DSHS teams receive Extra Mile awards for Public Service Recognition Week


Public Service Recognition Week logo — yellow circle with three red outlined stars. May 7–13, 2023.

Congratulations to two Department of Social and Health Services teams that were recognized recently for going above and beyond in their public service. The Policy, Operations and Escalation Team and Afghan Arrivals Support Team were selected for 2023 Public Service Recognition Week Extra Mile Awards, given to state employees who surpass expectations for exemplary public service by demonstrating innovative techniques and methods; outstanding leadership; visionary thinking; commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; and outstanding customer service. The teams were recognized publicly at a ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday, May 9 at the Capitol Building in Olympia.

“You and your team went the extra mile to provide safety, security and a warm welcome to our newest Afghan neighbors,” Secretary Jilma Meneses and Assistant Secretary Tony Bowie told the Afghan Arrivals Support team members, who worked together from all parts of the agency and with community partners to resettle more than 3,200 Afghan refugees in Washington state in just a few short months. “We appreciate your ability to work together to meet this extraordinary challenge in an incredibly short timeframe.”

The Policy, Operations and Escalation Team innovated and collaborated to help keep food on the table for thousands of Washington families through the unprecedented hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, working with state and federal partners as well as third-party contractor to coordinate the delivery of nearly $1B in Pandemic EBT food benefits to more than 600,000 children — an enormous undertaking.

“Your tireless work gets us closer to the Economic Services Administration’s vision of a Washington without poverty and injustice, and furthers the DSHS mission to transform lives,” added Bowie and Meneses.

Photo of recipients of the 2023 Extra Mile Award for Public Service Recognition Week — DSHS.
DSHS recipients of the 2023 Extra Mile Award for Public Service Recognition Week: Troy Burgess (POE), Bryan Banks (POE), Tony Bowie (ESA Assistant Secretary), Jilma Meneses (DSHS Secretary), Sarah Peterson (Afghan Arrivals), Beate Plesnarski (Afghan Arrivals), Logan MacGregor (Afghan Arrivals), Ilene Stohl (Afghan Arrivals), Scott Hubbell (Afghan Arrivals), Danielle LeMier (POE, Afghan Arrivals), Matt Simons (Afghan Arrivals), David Shannon (Afghan Arrivals) and Jasmine Matheson (Department of Health, Afghan Arrivals).

Congratulations to these exemplary DSHS public servants!