2017 NextGen Public Service Award Finalists

Public servants do amazing work and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Often times, those who work hard behind the scenes to help our government run more efficiently don’t even think they deserve the recognition and are humbled by the gesture – this is especially true for this year’s NextGen Public Service Award Finalists.

When the finalists were notified of their award nominations, they responded in incredible ways:

“Thank you for this amazing opportunity, I am truly honored and humbled to be a finalist for the NextGen Silent Hero Award.”

“I would like to thank you and whoever else had their hands in making such decisions as I am deeply honored.”

“Thank you for this kind honor and recognition. I thoroughly enjoy working for the state government here, now in my 15th year.”

Needless to say, public servants make a difference and we are happy to give them the support they give to so many of us.

Our thirty finalists, in their respective categories, are:

NextGen Exemplary Leader Award Finalists
This category recognizes government leaders who have demonstrated benevolence, competence, integrity, dedication, and commitment to improve and inspire our communities.

  • Olivia Benford, Parental Engagement Director, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District
  • Raymond Billotte, Judicial Branch Administrator, Maricopa County, Arizona
  • Gina Gonzalez, Economic Development Manager, City of Menifee, California
  • Jenny Kane, Business Intelligence Branch Chief, General Services Administration
  • April Slayton, Assistant Director, Communications, National Park Service

NextGen Innovator Award Finalists
This category recognizes government leaders who have identified new opportunities and improved their organization in an innovative way. In the past winners have been people who reimagined a process within their office and improved it or someone who changed the norm and improved results.

  • Marika Bertram, Team Lead for Data Analysis, Office of Field Policy and Management, Housing and Urban Development Department
  • Jennifer Chapman, Digital Communications Manager, City of Johns Creek, Georgia
  • Michael J. A. Davis, Brand Manager & Senior Designer, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, National Institutes of Health
  • Isaiah Morrison, Web Developer & Information Technology Specialist, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, National Institutes of Health
  • Erica Reott, Chief Strategy Officer, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Center for Disease Control
  • Dana Wedeles, Acting Principal Planner, City of Alexandria

NextGen Courageous Champion Award Finalists
This award recognizes a public servant that is blazing the path for their generation in government with courage and determination at the local, national, or international level.

  • Heidi Bernal, Program Technician, USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Brooke Bohnet, Desk Officer, Housing and Urban Development Department
  • Daniel Gordon, City Councilman, City of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Arlethe Rios, Clerk of the Board, Cochise County, Arizona
  • Ryan Ruggiero, Realty Specialist, GSA Mid-Atlantic Region, Public Buildings Service, Real Estate Acquisition Division
  • Ryan Stubblebine, Interpretive Specialist, National Park Service

NextGen Silent Hero Award Finalists
This award recognizes a public service leader who has operated behind the scenes, silently working in a dedicated and committed fashion, without the limelight, who has laid the foundation for stellar public service results and community change at the local, national, or international level. They are the lynchpin finally getting recognition.

  • Katrina Bach, Sr. Program Analyst, Homeland Security Department
  • Traci McCombs, Management Analyst, National Institutes of Health
  • Minette O’Bryan, Social Worker, Department of Behavioral Health, San Bernardino County, California
  • DuShun Scarbrough, Executive Director, Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission
  • Christine Smith, Defender Services IT Liaison, US Federal Defenders Organization, US Courts
  • Alba Tarre, Assistant Department Director, City of Miami Beach

NextGen Advocate Award Finalists
This award recognizes an individual dedicated to cultivating talent, mentoring, and helping to guide NextGen public service leaders to become our future community leaders at the local, national, or international level. This award has also been given to individuals who are consistently and relentlessly advocating for their work/team and their org’s mission.

  • Peter Bearcomesout, Sr. Firefighter, Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Berthilde Dufrene, Chief Nursing Officer, Corrections Based Operations, New York State Office of Mental Health
  • Jerry M.S. Jailall, Education Consultant, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Education Services for the Deaf and Blind
  • Lynne Miller, PIO/Regional Communications Manager, King County Emergency Management
  • Jarvis Parsons, District Attorney, Brazos County, Texas
  • Elizabeth Phillips, Physical Scientist, Environmental Management, Energy Department

We will honor each of our awards finalists at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit on July 27-28 in Washington, D.C.