Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts Presented with the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Leadership Award
Dave Byers was honored Thursday, August 30th at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns' annual meeting, where he was the recipient of the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Leadership Award.
The statewide awards were created to recognize non-elected public servants and are named in honor of Gabe Zimmerman, Gabrielle Giffords’ director of community outreach who was among those who lost their lives during the tragic shooting in Tucson on January 8, 2011.
Honorees are judged on their achievements and contributions to making a profound difference in improving public service and upholding the public interest with integrity.
"These exemplary public servants represent the spirit of service to the public by which Gabe Zimmerman lived his life. They represent the best of the more than 100,000 professional public servants working at all levels of Arizona government," said Dr. Lattie Coor, in a press release announcing the award winners. Dr. Coor is Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona.
Dave currently serves as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts and has for the past 20 years. His position is like that of a CEO for the entire Arizona court system. He oversees a system that employs 10,000 people, operates in more than 200 locations and processes more than three million cases per year.
The nomination, submitted by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca Berch and Retired Chief Justice Ruth McGregor stated, “In the recent history of Arizona’s Judiciary, no person has dedicated as much time, energy, and commitment to improving the administration of justice as Dave Byers. He is a selfless public servant who consistently strives to make the courts accessible and accountable. His ability to be a voice for the community when working with elected and appointed officials makes him the ideal candidate for this award.”
The nomination went on to say, “Dave’s service and lifelong dedication to and leadership in public service fulfill the spirit of this wonderful public service leadership award.”
Dave has helped keep Arizona on the forefront of modern court practices. Arizona was among the first to embrace Evidence Based Practices for probation departments, to regulate fiduciaries who oversee the welfare of vulnerable persons, and to create a volunteer “CASA” (court appointed special advocate) program to help guide children through the court system.
Among his many accomplishments is the Foster Care Review Board system that engages statewide citizen volunteers to review cases. The program is recognized as a national model by the National Project of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and by the U.S. Department of Justice
The 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards are sponsored by the Center for the Future of Arizona, the County Supervisors Association of Arizona, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. Other awards winners included Doug Bartosh for the Civic Engagement Award, and Michael Hemesath for the Innovation Award.
To learn more about the Gabe Zimmerman award visit, http://www.thearizonawewant.org/zimmerman/honorees-2012.php