Salute to the Leadership



Cruisin’ Toward Success!

2 0 16



Salute to the



September 27, 2016

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma



The National Association of State Workforce Agencies

is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors.

The President, President-Elect, Past President, Secretary and

Treasurer are Directors and also form the Executive Committee.

One Director and one Alternate Director are elected

from each of the 10 Association regions.

In addition, this year NASWA had


Administration and Finance Committee

Employment and Training Committee

Equal Opportunity Committee

Labor Market Information Committee

Technology Committee

Unemployment Insurance Committee

Veterans Affairs Committee



Interstate Benefits Subcommittee


Audit and Finance Committee

Awards Committee

Legislative Committee

Resolutions and Policy Committee

2 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


Executive Committee


««« President «««

Dale Peinecke


Washington Employment Security Department

««« President-Elect «««

Renee Olson

Division Administrator

Nevada Department of Employment

Training and Rehabilitation

««« Past President «««

Ellen Golombek

Executive Director

Colorado Department of Labor

and Employment

««« Secretary «««

Celina Bussey

Cabinet Secretary

New Mexico Department of

Workforce Solutions

««« Treasurer «««

Kelly Schulz


Maryland Department of Labor,

Licensing and Regulation

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 3


Board of Directors


««« Region I ««« ««« Region II «««


Jeanne Paquette


Maine Department of Labor


Alice Sweeney


Massachusettes Executive

Office of Labor &

Workforce Development


Aaron Fichtner

Deputy Commissioner

New Jersey Department

of Labor & Workforce




««« Region III ««« ««« Region IV «««


Ellen Marie Hess


Virginia Employment



Tom Clendenning


Florida Department of

Economic Opportunity




Burns Phillips


Tennessee Department

of Labor & Workforce


««« Region V ««« ««« Region VI «««


Dennis Wimer

Associate Chief Operating


Indiana Department of

Workforce Development






Executive Director

Oklahoma Employment

Security Comission


Daryl Bassett


Arkansas Department of

Workforce Services

4 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Board of Directors (cont.) «

««« Region VII ««« ««« Region VIII «««


Lana Gordon


Kansas Department of



Pam Bucy


Montana Department of

Labor and Industry


John Albin


Nebraska Department of



Marcia Hultman


South Dakota Department

of Labor and Regulation

««« Region IX ««« ««« Region X «««


Patrick Henning


California Employment

Development Department





Idaho Department of Labor





««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 5


Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs






Jackie Turner (MS)


Bruce Madson (OH)





Patrick Henning (CA)


Jeff Mays (IL)





Jeffrey Brown (VA)


Alice Sweeney (MA)





Dianne Carpenter (NH)


Jay Engstrom (ID)




Jon Pierpont (UT)


Ray Allen (WI)




Dennis Wimer (IN)





Kenneth Edmunds (ID)




Cheryl Stanton (SC)

6 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


Salute to the



« William J. Harris Award «

« Merrill Baumgardner Award «

« Vladimir Chavrid Award «

« Mark Sanders Award «

« James F. Walls Team Award «

« James F. Walls Employee Award «

« The Eagle Award «


« National Business of the Year Award «

« S.E.A.L. Award «

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 7


William J. Harris


presented to


Missouri Division of Workforce Development

Special Recognition to:

Danielle Smith, State Equal Opportunity Officer;

Kristin Funk, Disability Coordinator;

Isaac Hagan, Research Analyst II;

Angela Burke, DED Legal;

and Yvonne Wright, MO Vocational Rehabilitation


The William J. Harris Award was established to recognize excellence

in the field of equal opportunity (EO).

This year’s recipient of the William J. Harris Award, Missouri’s Equal

Opportunity Unit, exemplifies ingenuity and is receiving this recognition

because of its innovative initiatives, described below.

Highlighted programs are:

• The creation of equal opportunity grants for local areas to

improve equal opportunity training, monitoring and compliance


• The Missouri Interagency Transition Team (MITT), an

interagency team established to increase collaboration at

the state, regional and local levels with the shared vision of

8 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Harris Award (cont.) «

improving employment, independent living and postsecondary

outcomes for Missouri students with disabilities.

• Show-Me Careers, a consortium of state agencies focused on

supporting the seamless transition from school to inclusive

employment or post-secondary education for youth and young

adults ages 16-30 with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

• A regional annual Accommodation for Success event in the St.

Louis area for business to recruit and employ individuals with


• The unit obtained a technical assistance grant from the LEAD

Center to improve services to individuals with disabilities,

gauge job seeker and business customers’ customer service

satisfaction, and develop training for staff on compliance with the

nondiscrimination provisions of the Workforce Innovation and

Opportunity Act.

• The unit is creative with finding training resources, tapping

partners such as Great Plains ADA Center, PROMO Missouri,

Missouri’s Vocational Rehabilitation services, and a number of

Centers for Independent Living. The unit partnered with the

Centers for Independent Living as a result of a “secret shopper”

pilot, and was able to have intensive disability awareness training

in all of Missouri’s comprehensive job centers.

• In order to bring awareness to the rights of all customers, the

unit revamped its orientation process and added a mandatory

webinar for staff and customers to review and acknowledge.

• Working with the State Monitor Advocate, the unit consolidated

the Division’s complaint process in order to ensure that all

discrimination complaints were being identified.

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 9


Merrill Baumgardner


presented to


Deputy Director, Application


Washington Employment Security



The Merrill Baumgardner Award is presented annually to an individual who has

demonstrated excellence in the field of information technology

in a state workforce agency.

As Deputy Director of Application Development for the Information

Technology and Business Integration (ITBI) Division of Washington’s

Employment Security Department, Mr. John Wissler was the driving

force behind a multi-year effort to consolidate resources, centralize

support and modernize technology—while maintaining current systems

and improving them along the way.

In August 2014, Mr. Wissler conducted a full business process analysis

and found many methodologies were outdated and unsupported.

Working with his team, he identified opportunities both operationally

and technically that would result in an optimal solution. Mr. Wissler

piloted a cloud-based product called Microsoft Visual Studio Team

Services (VSTS) Release Management. The tool is an all-encompassing

code deployment tool. Since launch, Washington has been able to

revolutionize the way custom code is stored, in cloud vs. on-premises.

Mr. Wissler's team also implemented new Secure Messaging application

for the UI Claim Center which allows for a timelier, effective, and

secure method for claimants and claim agents to correspond. Previously,

sensitive information, such as social security numbers, was sent through

email and questions would take time to resolve. Claimants now sign-in

10 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Baumgardner Award (cont.) «

to the state’s Single Sign-on (SSO) portal to request information or ask

questions about their claims. This secure messaging allows the UI Claims

Center agents to instantly see claimants’ information for more rapid

response and increased claimant self-service functionality.

Mr. Wissler broke down silos and created enterprise application teams,

including a development operational team, with a defined release process

and better coordination between development team leads and the release

team. Since joining ESD, Mr. Wissler has built a solid team focused on

innovation, engagement and delivering value to customers. He’s engaged

with the IT community and is always looking for talent or recruitment

opportunities. Mr. Wissler recognizes the challenges in recruiting and

retaining quality IT staff, and has taken the approach of hiring junior

level staff into in-training positions to help build the next generation of

technology experts.

Finally, through Washington’s participation in the NASWA Technology

Committee, Washington State was able to share Mr. Wissler’s innovative

best practices to elevate technology processes across all state workforce


««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 11


Vladimir Chavrid


presented to


Chief, Labor Market Information



California Employment Development


NASWA’s Vladimir Chavrid Memorial Award honors excellence in the field of Labor

Market Information (LMI) and employment security operations research. Recipients

have demonstrated sustained and significant contributions to the operation and

understanding of LMI. Established in the early 1970’s the award memorializes

Dr. Vladimir Chavrid, a former employment security official, who was an early

pioneer in the LMI area.

This year’s Chavrid Award winner is Mr. Spencer L. Wong, Chief of

Labor Market Information Division at the California Employment

Development Department (EDD-LMI).

