Announcing the winners of the 2023 StateScoop 50 Awards

The awards, in their 10th year, honor the most influential people and projects across the state government tech community.

The word StateScoop atop the number 50. The word awards is inside the zero of 50. The text is on top of a blue background. At the bottom of an image is the text "Thank you to our sponsor Google for Government" as well as the Google for Government logo
The 2023 StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and brightest across state government. (Scoop News Group)

Scoop News Group is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 StateScoop 50 Awards.

The awards, now in their 10th year, honor the most influential people in the state government IT community, and the most innovative projects that advance government operations and citizen services.

The 2023 awards were presented on the first day of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ midyear conference in National Harbor, Maryland. This year’s winners will be featured in upcoming video interviews taped at the conference, and highlighted on StateScoop’s Priorities Podcast.

Starting in early February, members of the state and local IT community nominated hundreds of leaders and projects for the awards. StateScoop narrowed the list to nearly 200 finalists. From March 6 to April 7, StateScoop readers cast more than 3 million votes to select this year’s 50 winners. 

“For our 10th annual StateScoop 50 Awards, we’re so excited to honor this incredible group of leaders,” said Jake Williams, StateScoop’s vice president of content and community. “The 2023 awards were among our most competitive ever, and this year’s group of winners are truly the top across our community.”

This year’s awards recognize leaders and projects from 22 different states, along with executives from 14 companies. 

Meet the winners:

Liana Bailey-Crimmins

CIO, State of California

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

California State CIO Liana Bailey-Crimmins’ vision looks beyond the status quo and embraces change, fosters trust in leadership to transform government so others will follow, delivers premiere, value-added services, frames the state as a destination employer, and makes a difference in the lives of Californians and the government that serves them. As a true leader, Bailey-Crimmins understands that technology enables us to do great things by delivering innovative solutions to complex problems.

Jason Clarke

CIO, State of Delaware

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Appointed by Governor John Carney as Acting CIO in September 2020, and formally confirmed by the Senate as CIO in January 2021, Jason Clarke is responsible for leading DTI’s team of more than 300 IT professionals with the collective mission of providing technology services and scalable, collaborative solutions that help Delaware provide the highest quality programs and digital government services to its citizens.

Stephanie Dedmon

CIO, State of Tennessee

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

As Chief Information Officer for the State of Tennessee, Stephanie Dedmon is responsible for all operational areas of the state’s central IT organization, Strategic Technology Solutions. This includes managing the team’s IT service delivery, technical infrastructure development and support, customer service management and a workforce of almost 1300 IT professionals. Dedmon is also the current president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

Katrina Flory

CIO, State of Ohio

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Katrina Flory is an accomplished IT professional with extensive experience in State government. As the state chief information officer (CIO) and assistant director of DAS, she oversees the DAS Office of Information Technology and sets the IT direction for the State of Ohio.

Alan Fuller

CIO, State of Utah

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Alan Fuller was appointed Chief Information Officer for the state of Utah in March 2021. As CIO, Fuller oversees all IT functions for executive branch agencies in Utah with the goal to improve innovation and improve government services through the use of technology. 

Denis Goulet

CIO, State of New Hampshire

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Denis Goulet is the chief information officer for the state of New Hampshire. He was appointed to the post in 2015, and leads the information technology operations for the state. Goulet is a past president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and a regular speaker at government IT conferences across the country.

James Grant

CIO, State of Florida

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

When Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian, the state technology leadership under James Grant did all to keep IT infrastructure up and running quickly. During the crisis, Grant and his team launched and to provide impacted people and their loved ones information on how to stay safe and find those missing. 

Robert Osmond

CIO, Commonwealth of Virginia

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Robert Osmond was appointed CIO of the Commonwealth of Virginia in April 2022 and has already made transformational impacts across the state. In less than a year, he has launched “Smart Growth,” a fresh new focus on VITA’s strategic priorities, centered on improving customer experience, a “whole-of-state” approach to cybersecurity and driving efficiency to streamline operations. 

Brandon Ragle

Acting CIO, State of Illinois

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

DoIT’s Acting Secretary & State CIO, Brandon Ragle, has demonstrated exceptional leadership, spearheading several successful initiatives across Illinois agencies. In 2022, Ragle initiated a statewide website modernization rollout of the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform. This rollout has accelerated Illinois’ digital transformation to improve digital experiences and provide more equitable access for Illinois residents.

