Innovation, collaboration, customer service and a courageously curious attitude are at the heart of this year's Governor's Awards. Please provide a 300-600 word narrative on how the nominee embodies those traits as it pertains to the respective award category. How do they represent North Dakota state government as a world-class service provider? How do they stand out in their creative problem solving, ability to overcome challenges, to use technology in new and better ways, and to help evaluate the team? How are they doing more with less, finding efficiencies and transforming the way we do business? Share specific examples that paint a picture of how the nominee embodies the attitudes, values and 21st century skills that are vital to our collective success serving the citizens of North Dakota!


1. Heritage Award
A common history and a shared heritage are equally important to a unified mission, and a commitment to public service. History only tells where you've been and what you've done; heritage reveals who you are and what you're about. As human beings, we need to identify with more than job duties or a paycheck. We need a context of values and ideals that give meaning to what we do every day. That's heritage. And as public servants our heritage is strongly tied to a core focus on customer service. This award honors an individual who has shown resourcefulness, determination and personal integrity, overcoming obstacle after obstacle to do what's right by the Customer. Not only have they enriched our heritage of customer service, but in doing so have contributed to our shared mission and values in a meaningful and lasting way.

2. Telegraph Award (Excellence in Technology)
This decade marked the 170th anniversary of the telegraph. Modern communication began with those simple dots and dashes, which is a good beginning, because while some technologies were machine or production focused, the telegraph represented a different ideal: technology as service. This award is given to an individual who has sought out new technologies that fulfill this ideal today - technologies that enable us to better serve our Partners, our Customers and one another. With their dedication, we continue to deliver the benefits of these advancements to the citizens of North Dakota. By combining an old fashioned ideal of service with the most advanced technology available, we ensure the technologies we use to carry out our mission remain fresh and current in a constantly changing world.

3. Pioneer Award (Excellence in Innovation)
Innovation is critical to what we do. Developing a mindset that asks "why do we do things this way - is it the best, most efficient way it can be done?" will elevate everything we do as we serve our fellow citizens. This way of thinking helps ensure we never become complacent, and challenges us to retain the innovative edge that should be equally important in government as it is in private industry. This award recognizes an individual with a pioneer's spirit whose drive to innovate and eagerness to embrace the opportunities found in change shapes everything they do.

4. Zezula Award (One Who Helps)
In the 1870's, Gov. Burgum's great grandfather was an army surgeon at Fort Rice, an isolated post in a territory that would eventually become Bismarck. When the doctor visited Dakota reservations to look after the sick, his wife Linda would accompany him. In honor of her spirit of friendly helpfulness, she was given the name Zezula, which in the local Native American language means, "One who helps." The work we do at its core is one of the service to others. We sometimes forget that the pioneers, symbols of rugged individualism, always contributed profoundly to their communities. Life was too hard to go it alone. You invested your talents, ideas and vision into something bigger than yourself, and you worked to bring about dreams you held in common with others who shared your beliefs. The award honors and individual who has used their skills and knowledge to help others in our community of public servants. They have not let job descriptions or parochial differences stand in their way, but have taken action where necessary and lent support where needed. In doing so, they have enriched their individual talents, strengthened our community, increased our opportunity for success, and earned the honored name of Zezula.

5. Landmark Award (Excellence in Management)
The Midwest is rich with landmarks, powerful tributes to those who, through exceptional leadership and vision, have rallied people to accomplish something worth remembering. But we rarely see landmarks that way, because we only see the tribute itself: a plaque by a fountain, a statue in a city park, a cornerstone we walk past every day without a second thought. To make landmarks come alive, we need to see the individual who marshaled the forces and planned the campaign. We need to understand their vision and how we ourselves have benefited from their accomplishments. Today, we celebrate this kind of leadership with the Landmark Award, which honors a manager who has generated a remarkable spirit of unity and purpose in their department. They have provided their people with the plan, the support and the role model necessary to succeed. As a result of their skill, their team has accomplished something of true value to our company, and worthy of remembrance.

6. Frontier Award (Excellence in Continuous Learning)
In an overpopulated world of shrinking resources, we often forget that some frontiers are actually expanding. The frontier of new knowledge and information has never been so wide. That's where the future is, and to remain successful we must be explorers who constantly venture into that wilderness, prospecting for new information. You can't have a harvest without planting seeds; you can't expect a more fulfilling life at age 40 if you're not doing something about it when you are 30; and you can't be a world-class provider of services in the 21st century if you're not constantly gaining new knowledge and skills. This award is given to an individual who has actively sought our new frontiers of learning by increasing their own knowledge, and becoming a center of knowledge for their peers. In this way they are championing education throughout government, introducing us to new skills and tools that make us more effective at what we do.

7. Harvest Award (Excellence in Quality)
Harvest time is the true test of quality. That when everything is above ground, out in the open, the results of months of planning and work, growing for everyone to see. That's when the consistent, day in-day out effort which seemed to go unnoticed for so long is justified by a rich harvest. This award is given to an individual who has made an exceptional commitment to quality, which they have demonstrated in their everyday work, month after month. The results of their dedication have proven to be a true harvest shared by everyone in their organization.

8. Roaming Bison Award (Team)
Do you know a team - within an agency or across multiple agencies - that is uniquely exceptional? Have they collectively demonstrated innovation in project execution, courageous curiosity in problem solving or using technology to do things more efficiently? Do they represent the best of the best in customer service and a commitment to being a world-class service provider? Nominate them for the new Team Award! This group doesn't necessarily have to be within a single division. Cross-cutting team nominations are encouraged!

To Complete the Nomination Form

Submit your nomination online.

For more information please, contact Kelly at:
Governor’s Office
C/O Ms. Kelly Ivahnenko
600 E Boulevard Avenue 
Bismarck, ND 58505

Nominations for the 2018 Governor's Awards will be accepted year round.