libbycropped.jpgLibby Vandergriendt
Records Coordinator 
Ministry of Health,

They say you can tell a lot about people by the state of their office desk.

“Mine’s clean”, said Libby with a giggle.

Not surprising then she would gravitate to administrative services.

Coordination, neatness and an eye for detail count for a lot in Libby’s line of work. Her job is to ensure vital government documents are properly catalogued, stored and can be located in a hurry when FOI (freedom of information) requests come in from the public.

“Last year, there were more than 100,” she said.

There’s a lot of challenge and variety in the work, which Libby enjoys.

“I like to be organized and accomplish a good end result for the clients. I work hard and go above and beyond to make sure questions are answered,” Libby said.

Easy to see why Libby has won the respect and trust of those she works with.

There is one area of ‘fuzziness’ with Libby’s otherwise sharp memory — her years of service in the B.C. Government.

“I think I’m close to 35. I’ve kind of lost track,” she laughed. But, who’s counting?

Libby certainly isn’t.

“Libby has worked in our division for years. She advises and trains administrative workers to properly classify, store, off-site and recall documents. In the past, she was assigned to my program area — the medical beneficiary branch — to help get our files in order. She as a pleasure to be around and worked tirelessly to get the job done. We were sorry to see her go. But she continues to support the entire division, so our records are in top shape.” — Ron Jetko, nominator



Jennine Gates
Senior Resolution Support Clerk
Ministry of Justice, Civil Resolution Tribunal, 

How’s this for a quick response to an email? Two minutes. 

That’s how long it took for Jennine Gates to respond to our email informing her of this nomination.

“I am humbled and honoured,” she wrote.

Jennine is a firecracker. She’s at the top of her game at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), which the B.C. Government launched in July 2016. She's doing a job she loves.

“I was skimming through the job postings and I saw it and I said, THAT’S MY JOB,” she laughed.

The hiring panel agreed.

“I enjoy the opportunity to develop people, especially people new to the government. To show them what their potential is. That’s what I want to do every day,” Jennine said who oversees the work of six resolutions clerks.

This is Jennine’s first supervisory role in her nine years in the B.C. public service. She developed her leadership chops as a reservist for a dozen years in the Canadian military.

Her most ‘exotic’ posting? One month on King William Island, a part of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Living in a tent. In February. Enjoying the experience of learning from the locals about igloo building, hunting and fishing for arctic char.

Jennine is game for just about anything. 

“That’s one of the awesome things about the CRT. Because it’s brand new, we’re doing things completely differently. I think it’s really important that the people we have here are flexible and adaptable. My whole team is exactly that,” said Jennine.

 “It’s my privilege to supervise my team. They’re the most amazing team I’ve ever been part of.”

The CRT is a new tribunal for the province of B.C. This is Jennine's first position as a supervisor and has been involved in the implementation of the tribunal as well as the hiring of all support staff. She has had to create and staff an office from the ground up as well as learn everything that has to do with a new mandatory program within the Ministry of Justice with constant changes and improvements. As only one staff member was a former government employee, she also had to train the new staff regarding becoming new government employees. She has been instrumental in supporting all staff regarding self-improvement and advancement opportunities. She is supportive, approachable, energetic and innovative. She also volunteers and holds down a second job in her spare time. She has been the best supervisor I've had in 26 years working with the provincial government — Angela Ray, nominator


greyg3.jpgGeri Black
A0 14
Maximus HIBC,

“I’m humbled by this,” said Geri Black. Precisely the reaction we’d expect from an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR!

Hardworking, dedicated and quietly making a positive difference in the workplace. The ‘dream’ co-worker who makes going to work everyday a bit more enjoyable.

“I love my co-workers and I love the team spirit here. I think we all want to help each other and see each other do a good job,” she said. “I look forward to coming to work - I really do. I’m so lucky.”

Geri has been working in a variety of jobs in administrative services at Maximus since 2009. Maximus provides management and administrative services for PharmaCare and the provincial Medical Services Plan.

The key ingredient for job satisfaction — find a job that suits your personality.

“I love helping people. Helping people is my nature. I like to see the clients happy and satisfied with the information they get,” Geri said. 

“Geri has always been a compassionate caring co-worker, that goes beyond her role to assist her co-workers in every department with a smile on her face and a dedication that is warming to everyone she deals with.” — Liam Smith, nominator



denise.jpgDenise Garzon
Regional Crown Counsel Office,

Juggling isn’t part of a paralegal’s training. Still, Denise Garzon has mastered it in her job helping lawyers assemble court cases at the regional crown counsel office in downtown Vancouver.

Just how much of her job involves juggling? “About 90 percent,” Denise said. “But, I like challenges.”

Keeping a lot of balls in the air requires skill and concentration — which Denise has an abundance of. Not surprisingly, she’s very organized.

“I like it when I can make things go smoothly for people I’m working with and cases I’m working on. Things are so complicated and they have such far reaching effects on so many lives,” she said.

For Denise, no two days are alike. “It’s something different all the time. Some days, I work on five or six different files. Other days, I’m working on one big project and it consumes me for a month or so at a time,” Denise said.

Like all the UNSUNG SUPERSTAR nominees we’ve met, Denise is modest about her contributions in the workplace.

“This is a team effort. No matter how much one person does, you can’t do it without other people. It really does take everyone in the office to put a case together and make it work,” she said.

In (Latin) legal terms, you might say Denise is condicio sine qua non, which translates into an indispensable and essential ingredient.

We rest our case.

"I am nominating Denise for her unceasing cheerfulness and readiness to help out her colleagues at the drop of a hat despite her own extremely heavy workload.” – Jason Singh, nominator


Brenda_for_BCGEUcrop.jpgBrenda Fleeton
Resource and Contract Clerk (Finance)
Port McNeill

Wang. A computer brand name of a bygone era. The era when Brenda Fleeton was first trained in word processing.

Technology has changed a lot since then, but Brenda’s employer hasn’t. She has worked in the same office, for the same division and employer for 32 years. The work has been varied though, from running a library, to handling financial matters to calculating log measurements.

What’s brought Brenda the most satisfaction is being a member of the office’s social committee, organizing workplace social and fundraising events for the community.

“I love putting on events and giving people a reason to have fun at the office. It means we all get to know each other better and it puts a few smiles on people’s faces,” she said.

It’s not just about food and fun. Staff look out for one another and people in their community.

“We had a staff member who spent many months at Children’s Hospital with a child and we started off fundraising to help with his expenses. At Christmas, we raise money for local charities, the hamper fund and the food bank,” Brenda said. 

They’ve raised $56,000 over the years.

New horizons are in Brenda’s future. She’s retiring this year and plans to hit the road with her husband in the motorhome they bought last year.

“We want to go back to the Maritimes,” she said. “We want to go back to Florida and the Everglades and we want to follow the (Toronto) Blue Jays around the continent. We also started cruising a few years ago, so we want to do more of that.” 

But, Brenda won’t be making a complete break from the office.

“I’ve told everybody that this has been my family for 32 years. I’ve warned them, I’m going to come back to visit a lot,” she said.

Still, those staff BBQs may never be quite the same without her.

“Brenda is retiring this June, but everyone knows how much she does for this office and there will be a BIG void once she is gone. Besides being the finance clerk for this office and how much management depends on her for the money, she also, outside of her regular duties, is responsible for our charity auction each year which helps our community in a large capacity, heads up our office social committee, which provides many, many functions for the employees, is responsible for health and wellness days, which she plans a big office breakfast after the event, Prints off many certificates of recognition for our recognition day in December of each year. She is amazing, helpful, handy and indispensable as you can see. She is the unsung superstar as she does it willingly, with a smile and expects nothing in exchange.” — Betty Sheaves, nominator


Rundell-3.jpgChristine Rundell
Capital Analyst
Ministry of Health,

We don’t all get to see the concrete result of our hard work.

But, Christine Rundell does as a capital analyst for the Ministry of Health. She monitors health authority capital plans and issues, and ensures compliance.

In some cases, she even gets to see bricks and mortar results of her efforts. From the ground level on up.

For example, the new Penticton Hospital.

“I’m participating in building hospitals. I take it right from the concept plan to the beginning idea stage. I have to review that. I’m looking at whether it meets goals and priorities. It’s extremely rewarding,” she said.

Christine said she never gave much thought to a work legacy — leaving something behind — when she began her career. That’s changed.

“My job is keeping me challenged and getting my mind going. Really sinking my teeth into something that at the end of the day I’m going to get to look at. I can drive by a hospital and say I took part in that. There’s something substantial to hold onto and at the end of the day look at. This feels like something I can be proud of,” she said.

The works is challenging and involves “shifting gears throughout the day”. But, Christine wouldn’t have it any other way,

“That’s who I am. I love to be busy, I love the work,” she said.

“Christine is intelligent, gracious, hard-working, friendly and is always willing to lend a hand. If you look up superstar in the dictionary you will see her picture!”  Marilyn Makcrow, nominator


Cthompson_copy2.jpgConnie Thompson
Office Manager
Ministry of Finance, 

Connie Thompson knows how to invoke fear among her co-workers. 

“They go into panic mode if I start looking at applying for jobs,” she said. “They tell me ‘you can’t go anywhere’.”

There’s a reason for her popularity. She’s the go to person in her office.

“One day I’m hooking up computers, another day working on a project. I’ve learned what other teams do because I take on work if they have an overflow and need somebody to fill a gap,” she said. “That’s what drives me. That I can help and if I can’t help chances are I know who can or where someone can go for help.”

That’s why Connie’s reputation for getting things done is known far and wide in her ministry and they come to her for help.

“Admin staff are the little workhorses in the background. We keep everybody else going,” she said.

Her co-workers can rest assured that she’s not presently applying for other jobs.

“Connie is the glue that holds our office together. She is known in the division for going above and beyond to help all staff. Connie and I were on the OHS Committee together, and I learned a lot from her as she participated for a number of years. She has previously been our building warden. She has participated in a number of PECSF campaigns. She volunteers at the ministry level on the public service week events. Connie is the captain of the revenue division bike to work week team. Connie is very conscientious about ensuring union members are treated fairly and as a steward I appreciate her looking out for fellow members.” — Maureen Glenn, nominator


IVYSMITH.jpgIvy Smith
Office Assistant
Ministry of Children and Family Development,

When you look up the term organizational knowledge, you’ll find an image of Ivy Smith! At least that’s what her co-workers say. (and we believe them!) 

If Ivy doesn’t know the answer to a workplace question, you might be out of luck.

She credits the new hires — whom she trains — for keeping her sharp and in the know. 

“It tests me when I train these new hires. It refreshes me too, keeps me up to date,” she said.

Ivy’s worksite has 60 people working in a variety of areas. Variety is one of the things she loves about her job. Another is meeting clients.

“I like trying to help people to get to a better place,” she said.

Ivy said she’s fortunate to work with a great team — always ready to pitch in when someone else needs a hand.

With almost 30 years of service, Ivy has most certainly earned the designation as her office’s version of The Answer Lady. 

“Ivy has been with our Langley office since 1998. She is the go to person for just about everything because Langley staff know that she will have the answer! Her knowledge and experience is extremely valued, she has trained countless new OA7's in our SDA & does an amazing job. Recently, her fellow admin placed a sign over Ivy's desk saying "stop...ask yourself...WWID?", standing for "What Would Ivy Do?" - that pretty well sums up how much we value her expertise.” Maureen Miller, nominator


TeBearts_copy2.jpgJacqueline Tebaerts
Collaborative Practice Team Assistant
Ministry of Children and Family Development,

Jacqueline Tebaerts knows a thing or two about putting out fires. And no, she doesn’t work for the fire department. 

“Admins are the crisis management crews. We’re there when everything hits the fan. We quietly come in and clean it all up,” she said.

Tebaerts supports social workers at a busy MCFD office in Surrey. Part of her job is interacting with youth and their families.  

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know the work we do prevents kids from coming into care or makes it so that they can go home,” she said.

Tebaerts’s biggest reward comes from being able to help out a client, even in a small way, such as answering a question.

 “At the end of the day you can say you made a difference,” she said. “Hopefully their life is a little bit easier because you managed to make it that way. You got them what they needed”. 

“With a lack of staff for the past year, Jacqueline has taken on much of the administrative work. On top of this she continues to train new float staff as they come and go. She has done so with little time and a big heart. She never turns anyone away that asks for help. She maintains a positive attitude through it all with a smile.” — Tina Martins, nominator



Tamara Codner
Office Manager for Healthy Living
Health Promotion Branch
Ministry of Health,

Imagine going to work every day knowing your efforts help improve the health of British Columbians — improvements that can save lives.

Tamara Codner’s job title is new, but she’s been with the Ministry of Health for 15 years — more than eight with the Health Promotion Branch.

“It’s a great job. It’s something different every day. The people are fantastic. What else could you ask for?” she said.

Her job entails a little bit of everything. She’s assistant to the executive director, does human resources and budgeting work plus all the related duties that arise in the course of a day.

“We have tons of things going on within our branch. Areas like physical activities, healthy eating, healthy communities, healthy schools, tobacco enforcement, vaper products, fall and injury prevention. There’s no one thing that overrides the others. They’re all busy,” she said.

It’s easy to see why she was nominated as an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR.

“We’ve had a lot of admin changes in the last few months and I’ve taken on the extra role of keeping the branch mobile. I just do my job to the best of my abilities to make sure everybody is happy,” she said.

“She is the wind beneath our wings. She allows us to run efficiently and does it without complaint. I have never had grumpy words from her, she shoulders additional workload with a capable and kind attitude. I am very impressed with her work ethic and with her work values. I love working with her.” —     Karen Parasram, nominator



Belinda Jickling
Executive Assistant
Beneficiary Services Branch
Workforce, Planning, Compensation & Beneficiary Services| Ministry of Health, Victoria

Chances are Belinda knows every nook and cranny of the BC Government offices at 1515 Blanchard in Victoria.

A series of lateral job moves around the same building over the past 11 years means she has gotten to see a lot of it.

As an executive assistant, her skills are in high demand, which is why she’s able to explore new opportunities. Belinda never has to worry about fitting into a new setting.

“I really like people,” she said. “I’m able to establish good relationships with people and that’s my number one thing. I really like to support others and watch them succeed.”

Think she’s an irrepressible extrovert? Think again. Belinda’s more of a hybrid.

“I’m really shy, but I work at being outgoing and bubbly. So, I come across as super outgoing, but the core of me is somewhat shy,” she said. “I go out of my way and go above and beyond to support people and I really just try to be there for everybody. I just make sure I help people be the best they can be. I get a personal reward from seeing people succeed. That’s what makes me tick. When I can contribute to someone’s success and see them do well, then I feel really good."

“Belinda goes above and beyond to not only support her branch and the ADMO, but to support employees and administrative staff in other branches, and to share valuable information, experience, and support with all staff, particularly other administrative staff. She does all this in addition to her duties as an EAA - she is constantly offering to provide support and fill in the gaps. Belinda goes out of her way to welcome new staff, to visit with coworkers, and to support and advocate for the hard work the administrative staff do, including program assistants, clerks, documents coordinators, etc. She brings light to the office and has made me and countless others feel welcome and supported, actively including others in projects and social activities outside of work. On top of being an excellent communicator with top-notch organizational skills, she is incredibly kind and genuine. She goes out of her way to recognize other staff using our Ministry's "star" program, and I am not surprised in the slightest that she consistently receives more stars than anybody else I know. She makes a real impact in peoples' lives, and with over 10 years in the public service, I feel she deserves to be recognized for all the positive energy she has brought to our workplace. “ — Hana Mildenberger, nominator.


Toese_Graham_copy.jpgToese Graham
Administrative Team
Ministry of Children and Family Development,

“I love working!” (Okay, we don’t hear this all that often!)

Toese Graham thrives on challenges, organization, and learning at work.

Overflowing baskets of unruly file folders? No problem. Toese is sharply focused on her mission when there’s a key task to perform. 

Case in point. A tough assignment at her former office where the files were in a chaotic state. The disorganization was so terrible office staff openly worried and stressed about it.

“There were five baskets of files. There were tons. We had to catch up. It was really behind,” she said. 

Mission accomplished, thanks to Toese.

“I don’t like to have unorganized things. I also appreciate learning new things and progressing my knowledge in whatever I do. That’s so I can be of assistance when the demand comes,” she said.

Toese has been with the ministry for only five years and has many more ahead. Lucky them. 

"Toese has been given the most messed up filing and filing that was years' old and she has dug out and cleaned up filing that was passed over and over. She has taken on jobs in our office that other people have tried to put to the back burner and tackled them with cheerfulness and happy attitude. She spreads her happy attitude all around the office and tries to make our time at work a pleasant experience. Thanks Toese." — Debra Bryant, nominator.


KathleenMacKillop.jpgKathleen MacKillop
Administrative assistant to the executive director of HealthLink BC,

She’s a newcomer to the B.C. public service and loving it.

MacKillop was hired by the B.C. government as an auxiliary in July 2015 and became the full-time administrative assistant to the executive director of HealthLink BC in February 2016.

“I really enjoy it, I really like working,” she said. “I have some wonderful colleagues. I wish I’d done it sooner knowing what a delightful work atmosphere it is.”

Given her limited time working for government she’s flattered to have been recognized as an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR so quickly. Clearly, she has made a tremendous impression.

“I always come with the attitude that I’ll treat colleagues with the way I want to be treated. If that means starting off with a smile and saying ‘hello’ that’s all I want them to do for me,” she said. “It’s just nice to say ‘how’s it going’?.”

What’s more, in addition to loving her work environment, she’s delighted to be a BCGEU member.

“I’ve enjoyed being part of a union - just loving that. I should always have been doing this actually,” she said.

“She is someone who is always cheerful, always helpful, definitely someone who goes above and beyond her position.” — Aman Dhaliwal, nominator.


sascha_copy.jpgSascha Lemieux
Team Assistant
Ministry of Children and Family Development,
White Rock

If you Google the term ‘team player’ you might find Sascha’s image. (Just kidding). 

 Still, this Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) administrator thrives on being part of a collaborative group.

“We’re very much a team player office. We always try to help each other out. I’ve always had awesome office managers who try to teach me to reach out and if you don’t know something you could take advantage of everyone’s knowledge. I’ve been able to learn a lot from different people,” she said.

Sascha has been with the ministry since 2008 and in MCFD’s White Rock office since 2010.

“We have three admin and we try to work together. If one’s not there or one needs help we really try to see what needs to be done and help out,” she said. “We really try to take care of each other.”

Sascha’s work schedule is comprised of two jobs. She works three days each week with the ministry and two days as a nanny. 

It’s a busy schedule that keeps her on her toes!

“I feel appreciated and I know they value my work and I know they have my back. If anything happens I know they’ll take care of me,” she said. 

“I would like to nominate Sascha as she works .6 in our White Rock office.  Even though she only works part-time, she has an amazing ability to just get everything done. She is super knowledgeable in all areas of MCFD and does not ever hesitate to take on extra work and start projects without even being asked to do so. I know her team in White Rock appreciates all she does for them and I am not sure how the office would function without her super skills and her willingness to anything she is asked to do.”  —Susan Peloquin, nominator.


PERRY_NANCY_copy.jpgNancy Perry
Office Manager
Ministry of Health,

Forty-one years with the B.C. Government and counting. Nancy Perry has no plans to retire.

“I’m really scared of retirement,” she said. “I’ve been working since I was 13 years old. It scares me to death to think what am I going to do?”

And seriously, what would her workplace do without her? (Or any of our Unsung Superstar nominees for that matter.)

Nancy’s area of expertise is records and freedom of information requests and she’s a cherished resource.

“Over the years, it has become my passion. We’re always involved in litigation and FOIs. When we get a request for documents it’s like ‘I know where they are. I know how to get them.’ I’ve gone down to the museum to get stuff out of the archives. My boss calls me the “FOI expert,” she said.

Nancy can’t imagine doing anything other than holding a government job.

“When I was younger it was like, ‘I work for the Queen’, after I took my oath down at the courthouse,” she said. “It makes me proud.”

After more than four decades in the public service, we’d have to say it’s an excellent fit. 

“Nancy goes above and beyond to keep the branch running smoothly. She is a lifer public servant with more than 35+ years of service. Nancy ensures records are maintained and the public is served efficiently and effectively.” — Maria Perri, nominator.


Ki-Som_Dempster_copy.jpgKi-Som Dempster
Branch Adminstrative Coordinator
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation,

A positive attitude. That’s Ki-Som’s basic philosophy and she brings it to work everyday. (We envy her co-workers!)

“I try to assist people I’ve been assigned to and make sure everything is running ship shape,” she said.

She has held the same position for nearly eleven years in the B.C. public service with a variety of branches. Ki-Som believes the best part of her job is talking to people and feeling a sense of  accomplishment in her work.

 As well, she’s grateful for what she calls the openness, caring, respect and support of her ministry and branch where everyone is on a first name basis.

 “I’m in the middle of transgendering from male to female and the support I’ve been given — the outpouring of support I’ve been receiving from people has just been absolutely phenomenal and overwhelming. It’s made me so proud of these people and made me proud of the ministry that I work for,” she said.

There’s reciprocity, too. Ki-Som never hesitates to approach a co-worker in distress in case there’s something she can do to help.

“I don’t like seeing people sad or mistreated or upset,” she said. 

“I’m nominating Ki not just because she is an incredible person and is usually the first one to volunteer assistance, it's more on a personal level. I suffer from severe allergies and if someone on our floor forgets or has a visitor that brings in the allergen, Ki is quick to react by closing me in my office and hunting down the source. She provides them with the information needed to keep me safe and to ensure it doesn't happen again. She takes pride in caring, for not just our administrative needs, but also cares for our wellbeing." — Liane Lubarski, nominator.


Allan_Harris_003_copy.jpgAllan Harris, SAS
Virtual Services, Intake and Specialized Intake
Service Delivery Division
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction,

Here’s a question. Based on the “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

If someone in a ‘virtual’ workplace blushes when they receive an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR nomination and no one is around to see it, did it really happen?

Allan Harris assures us he “blushed a bit”. And if he’d been on a video conference call with his colleagues around the province, they would have seen it!

Allan’s job is the kind that didn’t exist a decade ago. In fact, it was created only two years ago and because it’s virtual (done via computer), Allan and his team do most of their work and meetings via email or video conferencing. 

“It’s got it’s pros and cons. We’ve progressed hugely in the two years. Relationships are built virtually. With Outlook and our calls we can put faces to voices. When we’re working together day after day we get to know each other,” he said.

With nearly 29 years in the B.C. public service, Allan isn’t looking at retirement just yet. 

“I’d rather focus on stepping into something, rather than away from something. I’m looking for something that’s going to keep my mind working,” he said.

“Allan helps out anywhere he can, whenever he is asked. He is always willing to find out the answer if we don't know it, fixes and addresses all our time and leave issues. He takes care of the full intake stream. He continues to smile regardless of how busy he is. With Allan around, I never worry that the site is not taken care of, or that there will be any issues with time and leave. Allan is a man that can multi-task and still keep track of very project and detail. He is the heart of our stream. A man who does so much for so many and never expects anything in return.” Reena Sekhon, nominator.  


leepeacock.jpgLee Peacock
Administrator, Medical Services Commission
Ministry of Health, 
Victoria (retired May 2017)

The best way to describe Lee Peacock is, perhaps, UNSUNG SUPERSTAR emeritus!

Lee was nominated in the early days of our campaign and retired from the B.C. public service on May 31, after 40 years on the job.

“Time goes so fast. I began as a summer student in 1977 and never left,” she said. 

Lee’s first job was in the library of the Ministry of Mines while she attended university. From there, she went to the Ministry of Health and worked for a variety of branches until she landed at the Medical Services Commission for her last 14 years. 

Great co-workers and working environments made staying in the workforce rather easy.

“I was always fortunate to work for really excellent people and also the variety, the fact that you can move around and there’s lots of opportunities and challenges,” Lee said.

 Lee’s not done yet. She’s enjoying a retirement made up of gardening, walks with friends and some volunteering. But, chances are, she’ll be an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR in another workplace in no time!.

“Forty was a nice number. Time to move along. I wouldn’t mind doing something part-time,” she said.

There’s no stopping some UNSUNG SUPERSTARS. And thank goodness.

“Lee is a 40 year employee with the BC Government and she has been unwavering in her commitment and professionalism in her role as support to the Medical Services Commission.  With monthly meetings, Lee continually works her schedule around that of the meetings and preparations for meetings so as to have never missed a meeting or not have the group be incredibly well prepared.  She is the most organized individual I have ever worked with and her professionalism and quiet confidence is impressive.  Lee is retiring at the end of May.  She will be missed at the Ministry of Health.” - Nadeen Johansen, nominator.


C_Barrett.jpgCarla Barrett
Investigative officer
Prevention and Loss Management Branch
Ministry of Social Development, Kamloops

On the day we chatted, Carla was acting supervisor for her investigative team.

“Ah, Friday morning,” she said. “I’m always covering on Friday. There’s all kinds of stuff going on. It’s crazy,” 

We’re pretty sure it would be a lot crazier without Carla at the helm.

Her job, along with 20 other investigators scattered around B.C., is to conduct third party financial checks on social assistance applicants.

 “Our team is assisting with intake applications. We try to prevent any fraudulent activity right off the bat. Our team picks up applications and runs them through BC Online, Equifax, databases, land titles and property. We look for any income or assets a person may be in receipt of. We fill in the blanks, in addition to what client provides,” she said.

The job is detailed and intricate. This is where one of Carla’s areas of expertise is so valuable. She’s an educator who understands how the system works. All the ins-and-outs. She can take a complex piece of information and explain it in a user-friendly fashion. You might think of her as one of her team’s ‘de-stressors’.

“You could look at what we do as data entry, but it’s not anything a computer can do. Our team members work best when they’re at ease, because it’s so analytical and specific. It’s very much like the legal system and the courts. It’s all evidence-based. You need authorization for every keystroke you make. There’s potential for there to be a lot of pressure on the staff,” she said.

As for why she was nominated as an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR, Carla had this to say.

“I have no idea. None,” she said.

We know why.

“Our Virtual Investigative Officer START team have gone through a lot of change — newer supervisor, ICM changes that changed our work. Carla is a subject matter expert and the back-up supervisor in the supervisor’s absence. Carla is a "bubble", a Lync or phone call away to assist us in the multiple glitches, troubleshooting between EAWs and our team relating to our work.  She finds the correct answers, shows us HOW to do something and confirms we understand and can do it, and is a motivator, fun, changes her days off to help her team, checks in to see we're okay, we do bubble group conversations, laugh, joy.  All on the same pay as the rest of us! I'm so thankful for Carla being my/our Unsung Superstar!  Thank you Carla." - Rhonda Campbell, nominator.


joycemag_copy.jpgJoyce Maglanque 
Executive Assistant, Pharmaceutical Division
Ministry of Health,
New Westminster

It’s hard to start of new job. New skills to learn. New faces. New challenges. Except when you’ve got someone like Joyce Maglanque in your corner.

“To me, it’s natural to help out people,” Joyce said.

It’s not hard to understand why she’s been moving her way up the administrative ladder. She was promoted to executive assistant in 2017, after working as an administrative assistant in the branch. Pretty impressive for only six years in the public service.

Joyce’s workdays are jam-packed, but rewarding.

“I enjoy helping people, getting the job done. Especially helping my colleagues and my directors. I like to see there’s a completion of all the stuff Ineed to do. I’m a bit crazy about being organized,” Joyce said.

What would we do without people like Joyce in our workplaces?

“I’m newly employed under the Ministry of Health's MBPSD Division. In my short time here, Joyce has been nothing short of welcoming, friendly, and helpful. She is a patient mentor and an immediate friend. Even as a new member of the team, I can see how everyone in the office is grateful towards her for her dedication, kindness, and above-and-beyond attitude. Even on her days off, she still checks her email because she has that sort of devoted love for what she does. Joyce deserves every recognition for her immeasurable contribution.” - Michelle Tran, nominator.


fayek-ed.jpgFaye Kirkpatrick 
Board Coordinator
Patient Care Quality Review Board Secretariat,

What’s on Faye Kirkpatrick’s mind when she walks through the door to begin work everyday?

“How can I serve the public of B.C,” she told us. “I work at the ministry, but ultimately I’m a public servant.”

Faye loves to organize, which is a good thing given her role as board coordinator to the Patient Care Quality Review Board Secretariat involves a lot of it. Board members hear appeals concerning patient care that haven’t been resolved at the health authority level. 

The secretariat holds roughly 50 board meetings each year. Faye handles all the administration for the board’s 31 members, who are scattered around the province. When bottlenecks occur, it’s up to her to provide solutions.

“I love this job. All of the experiences I’ve had over 30 years in government, all the training I’ve had have really resulted in making this job the best it can be for me,” she said.

Faye is especially committed to transferring her knowledge to new employees joining government ranks and encouraging them to move around the public service to gain a breadth of on-the-job training and education.

“They have transferable skills,” she said. “It has really been a pleasure to show them they don’t have to stay at one level or in one job,” Faye said.

"Faye Kirkpatrick is a highly organized, accomplished and respected public servant, with over 30 years of service. As the Board Coordinator to the Patient Care Quality Review Board Secretariat, Faye identifies administrative bottlenecks and provides solutions. The Secretariat holds upwards of 50 Board meetings annually. Recently, after identifying that logistical Board meeting information was not compiled in one location, Faye created a one-stop office resource for leadership and staff. Recognizing Faye’s ability to surpass expectations and embrace challenging situations with grace and positivity, colleagues from three different areas united to nominate their valued teammate." - Jennifer Brooke, nominator


park.jpgSheri Park
Investigative Officer
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation,

Sheri Park is all about skills development in the workplace. She loves to learn.

Sheri is an investigative officer who conducts service quality compliance reviews for Old Age Security. Wherever possible she offers her services to gain more work skills.

“I recently wrote the IO (investigative officer) job profile. I offered my services in that. It makes my workday interesting as well I’m learning new skills and I get more confidence,” she said. “I never believed my skills to be magnificent, but as a stretch myself I find confidence inside myself.”

Sheri has been with the B.C. Government for two decades, but she’s only one month in to work in the branch’s new service quality unit.

“I’m learning so much about digging deeper into things, finding out new information,” she said.

Not only does Sheri’s workplace benefit from her experience and knowledge. So do we. Sheri is also a BCGEU workplace steward.

"Sheri, a 20-year employee, in the last 2 years has become a steward and is part of the local executive. Sheri and I did a member to member campaign for the Admin Services Day. Sheri went above and beyond to bring important communication to many staff (12 offices and 56 staff officially spoken to). Sheri also took on the role of ensuring all documentation was completed effectively. Sheri is an unsung superstar for many reasons." - Rosalind Humphreys, nominator.


taylor_copy.jpgSheryl Taylor
Operation Manager
Ministry of Health,

How’s this for being an asset in your workplace? People lined-up at your desk waiting for you to arrive before the work day starts.

When things get busy and people need help, Sheryl Taylor is the ‘go-to’ person.

“There was one morning I came in and there was three people waiting for me and it wasn’t even eight o’clock yet,” she said.

Sheryl handles all things financial and human resources for her division, such as budgets, accounts payable, and job postings. She’s also working to implement the new electronic filing records management system.

“I really enjoy being able to help and support people. You see them stressing out and I think I can help them with that, I know how to do that. I can take this part of the burden off you and make your day easier,” she said.

Don’t you wish we could clone co-workers like Sheryl? The type no workplace can function without?

"Sheryl has been amazing with dealing with HR issues, contracts and space planning this year. She was worked really hard on several big projects. Always have appreciated her expert advice on anything financial or HR related. She really knows her stuff. She has also been asked to lead the TRIM project (records management) for the division. Way to go Sheryl." - Jodie McKinney, nominator.


debbiejones.jpgDebbie Jones
Client Services Assistant
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources,

Debbie Jones wants to be the first and last person callers speak with when they have an inquiry about provincial services.

“I’ve got to help them out the best I can, do the best that I can for them so they don’t have to go from phone call to phone call. I like them to stop at me. Get your answer from me. If I don’t have your answer I’m going to find it and get it for you,” she said.

Debbie handles the phones at a B.C. government contact centre in Castlegar — part of a virtual team located in communities around the province. She fields questions about the natural resource sector, anything from hunting regulations to length of the sport fishing season to gaining land tenure.

In the last year, she has also done stints as a fish and wildlife clerk, and information officer at the government’s southeast fire centre. Experiences that she enjoyed a lot. But, Debbie is always happy to return to her own job.

“It’s a lovely office to work in. The staff here are just amazing, they do an awesome job in the natural resource industry and I just love working with them. They’re just great people and the virtual team that I’m on - that team is just so hardworking and so effective in dealing with the public. They do a fantastic job,” she said.

"Debbie started her career with the public service over 20 years ago. She embodies excellence in customer service and program knowledge. Always willing to lead a helping hand and a very quick study for new assignments. Currently, she is working on the province FCBC contact centre delivering natural resources to the citizens of B.C. Her job requires her to have a vast knowledge of all resource sectors in the province and she has also be able to rely on her experience from other B.C Government Ministry jobs that she has held. Her 'can do' attitude is a pleasure to have in our office and she makes it a better place. She always is the first to volunteer to help." - Bonnie Johnston, nominator.


cgrant.jpgCourtney Grant
Resolution Support Clerk
Civil Resolution Tribunal
Ministry of the Attorney General,

Big and short. Courtney Grant has made a big impression on her co-workers in a very short time on the job as a resolution support clerk at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). 

She took the job in July 2016 and has proven herself indispensable to staff members — those in her office and the ones’ she works with remotely via computer.

“I think I bring a can-do attitude. I’m always looking for ways we can make our work better, more effective. I’m also looking for ways to enhance the client experience, so that the client is getting what they’re paying for,” she said.

A lot of Courtney’s task are performed online. The CRT is the government’s first tribunal to be online. Like so many things in the world of high tech work, change in Courtney’s office is constant. And she loves it.

“You’ve got to be able to adapt. Everyone who works here is amazing. It’s a very healthy work environment,” she said. “I’m treated with respect and kindness and I’m treated as an adult. Innovation comes when people think they can bring up new ideas without being beaten down. They get a lot more out of me because I feel motivated to give.” 

“Courtney is helpful to staff, and always available as a resource with a keen interest in learning more. She is helpful to all sections of our department and is government focused in terms of ensuing the values of our organization. She takes on any problem that needs attention in our organization. Innovative, positive, open, and strong work ethic are the words I would include to describe this employee.” Liz Caracristi, nominator.