Seattle, Wash., Tuesday, October 12, 2021 —The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) presented the State Technology Innovator Award to three deserving public servants during the NASCIO 2021 Annual Conference. The NASCIO State Technology Innovator Award honors outstanding state government employees who have made contributions to advance state technology policy through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery. Nominations were gathered from NASCIO members and selected by the NASCIO Executive Committee.
The following are the recipients of the 2021 NASCIO State Technology Innovator Award:
State Chief Technology Innovation Officer, California Department of Technology
Rick Klau got involved in state technology when he was in the private sector and volunteered to help California with its COVID-19 vaccination data efforts. His work so impressed State CIO Amy Tong that she asked if he would consider joining her team. Without hesitation, Rick became California’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer in early 2021. Rick has overseen the creation of a digital vaccination record for Californians and the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record Portal—a first of its kind service in California. Under Rick’s guidance, team building, leadership and advocacy, the portal was released in June 2021. The voluntary system gives every vaccinated Californian who wants one a digital version of their vaccine record that is also a SMART Health Card. With this ecard, California residents have an opt-in, secure and shareable digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record to use as they see fit. In just 12 days after its launch, the system delivered more than 1 million digital vaccine records to California residents.
Chief Operations Officer, Texas Department of Information Resources
Dale Richardson helped guide the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) response efforts through the COVID-19 pandemic and the Texas winter storm of 2021. Under Dale’s operational leadership, DIR ensured continuity of operations for Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education. When Texas organizations needed information technology services the most, Dale and his team managed the state’s data centers and statewide network without disruption. With pre-emptive preparation and planning, Dale’s team implemented a variety of expanded technology solutions and provided guidance for agency technology implementation in response to COVID-19. Additionally, Dale has implemented the Texas Data Center Services model to provide technology services and solutions to state agencies and local governments including private and public cloud
services, mainframe services and security operations services. In December 2020, DIR customers rated the services model with 100 percent customer satisfaction.
Deputy Executive Director, Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology
Julia Richman joined the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) in February 2019, and was critical to the agency’s COVID-19 response efforts. She simultaneously helped to move both OIT employees to remote work as well as support the more than 32,000 state employees who began working remotely. Additionally, she served as OIT’s connection to the Governor’s Innovation Response Team. Within weeks of joining OIT, Julia assessed the agency’s operating model and determined that it was no longer optimal and needed updating. In August 2020, a two year program to reimagine information technology was launched under Julia’s leadership. As part of this program, several projects have already been completed including the vendor management project; a new, user-friendly service catalog; an IT service hub; and real-time billing. Finally, under Julia’s direction, an IT Rates and Services Board and an IT Strategy and Planning Board were established.
Director of Policy and Research
National Association of State Chief Information Officers