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2019 Annual Awards

Western Region IPMA-HR

The Western Region IPMA-HR Board proudly recognizes agencies and individuals through an annual awards program for remarkable achievements and contributions to the public-sector HR profession. The Annual Awards include the Muriel M. Morse Achievement Award, the Outstanding Chapter Award, the Agency Awards for Excellence, and the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Awards. As determined by the 2019 Western Region’s Awards Committee, this year’s annual award winners include:


The Muriel M. Morse Achievement Award is the region’s highest individual honor and is presented to a member of our organization who exemplifies the positive attributes that made Muriel M. Morse a memorable and worthy model in human resources management public service. This year’s distinguished winner is:


Human Resources Director

Oregon Metro Regional Government

Mary is a soft-spoken but passionate voice for the public sector human resources field. She personifies a true servant-leader who serves the profession well, as she leads and inspires those around her to do the same. As a wise leader, she understands individual strengths and motivations and is able to point individuals towards projects that develop their strengths while accomplishing work that benefits the greater good. She is very thoughtful and a true life-long learner. She genuinely cares about people and has an unbridled passion to make a difference in the world.

This is evident in the persons she has touched in her professional and volunteer careers. With Mary’s quiet encouragement and gentle nudges, many of them have developed or are developing into leaders themselves and on their way to reaching their full potential. With Mary’s observant and reflective way, she is able to objectively guide them to developing skills that they didn’t even think they had.

The opportunity to work with Mary has been a privilege; calling her a friend, a greater blessing. Like Muriel M. Moore, she is a prominent public community volunteer in the local, national and international field of public sector human resources. She displays the same commitment and passion and continuously serves the profession.

Therefore, for these reasons and Mary’s many roles she has served for the local, region and national organization, it is our pleasure to recognize Mary Rowe as our 2019 Muriel M. Morse Achievement Award recipient. Congratulations Mary Rowe!


The Agency Awards for Excellence are designed to recognize the overall quality, accomplishments, and contributions of an agency human resources program that exceeds the normal operation of a good government human resources program. This year’s winners include:

Arizona Department of Administration

In 2017, the State’s Human Resources Division (HRD) was tasked with developing a scalable process that fully aligned with AMS and yielded increased employee productivity.

The project team developed a charter and used the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) problem solving methodology to guide and track its progress. Some team members met with the State’s Chief HR Officers (CHROs) to get input on what would and would not work within their agencies. Others conducted research on effective coaching methodologies, within the State and with HR and OD teams in other states, while other members were responsible for communicating with key stakeholders to keep them abreast of the team’s progress.

Based on research, the project team created a scalable, statewide coaching methodology that is fully integrated with AMS, is applicable across all disciplines, roles, and levels within the State’s agencies, boards and commissions.

500 employees at the Department of Administration (which included the CHROs) were trained and participated in a 60-day pilot. Pilot participants were requested to conduct at least four 1:1 coaching sessions. The pilot was followed-up by a survey which yielded some key learnings for the team:

Deployment commenced in January 2018 with primary focus on the largest agencies. To date, all large satellite agencies (agencies with a Chief HR Officer) are trained and 25 out of 33 of the Governor’s cabinet agencies have been trained on 1:1 coaching. Satellite agencies represent approximately 80% of the state’s workforce.  

City of Portland

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Human Resources took on a gargantuan challenge beginning in June of 2017. That’s when Serilda Summers-McGee took the helm as bureau Director. Serilda’s directive: Human Resources transformation.

In a department of 82, serving a workforce of 10,000, this was initiative that raised eyebrows around the City. Issues to be addressed included transparency, efficiency, processes, communication, employee experience, service quality, bureau infrastructure, and dealing with the day-to-day surprises that exemplify the role of Human Resources.

