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OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR — Governor Ige recognizes outstanding state employees

Posted on May 23, 2018 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases


HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today honored the state’s top manager, employee and team of the year with the Governor’s Award. The award is designed to employees from the state Executive Branch, managers, and work teams who exemplify the highest caliber of public service and dedication in serving the people of Hawai‘i. The statewide program is administered by the Department of Human Resources Development.

“Public employees have made important contributions to our continuing efforts to improve the efficiency and quality of government services,” said Gov. Ige. “We are honored to work with such dedicated individuals, and we appreciate all they do every day.”

The awards are as follows:

STATE MANAGER OF THE YEAR: JoAnn Vidinhar, Disability Compensation Administrator, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Vidinhar aggressively identified opportunities to improve and optimize the department’s business processes, reducing delays to injured workers in receiving their benefits by educating them on worker compensation benefits and their rights to a hearing.

STATE EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Susan Hansen CIAF Insurance Examiner, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Hansen developed greater efficiency by spearheading the e-filing paperless and document management project. Files are now easily retrievable and accessible for examiners.

STATE TEAM OF THE YEAR: 2017 Maui Hospitals Transition Team, Department of the Attorney General.

This dedicated team of 10 attorneys worked tirelessly to transfer the delivery of health care services for Maui Region facilities from Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation to Kaiser Permanente-Maui Health Systems. This involved hundreds of hours of reviewing more than 500 contracts, consulting with employee unions and analyzing and drafting highly technical documents.

“All of these individuals have selflessly given of themselves to enrich the lives of those they serve,” said Gov. Ige. “Their accomplishments perpetuate the aloha spirit and make our state a special place to live and work.”

The three winners were selected from 54 exceptional individual and group nominees. A volunteer selection committee of five prominent community members carefully reviewed the nomination packets and made their selections. The committee presented their recommendations for the three awards to Gov. Ige.

Selection committee members include: Jane Sawyer, district director, U.S. Small Business Administration; Sean Knox, president and CEO, Hawai‘i Employment Services, Inc.; Beth-Ann Kozlovich, senior development officer, Sutter Health Kahi Mohala; Dean Kapoi, manager, Hawai‘i Terminal and labor Relations, Matson Terminals Incorporated; Alice Inoue, founder and chief happiness officer, Happiness University.

Media Contacts:
Darlene Yamada
Department of Human Resources Development
Office: 808-587-1076

Jodi Leong
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0043
Mobile: 808-798-3929
[email protected]