More Resources


  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
August 8, 2012

Dedicated Legislative Staff Win 2012 Awards

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

Dedication to making state legislative institutions function effectively and professionally has earned 20 state legislative staffers representing 13 states a variety of honors by professional organizations affiliated with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

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 has chosen the 2012 recipients of the Legislative Staff Achievement Awards.

""These awards recognize the best of the best in legislative staff," said NCSL staff chair Michael Adams. "This recognition is well-deserved by the recipients, and it reflects positively on the institutions they serve and the colleagues they work with.”
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 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago. They are listed below under their member staff sections.

American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

Ramona Kenady Line, Chief Clerk, Oregon House of Representatives
Stephen Arias, Chief Clerk, New Mexico House of Representatives

Leadership Staff Section (LSS)

Terri Franks-Smith, Chief Fiscal Officer, Idaho House of Representatives
Arnold “Arnie” Sowell, Policy Director, Office of the Speaker, California Assembly

Legal Services Staff Section (LSSS)

Deborah Haskins, Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado General Assembly
Richard Taff, Chief Legislative Attorney, Legislative Commissioners’ Office, Connecticut General Assembly

Legislative Education Staff Network (LESN)

Jan Yamane, Deputy Auditor/General Counsel, Office of the State Auditor, Hawaii Legislature

Legislative Health Staff Network (LHSN)

Mark Andrews, Policy Analyst, Utah Legislature

Legislative Information and Communications Staff Section (LINCS)

Jay Pearson, Legislative Education and Development Project Manager, Virginia General Assembly

 Legislative Research Librarians Staff Section (LRL)

Kristin Ford, Legislative Librarian, Legislative Reference Library, Idaho Legislature
Shelley Day, Legislative Information Liaison, Legislative Research Library, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah Legislature

National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO)

Sarah Franklin, Senior Research Associate, Legislative Research Unit, Illinois General Assembly

National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT)

Jonathan Palmore, Senior Assistant Clerk-Technology, Virginia Senate
Heather Kohler, Steve Dustin and Gopali Nanda, Office of Information Systems, Department of Legislative Services, Maryland General Assembly

National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

Phil Leone, Director, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Virginia General Assembly (retired)

National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA)

Carl Barnhart, Acting Assistant Director, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Kevin Kuroda, Sergeant-at-Arms, Hawaii House of Representatives

Research and Committee Staff Section (RACSS)

John Cannon, Managing Policy Analyst, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah Legislature

Standing Committees

Melissa Calderwood, Principal Analyst, Legislative Research Department, Kansas Legislature
Karl Aro, Executive Director, Department of Legislative Services, Maryland General Assembly

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.