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

7/20/2021

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2022 NALIT Legislative Staff Achievement Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2022 Winners of the Legislative Staff Achievement Award!

Brian Hurst, director of information technology, Georgia General Assembly

NALIT has selected Brian Hurst, director of information technology for the Georgia General Assembly as the recipient of the 2022 Legislative Staff Achievement Award. For 20 years, he has played an integral role in supporting the business of the General Assembly. He continues to reach out to all offices to ensure that IT is engaged and meeting the needs of all offices and members. To that end, he has assembled a team of professionals who keep the General Assembly functioning and moving forward with innovative and secure systems. He has taken the Legislature’s website and IT operations to unimaginable heights. In fact, the Georgia General Assembly website was selected for the 2021 Online Democracy Award.

All too often, the supporting role of IT is only noted when systems go down or problems occur, but he is known to all offices across both chambers as a proactive problem solver who delivers the best technology and services to the legislature. He makes certain that each office is able to perform at their peak function.  

Becky King, systems analyst in the Office of Computing and Information Technology, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

Becky King, systems analyst in the Office of Computing and Information Technology, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky has been selected to receive the 2022 NALIT Legislative Staff Achievement Award for her outstanding service to the Kentucky General Assembly.

The purpose of the Office of Computing and Information Technology is to provide for the technology needs of the Kentucky General Assembly and the staff of the Legislative Research Commission. King plays an integral part in improving the effectiveness of the legislative process by acting as a liaison between the Software Engineers and the members and legislative staff who use the systems. She is skilled at managing those relationships and helping organize the OCIT workflow. During legislative session, she is front line support on the floor of the Senate where she keeps the process running smoothly, even during past two years, which have included a lot of changes to the process.

She is an active member of both NALIT and ASLCS both attending meetings and serving on committees.

2021 Recipients

 

Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, Office of Computing and Information Technology 

The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, Office of Computing and Information Technology was selected as the NALIT recipient of the Legislative Staff Achievement Award. The office made major upgrades to its system’s technical structure while devising solutions to the operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The camaraderie and shared sense of mission that unites the OCIT team enabled them to facilitate a full legislative session under unusual circumstances. Since the House of Representatives chambers is not large enough to allow social distancing, the team made modifications to allow remote participation and created a chamber “bill book’ to provide members with up-to-the-minute information on legislation under consideration. As remote participation in committees became a priority, the OCIT staff expanded videoconferencing capabilities to every committee room. As constituent requests increased by 900% in 2020, OCIT created the applications necessary to assist legislative staff in providing the public with information. Cindy O’Dell was the NALIT 2018-19 chair, and Joel Redding was the 2014-15 chair. Joel was also a member of NCSL’s Executive Committee 2016-19. Michael Ganesan currently serves as a director of NALIT’s executive committee.  The OCIT staff works quietly behind the scenes to deliver systems to the legislature in an exemplary fashion. 

Photo: Front row (l to r) Joel Redding (Chief Information Officer), Scott Hamilton, Joey Heady, Cindy O’Dell, John Curtis, Noah Manno, Josh Allen, Becky King, Hanley Loller, Clay Sprinkles. Middle row (l to r) Michael Ganesan, Mark Pulliam, Andy Bond, Johnathan Harris, Meagan Walker, Stacy Riddle, Dove DeNigris, Sandra Fields, Zach Preston. Back row (l to r) Robert Watts, Kevin Hill, Steve Landers, John King, Michael Blankenship, Mark DeVore, Michael Harden, Brennan Newberg, Ben Watson, Mike Curry. Not pictured – Zack Griffith.

