MO Project: Contextual Branding

State of Missouri team members virtually compete in fourth cycle of the Show Me Challenge, winning team pitches solutions to provide comprehensive support to Missouri’s older youth

December 14, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Today, the State of Missouri announced the winners of the fourth cycle of the Show Me Challenge. Last Friday, nine finalist teams competed virtually before a panel of 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 continues to bring together state team members from across 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 competed virtually from across the state. This marked the first time the competition was held virtually.

First place went to Champions for Older Youth from Department of Social Services for the proposal to expand the Southeast Royals Unit throughout the state in order to enhance and intensify the Children’s Division’s work with older youth.

Winning team members of Champions for Older Youth are:

Rene’ Brinkman
Shasta Miller
Bobbie Thomas Schiller
Nicole Robinson

Recycle Rally in Parks from the Department of Natural Resources and Office of Administration won second place for their proposal to implement a statewide campground recycling program that will increase convenience of recycling for campers, and thereby reduce waste going to landfills. 

MO State Parks Education Resources Website from the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education took third place for its proposal to create a centralized website with virtual education materials to better assist educators unable to bring their students to visit Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites for in-person learning.

The judges for the fourth cycle were State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann; Sandy Karsten, Director of the Department of Public Safety; Anne Precythe, Director of the Department of Corrections; Tammy Cavender, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations; and Cindy Dixon, State Operational Excellence Director and Director of General Services for the Office of Administration.

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

“Even in the face of managing the challenges of COVID-19, state government team members continue to find ways to improve how we work for our citizens every day,” said Drew Erdmann, State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer. “All Missourians should be proud of their public servants who step up to compete in the Show Me Challenge with their innovative ideas. This is an important part of Governor Parson’s back-to-basics agenda to improve the management of our state government.”

“It’s always exciting to be a part of something where frontline teams have invested their time to make real improvements in simple processes,” said Anne Precythe, Director of the Department of Corrections. “I like the ownership they show and the pride in their work but more importantly, their desire to make things better for the citizens of Missouri.”

“Each year, the Show-Me Challenge teams inspire me with their commitment to improving the processes we use to serve the public,” said Sandy Karsten, Director of the Department of Public Safety. “I was particularly impressed that this year, as we deal with an unprecedented pandemic and many additional responsibilities, our state team members have continued to focus on creating efficiencies and superior customer service.” 

The Show Me Challenge typically takes place every six months, but the fourth cycle was delayed due to COVID-19. To date, over 500 team members have pitched ideas to improve our state government. The fifth cycle of the competition will begin in February. Finalist teams will present their pitches to a panel of judges for the fifth cycle in June 2021 and the winners will be announced shortly after.

For more on the Show Me Challenge, go here.