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Missouri State Employees of the Month - page 4 / 6





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July 2006, State Employee of the Month Mike Kempker, Department of Corrections

Governor Matt Blunt presents Mike Kempker with the July State Employee of the Month Award

Mike Kempker is a Heavy Equipment Supervisor with the Heavy Equipment Depot at the Jefferson City Correctional Center. His duties include the supervision of the Regional Heavy Equipment Crew and responding to various calls for heavy equipment. However, Mike takes his responsibilities to a higher level. Recently, Mike was leaving town on a Saturday for a family vacation when he received a call from the staff at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. A waterline feeding two of the main buildings had failed creating an emergency situation. Mike delayed his family vacation to assist staff in obtaining the necessary equipment and stayed until the situation was under control. In another instance, on a Friday evening, the Boonville Habilitation Center experienced an electrical power outage. Two of the housing units were without electrical power. The next morning, Saturday, Mr. Kempker received notification of the electrical emergency and the immediate need of a generator from the Heavy Equipment Depot. Within the hour he delivered the generator and assisted the Boonville Correctional Center maintenance staff in setting up the equipment. The generator was used to power critical functions at the facility and helped mitigate a major institutional emergency. Mike and his crew save the Department funds that otherwise would be required to rent equipment when an emergency arises, but more importantly; a quick response is critical when an emergency occurs at one of the institutions. Mike is truly a valued employee of the Department of Corrections.

August 2006, State Employee of the Month Crystal Patterson, Department of Social Services

Accompanied by Department of Social Services Director, Gary Sherman (right) Governor Matt Blunt (left) presents Crystal Patterson with the August State Employee of the month award.

A Children’s Service Worker II with the Department of Social Services, Crystal was recognized for her bravery in a life threatening situation. While at a family home there was a disturbance outside of the home. When the mother answered the door she and her daughter were attached and received life threatening injuries. Ms. Patterson was able to maintain her composure and stay out of the incident, but remained close enough to get the family help as soon as possible. Crystal called 911 and stayed to ensure the ambulance and police arrived to provide the necessary care; she also identified herself to the officers and was able to give the police a detailed description of the aggressors, what occurred during the incident, and how the injuries were sustained. Her efforts resulted in serious criminal charges pending against the perpetrators. Her quick thinking and swift response undoubtedly saved the lives of the mother and daughter. Additionally, she was able to discover that there was a case-worker assigned to these individuals in another service case and advised the worker of their violence and the need to take safety precautions. Despite this traumatic event, Ms. Patterson returned to work the next day. When advised she could take some additional time off from her duties, her response was simply, “I have a job to do.” Crystal Patterson is not only a dedicated and valuable employee of the Department of Social Services, but an asset to the citizens of Missouri.

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