Gov. Inslee honors 20 state government leaders for outstanding performance

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Gov. Jay Inslee today honored 20 state agency managers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership. The 2013 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management recipients were honored at an awards luncheon at the Executive Residence.

This year’s recipients were recognized for a wide range of accomplishments, including efforts to increase public safety, streamline public services and save millions of dollars for taxpayers.

“These managers have set priorities and achieved results, managed risk and modeled leadership attributes," said Governor Inslee. "Please join me in recognizing their excellence in management through these awards.”

A selection committee composed of agency directors and members of Inslee's staff selected the winners based on demonstrated performance. The Leadership in Management program was created in 1985 to recognize state government managers who demonstrate excellent performance.

2013 recipients of the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management

John Aldana, Department of Corrections
As Superintendent of Olympic Corrections Center in Forks, Aldana's work with staff, community partners and the Department of Natural Resources has turned the Olympic Corrections Center into a high-performing “reentry center” for offenders returning to the community.

Jim Anderson, Washington State Patrol
As the administrator of the Criminal Records Division, Anderson supported the State Patrol’s public safety mission by leading efforts to enhance the quality, completeness, timeliness and accessibility of public safety and criminal justice information.

Anmarie Aylward, Department of Corrections
Under Aylward's leadership, Washington is the first state in the nation to implement an integrated offender change and supervision model to reduce criminal behavior. Aylward built upon the successes of the one-year pilot Washington Intensive Supervision Program by drafting legislation to expand it statewide, saving the state $24 million that was re-invested into treatment programs.

James Bryan, Department of Veterans Affairs
Bryan's efforts made it possible to eliminate the use of contract pharmacists, saving $80,900 annually and reducing the number of weekly on-call technician shifts from 10 to five. Simultaneously, he expanded pharmacy hours from eight to 12 hours per day, Monday through Friday. This greatly increased availability and responsiveness while expanding options for scheduling admissions.

Mark Calhoon, Department of Commerce
Calhoon organized the successful application for a federal State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant, earning the state one of the largest STEP grants in 2011–12 and 2012–13. The grant has helped exporters increase their international trade by a total of $232 million in actual and projected sales as of April 2013.

John Clayton, Department of Social and Health Services
Under Clayton's direction as assistant secretary, the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration and its many partners delivered effective services and programs to youth in the juvenile justice system with fewer resources and without adversely affecting youth crime rates.

Candace Espeseth, Office of Financial Management
During the past year, Candace and her staff worked on two sets of supplemental and biennial budgets: one for Governor Gregoire and one for Governor Inslee. In 2013, Budget Division employees also reviewed and approved almost 5,600 fiscal notes with a greater than 90 percent on-time rate for legislative hearings. In addition, nearly 4,000 bills were assessed for tax/fee criteria pursuant to Initiative 960.

Alex Kasuske, Department of Retirement Systems
Kasuske has been an integral part of the department’s transition to a culture of supportive and engaged leadership, in which team members are coached and empowered to solve problems, make improvements and deliver 100 percent customer satisfaction.

Diane Klontz, Department of Commerce
Over the past year, Klontz has led innovations in state programs such as WorkFirst to help low-income households increase their financial stability, implemented administrative changes that saved the state money and assisted her staff in developing goals to reach their potential.

Tom Loranger, Department of Ecology
With Loranger’s leadership, Boeing facilitated three Lean workshops to review the department’s water right application processes. The effort resulted in a streamlined process that is more efficient, takes less time and adds value for the customer. Using Lean process improvements, Loranger worked with agency staff to produce 689 decisions and 138 facilitated withdrawals, which significantly shrank the department’s backlog of pending applications.

Ro Marcus, Department of Enterprise Services
Marcus was instrumental in convincing the Legislature to approve procurement reform and has been a driving force for making contracting more transparent, competitive and efficient. She has also made her division a model within the agency for implementing Lean practices and building a Lean culture.

Clarice Nnanabu, Liquor Control Board
Following the passage of Initiative 1183, Nnanabu and the agency’s human resources staff led 19 resource workshops that were attended by more than 700 employees across the state. She pulled together multiple agencies and organizations to provide a broad and diverse training for displaced employees. Nnanabu was instrumental in securing a $1.5 million multi-agency grant issued by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide job skills training for about 520 displaced state workers.

Doric Olson, Department of Labor and Industries
Working with the Detection and Tracking unit, Olson created mechanisms to detect and track workers’ compensation fraud, saving the state’s employers millions of dollars. His work increased the agency’s ability to find and fight abuse and level the playing field for honest businesses.

Steve Ruggles, Employment Security Department
In 2012, Ruggles’ Spokane Unemployment Claims Center — along with its partner claims center in Seattle — answered 1.1 million calls and processed more than 500,000 initial applications for benefits. Overall, Unemployment Insurance Division efforts resulted in payment of $2.5 billion in benefits to 382,000 unemployed individuals.

Garin Schrieve, Department of Ecology
Schrieve’s staff issued a precedent-setting water permit to the oil refineries that will help protect a declining herring population. The complex permits were issued ahead of schedule during an economically challenging period for both industry and state government. He managed limited staff resources efficiently and effectively, enabling Ecology to meet critical deadlines.

Drew Shirk, Department of Revenue
Shirk is recognized statewide for his ability to identify and offer revisions to proposed legislation that, if enacted in its original form, could be costly to the state and place unnecessary burdens on taxpayers. He has used his adept communication skills to address the agency’s legislation efforts on critical issues such as identification of potential revenue options to fund state services and solutions to address adverse court decisions.

Brian Smith, Liquor Control Board
During 2012, Smith was tasked with communicating the story of the implementation of two initiatives: one shutting down the state’s billion dollar liquor operations and one setting up a historic new regulatory system for marijuana that has not been done anywhere in the world. His hard work is keeping thousands of interested parties and the public informed and has allowed the Liquor Control Board to maintain a transparent transition process for both initiatives.

Sandi Stewart, Office of Financial Management
Stewart has been a pillar of strength during this challenging time of government reform and fiscal constraints. Her expertise is relied upon heavily by executive and legislative policy makers on issues involving the state’s Classification and Compensation system and interpretation of civil service rules and legal matters.

Ray Switzer, Washington Department of Veterans Affairs
Switzer improves the quality of life for homeless veterans through inspiring servant leadership and by using innovative service strategies. Since 2007, thousands of disadvantaged veterans have been served by this program and its partners. This includes 270 homeless veterans who received intensive residential mental health services that enabled them to return to the community as productive citizens.

Mary Wood, Health Care Authority
Without Wood's exceptional management skills in creating and coordinating the many moving parts related to health care reform, Washington would not be considered the nation’s poster child for Medicaid expansion under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office