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State leaders congratulate Steven Harpe on one-year anniversary as OMES director

By Bonnie Campo and Christa Bolain
Friday, January 22, 2021

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services is one of the largest agencies in Oklahoma government. It manages resources for over 30,000 state employees and does so without seeking acclaim or notoriety. Here at OMES, we know that’s because our daily work reflects the humble leadership of our director, Steven Harpe.

When the governor appointed him one year ago today, Director Harpe focused the mentality of OMES. His marching orders were simple: be service driven and work hard to get stuff done. Director Harpe continues to further the OMES vision with honest communication, persistence and innovation.

Over the past year, Director Harpe and his team have reduced the OMES budget by 13%, provided the means and security for state employees to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, and launched the Get Stuff Done Podcast to highlight agency partnerships and good news for Oklahomans.

Recently on that podcast was Gov. J. Kevin Stitt, who said he’s proud of Director Harpe and appreciates the amazing work he’s doing.

“[I am] so thankful for you that you took this job and are leading OMES with high character, high value and high expectations,” Gov. Stitt told Harpe. “I know your team is being impacted by your leadership. I’m being impacted by you. You are built for this.”

The inaugural GSD Podcast guest, Department of Human Services Director Justin Brown, told Director Harpe that he has brought a renewed sense of trust and dependability to OMES.

“It was clear that we needed OMES as a true partner in a collaborative way,” Brown said. “Upon meeting you at the beginning of your tenure a year ago, it was clear that we have someone that thinks like we do, and who was really willing to stretch the limits and push beyond the bureaucracy to get things done.”

During his tenure within state government, Director Harpe has worn many hats. No matter the role, he brings with him a strong dedication to interagency partnership. Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow said OMES services have evolved to benefit customers.

“I think about back about a year and a half ago when Steve joined DOC as the chairman of our board,” Director Crow said. “He and I started on the same day, for the most part. We have accomplished a lot of things over the last year. As an agency director, I want you know I appreciate the customer service orientation you have brought to OMES and enhanced at OMES.”

Director Harpe has made it clear there is still plenty of work left to do. In January 2021, OMES wants to increase client feedback. Using electronic surveys, OMES hopes to learn what its clients think is going well and what OMES needs to improve. The agency will track this feedback and use it to fuel an improvement process to drive client experience.

Secretary and Commissioner of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said as OMES continues to transform state technology, she is thankful for the agency’s efforts.

“OMES is a very unique agency that interfaces with all of us in state government here in Oklahoma. You all do a tremendous job of being accessible and working on problems.”

Director Harpe attributes OMES’ momentum with its workforce. Nothing happens without OMES employees’ drive and willingness to help. He shared this message with our team earlier this year.

“While I help instigate these projects,” he said, “I have amazing people achieving all this. I really care about what people think. That’s the No. 1 thing for me.”

Please help us wish Director Harpe well in his next years as our agency director. Without his leadership, we surely would not have accomplished so much in 2020.

View the video:

Christa Bolain coordinates and creates original content for all OMES social media platforms, with an emphasis on written and visual communication. She assists with the research, writing, editing and distribution of OMES internal and external publications for grammar, spelling, consistency and OMES branding compliance.

Bonnie Campo is the public information manager at OMES. She spent close to 10 years in the broadcast news industry before joining the Public Affairs team in November of 2020. When she is not working, Bonnie is spending time with family and friends, or on a hiking trail. Please contact her for media related requests.

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Last Modified on Jan 22, 2021