The week of May 5-11 is Public Service Recognition Week, which offers time for a government agency like Oregon Youth Authority to reflect on the important roles its employees play in the lives of youth and their families and in fulfilling OYA’s mission.
“The progress of youth in our care is not always constant, but when they do succeed, whether it’s responding to treatment or learning a new skill, you can take pride in knowing you’ve helped them on their journey to becoming healthy and positive young adults,” reads a letter issued to all employees from Director Joe O’Leary and Deputy Director Nakeia Daniels.
This year, five OYA employees are being honored at the governor’s celebrations. There are two categories of recognition for state of Oregon employees:
Ambassadors of Public Service:
Nominees in this category exemplify a commitment to public service and embody the values of integrity, accountability, excellence, and equity in their everyday work.
Troy “Bubba” Williams (case coordinator at Camp Riverbend) “is a professional,” his nomination says. “He works through problems to find solutions. He works well with youth and colleagues.”
Jenelle Duhamel (JJIS quality assurance analyst at central office) “is very positive about her work and is willing to help any team needing to have QA testing,” her supervisor Don Crossley wrote in her nomination. “She organizes the IS (information services) food drive along with office potlucks. She always has a smile and a positive attitude.”
Darwin Crabtree (treatment manager at MacLaren), who claims the award should go to his whole team, “consistently has a positive lens on his staff,” his nomination says.
Governor Kate Brown will host these three OYA ambassadors of public service May 9 at Mahonia Hall, the governor’s home, for a reception.
Commitment to State Service:
This award can go to two employees who consistently embody positivity in the workplace, one who is new to state service (i.e., with 1-2 years of service) and one who has served for 30 years or more. This year, Lani Thomas (a Lane County juvenile parole and probation officer) and Jim Kramer (chief of parole and probation) will be recognized at 2:30 p.m. May 9 in the governor’s ceremonial office. There will be a live stream of the governor signing a “State Employee Recognition Day” proclamation along with her words of recognition.
Lani Thomas just came over to state from county service, and “she is making a clear impact quickly,” her nomination says, “working well with the county staff, connecting with service providers, and connecting with youth.”
Jim Kramer does everything and is skilled; he has had a number of awards , but not this one,” his nomination reads. “It would also be timely for the agency to support him.”
The letter from the director and deputy director goes on to share their pride in these public servants’ work but also to thank all employees.
“Of course, all of you who work at OYA have much to take pride in,” the letter continues. “As servants of the public, you contribute daily to Oregon’s quality of life. Because your work helps OYA youth lead productive, crime-free lives, you make life better not only for the youth and their families, but for Oregonians across the state.”