Jenkins earns state excellence award

Published 1:19 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Gov. Tate Reeves recently honored Dr. Susan Jenkins of North Mississippi Regional Center and Mayor Dan M. Gibson of the city of Natchez with the 2023 Excellence in Government Awards.  

The foundation of these awards is to encourage the development of innovative systems of public administration.  In 2012, the Mississippi State Personnel Board established and presented the inaugural Mississippi Excellence in Government Awards program at the direction of the Mississippi Legislature.

The recipient of the Excellence in State Government Award is the Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s Dr. Susan Jenkins, the director of the North Mississippi Regional Center staff development department. 

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After dedicating more than 23 years of professional experience to the North Mississippi Regional Center, Jenkins has been a visionary during a time of national staffing crisis in the field of direct care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Jenkins redesigned the onboarding experience and various continuing education opportunities to be more accommodating to employees who needed to complete the training outside the typical “9 to 5” schedule. While she advocated for direct care staff to seek credentialing opportunities, she provided more accommodating schedules for them to seek these professional credentials. Jenkins works “in the trenches” as an advocate and mentor for her employees.

“Dr. Jenkins and Mayor Gibson represent the absolute best of public servants,” said Reeves. “I’m incredibly thankful for their distinguished and tireless efforts to build their communities and make Mississippi a better place. I want to congratulate them both on this well-deserved achievement and thank them for their continued work on behalf of our great state.”

MSPB Executive Director Kelly Hardwick added “this year’s award recipients exemplify excellence in government and a commitment to public service. It is an honor to join Gov. Reeves in recognizing these outstanding public servants.”