Baltimore, Maryland, Hyatt Regency on the Inner Harbor, May 3-5, 2016
Orlando, Florida, JW Marriott, September 18-21, 2016
The NASCIO Meritorious Service Award honors leadership in state government and dedication to the advancement of NASCIO's mission.
Since its inception more than 40 years ago, NASCIO has focused on enhancing government service through the effective use of information technology and energetic advocacy for progressive IT policy. NASCIO's achievements have largely been due the enthusiasm, focus, and dedicated service of our members. To honor outstanding service, NASCIO presents the Meritorious Service Award to state CIOS that have shown exemplarily leadership and commitment in redefining the role of technology at the federal, state and local levels.
Nominations for 2015 are closed; nominations for the 2016 award will open in June 2016.
If you are a state CIO and would like to nominate one of your fellow CIOs for this recognition, please email Emily Lane at ELane@NASCIO.org. In your note include: 1. the name of your nominee, 2. a brief overview of his/her state accomplishments, and 3. mention of the nominee's notable service to NASCIO.
Nominations for 2015 are closed; nominations for the 2016 award will open in June 2016.
Selection of the Meritorious Service Award honoree is based on two major criteria:
Craig Orgeron, Ph.D. is a consummate public sector leader in the State of Mississippi and his service and leadership to NASCIO has been extensive. He has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2011 when he joined as a Director. Since then, Craig has served as Secretary-Treasurer (2012 – May 2013), Vice President (May – October 2013) and President (2013 – 2014); he currently serves as Past President (2014 – 2015) and Chair of the Nominations Committee. He’s also NASCIO’s designated representative on the National Public Safety and Telecommunications Council (NPSTC).
Additionally, Craig has been an active member of NASCIO’s committees and working groups, serving on the National Innovation Forum, Awards Committee, Programs Committee, Audit Committee, Digital Identity Working Group, Health and Human Services Working Group, Federal Cost Allocations & Regulatory Reform Working Group, Broadband Working Group and Social Media Forum. Craig has shown a commitment to NASCIO’s programmatic mission, attending every Midyear and Annual conference since 2010 and often serving as a panelist or facilitator.
Craig has represented NASCIO at regional and national conferences as a speaker and panelist. He presented before a meeting of the National Governors Association and the Council of Governors. In October 2013, Craig testified before Congress advocating NASCIO’s position and perspectives on cybersecurity and emergency management in the states.
Public Sector Leadership
Craig has over 25 years of information technology experience and currently serves as the as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) and Chief Information Officer for the State of Mississippi. In this role, Craig provides statewide leadership in the provision of services that facilitate cost-effective information processing and telecommunication solutions for agencies and institutions. He has participated in numerous government information technology task forces and committees at the request of the Mississippi State Legislature and Governor Phil Bryant. A few of these task forces and committees include the Mississippi Telehealth Association (MTHA), the Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission, the EdNet Board, the Mississippi Coordinating Council for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, the Mississippi Health Information Network Board, Mississippi Broadband Task Force, the Digital Signature Committee, the Electronic Government Task Force, Mississippi Management and Reporting System (MMRS) Steering Committee, and the Governor’s Commission on Digital Government.
Craig directed the development of an outsourced, public-private partnership, Mississippi Interactive, to provide web-based and mobile application development, and e-payment applications for state government, including the first and subsequent refresh designs, development, and implementation of the Mississippi government portal (www.ms.gov). Applications as a result of this partnership continue to grow and benefit Mississippi. Governor Phil Bryant recognized this effort and the results of the work with the Excellence in State Government award in 2014.
Building on the success of the establishment of the State’s first academic, high-speed research network, Craig facilitated the implementation of an Internet2 PoP (Point of Presence) in the State of Mississippi. Even before taking office, Governor Phil Bryant included Craig as a member of the Government Accountability IT Policy Committee to facilitate the creation of a technology policy agenda. Governor Bryant has continued to rely on and appreciate Craig’s expertise and input, most recently as he worked with the local leadership on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to establish a plan for $15M in restoration money from the BP Oil Spill to expand broadband on the coast in an effort to attract more businesses to Mississippi and particularly that area.
Craig was awarded “Mississippian of the Year,” by the Jackson Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) in 2012 for his work and dedication to the state. Craig routinely accepts requests to speak to both faculty and staff at Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, Jackson State University and others about the work he and his staff do at ITS. Additionally, Craig has served as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Mississippi State University teaching Systems in Public Administration for multiple years. This lecture focuses on the role of automated, computer-based systems in government including their impact on the workplace, government institutions, and the governmental systems.
Craig has provided leadership in the planning and execution of an annual Mississippi Digital Government Summit. ITS has partnered with Government Technology and in just 4 years, this event has become recognized throughout Mississippi state and local government as an event where public sector leaders can focus on enabling technology to be an effective tool to streamline government and provide vital services to constituents.
Before becoming the state CIO of Oregon, Petty directed state contracting and procurement, risk management, and served as the deputy administrator for the State Services Division. He has led a number of enterprise
level initiatives in Oregon including:
Dick Clark was hired by Governor Brian Schweitzer on November 15, 2005, to be Montana's second State Chief Information Officer. Taking over the operation of information technology in December 2005, Clark is responsible for establishing, approving, and enforcing statewide Information Technology architecture, policies and standards for the executive branch and for working closely with the Courts, Legislature, and University system to coordinate IT in Montana. He is a member of the Governor's Cabinet.
Key initiatives have included:
Brenda Decker was appointed as the Chief Information Officer for the State of Nebraska by Governor Dave Heineman on February 4, 2005. Previously, Brenda held various positions within the Division of Communications for more than 25 years. Brenda received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Doane College in 1989 where she majored in Business Administration. She received her Master’s degree in Management from the same institution in May 2001.
Brenda is a member and/or chair of numerous commissions and councils in Nebraska state government. She served as the National President of the National Association of State Telecommunications and Technology Professionals in State Government (NASTD) in 2002. Brenda holds membership in numerous professional organizations including the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the National Management Association and the Missouri Valley Communications Association. Brenda has a national certification as a Professional Manager from the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.
Government Technology magazine named Brenda as one of the “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers” in 2003 and as one of the “5 Most Influential Women CIOs” in 2007. She was also named as one of the “Premier 100 IT Leaders” by ComputerWorld in in 2008.
Brenda’s service to NASCIO includes a strong record of participation and leadership. She actively contributes to committees and working groups on a variety of topics. She has served as a judge for the Recognition Awards program since 2008, and this year served as the Awards Committee co-chair. For three years she co-chaired the Security and Privacy Committee and during that time also served as a Director on the NASCIO Executive Committee.
“Brenda’s leadership, practicality, creativity, and enthusiasm have been essential in our efforts to integrate new technology and to streamline the operation of state government. Since becoming CIO, she has led projects that unified state e-mail systems, worked with private providers to expand Nebraska’s network capabilities, and centralized management of the state’s many technology projects. Brenda’s commitment to collaboration is helping Nebraska take the final steps in completing a statewide radio network for first responders and state agencies. Her work continues to exceed my expectations. We are very fortunate to have her as part of our team.”
Governor Dave Heineman, State of Nebraska
“I am honored to be able to offer words of congratulations to Brenda Decker as the recipient of the 2010 NASCIO Meritorious Service Award. If you know Brenda, you would agree she exceeds all expectations in her position as Nebraska’s Chief Information Officer. With Brenda’s leadership, she has been a tremendous asset in the adoption and use of technology not only by our agencies in the State, but also in initiatives with our citizens. I know from personal experience and as Chair of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, the team Brenda has assembled is second to none. I am very proud of the work being done in the Office of the Chief Information Officer and I know Nebraskans that utilize technology to do their business with the State appreciate it also.”
Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy, State of Nebraska
“Since 2006, Brenda has consistently dedicated her time and energy to our efforts at NASCIO, serving on numerous committees and working groups every year, and representing the association at various speaking engagements and conferences. Through her leadership she has contributed to NASCIO and to the role of the state CIO.”
Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer, State of California
"It is just wonderful that Brenda Decker, Nebraska's State CIO, is being recognized and honored by NASCIO. As the CIO for the University of Nebraska, I’ve known and worked with Brenda for over 12 years. Her ‘how can we work together on this’ attitude, coupled with her ability to cut to the heart of the matter quickly, has allowed the University and the State to partner together and implement a number of significant shared service projects. Working together we created and built a statewide network called ‘Network Nebraska’ that supports the University, statewide K-20 education, hospitals and State agencies across the entire state. We also developed a shared disaster recovery project and entered into several cooperative enterprise licensing agreements that lowered maintenance and support costs for both of us. These large projects, and countless smaller ones, have truly benefited both the State of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska immensely. I find Brenda's approach to her work is all about always looking out for and doing the right thing for all her customers across the state. I applaud the membership of NASCIO for recognizing what an outstanding person and technical leader Brenda Decker really is.”
Walter Weir, Chief Information Officer for the University of Nebraska
Dick Thompson is the Chief Information Officer for Maine state government, working within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services since April 2003. He hit the ground running in several areas, providing assistance to agencies involved in complex projects under development, implementing a project management methodology to improve oversight. He is leading implementation of a new model for IT in Maine state government, making the CIO the responsible IT manager for the Executive Branch.
In July 2005, Dick commenced a major transformation of information technology (IT) in State Government. IT in the Executive Branch had previously been organized around independent State agencies but is now governed with an enterprise approach. This modernized enterprise structure will bring improved services to Maine citizens, enhanced security, cost effectiveness achieved through economy of scale, and provide for future support of service delivery under the rapidly evolving eGovernment model. The State's most significant projects underway are the redevelopment of the State's public safety radio network and the replacement of its Medicaid management information system. He has been appointed to several Boards in Maine, including the ConnectME authority to expand broadband and cellular communications to all citizens of Maine.
Under Dick's leadership, the State of Maine has consistently achieved recognition for its website. Maine.gov is an eight-time winner in the Center for Digital Government's "Best of the Web" competition.
Dick was formerly the Director of the State of Maine, Division of Purchases for twelve years. In 1998, Dick was awarded the "Public Administrator of the Year" award by the Maine Chapter of the ASPA. He has twice been named Manager of the Year by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. On the national level, he serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and has been active since 1986 in the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), serving as president three times. He most recently received the Association's 1999 Guilio Mazzone Distinguished Service Award for his continued service to public purchasing.
The NASCIO Meritorious Service Award critieria include three areas of outstanding service: Leadership, National Voice and Networking. Dick has been a strong leader in each of these areas to the benefit of NASCIO.
"I am pleased that Richard Thompson has been recognized with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers' Meritorious Service Award. Richard has provided the vision, leadership and enthusiasm that have helped the State of Maine create one of the most user-friendly and informative Web sites across state governments. His commitment to implementing effective technologies to expand online government services and access to public information is unparalleled. Under Richard's guidance, the State of Maine has been able to meet significant challenges posed by the requirements of the federal Recovery Act while constantly improving the functionality of its information technology."
Governor John E. Baldacci, State of Maine
"In the modernization of the delivery of services, the arrival of Dick Thompson as Maine's CIO has been as grand a landmark as the development of a miraculous vaccine...things are just so much better now. We've gone from an antiquated mainframe system to a disjointed hodgepodge of unconnected islands in state government to what is now a seamless system of unified platforms designed to better serve the public. And while such a series of improvements inevitably has setbacks, hurdles, doubters and detractors, the fact that Dick has led Maine through this wilderness with such speed and good will is itself a testimony for why he is so deserving not only of this award, but of the thanks of every Maine citizen."
Matt Dunlap, Secretary of State, State of Maine
"I am so pleased that Dick Thompson is being honored with the NASCIO Meritorious Service Award. He has held a number of key positions in Maine state government, bringing considerable experience to the role of CIO. With his vast knowledge of procurement and the consolidation of IT services, he has made major contributions to NASCIO and state CIOs from around the country. He is always willing to share his insight with others, and his work on NASCIO's Executive Committee to help organize our members and develop major policy papers will greatly advance our efforts to modernize and improve IT throughout the states."
Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer, State of California
Takai has been an active member of NASCIO since 2003. She has chaired numerous committees and has held the position of NASCIO Vice President and President.
On December 6, 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Teri Takai as Chief Information Officer for the State of California. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, she advises him on the strategic management and direction of information technology resources as the state works to modernize and transform the way California does business with its citizens.
Prior to her appointment in California, Takai served as Director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT) since 2003, where she also served as the state’s Chief Information Officer. In this position, she restructured and consolidated Michigan’s resources by merging the state’s information technology into one centralized department to service 19 agencies and over 1,700 employees. Additionally, during her tenure at the MDIT, Takai led the state to being ranked number one four years in a row in digital government by the Center for Digital Government.
Before serving in state government, Takai worked for the Ford Motor Company for 30 years, where she led the development of the company’s information technology strategic plan. She also held positions in technology at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corporation. In 2005, Takai was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing magazine. She is Past-President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves as Practitioner Chair of the Harvard Policy Group on Network-Enabled Services and Government.
“We are so pleased to have Teri in California leading the charge to help overhaul our technology infrastructure, and I congratulate her for being honored with the NASCIO Meritorious Service Award. As we find new ways to improve how Californians obtain information, services and interact with their state government, we need strong leadership and vision. Teri Takai has more than 30 years of experience in the field and has what it takes to keep our great state a leader in technology.”
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, State of California
“There’s nobody more deserving of the NASCIO Meritorious Service Award than Teri Takai. Having worked beside Teri on a daily basis here in Michigan, I have seen firsthand her extreme dedication to the job and her passion for service. She put Michigan on the national map when it comes to information technology. Her strong leadership and vision puts California in very good hands.”
Ken Theis, Chief Information Officer, State of Michigan
“On behalf of Governor Ritter and the State of Colorado we are very pleased that Teri Takai is being recognized for her leadership and contribution to the improvement of public sector IT on a national level with the NASCIO Meritorious Service Award. As CIO of Michigan, Teri Takai provided tremendous support to the State of Colorado during the planning phase of Colorado’s IT consolidation. She and her team provided lessons learned and a framework that would get Colorado off to the very best start in the transformation process. In her role as CIO for the State of California Teri continues to be a highly valued advisor and mentor who pushes her peers in the industry to achieve much needed change.”
Michael Locatis, Chief Information Officer, State of Colorado
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), honored Thomas Jarrett, NASCIO Secretary and Delaware Chief Information Officer, with its prestigious 2006 Meritorious Service Award during its annual conference in Miami, Florida. NASCIO created this annual award to spotlight a state CIO who has exemplified outstanding service, advocacy, and leadership in state government. Meritorious Service Award recipients consistently champion the vision, mission and principles of NASCIO.
About the Recipient:
Jarrett has been an active member of NASCIO since 2001. He has served as chair of the Strategic IT Business and Services Committee and has held the position of NASCIO Vice President and President.
Jarrett, named Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information and Delaware State Chief Information Officer in 2001, serves as Governor Minner’s chief advisor on technology matters and as the Chairman of Delaware’s Technology Investment Council. Over the past five years, Jarrett has managed the transition of the Office of Information Services to the new Department of Technology and Information (DTI). Today DTI, under Jarrett’s direction, utilizes business case methodology for review and approval of all state government IT projects, and has implemented its own compensation and performance packages.
“Five years ago I asked Tom Jarrett to help me salvage a troubled state government IT agency. Not one to be daunted by a difficult and often thankless task, Tom answered the call. He has since been the key to creating an IT organization that rivals any in the private sector and has been recognized nationally for exceptional achievements. Tom exemplifies advocacy, particularly in the area of cyber security, as well as overall vision and leadership in state government.”
