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Governor’s Ambassador Awards recognizes public employees

Six winners selected

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2016) —  Gov. Matt Bevin today announced winners of the eighth-annual Governor’s Ambassador Awards, recognizing some of Kentucky’s most generous public employees for exceptional service in the workplace and in their communities.

“Each award nominee serves as a beacon in their workplace and in their community,” said Bevin. “You are being the best version of yourself, and the ripple effect of that is great. People will watch what you do. And what you have done has caused others to say you are worthy of being recognized. I thank you for being a beacon.”

Created in 2008, the Governor’s Ambassador Awards highlight stories of employees who have made a positive impact on others. Nominations for the awards are accepted throughout the year in six categories: customer service, courage, leadership, professional achievement, teamwork, or community service and volunteerism. The 2016 awards generated nominations involving nearly 234 employees.

A selection committee reviews the submissions and three finalists are chosen in each category. Bevin selected the six overall winners in each category.

Award recipients are honored by having a personalized engraved brick placed along Ambassador Avenue outside the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

2016 award recipients:

Community Service

Heidi Miller has dedicated her life to adopting and fostering children. But she and her family also volunteer and raise money for a new facility in central Kentucky that will house teenage foster boys. The facility will not only give the boys a home to live in and return to when they need guidance, it will also provide them with resources to realize brighter futures.

Professional Achievement

  • Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sheryl E. Heeter has been a staunch advocate for child victims of crime since 1999. She has worked tirelessly throughout her career and has made it her mission to prosecute child predators and abusers. She has also spent many years as a Guardian Ad Litem in the Family Court System and regularly serves on a multi-disciplinary team for child abuse where an inter-professional team discusses child abuse incidents in the county. Despite the horrific and emotionally taxing details that surround her cases, Sheryl stays the course in her advocacy for children.

Customer Service

  • Greg Waddle works at the front desk of the Lincoln County Department for Community Based Services. He provides exemplary customer service to staff as well as clients, and consistently delivers a high level of compassion in the course of his work. In a job that deals with some of the most traumatic abuses of children, where caseloads are challenging, clients are often unhappy and stress can be at a maximum, Greg still brightens everyone’s day with his enthusiasm, empathy and encouraging demeanor.


  • Conservation educator Clay Brummal came upon a mangled car just minutes after its driver lost control and crashed. He ran to the vehicle and found the driver badly injured, bleeding and unconscious. As flames began to rise from the engine, Clay knew the driver needed to be removed from the car. With the help of two other motorists, he pulled the driver up through the window and out to safety, just moments before the car was engulfed with flames.The driver was air-lifted to the hospital, and fully recovered.


  • Kathy Moreland has been a Department of Revenue employee for 30 years. During her career, she has worked hard, always looking for learning opportunities. She isn’t afraid to accept assignments that took her beyond her comfort zone, and has earned the lasting respect of her co-workers and management. Just a few of the things she has accomplished since returning to state government include getting her division moved to one floor so they could work together as a team.  She changed procedures for speedier processing and greater efficiency. In addition to establishing wellness breaks for the division, she has organized several staff activities to promote personal and professional employee improvement.


  • During the past year, the Kentucky Emergency Management Assistance Team has managed $5.6 million in grant funds. These funds have improved the county EMA programs, enhanced public safety, and increased emergency response across the commonwealth. The length of time required to process a claim for reimbursement to the counties has decreased from three months to one day. For the first time in 17 years, the Emergency Management Assistance Team was able to provide counties with an additional $550,000 in special project funds to enhance their EMA programs.