Outstanding service recognized by Premier Sandy Silver

Premier Sandy Silver presented three individuals and three teams with the 2020 Premier’s Award for Excellence and Innovation. The individual recipients are Andrew Smith, Josee Bergeron and Bobbi Rhodes. The team recipients are the Dawson and Mayo Modernization Infrastructure Team; Mental Wellness and Substance Use Immunization Team; and the Our Clean Future Strategy Development Team.

I am consistently impressed by the work that is being carried out by Government of Yukon employees, especially during a really tough year that challenged us in so many ways. Congratulations to all of the 2020 nominees and award recipients. Thank you for your service and your ongoing contribution to our territory.

Premier Sandy Silver

Quick facts 
  • The Premier’s Award of Excellence and Innovation was established in 2005 and recognizes Government of Yukon employees’ exceptional accomplishments and celebrates their talent and teamwork.

  • The recipients are chosen by the Premier’s Award of Excellence and Innovation Selection Committee, which includes Government of Yukon employees from several departments and one community representative.


Andrew Smith, Intergovernmental Relations Analyst, Intergovernmental Relations, Executive Council Office

In the fall of 2020, Andrew Smith was tasked to take the lead on Yukon government’s time change initiative. Early on in the project, it became very clear that no one could provide a playbook for time zone legislation; it was very much a path not yet travelled. The project had a hard timeline and a great public interest, resulting in Yukon’s largest ever response for a public engagement. Despite the foreign territory, Andrew led this high-profile initiative with expertise, envisioning a project path, reaching out to experts within and outside government and turning unknowns into actionable steps to move the project forward.

Josee Bergeron, Executive Assistant, Deputy Minister's Office, Community Services

In a short amount of time, Josee has had lasting impact on those around her. In addition to her role as an administrative assistant, she consistently demonstrates leadership by stepping up to support and advance the work of other branches in the department. Josee is a self-starter and is quick to take on projects that are beyond her normal duties. She collaborates with other admin assistants in other departments, and is always looking for ways to streamline processes and provide better, faster service. She frequently covers for her counterparts in other teams while maintaining her own duties and has trained new admin assistants in other departments. Josee’s attitude and actions have helped to foster strong, positive relationships throughout the department.

Bobbi Rhodes, Realty Officer, Realty and Planning Services, Highways and Public Works

Bobbi has shown incredible initiative and caring for her fellow employees by openly sharing her own journeys in mental health and mindfulness. On her own time, she created a weekly email called “Mindful Mondays” and volunteers to deliver a workshop on mindfulness to share with colleagues. Now, more than 300 employees, across the Yukon government, receive her weekly email and the ripple effects of her authentic and honest sharing have been profound. Bobbi is a tireless advocate for healthy and safe workplaces and destigmatizing the topic of mental health. Through her gentle nudging, more employees have found their own voices and felt comfortable sharing their own experiences and struggles with mental health.

Dawson and Mayo Modernization Infrastructure Team

The Dawson and Mayo Modernization Infrastructure Team’s expertise and teamwork have led to major improvements in community airports. Over the past three years, this team led a large-scale collaboration between government and the private sector to design, construct and commission $26 million worth of major upgrades. This includes the first runway to be converted from gravel to pavement in the North in 25 years. This team consistently demonstrated the importance of teamwork, collaboration and strong communication within government and with private sector partners.

Mental Wellness and Substance Use Immunization Team

This is a highly energetic, innovative and collaborative team of clinicians and health professionals. Through their work, they have directly contributed to the health and wellbeing of some of Yukon’s most vulnerable and complex patients. Not only are they high-performers, the team is extremely dedicated to patient-centered care and serve as inspiration to others for their ability to communicate, build trust and meet people wherever they are at. Known for being innovative and going above and beyond their regular duties, this team has worked to ensure that flu clinics were available to the marginalized population they serve. On top of their already busy duties, they completed training and provided clinics at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter and Housing First.

Our Clean Future

Over the past three years, the team responsible for developing Our Clean Future worked closely with First Nations, municipal governments, NGOs, businesses and many other experts. The result of this hard work was a Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. It is an initiative with an extremely talented and dedicated team that addresses a very large, complex and urgent issue. This team collaboratively developed a strategy that charts the way for Yukon to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. The work of the Our Clean Future team was an example of how strong and meaningful partnerships with stakeholders can lead to exceptional engagement and collaboration. The project team was tirelessly dedicated to keeping their partners informed and engaged in every step of the process.

Media contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Aimee O’Connor
Communications, Public Service Commission

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