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State of Missouri team members compete in third cycle of the Show Me Challenge, pitch solutions to improving government efficiency

December 16, 2019

Today, the State of Missouri announced the winners of the third cycle of the Show Me Challenge. Last Friday, nine finalist teams competed before a panel of the state government senior leaders to present the best ideas to improve state government.

Inspired by the hit TV show “Shark Tank,” the Show Me Challenge brings together state team members from Missouri’s 16 executive departments to pitch solutions that improve services to the citizens of Missouri, cut out unnecessary bureaucratic work, and/or save the state time and money.

The Show Me Challenge invited all State of Missouri team members in the executive branch to submit an initial pitch outlining their solutions. Nine teams were then invited to participate in the final competition this cycle. They had the opportunity to develop their improvement ideas further, receive coaching, and then present their ideas in front of a panel of judges, including department directors and other senior leaders with government and business expertise.

In this cycle, the finalist teams had representatives from 7 of the 16 executive departments of the Missouri state government and came from across the state to compete.

First place went to Team Show Me Digital Farm Team from the Office of Administration, Department of Conservation, and the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development for proposing the creation of a new apprenticeship program to develop IT talent for high demand technical skills in the State of Missouri government.

Winning team members of Show Me Digital Talent Farm Team are:

  • Kelli Buffington
  • Angela Freeman
  • Mardy Leathers
  • Eric Pahl
  • Diane Prenger
  • Kim Russell
  • Dawn Sweazea
  • Nikki Veit
  • George Welling
  • Crystal Wessing

Team Field Process Simplifiers from the Department of Natural Resources and the Office of Administration won second place for its creative proposal to introduce the use of mobile devices to cut unnecessary paperwork and enable inspectors to devote more time to helping their customers in the field.

Team Let’s Stop the Docs from the Department of Revenue took third place for its project to improve citizen experience by reducing the amount of errors on title transactions processed by our license offices across the state.

The judges for the third cycle were State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann; Commissioner Sarah Steelman, Office of Administration; Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Department of Health & Senior Services; Tammy Cavender, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations; and Katie Jo Wheeler, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources.

The judges considered a pitch’s quality, practicality, and potential for impact.

“Once again our team members from across the state have proven they want to improve how we work together every day for our fellow citizens,” said Drew Erdmann, State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer. “The Show Me Challenge is an important part of Governor Parson’s back-to-basics agenda to improve the management of our state government. We need to continue to empower all our team members to step up with their own ideas to make government better.”

“The Show Me Challenge is a great program that gives the opportunity for team members across the state to step up and show us ways to solve the daily challenges that many of our employees face,” said Commissioner Sarah Steelman, Office of Administration. “With each competition, I am inspired by the passion of our team members to improve government.”

“What I love about the Show Me Challenge is how it helps team members work across departments to improve state government,” said Katie Jo Wheeler, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources. “Thanks to programs like the Show Me Challenge, state leaders get to learn from the team members who know our citizens’ expectations and frustrations best. These teams bring great ideas for enhancing services and saving resources.”

The Show Me Challenge takes place every six months. To date, over 500 team members from have pitched ideas to improve our state government. The fourth cycle of the competition will begin in January. Finalist teams will present their pitches to a panel of judges for the fourth cycle in June 2020 and the winners will be announced shortly after.

For more on the Show Me Challenge, go here.