MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers announced today he is seeking nominations for the 37th annual Virginia Hart Special Recognition Award recognizing the contribution and achievements of women in Wisconsin state government.

“The Virginia Hart Award has always emphasized celebrating women in state government dedicated to serving the people of Wisconsin and who go above and beyond to help others,” said Gov. Evers. “There is no doubt that Ms. Hart’s leadership and tremendous legacy live on through this award.”

Virginia Hart was Wisconsin’s first woman to hold the position of cabinet secretary, serving as Secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing, chairperson of the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, and chairperson of the Labor and Industry Review Commission.  Following her retirement, Ms. Hart’s friends and colleagues established a fund in 1983 to annually recognize the contributions of a woman in state government.

The Virginia Hart Award recognizes “unsung heroines” in state service who share the following qualities: esteem from peers; acceptance of responsibility beyond the limits of the nominee’s job description; sustained, extraordinary achievement of assigned tasks; performance recognition from clients; community service; self-improvement; and overcoming handicaps to performance.

Nominations may be made by anyone and are accepted through October 2, 2020. All women employed in state government are eligible. The winner will receive $250 and will be honored via a pre-recorded, virtual award ceremony that will debut online on October 30, 2020. 

The Virginia Hart Award is administered by the Department of Administration (DOA). The nomination form and additional eligibility requirements are available here. Please submit all nominations by October 2, 2020 to: Hart Recognition Committee, Attn: Nicole Guardiola, by email at:

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