Governor Ruth Ann Minner, Delaware
“Tom Jarrett breathed new life into a state government agency that was literally gasping for air. No one in Delaware state government, from the Executive Branch to the Judicial Branch to the Legislature, had any faith at all in the existing IT agency. Tom stepped into this quagmire with firm resolve to create an organization that operated with the customer service focus he knew from the private sector. Despite the naysayers and with great scrutiny from my colleagues in Legislative Hall, Tom proved that providing the right leadership, releasing the agency from the strict bounds of civil service bureaucracy and recruiting the best and brightest IT folks available, it could be done in state government. Tom has provided Delaware's government with a first class IT organization and provided his employees with market comparable salaries and a work environment that is unrivaled in the state of Delaware.“
Representative Roger Roy, Delaware
Otto Doll, Chief Information Officer, South Dakota
Tom Jarrett's exceptional leadership skills and diplomatic finesse are second to none. As a past President of NASCIO and Chair of numerous committees, Mr. Jarrett has vigorously championed NASCIO's mission to foster government excellence through quality business practices, information management, and technology policy. His long-standing commitment and dedication have been instrumental in NASCIO being recognized as a national leader in IT policy at all levels of government.
John Gillispie, Chief Operating Officer, Iowa
About the Recipient:
Doll was appointed South Dakota's CIO in July 1996 and has a long list of accomplishments during his tenure with the state, most notably in the areas of public safety and education. In addition, he has been active in NASCIO for almost ten years including a term as president in 1999-2000. Doll has also chaired various NASCIO committees and ad hoc working groups, and has served as NASCIO's liaison for a number of federal initiatives including most recently the National Task Force on Interoperability.
"Otto Doll is truly deserving of the NASCIO Meritorious Service Award. He is a leader with vision who produces fantastic results! Some of his many outstanding accomplishments include wiring all of our schools for technology with inmate crews, connecting all of these schools with broadband Internet access, and creating a statewide digital communications network for all of our law enforcement, first responders, hospitals and state agencies to use together. In this newly flattened, globalized world economy, our students and our state will be able to compete because we have a unique advantage. His name is Otto Doll."
Mike Rounds, Governor, South Dakota
"Rigid integrity, God given talent, the pursuit of excellence, compassion for the less fortunate, caring for human beings, designing the future, learning from the past, thinking before talking, solving problems, always striving to learn more. Otto exhibits them all. He came to South Dakota as a total stranger and quickly became a brother, mentor, leader, and a large part of the state's safety, security, proficiency and future. We love him and have profited from him in an immense way."
William J. Janklow, former Governor, South Dakota
"Otto Doll is highly deserving of NASCIO's Meritorious Service Award. He has not only held a variety of leadership positions within NASCIO, but he has been willing to assist at any level to further the association's objectives. He has been a tireless advocate for the less populous states, sharing his vision and proficiency in the IT arena. Otto's tenure with NASCIO and the state of South Dakota is a testament to his great leadership."
Tom Jarrett, former NASCIO President, and Chief Information Officer, Delaware
About the Recipient:
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), honored NASCIO President and Missouri Chief Information Officer, Gerry Wethington with its prestigious Meritorious Service Award during its 2004 Annual conference, in New Orleans, Louisiana. NASCIO created this award to spotlight a state CIO who has exemplified outstanding service, advocacy, and leadership in state government. Meritorious Service Award recipients consistently champion the vision, mission and principles of NASCIO.
Aldona Valicenti, 2003 Meritorious Service award recipient and Gerry Wethington, 2004 Meritorious Service Award recipient during the awards presentation during the 2004 Annual conference in New Orleans, LA.
About the Recipient:
Wethington’s vision and commitment to NASCIO is a driving force in elevating the association to the national stage. During his two terms as President, NASCIO has increased its influence with top policy makers at both the state and federal level. Wethington’s distinctive leadership, dedication and achievements exemplify the qualities of the Meritorious Service Award.
In addition to his work with NASCIO, Wethington has led Missouri’s E-Government efforts to improve the delivery of government service to its citizens. He has led the development of Missouri’s Adaptable Enterprise Architecture Program. Wethington is recognized nationally as a leader in the areas of government process reform, enterprise architecture, justice integration and interoperability, and project management.
