Skip to main content

2023 Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony honors exceptional achievements

Friday, June 09, 2023

With great pride and admiration, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services recently hosted our third-annual Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony, an event that celebrates our team members’ outstanding achievements from the previous year. OMES employees reached historic milestones in 2022, including the statewide launch of Workday@OK, the completion of the seven-year restoration efforts at the State Capitol Building, the creation of the state’s first online procurement platform and various collaborative projects with partner agencies to better serve Oklahomans. The 2023 ceremony served as a platform to acknowledge the people behind this impactful work and to honor those that set a new benchmark for excellence within our agency.

Award winners were announced in six different categories, Team Excellence, Customer Commitment, Innovation, Manager of Year, #GSD and Division Employee of the Year. Each award recipient – chosen from a total of 273 nominations – was honored for their outstanding performance, significant contributions and dedication to our agency’s mission of “Serving Those who Serve Oklahomans.” Join us as we highlight the individuals who have gone above and beyond to advance our agency, inspire their colleagues and embody the spirit of service at OMES’ core.

Workday project team – Team Excellence

This cross-functional team worked for over two years to implement the state's new human resources information system, which yields significant efficiencies in how the state now operates in the human capital management space.

Their unprecedented collaboration across the state’s 32,000-employee workforce aligned agencies on streamlined HCM processes and eliminated outdated technologies. Additionally, they consolidated multiple platforms for recruitment, time tracking, performance management and more into one mobile-friendly system that will continue to grow and mature over time.

Shawn Hayes – Customer Commitment

As a dedicated IT professional, Information Services Database Administrator Shawn Hayes helps maintain accounting databases and software for OMES Employees Group Insurance Division. Whenever there is a problem, he’s always there to solve them, update software and maintain the integrity of state data. He is currently helping in a major upgrade of our check-writing database and tracking system.

Christa Helfrey – Innovation

As a member of our Legislative and Public Affairs division, Strategic Communication Coordinator Christa Helfrey is always looking for new ways to tell the story of OMES – to showcase how our team is “Serving Those who Serve Oklahomans.” She is always willing to take ideas from others and then find innovative solutions to challenges.

She created OMES’ first Strategic Communication Standards, manages all OMES social media channels, writes articles for the blog and established yearly communication goals for the whole agency. Her content creation for various divisions has strengthened relationships with partner agencies and increased awareness of services and opportunities.

David John – Manager of the Year

Systems Operations Administrator David John exemplifies the definition of a true leader within our Capital Assets Management division. He not only leads his team with an unruffled demeanor, but also reassures the team and tenants the work will be completed, while continuing to operate in a safe and comfortable environment. 

David is a leader you can send to speak to all levels of leadership. He has been a resource to the first family and worked directly with the first lady to ensure the much-overdue renovations of the pavilion not only meet her standards but is an amazing transformation to a property that is not only used within state government but also the public.

Lisa Raihl – #GSD

Statewide Payroll Manager Lisa Raihl has been the very picture of commitment during 2022.  She has certainly done what it takes to get stuff done. While dedicating her time to the state’s implementation of Workday@OK, she also made sure the daily work continued seamlessly through her management skills and the support she provided for her team.

Lisa is always considering how her decisions and recommendations affect others and maintains a great relationship with the agencies.

Division Employee of the Year

Christine Patton – Budget, Policy and Gaming Compliance

Christine is lead for coordinating and modernizing budget processes. She has also taken the functional lead for the Performance Informed Budgeting/TOP website Phase II project. This is a transparency project that pulls together expenditures by statewide program and by agency, and then couples that with statewide performance metrics.

Darin Brinson – Capital Assets Management

Darin is kind, dedicated and always available to ensure work gets done. He was instrumental in ensuring the renovations at the Governor’s Mansion pavilion were a success, and OMES leadership looks to Darin when there is a project to be completed by Facilities. He is able to prioritize and achieve critical deadlines in spite of staffing shortages and is an incredible leader with an acute ability to motivate and support his team. Darin maintains a network of professional service providers that are happy and willing to assist as needed with critical projects for the state to ensure that our office buildings remain habitable, safe and comfortable.

Li Lai – Central Accounting and Reporting

Li has really stepped up to understand and take charge of many duties and tasks. He has been very proactive to find out what his director is working on to see if he could assist or take responsibility. He is very proactive to seek out knowledge on the many responsibilities of the Statewide Accounting Group. What he does is not necessarily visible to management and agency staff, but he has been a steady presence and is always seeking to learn more and take on additional duties.

Asha Parks – Central Purchasing

Asha exemplifies what CP desires to be. She has been asked to do extra things above and beyond her job duties both internally and externally, and, without hesitation, she does them. She goes out of her comfort zone to represent CP, facilitating and presenting to hundreds of suppliers at our Expo event.

She thinks in a strategic way, always looking for ways to maximize our relationships with our agency and supply partners, thinking of what we need to do now in order for us to be where we want to be, not next month, but next year and the year after.

Stephanie Nicholson – Employees Group Insurance Division

Stephanie has worked diligently and inspired her staff to do the same during a very hard year of constant change for the future success of EGID. She has been such an inspiration! She is always smiling and looking for creative and out-of-the-box fixes to processes. It’s amazing how much she accomplishes each day. She is integral to our success and to our members.

Victoria Luallen – Finance

Victoria has the "Get Stuff Done" attitude. When she encounters a problem, she takes the initiative to either fix it herself or engages with others on the team to resolve it. She is always willing to take the time to teach and train others on the team.

Rhonda Tollers – General Counsel

Rhonda has been an excellent resource to the legal division and OMES as a whole. She supports the EGID attorneys, which, in turn, supports the entire EGID division. Rhonda also supports legal in a very specific manner through the rulemaking process. When performing rulemaking tasks, she not only supports the EGID attorneys, but also supports all of the OMES attorneys, both for permanent and emergency rulemaking. She also worked tirelessly and diligently to support Service Oklahoma in their emergency rulemaking completed this year. This task required Rhonda to work with Service Oklahoma legal counsel, outside of the OMES legal division, in addition to supporting the 14 OMES attorneys.

Alan Beall – Human Capital Management

Alan has been consistently helpful throughout, not only the Workday@OK implementation, but also the stabilization period. He has quietly helped numerous HR partners within OMES, as well as other agencies.

He prioritizes customer service and makes sure he resolves every issue that comes his way. He has personally helped provide customer service to high-ranking officials at other agencies many times. He was also very instrumental in moving Tax and Public Safety employees to Service Oklahoma.

Isaac George – Information Services

Both at the Department of Human Services and Service Oklahoma, Isaac has worked to understand the agency outcomes, and works tirelessly to align IS services to meet those needs. He's open and collaborative with just the right mix of humor, humility and aggression to GSD.

Denise White – Legislative and Public Affairs

Denise is an unsung hero, serving behind the scenes, but is a vital piece to the success of our agency. She is always willing to work until a job is fully complete to the best of her ability and is continually challenging herself and others to grow their professional skills to better serve customers. She is a caring and challenging manager for her employees and exceeds expectations at nearly every opportunity.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s winners, finalists and everyone that nominated a colleague for this honor. Our agency is one of innovation, teamwork and continuous improvement, and our employees consistently highlight the incredible potential we all possess to effect change and contribute to a brighter future for the State of Oklahoma.

Last Modified on Jun 09, 2023