MO Project: Contextual Branding

Gov. Parson, Office of Administration celebrate State Employees of the Month, Award of Distinction honorees

May 14, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson honored State of Missouri team members Monday evening during a special celebration at the Governor’s Mansion. Honorees were the May 2018 through April 2019 Missouri State Employees of the Month and 2018 Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction recipients. The Award of Distinction is given to individuals or groups who go above and beyond their normal job duties in the categories of heroism, human relations, innovation, leadership, public service, and safety.

Family members of the award recipients, their colleagues, and senior leaders in executive departments attended to pay tribute to the remarkable State of Missouri team members receiving their awards. More than 100 people attended the event.

“The outstanding public servants we celebrated have made real differences in the lives of others,” said Gov. Mike Parson. “They’ve pulled children from burning buildings, saved little girls from the cycle of abuse, developed initiatives to give parolees a better chance of moving forward with their lives, improved safety on our roadways, and much more. They are inspiring. It’s an honor and privilege to serve alongside them.”

“These State of Missouri team members are amazing people who do amazing things every day for their fellow citizens and deserve this special recognition,” said Drew Erdmann, State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer. “They have demonstrated remarkable heroism and leadership, and have shown us true excellence in public service.”

“The team members we honored have gone above and beyond to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of their neighbors and those they serve,” said Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman. “We’re so proud of all their heroic actions and hard work.”

Those honored at yesterday’s event include:

Award of Distinction honorees

Michelle Vogel, Department of Corrections, Heroism

Robert Dunn, Department of Corrections, Heroism

Tina Brooks, Department of Social Services, Human Relations

Heather Suerig, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Public Service

Master Sergeant Jamey Diffee, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Leadership

Kim Mills, Department of Corrections, Innovation

The TMA Flagger Team, Missouri Department of Transportation, Safety: Travis Teter, David Eppright, Russell Fisher, and Chris Zurn​

State Employees of the Month

Deric Calvert, Department of Natural Resources, May 2018

David Kessel, Department of Public Safety, June 2018

Fern Dewert, Department of Health and Senior Services, July 2018

Jo Lowery, Department of Social Services, August 2018

James Coleman, Department of Social Services, September 2018

Stephanie Cullen, Department of Social Services, October 2018

Corporals Jonathan T. Wilson and Shayne K. Talburt, Missouri State Highway Patrol, November 2018

Ryan Lesh, Department of Public Safety, December 2018

Kyle Pinkley, Department of Mental Health, January 2019

Ron Jeffreys, Department of Natural Resources, February 2019

Trooper Ashley Klempke, Missouri State Highway Patrol, March 2019

Gena Schmidt, Department of Social Services, April 2019

The Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction program and the Missouri State Employee of the Month program are administered by the Missouri Division of Personnel’s Center for Management and Professional Development.