David Szwarc — 2012 Heintz­man Lead­er­ship Award Winner

The Institute for Citizen-Centred Service’s (ICCS) Heintzman Leadership Award is a national award presented annually by the Institute to the person that the Award Selection Panel believes has demonstrated outstanding leadership within the public sector in the promotion of citizen-centred service. In particular, recipients of the Award have demonstrated superior and sustained leadership that has resulted in transformational change to the quality of public sector service delivery, both within their own jurisdictions and across jurisdictional boundaries. Past winners include: Art Daniels, David Millar, Lori MacMullen, Brian Marson, Andrew Mellor, Scott Campbell, Roy Wiseman, Bob Stark and Sue Corke.

The ICCS is proud to announce David Szwarc as the 2012 Heintzman Leadership Award winner in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of, and commitment to, citizen-centred service across all levels of government in Canada. David Szwarc has served the public for over 30 years and his commitment to citizen-centred service has transformed the organizations in which he has served, instilling in them a commitment to employee engagement and inspiring client satisfaction.

As Chief Administrative Officer of The Regional Municipality of Peel, David Szwarc has successfully reinvigorated the culture of the organization by establishing what is known as the Common Purpose. Inspired by the Public Sector Service Value Chain model, the Common Purpose is Peel’s collective commitment to investing in employee engagement, inspiring client satisfaction and instilling trust and confidence in Peel. It is meant to guide the behaviour of Peel employees and provide a common understanding of how employees are to approach their work. David Szwarc has moved the Public Sector Service Value Chain from the theoretical to the applied and, in so doing, has shown how to successfully build both organization practices as well as an organizational culture centred on citizen-service. He has excelled in measuring and addressing employee engagement, making service matter to all stakeholders, listening to and responding to citizens, and driving up trust and confidence in government.

At the Region of Peel, David Szwarc has also led the development of a comprehensive, measurable multi-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy that guides the organization and ensures an equitable work environment; ensures sensitivity to citizens and customers of diverse backgrounds to maintain/achieve trust and confidence in services delivered. This strategy includes partnering and building positive community relations.

Prior to his current position, David Szwarc served as Commissioner of Social Services and Director of Ontario Works at the Government of Ontario. David Szwarc led several important initiatives such as identification of a new approach to providing social assistance to single parents; a service improvement initiative for TransHelp (transportation services for persons with disabilities) was undertaken which analyzed operations and measured client satisfaction and improved service delivery resulted; and the “Open the Door To Better Futures” was initiated which was designed to provide single, unemployed parents with opportunity to develop employment skills, enhance self-esteem and parenting skills, and participate in their community.

Across jurisdictions and internationally, David Szwarc has demonstrated his commitment to citizen-centred service by sharing widely his experiences. He has participated in many provincial and national organizations where he has provided advice and guidance to public sector leaders about his approach to citizen-centred service.

The winner of this year’s Award truly exemplifies the high expectations embodied in the ICCS Heintzman Leadership Award.