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Related Topic: Legislative Staff

Award Criteria

The ASLCS 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 NCSL.  
  • Contributing to the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries.  
  • Contributing to existing knowledge and demonstrating expertise in a particular field.  

Nominate a Peer

  • Nominations for the 2024 Legislative Staff Achievement Award are now being accepted.  
  • ASLCS’s 2024 honorees will be presented with their award at the ASLCS Lunch and Business Meeting and recognized at the “Salute to Legislative Staff” event during NCSL’s Legislative Summit, Aug. 5-7, 2024, in Louisville, Ky.  
  • Submit your nominations by May 10, 2024, via this nomination form.  
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2023 Award Recipient(s)

Finos B. “Buddy” Johnson, parliamentarian and coordinator of legislative services | Arkansas House of Representatives


Finos B. “Buddy” Johnson served as parliamentarian and coordinator of legislative services for the Arkansas House of Representatives. He began working for the House in 1985 and became Parliamentarian in 2012. After 38 years of service, he retired at the end of June. 

As coordinator of legislative services for the House of Representatives, Johnson fulfilled administrative duties related to the operation of the legislative institution. As parliamentarian, he advised the Speaker of the House and its members on points of legislative procedures and supervised staff in the processing and documentation of steps necessary to law making. He previously worked as house information director, assistant parliamentarian and as the House chief of staff. 

Before coming to the House of Representatives, he Johnson worked as a news reporter in the Little Rock bureau of United Press International and prior to that as a reporter and editor for the Benton Courier. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

He is a native of Ashdown, Ark. He and his wife, Elizabeth Findley Shores, a historian, live in Maumelle. They have two grown sons.  

Ali Sagraves, assistant clerk | Ohio House of Representatives


Ali Sagraves, Assistant Clerk, Ohio House of Representatives – 2023 ASLCS LSAA recipient  

Ali Sagraves began her service in the Clerk’s Office of the Ohio House of Representatives in December 2012, wearing hats in various roles before becoming the assistant clerk in early 2020. 

She has also been an active member of the greatest staff association of NCSL, in her opinion – the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS), since 2015.  She participated in the Associate Exchange Program, assisted with hosting a meeting, served on panels and in committee leadership roles, represented ASLCS to the Society’s Canadian counterparts, and serves on the ASLCS Executive Committee, including as the associate vice president from 2021-2022.   

She graduated from The University of Findlay in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, and political communication.  Prior to joining the Ohio House Clerk’s office, she participated in the Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Program and assisted with constituent services and legislative affairs for the Ohio Treasurer.  

She is a Kentucky transplant to Ohio, and calls Grove City her home where she is involved in her church family and frequents the town’s running trails.  She never takes it for granted that she gets to serve her state in the “People’s House” and play a very small role in “keeping” the Republic.  She enjoys working with her team in the House Clerk’s Office, helping new House staff grow in their roles, enrolling legislation and handling the changing-of-hands with the Senate, and being a resource to the members and staff on all things committee, session and parliamentary procedure. 

Previous Award Recipients

2022 Recipients

  • Jay T. Braxton, assistant clerk | Virginia House of Delegates
  • Timothy G. Sekerak, chief clerk | Oregon House of Representatives

2021 Recipients

  • Meggan Foesch, Business Manager | Wisconsin Senate
  • Megan Martin, Secretary and Parliamentarian  | Pennsylvania Senate

2020 Recipients

  • Susan W. Kannarr, Chief Clerk of the House | Kansas
  • Bernadette C. McNulty, Chief Assistant Secretary of the Senate | California

2019 Recipients

  • Brad Hendrickson, Secretary of the Senate | Washington
  • Erin Gillitzer, Senate Records and Journal Clerk | Wisconsin
  • Ted Blazel, Senate Sergeant at Arms | Wisconsin

2018 Recipients

  • Yolanda J. Dixon, First Assistant Secretary of the Senate | Louisiana
  • Susan Furlong, Chief Clerk of the Assembly | Nevada

2017 Recipients

  • Maryann Horch, Senior Systems Analyst of the Senate | Virginia
  • Steven T. James, Clerk of the House | Massachusetts

2016 Recipients

  • Janice A. Gadd, Legislative Printing Supervisor/Journal Clerk of the House | Utah
  • Sandra D. Tenney, Chief Clerk of the House | Utah

2015 Recipients

  • Norma Chastain, Assistant Chief Clerk of the House | Arizona
  • Marilyn Eddins, Chief Clerk of the House | Colorado

2014 Recipients

  • Nathan A. Hatfield, Assistant Clerk of the Senate | Virginia
  • Karen Wadsworth, Chief Clerk of the House | New Hampshire

2013 Recipients

  • Judith M. Barrows, Senior Systems Support Coordinator of the House | Maine
  • Terry L. Spieler, Secretary of the Senate | Missouri

2012 Recipients

  • Stephen R. Arias, Chief Clerk of the House | New Mexico
  • Ramona J. Kenady Line, Chief Clerk of the House | Oregon

2011 Recipients

  • Ann Cornwell, Director/Secretary of the Senate | Arkansas
  • Bruce F. Jamerson, Clerk of the House of Delegates | Virginia

2010 Recipients

  • McDowell Lee, Secretary of the Senate | Alabama
  • Patsy Spaw, Secretary of the Senate | Texas
  • Contact NCSL

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Related Resources

Legislative Staff

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