Timothy Sheehan

Interim CIO, State of Wyoming

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Timothy “TR” Sheehan was appointed as interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Wyoming on January 13, 2022 for the second time. As CIO, Sheehan is charged with the creation of strategic IT initiatives that align with Wyoming’s culture and long-term goals. He works closely with directors and partners throughout the state to deliver programs and services that enhance business activities. 

J.R. Sloan

CIO, State of Arizona

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Transforming Arizona’s information security posture, J.R Sloan has set the standard for government cybersecurity. Currently serving as the Arizona Chief Information Officer and StateRAMP’s Board President, he has spearheaded the redefinition of how supply chain risks are managed for SLED governments across the country. As a co-founder of StateRAMP, a non-profit that assists government agencies with improving their cybersecurity status, Sloan. has helped design a solution that not only helps states protect their constituents but also benefits providers with a “verify once, serve many” model. He has helped save Arizona $11M annually in his spearheaded cloud migration strategy.

Brian Tardiff

CIO, State of Rhode Island

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Brian Tardiff, the State Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) joined the State in July 2018 and has served as Chief Information Security Officer until his selection as CDO / CIO in March of 2023. 

Tarek Tomes

CIO, State of Minnesota

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Tarek Tomes serves as the Commissioner of Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) and the State of Minnesota’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), leading state efforts to provide the best possible IT solutions and customer service to the people of Minnesota and our business partners.

James Weaver

CIO, State of North Carolina

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Information Technology and state CIO since March 2021, Jim Weaver prioritizes expanding affordable broadband, securing state IT systems and data and delivering modernized citizen-centric solutions. NCDIT is directing $1 billion in state and federal funds to broadband infrastructure grants in underserved areas, affordability programs and digital equity. 

Trina Zanow

CIO, State of Wisconsin

GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Trina Zanow is truly a pioneer in her profession. She is dedicated to building a forward-thinking future for the state and its approach to information technology. Zanow’s motivational leadership has transformed the Department of Enterprise Services (DET) by evolving the culture to be both inclusive and transparent in decision making, establishing a strategic IT roadmap, ensuring cybersecurity throughout the state, and mentoring and developing a dedicated professional team to build the technology infrastructure that meets the ever-growing needs of Wisconsin. 

Anushree Bag

CIO - Department of Child Services, State of Indiana

State Leadership of the Year

Under Anushree’s leadership, the tech team at the Indiana Department of Child Services delivered a significant technology transformation initiative to implement a modern Child Support system to replace the legacy system after 28 years. Indiana is the first state in the country to modernize child support using a platform-based approach, using Salesforce, Mulesoft, and AWS.

Tommy Balistreri

CIO - Department of Corrections, State of Wisconsin

State Leadership of the Year

In order to accelerate the development of new products as well as streamline the maintenance of existing products, Tommy Balistreri launched a DevOps and agile development strategy, revolutionizing operations for the department. His exemplary leadership and ability to drive change enabled him to reorganize the technology management staff into more focused teams for the application, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and governance areas. 

Jim Barnhart

Deputy CIO, Commonwealth of Kentucky

State Leadership of the Year

Jim Barnhart is an exemplary technology leader, willing to step in and do what is necessary to keep the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s systems running smoothly. He works with others to keep up with an evolving list of needs from their users, and he builds strong teams despite limited resources. He has worked with several CIO’s during his tenure, and is adaptable to the changing priorities that come with working in government.

Nate Denny

Deputy Secretary for Broadband & Digital Equity - Department of Information Technology, State of North Carolina

State Leadership of the Year

Nate Denny is the deputy secretary for broadband and digital equity with the North Carolina Department of Information Technology Division of Broadband and Digital Equity. Previously, he was chief of staff and legislative liaison for NCDIT.

Dave Fletcher

CTO, State of Utah

State Leadership of the Year

David Fletcher is currently the chief technology officer of the state of Utah where he oversees the state’s digital government initiatives and coordinates the introduction of new innovation and the state’s technical architecture program. Fletcher has a long history of involvement with technology initiatives, having previously served as director of the state’s Division of Information Technology, deputy CIO over eGovernment, and deputy director of the Utah Department of Administrative Services.

Adam Ford

CISO, State of Illinois

State Leadership of the Year

Adam Ford is the chief information security officer for the state of Illinois. Ford has served the state of Illinois for more than 20 years in various roles. Most recently, Ford’s role as CISO was cemented as the statewide leader of information security operations. In the role, Ford is charged with collaborating with Illinois state agencies and municipalities on cybersecurity and overall information security practices.

