OMES awards top talent at employee recognition event
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services held its second-annual OMES Employee Recognition Day on May 2 to celebrate the dedicated public servants within the agency. The event, divided into a morning and afternoon session, highlighted our employees’ biggest achievements from 2021 – including the inaugural State Suppliers Expo and the first-ever virtual Option Period – awarded some of our exceptional teams and individuals, and offered a chance to hear from Chief Operating Officer and OMES Executive Director Steven Harpe.
This year, the Team Excellence, Customer Commitment, Manager of the Year and #GSD awards were presented to those who have truly excelled in their respective roles. Congratulations to the following recipients!
Thirty nominations were submitted for the Team Excellence Award. This category honors teams within OMES that are expert collaborators, even from their home offices or new hybrid schedules. A selection committee identified 11 finalists and three winners – Cyber Command, Payroll Shared Services and Public Affairs. Through innovation and creative solutions, these teams consistently push the limits of state government to remind us what’s possible when we harness teamwork to reach and exceed agency goals.
Housed within Information Services, Cyber Command has shown constant dedication to protecting the state and its citizens. In 2021, the cybersecurity team implemented a 24/7 protocol to better secure state technology and citizen data. In all, they monitored 418 million transactions in the state’s virtual private network and blocked 448,291 potential cyber threats, a testament to their synergy and mission to keep Oklahomans safe.
“OMES Cyber Command was very honored to accept this award,” said Chance Grubb, Cyber Command senior staff officer and OK-ISAC lead. “We view this award as a not only a symbol of our team’s efforts to secure Oklahoma but also the pride we take in our daily work. Our accomplishments and cyber readiness would not have been possible without the assistance of our other OMES IS Towers and the agencies we work with. This award isn’t just for OMES Cyber Command, it’s for all the other OMES IS teams and our strategic partners that are helping us Secure Oklahoma.”
Payroll Shared Services, a department of Central Accounting and Reporting, has been heavily involved in the statewide roll-out of Workday@OK while still managing 60 shared-services payrolls for client agencies and completing daily responsibilities. Throughout this extraordinary effort, team members have maintained their positive attitudes, overcome new challenges and adapted to take care of customers.
Public Affairs was recognized for their service to internal teams and stellar content that extends to public audiences. They have effectively communicated OMES achievements and highlighted our agency’s Get Stuff Done spirit across various media platforms. Team charisma, creativity and initiative have propelled PA into a trusted position to work on more prestigious projects, assisting the newly formed Civil Service Division, helping organize the first-ever State Suppliers Expo and Employee Recognition Day events and frequently supporting the COO’s office.
We can’t thank these teams enough for their effective teamwork and dedication to elevating our service to Oklahomans.
Recipients of the Customer Commitment Award are those who often go above the standard and outside their job descriptions to provide exceptional customer service. They maintain a service-first mentality and work to understand needs, share their professional expertise, deliver impactful results and follow through from start to finish. Out of 42 submissions to this category, the selection committee chose 12 finalists and three winners – Alan Field, Amelia Glenn and Andrew McQuade.
As an applications developer with Information Services, Field is known for his excellent customer service to the State Department of Health. Whenever an issue arises, he goes above and beyond to manage and resolve it. In doing so, he challenges the rest of the agency to be problem-solvers.
“To me, being committed to our customers means treating them like people,” Field said. “They're not tickets or tasks. They're our friends and neighbors. They're nurses, policemen and teachers. Some make sure our water is safe, others protect our wildlife, and others provide all kinds of services to the state. When you think about customers in this way, being committed to them is easy.”
Glenn, a Pharmacy Benefit Analyst, earned the recognition for her excellent customer service within Employees Group Insurance Division, where she delivers expert guidance on prescription benefits and pharmacy claims.
“I learned something years ago about customer service,” said Glenn. “Treat the person you are helping like it was your mother or grandmother. Over the years, that idea has served me well in helping people with their pharmacy issues. So many of our members, especially those with Medicare, do not understand their pharmacy benefits and how to maximize their savings. Therefore, I spend a few extra minutes explaining and informing them of cost-saving strategies that will help them spend less on their medications.”
McQuade, A/V specialist for Information Services, is well known at the Lincoln Data Center for his approachable, polite and quick-to-help attitude. He is the go-to person for all audio or video needs. Even before being asked for help, he offers to assist.
“It’s much easier to get stuff done when you have coworkers who are always willing to help you succeed,” McQuade said. “Thank you to all the people I have the pleasure of working with and for the opportunity to be your OMES A/V specialist.”
Thank you to all three winners for their empathy and generosity, for going the extra mile and providing great service. We are grateful for everything they do to improve the customer experience.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
This category recognizes top-tier leaders known to build loyalty, inspire positive attitudes, empower teams and increase productivity. Nine finalists and three winners were selected out of 33 nominees for the Manager of the Year Award. This year’s winners were Denise White, Lisa Raihl and Sophie Preston, each chosen for their engaging management styles, encouraging guidance and investment in their teams.
White, Public Affairs Internal Communications manager, is known for her dedication and selflessness toward her team. She is always willing to help anyone reach their goals and knows how to challenge and support her team. She continuously strives to create an environment for employees to cultivate their skills and broaden their knowledge.
“When my name was announced, such a feeling a pride swept through me for my team,” said Denise. “It’s the team who makes the manager.”
Statewide Payroll Manager Raihl’s team describes her as “too good to be true.” She cares for her staff and is a thoughtful leader, bringing clarity and positivity to the group. When things get overwhelming, she is a source of encouragements, support and balance to tackle hurdles and grow professionally.
Likewise, Preston, director of training, inspires her team to achieve goals and encourages intentional work throughout our agency. She is compassionate, builds trust and fights for the highest possible good. In doing so, she supports each of her staff on many levels.
“Being recognized as great manager is special for so many reasons,” Preston said. “The number one reason being that we are committed to practice what we preach. To the team I lead: Thank you for trusting me when I say I fight for your highest possible good and for the reciprocity in fighting for mine. To those who nominated me: I am grateful that somewhere along your journey I was able to play a positive role. Thank you!”
Congratulations to these three outstanding managers, whose push for success is unmatched within both the agency and each employee.
The #GSD Award is presented to an employee who embodies our agency motto and always Gets Stuff Done. It recognizes someone who sets the bar high and constantly produces outstanding work, often the first to volunteer for projects to help our agency achieve substantial impact. The committee narrowed down 42 nominees to just five finalists. Ultimately, they chose Topher Fatur, executive support specialist for Information Services, as this year’s #GSD Award winner.
Fatur was selected for his reliability, positive attitude and strong customer service skills. His team, supervisors and even the highest levels of state leadership, recognize him for his above-average performance and being someone they can count on. No project is too big or small. He constantly delivers exemplary service and well represents the GSD spirit.
“It is an amazing honor to be nominated and to receive the award,” said Fatur. “I don’t feel like this award can be accomplished as a solo act. Working for the state is very much a TEAM sport. I don’t know that I could have accomplished as much as I have without the different teams at IS, the project managers and the various points of contact at the different agencies I interface with. It is very humbling to be among all the candidates and award winners.”
Congratulations to our nominees, finalists and winners in the 2022 ceremony, and thank you to all our employees, teams and managers who take on the OMES mission of service and create an encouraging and efficient environment around them. Every day they show up ready to help, learn and improve state government. Together, their efforts fuel our agency’s success and our work to better the lives of Oklahomans.
View the event recap video for more details: