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News Governor Reeves Presents 2021 Excellence in Government Awards

Created On: 11/8/2021 2:47:55 PM

Governor Tate Reeves and MSPB honored Timothy Rush and Daniel McKinney with the 2021 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 Timothy Rush, the deputy executive director for Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES). With a 29-year career at MDES, Rush equipped the agency to respond to the increase in unemployment claims due to the pandemic. To ensure the unemployment response system could function beyond its desired capacity, he increased the MDES phone lines to receive calls from claimants, quickly expanded MDES contact centers, reached beyond normal boundaries to generate new partnerships with the private sector and businesses, and maximized CARES Act funds. Rush started his MDES career as an employment interviewer at the Meridian WIN Job Center in 1991 and held various positions in the agency’s the appeals and tax departments. He also served as the State Workforce Investment Act Equal Opportunity Officer in 2010 and 2011.

The recipient of the Excellence in Local and District Government Award is Daniel McKinney, the chief of police for the City of Saltillo. He was recently appointed chief after two decades of police work with the Tupelo Police Department. While in Tupelo, Chief McKinney was promoted to sergeant over the special operations group and SWAT team. He held positions as a detective, K9 handler, academy instructor, and patrolman. He was also involved with the police athletic league that supported after school children’s programs. Chief McKinney completed two years of criminal justice studies at Itawamba Community College and is a graduate of the North Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Center.

“Each day, thousands of government employees provide quality services to all Mississippians,” said Governor Reeves. “Today, we celebrate the achievement of two individuals that have demonstrated a commitment to their work and those they serve.”

MSPB Executive Director Kelly Hardwick said, “These recipients demonstrate a strong commitment to service in Mississippi. It is an honor to join Governor Reeves in recognizing these outstanding public servants.”


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