AWARDS & RECOGNITION | NASCIO State Technology Innovator Award
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
NASCIO created the State Technology Innovator Award to honor outstanding individuals who have made contributions to advance the state's technology policy agenda through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery.
Through this award, NASCIO strives to acknowledge state leaders, managers and employees who promote innovation, excellence and good government. Nominees must be an employee, elected official, appointed official or other appointee representing state government.
The state CIO and those working for the state under contract with private sector firms are not eligible for this award.
- Personal leadership and advocacy to advance the state’s technology policy agenda
- Adoption of emerging technology, demonstration of best practices and/or innovation in service delivery
Nominations will be accepted from members as well as non-members, and NASCIO staff may also nominate outstanding individuals they encounter in the course of their work. The State Technology Innovator Award subcommittee will review all nominations and present a final slate of candidates to the Executive Committee for consideration. Up to three individuals may be recognized each year and the final selection is made by NASCIO’s Executive Committee.
Nominations are due July 15, 2015
If you are having trouble using the online form, please send your nomination information to Emily Lane at ELane@NASCIO.org.
Past Recipients2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
The 2014 State Technology Innovator Award Recipients
Mark Walker has been with the Ohio Department of Taxation (Tax) for 35 years. He has been serving as the CIO and Deputy Tax Commissioner for Tax since July of 2012. In this role Walker manages and is setting the strategic direction, including Tax’s alignment with the statewide IT Transformation initiative for the department’s Information Services Division. He is also the Project Director and Co-sponsor for the State Taxation Accounting and Revenue System (STARS) project that is integrating Tax’s current 27 tax administration systems into one platform.
After many years and attempts by the Tax department to modernize its tax systems, including viewing business taxpayers as a single entity, Walker took on the responsibility of rectifying and accelerating these objectives in 2012.
Initially, Walker was faced with 27 major tax systems residing on aging technologies, operating on three different platforms and technical environments, which were not integrated. Walker willingly took on the challenge to provide new technology and direction that would allow the Tax department to advance the agency’s mission to “provide quality service to Ohio taxpayers by helping them comply with their tax responsibilities and by fairly applying the tax law.”
During Walker’s leadership, he has worked diligently with his Tax business leaders, IT team and IT vendor in taking advantage of technology to enhance the agency’s mission and goals while expediting the process. This has not been easy; it has required intimate involvement of business leaders, changing the project leadership culture, teaming with vendors, and adopting the non-traditional Agile Scrum Delivery process.
Once the OH STARS (Ohio State Taxation Accounting and Revenue System) project was “Reset” in 2012, Walker assumed the project director role. He made numerous changes and successfully delivered six taxes into production over three IT releases—all of which were delivered ahead of schedule. Of those six taxes, two represent the largest and most complex business taxes. STARS is currently on target to deliver two more taxes in early October 2014 ahead of schedule, and five more by July 2015.
Through Walker’s strong leadership and willingness to adopt new technologies and development processes in Agile, he has exceeded what many thought were possible on the STARS system implementation.
As the State Chief Data Officer, Dianna Anderson champions the development, adoption, and maintenance of the enterprise-wide information architecture (EIA). She is responsible for defining the EIA organization, processes, and technology infrastructure, and for leading the integration of those capabilities within related state business and information management practices. Anderson leads and facilitates the creation of data governance principles and best practices, Master Data Management (MDM), Big Data Analytics, Data Quality, Data Integration, metadata management and Business Intelligence strategies and policies.
It’s long been recognized that individual agencies within the State of Colorado collect a massive amount of data from residents, and until recently have not had an easy way to share that data among agencies. That situation is changing, in large part, due to the efforts of Colorado’s Chief Data Officer, Dianna Anderson. Anderson believes data is the soul to information. That is what drives her to develop the platforms that provide the ability for increased data sharing between state agencies in the hopes of facilitating better, holistic decision making on programs and policies that impact Coloradans. Under Anderson’s leadership, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has developed the Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM) and the iData Insights Platform.
Over the past year, Anderson’s work was instrumental in the success of the State’s first civic app challenge—Go Code Colorado. The Secretary of State’s office designed Go Code Colorado to encourage developers to create solutions to identified business problems using data that was hosted on CIM. It was an example of how the data housed on the public side of CIM can be used to create business solutions.
Anderson has extensive information technology experience in both the public and private sectors. Through working with the federal and state government, government contractors, and private companies within different industries, she has been afforded the opportunity to wear many hats, perform multiple roles, work with multiple technologies and grow her overall data integration and business intelligence experience.
