National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT) Legislative Staff Achievement Award Winners

8/12/2019

Awards

Beginning in 1997, each of the NCSL staff professional associations were given the opportunity to recognize among their membership two legislative staff or agencies who made outstanding contributions to their legislatures and to the staff association.

The award was established through the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee as a means of recognizing excellence in service to state legislatures. In addition to the staff professional association honorees, the staff chair(s) of the NCSL Standing Committees may select up to two additional award recipients.

Legislative Staff Achievement Award

The NALIT Legislative Staff Achievement Award was created to recognize excellence in supporting the work of a state legislature and strengthening the legislative institution. Recipients are recognized for:

  • Helping to improve the effectiveness of the legislative institution.
  • Supporting the legislative process and the mission of the legislature.
  • Exhibiting a high degree of professionalism, competence, and integrity in serving the legislature and the public.
  • Contributing to the work of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • Contributing to the National Association of Legislative Information Technology.
  • Contributing to existing knowledge/demonstrating expertise in a particular field.

For more information, see the award criteria and eligibility or contact Pam Greenberg, NCSL Staff Liaison to NALIT, NCSL Denver Office.

2019 Recipients

Hawaii House of Representatives Tech Support Services

The Hawaii House Technology staff took it upon themselves to develop several software programs to improve the legislative process. They worked to automate and streamline the way legislators follow the Order of the Day on their laptop in the House Chamber. They also streamlined how public testimony is processed by the committee vice-chairs, wherein testimony packages are made available for members on a more-timely basis for their committee hearings. They also upgraded the previous House gateway by modernizing the look and ease of accessing legislative information on the main page. Lastly, the team created an on-line program that allows members and their staff to better track their legislative allowance, vacation and sick leave hours monthly. NALIT is pleased to present the award to this deserving team.

Mendora Servin, California Legislative Data Center

After devoting 25 years to supporting the legislative process, legislative information technology and the legislative institution, Mendora Servin retired early this year. In each of those 25 years, she made significant contributions resulting in the implementation of major applications that transformed business functions and legislative staff efficiency. She also made contributions to colleagues from many other states enabling better support of legislative institutions and legislatures outside of California. She also contributed to the development of national and international technical standards. In addition, Mendora has shared her expertise with NSCL and NALIT members for many years, and she leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of work.

2018 Recipients

California Legal Services 2.0 Project Team

The California OLC Legal Services system was selected based on several features that had a direct affect on both staff and legislators. These included the scope of their project, successful project management including aligning project deliverables with the legislative deadlines and business process, and improvements to the bill drafting system including customized work flows, search functionality, bill tracking and bill drafting. The project required collaboration between end users, testers, customer support, developers, and infrastructure staff. This was a highly technical project, and the technologies and methodologies were identified in the nomination. The project also redesigned the existing security model for efficiency. California also has a lengthy history of direct involvement with NALIT and NCSL, and has made presentations at NALIT meetings about their projects.

Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems’ Document Compare Team

The Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems’ Document Compare program was selected based on the technical difficulty of creating a comparison program that handles special character formatting and works with multiple file formats. While this system does not impact the public directly, the nomination documented a savings of approximately 970 staff hours of work during the two-month session earlier in 2018. This is a significant time savings that will impact the public and legislators indirectly in the form of improved and accurate bill drafts. In addition, DLAS staff have participated in NALIT sessions about various projects.

 

2017 Recipients

South Carolina Legislative Services Agency Committee Technology Team
NALIT recognizes the South Carolina Legislative Services Agency (LSA) Committee Technology Team for its creative approach that streamlines committee meetings and reduces reliance on paper-based processes. Team members are Scott Gage, Bruce Ellsworth, Kevin Coats, Anthony Amaker, and Michael Stroupe.

The team created a dashboard that allows staff of the House Ways & Means Committee to add and remove documents from the agenda, to distribute content to committee members, publish items to the public-facing website and take digital meeting notes.

Committee members have Microsoft Surface tablets (set in ‘kiosk’ mode), allowing members to follow along with agenda items in real-time and to read and review documents within agenda view or in full-screen view.

