 8th Street in Greeley en route to Northern Colorado Medical Center with an injured person exited the roadway and entered onto Greeley Air National Guard Station.  DMVA Patrol Officer Andy Flores was dispatched to the scene.  Upon arrival, Patrol Officer Flores observed the injured individual had sustained a circular saw injury to his upper right leg, had significant arterial bleeding and was very lethargic.  At this time Galeton Fire Department personnel that were following shortly behind the injured individual arrived on the scene. Patrol Officer Flores swiftly applied pressure to the wound and applied his personal tourniquet device to ensure the bleeding was significantly reduced.  Shortly afterward an ambulance from Northern Colorado Medical Center arrived and transported the injured individual to the hospital. Undoubtedly, Patrol Officer Flores’ immediate actions saved the life of the injured person.

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Department of Natural Resources – Kimberly Seymour – Grants Officer 

In addition to her normal duties involving bidding, procurement, and contracts for over 100 mine reclamation projects each year, Kimberly has demonstrated the best of efficiency, effectiveness and elegance through her work on the Colorado Operations Resource Engine (CORE).  While serving on the Department-wide CORE Steering Committee, Kimberly provided valuable insights that aided in resolving state-wide issues regarding CORE's implementation. Kimberly's attention to detail and persistence in following transactions through every step of the process revealed time-saving short cuts, mechanisms to make maneuvering through the system easier, and discrepancies that, once identified, were eliminated.  Kimberly has taken on the CORE project with diligence, humor and grace and the Department of Natural Resources is proud to recognize her outstanding efforts.

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Department of Personnel & Administration – Jenine Burrell – Benefits Accountant

Jenine Burrell is a benefits accountant at DPA whose primary job duty is reconciling benefit premium deductions.  This fiscal year she has been an invaluable volunteer team member on the CORE Labor Data Collection project.  Her knowledge of payroll and attention to detail has been essential for helping the project move forward.  Additionally, throughout this project she has gone above and beyond by providing training to other State agencies’ payroll offices as well as assisting them with error identification and correction.  Her excellent customer service to other State agencies’ staff has been demonstrated by her willingness to provide guidance, assistance and training of processing payroll through LDC to CORE. We have received numerous calls and emails during the past nine months from sister agencies thanking us for Jenine's efforts.  She has done all of this, plus handled her own workload, with a positive attitude.  It is our pleasure to recognize Jenine for her outstanding work.

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Department of Public Health & Environment – Denise Burrows - Controller

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is pleased to recognize Denise Burrows, CDPHE's Controller, as its honoree during Public Service Recognition Week. In 2014, Denise was selected by the department's executive management as "Employee of the Year" for her tireless efforts during the statewide transition to CORE. Throughout the past several months, Denise has served as both a steady voice and an essential resource to all executive branch agencies in their efforts to manage one of the state's most comprehensive business changes in more than 20 years. To quote one of her colleagues, "Denise demonstrated that not only is she a brilliant CPA and a dedicated leader, but she also is able to balance an unimaginable amount of tasks and responsibilities in CORE with an amazingly positive attitude. To say Denise's role has been critical would be an understatement." We are very lucky to have Denise as part of the CDPHE team and we are proud she is being acknowledged during this special event.

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Department of Public Safety – Scott Baldwin, Acting Deputy State Hazard Mitigation Officer

Scott Baldwin exemplifies a commitment to the people of Colorado through extraordinary effort that is Efficient, Effective and Elegant.  Scott took on the challenge of statewide hazard mitigation during the State’s worst stretch of disasters. His extraordinary effort was demonstrated by his leadership of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Recovery Section, where he set up the public and individual assistance damage assessments for the floods. Scott worked 12-hour days, 5 to 6 days per week in the Joint State/FEMA Recovery, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Team. Scott demonstrated his commitment to efficiency by minimizing bureaucratic processes on the state side and minimizing additional state expenses associated with ongoing recovery processes. He demonstrated effectiveness by successfully implementing, and managing the ongoing post disaster property acquisition and relocation program. His work with individual disaster survivors demonstrates elegance through compassion for property owners and renters participating in the relocation program. The three E’s are evident in Scott’s commitment to the programs and people with whom he comes into contact every day.

