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Director's Award Recipients
Director's Award Recipients
2023 - James King and Nicholas White
Resident Unit Manager James King and Acting Assistant Deputy Warden Nicholas White at the Central Michigan Correctional Facility were selected as the 2023 Michigan Department of Corrections Director's Award winners for their efforts in assisting the facility with recruitment. The two planned and executed recruiting events in the community and hosted more than 200 interviews.
The Director's Award is the highest honor awarded to employees of the MDOC. RUM King and A/ Assistant Deputy Warden White also received the Department's Professional Excellence Award for recognizing burnout among their colleagues due to working several hours of overtime each week and taking action to help relieve them. The two worked as a team, partnering with local agencies to bring awareness of careers at their facility and with the Department. They developed marketing material and organized volunteers for the events. They arranged for applicants to experience the whole interview process at their recruiting events, even making sure each applicant had access to computers to submit their applications on the spot.
RUM King and A/ADW White’s innovative ideas and willingness to step up and help their colleagues in a time of need is an excellent example of teamwork. The pair's work has allowed their facility to drop its vacancy rate to only 5%, which has boosted morale in the facility.
RUM King has worked for the Department for nearly 20 years, and A/Assistant Deputy Warden White has worked for the Department for 23 years.
The Director's Award is traditionally awarded to a single person who displays excellent work ethic, leadership, and professionalism. This year is the first time the Director's Award has been awarded to two individuals.Image of Resident Unit Manager (RUM) James King and Acting Assistant Deputy Warden Nicholas White with Warden Gary Miniard
2022 - Kristy ClosserKristy Closser, Corrections Program Coordinator at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility was selected as the winner of the 2022 Michigan Department of Corrections Director’s Award for being approachable, reliable, and resourceful as well as her attention to detail with her intake duties.
The Director’s Award is the highest honor that can be presented to employees of the MDOC. CPC Closser also received the Department’s Professional Excellence Award for her work drafting an instruction manual for Transcase Processor Duties at WHV. The user-friendly manual includes screenshots and helpful examples for staff to follow.
CPC Closser remains focused on quality assurance. She went through the whole WHV population to ensure they all have a property risk screen and an assaultive risk screen and even went through programming waitlists to ensure offenders were receiving proper programming that would benefit them.
CPC Closser has worked for the Department since 1996, where she began as a Corrections Officer. She transitioned to a Corrections Transportation Officer from 1998 to 2000 when she returned to a Corrections Officer position at Camp Brighton and Camp Valley. She was promoted to Corrections Program Coordinator in 2007.Image of Kristy Closser and Warden Jeremy Howard
2021 - Keith Clegg
Keith Clegg, Sergeant at the Kinross Correctional Facility was selected as the winner of the 2021 Michigan Department of Corrections Director's Award for his efforts in assisting the facility by creating emergency processes and assisting staff with his excellent leadership skills.
The Director's Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon employees of the MDOC. Sgt. Clegg also received the department's Professional Excellence Award for his work supervising all food service operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. When food service leadership and staff were unable to work due to COVID-19, Sgt. Clegg used his experience as a restaurant owner to train reassigned staff to prepare and serve meals and acquired the necessary supplies to ensure food service at Kinross Correctional Facility stayed a smooth operation throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sgt. Clegg has worked for the department since 1999, where he began in Food Service. He transitioned to a Corrections Officer in 2013 and was promoted to Sergeant in 2017.
Sgt. Clegg is a team player, often going out of his way to enhance the work environment at the facility. He often donates food from his own restaurants, Pure Country located in Rudyard and Sault Ste. Marie, for work events and is known to be a mentor to many staff at the facility.Image of Sgt. Keith Clegg with Director Washington
2020 - No RecipientDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no 2020 Director's Award recipient.
2019 - Jennifer Metro
Jennifer Metro, prison counselor at the Kinross Correctional Facility, received the 2019 Director’s Award for her efforts at recruiting new staff, and her volunteer work with the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the Special Olympics.
The Director’s Award is the highest honor that can be presented to employees of the MDOC. Metro also received the department’s Professional Excellence Award for her work and volunteer activity.
Metro has worked for the department since 1997, where she began as a corrections officer at the Newberry Correctional Facility. During her time, she has worked at several facilities in the Upper Peninsula and she has been promoted over the years. She often takes on extra responsibilities at work, including being part of the statewide audit team and the MDOC’s recruitment team.
In her recruitment efforts, she spends a large amount of her time at community events, communicating with the public about the many job opportunities available within the department. At the facility, she mentors new staff, and is a positive role model for all employees.Image of Prison Counselor Jennifer Metro
2018 - Matthew Clausen
Matthew Clausen, an Institutional Training Officer at Ojibway Correctional Facility, received the 2018 Director’s Award for his involvement in developing improved training for corrections staff statewide.
The Director’s Award is the highest honor that can be presented to employees of the MDOC. Clausen also received the department’s Professional Excellence Award for his efforts.
Clausen said he loves his work and considers his colleagues an inspiration.
Clausen, who also has served as an Emergency Response Team commander, has worked for the department for almost 18 years and started his career as a corrections officer.
He has helped produce a number of training videos for the department and oversees training for staff at his facility. He also assisted in the installation and development of a new camera system at Ojibway Correctional Facility, developed a system that helps keeps staff informed during facility mobilizations and speaks at Gogebic Community College on careers in corrections.Image of Institutional Training Officer Matthew Clausen and Director Washington
2017 - James FultsJames Fults was the recipient of the 2017 Michigan Department of Corrections Director’s Award for his tireless efforts both on and off the job to showcase the Vocational Village to prospective employers and to assist students in the program in securing gainful employment in their trade.
The Director’s Award is the highest honor that can be presented to employees of the MDOC.
Fults serves as the employment counselor for the Vocational Village at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility.
In that role he assists students with career scope programming and ensures they have the necessary tools needed to prepare for job interviews. He also spends time after hours calling employers and scheduling job interviews for students and tours of the Vocational Village.
Fults has only worked for the department for two years, and already had shown a high level of dedication, devotion and hard work, which is why he earned a Professional Excellence Award before also receiving the Director’s Award.Image of James Fults and Director Washington