Wendy Morton was honored as the 2019 Pat Hall Volunteer of the Year at this year’s annual convention and delegate assembly held in august. She is an employee of the Department of Human Services but previously worked for the Oklahoma State Department of health and was one of the approximately 180 employees who were let go when the OSDH had their financial mismanagement problems. During that time she served as an advocate, spokesperson and leader of the group of terminated employees despite her job loss. She has carried that role over to other areas of state employment and works to make Oklahoma a better place to work.
“Wendy is extremely valuable as a resource to let OPEA leadership know how things are going with her agency and her previous agency. She is engaged with her workplace and with OPEA, “ said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley.
She is also a great spokesperson for state employees. When OPEA needed a volunteer to speak on camera with reporters, she never said no even though telling her story about her experience with OSDH might be difficult. It was critical that the state employees who were let go have their side told and Wendy did so admirably. She is very effective at telling her story to reporters on camera, and sometimes that’s not an easy thing to do for anyone, especially a state employee.
Back when the OSDH layoffs were occurring, she also kept OPEA informed so they would be able to act on the information. She was also a great liaison (although unofficial) with other employees.
She knows the value of state services at her agency and others as well and she is willing to spread that knowledge to other Oklahomans. Her experience has led to her taking on a leadership role as Region Four Director and was sworn in earlier this year.
Former OPEA director Pat Hall, for whom the award is named, presented the award to Wendy.