The 2013 State Technology Innovator Award Recipients
Selvi Stanislaus is the Executive Officer of the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Selvi is extraordinarily effective public official working to help the nation’s most populous state close its tax gap and get on with the critical work of service delivery for all Californians.
Selvi leads the nation’s second largest tax department with over 5,300 permanent and 2,000 seasonal and intermittent employees nationwide. Under Selvi’s leadership, FTB brings in roughly $55 billion annually—more than 65 percent of California's annual General Fund revenue. Each year, FTB processes more than 17 million personal income tax returns and more than 1 million business entity tax returns.
The Enterprise Data to Revenue (EDR) Project, the largest information technology (IT) project in FTB's history, is indicative of Selvi’s commitment to tax system modernization and using new technology to achieve service delivery innovation. EDR will provide a long-term platform for significant operational improvements in tax return processing, including automation of manual processes and data capture and centralization—all leading to substantially better taxpayer service. Positive results will include faster tax return processing and account resolution due to account consolidation in one taxpayer folder, fewer data errors, and significant new revenue—a billion dollars more annually by project end.
EDR Project technology innovations include:
- Imaging all paper returns and correspondence received.
- Increasing data capture and enhance validation of tax documents.
- Introducing a Business Process Management system for tax return processing.
- Building an Enterprise Data Warehouse for tax return data.
- Modernizing the Business Entities Tax System.
- Developing an address and notification service.
- Creating an internal and external single view of data through the Taxpayer Folder.
To encourage valid voter registration and reduce the potential for fraud and abuse of the
system, Secretary of State Scott Gessler spearheaded a focused effort to make
registering to vote more accessible and voter rolls more accurate in the state of
To make registering to vote easier and more accessible, Secretary Gessler and his office developed the first mobile-optimized voter registration site in the country. GoVoteColorado.com enabled Coloradans to register to vote through their mobile device for the 2012 election and avoid the inconvenient trip to the post office.
The initiative was a great success with over 80,000 Coloradans added to the voter registration rolls through the site from September to October of 2012. Over 229,000 total submissions and updates to existing registrations were logged between August 31st and October 9th, 2012. Approximately 20 percent of these submissions were via the mobile version of GoVoteColorado.com.
This dedication allowed many Coloradans to finish their registration ahead of the deadline. In the final hour before the deadline, 1,268 people registered or changed their registration and 86 of those submissions were in the last five minutes before close.
The mobile-optimized online voter registration system was critical in clearing the volume of over 100,000 voter registrations that at one time or another were backlogged for processing in the 2012 election.
Beyond simply serving as a voter registration tool, the site was enhanced to act as an information clearinghouse for overseas as well as domestic voters. Coloradans with a driver’s license or state ID card can now use GoVoteColorado.com to request a mail ballot, read current ballot language, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find their polling place.
The 2012 State Technology Innovator Award Recipient
Governor Dave Heineman stated “I think if you're involved in technology in our state, you know the state is trying to take a quantum leap forward. We want to be prepared for the next generation of consumers who are going to use technology at all hours of the day." During the seven years of his administration he has made good on that statement through his leadership and support to ensure Nebraska to prepare for the next generation of residents, businesses and employees. Technology has been and continues to be a key tool in the Heineman Administration.
Governor Heineman understands what technology can do for government, making the decisions that ensure that Nebraska uses the appropriate resources to deliver services to our citizens. Even during the recent economic downturn when most state governments were pulling back from investing monies into their state infrastructure, Governor Heineman supported efforts ensuring that Nebraska continued to move forward.
Some of the statistics regarding the technologies that Nebraska has deployed demonstrate the Governor’s commitment to adopting emerging technology and innovation for service delivery.
- In the first three months of 2012, more license plate renewals have been performed online than during all of 2009. Year to date, more than 35,000 individuals were able to perform a transaction with the DMV without stepping into an office.
- Nebraska’s new innovative online liquor license renewal service unites the interactions required at both a state and a city/county office. In 2011, 1,037 online renewals were completed, compared to nearly 1000 licenses in the first three months of 2012.
- In its 1st full year of state-wide availability, Court eFiling saved over 12,000 hours of staff time. Additionally, over 60% of new civil cases in the County Courts were initiated online. No other states allow filing in county and district courts through a single process.
- Our Department of Revenue’s e-filing statistics show that 91.3% of 2012 individual income tax returns were e-filed. We are still processing, but we anticipate that our final numbers will be in the high 80% range.
