Picture of ballot2008 Legislative Staff Achievement Awards

The NCSL Legislative Staff Sections annually present Legislative Staff Achievement Awards to recognize staff excellence in supporting the work of a state legislature and strengthening the legislative institution.  Each of the staff sections may make two awards, and each decides the criteria for its awards.  The staff chair of the NCSL Standing Committees also may name two award recipients.  Examples of accomplishments recognized by the Legislative Staff Achievement Award include, but are not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Demonstrating expertise in a particular field.
  • Contributing to existing knowledge.

Recipients' Citations by Staff Section/Network/Group

Standing Committee Staff Chair's Awards
American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)
Leadership Staff Section (LSS)
Legal Services Staff Section (LSSS)
Legislative Education Staff Network (LESN)
Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS)
Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section (LRL)
National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO)
National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT)
National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)
National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA)
Research and Committee Staff Section (RACSS)


Adobe PDF Complete document includes Recipients' Citations by Staff Sections/Network/Groups (12-pages)


NCSL Standing Committees - Staff Chair's Awards

  • Marti Harkness, Staff Director, Criminal Justice, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), Florida Legislature
    Marti has worked with OPPAGA since 1992, and is now the staff director for criminal justice, which puts him in charge of criminal justice policy review for the legislature.  This position requires him to work with legislators, state agencies and the governor's office and to supervise the work of a number of staff.

    Along with all that, Marti has generously contributed time, energy and skill to NCSL. He has been chair of the Law and Criminal Justice Committee, vice chair and chair of the Standing Committees, a member of the RACSS executive committee, and a member of NLPES, the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee and the NCSL Task Force on Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.  Currently, Marti is vice chair of the LSCC Standing Committee Special Workgroup. He's a fan of and specialist in e-learning techniques and has contributed materials and ideas to LSCC and NCSL groups who are fostering e-learning.  He never loses his sense of humor, and he contributes significantly to every responsibility he takes on.  No one is more deserving of recognition for all-around achievement.

     
  • Terrance Sullivan, Director, Division of Research, North Carolina General Assembly (retired)
    Terry Sullivan is the recently retired director of research for the North Carolina General Assembly.  He was instrumental in developing research services for the General Assembly.  When Terry started in 1972, fresh out of law school, he was one of a two-member research office.  He became director of research in 1979 and served in that capacity until he retired in 2008.  By then, the office included 45 staff, 30 of them legislative attorneys and policy analysts.

    Terry's lifelong public service and evenhanded approach have earned him the respect of members of both parties.  With modesty, fairness and a commitment to nonpartisanship, Terry has served the General Assembly and the people of North Carolina with distinction.  As a mark of the respect in which he is held in the state, when he retired he was named "Tar Heel of the Week" by the Raleigh News and Observer.

    Terry's involvement in NCSL included membership in the NCSL Legislative Effectiveness Committee, the Legal Services Staff Section and the Research and Committee Staff Section.  He has been a RACSS officer, member of the executive committee, program planner and newsletter coordinator. 

    Terry's long record of outstanding contributions to the smooth functioning of the North Carolina General Assembly speaks for itself.  He has established an institution that is essential to the General Assembly's work.  We are sorry to lose him from active legislative service, and wish him the very best in the years ahead.

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Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

American

  • Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the Virginia Senate
    The American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries recognizes Susan Clarke Schaar for her outstanding contributions to the Virginia Senate and her distinguished service to ASLCS and NCSL.  Susan has been with the Virginia Senate since 1974 and was elected as clerk in 1990.  She has served in every leadership role available to principal ASLCS members, including president, secretary-treasurer, executive committee member and ASLCS committee chair, as well as staff chair of the NCSL standing committees.  She has served as NCSL staff chair and as a member of NCSL executive committee and Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, among other roles.  She is honored with this award for her leadership, her devotion to and love of the Virginia Senate, the mentoring and support she provides to her staff and colleagues, and her exemplary commitment to the legislative process.

     
  • Jeannine Wood, Secretary of the Idaho Senate
    The American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries recognizes Jeannine Wood for her outstanding contributions to the Idaho Senate and her distinguished service to ASLCS and NCSL.  Jeannine has served in the Idaho Senate since 1976 and was elected secretary of the Senate in 1990.  She has been a member of the ASLCS executive committee and has chaired four standing committees, with multiple years as chair of the bylaws and standing orders and roster committees.  Jeannine was chosen for this honor for her experience with and commitment to the Idaho Senate and ASLCS, her steadfast dedication to the legislative institution and her willingness to serve, lead and share her expertise with others. 

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Leadership Staff Section (LSS)


  • Nancy Butcher, Administrative Assistant, Committee on Finance, House of Delegates, West Virginia
    Nancy Butcher has worked for the committee on finance of the West Virginia House of Delegates since 1997.  She has held different positions from receptionist to assistant to the committee.  She also serves as the NCSL state ambassador for West Virginia.

    Nancy became involved in the Leadership Staff Section in 2000.  In 2004-2005, she was chair of the Leadership Staff Section.  She has also served on various LSS committees.

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Legal Services Staff Section (LSSS)


  • Mark Brown, Director, Legal Division, Texas Legislative Council (retired)
    Mark Brown faithfully served the Texas Legislature from 1976 to 2008, through 15 regular sessions and 29 special sessions. He retired as the council's legal director in February 2008.  Throughout his employment with the council, Mr. Brown's two defining characteristics were his integrity and his loyalty to his coworkers, the council, the Texas Legislature and the state of Texas.

    During his long tenure, Mr. Brown amassed a number of significant legal accomplishments. Among the most substantial was his role as the chief revisor for one of the state's most important codification projects, the Texas Local Government Code.  When passed, the code stretched to six volumes and 1,524 pages and addressed everything from municipal organization to public safety. 
    In addition to his legal expertise, Mark was also an excellent manager.  When he first entered the legal division's senior management in 1989, he was one of 15 attorneys who drafted approximately 11,000 documents during a regular session.  During his last regular session in 2007, Mark oversaw more than 40 attorneys who produced more than 25,000 legislative documents.  Mark's vision was instrumental in the division's smooth transition over the past two decades to a larger, more specialized staff with complex responsibilities and technological sophistication.  The Legal Services Staff Section is proud to recognize his long and notable career.

     
  • M. Gay Taylor, General Counsel, Utah Legislature (retired)
    The Legal Services Staff Section recognizes M. Gay Taylor for her distinguished service as general counsel to the Utah Legislature for 23 years.  During her tenure, she worked to establish the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel as a professional and respected legal and policy office. 
    She implemented the use of plain language in bill drafting so that the citizens of Utah could better understand the law.  She supervised significant revisions of major portions of Utah statutes, including the Tax, Human Services, Election, Judicial, Retirement, Insurance, Motor Vehicle, Transportation, Special Districts, Labor codes, the Government Records Access and Management Act and Legislative Rules.

    She led efforts that resulted in a unanimous Utah Supreme Court decision that established the Utah Legislature's exclusive right to judge the election and qualifications of its members.

    Gay has served in several capacities on the executive committee of the Legal Services Staff Section and was the chair of the section from 1992 to 1993.  Since 1987, she has served as a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and has achieved the status of life member.  The staff section takes pride in recognizing her contributions to the State of Utah. 

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  • Kathy Hanlon, Legislative Services Agency, Iowa
    LESN is pleased to recognize Kathy Hanlon for excellence in service to the Iowa General Assembly and to the Legislative Education Staff Network.  Kathy has served the Iowa General Assembly for 17 years. As the senior nonpartisan education drafter and staffer for the Legislative Services Agency, Kathy is involved in all aspects of pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education legislation, including education appropriations.  In addition, Kathy has served as NCSL's America's Back to School Program state coordinator for six years.  She also served as a member of the NCSL Task Force on School Leadership from 2001-2003.

