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Kansas Department of Corrections’ 2019 employee awards announced

by KDOC News — last modified Jul 26, 2019 03:08 PM
Governor Laura Kelly and Acting Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) 2019 Employees and Volunteer of the Year during a ceremony Tuesday at the State Capitol.
 Kansas Department of Corrections’ 2019 employee awards announced

Uniformed 2019 Employee of the Year Nominees

For Immediate Release 

July 23, 2019 

Cheryl Cadue, Public Information Officer

 Kansas Department of Corrections’ 2019 employee awards announced 

Governor Laura Kelly and Acting Corrections Secretary Jeff Zmuda announced the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) 2019 Employees and Volunteer of the Year during a ceremony Tuesday at the State Capitol. 

The four finalists were chosen from the 47 top employees named from across the agency in the uniformed, non-uniformed, contract and volunteer categories. 

“I want to express my gratitude for your professionalism and commitment to the Department of Corrections’ values in carrying out our mission,” Secretary Zmuda said. “Your efforts make a meaningful impact in our communities. Thank you.” 

Those selected by KDOC management in each category were: 

Uniformed 2019 Employee of the Year
L. Brad Hansen, Corrections Supervisor II, Ellsworth Correctional Facility

During his 26-year career with Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Hansen has steadily risen through the ranks while displaying a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence. He currently serves as a work detail lieutenant and staff development faculty member.   

Hansen was nominated by his colleagues for serving as a positive role model to staff and offenders. His willingness to assist with staff challenges also has greatly aided the facility as demonstrated by the letters of commendation he has received for his professionalism particularly during emergency situations. In addition, under Hansen’s leadership, inmate work details have improved the groundskeeping and landscaping at the facility while also improving community relationships by working with organizations such as the American Legion. 

Non Uniformed 2019 Employee of the Year
Oluwatosin “Samson” Orunsolu, Corrections Counselor, El Dorado Correctional Facility

Orunsolu was nominated by his peers for his leadership in driving others to excel. At a time when the facility is dealing with staffing shortages, Orunsolu has put in extra hours to help the staff and inmates at El Dorado. Orunsolu’s positive attitude and dedication have greatly aided in improving the morale of those around him. Due to his extensive knowledge of policy and procedure, the facility’s entire Enforcement, Apprehensions and Investigations (EAI) division had previously recommended him for employee of the quarter. 

Orunsolu began his career with the KDOC as a corrections officer in 2013 at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. In 2014, he left to work for the corrections system in Texas before returning to Kansas to work at Eldorado Correctional Facility as a corrections officer in 2016. He has earned several promotions including serving as the unit team supervisor. 

Contract 2019 Employee of the Year
Michael Buch, Aramark Manager, Hutchinson Correctional Facility

With more than two decades of food service experience, Buch began working at Hutchinson Correctional Facility in 2009. After being promoted to head the facility’s food service last year, Buch unified all three of the facility’s food service kitchens and has improved the functioning of the division. Buch also has dealt with staffing shortages by working several night shifts to keep the kitchens operating effectively. 

During the facility’s last lockdown, Buch opted to work several 16-hour shifts to ensure meals were prepared in a timely manner. Aside from leading the food service division, Michael teaches the ServSafe ready course at the facility. This certifies offenders to deliver consistent food safety training when released. 

Volunteer 2019 Employee of the Year
Jim Rundell, Mentoring4Success mentor, Winfield Correctional Facility/Wichita Work Release Facility

In serving as a mentor for the past four years to 12 offenders, Rundell has paid close attention to the needs of the offenders. To improve an offender’s chances for gaining employment, Rundell became certified as an Offender Workforce Development Specialist Trainer. Rundell also was named a 2019 Volunteer of the Year for the Southern Parole Region for his work with parolees. In the past year, Rundell has worked closely with the Wichita Parole Office’s Sex Offender Unit and the Wichita Catholic Dioceses to help develop church attendance safety plans that help parolees while keeping the safety of the public in mind. 

A previous director of the facility’s St. Dismas Catholic Prison Ministry, Rundell continues to participate in the facility’s mass. He also helps the Wichita Work Release Facility with inmates who are struggling with the concept of job seeking. 

During the ceremony, the following statewide award winners also were announced: 

  • Office of Victim Services Champion of Justice: Mike Watson, Southern Parole Region

  • Community Corrections Adult: Amanda Miller, Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections
  • Community Corrections Juvenile: Clover Kinney, Santa Fe Trail Community Corrections 

The nominees by category were:

Facility Uniformed Non-Uniformed Contract Volunteer
Central Office Molly Turner
Ellsworth L. Brad Hansen Austin L. Raney Gail L. Pickering Ronald J."Joe" Carrico
El Dorado Donna Vetter Oluwatosin "Samson" Orunsolu Brittanie Bennett Pastor Riley Cartwright
Hutchinson Phylicia Jones Jeff Lindteigen Michael Buch Kerby Kennedy
KS Correctional Industries Mike McQueen
KS Juvenile Correctional Complex Gene Hayes Steven Winn Sarah Persons Kevin & Rhonda Han
Lansing Benjamin Adjei Jane Bartlett Randall Singletary Paul Bequette
Larned Gary Adams Brandi Johnson Reva Preeo Urban Gathman
Norton Sharolyn Gitchel Desirae Woods Tina Gehring Rick & Patty Griffin
Northern Parole Region Justine Plenert Marilyn Fronk Brad Miller
Southern Parole Region Shawna Currie Mindy Offield Jim Rundell
Topeka Jordan Fiegener Steve Lincoln Chantal Larsen Mary Meininger
Winfield Randy Topper Bryan McKnight Jim Rundell
Wichita Work Release Alexandria Ezell

The KDOC employs more than 3,000 Kansans at eight correctional facilities, including three satellite institutions, 18 parole offices and the KDOC’s Central Office in Topeka.


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