"As Governor of the State of Missouri, modernizing, streamlining, and strengthening our information technology has been a top priority of my administration. I was proud to be able to appoint someone as talented as Gerry Wethington to fill the position of Chief Information Officer, and Gerry has repaid my high expectations many times over. As an innovator in Missouri and as a leader nationally, Gerry is always pushing towards new frontiers and breaking boundaries. His optimism, courage, and vision are an inspiration to all of us in state government, and I am immensely pleased that you are recognizing him today."
Governor Bob Holden, State of Missouri
"Gerry Wethington has been an innovative leader in taking NASCIO from a primarily conference-oriented organization to one that has true impact with top level policy makers in federal and state government. He's done this while dealing with 36 new CIO's in just over two years, and has still kept his eye on the ball in the areas of information security, the "Help America Vote Act," and IT sourcing. NASCIO has become widely recognized as a force in state government policy planning and Gerry deserves a great deal of credit in getting us there. We're delighted to recognize his dedication and commitment with this award."
Thomas Jarrett, Chief Information Officer, State of Delaware
About the Recipient:
Since its inception over thirty years ago, NASCIO has focused on enhancing government services through the effective use of IT and the energetic advocacy of progressive IT policy. NASCIO's achievements have largely been the product of the energy, focus and dedicated service of its members. This dedication has in turn served as a catalyst to redefine the role of technology at the federal, state and local level.
To spotlight outstanding service, NASCIO has created the Meritorious Service Award to honor leadership in state government and the advancement of NASCIO's mission.
The NASCIO Meritorious Service Award criteria include three areas of outstanding service according to NASCIO's 2003 strategic plan. They include: World Class Service, National Voice and Vitality of the Organization. Aldona has been a strong leader in each of these areas to the benefit of NASCIO.
About the Recipient:
Paul E. Patton appointed Ms. Valicenti in December of 1997 as the first Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a member of his Executive Cabinet. During her tenure she has established the CIO position through legislation and has undertaken a transformation of how information technology services are delivered in state government. The Governor's EMPOWER Kentucky initiative identified information technology as a key enabler. Ms. Valicenti was instrumental in forming the Governor's Office for Technology, which brought several separate agencies into a cohesive organizational structure. The Executive Order for this reorganization was ratified by the 2000 General Assembly.
Ms. Valicenti began her career with the Dow Corning Corporation. In 1976 she joined the Amoco Corporation and for the next 21 years held positions of increasing responsibility including Manager - System Development and Support, Divisional CIO for the Amoco Chemical Company, and Manager - Customer Solutions, Information Technology Shared Services, an internal supplier of information technology services to the global Amoco Corporation. In this position she was responsible for contracting for all information technology services for the Amoco Corporation.
"Kentucky was one of the first states to hire a CIO at the Executive Cabinet level and we couldn't have picked a better one. Aldona is truly worthy of this prestigious award and I congratulate her. Over the past 5 years, Aldona Valicenti has helped us reengineer and rethink technology in the Commonwealth, providing innovative leadership and direction. In 1995, we set a goal to achieve economic opportunity and a standard of living above the national average in 20 years. Today, we're well on our way toward achieving that goal and Aldona has played a key role in using technology to help strengthen efficiency and improve government operations."
The Honorable Paul E. Patton, Governor, Commonwealth of Kentucky
"I represent a rural area which is far from the state capitol. In an effort to give our area a boost in economic development and keep us up-to-date on information technology and in an effort to keep rural areas from falling behind in this all important element of the 21st Century, I hosted a seminar in my district on information technology. Ms. Valicenti gladly made the long trip from the Capitol to serve even the rural and distant areas of this state."
“Her work to bring Kentucky up to a very high level as an electronically available government for the people has been a tremendous service to Kentuckians now and in the future. Because of Ms. Valicenti's extra effort, Kentucky is now on the leading edge of e-government."
Honorable Tanya Pullin, State Representative, Commonwealth of Kentucky