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Premier's Award of Excellence and Innovation

The Premier's Award of Excellence and Innovation celebrates the good work of the public service and showcases the talents of our employees. 

2017 recipients

Individual category

Garnet Muething - Tourism and Culture)

As the Yukon government’s art curator, Garnet completed two major, high profile art restoration projects in 2016: the stained glass mural in the Main Administration Building and the BC Centennial Totem in the front of the old Whitehorse library. While the job of art curator includes maintaining the art assets owned by the Yukon government, these two restoration projects were significant. They required extensive project management skills, innovation, intergovernmental collaboration, an understanding of First Nations protocols, and conservation methodology beyond the duties expected of this position. At the request of the family of the BC carver who created the pole, the knowledge of pole conservation techniques that Garnet developed as a result of this project is being shared so that it can be applied to other pole conservation projects.

Kris Gustafson - Environment

Kris brings 37 years of experience working in the field of enforcement and compliance and his management approach as Director of Conservation Officer Services is exemplified by the strong relationships he has with communities, First Nations, other governments, and employees. Kris has been the driving force behind ongoing training of Conservation Officers and that has created a level of excellence that is evident in the quality of the investigations and the files prepared for prosecution. He has implemented innovative approaches to enforcement and prosecution, human-wildlife conflict programs, and hunter education. Kris’s positive approach, deep knowledge, and willingness to collaborate have resulted in higher than average employee engagement scores for his branch and the respect of colleagues in the Yukon government and other jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S.

Ron LeBlanc - Justice

Chef Ron LeBlanc has used his years of institutional experience with his exceptional understanding of dietary and nutritional requirements to transform the food services program at Whitehorse Correctional Centre. Over the past year Ron has lead his team to completely re-visit the food services and kitchen program at the Correctional Centre and has created a state of the art 28 day rotational menu for the institution. His program also provides trade level skills to inmates that are transferable to life outside the institution. Ron developed this approach to the food services program on his own initiative and presented it to the senior management team for approval. This kind of innovation and initiative demonstrates the leadership, professionalism and care in one’s work that exemplifies excellence in public service.

Small team category

Community Affairs Asset Management Team (Community Services)

In order to better support Yukon communities, the team at Community Affairs designed an infrastructure asset management project to provide guidance and support to Yukon municipalities and First Nations. The approach to asset management included the creation of a community of practice to support asset management practitioners and an innovative funding program that supports local governments to take the next steps on the path to better asset management practices. The project has deepened knowledge, provided tools and helped municipal and First Nations government with the sustainability of their communities and their assets. Their approach to asset management has been nationally recognized and is being replicated in jurisdictions across Canada.

2017 nominees

Individual category

Kris Gustafson - Environment
Michael Bergman - Health and Social Services
Karen Berrel - Highways and Public Works
Robin Treusch - Justice
Ron LeBlanc - Justice
Sarah Johnston - Public Service Commission
Garnet Muething - Tourism and Culture
Robert Ridgen - Tourism and Culture

Small team category

Aboriginal Leadership Conference Committee
Department: Education, Energy Mines and Resources, Executive Council Office, Public Service Commission, Yukon Lottery Commission, Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board
Team members: Tracy Camilleri, Sharon Shadow, Danielle Sheldon, Shirley Dawson, Renee Mayes, Lily Sembsmoen, Marge Baufeld, Sarah Johnston Smith, Kerri Fernandes, Jennilee Cook, Ashley Kayseas, Colleen Parker, Chelsea LaRose

Advanced Education, Immigration Unit
Department: Education
Team members: Marius Curteanu, Ann Bowen, Mona Syed, Sophie Delaigue, Roxanne Mason

Civic Addressing Team
Department: Community Services
Team members: Carolyn Moore, Damien Burns, Ian Davis, Jordan Stackhouse, Zoe Morrison

Community Affairs - Asset Management Team
Department: Community Services, Education
Team members: Damien Burns, Ian Davis, Sarah Russo, Samantha Crosby, Carolyn Moore, Faith Black, Jordan Stackhouse, Chris Madden, Paula Nugent

Community Services Finance SharePoint Team
Department: Community Services
Team members: Cheryl Otterbein, Lindsay Jordan, Carrie Ariss, Jenna Dhillon, Kathryn Ives, Roreigh Eftoda, Stephanie Campbell, Adam Markey, Randi Cave, Florence Moses

