Governor Scott Announces 2014 Governor’s Sterling Award & Sustained Excellence Award Recipients

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Sterling Council today announced the Orange County Public Schools Operations Division; and the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office will receive the prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award and that the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County will be honored with the Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award. Awarded by the Florida Sterling Council, the Governor’s Sterling Award is the highest award an organization can receive for performance excellence in Florida.

“The Governor’s Sterling Award winners reflect our focus of making Florida the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I congratulate this year’s top-performing Sterling Award recipients,” Governor Scott said. “This award is the highest recognition an organization in Florida can receive for performance excellence.”

2014 Governor’s Sterling Award Recipients
For 22 years, the Governor’s Sterling Award has recognized organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.

The Orange County Public Schools Operations Division provides essential goods and services to more than 187,000 students and 22,000 employees in 184 schools and 16 facilities located in Orange County, Florida. The Operations Division manages the core functions of Transportation, providing 906 school buses to transport 60,000 students each day, Food and Nutrition services, which serves 29.5 million breakfasts and lunches to students each year, Safety and Security Services that assists schools and work locations by providing uniformed security, school resource officers, comprehensive fire and health inspections, and intrusion alarm management; Building Code Compliance that works with Facilities and Construction Management; Environmental Compliance that collaborates with departments, work locations, and schools managing efforts such as recycling, waste management, and indoor air quality.

The Operations Division demonstrates a focus on cost containment through improved efficiency and sustained performance. For example, the division’s budget decreased from $85 million during 2008-2009 to $81 million for 2011-2012. During this period, the division consistently posted an under-budget aggregate return of $38 million, which afforded more dollars for the classroom. The Division’s Food and Nutrition Services not only increased student meal participation by $2.4 million from 2007 to 2012, it has consistently met the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutritional requirements; the program is now 100 percent self-funded with revenue generated from food sales, grants, and funding reimbursements. Transportation Services demonstrates several important best-in-class operational results, including sustained on-time arrival of buses of better than 98 percent each year, from 2010 to 2013. In addition, the transportation cost per student has reduced from $914 in 2010 to $869 in 2013. The Orange County Public Schools Operations Division is a first-time recipient of the Governor’s Sterling Award.

The Walton County Tax Collector’s Office is a team comprised of 32 members striving to deliver a variety of government services as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible, while equally focused on delivering those services with care, compassion, and understanding. The organization has created a culture to leverage the diverse skills and talents of team members, at the same time recognizing the contribution each one makes in reaching the team goals. Creating an environment where team members feel valued and genuinely cared for has led to a high-performing team with bottom-line results. In Fiscal Year 2013, the agency demonstrated that continuously pursuing improvement in work processes pays off by achieving a 99.9% transaction accuracy rate. Developing new service offerings, learning new work processes and integrating new team members over the past two years provided the agency the opportunity to demonstrate their value of embracing challenges and change. The result was a consistently maintained 100 percent processing of tax mail payments within 24-hours of receipt from Fiscal Year 2011 to Fiscal Year 2013. A collective team focus on caring for each customer and their family helped the agency achieve overall wait times in Fiscal Year 2013 of 2.9 minutes and maintain a customer satisfaction level of 98 percent. The Walton County Tax Collector is a first-time recipient of the Governor’s Sterling Award.

2014 Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award Recipient

This award is an annual award to recognize Florida organizations that have previously received the Governor’s Sterling Award and are sustaining excellent results, continuing to pursue systematic performance improvement.

Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, a unit of the Florida Department of Health, is the county health department located in Miami. It provides population- and community-based services to the county’s 2.5 million residents and more than 12.6 million annual visitors. It is responsible for assessing, maintaining and improving health and safety within the county. The department’s core competencies include: collaboration and partnerships; public health emergency preparedness; epidemiology, disease control and prevention; public health environmental regulations; and public health promotion and services. The department has maintained high levels of customer satisfaction, with an overall satisfaction of 98.1 percent for 2013-2014, while the percent of customer services recommended remained high at 98.2 percent. The percentage of 2-year-old children fully immunized who are existing County Health Department clients has seen a steady improvement from 2009 to 2013, increasing from 90 percent to 98 percent. Within the community, the department has maintained high customer engagement, as demonstrated by participation in hospital forums and consortium activities, with 79 percent of the hospitals actively participating in forums, while the Consortium for a Healthier Miami Dade coordinated 95 community activities designed to improve community access to services or provide necessary information to enhance overall community health. The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County is the only organization to be recognized as a three-time recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award (2012, 2006, and 2002).

About the Governor’s Sterling Award
Established in 1992, the Florida Sterling Council is a public/private not-for-profit corporation supported by the Executive Office of the Governor. Sterling’s Annual Conference is exclusively designed to teach participants how to elevate performance and increase productivity. Nearly 500 executives and professionals gather at this event for a one-stop source for education, information and inspiration. The conference concludes with the recognition of best practices, the Team Showcase Champion, and the presentation of the Governor’s Sterling Awards, the highest award an organization can receive for performance excellence in Florida. For more information, contact John Pieno at (850) 922-5316 or visit


Comments are closed.