<< All News Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 01:12 pm

Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the 2021 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service, recognizing team members for their dedicated work in state government and making a positive difference in the lives of North Dakota citizens during an extremely challenging year.

“Team North Dakota members continue to provide excellent service to our citizens, often in new and innovative ways, delivering on our shared purpose to Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success,” Burgum said. “The more than 900 nominations we received this year is a testament to team members’ exceptional work and a Governor’s Awards record. We are deeply grateful for these individuals, their teams and their tireless dedication to the state of North Dakota and its citizens.”

Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford presented the awards during an in-person and virtual ceremony livestreamed from the Capitol during State Team Member Recognition Month.

The awards and recipients are:

Pioneer Award for Excellence in Innovation: Karen Kringlie, director of Juvenile Court for Unit 2, for her work to modernize the juvenile justice system, including championing changes in state law that provide children and families with the services and supports they need and reduce unnecessary interactions with the juvenile justice system to improve outcomes later in life.

Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Richard Suggs, petroleum resource geologic analyst for the Department of Mineral Resources, for going above and beyond to support the successful implementation of the NorthSTAR data management system, improving process and resources for teammates, enabling the team to better serve citizens and effectively communicating through a multi-year implementation.

Harvest Award for Excellence in Quality: Karly Berger, enterprise collaboration administrator for North Dakota Information Technology, for working with agencies across the state to identify and adopt technology solutions and help teams work together in a virtual environment through a cloud-based, all-in-one tool for digital collaboration.

Landmark Award for Excellence in People Management: Terry Peterson, assistant director for case management for the Department of Human Services, for being a visible leader and pioneer of change, encouraging team members to leverage new tools, emphasizing collaboration across divisions, and finding ways to improve processes and streamline workflow.

Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology: Corey Quirk, director of enterprise services for the North Dakota University System, for his work enabling students to take multiple courses from multiple NDUS institutions all in the same online space, setting the stage to effectively manage instructional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Heritage Award for Excellence in Citizen Focus: Molly Howell, director of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Division of Immunizations, for her leadership in developing a world-class, compassionate immunization program for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, and her tireless dedication to the health of North Dakota’s citizens.

Frontier Award for Excellence in Continuous Learning: Bill Jensen, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, for his eagerness to improve wildlife management and his passion for wildlife over a more than 30-year career defined by learning and inspiring team members and community members to seek the joy of learning about the natural world.

Sodbuster Award for Excellence in Growth Mindset: Molly Herrington, director of leadership and learning, for embodying the growth mindset, encouraging every member of TeamND to grow, securing world-class educational opportunities for TeamND and building organizational capability in change management, leadership, strengths, engagement and adult learning.

Roaming Bison Award (Team) – 4 recipients:

  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Medical Team, for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among a vulnerable population and helping to prevent tragedies in North Dakota’s corrections system. The team has performed more than 70,000 COVID tests and cared for more than 600 residents who became ill across five facilities.
  • Job Service North Dakota, for going above and beyond in supporting North Dakota’s workforce during the pandemic. Since March 2020, the team has processed more than 280,000 unemployment claims – nearly 14 years’ worth of claims – and paid out nearly $1.25 billion to eligible North Dakota workers.
  • OMB Budget Analyst Team for supporting agencies across state government in developing a strong budget that benefits team members and citizens and going above and beyond to identify the most effective and efficient distribution of additional federal dollars during the pandemic.
  • North Dakota Department of Health for its continued leadership and commitment to compassionate, data-driven decision making over the last 18 months of a once-in-a-century pandemic. From testing and contact tracing to mitigation and vaccination, the team continues to provide vital information and resources to improve public health.
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