 

Virginia House of Delegates Clerk’s Office Information Technology Team 

The Virginia House of Delegates Clerk’s Office Information Technology Team moved quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic struck to configure equipment to allow legislative staff to work remotely.  For the House to convene with appropriate social distance, a large tent had to be erected and the IT Team configured the space with live streaming, large displays for voting, outdoor Wi-Fi for the members and staff and a voting system. They managed this herculean feat quickly and efficiently. This dedicated team trained members and staff on remote meeting software, created a way for the public to sign-up to testify and submit written testimony. To facilitate secure voting, 100 IPads were configured using a custom application. The 2020 special session was held on a university basketball court where again the IT Team delivered the comprehensive equipment and support to the Virginia House. The team’s biggest accomplishment and point of pride this year was the implementation of the 2021 all virtual (floor and committee meetings with public participation) session, with the Speaker presiding from the House Chamber for floor sessions. These dedicated staff are also long-standing members of NALIT, including past chairs Troy Adkins (2013-14) and Sharon Crouch Steidel (1999-2000), who frequently speak on panels and collaborate with their peers. Sharon also served on the NCSL Executive Committee, was an NCSL Standing Committee Vice Chair and was NCSL Staff Chair in 2007. The Virginia House of Delegates IT Team is commended for their commitment to the process with patience, expertise and creativity.

Photo: From left to right - Dick Kirkland, Danny Musco, Anna Mulvany, Paul Pinner, Sharon Steidel, Troy Adkins, Aubrey Stewart, Tracey James, Nikia Shaw, Jeb Benedetti.

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

2020 Award Recipients

Janet Roberson, Director and Angel Burack, Deputy Director, Delaware Legislative Information Systems

Janet Roberson and Angel Burack have shown a level of commitment that is unparalleled, Janet and Angel support the legislative process and the mission of the General Assembly by keeping the centralized drafting and chamber function programs operational and they work to adapt it to meet the General Assembly’s changing needs. An exemplary example of this is that Janet and Angel worked to develop a continuity of government plan for IT several years ago. As the COVID-19 pandemic started to unfold in the beginning of March, Janet and Angel set in motion the continuity of government plan and began discussions with staff leaders across the General Assembly and at DTI to move the General Assembly to a work from home environment. Their advance work included pre-planning for hardware and systems that resulted in the legislature’s ability to transition quickly to remote work due to COVID-19.

Now, they are working with legislative leadership and staff to ensure the General Assembly can meet virtually while ensuring that the technology used permits the legislative process to remain secure and open to the public.

Over the years, Janet and Angel have been active participants in the work of NALIT. They have shared their knowledge and the work they do for the General Assembly with other NALIT members and attended and presented on their work at NALIT conferences. NALIT is pleased to present the award to this deserving team.

Kevin G. Moore, Jr., Director of Information Technology, Vermont Office of Legislative Information Technology

Kevin Moore has exhibited the highest standards of professionalism, competence and leadership during his service as the director of the legislative information technology division. He brought a vision for the future of IT at the Vermont Legislature and undertook new initiatives in planning, oversight, and outreach. He developed strong relationships with legislative leaders and heads of staff departments and secured support and funding for significant expansion of the legislative IT systems and operations.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Kevin has been singularly responsible for enabling the continued operations of the Vermont Legislature through videoconferencing. His vision and leadership allowed the legislature to first conduct full meetings of committees, and then full sessions of both the 30-member Senate and the 150-member House of Representatives. These meetings were livestreamed on the web to provide public access to the legislative process. Kevin worked with members of the IT team to develop procedures and instructional materials, train legislative staff to act as meeting hosts and oversaw the meetings to ensure the highest quality. He worked with the chief of Capitol Police to adapt their emergency notification system into a tool for conducting remote voting in a secure and timely manner.

Kevin has been a strong supporter of NALIT and NCSL during his tenure with the legislature and has provided opportunities for Vermont legislative IT staff to participate in meetings and webinars.  NALIT is pleased to present the award to this deserving legislative staffer.

2019 Award 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 Award 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 Award 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.

Prior Years' Recipients

2020:

  • Janet Roberson, Director and Angel Burack, Deputy Director, Delaware Legislative Information Systems
  • Kevin G. Moore, Director, Vermont Legislative Information Technology

2019:

  • Hawaii House of Representatives Tech Support Services
  • Mendora Servin, California Legislative Data Center

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