Cal OES Honors Inaugural Monarch Award Recipients

Today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) unveiled its inaugural recipients of the Monarch Awards during a ceremony at Cal OES headquarters in Sacramento.

The award is given to nominated staff who exemplified Cal OES core values (Service, Integrity, Respect, Resiliency) through work that goes above and beyond what is expected. In addition to receiving the keepsake Monarch Award, winners will also have their accomplishment permanently immortalized in the Cal OES headquarters lobby.

Below is a list of the 2016 winners:

  • Yvonne Bond, Client Engineering & Telecommunications: Served as facilitator for Public Safety Communication’s Console Specification Development effort for CHP.
  • Sehar Choudhary, HQ Facilities: Responsible for new construction major projects such as the Southern Region Emergency Operations Center, the Regional Coordination Center, the Fire MX Apparatus/Warehouse shop, the Governor’s Mansion American with Disabilities Act and Security Upgrades, and the Network Operations Center
  • Rachelle Churchill, Legislation: Entrusted with some of the most key legislation impacting emergency services and homeland security.
  • Nicole Finch, Procurement: Relied upon for expertise and customer service in Procurement and Contracts division.
  • Alex Pal, Legal: As a trusted advisor and legal counsel, he’s contributed to various projects including the HazMat by Rail regulations, legal support of Human Resources and the Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program.
  • Mary Rucker, Fiscal Analysis: Established team leader with 16-plus years of Cal OES experience. Invaluable mentor who relies on transparency and accountability to set examples for her staff.
  • Amy Stewart, Office of Performance Management: Pioneered the implementation of the Mentorship program and contributed to the Idea Ambassador Corps. As the main organizing force of the Mentorship committee, she led the development of the guidance document ensuring that the committee members contributed to the effort to formulate the program.
  • Jeff Toney, Deputy Regional Administrator: As the newest manager in the Southern Region, he has been a stabilizing force in a region that has undergone numerous changes in the past eight years.
  • California State Warning Center: The central information hub for California’s entire emergency communication and notification systems. Among the Center’s responsibilities: available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; always on watch to ensure that Cal OES is at the forefront of any and all emergencies that could impact California; highly reliable and accurate “one-stop” resource for emergency management, law enforcement, and key decision making personnel throughout the state; and creates accurate reports that inform the Cal OES management, and ultimately the Governor, of the emergency management issues not only within California but also those outside of the state that may impact California

The Monarch Award program was created by the Idea Ambassador Corps’ Employee Recognition Project Charter, and is sponsored by Acting Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, Eric Lamoureux. The Recognition Committee, which is charged with reviewing and selecting the Monarch Award winners, is chaired by Public Safety Communications’ Jeannette Tyler, and includes a committee of members from across all Directorates.

For more about Cal OES, click here.


Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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