Governor’s Awards Lauds Top State Manager, Employee and Team of the Year

Photo Courtesy: Office of Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui
article top
Photo Courtesy: Office of Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui

Honolulu — Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui today recognized winners of the Governor’s Awards, designed to honor State Executive Branch employees, managers and work teams who exemplify the highest caliber of public service and dedication in serving the people of Hawaii. 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 Acting Governor Tsutsui.  “We are honored to work with such dedicated individuals, and appreciate all they do each and every day.”

Acting Governor Tsutsui presented the awards for:


Pankaj Bhanot, Self Sufficiency/Support Services Administrator, Department of Human Services

Through Mr. Bhanot’s strong leadership skills, he implemented the Business Process Reengineering, which has dramatically improved the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program’s application process, increasing its timeliness from 64 to 96 percent.  

Donna Therrien, District Support Teacher, Department of Education

An effective teacher coach, Ms. Therrien trained teachers in the 16 Castle/Kahuku Complex Area schools in the Danielson observation protocol. She played an integral role in promoting teacher improvement, which led to student achievement gains in all of these schools.

“TROPIC CARE KAUAI 2012,” Department of Health

As a result of this team’s collaborative efforts, 400 reserve and active military medical personnel from around the country deployed to Kauai on a two-week Hawaii Innovative Readiness Training medical mission.  More than 8,000 Kauai residents were received in over 10,000 free procedures, valued in excess of $7 million through a federally funded training program. 

“These individuals have selflessly dedicated themselves to enriching the lives of those they service,” said Acting Governor Tsutsui.  “Their accomplishments perpetuate the aloha spirit and make our state a special place to live and work.”

The three winners were selected from 47 exceptional groups and individual nominees. A volunteer Selection Committee comprised of five prominent members of the community carefully reviewed the nomination packets and rated them according to defined categories. The committee presented their recommendations for the three awards to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The five members of this year’s Selection Committee are: Robbie Alm, former Executive Vice President of Hawaiian Electric Company; Nancy Bottelo, President and CEO of Special Olympics Hawaii; Yunji de Nies, Anchor for KITV-4; Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; and Alan Yamamoto, State Director for U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono.