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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 15, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Recipients of the 2021 Governor's Honor Awards

Fifteen state employees honored at the Executive Mansion

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam today announced the recipients of the 2021 Governor's Honor Awards at an Executive Mansion ceremony. The Governor presented the awards to employees who consistently demonstrate exemplary service and commitment to the Commonwealth of Virginia. There were 11 award categories and 15 total recipients.

"I feel so fortunate to work alongside such excellent state employees," said Governor Northam. "These recipients deserve recognition for their unwavering efforts, commitment to public service, and professional excellence. On behalf of the Commonwealththank you for your hard work."

“These awards not only recognize the outstanding contributions of the honorees, but also pay tribute to the collective genius of the Commonwealth’s workforce,” said Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson. “Very little is accomplished in a vacuum, but everything is possible through respectful and intentional collaboration. Congratulations to the 2021 Governor’s Honor Award recipients.”

Winners were chosen for a wide variety of accomplishments. Seyoum Behre designed the Office of New Americans and revolutionized the support offered to refugees and immigrants. Nathan O’Kaine helped combat the pandemic by designing face shields to protect thousands of workers at local hospitals. Lieutenant Thomas Mitchell demonstrated heroism when he saved a woman and three children from a burning car. Information on the exceptional work done by all of the award winners can be found here.

The recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Honor Awards are:

  • Crystal Barrett, Department of General Services
  • Dr. Tomikia LeGrande, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Pamela Kestner, Department of Housing and Community Development
  • David Todd Phillips, Department of Military Affairs
  • Seyoum Behre, Department of Social Services
  • Lieutenant Thomas Mitchell, Department of Corrections
  • Mitchell D. Broudy, Office of the Attorney General
  • Nathan O’Kane, P.E., Department of Transportation
  • Vieng Sikler, Margie Wilks, Samantha Cohen, Barbara Smith, and William Libby, Department of Veterans Services
  • Douglas D. Riley, Virginia Retirement System
  • Alistria Crafton, Department of Education

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