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Missouri celebrates national public service recognition week, award of distinction honorees


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Today, Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation recognizing May 2-8 as the Public Service Recognition week for the State of Missouri. This national recognition has been in practice since 1985 honoring the people who serve our nation as government employees. Governor Mike Parson also honored State of Missouri team members who were recipients of the 2019 and 2020 Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction. The Award of Distinction is given to individuals or groups who go above and beyond their normal job duties in the categories of heroism, human relations, innovation, leadership, public service, and safety.

“These outstanding public servants have each made a real difference in the lives of others and deserve to be celebrated,” said Gov. Mike Parson. “They shut down a poaching ring, created an online map to display accessible bathrooms, placed themselves in harm’s way to ensure the safety of others, and created programs to help others succeed. Their passion for making this state a better place is inspiring, and it is an honor and privilege to serve alongside them.”

“The team members honored these past two years have gone above and beyond to ensure the health, safety, and growth of their families, loved ones, and the citizens they serve,” said Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman. “We’re so proud of all their heroic deeds and hard work during these challenging times.”

2019 Award of Distinction honorees

Lloyd McCurdy, Department of Corrections, Heroism
Jesse May, Department of Corrections, Human Relations
Gregory Hancock, Department of Corrections, Human Relations
Kellen Burns, Department of Transportation, Innovation
Allan Hughes, Department of Corrections, Leadership
Andy Barnes, Department of Conservation, Public Service
David Nykodym, Office of Administration, Public Service
Bret Hicks, Department of Transportation, Safety

2020 Award of Distinction honorees

Jerry Shafer, Department of Corrections, Heroism
Dane Hughes, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Human Relations
Ashley Wells, Department of Corrections, Innovation
Hayley Joyce, Department of Corrections, Innovation
Jeremiah Jackson, Department of Natural Resources, Leadership
Stephen McLane, Department of Natural Resources, Public Service
Robin Pendleton, Department of Health and Senior Services, Safety

The Missouri State Employee Award of Distinction program is administered by the Office of Administration/Division of Personnel.

You can learn more about each recipient’s accomplishment here: 2019 and 2020.