2017 Prudential Productivity Award winners announced

The Prudential Productivity Awards, an annual event honoring state employees throughout Florida, has announced its winners for 2017, including the following winners from the University of Florida.

This year, cash and plaque awards will be presented to 203 individuals and teams from across the state for their innovation and productivity improvements. Since 1989, award winners have produced more than $9 billion in cost savings/avoidance or efficiency gains for Florida taxpayers and businesses.

The individual and team awardees from UF who have been identified as 2017 winners are:

Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Front row (L-R): Karen Hancock, Mike Boyette, Patrick Troy, Wanda Laughlin. Back row: Charles Barrett, Ben Broughton, Kevin Athearn, Joel Love. Not pictured: Robert Hochmuth

Cash Award

The modernization and technical transformation over the last two years at the University of Florida’s Extension farm in Live Oak, FL has resulted in increased efficiencies and savings in labor and farm inputs, and the conservation of natural resources.

Cost Savings Estimate: $185,950 per year or $371,900 over the past two years


Family, Youth and Community Sciences Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Back Row (L-R) Michael Gutter, Samara Deary, Heidi Copeland. Front Row: Heather Janney, Carree Musgrove, Taylor Spangler, Diann Douglas. Not pictured: Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar

Cash Award

After the IRS consultants approached agents in rural counties to become involved with preparing federal income taxes through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a plan was formulated to incorporate communication technologies such as SKYPE as a method of providing no cost tax return preparation and assistance to multiple counties in Florida and Georgia (eight counties in Florida: Bradford, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Leon, Okaloosa, Union, and Walton; four counties in Georgia: Early, Lanier, Sumter, and Tift).

Cost Savings Estimate: $50,000 – $99,999

Agricultural and Biological Engineering Team, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

James Canter & Max Williams

Plaque Award

After seeing the innovative online IT request portal Canter designed, Williams worked with Canter to create similar portals for P-card and travel submissions, resulting in increased staff accountability, improved stakeholder relations, and conserved resources, in the form of time and office supplies.

Cost Savings Estimate: Up to $24,999


Admissions and Enterprise Systems Team, Joint efforts by Enrollment Management and Information Technology

Plaque Award

Team Members: Morgan Vollrath, Rick Bryant, Dmitri Vershinin, Alan Cook, Jay Schnedl, Chris Stetter, Luis Andino

Tasked with increasing the diversity of its freshman application pool, UF was able to implement the new Coalition freshman application within a very short period of time in order to increase the number of low socioeconomic and first generation applicants for the 2017 cycle in a fiscally conservative manner.

Cost Savings Estimate: $100,000 – $499,999

Daniel Morgan, Fiscal and Logistics Operations Manager, College of Pharmacy

Plaque Award

Morgan saw the myriad of financial issues affecting the fiscal unit and volunteered to correct all the problems which included the implementation of policies and procedures, while performing his day-to-day responsibilities.

Cost Savings Estimate: $100,000 – $499,999

For more information about this awards program, please visit the Prudential Productivity Awards section of the HRS website or contact our Agency Coordinator, Kenya Williams via email or at (352) 273-1761.

Congratulations to this year’s award winners!