Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Union Members Recognized at DHHS Annual Awards Ceremonies

Each year, the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services celebrates the winners of its annual awards at the State Capitol in Lincoln. This year, over 325 employees were nominated for the “Living Our Core Values and Competencies” awards, and just five winners and five runner ups were selected. Four NAPE/AFSCME union members were among this year’s honorees.

NAPE/AFSCME member Pamela Findlay, a Community Health Educator in Lincoln, was selected as the winner of the High Personal Standard of Integrity Award. Pam, a NAPE/AFSCME member for 27 years, holds high standards for policies, procedures, expenditures, and documentation. She ensures everyone understands the need for documentation and is knowledgeable and accurate in correspondence and requests. Pam trains staff and works on cross-cutting teams on fiscal management issues, creating efficient templates. She seeks to be more efficient and responsive to contractors without sacrificing required documentation. Pam is a great steward of state funds and suggested cost-saving measures for certificates that turned out beautifully.

NAPE/AFSCME member Deb Strudl, an Adult Protective Services Worker in Lincoln, was selected as the runner up. Deb, a NAPE/AFSCME member for over 25 years, takes pride in ensuring the success of families on her caseload and is passionate about her work. She models respect for her clients, listens to them, and involves them in decision-making. Deb sees human beings, not cases, at the heart of crises. She mentors new trainees and advocates for her clients and colleagues, believing their success benefits everyone.

NAPE/AFSCME member Melissa Haynes, a Social Services Lead Worker in Fremont, was selected as the winner of the Positive and Constructive Attitude and Actions Award. Melissa, the current President of NAPE/AFSCME, is a positive and friendly state employee who goes above and beyond to help her clients and colleagues. She has been praised by numerous clients and co-workers for her knowledge, helpfulness, and positive attitude. Melissa was recently promoted to a leadership role in the local office in Fremont. She is a bright spot at work since she provides treats and helps others. Melissa sets an example for others to follow by always giving 110%, smiling, and not letting bad moments ruin her day. Melissa is truly a team leader who promotes positivity and going the extra mile to help others.

NAPE/AFSCME member Catherine Plumlee, a Health Program Manager in Omaha, was selected as the winner of the Openness to New Learning Award. A union member for the past five years, Catherine embraced an expanded role by taking on new tasks such as contract drafting, project and budget

management, and grants management. She quickly learned how to complete these tasks while maintaining her current job. She approached those unfamiliar tasks with grace while exemplifying the value of openness to learning. Catherine used this experience to develop professionally and support her team, enabling them to continue serving internal and external customers smoothly. She continues to improve every day and sets an excellent example of openness to new learning.

Congratulations to these outstanding union members on setting a great example in the workplace. NAPE/AFSCME members lead the way in providing vital services to our fellow Nebraskans. Thanks for making us proud!

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees