Mountain America and UPEA Recognize Hardworking Public Employees

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is proud to participate in the Public Employee Salute Program.  The idea for the program began in 1999, when a past UPEA executive director noticed that KSL Radio had a special segment to recognize Utah teachers.  The segment is commonly known as the “Teacher Feature.”  However, there was no feature recognizing Utah’s public employees.  The following year, the UPEA and Mountain America Credit Union Public Employee Salute program began.

The following individuals have been nominated and recognized with the Public Employee Salute for their hard work for the state of Utah.


Teri Anderson

Teri Anderson is a 4th District Court case manager. She is noted for being a supervisor who treats her team, coworkers, and the public with respect. She treats all court patrons with dignity and patience, and doesn’t let external factors influence how she interacts with others. She provides fair and impartial access to justice.

Danna Allen

Danna Allen is an agent associate with the Utah Department of Corrections. She is an amazing officer and is recognized for her work with offenders. She goes above and beyond in helping female offenders in their sobriety and programming while they are residents at the treatment center. She is caring, respectful, and knowledgeable about her position.

Natalie Thomas

Sgt. Natalie Thomas has been with the Utah Department of Corrections for five years. During her time at the Utah State Prison, her positive attitude and upbeat personality help both inmates and staff develop more cohesive relationships. Her work ethic and ideas for change have made her an integral part of the programming department.

Jaime Jensen

Sgt. Jaime Jensen is a programming sergeant and is assigned to work with the sex offender population. In this difficult line of work, she has always been professional and helpful to both inmates and staff. She pitches in to assist with daily operations and duties outside of her assignment whenever needed. She is a powerhouse member of the team and is an example to everyone.


Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson has a master’s degree in clinical social work, has specialized training in attachment disorders, and is the clinical director for the Northern Region of the Department of Child and Family Services. For more than20 years, Robertson has been leaving lasting impressions on every soul he meets and has bee finding creative ways to assist victims in their healing process. He is a great example of what a trauma-informed advocate and leader should be. He spends countless hours preparing lessons and trainings, and guiding a peer support group for others working with victims so they are able to provide the best support.

Ryan Putman

Deputy State Fire Marshall Ryan Putman has been invited by the Federal National Institute of Standards and Technology to present his expertise on two programs improving hazardous materials training and response in Utah. He helped develop the hazmat virtual reality and drone programs from mere ideas to world-leading technology in just eight months. Virtual reality helps first responders make strategic and tactical decisions, and the integrated drone collects data, delivering anywhere with wireless connections.

Jennifer Shipman

Jennifer Shipman, a Utah public employee for 19 years, is an office specialist II at the Utah Department of Corrections. She continually goes above and beyond, and is the go-to person in the office. She has trained all new clerical staff assigned to community correctional centers in Salt Lake County for the past 14 years. She also serves on a number of committees.

Tavish Paulsen

Tavish Paulsen, a Division of Child and Family Services caseworker, is an amazing caseworker and coworker. She works with the family dependency drug court and helps advocate for her clients. She is always there to lend a hand, a supportive word, and a listening ear. When clients finish with drug court, Paulsen gives her clients a binder with positive reminders of sobriety and how far they’ve come.


Shawn Bekkemellom

Officer Shawn Bekkemellom is an Adult Probation and Parole agent associate for the Utah Department of Corrections. He has worked for the state for 14.5 years, ensuring public safety by enforcing policies and laws when inmates are released. He helps others without complaint and keeps track of a voluminous amount of details, always ensuring he is prepared to testify in court.

Sandra Gustaveson

Sandra Gustaveson is a Division of Child and Family Services caseworker. Gustavesony is a great example to her coworkers, supporting them and sharing her vast knowledge about the policies. She works with the family dependency drug court system, and has been effective in getting parents help and holding them accountable for their actions, helping reunify them with their children. She takes her role seriously, and advocates for her clients whenever possible.

David Bybee

David Bybee is a transportation technician III for the Utah Department of Transportation. He gets along with everyone, and treats everyone, regardless of whether they’re coworkers or members of the public, professionally and with respect. For 14 years, he has been dedicated to the job, and now knows how to solve any problems his crew runs into.

Johanna Gross

Sgt. Johanna Gross has been an integral part of the LS/RNR team for the Utah Department of Corrections, created by legislation that requires assessments to be completed on every offender. She assisted in providing training for staff members and the Board of Pardons and Parole, always willing to help others understand, and keep the fidelity of assessments. Her work ethic is an example to all.


Delroi Warnok

Sgt. Delroi Warnock is a programming sergeant for the Central Utah Correctional Facility. He has been serving the public for 20 years. Warnock teaches a number of classes to inmates, and supervises even more. He is a powerful instructor as well as a respected officer. He is recognized by inmates as treating each with equal potential and encouragement.

Mark Ashcroft

Mark Ashcroft is a program manager for the Utah Department of Agriculture. He is an exceptional employee and is very organized. He always goes the extra mile and is always willing to help those he works with. Ashcroft worked hard through each rank of the department, and because of this, he understands problems at each level of the department.

Shanell Beecher

Shanell Beecher is the director of accounting and operations in the Mayor’s Financial Administration of Salt Lake County. She is intelligent and performs her accounting functions with knowledge and precision. Beecher is a manager who treats her employees with kindness, dignity, and respect. Her work is essential to the success of her team, which results in accuracy and timeliness of the county’s financial reporting.

UPEA wants to congratulate all of our Public Employee Salute honorees and thank them for their extraordinary work for the state of Utah. The Public Employee Salute is an ongoing program UPEA is proud to be a part of. Please nominate any coworkers who you believe deserve recognition for their hard work.