Government to Government Community Green Energy Initiative (G2G)
Department: Energy, Mines and Resources
Team members: Shane Andre, Ryan Hennessey, Cathy Cottrell, Sean MacKinnon, James Wigmore, Andre Gagne, Marianne Gregoire, Matthew Ooms, Kirk Tyler, Jessica Garstin

Intergovernmental Relations Team
Department: Executive Council Office
Team members: Mark Roberts, Paul Nordahl, Judy Shannon, Arwen Rowe, Meaghan O'Connor, Kate Durand, Matt Ball, Ashley Tomlins, Jennifer Gehmair, Rodney D'Abramo

Justice Enterprise Information Network (JEIN) Project Team
Department: Highways and Public Works, Justice
Team members: Marc Emond, Peter Deer, Mark Daniels, Amanda MacDonald, Barry Jenkins, Reuben Mitchell, Justin Gorczyca, Kaurel Davidson, Cathy Sheardown, Erik Mayes

Radon Awareness and Mitigation Team
Department: Health and Social Services, Yukon Housing Corporation
Team members: Michelle Boleen, Catherine Elliott, Juergen Korn, Jan Slipetz

Territorial Health Investment Fund, Chronic Disease Management Team
Department: Health and Social Services
Team members: Anne Aram, River Walton, Samantha Salter, Hazel Booth, Karla Scott, Beth Richie, Jeffrey Higgins, Kyah Parent
Large team category

Reverse Trade Show Planning Committee
Departments: Community Services, Economic Development, Education, Energy, Mines and Resources, Environment, Health and Social Services, Highways and Public Works, Justice, Tourism and Culture, Women's Directorate, Yukon Housing Corporation, Yukon Liquor Corporation
Team members: Ryan Daub, Tara-Lee Bosma, Shannon Trott, Cristina Pekarik, Rose Heisz, Carrie Ekholm, Carrie Labonte, Shanna Epp, Debra Thibodeau, Kelly Dewdney, Andrea Finner, Catherine Harwood, Melissa Hall, Vanessa Oosterbosch, Guenther Mueller, Carrie Stahl, Ian Yap, Deborah Greenlaw, Alex Hill, Darren Stahl, Susan Russell

See below for recognition criteria and frequently asked questions about the award.

Recognition Criteria

Recognition criteria (general and specific) represent what government most values in public servants. Accomplishments, service and contributions that demonstrate at least one of the general criteria and at least one of the specific criteria may lead to a Premier’s Award.

General Criteria

  1. Promotes a high standard of customer service.
  2. Promotes the organization’s stated outcomes.
  3. Demonstrates commitment to continuing improvement.
  4. Provides a role model for the public sector or community.
  5. Promotes, where possible, inter-agency or inter-departmental collaboration.
  6. Demonstrates commitment to achieving value for money.
  7. Demonstrates the achievement of social, economic and/or environmental improvement.

Specific Criteria

1. Quality service. Exceptional levels of service or on-going quality service to the public and in the public interest by an individual or team which may include:

  • quality, timeliness, accessibility and reliability of services delivered;
  • creativity and innovation to meet client needs;
  • significant improvements to an existing process or program (cost savings can be a sub-element); or
  • the creation of a benefit or positive long term impact on clients, stakeholders or Yukon citizens’ lives.

2. Leadership. Exemplary leadership of a project, program or team that:

  • enhances the quality of the workplace for employees and contributes to the enhancement of diversity, safety and health, workplace culture and employee development;
  • improves workplace processes by changing existing procedures for the better, reducing costs or increasing efficiencies;
  • delivers a one-time or ongoing contribution to clients or the public;
  • demonstrates a strong “people” element (i.e. leadership is committed, involved and creates and sustains a participatory environment);
  • demonstrates well defined strategic direction;
  • demonstrates human resource planning and practices which contribute to work unit effectiveness and outcomes;
  • creates a continuous learning environment which contributes to a skilled and motivated workforce; or
  • creates employee satisfaction and results in more effective work unit performance.

3. Innovation. Development of new ideas into tangible initiatives, including:

  • use of new technology to enhance program and service delivery or improve existing processes and procedures;
  • creation of new and unprecedented programs, services​ or opportunities for Yukoners​;
  • identification and pursuit of new opportunities for Yukon; or
  • demonstration of scientific excellence or a leap of creativity in public sector management work practices or service delivery. ​


M​ore information
​Liz Sutton​
Engagement and Communications Analyst
Public Service Commission

867-667-8160 ​