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Department of Regulatory Agencies – Christina Calabrese – Criminal Investigator

Because of her efficiency as an investigator, Christina handles one of the highest caseloads in the Division of Securities.  Recently, she was busily preparing several cases for grand jury and another case for trial - more than enough work for any investigator. She was then asked to handle a complicated affinity fraud investigation which needed immediate attention due to the statute of limitations.  To make matters more difficult, the case involved about 60 victims, many of whom were uncooperative.  In spite of these challenges she simply forged ahead and prepared her other cases for litigation while developing the necessary information to refer the affinity fraud case for prosecution. Christina’s “can do” attitude in the face of considerable pressures and her creativity has demonstrated elegant public service.  For example, a crucial witness had to be served a trial subpoena, but he had no permanent address.  Through Christina’s investigative work, she found out where he worked.  She got up at 4 a.m. in order to serve him at 5 a.m. when he got off his grave yard shift.  We are honored to recognize Christina for her significant and valuable contributions toward protecting the people of Colorado.

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Department of Revenue – Susan Salinas - Driver’s License Technician

Every day she comes to work Susan is a dedicated and caring employee in the Department of Revenue’s Colorado Springs Driver’s License Office. A co-worker wrote, “Susan was assisting a gentleman in a wheelchair with his photo. There were no other parties with this man. When she finished taking his picture Susan could have gone on to the next photo without any thought, but when Susan was through she took the time to inquire how this gentleman was getting home or how he arrived at the driver's license office, since he was alone and in a wheelchair. Susan is excellent at the way she communicates and handles customers.  Susan took the initiative to get this man a rain poncho to help keep him dry once he got outside. Susan also took the initiative to go get a plastic bag to cover up the controls on the man's wheelchair to keep them from getting wet in the rain.”  Going out of her way to help customers above and beyond the call of duty is commonplace for Susan.  It is for this reason we recognize her here today.

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Department of Transportation – Michelle Malloy – Change Management Services Program Leader

Michelle deserves recognition for her exceptional leadership in her role as Change Management Services Program Leader for CDOT. Michelle assumed the Lead for CDOT's Change Agent Network in 2013 and has matured the program into an important contributor to the success of the “people side of change” of several large changes at CDOT, including:  Program Management; Cash Management; RAMP; Lean Everyday Ideas; Supercircular; Regional  Boundary Changes and the Customer Experience Improvement Project.   In addition to these crucial duties, Michelle is also a Project Leader for several Lean process improvement projects, including the Maintenance Work Order Improvement Project and the Project Closure Improvement Project.  Her willingness to explore and support innovative ideas and lead new initiatives has resulted in effective improvements for CDOT and the State.  Michelle is not a Supervisor or Manager; she has made significant contributions through a unique combination of talents, especially her ability to influence people and bring out the best in others. She is fearless in her devotion to progress and improvement.

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Governor’s Office – Kevin Patterson, Chief Administrative Officer

Chief of Staff Doug Friednash writes: When I think of someone who is deserving of public service recognition, I think of Kevin Patterson, Chief Administrative Officer to Governor Hickenlooper. Kevin always puts others and the State before himself.  He consistently steps in to assist the Governor’s Office, departments, staff and constituents.  Over the last few years Kevin has filled the roles as interim Executive Director for the Colorado Energy Office and the Governor’s Office of Information Technology.  When Roxane White left her post as the Governor’s Chief of Staff last year, Kevin stepped up again.  Most recently Kevin has taken on the role of interim Executive Director for the Department of Local Affairs. This role requires him to hold office time in two locations. Despite having these two roles Kevin maintains an attitude that is uplifting, light and even displays a great sense of humor in the midst of all his work. Armored with this positive attitude, an exceptional work ethic and considerable expertise, Kevin demonstrates the “three E’s: Efficient, Effective, and Elegant.” He is the epitome of someone who dedicates their service to the people of Colorado.

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Office of Economic Development and International Trade – Sam Bailey – Industry Manager

Sam Bailey truly exemplifies the three E’s – Effective, Efficient and Elegant – in his day-to-day approach to his work.  This positive attitude also helps him bring out the best in the team members he comes in contact with on a daily basis.  His standard level of performance is above and beyond, always at the ready to step in and either take the lead or perform as a solid contributing team member.  He is incredibly dedicated to the mission of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, clearly enjoys his work and has a constantly positive, forward leaning perspective.  His engagement, effort and dedication make him a valuable member of the department, well respected by those within the department and outside, by peers and seasoned executives.

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Governor’s Office of Information Technology – Kris Kiburz – IT Director

Kris Kiburz is someone whose positive attitude is contagious. She goes above and beyond both for the customer and for OIT, and shows thoughtful consideration in all her work. Ahead of a recent visit from the Executive Leadership Team to CDPHE, Kris sent out a survey to OIT staff to make sure their questions were on the agenda.  The result was a clarifying conversation around issues that matter most to our OIT employees.  Kris also routinely gives important feedback that allows for great success at CDPHE.  She is fearless in her pursuit of the best way to approach a problem and to come up with the best solution. We find Kris to be a true leader and an example of what it means to serve our state.

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