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Best of California Awards 2016 – Winners Announced

In its 14th year, the Best of California Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their innovative technology solutions in state and local government across the state.

Best of California Awards 2016 recognize diversity, anti-human trafficking and other technology-enabled initiatives.

Sacramento, Calif. - August 11, 2016 - The Center for Digital Government presented the Best of California Awards today during the California Technology Forum.

The Best of California Awards recognize state and local government organizations for innovative technology initiatives.

This year’s Best of California Awards include: 

  • City of Los Angeles’ Diversity in Technology Initiatives. Under the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA Information Technology Agency (ITA) has been delivering a program to improve gender diversity among the city’s technology staff. Initiatives include outreach to local universities and support for civic hackathons and female internships. As a result, the city’s programming staff is now 42 percent female.Additional efforts include encouraging qualified female contractors to compete for city contracts and support for women-owned startups through The Elevate Project of Los Angeles.

  • Alameda County’s MAP1193 Mobile Tool to Stop Human Trafficking. The county’s new app is specifically designed to mobilize citizens to become community anti-human trafficking advocates. Citizens use the app to report compliance with Senate Bill 1193, which requires certain organizations to display a “Stop Human Trafficking” poster in full view of the public and its employees. 

  • The California Employment Development Department’s Unemployment Insurance Online (UI Online). This Web-based tool and mobile app provides citizens an online process for managing UI claims 24/7. In its first year UI Online served more than 500,000 citizens, 90 percent of whom rated their experience using the service as “excellent” or “good.”

 “The Best of California awards recognize the people behind new applications and innovations that are improving the lives of citizens all over the state,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “The Center is delighted to honor public servants who are helping move government forward with new technology.”

 Best of California Award winners are selected by a panel of judges based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and improving public services and business processes.

 2016 Award Recipients:

 Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management

  • Crystal Taylor, Assistant Director, California Project Management Office, California Department of Technology  

Best Application Serving the Public 

  • Unemployment Insurance Online, California Employment Development Department

  • DebtWatch Open Data Website, California State Treasurer 

  • Foster Health Link, Ventura County 

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs 

  • OC Expediter Procurement and Contract Management Application, Orange County 

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations 

  • Families Engaging in New Interventions and Community Services (FENICS), Santa Clara County

  • Alameda County Permit Portal 

Best Mobile/Wireless Project

  • MAP1193 Mobile Tool to Stop Human Trafficking, Alameda County

  • California Lottery Mobile Application 

Most Innovative Use of Social Media/Citizen Engagement

  • Video-Rich Social Media, City of Long Beach 

Most Innovative IT Workforce Initiative 

  • California Information Technology Leadership Academy (ITLA)

  • Diversity in Technology Initiatives, City of Los Angeles 

Best Data Analytics / Business Intelligence Project

  • Customer Service Dashboards, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)

  • Human Resources Data Analytics/Business Intelligence Project, County of Los Angeles 

For the story on the winners, please visit

The Best of California Awards also honor people dedicated to California public service. This year, 32 people were selected to receive awards for Outstanding IT Service and Support.

 Outstanding IT Service and Support Award Recipients:

  • Priya Ayyagari, Department of Industrial Relations

  • Regina Bell, California Natural Resources Agency

  • Elizabeth “Liz” Glogowski, Covered California

  • Teri Hartley, Department of Child Support Services

  • Laura Jee, Department of Child Support Services

  • Jeannie Pratt, Department of Child Support Services

  • Frank Henderson, Department of Industrial Relations

  • Cannic Hung, Franchise Tax Board

  • Cathryn Hunley, Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Information Services

  • Debra Imbach-Niklas, California Highway Patrol/Information Technology Section

  • Jason Jones, Information and General Services, County of Nevada 

  • Ash Keval, Department of Water Resources

  • Jeffrey Kraemer, CalPERS

  • Neerja Kumar, California State Lottery; Information Technology Services Division

  • Daniel Laffoon, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development; Information Technology Services Division  

  • Erie Luces, Information Technology, City of Stockton

  • Kari McConnell, Department of Technology, Statewide Telecommunications and Network Division 

  • Lety Medrano, Corporate Registration Unit, Board of Equalization

  • Rosemary Mulligan, State Lands Commission

  • Anatoliy Oleshko, Department of Finance

  • Payal Patel, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 

  • Steven Peters, Department of Community Services and Development

  • Sita Renduchintala, Employment Development Department

  • David Salyer, California State Transportation Agency; California Department of Transportation 

  • Lorenzo Shells, Cal OES

  • Scott Shugart, California Health & Human Services Agency; Department of Developmental Services

  • Maryann Silva, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

  • John Situ, Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Information Services

  • John Spendlove, Department of Water Resources

  • John Sweet, Department of Technology, Statewide Telecommunications and Network Division 

  • Yolanda Tamez, Employment Development Department

  • Dennis Yagen, California Energy Commission


The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. The Center provides public- and private-sector leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help drive 21st-century government.

The Center is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

For more information, please contact:
Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards