Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the recipients of the Governor’s Public Service Awards at a ceremony today at the Executive Mansion including the winner of the second annual “30 Day Sprint” competition honoring the best innovation idea from a state employee. The Governor’s Public Service Awards highlight state employees who have shown an exemplary degree of service and dedication to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
State employees were honored in the following categories: Governor’s Agency Star, Career Achievement, Community Service and Volunteerism, Customer Service, Innovation, Teamwork, Workplace Safety and Health and the “30 Day Sprint.” The “30 Day Sprint” competition generated nearly 1,300 innovative ideas from employees that could potentially help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Virginia state government.
The winning idea was submitted by Donte’ Elam of Hopewell who works in the Hopewell DMV Customer Service Center. He suggested that the Department of Motor Vehicles create a function that allows for customers to begin their transactions at home, expediting the customer service process and shortening overall waiting times.
“Throughout the Commonwealth, we have outstanding state employees who work tirelessly to keep the functions of our government running efficiently, “said Governor McDonnell. “The winners of today’s Public Service Awards represent only a few of the outstanding public servants who went above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service to our taxpayers as well as inspire state employees at every level. As last year’s winning “30 Day Sprint” idea achieved great cost savings, Donte’ Elam’s winning idea for 2012 will help us serve our customers, Virginia’s taxpayers, more effectively and efficiently. Donte’ provided a simple yet elegant suggestion that reflects what he’s learned through his daily work experience. I encourage all state employees to question the status quo and continue searching for innovative solutions in their work daily.”
“30 Day Sprint” Award: Donte’ Elam, Hopewell DMV Customer Service Center
Donte’ Elam of Richmond, VA is the winner of the $2,500 grand prize in Governor McDonnell’s “30 Day Sprint’ competition with this submission:
“DMVnow.com should have a function that allows for customers to be able to put in their request from their home, in which when the customer comes into the requested CSC, the information desk will be able to pull what they requested from home, automatically knowing what ticket they will be issued. This will expedite the information process and shorten overall waiting times.”
Elam is a rising junior at Virginia Tech, but works for DMV as part of their Peak Part-Time Program. This program allows DMV to partner with Virginia college students to meet increased demand in the summer months. Donte’ is one of 33 student participants in this DMV program in 2012.
Governor’s Agency Star Award: Keith Gibson, Virginia Military Institute Museum
Keith Gibson serves as the director of the Virginia Military Institute Museum. A true Renaissance man and history expert, he has led a total refurbishment and re-launch of the museum. Mr. Gibson has led major projects to develop the tourism infrastructure of Lexington throughout this commemorative year of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and Emancipation.
Career Achievement Award: Nathaniel “Nick” Young, Department of Social Services
Nick Young has significantly elevated Virginia’s Child Support Care Enforcement Program on the national stage. He has garnered positive attention and brought millions of additional incentive dollars into the Commonwealth as a result of his outstanding program performance. Nick has worked with Virginia families to maximize economic independence, safety and stability. He also partnered with the Office of the Attorney General to stop the illegal activity of private child support collection agencies, which ultimately returned illegally diverted child support funds back to children.
Customer Service Award: DMV 2 Go Mobile Customer Service Unit
The DMV 2 Go mobile offices were created to serve Virginians by travelling directly to them. Following the April 2011 tornado outbreak, Hurricane Irene, and other natural disasters, DMV 2 GO is dispatched to the scene to help citizens recover critical state-issued documentation. DMV 2 Go also helps us reach constituencies who cannot visit brick-and-mortar customer service centers on their own. The DMV Troops to Trucks program that DMV 2 Go is using to provide the testing, training and career opportunities for military members after service warrants special recognition.
Community Service and Volunteerism Award: Sergeant Stevie Lowe, Virginia State Police
Embodying the highest standards and traditions of the Virginia State Police, Sergeant Lowe has worked hard to improve life in Southwest Virginia for veterans, law enforcement officers and children. Serving his fellow Officers as an Officer in Charge of the Honor Guard, his leadership has been vital to conduct a number of funerals for active duty and retired law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. He also serves his fellow veterans, working with the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Southwest Virginia Veteran’s Cemetery, as well as at-risk youth, planning fishing outings and serving as a youth summer camp counselor.
Workplace Health and Safety Award: Nancy Bull and Anna Noller, Department of Health
Recognizing that there was no Biosafety Level 3 autopsy suite to properly identify important information in anthrax cases following the 2001 anthrax attacks that impacted Virginia, Nancy Bull and Anna Noller worked together to prepare for the commissioning and opening of the BSL-3 autopsy suite. Nancy utilized her expertise to procure the contracts and supplies necessary for this truly unique, new endeavor, while Anna utilized her expertise to develop the operating procedures for the suite, consulting with biochemical experts across the globe. Together, they focused on their core competencies to achieve a landmark collaboration that has greatly improved the Commonwealth’s emergency preparedness.
Innovation Award: Steve Mouras, Virginia Tech
As Director of Transportation and Campus Services, Steve has changed the face of transportation at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and the New River Valley. Through several projects that will accommodate projected growth, he is preparing Virginia Tech for the future while keeping pedestrians safe. By leading the innovative charge and doing more with less, Steve has built a model that other state agencies and higher education institutions are following nationwide.
Teamwork Award: Drug Testing Team, Comprised of Department of General Services and Department of Corrections
This team, a collaboration between the Department of General Services, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, and the Department of Corrections, launched the successful effort to streamline drug testing across the Commonwealth. Previously, tests were performed at 23 locations statewide, creating numerous logistical difficulties. The Department of General Services and Department of Corrections came together to find efficiencies, reduce duplication, and increase testing quality. As a result, this program is able to collect, transport, receive, test and track the electronic results of over 14,000 urine samples and 54,000 tests each month.