Governor's Awards for Leadership

The Governor's Award for Leadership in Management is an annual award that recognizes managers in state government who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through performance results in the previous year.

Contact for 2021 awards

Chelsea Lee, State Human Resources Division
Office of Financial Management
(360) 867-8712
chelsea.lee@ofm.wa.gov

2021 award recipients

Joy Adams, Employment Security Department: During the COVID-19 economic crisis, Joy managed cross-divisional teams under tight timelines to implement complicated new federal programs and new requirements.

Amy Andrews, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission: Amy developed and implemented a strategic vision to guide the policy team, restructured roles to better align organizational structures with the workload and equity needs of the Clean Energy Transformation Act.

Danielle Armbruster, Department of Corrections: Danielle was tasked with leading DOC through a significant emergency event for the agency.  She developed and led a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan with a multi-disciplinary team from across the agency.

Kevin Bartoy, Washington State Department of TransportationKevin took on a leadership role to make the Salish Sea a safer place for marine mammals by working to reduce in-water noise from commercial vessels and Washington State Ferries.

Gilbert Brewer, Department of RevenueGilbert spearheaded legislation that allowed tribes to enter compacts with the state to receive a portion of the sales tax revenue generated from sales between non-tribal members on tribal land.

Ron Brosey, Department of Licensing: Ron led the Department of Licensing’s compliance efforts as business needs shifted with the demands of the pandemic. 

Deborah Calcote, Employment Security DepartmentThrough Deb’s leadership, Washington was one of the first states in the country to implement the benefits of emerging federal benefit programs in response to economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Dinnen, Employment Security Department:  Kevin became the go to person when the Unemployment Insurance workload increased.  Kevin’s expertise in all areas of unemployment insurance, and particularly in claim adjudication, allowed for immediate adjustments to workload priorities.

Leanne Eko, Office of Superintendent of Public InstructionLeanne ensured that students and families continued to receive food through the various USDA nutrition programs through the pandemic, while navigating an ever-changing landscape of waivers, rules, and data collections.

Bill Elliott, Washington State Department of Transportation: One major accomplishment for Bill and his team was to determine the preferred alternatives for a combined 24 fish passage sites, a task that took extensive coordination with our community and agency partners.

Cathy Field, Department of LicensingCathy Field led teams in the Department of Licensing’s Prorate and Fuel Tax (PRFT) section through organizational changes that supported customers and staff during the pandemic. 

Dave Flynn, Department of Social & Health Services: Dave’s ability to build relationships and make things happen as a public servant led to unprecedented support for the safe transition of SCC residents to community life in the city of Poulsbo and surrounding Kitsap County.  

Glenna Gallo, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: Glenna oversaw a nationally recognized Inclusionary Practices Project directed and funded by the Washington state legislature.  This project has laid the foundation for inclusion to be the norm for all students with disabilities in Washington state. 

Joshua Grice, Department of Labor & Industries: Josh was thrust into the middle of one of L&I’s biggest rule making changes in more than 40 years in 2020.  The result, due in large part to Josh's efforts, was some of the best protections for workers in the nation. 

Antoinette Griffin, Department of Labor & Industries: Antoinette united Customer Service and Construction Compliance staff in a program that eliminated a backlog of up to three months for contractor registration renewals. 

Patricia Lashway, Office of Financial Management: Over the past year, OFM Deputy Director Pat Lashway was instrumental in leading state government through some of the biggest challenges it has ever faced.  She served as a key advisor to Governor Inslee and his executive team in the state’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mimi Limmeroth, Department of Enterprise Services: In 2020, Mimi Limmeroth led the effort to rapidly establish systems to receive, manage and distribute millions of pieces of PPE across the entire state that have proven critical to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elena McGrew, Department of Enterprise Services: Elena McGrew led the effort to find and purchase quality personal protective equipment (PPE) at an affordable price. 

Whitney Montemarano, Department of Licensing: Whitney and her team implemented and created a plan to reopen as many driver licensing offices as possible with new health and safety protocols in place, and safely began serving our communities within three months.  By the end of 2020, Whitney's team had successfully reopened 38 driver licensing offices, providing services across Washington.

Kim Mueller, Washington State Department of Transportation: Created an organizational structure to triple the production of fish barrier corrections from $94M in the 2017-19 biennium to $275M in the 2019-21 biennium and build the capacity to further increase delivery to $726M in 2021-23.

Dana Phelps, Department of Social & Health Services: Dana was the department’s primary contact at the state’s Emergency Operations Center during the pandemic. She played a key role in helping to get vaccinations and personal protective equipment rolled out to the 7,800 staff and 2,300 residents in the departments 24/7 facilitates and operations.  

Theresa Powell, Department of Social & Health Services: Theresa led DSHS through this historic journey. She created the 3-Year “Truth, Social Justice, Dismantling Racism” Action Plan and created 10 “Equity Tools” to support the plan.

Andrew Rose, Department of Health: Andrew, helped DOH significantly scale it’s testing and contact tracing capacity; launched a care coordination program to support people in home isolation and quarantine, and a mental and behavioral health unit to support responders and the public in coping with the pandemic.

Cheryl Smith, Department of Commerce: Building upon a foundation of decades of public service, Tribal relations and outreach experience among diverse communities, Cheryl helped in the creation of a Tribal liaison position at Commerce and led the effort to launch Commerce's Small Business Resiliency Network.

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