As documents are digitally introduced to the committee, they also are instantly published to the www.scstatehouse.gov website, empowering the public to evaluate committee documents in real-time while watching a live-stream of the meeting.

We congratulate the team for their success and contributions.

The Team of Hobie Lehman and Jonathan Palmore, Senate of Virginia
The team of Jonathan Palmore and Hobie Lehman at the Virginia Senate are recognized for developing an electronic committee voting system that has system has created tremendous efficiencies and helps improve the flow of the legislative process.

The system allows one person to clerk and manage committee meetings instead of several. Information is captured electronically, and votes and bills are reviewed quickly, then released to the system. Information is then pulled to the web and into the calendar. The votes are uploaded to the Legislative Information System without having to be manually input.

Most notably, the new system incorporates many of the unique and complex nuances of the Virginia Senate’s rules, including proxies. When a Senator needs to leave a committee meeting to present their bill to another committee, they can now submit a proxy electronically. The Committee Clerk no longer needs to manually keep track of "who left who" their proxy. Proxy management is now done electronically.

We are pleased to recognize the team’s accomplishments with this award.
 

2016 Award Recipients

Joel Redding, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

The National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT) recognizes Joel Redding, deputy chief information officer for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC), in recognition of his active involvement and support of NALIT and for his contributions to the Kentucky Legislature.

In his role as deputy chief information officer, Joel has served as technical lead of chamber automation and voting system upgrades and has overseen the transition of LRC computer systems from various legacy programs to modern .NET systems.

Joel also serves as webmaster for the legislature, and has enhanced and automated many website features and created uniformity across the legislative web site. He also developed one of the first state legislative mobile device web interfaces. His understanding of the legislative process and the important role of technology has helped staff and legislators accomplish their roles and serve the public.

Joel also is an active member of NALIT. He served as Chair of NALIT in 2014-15, and currently leads the NALIT Nominating Committee. Joel also served as NALIT Secretary, Vice-Chair, and as a Director of NALIT. He has been an active member of several Professional Development Seminar Planning Committees, and in 2008, he coordinated and co-hosted a successful seminar in Louisville, Ky. Joel has also served as a moderator or speaker at numerous NALIT sessions over the years.

Joel’s many roles within the legislature and in NALIT are evidence of his dedication and willingness to go above and beyond in everything he does. We are pleased to present Joel with the 2016 award. 

2015 Award Recipients

Ronda Tentarelli, Washington

NALIT is pleased to award Ronda Tentarelli, applications support group manager, Legislative Service Center (LSC), with this award for her service to the Washington Legislature, to the legislative institution and to NALIT and NCSL.

Ronda was selected for this award for her dedication to providing the best support, software products, and advice possible to her customers—legislators and legislative staff. Some of the specific projects and systems she has contributed to include:

  • A committee sign-in system.
  • An online bill comment system for the public to send comments about bills to legislators.
  • Document naming conventions, which assist the public in understanding the process associated with a legislative document.
  • Floor activity reports.
  • Redesign of the legislature’s website.

Ronda also helps to coordinate and develop ideas for NALIT sessions and has spoken at NALIT meetings. She has served on several NALIT committees over the years, and also has contributed to other NCSL staff sections and NCSL activities.

South Carolina Legislative Services Agency (LSA)
NALIT recognizes the staff of the South Carolina Legislative Services Agency (LSA) for their work in support of the legislative institution. In the past year, the LSA embarked on major improvements to the legislature’s infrastructure that are critical to legislative operations, including the following:

  • Complete renovation of the 35-year old data center and network operations center.
  • Design and creation of a “Chamber Dashboard,” a user-friendly interface to monitor chamber activity and transparent flow of business in real time.
  • Cutting edge installation of Xirrus access points, maximizing wireless coverage and performance while reducing equipment requirements and costs.
  • Upgrade of the legislature’s VOIP system to a hosted Mitel/AT&T solution.
  • Replacement of the sound/microphone system with a multi-media system that provides improved features.
  • Implementation of an authentication verification system that uses biometric fingerprint technology to increase security and user convenience.
  • Installation and implementation of a FireEye cybersecurity system.

