Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #11-081
June 17, 2011

Premier’s Award of Excellence nominees announced at Whitehorse barbecue

WHITEHORSE—The names of the 2011 Premier’s Award of Excellence individual and team nominees were announced by Premier Darrell Pasloski at the Yukon Public Service Week barbecue in Whitehorse held in recognition of Yukon government employees.

All Yukon government employees are eligible for nomination. This year there were four individual and six team nominations.

Names of award recipients, as chosen by the Premier's Award of Excellence Selection Committee, will be announced in the fall. Selection committee members include, Craig Shippey, Cynthia Lyslo, Debra Thibodeau, Dennis Berry, Mike Woods, Pamela Hine and Liz McKee from within government and Noreen McGowan, the public representative on the committee.

The Premier’s Award of Excellence was first presented in 2005.


See backgrounder attached:


Brianne Young
Cabinet Communications
Liz McKee
Public Service Commission


2011 nominees for Premier’s Award of Excellence in the individual category

Birgitte Hunter, Health & Social Services – Birgitte’s nominators describe her as a shining example of someone whose leadership is magnified by her ability to make things happen for others. She has led her branch in a major cost recovery initiative of millions of dollars and is nominated for her management abilities and positive leadership.

Cheryl Van Blaricom, Public Service Commission – Cheryl was nominated for her extraordinary leadership, vision, determination and creativity in developing the Staff Development Branch in the Public Service Commission into what her nominators call, a first class provider of organization development services and resources.

Lorie Larose, Women’s Directorate – Lorie was nominated for her strong administrative and financial management skills. Besides performing her official government work, Lorie’s nominators describe her as someone who provides informal administrative support to a network of women’s groups and NGOs throughout Yukon.

Robin Walsh, Highways & Public Works – Robin is described by his nominators as someone whose leadership is a significant factor in the achievements of the Transportation Engineering Branch. Among other accomplishments, he has overseen major infrastructure improvements and has championed the development of permafrost mitigation and adaptation strategies.

2011 nominees for Premier’s Award of Excellence in the team category

Business Legislation Reform Project Team: This team includes six employees from the departments of Community Services and Justice. This project was to modernize Yukon’s business and corporate law. Team members are Fred Pretorius, Ken Kilpatrick, Anne King, Benoit Brouillard, Graham Lang and Rhonda Horte.

Dawson Waste Water Treatment Project Heritage Burials Recovery Team: This team includes three people from Tourism & Culture, one from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and two from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. After the discovery of human remains at the Dawson Waste Water Treatment Project site, this team provided leadership in sustaining community, government and private sector relationships through respect and co-operation to preserve Yukon history, while recognizing the importance of the water treatment project. Team members are Christian Thomas, Ruth Gotthardt and Greg Hare in the Department of Tourism & Culture as well as Susan Mooney from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and Sue Parsons and Jackie Olson from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation.

Yukon Drivers Licence Development Team: This is a core group of 10 people who led the project to design the new drivers licence and general identification card. Working closely with the Yukon Privacy Commissioner and the RCMP, the team brought forward required changes to the motor vehicle and liquor acts and regulations as well as designing the licence and ID card. Members of this team include Community Services employees, Walter Brennan, Tracy Bendera, Sharilyn Gattie, Keeley Davignon, Robb Andison, Craig Brooks and Matt King and Yukon Liquor Corporation employees, Joanne Harach and Virginia Labelle. Cathleen Lewis who worked in Community Services at the time of the project is now with the Public Service Commission.

Mayo Ice Damming Flood Response Team: This team includes Don Hutton and Chris MacPherson from Community Services, Steve Therriault from Energy, Mines and Resources and Calvin Hoogland from Highways & Public Works. Don, Steve and Calvin all work in Mayo and Chris works in Whitehorse. Faced with rising groundwater levels caused by thick ice floes in the Mayo River, this team faced the uncertainties and challenges with innovative but practical approaches to protect the village.

Palliative Care Program Team: This team of five employees has been nominated for the overall positive effect that their work has on the lives of clients and their families over both the short and long term. Nominators describe the team as one that makes it possible for people who are terminally ill to remain at home by delivering services in a supportive and respectful manner. This team includes Margriet Blok, Jan McKenzie, Kim Outridge and Brenda Charles and all Health & Social Services employees. Dr. Danusia Kanachowski was also nominated

Yukon Film & Sound Commission Team: This team has been nominated for “Yukonic: The Map, the Gold and the Girl” a web series training and marketing project. Barbara Dunlop, Iris Merritt, Rhea Nobel, Nancy Lewis-deGraff and Dennis Zimmerman. All employees in Economic Development worked on this project that nominators referred to as one that supports the growth of the Yukon film industry.