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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, DC
August 11, 2011

Dedicated Legislative Staff Win 2011 Award

Winners chosen by NCSL’s staff sections and networks announced Wednesday

SAN ANTONIO – Twenty-one state legislative staffers or divisions have been honored by professional organizations affiliated with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for their dedication to legislative institutions.

NCSL's 11 staff sections and two staff networks are national associations of state legislative staff who serve in similar capacities across the country. Each one has chosen the 2011 recipients of the Legislative Staff Achievement Awards.

"Legislative staff across the country are professionals dedicated to providing the finest service possible to their state legislatures,” said NCSL staff chair Tim Rice. “Their work supports and strengthens the legislative institution and the public it serves. These awards recognize the best of the best – those staff who exemplify excellence in their fields of expertise. This recognition is well-deserved by the recipients, and it also reflects the efforts of all legislative staff.”

Examples of accomplishments recognized by the Legislative Staff Achievement Award include:

  • 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.

Award recipients were recognized at NCSL's 2011 Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas. They are listed below under their member staff sections.

Standing Committee Staff Chair’s Awards
Cheryl Reinhart, Staff Attorney, Arkansas General Assembly
Miriam Fordham, Legislative Committee Analyst, Health and Welfare Committee, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)
Ann Cornwell, secretary and director of the Arkansas Senate
Bruce F.  Jamerson (1957-2011), clerk, Virginia House of Delegates and Keeper of the Rolls of the Commonwealth

Leadership Staff Section (LSS)
Mechelle Miller, director, Rural Caucus, Louisiana House of Representatives

Legal Services Staff Section (LSSS)
Jery Payne, senior staff attorney, Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services
Anne Sappenfield, senior staff attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Council

Legislative Education Staff Network (LESN)
Frances Ramirez-Maestas, director, New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee

Legislative Health Staff Network (LHSN)
Nolan Langweil, health care fiscal analyst, Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office
Miriam Fordham, legislative committee analyst, Health and Welfare Committee, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS)
Chuck Truesdell, assistant public information officer, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section (LRL)
Robbie LaFleur, director, Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO)
John O’Brien, director, Texas Legislative Budget Board
Cathy Higgins, budget analyst, Tennessee Office of Legislative Budget Analysis

National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT)
Linda Pittsford, deputy director and Senate affairs liaison, Information Systems Division, Texas Legislative Council
Idaho Legislature’s GEMS Development Team

National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)
Janice Mueller, state auditor (retired), Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, Performance Audit Operations Division

National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA)
Ted Blazel, Wisconsin Senate sergeant at arms

Research and Committee Staff Section (RACSS)
H. Pepper Sturm, chief deputy research director, Research Division, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.