- On the Game and Parks site, the busiest day of 2011 was November 11, registering 5.9 million hits and selling over 12,000 permits. Last year over 1,250,000 original/replacement permits and stamps were sold on-line.
- The 511 system for road conditions continues success on both on our website and by dialing 511 from your telephone. In the first four months of 2012, the 511 system logged over 98,900 calls and over 376,900 online visits. In 2011 the new Mobile Traveler launched featuring selected views from highway cams, links to current weather/radar/forecasts, and other features. Over 44,000 visitors have logged on the mobile site in 2012.
- On an average single day we process 60 birth certificates, 200 corporate documents, 350 driver records, and 600 motor vehicle records.
The 2011 State Technology Innovator Award Recipient
Johnson was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal as secretary for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in June 2010. In this role, Johnson has led DCFS’ reorganization and modernization efforts,
designed to streamline the agency, decrease DCFS’ overall footprint, and implement new technology and systems to provide DCFS clients with more efficient and effective services.
Johnson has overseen the decrease in DCFS’ overall footprint from 157 offices around the state to a projected 80 offices by the end of 2011. This has been accomplished by consolidating offices, modernizing services, and creating a community partner network, which has increased access to services for clients.
Under Johnson’s leadership, DCFS developed an electronic time and attendance process in 2010 called Tracking of Times Services, or TOTS, to manage the state’s child care assistance program. TOTS utilizes a finger imaging device, making Louisiana the first state in the nation to use a biometric finger scan, which measures physical characteristics of the parent’s finger and converts them into an identifying numeric code, to check the child into and out of care. With this new program, DCFS not only improved the safety of the children in the program and provided staff with more accurate, realtime data concerning a child’s attendance, but also resulted in a $1.5 million dollar per month savings, partly because of the reduction of fraud and more efficient and accurate payments to child care facilities.
Johnson also led several more innovative programs. In July 2011, DCFS launched a centralized intake system manned 24 hours per day by child welfare specialists to ensure more consistent screening and decision-making of child abuse and neglect reports statewide. That same month, DCFS launched a customer service center that eliminates the need for most clients to visit an office. Instead, they call a toll-free number and receive automatic information about benefits, or can speak to a customer service representative.
In December 2011, DCFS will pilot a fully integrated, common-access front end, known as CAFÉ, designed to integrate business case management functionality across DCFS programs. CAFÉ will roll out statewide in early 2012. CAFÉ will provide web-based access for DCFS staff, customers, service providers and stakeholders via web portals and bring DCFS’ disparate legacy systems under one umbrella.
The 2010 State Technology Innovator Award Recipients
Vice President of Geospatial Technologies
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
State of Alabama
Director, Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships
Department of Technology, Management and Budget
State of Michigan
David Y. Ige
Over the last 25 years, Senator David Ige has blended his service as a Hawai‘i state legislator with his career as an engineer and information technology professional to advance the state's technology policy agenda.
Early in his public service career, he was instrumental in creating the Hawai‘i Information Network Corporation as the statewide entity responsible for the development of IT infrastructure and industry expansion. As the Chair of the Committee on Education in the House of Representatives in the early 1990s, he advocated for equal access to information technology in the statewide school system. Upon becoming Chair of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Ige similarly focused on ensuring that technology was used to advance health care programs, supporting telehealth initiatives in rural communities, and enhanced wireless 911 services throughout the state.
Most recently, Senator Ige has served as the champion for expanded use of information technology within the Hawai‘i State Senate and the legislative branch of government. In 2007, when Hawai‘i Senate President Colleen Hanabusa announced the "Paperless Initiative" as part of the Senate's sustainability platform, she named Senator Ige as the Senate's Technology Leader, a first in state legislative history. In this position, Senator Ige served a key role as the Senate's technology ambassador, working with Senators, staff, and the general public to promote technology expansion within the legislative process.
Additional information on the Hawaii Paperless Senate Initiative:
- Hawaii Senator Ige and the Paperless Senate Initiative
- Hawaii Senate Paperless Statistics - 2010 Session
Senator Carol Fukunaga, Hawai‘i State Senate
“Senator David Ige demonstrated exceptional leadership as well as an ability to use technology as a strategic tool for innovation in State government. The results of Senator Ige’s appointment by the State of Hawai’i Senate President as the Senate’s Technology leader for their paperless initiative speak for themselves. Over the past three years, the State Senate has measured an 80% paper reduction rate, a 100% technology adoption rate and a 100% increase in on-line, near real-time access to Legislative material. Even better, Senator Ige expanded the benefits of the Senate’s paperless initiative beyond the Senate so that the entire State of Hawai’i benefits from this effort, not just the Senate. Now all citizens can access Legislative documents in near real-time, reduce the number of paper copies made, and provide timely updates to information on hearings. I congratulate Senator Ige on using technology to improve and reduce the cost of state government.”