Mr. Wong’s 38-year career in the labor market information (LMI) field

provides him with varied perspectives on the application and value of

LMI as a producer, consumer, and administrator. Mr. Wong began his

career as an Employment and Claims Assistant & Employment Program

Representative for the Interstate Claims Office of the California EDD.

With the exception of a two-year period as a Senior Consultant for the

California Student Aid Commission, Mr. Wong spent 24 years rising

through the ranks of management and moving laterally within the

organization to becoming an expert on all EDD-LMID programs. This

advancement and training came to fruition in his current position as

Director of the EDD-LMID starting in January 2013.

Under his leadership and direction, the EDD-LMID has made sustained

and significant contributions to the operation and understanding of

12 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Chavrid Award (cont.) «

LMI. Following a major reorganization in 1994, Mr. Wong established

the Area Services Group (ASG) which innovatively created a network

of LMI consultants and located them in job centers across California.

Today, 22 years later, the ASG is known as the Local Information

Services Group (LISG) and continues to provide statewide technical

support to help internal and external customers understand and use LMI.

This group is now considered a critical component to the workforce and

economic development communities of California.

In 2013 and before the passage of WIOA, Mr. Wong created the

Regional Analysis and Support Group (RASG) to proactively support

the idea of regional collaboration. The group now serves as a central

hub for the ongoing development and strategic WIOA alignment of

LMI products and services. Mr. Wong has also advanced the use of

technology in offering open access to data, and improved the ways in

which California delivers LMI to customers. The EDD Data Library

is the culmination of an intensive effort to retire legacy data systems

and applications and deploy the latest data dissemination technologies

for accurate, timely, and cost efficient delivery of data to clients. This

initiative puts EDD in an elite club of only seven California state

agencies with an Open Data system.

In addition to serving on NASWA’s LMI Committee, Mr. Wong has

worked on the national level for many years with other state and federal

program leaders and has served on various boards. He is currently the

State Co-Chairperson for the Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Policy Council which aims to facilitate and improve communication

between the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and all 50 states. Mr.

Wong’s leadership also helps the BLS introduce programmatic,

methodological, or technical changes to the states. He also regularly

interacts with a variety of state agencies and organizations including the

California Workforce Development Board, Department of Education,

and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Mr. Wong

keeps a step ahead of changes in technology, legislation, and processes,

including the introduction and integration of WIOA, by adapting LMI

products and services to better serve the people of California.

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 13


Mark Sanders


presented to


Columbus-Franklin County

One-Stop Center

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


The Mark Sanders Award recognizes an entire local office or one-stop center

whose efforts demonstrate exceptional service above and beyond the scope of services

defined by Wagner Peyser, WIOA and the Jobs for Veterans State Grant. Recipients of

this award exhibit dedication to improving job opportunities for

Disabled Veterans, and their contributions for these Veterans extend

to the community at large.

The partners at the OhioMeansJobs (OMJ) Columbus-Franklin County

(CFC) One-Stop Center saw a need to link local employers and Veterans

in addition to usual service model activities, and created the Veteran

Employment Network, or VEN, in 2013. Hosted by local center staff, the

VEN is a networking group for all Columbus-Franklin County, Ohio

Veterans. The group meets weekly with disabled Veterans and others

to hear transition stories, learn what training and other resources are

available, and identify businesses who are ready to hire Veterans.

Disabled Veterans and other Veterans who participate in the VEN are

also given advice on topics from center staff and fellow Veterans on how

to best promote themselves despite visible disabilities, when to request

14 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Sanders Award (cont.) «

reasonable accommodations, and when to educate employers on their

eligibility for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Additionally,

they receive help translating resumes into language employers

understand, improving interviewing skills, and engaging in discussions

about the challenges of finding employment.

At each networking meeting, an employer conducts face-to-face

interviews to fill currently open positions. Veterans are encouraged to

bring copies of their resume and arrive dressed in interview attire. For

program year 2015, 534 Columbus-Franklin County Veterans and 57

local employers attended VEN meetings, resulting in 246 Veterans

finding employment through VEN services. Since VEN was founded, it

has contributed to the placement of 574 Veterans.

