Governor’s Award for Excellence Ceremony 2017
Utah is a place where people serve. There are many people employed in this great state, but those who keep it running are called public servants. They serve to maintain success, and strive to make life better for every citizen. Each state employee hopes to do well at their job, and few of them seek recognition for the work they do. They do good because they are good. Acts of heroism, courage, leadership, and humanitarianism come from the deeper sense of duty, the sense they are helping Utah by being good at their job. That is why we applaud them, and why every year the Governor holds the Governor’s Award for Excellence (GAFE) ceremony, recognizing state employees for their exceptional work.
This annual event is put on by the Department of Human Resource Management, helping all agencies to showcase exceptional teams or individuals whose accomplishments are admirable. Employees receive awards for six categories:
● Energy and Environment
● Innovation and Efficiency
● Outstanding Public Service
Each person or team come from different parts of Utah, and demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of state employees. As Governor Herbert said at the 2017 GAFE ceremony, “Ultimately, making government more efficient and more responsive to the citizens of Utah whom we serve is what public service should be about. In Utah, it’s what public service is all about…Due, in large measure, to the efforts of everyone here today, Utah continues to be the best place in America to live, work, and raise a family.”
There are many examples of those recognized who emulate great public service, but here are a few: Tony Brown who ran into a burning building to save a family, Rich Foster who improved disaster education by providing it to refugees in different languages, Steve Steib and Paul Sawyer who worked tirelessly to uncover some snow buried cars on the Utah/Wyoming border, or Sarah Young who worked with schools to improve and implement STEM education. Their stories are not uncommon, they are not the only ones doing great work, but they are among those awarded because someone took notice. State employees don’t always get the gratitude or recognition they deserve, but hopefully the annual GAFE ceremony shines a little more light on the considerable impact they have on what makes Utah so wonderful.