Joyce Turner, the first and only director of the state’s Department of Enterprise Services, is headed out the door. Turner told agency workers in an email message on Wednesday she has submitted a resignation letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, whose spokeswoman said Turner was had been under consideration to stay on.
The agency is Washington’s newest, formed in fall 2011 in a merger of five state agencies into three, and Turner reported last December the merger was saving the state money. DES has about 870 full-time equivalent employees, according to the state’s budget web site, fiscal.wa.gov.
DES provides a broad range of state services from accounting to personnel, printing, real estate, building maintenance and vehicle fleets. Known as General Administration before the merger, DES now occupies the state’s newest and most expensive building – which also houses the State Data Center – at 1500 Jefferson St., east of the Capitol.
Turner did not indicate what she plans to do next, and her spokesman said she declined to be interviewed. In her note to employees, she wrote:
Dear Enterprise Services Team,
It is with mixed emotions that I write to let you know that I have submitted my resignation to Governor Inslee. I am comfortable with this decision and am confident that he will choose a great leader for Enterprise Services.
I am very proud of the work that we began together. In just 18 months this amazing team has tackled many tasks and challenges required by one of the largest consolidations in state government history. We began melding the cultures brought together from the transition of five state agencies into one.
At the same time we took on new challenges such as procurement reform, the Time, Leave and Attendance project, a major central service rate restructuring, and building a lean culture. We have been wise stewards of state resources and saved nearly $70 million to help the state budget. We also handled major issues such as Occupy Olympia, and a record snow fall that tested all parts of our brand new agency, all the while continuing to provide the wide variety of quality services that Enterprise Services performs admirably day in and day out for the people of Washington.
You are a resilient, strong team tackling the many challenges we face every day. I have always said I had the best job in the agency because I got to tell the story of your incredible accomplishments. I have loved working here and will miss you all and the great work we have done together.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. I have been challenged, I have learned from you and had fun along the way. I will always be a fan and will be watching and rooting for you and Enterprise Services’ success.
I will work closely with my successor when the new director is named to insure a seamless transition. I will let you know when my last day in the office will be. In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do and I know that you will continue on to provide the high quality service our customers have come to expect from us.
Again, thank you for everything.
Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said Turner had been under consideration to remain in the job.
“She let us know she was stepping down before she sent the letter. We’re currently in the process of reviewing applicants,” Smith said. As for finding a replacement, Smith said there will not be a national search. “The process is underway, though our goal is to find the best people to hire, not the fastest.”