    Kathy is sought after for her nonpartisan education drafting knowledge and expertise by legislators, partisan and nonpartisan staff, and those stakeholders in the education community.  Throughout her tenure, she has demonstrated the highest level of professionalism, competence and integrity in her service to the Iowa General Assembly and the public.

    Kathy is actively involved in NCSL and the Education Commission of the States.  She has served as an LESN steering committee member for seven years and as ECS co-chair in 2005 and 2006. She assisted with LESN goal planning, co-drafted the network's mission statement, presided over the 2006 summer seminar, participated in LESN working groups to increase network participation, assisted with planning for LESN's 20th anniversary celebration and moderated LESN sessions.  Kathy continues to share her knowledge and expertise with education staff throughout the country via the LESN listserv by responding to inquiries and posting useful information. 

    Thank you, Kathy, for your years of service to the Iowa General Assembly and to the Legislative Education Staff Network!

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Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS)

 

  • Wendy Madsen, Legislative Information Office, Wyoming Legislature Service Office
    The Legislative Information and Communications Staff Section recognizes Wendy Madsen for distinguished service to the Wyoming Legislature, NCSL and LINCS.  Wendy is a tireless worker who is always aware of the latest trends and technology in the legislative communications field.  Wendy joined LINCS in 2002 and served as secretary and later president of the staff section.  She continues to serve on the LINCS executive board and makes valuable contributions to build the membership of the staff section.  Wendy has always been an avid supporter of LINCS and NCSL and an active contributor to committees, sessions and meetings.  Everyone knows Wendy exhibits a high degree of energy, professionalism, competence and integrity in her home state of Wyoming and among her peers across the country.

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Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section (LRL)

 

  • Susan Gilley, Library Administrator, Oklahoma Legislature
    The Legislative Research Librarians are happy to honor Susan Gilley, who has given more than 30 years of service to the Oklahoma Legislature.  She was librarian in the Legislative Council from 1977 to 1981, head of the Legislative Reference Division of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries from 1985 to 2000 and, since 2000, administrator of the Law and Legislative Reference Divisions.

    Susan has initiated a service to alert legislators and staff to newly received publications and serial articles, created classes for legislative office assistants and public librarians in using online resources for legislative and legal research and has assigned specific portions of the monograph collection to librarians so comprehensive weeding and updating the collection is done continuously. 
     
    In addition, Susan helped create the Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section.  She worked on the first professional development seminar in 1989, the bibliographies project and the first core reference list.  She chaired the staff section in 1990 and 1991, has been a regional coordinator, a member of the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee and a member of the NCSL Task Force on International Legislative Cooperation.
     
    She is also active in the Oklahoma Library Association and has served on a variety of committees, including program planning, and is currently co-chair of the ethics committee.  She previously chaired the reference roundtable and the technical services roundtable, planning workshops and conference programs.  She is also a member of both the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries and the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries.

    LRL is proud to recognize Susan's distinguished service to her legislature, the state of Oklahoma, NCSL and her professional colleagues.

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National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO)

 

  • Hadley Johnson, Jr., Deputy Legislative Analyst, California Legislative Analyst's Office
    Hadley Johnson has worked in the Legislative Analyst’s Office for 32 years.  He is one of two deputy legislative analysts and supervises analyses of about half of the state’s budget--approximately $145 billion in expenditures.  He is a policy expert on a wide range of issues, including health, social services, transportation, criminal justice and resources. 

    During his tenure at the LAO, Hadley has played a key role in the office’s most significant publications such as an analysis of the Health Care Security and Cost Control Act in 2008 and Welfare Reform in California:  A Welfare-to-Work Approach, a document that helped lay the groundwork for the state’s welfare reform legislation in 1997.  In responding to term limits in California in 1990, under Hadley’s leadership, LAO developed primers that document the operation of various state funded programs in order to provide new members with valuable information.  NALFO is happy to have the opportunity to recognize his distinguished career.