In June 2016, OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County hosted

a checkpoint for the first ever PTSD Awareness Motorcycle Ride &

Resource Fair in Columbus, Ohio. The purpose of the event was to

raise awareness for PTSD and the programs, treatment options, and

community resources available to disabled Veterans and their families.

The event was broadcasted through distribution channels and an

aggressive social media campaign. As a result, 26 disabled Veterans

participated in the ride with two Veterans returning to the OMJ center

for additional services in the weeks that followed. The event will be held


««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 15


James F. Walls



presented to


California Employment Development Department

Special Recognition to:

Steve Pieri, Project Director (Team Lead); Gail Overhouse, ITB Deputy

Director; Sabrina Reed, UIB Deputy Director; Bettianna Baxter, UIB Project

Sponsor; Melinda Bauer, UIB Project Manager; Alexandra Simien, UIB

M&O Manager; Adam Brunner, ITB Project Manager; Tom Arnez (Vendor -

OTS), ITB Project Office Manager; Julie Vu (Vendor - M Corp), ITB Project

Development Manager; Ajit Girn, ITB Project Testing Manager;

Paul McGuire (Vendor - M Corp), ITB M&O Testing Manager;

Tim Sanders, ITB M&O Manager; Rick Stewart, Attorney III;

Christina Florente, Associate Governmental Program Analyst;

Danna Stapleton, Associate Governmental Program Analyst;

Jessyca Crews, Associate Governmental Program Analyst; Sarah Loui-Fong,

Staff Services Manager (SSM) II; Rafael Chavez, Spanish Translation Associate

Governmental Program Analyst; Kit Yu-Wong, Spanish Translation Associate

Governmental Program Analyst; Julio Cordova, Spanish Translation Associate

Governmental Program Analyst; Chara Frank, Staff Services Manager I;

Tammy Turner, Associate Governmental Program Analyst; Fame De La Rosa,

Digital Composition Specialist II; Sam Wong, Digital Composition Specialist

II; Deanne Sherman, Digital Composition Specialist II; Jeannie Morse,

Graphic Designer II; Gerardo Lopez, Associate Printing Plant Superintendent;

Ben Caldwell, Senior Programmer Analyst; Gulliver Antolin, Associate

Programmer Analyst; Mustafa Hasan, Associate Programmer Analyst;

Philip Pittman, Data Processing Manager II; Michael Cubit, Associate

Governmental Program Analyst; Tanya Levingston, Staff Services Analyst;

Sean Richardson, Associate Governmental Program Analyst

16 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« Walls Team Award (cont.) «

The James F. Walls Workforce Agency Team Award honors a local office, one-stop center,

central office division or unit, or a special team, which demonstrates extraordinary

service in its assignment area, functions, local community or area.

The UI Online Project Team was assembled to create, design, and

implement the California Employment Development Department's

(EDD) UI modernization effort. Together, they were able to successfully

deploy UI Online – a fast, convenient, and secure way for unemployed

workers to file for weekly benefits, view payments, and manage their

claims 24/7, from the convenience of a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Thanks to strong project leadership and the support of EDD’s executive

team, the UI Online Project Team was able to find a balance between

modifying the project’s initial scope to including enhancements that led

to greater efficiencies, while staying within the project’s cost and schedule


Launched in April 2015, UI Online (available in English and Spanish)

eases what can be an overwhelming process for unemployed Californians

and helps them take care of their benefit needs faster, allowing them

more time to focus on their all-important job searches. In addition to

improving customer service, UI Online has boosted the efficiency of

EDD workers by automating manual claims processing and enabling

other tasks to be done more quickly. Since implementation, UI Online

has processed over $1.5 billion in payments, accelerated the delivery of

benefits to unemployed workers (most claims via UI Online are paid

within one day), and improved the State’s ability to detect and prevent UI


UI Online provides UI claimants the ability to easily manage their UI

claims without EDD staff intervention. EDD can now communicate

directly with claimants about other EDD services, changes in legislation

that may impact their UI benefits, and natural disasters that may impact

EDD operations. Previously, any weekly claims with wages or other

eligibility related issues had to be submitted through paper forms only,

a slower process. Now, the improved online system process allows more

claims to be processed more efficiently.