The Bureau of Human Resources (BHR) made a commitment to City Council, hiring managers, and applicants to shorten the City’s recruitment process to attract and retain top talent. An HR Analytics Dashboard was created to support recruitments, tracking and sharing key metrics along with streamlining the process. This contributed to the shortened time frame for recruitments, resulting in improved applicant experiences; presented as the 100-Day Recruitment initiative. BHR’s Recruitment and Training team also launched the City’s first-ever targeted Executive Recruiting Process, hiring an in-house executive recruiter to deploy a skilled and comprehensive approach to identifying local national, and international candidates not currently in the job market. Multiple stakeholder focus groups and one-on-one meetings were conducted to inform and direct recruitment efforts. Staff time dedicated to job posting, tracking, and fulfillment was improved with the implementation of Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) software. Leveraging this software, efficiency increased, and the team was able to introduce an Electronic Referral Process; enabling a more centralized hiring system and most of all an improved and more responsive job candidate experience.

City of Scottsdale

Set out to reorganize HR to decrease HR turnover and to provide more value to the organization. To do this they developed the “3 C’s” plan:

Customer Service- we developed and delivered the first customer service survey to all City employees. This set the tone or baseline for what the customer service level employees were receiving, their expectations, and where improvements were required. A follow- up survey (for validation) was provided the following year, and the scores significantly improved.


  • Internally – Within the HR Team
  • Externally- City Departments/Divisions, and other municipality partners


After this work was completed they worked hard to maximize technology to minimize HR workload. This included:

  • NEOGOV enhancements (Applicant Tracking System, Position Management, Onboarding, and Performance Management System).
  • Employment Reference and Background Checks
  • Tuition Management System for tuition reimbursement program.
  • Fully integrated Human Resources Information System.

County of Sacramento

Ever since the County of Sacramento Recruitment Team was created in 2016, the team members have gone above and beyond to ensure the County of Sacramento has greater recruitment outreach than ever before. One of the first major accomplishments for the team was the Sacramento County Career Fair. Since 2017 the team has organized several County departments and County staff to create this extremely successful event. Members of the community are invited to meet County staff and learn about County job opportunities and how to apply for those opportunities. Computer labs are available at the event for applicants to apply onsite. Each year participation has increased, this year over 1200 job seekers have RSVP’d for this year’s event that was held on March 9, 2019.

The Recruitment Team has also increased our visibility to the local military community. This has included participating in Career Fairs at Travis and Beale Air Force Bases and connecting with several organizations to recruit Veterans and inform them of County job opportunities.

Finally, the Recruitment Team created a dynamic recruitment video that is posted on the County Personnel Services website and a link to the video is provided on every Job Announcement. The video provides an exciting preview of living and working in Sacramento County.

The Recruitment Team has worked hard to show our community the benefits of working for the County of Sacramento. This has been an amazing feat considering the team only consists of three employees!



The Outstanding Chapter Award was developed to recognize and honor a chapter that has made and sustained innovation and diversity in chapter programs, resourcefulness and support for the community in carrying out the goals of IPMA-HR, or a chapter that has shown the most improvement or progress. The award for this year’s outstanding chapter is:

Inland Empire IPMA-HR Chapter

Accepted by:  Robert Neiuber, 2019 Chapter President Elect

IEPMA-HR took steps to improve the level of service to the public by developing a new, more modern website, capable of disseminating information to the local HR community as a whole, in a more effective and efficient manner. The Chapter was able to grow membership by 50% over the past year. In order to continue to grow its overall brand, the Inland Empire Chapter also increased its social media presence, and currently has over 400 followers on LinkedIn!

In addition to the rebranding process, the Inland Empire Chapter offered its first ever training conference in 2017. The Annual Training Conference has grown in size each year since the initial offering, along with continuous improvement of the overall content. Our third annual conference is planned for May of this year.

Beginning this year, the IEPMA-HR will begin to incorporate the “Mitch Award” into its annual conference program. It will be presented to the Chapter President in the final year of the President’s term. The award will be presented in honor of the IEPMA-HR’s Past President from 2012-2015, Mitch Curtis, whose commitment to excellence helped pave the way for the growth of the IEPMA-HR. This award will recognize the dedication and commitment of each President, who strives to provide exceptional training and development opportunities to the Inland Empire human resources community.

Congratulations Robert and the entire leadership team of the Inland Empire Chapter of  IPMA-HR for being our 2019 Outstanding Chapter award winner!


Established just last year, the goal of this program is to support the development of emerging HR professionals in the public sector. This year’s winners include:

Nicole Skarda

Human Resources Consultant, Placer County Water Agency, California

Tara Moore

Organization Development Manager, Town of Parker, Colorado

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