The LSA staff undertook these complex and time sensitive projects and delivered them successfully for the legislature. View videos about these accomplishments

This award also recognizes Gigi Brickle, former Director of the LSA, now retired, for her contributions to NALIT and NCSL. Gigi served as a NALIT Director and committee member, spoke at NALIT sessions was a strong advocate for the value of involvement in NALIT and NCSL.

National Association of Legislative Information Technology Staff Award Recipients 1997-2019

 

Year

Recipient

   
2019

Hawaii House of Representatives Tech Support Services

Mendora Servin, California

2018

California Legal Services 2.0 Project Team

Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems’ Document Compare Team

2017

South Carolina Legislative Services Agency Committee Technology Team

Team of Hobie Lehman and Jonathan Palmore, Senate of Virginia

   
2016 Joel Redding, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky
   
2015 Ronda Tentarelli, Applications Support Group manager, Legislative Service Center (LSC), Washington
South Carolina Legislative Services Agency (LSA)
   
2014 California Senate Internet Project Team
Tennessee General Assembly Dashboard Team
   
2013 Gary Schaefer, Information Systems Coordinator, Louisiana Senate
Wisconsin Legislative Technology Services Bureau (LTSB), Software Development Team 
   
2012

Jonathan Palmore, Senior Assistant Clerk of Technology, Virginia Senate

The Team of Steve Dustin, Gopali Nanda, and Heather Kohler, Office of Information Systems, Maryland Department of Legislative Services

   
2011
Linda Pittsford, Deputy Director and Senate Affairs Liaison, Information Systems Division, Texas Legislative Council
Idaho Legislature’s GEMS Development Team
   
2010
Team of Mark Allred, Richard Amon and Stan Eckersley, Utah Legislature
Terri Clark, Assistant Director for Infrastructure, Kansas Legislature
   
2009

Maryann Trauger, Manager of Information Technology Services, North Dakota Legislative Council

Florida House of Representatives “Pericles” Project, House IT Office 
   
2008
Gary Wieman, Network Manager, Legislative Technology Center, Nebraska
 
 
2007
Illinois Legislative Information System Chamber Services Team
Virginia Senate Clerk's Office and the Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems
   
2006
Michael Adams, Director, Legislative Information Services, Colorado
Team of Lou Adamson and Scott Darnall, Legislative Research Council, South Dakota
   
2005
Tim Rice, Executive Director Illinois Legislative Information System
Washington State Electronic Bill Book Team
 
 
2004
Rick Johnson, Senior Software Engineer, Legislative Service, Washington
Dave Larson, Director, Legislative Computer Services, Kansas
 
 
2003
Sean Johnson, Former director of Information Technology, Florida House of Representatives
Allan Smith, Manager, Information Systems, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada
 
 
2002
Ann Mclaughlin, Director Legislative System, Office of the Controller General, Delaware
Jim Swain, Chief Information Officer, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky
   
2001
Sharon Crouch, House of Delegates, Virginia 
Danny Jackson, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky
 
 
2000
Sandy Scharf, Director, Legislative Computer Support Bureau, Iowa
Jeffrey Blanchard, House Drafting Office, Florida
 
 
1999
Mark Allred, Research & Systems Analyst, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah
Nebraska Legislative Technology Center, Office of the Clerk of the Legislature
 
 
1998
William E. Behnk, Coordinator, Legislative Information Systems, California
Jim Greenwalt, Director, Senate Information Systems & Administrative Services, Minnesota
 
 
1997
Missouri House Automation Development Team
Herman Pearson, Wisconsin Legislature

 

 

About the National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT).

The National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT) provides legislative information technology managers and staff with opportunities for training, professional growth and information sharing. NALIT is one of ten professional staff associations at NCSL. The relationships that develop out of the sections create a unique network for assistance, consultation and support.

Additional Resources