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 17

« Walls Team Award (cont.) «

Through close collaboration and joint leadership, the UI Online Project

Team was able to deliver a product that in its first year led to the

following efficiencies:

• More than 500,000 customers registered in UI Online.

• More than a third of active claimants certify for their ongoing

benefits through UI Online every week resulting in over 5.4

million weeks processed and $1.5 billion in benefits paid.

• 37% of customers have saved a couple of days to a couple of

weeks in claim processing time by avoiding common mistakes

made on paper forms like leaving off a signature, and by

supplying more details made possible by UI Online that would’ve

required scheduling a phone appointment before. Over the past

year, paper form certifications have been reduced by 26%.

• 52% of customers got important payment information

immediately online rather than submitting a request through

email or phone. Over the past year, customers have accessed UI

Online 8.4 million times.

The success that UI Online has enjoyed in the first year since

implementation is a testament to the teamwork of the project team and

the team’s dedication to EDD’s mission, ideals, and sense of customer


18 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


James F. Walls



presented to


Employment and Training Specialist III,

Machias CareerCenter

Maine Department of Labor

The James F. Walls Workforce Agency Employee Award honors an employee whose

conduct demonstrates outstanding dedication to customers and colleagues, and

extraordinary service to the local community.

E. “Janie” Small is the Youth Program Administrator for Washington

County, Maine. Her personal and professional goal is to eradicate

generational poverty in Maine’s poorest county. Her office is covered

with photos and thank you notes from those whom she helped secure

scholarships, meet education and training needs, and find stable


Ms. Small began her career in the public workforce system working

for the Department of Labor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

Through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Program, Ms.

Small would meet with seniors in every Washington County high school.

She would provide assistance on applying for scholarships, explaining

career options, and highlighting stable jobs in growing industries. Last

summer, she was chosen to represent Maine by the Manhattan Strategy

Project and the United States Department of Education (ED) for a film

on how 14 states address truancy, dropout, and alternative school issues.

Janie has transformed the lives of the future generations of Washington


Ms. Small’s own words describe her enthusiasm for her work and her

contributions to the efficient and effective delivery of services and

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 19

« Walls Employee Award (cont.) «

to meeting the challenges of building a customer-driven workforce

development system: “[The Youth Program] is my favorite subject in

the whole world! I am so excited about Workforce Innovation and

Opportunity Act (WIOA). I am seeing so many youth come in the

door; specifically for training; either in education or work experience. I

foresee no problem with enrollments in our county…It has been exciting

as I am seeing a much older customer base. I am seeing a lot of basic

skills deficiencies in math. I am seeing a lot of young parents who have

never held a job. I am seeing many people who are being affected by the

opiate addiction our state is facing; either estranged from their family,

or by users within their relationships/friendships. I am seeing homeless

youth couch surfers, as we have no shelters in this county. I am seeing

abusive relationships among couples. I am seeing an exorbitant number

of young people in treatment for social anxiety; many young adults with


For Ms. Small, 2017 will mark 40 years working in the employment and

training field! She is particularly excited about how WIOA emphasizes

the positive and impactful elements of youth programming.

20 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


The Eagle


presented to


Program Administrator


Utah Department of Workforce Services

The Eagle Award honors individuals who soar to new heights in their efforts to serve

employers and workers in the United States.

Melisa Stark is the program administrator for employer initiatives at the

Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). For the last several

years, Melisa has worked extensively in building programs that support

employers with workforce development needs. With the state’s low

unemployment rate averaging 3.5 percent over 2015, the agency was

facing a new challenge — a greater need for developing a workforce that

meets the needs of employers.

Ms. Stark assumed a leadership role for the DWS in building programs

to align education with industry needs. The two greatest examples of her

work include the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership and the Career

Pathways Programs.

The Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership is between DWS, Utah’s

System for Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Economic

Development. The partnership works each year to award grants to either

education institutions or industries that have partnered to build programs

that strengthen Utah’s workforce based on industry needs. Melisa

manages the program and works to ensure four goals are accomplished

by working with education and industry recipients: (1) increasing

economic cluster connectivity and educational alignment, (2) responding

to industry identified skill gaps, (3) enhancing the role of the regional

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 21

« The Eagle Award (cont.) «

institutions in economic development, and (4) promoting regional

stewardship of grantees' contributions to workforce development.

Melisa meets with hundreds of employers and industry reps to review

the program and application process. This year, she led the program in

awarding 25 recipients more than $3.5 million in grants for fiscal year

2017. Over the last three years, the program has awarded 75 grants to

employers and education partnerships.

Career Pathway Programs emerged organically after employers in several

different industries approached DWS with the desire to build programs

beginning in high school to help students develop the necessary

skills, training and work experience. In addition, employers wanted

to establish adult programs that streamlined training opportunities

for those interested in gaining the necessary skills. To date, pathway

programs have been built in both the aerospace and diesel technology

industries. Ms. Stark has coordinated directly with the employers and

education institutions to establish programs with the schools and within

the applicable employment centers for adults. Both programs were

so successful in the 2015-2016 school year, that additional pathway

programs are now being built in the information technology and life

science industries. Additionally, both the aerospace and diesel technology

pathway programs are expanding throughout the state.

Ms. Stark has taken the lead role to ensure workforce development is

aligned with the needs of employers through these two initiatives. The

Career Pathway program is now receiving national attention with USA

Funds choosing to support the expansion of the program by giving Utah

one million dollars in grant funds. These funds are now part of the Utah

Cluster Acceleration Partnership grant program specifically targeting

pathway programs.

22 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


National Business of the Year


presented to



nominated by

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission


The NASWA National Business of the Year Award recognizes a business that

demonstrates outstanding accomplishments resulting in a positive impact on its

workforce, industry and community. Recipients of this Award are also recognized for

the business’ support and use of the state or local public workforce system.

In 2015, Love’s opened 27 new stores, and in 2016, Love’s plans to

open 40 new stores, which gives their partnership with Oklahoma

Employment Security Commission (OESC) and the national workforce

system a big boost as they work to fill positions throughout not only

Oklahoma, but 40 other states.

Founded in 1964 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Love’s Travel

Stops and Country Stores has more than 380 locations in 40 states,

providing professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access

to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, CNG, tire care,

light mechanical services, roadside assistance, travel items, electronics,

snacks, and more. Love’s is a high quality employer who improves

commerce and community growth while ensuring public safety for retail

operations 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Their visionary business

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 23

« Business of the Year Award (cont.) «

continues to generate new retail ideas for travelers who want healthy

restaurants or want to get a good night’s rest without risking their

livelihood or personal safety. Love’s Stores, Hotels, Self-Storage Facilities,

and Gemini Motor Transport are consistent supporters of local workforce

hiring events by marketing jobs for their growing staff needs.

From the beginning, the Love family built a business based on a core set

of values. Such values include: focus on the customer, integrity in day-today

actions, strong work ethic, innovative thinking, and perseverance in

the pursuit of all opportunities. These values create a culture of reward for

their employees. They pay fair wages, have excellent family benefits and

recognize outstanding efforts with promotions and pay raises.

Love’s Road to Success program provides talented, driven field employees

with the opportunity to work their way into management positions. They

focus on developing leadership and management skills that will assist

them, not only in their current positions, but in their personal lives as

well. A few examples of training available at the corporate office include

teamwork, public speaking, generational differences and computer skills.

Love’s drivers receive paid training and join a team that consistently

achieves the industry’s highest safety meetings, surveillance inspections,

trainer/trainee programs and rewarding safe driver programs. Love’s

comprehensive professional training begins on day one for all employees.

Whether retail, restaurant, tire care, driver or corporate employee, they

are given training opportunities to help them reach their full potential.

