Government of Yukon

September 25, 2012

Premier announces Award of Excellence nominees

WHITEHORSE—Premier Darrell Pasloski announced the names of the nominees for the 2012 Premier’s Award of Excellence today. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievements by Yukon government employees.

“These awards celebrate the accomplishments of deserving public servants,” Pasloski said. “Congratulations to all the nominees for your commitment, innovation and quality of leadership. As premier, I am proud to recognize and celebrate the achievements of so many employees who bring their talent and dedication to bear as they work for the benefit of all Yukoners.”

The nominees for the 2012 awards include eight teams and six individual nominees.

The Premier’s Award of Excellence Selection Committee will determine the winning nominations. The 2012 Premier’s Awards of Excellence will be presented at a ceremony in Whitehorse on October 26.


See backgrounder below.


Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Sarah Crane
Communications, Public Service Commission

2012 nominees for Premier’s Award of Excellence

Team category

2012 Arctic Winter Games Host Society
Community Services, Tourism and Culture, Education, Executive Council Office – Members: Karen Thomson, Charly Kelly, Marie Cairns, Sue Meikle, Trevor Twardochleb, Lindsay France, Laurel Parry, Denny Kobayashi, Lucy Coulthard, Vickie Dawe, Arlene Yeulet

The Arctic Winter Games Society comprised a group of dedicated Yukon government employees who began work on the 2012 Arctic Winter Games years in advance. They did this while continuing with all other roles and responsibilities as Yukon government employees. Their nominators say their spirit of enthusiasm and leadership helped make the games a wonderful international celebration of northern sport, culture and friendship.

Cost Recovery Team
Health and Social Services – Members: Gregory Bryce, Charlie Furchner, Linda Fenton

The cost recovery team at Health and Social Services persevered and succeeded in rectifying long standing issues of outstanding debt to the Yukon government. Their nominators say the cost recovery team has demonstrated individual and organizational leadership and Yukon taxpayers have benefited from their work.

2012 GoMedia Host Committee
Tourism and Culture, Economic Development, Parks Canada, City of Whitehorse, Outside the Cube – Members: Jim Kemshead, Tiffy Riel, Stephen Reynolds, Erin Deacon, Carrie Labonte, Linda Bierlmeier, Margaret Goodwin, Robin Anderson, Frank Wilps, Lily Gontard, Sheila Dodd, Dennis Zimmermann

The work of the GoMedia Host Committee led to a successful 2012 annual meeting of the Canadian Tourism Commission in Whitehorse. Their nominators noted that their collaboration and partnership-building skills meant national and international exposure for Yukon.

Housing Stimulus
Yukon Housing Corporation – Members: Mike Frasher, Ron Brown, Phyllis Fodey, Robert Janits, Mike O’Connor, Lonnie Powell, Nathalie Ouellet, Candace Thomas, Darren Stahl, Corrine Gallagher, Gerry Rivest, Darrin Fredrickson

The Yukon Housing Corporation’s Housing stimulus team administered funding related to the construction and repair of social housing. Their nominators cited their hard work and careful planning.

Non-Smoking Tenancy Agreement
Yukon Housing Corporation – Members: Shona Mostyn, Mike Frasher, Nathalie Ouellet

This team was responsible for the creation and implementation of a non-smoking tenancy agreement for all Yukon Housing Corporation tenants. The health benefits of this project will be realized by the corporation’s tenants as well as by future generations. Their nominators say Yukon taxpayers will benefit from reduced cost of maintenance and repair of housing units.

2012 Upper Liard Flood Event – Incident Management Team
Community Services, Environment, Health and Social Services, Highways and Public Works, Executive Council Office, RCMP – Members: Mark Brodhagen, Laurel Cole, Scott Cole, Keith Fickling, Brian Gudmundson, Greg Iles, Cam Lockwood, Don Magun, Louyse Mongeon, Aisha Montgomery, Ryan Nixon, Stefanie Richardson

The team responded to the flood event at Upper Liard in June and was nominated for planning, interagency cooperation and hard work. When the Liard River rose to its highest recorded levels, the challenges were great and the potential for tragedy was high. The nominators praised the leadership and cooperation shown by the incident management team during a stressful situation.

Wake and Bake
Health and Social Services, Education – Members: Susie Ross, Brenda Dion, Myra Shilleto, Sandy Bowlby, Emily Bradbury, Ian Parker, Stacey Burnard, Elizabeth Lemay, Mark Nassiopoulos

The Wake and Bake team created a successful Yukon-wide comprehensive health promotion program. The team tackled the issue of illicit drug use by youth through an educational play; facilitated discussions; a health fair; and a teaching guide promoting further discussion. The team’s work and dedication allowed the program to reach a total audience of almost 2,000 in the fall of 2011.

Western Canada Music Awards Conference and Festival
Economic Development – Members: Barbara Dunlop, Iris Merritt, Nancy Lewis-Degraff, Rhea Nobel, Neil Macdonald

This team took on the challenge of hosting the annual Western Canadian Music Awards Conference and Festival in Whitehorse. The nominators say this team met their challenge head-on and orchestrated an event that was enjoyed by almost 3,000 people. Yukon musicians received unprecedented national exposure and Yukon’s appeal as a music and film destination was showcased.


Individual category

Jack Bowers – Community Services
Jack was nominated for his infrastructure development work as a senior program manager in Old Crow. Jack’s consultative team-building approach and respectful demeanour facilitated the successful completion of road and drainage projects for the community.

Wendy Callahan – Highways & Public Works
Wendy’s work in the Highways and Public Works mailroom helps keep information flowing to her colleagues every day, but her nominators say her efforts as a fundraiser in the fight to beat cancer exemplify how the public service spirit can extend beyond the workplace. Wendy has been the top Run for Mom fund raiser for the past seven years.

Helena Jirousek – Environment
Helena has worked as an administrative assistant in Ross River for more than 20 years. Nominators say her service and dedication to clients of Environment and Energy, Mines and Resources is outstanding. They describe her as an indispensable asset to past and present natural resource and conservation officers.

Virginia Labelle – Yukon Liquor Corporation
Virginia has been a dedicated member of Yukon’s public service for nearly 30 years. She made positive and lasting contributions to each of the Yukon government departments that employed her. Virginia’s nominators highlighted her leadership in the social responsibility area in her current position as Yukon Liquor Corporation vice president.

Lorna McCutcheon – Community Service
Lorna’s diligence and persistence in addressing issues related to billing have led to changes in practice that benefitted the Fire Marshal’s Office. Her nominators say her high standard of work provides examples that all departments in Yukon government can benefit from with respect to the responsible administration of public funds.

Leah Wainwright – Energy, Mines and Resources
Leah’s nominators say she provides a high level of customer service at the lands management branch in Energy, Mines and Resources. They cited her respectful demeanour and communication skills, which are appreciated by clients and co-workers alike. They say her efforts have greatly contributed to the quality of service provided by the branch.

News Release #12-175