Russ K. Saito, State Comptroller and Director, Department of Accounting and General Services, State of Hawai‘i
As Vice President of the Geospatial Training and Application Center at Alabama’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Chris Johnson was one of the nation’s first promoters of visualization technology. She developed and implemented the concept for a common operating map now known as Virtual Alabama, which provides situational awareness to such diverse users as first responders, emergency managers, municipal leaders, environmental agencies, military staff, transportation officials, utilities workers, economic developers, and agricultural officials. This system currently enables more than 6,500 government officials in every Alabama county, encompassing 1,450 various agencies, to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
Ms. Johnson’s tireless leadership as program manager—from the initial operating stage in 2006, to that of program sustainment, to future development—is the key factor in the Virtual Alabama success story. From the initial discussions, she developed a business model that empowers each government agency to control the use and release of its data. She successfully worked to build trust with local and state leaders and to foster a collaborative environment. As a result, government officials are now sharing imagery data that is conservatively valued in excess of $40 million.
Virtual Alabama has become known as a national best practice in the geospatial community and proved instrumental this year when Alabama was hit by two EF3-scale tornadoes as well as the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.
However, Ms. Johnson’s contributions to the technology field are not limited to her leadership with Virtual Alabama. She also led the installation of the Alabama’s Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) Project. She was nominated by her peers to be chairperson of the Alabama GIS Advisory Committee and, in that capacity, has worked to build a consortium of stakeholders who will collaborate at federal, state, and local government levels to acquire remote sensing data through a unified aerial photography plan. Ms. Johnson also authored the Alabama State Fly Plan, which provides a logical course for acquiring imagery data for the entire state, eliminating duplication of efforts and saving money through economies of scale.
“I can think of no one who deserves this recognition more. Chris Johnson is truly a great asset for this organization and for all the people of Alabama. She is a visionary leader and a practical manager who possesses impeccable ethics, excellent communication skills, and technical capability. She develops user-friendly solutions to complex challenges. Chris exemplifies all the qualities that define an innovator and that define the best of this state’s and nation’s public servants.”
Larry Capps, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
“We're proud of the success Virtual Alabama has achieved. Chris Johnson's leadership, determination, and ability to earn the trust of diverse local agencies played a key role in that success. As Virtual Alabama Program Manager, Chris understood the importance of using state imagery and infrastructure data to create a robust program that would provide cutting-edge assistance to agencies across the state.”
Jack Doane, Director, Information Services Division, Department of Finance, State of Alabama
As Director of Michigan’s Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships, Eric Swanson has used innovative technology to infuse an entrepreneurial spirit within the organization and to drive shared services. Launched in 2008, the center delivers technology solutions and supplies innovative support to all of Michigan’s state government, providing leaders and subject-matter experts to develop solutions and generate partnerships across state government and beyond.
Mr. Swanson, who was recently named the state’s Chief Data Officer, played a critical role in establishing an enterprise-level information management approach, coordinating and consolidating business intelligence, data transport, query reporting and related tools as well as addressing quality assurance. As a result of his leadership, information is managed as an asset and delivered as part of a business service.
Additionally, Mr. Swanson integrated the state’s Geographic Information Systems, advancing them to the forefront of IT initiatives for influencing public policy. He has used GIS to forge new partnerships and shared services, drive data utilization and enable data-driven decisions.
As coordinator of Michigan’s Economic Recovery Act for information technology-related projects, Mr. Swanson leads the state’s efforts to obtain American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for a statewide broadband superhighway. His nonpartisan nature in supporting the Michigan Legislature is widely acknowledged and respected. He directed the 1990, 2000 and 2010 redistricting data projects.
“Eric is an innovator who is helping us leverage technology to make state services less costly and easier for people to access. He’s a creative problem solver, someone who can stretch traditional thinking and devise new ways of getting things done.”
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, State of Michigan
“Eric has been an innovative leader within our department and across state government for years. As the Director of the Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships, he has taken that innovation across traditional boundaries by working closely with local governments, forging shared solutions and services with local partners that bring greater efficiency for taxpayers across Michigan. I know I speak for his many friends and colleagues in government when I say that this recognition is truly deserved.”
Ken Theis, Chief Information Officer, State of Michigan
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