Dustin Glover

Chief Cyber Officer, State of Louisiana

State Leadership of the Year

Dustin Glover is the first Chief Cyber Officer for the State of Louisiana. In this role, Glover focuses on coordinating with state agencies on addressing cybersecurity risk. Prior to taking on the title of Chief Cyber Officer, Glover was the state’s chief information security officer for seven years.

Lisa Jammer

Chief People and Culture Officer - Department of Information Resources, State of Texas

State Leadership of the Year

Establishing a dynamic work culture in an IT agency is a challenge, especially during a hybrid work environment. As the Chief People and Culture Officer at the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), Lisa Jammer is committed to ensuring that the state’s technology agency takes an innovative approach to IT workforce recruitment and retention. In January 2023, DIR was recognized as a top employer of Texas veterans and as a national Top Place to Work based on employee feedback for the second consecutive year. Additionally, 50 percent of DIR’s new hires are women—putting DIR way ahead of the private sector technology workforce.

Sean Hughes

Assistant Secretary - Executive Office of Technology, Services and Security, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

State Leadership of the Year

Sean Hughes is an assistant secretary in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology, Services and Security. In this role, Hughes has lead a migration to single sign-on on Microsoft Azure Active Directory. Hughes also played a key role in the state’s COVID-19 response.

Hemant Jain

CISO, State of Indiana

State Leadership of the Year

Hemant Jain brings with him over 25 years of IT, security and program management experience. While he has led teams around the globe for multi country deployments his focus now has been on the local community for a whole of state cybersecurity approach. Jain is working to provide innovative offerings for the community which will provide the foundations for a sustainable cyber secure future for the whole state.

Ryan Murray

Interim CISO, State of Arizona

State Leadership of the Year

Ryan Murray is the interim CISO for the state of Arizona. In this role, he is responsible for enterprise security, a critical role as the state prepared to host the 2023 Super Bowl. In the last year, he started an ambitious cyber readiness program, which offers free security awareness training and a host of security tools to cities, counties, tribal entities, and K-12 schools – to improve the cyber posture across Arizona and provide improved visibility and better protections for the legions of remote workers. As a result of this program, Ryan and his team were able to address more than 700K vulnerabilities at the local level and save these entities millions of dollars.

Bob Pucci

Executive Director of Intelligent Automation, State of Tennessee

State Leadership of the Year

Bob Pucci is the executive director of intelligent automation for the state of Tennessee. In this role, Pucci leads the implementation of robotic process automation and other emerging technology for the state. 

Anh Selissen

CIO - Department of Transportation, State of Texas

State Leadership of the Year

Anh Selissen champions the use of new technologies within the government sector, particularly to improve workflows and the efficiency of daily operations. By applying AI and automation, Texas DOT’s user access management operations reduced processing time for support tickets from days to just minutes.

Business One Stop

Arizona Department of Administration

State IT Innovation of the Year

Before the launch of Arizona’s Business One Stop portal, Arizona’s process for new business creation was long, confusing, spanned multiple agencies, and required paper forms as well as in-person meetings. As a result of the launch, more businesses may open in Arizona, potentially boosting the state’s economy and providing citizens of Arizona with more options as consumers and improved services.

Climate Safety Analytics

Hawaii Department of Transportation

State IT Innovation of the Year

To address the increasing climate crisis, the Hawaii Department of Transportation needed to find new ways to put their resources in the right places at the right time. To better protect the islands and communities, they partnered with Google Public Sector to build a Climate Resilience Platform, which helps them assess and make data-driven decisions based on climate risks, asset conditions, and community impact.

Enterprise Identity Access Management

Missouri Office of Cybersecurity

State IT Innovation of the Year

Missouri’s workforce and citizen-facing Identity and Access Management initiative includes the deployment of multi-factor authentication and single sign-on solutions to secure accounts and critical internal applications for over 45,000 employees and 6 million residents across 1,300 applications by the summer of 2023. “These efforts allow Missouri’s Office of Cyber Security to bring the benefits of state-of-the-art identity capabilities to citizens, while improving their user experience and meeting strict security and automation requirements,” says Jim Garrett, CISO, State of Missouri.

Justice Data Portal

North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center

State IT Innovation of the Year

North Carolina’s Criminal Justice Analysis Center (CJAC) is tasked with collecting and analyzing data to inform the investment of criminal justice resources funds across the state. To replace the traditionally time-consuming manual reporting process, CJAC worked with SAS to launch the NC Justice Data Portal: a centralized interactive platform for criminal justice data from agencies across the state.

Property Tax Modernization

South Dakota Department of Revenue

State IT Innovation of the Year

In South Dakota, the Department of Revenue is responsible for the validation of levy information for over 2,500 local jurisdictions prior to sending tax bills. This requires the collection and validation of hundreds of thousands of data points, submitted in a slew of formats, none of which were consistent. DOR deployed an electronic filing solution to capture all their data electronically, with common validation and verification tasks being conducted on the data prior to the county’s submission. This automation has led to a drastic decrease in review time and facilitated the development of a property data warehouse for DOR.

Stabilization Service

California Department of Technology

State IT Innovation of the Year

Crises often demand the California Department of Technology respond by stabilizing critical state IT services. CDT’s Stabilization Service was established as a partnership with government agencies and departments to improve their IT stability and scalability as vital parts of the State’s most critical systems. The Stabilization Service performs assessments, prioritizes solutions, and funds stabilization projects. To date, CDT’s Stabilization Service has made more than 191 recommendations, and nine department stabilization assessments have been completed with remediation activities underway. 

State Earn and Learn (SEAL) IT Program

Indiana Office of Technology

State IT Innovation of the Year

The Indiana Office of Technology’s (IOT) nationally recognized State Earn and Learn (SEAL) IT Program grew 3x since 2022 – going from 17 associates to 51, and its ‘graduates’ (those moving into state employment) increased from two to 19. The SEAL program now supports three other state agencies besides IOT. SEAL is a work-based learning program with on-the-job paid training in government IT that identifies, hires, and trains citizens from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Regional Security Operations Center

Texas Department of Information Resources

State IT Innovation of the Year

In 2022, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) partnered with Texas’ Angelo State University to operate the pilot Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) and provide Texas local government entities with cybersecurity support. The first of its kind in the nation, the RSOC offers security monitoring, alerting, guidance, training, and protection to help customers prevent and recover rapidly from cybersecurity incidents. University students can work at the RSOC and receive hands-on experience, strengthening the cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow. In 2023, DIR plans to add two more RSOCs at the University of Texas in Austin and in the Rio Grande Valley.

Jennifer Axt

Vice President - U.S. State & Local Government and Education (SLED), Tanium

Industry Leadership of the Year

A 26-year industry veteran, Jennifer Axt played a pivotal role in Tanium becoming the first security industry solution provider to win a contract enabling a whole-of-state cybersecurity architecture. Axt proved instrumental in securing buy-in from stakeholders, including at the Governor’s level, and closing two whole-of-state deals in Arizona and Florida in FY23. In addition to convening state-level decisionmakers, Axt chairs the recently launched national technology association, GovTAP, bringing together vendors to provide a voice for government and advance SLED initiatives. She also serves as founding mentor for the growing networking organization, GovGals, providing a forum for executive women in government.

Deborah Blyth

Executive Strategist, CrowdStrike

Industry Leadership of the Year

Debbi Blyth draws on her vast technology background as Colorado’s former CISO to help state and local governments, higher education and healthcare strengthen and modernize cybersecurity infrastructure. As an executive strategist with CrowdStrike, Debbi assists leaders across these verticals to establish cybersecurity programs and develop incident response plans. 

Tommie Fern

SVP Public Sector Sales - State and Local Government, Salesforce

Industry Leadership of the Year

Tommie Fern has more than 30 years of experience working with state and local governments to improve the lives of citizens and families. During the COVID pandemic, Salesforce supported 43 states with contract tracing, vaccine management, call center management, and vaccination scheduling programs. Tommie’s team also supported 14 states’ unemployment modernization efforts. Thanks to Tommie’s leadership and the team’s commitment to rapid deployment, many of these systems went live within 1-2 weeks.

Lynn Martin

Vice President - Public Sector, Google

Industry Leadership of the Year

Lynn Martin is vice president of Google Public Sector, North America. Martin is responsible for driving growth and achieving customer success through the effective placement of Google Cloud solutions in public sector entities across North America. She first joined Google in December 2019. Prior to Google Cloud, Lynn spent eight years at VMware, where most recently she served as vice president of Government, Education & Healthcare. 

Elizabeth McGee

General Manager - State and Local Government and Education Sales, Intel

Industry Leadership of the Year

As General Manager of State and Local Government and Education Sales at Intel, Elizabeth McGee works closely with government and education leaders to ideate, design, and implement digital transformation projects. McGee was an integral part of launching Intel’s digital readiness curriculum in partnership with the University of Houston. The program expands opportunities for AI education and upskilling, preparing students for a transforming workforce.

Jon Minshew

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer - SLG, Dell Technologies

Industry Leadership of the Year

As a State and Local Government strategist, Jon Minshew leads State and Local Government customers through IT and business transformations by applying Dell Technologies solutions. His 28+ years of public service IT experience, and a passion for excellent customer service make him a trusted advisor and mentor. In his short tenure with Dell Technologies, Minshew is seen as an innovation champion for his Dell internal peers and external customers. 

Christopher Montgomery

Cybersecurity Strategist, VMware

Industry Leadership of the Year

Christopher Montgomery has emerged as a trusted advisor for state leaders in the areas of digital government and cybersecurity. As a cybersecurity strategist at VMware, Montgomery helps government leaders achieve their vision by leveraging innovative technologies and advanced security measures. He brings clarity to IT strategy – emphasizing the aspects of organizational change management. His commitment to cybersecurity has ensured that state systems are resilient. 

Shawn Rodriguez

Vice President - State & Local Government and Education, World Wide Technology

Industry Leadership of the Year

Shawn Rodriguez has been serving as the vice president for state and local government and education at World Wide Technology since July 2019. Previously, Rodriguez was the vice president for state and local government and education at Forescout Technologies, leading his 25-member, SLED team to execute a high-growth go to market strategy. His unit addressed the customers’ challenges on risk and breach mitigation, device and regulatory compliance and operational simplicity.

Doug Ross

Senior Director of SLED East - North America Public Sector, Red Hat

Industry Leadership of the Year

Under Doug Ross’ leadership, Red Hat’s SLED East team provides tailored, open source enterprise solutions enabling agencies to implement exceptional citizen experiences across 17 Northeastern states. Ross’ team delivers on 4 pillars: IT, automation, cloud and the edge where citizens can reap benefits like stable, resilient services with improved UX. Recently, Doug’s team helped a large municipality in the Northeast kickstart their automation journey, optimizing the speed of a key process from 6 weeks to just 12 hours. 

Srini Subramanian

Global Risk Advisory Leader, Deloitte

Industry Leadership of the Year

Srini Subramanian, Deloitte’s global risk advisory leader for government and public services, has committed the past 23 years to helping state governments improve cyber risk practices and elevate their resilience. He has delivered impactful cyber engagements for state chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs). Srini co-authors the biennial Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study. 

Matt Thompson

SVP & General Manager of Public Sector Solutions, Socure

Industry Leadership of the Year

Matt Thompson empowers state agencies to provide eligible citizens with equitable and inclusive access to public benefits while stopping fraudsters, criminal rings, and nation-state actors. An expert in digital identity verification and fraud detection, Thompson believes verifying 100% of good identities in real-time is both possible and imperative. 

Eric Trexler

Senior Vice President - Public Sector , Palo Alto Networks

Industry Leadership of the Year

Eric Trexler is the vice president of public sector at Palo Alto Networks. Trexler is a growth executive with more than two decades of experience in architecture and strategic selling of complex services and products including storage, security, networking, compute, cloud, database and applications. He joined Palo Alto Networks in 2022 after executive roles at Forcepoint and McAfee.

Mike Witzman

Senior Director of Systems Engineering - U.S. SLED, Cisco

Industry Leadership of the Year

Mike Witzman, Cisco’s Senior Director of Systems Engineering for SLED, leads a team of 200 engineers and business architects that help states, local governments, and educational institutions navigate complex IT challenges. Witzman is active with state and city CIOs and CISOs on IT modernization, digital government services, cybersecurity, transportation, broadband, and workforce development. 

Chris Wysopal

Founder & CTO, Veracode

Industry Leadership of the Year

Chris Wysopal is a cybersecurity pioneer respected at a national level for his innovations. As founder and CTO of Veracode, Wysopal is actively involved in shaping cybersecurity policy that allows state governments to strengthen their cyber hygiene and better serve constituents. He has testified regarding cyberthreats on Capitol Hill, helped NIST determine IoT cybersecurity and secure software development best practices in accordance with recent legislation, and aided CISA in identifying high-priority cyber defense planning activities for FY23.