Love’s also values their customers and communities. They listen to

community partners for ways they can do more, or do things better to

improve conditions for its employees, travelers in distress, tired customers

who should not be driving and local businesses who want to support their

community. Local stores across the country contribute to local nonprofits

each year, and the Love’s corporate office in Oklahoma City gives at

least two percent of its net profits to local charities. Each September, all

Love’s locations raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Their campaign has raised more than $15 million over 17 years, helping

94 member hospitals across the country. Remembering that the local

stores are in 40 states – this impact on the workforce and community is

widespread, not just here in Oklahoma.

24 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««


State Excellence Award

for Leadership


presented to

The State of Utah

Utah Department of Workforce Services


The SEAL Award honors a state for a workforce related program, project or initiative,

which addresses an issue or challenge, and results in significant improvement

of service or performance.

The State of Utah has taken a unique approach to addressing poverty.

Instead of treating all poverty as the same, the Utah Department of

Workforce Services (DWS) has led the research in understanding and

defining the difference between situational poverty and intergenerational

poverty. Through this research, Utah focuses its efforts to tackle

intergenerational poverty.

Intergenerational poverty is poverty in which two or more successive

generations of a family continue in the cycle of poverty. This is measured

through utilization of public assistance for at least 12 months as an adult

and at least 12 months as a child. Situational poverty does not continue

to the next generation, is generally traceable to a specific incident and is

time limited.

Utah DWS has joined forces with other state agencies, including the

Department of Health, Department of Human Services, State Office

of Education and the Utah Juvenile Courts, serving those experiencing

intergenerational poverty. Memoranda of understandings were put

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 25

« SEAL Award (cont.) «

in place to share data and build an annual report. The undertaking of

aligning state agencies and offices to share data allowed valuable research

that identified key indicators in improving a child’s well-being. The

initiative garnered support from the Governor’s Office, legislature and

local elected officials. In addition, Utah DWS in partnership with a local

university developed training modules for counties to use in building

their own plans.

Data and evidence-based approaches are driving this initiative. Focusing

on the data is allowing Utah to better target limited government

resources to appropriate individuals, geographic areas and programs,

leading to positive outcomes for families. The data gathered for the

annual report can be broken down by county and even by local schools.

This has never been done before.

Currently, Utah DWS leads two initiatives. First, the Next Generation

Kids demonstration project leverages the strengths of families receiving

public assistance and delivering services by focusing on both the

needs of parents and their children. The most effective strategies are

being implemented statewide through a new Family Focused Case

Management system in employment centers. This effort has helped

people like Mellowdey Trueblood and Kisty Loughton, who are two

single mothers who have found education, housing, employment, and

stability through the Next Generation Kids project.

Second, the agency has engaged local communities in developing

solutions to intergenerational poverty. In the spring of 2016, Utah

DWS identified the top ten counties in Utah most impacted by

intergenerational poverty. With the support of its service area directors,

DWS worked closely with local elected officials to gather the right

leadership for an initial planning meeting with Lt. Governor Spencer

Cox and Workforce Services Executive Director Jon Pierpont. In each of

these meetings, local data was presented and discussed. Local committees

were established to kick-off the development of a local plan to reduce

intergenerational poverty.

Utah, through DWS, is doing something unique in addressing poverty.

Such efforts begin with aligning state agencies and gathering data.

While measurably reducing intergenerational poverty takes time, this

26 « 80 th Annual NASWA Conference «««

« SEAL Award (cont.) «

model can be replicated in other states. Utah’s experience shows that

change in agency cultures and approaches in serving families, along

with support for counties to build plans that identify local solutions is


For more information about Utah’s work in addressing intergenerational

poverty, visit

Thank You


Thank you to the Awards Committee members who selected the winners

for the Walls Employee, Walls Team, Eagle, and SEAL Awards.

Also, thank you to the members of the EO, Technology, LMI, Veterans

Affairs, and E&T Committees who selected the winners of the Harris,

Baumgardner, Chavrid, Sanders, and Business of the Year award,





Renee Olson (NV)


Cheryl Stanton (SC)

Richard McPherson (OK)

Lana Gordon (KS)

Lisa Osvold (WY)

««« Salute to the Leadership Awards 2016 « 27



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