     
  • Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Property Tax Team, Indiana Legislative Services Agency
    During the 2008 legislative session, the Property Tax Team of the Indiana Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis played a key role in passage of comprehensive property tax reduction legislation.  In mid 2007,  the governor and General Assembly prepared for property tax reform in the 2008 legislative session.  They charged the Property Tax Team with developing an automated model that would predict changes in tax bills based on different combinations of policy inputs. 

    OFMA developed a model that calculated changes in property tax bills for homesteads, other residential property, business, real and personal property for every school district and civil taxing unit in every county in the state.  The model was ultimately used to develop the policy changes that were part of the legislation that passed both houses with overwhelming bipartisan support and has been hailed as landmark property tax reform.  The model was not only used by legislators, but by mayors and county officials, school officials, business, trade groups and others.

    NALFO is happy to recognize this outstanding achievement and to publicize the essential contributions that analysis and creativity on the part of legislative staff have in crafting legislation. 

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National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT)

 

  • Gary Wieman, Network Manager, Legislative Technology Center, Nebraska
    The National Association of Legislative Information Technology is pleased to present the 2008 NALIT Staff Achievement Award to Gary Wieman for his many contributions to NALIT, NCSL and the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.  Gary served an unusual two terms as NALIT chair in 2006 and 2007 due to an unexpected vacancy and has served in a number of other staff section offices.  Over the last ten years, NALIT members have benefited from Gary's involvement as coordinator, moderator or presenter for an extraordinary number of sessions.  Gary has also been a member of the NCSL Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee's Technology Subcommittee and E-Learning and Technology Review Committee and has represented NALIT at international meetings. 

    His contributions to the Legislative Technology Center include responsibility for the administration, management and security of all hardware, software and resources that make up the legislature’s network.  In the 10 years he’s been at the legislature, Gary has played a major role in the modernization of the system.  Gary assisted in the design and implementation of the legislature’s voting board and journal systems, and developed requirements and implementation procedures for the laptop systems in the legislative chamber.  His other responsibilities include developing and maintaining the security, disaster recovery and appropriate use policies and drafting the legislature’s technology budget.  NALIT is happy to recognize his many contributions.

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National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

 

  • Jim Pellegrini, Montana Legislative Audit Division (retired)
    The 2008 NLPES Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to Jim Pellegrini for his contributions and service to the field of legislative program evaluation and to the staff section.

    Jim was the deputy legislative auditor for performance audits with the Legislative Audit Division of Montana from 1977 to 2008.  Besides a sterling record with the office, his professional contributions have been nationwide.  For more than 20 years, he has led seminars for the Institute of Internal Auditors on such topics as operational auditing, auditing tools and techniques, and statistical sampling.  He has conducted training sessions for other states, the Association of Governmental Accountants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Aetna Insurance Company.

    In addition, Jim did not neglect NCSL and NLPES.  He served on the NLPES executive committee from 1987 to 1995 and chaired the society from 1991 to 1992.  Max Arinder and Jim were the faculty for the program evaluation track of the NCSL Skills Development Seminar for a number of years. Jim has been a regular contributor to programs at NLPES annual training conferences.  NLPES is happy to recognize Jim's long and distinguished career and his many contributions to his profession.

     
  • South Carolina Legislative Audit Council
    The NLPES Awards Committee is pleased to recognize the South Carolina Legislative Audit Council with the 2008 NLPES Excellence in Evaluation Award.  From 2004 through 2007, the office's work has demonstrated its ability to address a wide variety of topics, to use various methods of analysis and to conduct in-depth reviews.  This work has helped significantly to reduce costs and improve the performance of state government.

    The office has worked to make its reports more accessible through improvements in presentation and the development of a website that can be accessed by the visually impaired.  In addition, the South Carolina Legislative Audit Council has supported the evaluation community through its participation in numerous activities at the national and state levels.  The General Assembly has recognized the council's excellence in the most explicit fashion, with a 20 percent increase in its budget from 2004 to 2007 that provided for six additional positions.  NLPES is happy to add its applause to this sterling record. 

