Public Employee Salute Celebrates Dedication to Service

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is proud to participate in the Public Employee Salute Program.  The idea for the program originated 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.

APRIL 2021

Zachary Richmond & Benjamin Goddard

Zachary Richmond and Benjamin Goddard are both members of the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team. On March 4, 2021, they responded to a single-vehicle accident on I-15. One of the young occupants was not breathing or showing signs of a pulse. Zachary and Benjamin extracted them from the vehicle and started performing life-saving measures until medical personnel and additional troopers arrived. Because of these two incident management team members, the child returned home to their family. The incident management team recognizes it as a privilege and honor to work with these gentlemen. Thank you, Zachary and Benjamin, for utilizing your training and experience. 

MAY 2021

RJ Spencer & Crystal Street

RJ Spencer is the Director of Conservation with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. He is an incredible manager who champions his team to get work done efficiently while trusting them to perform their responsibilities. He is always willing to assist groups with events, projects, and assignments and makes the process a positive experience. RJ is dedicated to his team of employees and has a sincere appreciation for Utah’s farmers. He makes sure farmers have access to conservation resources through various programs and speaks with Future Farmers of America groups. During COVID-19, RJ successfully managed the grant award process for farmers adversely affected by the pandemic. RJ was vital in making sure communication was open between farmers, legislators, and various departments to ensure nothing fell through the cracks. Thank you, RJ for being a mentor to your employees and dedication to farmers. 

Crystal Street with the Utah State Developmental Center, has been a Lead Direct Support Professional for two years in the same apartment where she formerly worked as a Direct Support Professional. During her time in this apartment, she has thoroughly organized it and established a much-needed routine for her individuals to predict their day’s activities. Crystal is an amazing leader and example to her staff, developing a close working relationship with the guardians of her individuals and advocating for their needs. She ensures they are on time for medical appointments, trains her staff well, and develops good working relationships with the professional staff on the interdisciplinary team. Crystal is well-respected by everyone. Her extraordinary competence at doing her job gives her peers a tremendous level of trust that the individuals in her care are receiving the best quality of service. Crystal sets an excellent example for her staff and everyone on the team.

JUNE 2021

Many of the Public Employee Salute Recognition events were postponed during 2020. UPEA and Mountain America Credit Union were excited to bring the events back in June. Two luncheons were hosted to honor recipients over the past two years. Salute recipients represented various state and county agencies and traveled from around the state to attend the event. UPEA is grateful for the continued support of Mountain America Credit Union to recognize Utah’s public employees.

JULY 2021

Lucas Jones & Susan Johnson

Lucas Jones has worked for the Utah State Developmental Center for years earning respect from his colleagues and management team. He goes above and beyond to help the entire building run more smoothly. Lucas’s staff are loyal and supportive because he works right alongside them and never assigns a task he is not doing himself. He creates an environment for his individuals to receive excellent care by paying attention to detail and creating good working relationships with professionals. During the pandemic when no one could leave the building, Lucas adjusted the daily schedules to include more physical therapy, active treatment, and opportunities for his individuals to receive the care they needed to remain healthy and engaged. Thank you, Lucas for being a great example to follow. 

Susan Johnson, a Lead Direct Support Professional, with the Utah State Developmental Center is recognized for her exemplary performance. She is a leader to her staff, working right alongside them and is always coming up with ideas to mainstream processes and improve treatment for the individuals she supports. She shows extraordinary competence in assessing the individuals, the staff, and the system to generate something better. Susan makes it a priority to teach her staff about the individual, what is happening, why it is happening and what needs to be done differently. Her staff express gratitude for her leadership and guidance. Thank you, Susan, for being a great example of a leader and team player.

Keith Barnes & Charlotte Woodward

Keith Barnes, a District Permits Officer for Utah’s Department of Transportation, is always willing to step up in any situation or duty that is asked of him. This includes covering roadway permit jobs for other inspectors and giving back to the community after work hours. He has played several roles in past years as a football coach for several local high school programs. Keith is recognized for his commitment and strong work ethic. Thank you Keith for your dedication to the community! 

Charlotte Woodward has worked for the Utah Department of Health’s Division of Childcare Licensing for over 4 years. She is kind, friendly, and helpful to both members of the public and coworkers. Charlotte is exceptionally detail oriented and is skilled at drafting research based proposals. She has thorough knowledge of the division’s programs and the rules and regulations enforced. Charlotte’s work product and attitude reflect her commitment to the program’s vision and mission. She truly shows up every day to improve the quality of childcare for children and families in Utah.


Thank you all for your dedication to the citizens of Utah!
Click here to nominate an outstanding employee for recognition in the Public Employee Salute.