AFSCME members receive Governor’s Awards for Excellence

On Monday, May 22, 37 Pennsylvania state employees were recognized for their outstanding service to the citizens of the commonwealth with the Governor’s Awards for Excellence. Among those 37 people were 13 AFSCME members.

Sharon Ward, Director of the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency, welcomed awardees and their families, followed by opening remarks from Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich and Governor Tom Wolf.

“State employees are vital to the public services we all rely on, and the Governor’s Awards for Excellence are a great way to recognize some of the extraordinary efforts by these folks, many of which are proud AFSCME members,” Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.

Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) employees received awards for the incident management team’s role in battling two large wildfires in Monroe and Pike Counties. This group of employees teamed with firefighters from 16 states, and sacrificed countless hours to get the job done in what is a voluntary role. Congratulations to AFSCME members Gerald Hoy (Local 1977, Inspectors Non-Professional – District 3), Marcus Kaiser (Local 2245, State Supervisory – District 8), Daniel Lecrone (Local 2246, State Supervisory – District 9), Robert Martynowych (Local 1977, Inspectors Non-Professional – District 3), Hope Reser (Local 2361, Bloomsburg University) and James Stiteler (Local 2132, Berks County Trades & Labor), as well as Michael Becker, John Hecker, Joseph Miller and Chad Northcraft.

Bureau of Publications employees from the Department of General Services received awards for saving the bureau nearly $2 million per year by assuming responsibility for presort and outgoing mail for 35 state agencies, which is no small feat considering the commonwealth sends more than 73 million pieces of mail per year. The outgoing mail optimization initiative has expedited mail delivery, generated cost saving for taxpayers and productivity gains for agencies. Congratulations to AFSCME Local 2245 (State Supervisory – District 8) members Mary Jane Andrzejewski, Ryan McHugh and Robert Minium, as well as Steve Calkins, Marcie Carr, Jeff Gensemer, David McCloskey and Elizabeth Schehr.

Department of Health employees received awards for successfully building Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in less than five months. The program is designed to help combat the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. To date, more than 71,000 healthcare professionals have accessed the database more than 3 million times. Congratulations to AFSCME Local 2162 (Dauphin County Trades & Labor) member Terry Calloway, as well as Jennifer Dugan, Ashley Parsons, Meghna Patel, Jared Shinabery, Norman Spotts and Dr. Carrie Thomas.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Fish & Boat Commission employees received awards for working with state and federal agencies to successfully transfer more than 130,000 mussels in the area of a bridge replacement project to streams in six other states. The largest relocation attempt before this was just 7,000. Because of the team’s efforts, the two mussel species have an opportunity to re-establish populations in areas they haven’t inhabited in over a century. Congratulations to AFSCME Local 2450 (State Professionals – District 1) members Larry Lineman, Marc Rickard and Chris Wolfgong, as well as Jordan Allison, Autumn Kelley, Jeanette Uhl and Antonia Zawisa.

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and thank you to all of the AFSCME members who make this commonwealth happen every single day.