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National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA)

 

  • Jimmetta Gourdine Peoples, Senate Security, Alabama State Senate
    NLSSA recognizes Jimmetta Gourdine Peoples for a high degree of professionalism, competence and integrity in her service to the Alabama Senate and NLSSA.  Jimmetta Peoples has worked hard for NLSSA, serving as region 4 vice chair and chair and secretary of NLSSA.  She has done an excellent job chairing the annual conference oversight committee and the newsletter and publications committee.  In addition to these duties, she has chaired the state host committee and was instrumental in planning the 2007 NLSSA conference in Montgomery.

    Jimmetta has been a legislative security officer since 2000 and is charged with security for the Alabama Senate.  She is certified with the power of a peace officer by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and is a retired police major and division commander.  She has received numerous certificates in law enforcement training.  NLSSA is honored to extend this recognition to a valued member.

     
  • Glenda Smith, Director, Senate Rules Accounting, California Legislature
    Glenda Smith has been a major contributor to NLSSA, serving as treasurer of the association.  Her work on the development of the policies and procedures manual were outstanding.  This publication was actually her idea, and she should be recognized for her efforts.  She has chaired the budget committee, where she has demonstrated her leadership abilities.  NLSSA is delighted to offer this recognition.

 


Research and Committee Staff Section (RACSS)

 

 

  • Jamie Jo Franklin, Chief of Staff, House Majority Caucus, Kentucky
    Jamie Jo Franklin has spent her entire professional career in service to the citizens of Kentucky.  She started as a city manager and then worked as a legislative liaison and policy analyst for an executive branch agency before joining the Legislative Research Commission as an analyst in 1981.  She served as committee staff administrator for the Local Government Committee from 1986 to 2007, when she  became chief of staff for the House Majority Caucus.

    Jamie has been active in NCSL and RACSS for many years.  She has been a stalwart for the staff section, serving on the RACSS executive committee from 2002 to 2007 and as RACSS chair for 2005-2006.  Jamie helped plan staff section programs and served both as a speaker and moderator for numerous RACSS sessions.  The energy and vision she brought to her leadership of RACSS resulted in better professional development opportunities for legislative staff in all states and territories. 

    Jamie currently serves on the NCSL executive committee and has been a staunch advocate for expanded legislative staff services from NCSL.  In recognition of her public service, Jamie was chosen for a Toll Fellow Leadership class by CSG in 2000 and is a 2002 graduate of the Legislative Staff Management Institute. 

    RACSS takes great pleasure in honoring Jamie Franklin in recognition of her steadfast support, counsel and friendship.

     
  • Terrence Sullivan, Director of Research, North Carolina General Assembly (retired)
    Terry Sullivan is the recently retired director of research for the North Carolina General Assembly.  He was instrumental in establishing and enhancing legislative research services for the General Assembly.  When he started in 1972, fresh out of law school, Terry was one of a two-person research office.  He became director of research in 1979 and served in that capacity until he retired in 2008.  By then, the office had grown to include 45 staff, 30 of them legislative attorneys and policy analysts.

    Terry's lifelong public service and evenhanded approach have earned him the respect of members of both parties, as well as his legislative staff colleagues.  With modesty, fairness and a commitment to nonpartisanship, Terry served the General Assembly and the people of North Carolina with distinction.  As a mark of the respect in which he is held in the state, he was named "Tar Heel of the Week" by the Raleigh News and Observer upon his retirement.

    Terry's involvement in NCSL included service on the standing committees and as a RACSS officer, serving as a member of the executive committee, program planner and newsletter coordinator.  He participated in numerous RACSS programs and supported the involvement of his staff in RACSS' professional development opportunities.

    It is with great pleasure that RACSS honors Terry Sullivan, a gentleman, a scholar and a friend with the Legislative Staff Achievement Award.

 

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Posted July 31, 2008
Edited August 28, 2008

 

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