This is how it’s done.

Government Technology and AT&T have launched a nationwide platform for special districts that includes a regional and national awards program with three (3) categories to recognize IT innovation and leadership. An evaluation committee will review nominations in the following 3 categories, and select award recipients in each of the five regions. You may also nominate the same special district in all 3 categories and submissions may be entered by the public or private sector. Awards will be presented at each of the corresponding regional Special District Summits. Click here for information regarding the regional events.

Award Categories

Technology Innovation: Citizens

This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve service delivery to citizens – for example, increased customer satisfaction, enhanced user experience, accelerated access to services, et al.

Technology Innovation: Operations

This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve internal operations – for example, efficiency and productivity improvements, cost reduction, enhanced security, improved processes, advanced sustainability, et al.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

This category recognizes a special districts leader that has led technology innovation initiatives and programs that go above and beyond to positively impact the community and / or operations. The nomination should highlight vision, leadership and support of information technology.


To download a copy of the submission form to fill out offline, please click here. For any questions regarding the awards program or submission process please contact Janet Grenslitt.

Regional Nomination deadlines:

West - Due April 6
Southwest - Due April 20
Midwest - Due May 4
Southeast - Due May 22
Northeast - Due July 10

2017 East US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Social Media Initiative: Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, Illinois

The park district has improved communication with the public through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Using social media, the district has been able to enhance program awareness and participation and better publicize job openings.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Fiber Optic Resource Sharing Agreement: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA)

This agreement between the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County enabled the sharing of fiber optic cable and other resources, and has expanded to include several state agencies. The tremendous level of inter-governmental collaboration has paved the way for other collaborative efforts, such as joint procurements of IT products and services.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Robert Presnell Jr.: COO, Detroit Water and Sewerage

Presnell developed and implemented strategy to enhance customer experience, resulting in lower customer wait times, faster response times, improved revenue streams, lower cost of service and stronger communication channels. Technology initiatives include investment in a start up for a mobile-friendly, self-service application; payment kiosks across the city with real-time billing data and several payment options; and the ability for customers to reserve a place in line at the service centers through their mobile phone.

2017 Southwest US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

GPS.MyGovernmentOnline: South Central Planning & Development Commission

The commission created an asset tracking system that uses GPS, wireless infrastructure and cloud services to manage everything from government fleet vehicles to sandbags. The system has improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness, and currently serves 10 jurisdictions.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Central US Interoperability Hub - "CUSIOP Hub": Kansas Turnpike Authority, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, North Texas Tollway Authority, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, Harris County Toll Road Authority, and Texas Department of Transportation

This multi-state effort lets citizens in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas use one account and a common transponder to pay tolls across 1,300 miles of toll highways. It helps facilitate toll transaction communication among seven tolling authorities in the three states and keeps costs low for these authorities and customers.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Joe Iannello: VP and CIO, Capital Metro

Since 2011, Iannello has spearheaded modernization and service improvement efforts at Austin’s public transit authority, including the launch of one of the nation’s first mobile ticketing systems. Iannello is a board member of the Austin CityUP Consortium – a public/private consortium that facilitates smart city initiatives, and has been named one of Computerworld’s 2016 Premier Technology Leaders.

2017 West US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

E-Citizen Mobile Civic Engagement Platform: Jurupa Community Services District

JCSD provides water, sewer, street lights, frontage landscape maintenance, graffiti abatement, and parks and recreation services to over 120,000 residents. To streamline citizen requests and employee response, the district developed a multi-jurisdictional community engagement smartphone app that provides residents with a one-stop method to report non-emergencies.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Pipeline Risk Visualization: San Diego County Water Authority

By taking various data sets from multiple sources and combining them into an open-source database, this initiative increases transparency into pipeline risk for all stakeholders. Staff, executives, the board of directors, rate payers and the surrounding communities can now easily consume data, which assists in making better and more targeted pipeline rehabilitation decisions.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Randell Iwasaki: Executive Director Contra Costa Transportation Authority

Iwasaki led several initiatives -- including implementing intelligent transportation systems, drones and new toll technology -- to increase driver safety, ease traffic congestion and make the environment greener. He makes recommendations on how local, state and federal transportation funds are used in Contra Costa County, and spearheaded a public-private partnership to support GoMentum Station -- a 5,000 acre, secure autonomous vehicle testing site in Concord, Calif.

2017 Southeast US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

MARTA Mobile Ticketing System: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

The mobile ticketing system improves the public transit experience for citizens by eliminating wait times at ticket vending machines and providing real-time arrival/departure and safety information. In the near future, the mobile app will also provide real-time car parking availability status on all MARTA garages.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Virtual Desktop Initiative: Atlanta Housing Authority

By replacing 90 percent of its physical desktops with virtual desktops, the housing authority simplified support, reduced costs, improved security, provided remote access to employees and enhanced customer service. All users now have the same desktop experience, which has created a more stable environment. An additional benefit has been a reduction in the district’s carbon footprint.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

John M. Daane: Director of Information Technology Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

Daane created a 5-year master plan for IT that tackled system replacement and resulted in increased service levels, cost savings and new staff skillsets. This initiative has reduced physical servers by 70 percent, increased services by 30 percent and increased bandwidth by 500 percent.