British Columbia public service employees were recognized for the outstanding work they do on behalf of the Province at the Premier’s annual Innovation and Excellence Awards ceremony last night.
“Behind the many innovative provincial programs and policies that help drive B.C. forward are a team of talented and dedicated public servants,” Premier Christy Clark said. “This year we are celebrating some of those exceptional employees who have dedicated their careers to improving this province and the lives of British Columbians. I want to congratulate each of this year’s winners and thank them for all their hard work.”
Five outstanding public service nominations were recognized for innovation in providing essential services in five categories: Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Partnership, Innovation, and Emerging Leader.
“The BC Public Service prides itself on attracting the best and brightest individuals who are truly government’s greatest asset,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong. “The men and women we are celebrating are some of B.C.’s top experts, mentors and leaders who demonstrate the finest dedication and innovation that our public servants have to offer.”
This year’s winners are:
- Emerging Leader: Melanie Finley, Ministry of Children and Family Development
As manager of strategic priorities, Melanie Finley has shown herself to be an emerging leader. Her ability to see the bigger picture, along with her enthusiasm and persistence, helped her lead the provincial development and implementation of the Children and Youth Mental Health Intake Clinics. Throughout this project, she used her leadership skills to influence others to participate and take ownership of the process, while ensuring staff felt valued and shared in the success of the outcome.
- Innovation: Issuance of Panda bond in China’s capital market, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Justice
In January 2016, British Columbia became the first foreign government to issue a Panda bond in China’s domestic bond market. The expertise, creativity, hard work and dedication of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Justice employees were vital to this innovative and successful issuance of the bond. The bond also created a new avenue for strengthening B.C.’s economic and diplomatic ties with China.
- Organizational Excellence: Negotiation of final ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) and partners
British Columbia manages ecological integrity and human well-being in the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) through the unique ecosystem-based management (EBM) system. The EBM agreements protect 85% of the area’s forests; provide economic opportunities for First Nations, and offer certainty for the forest industry through sustainable harvesting in 15% of the area’s forests. This work is an outstanding example of FLNRO’s responsiveness to interests raised by the many parties involved (First Nations, environmental groups, industry, public and stakeholders) and achieving agreement on a unique outcome. On Jan. 28, 2016, a new GBR Land Use Order was established to support and continue implementation of EBM in the GBR.
- Partnership: ERASE Bullying Strategy: Partnering with the Community to Make Our Schools Safer for All Our Children, Ministry of Education and partners
The Expect Respect and a Safe Education (ERASE) Bullying strategy is a multi-pronged bullying and violence prevention strategy that focuses on connectedness, mental health, intervention and risk assessment. The ERASE Bullying strategy is led by the Ministry of Education and brings together school boards, students, teachers, health-care providers, police, mental health, child protection, Crown counsel and a number of other community partners to prevent bullying and violence in B.C. schools.
- Leadership: Evelyn Brooke Hayes , Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Starting in government as a Clerk 9 in 2000, Brooke Hayes has risen to the level of executive director, Strategic Business and Procurement Transformation. Hayes is a change leader with a leadership style that focuses on both relationships and results. During her career with the B.C. government, Hayes has led many successful projects, including the delivery of the BC Bid Resources website and the Short Form Request for Proposal.
Four new inductees were also added to the BC Public Service Hall of Excellence. The Hall of Excellence is the highest honour the BC Public Service can extend to its employees, recognizing long-lasting achievement, dedication, and service to the Province. This year’s inductees are:
- Nicola Marotz, Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Nicola Marotz has a quarter-century legacy of extraordinary public service dedicated to provincial interests, the interests of communities and regions, and the well-being of her colleagues. Her expertise on local government law reform – a complex arena engaging virtually all facets of law – has led to the creation of a distinctive policy and legal framework. Marotz is considered the “go-to” person by practitioners for advice and interpretation. Her reputation comes not from a single accomplishment, such as the Community Charter of 2003, but from being a skilled educator, leader and mentor, while also building an unparalleled record of innovative legislative change.
- Dr. Glyn Fox, Ministry of Environment
Dr. Glyn Fox is an internationally-recognized authority on the environmental and human health dangers of contaminants and toxic substances. From developing world-leading legislative and regulatory standards to his work on the use of biometric data to monitor lead exposure of children in Trail, Dr. Fox has shaped the public health of B.C. citizens for almost three decades. As a result of Dr. Fox’s work, B.C. leads Canada in the remediation of contaminated sites, and he has been instrumental in developing a model that sets requirements for qualified, experienced private professionals to assist with cleaning up lower-risk contaminated sites.
- Sandra Cunningham, Ministry of Justice
Sandra Cunningham, QC, is a tireless ambassador for the justice system in British Columbia. As Crown counsel, she has shown extraordinary commitment to fundamental public service values. Her passion for advocacy training is well respected, both at home and abroad, designing and leading legal education programs that greatly benefit B.C.’s prosecution service, as well as lawyers in private practice, police officers, social workers and other first responders. Cunningham co-chairs the annual advocacy program for Continuing Legal Education British Columbia and is recognized by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia.
- Sharlie Huffman, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Over a 35-year career, Sharlie Huffman has contributed to the field of seismic engineering and the development of projects, tools, systems and people. Her efforts have made a major contribution on the Province’s work to design and build structures to withstand earthquakes, including the development of performance-based seismic design of bridges and seismic instrumentation for bridge and structural health monitoring. In addition, Huffman has made exceptional contributions to the speciality by participating in numerous organizations. She is well known and respected throughout the field and by ministry employees.
All nominations go through a two-part judging process. Initially, Premier’s Award nominations are considered at a provincial level and reviewed by external, independent adjudicators who evaluate the nominations on a category-by-category basis. Adjudicators select the regional finalists, including regional Premier’s Award recipients. The adjudicators also produce a short list for the judges to review for provincial consideration. To be considered at the provincial level, the project or person has to demonstrate significant impact or implement procedures widely adopted across multiple regions of the province. A panel of external judges then reviews the shortlisted provincial nominations and selects the provincial finalists.
Videos of the Premier’s Awards finalists can be viewed online:
Learn more about the BC Public Service Hall of Excellence and previous B.C. Legacy winners: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/public-service/hall-of-excellence