Best of Texas Awards 2012

E.Republic’s Center for Digital Government honored public leaders and agencies for their tireless work in information technology (IT) at the 2012 Best of Texas awards ceremony held in Austin, Texas.

by Janet Grenslitt / July 12, 2012

Texas Technology Leaders and Innovators Honored in Austin

E.Republic’s Center for Digital Government honored public leaders and agencies for their tireless work in information technology (IT) at the 2012 Best of Texas awards ceremony held in Austin, Texas.

The Best of Texas awards program recognizes public sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to IT in Texas. Winners are selected based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and bettering services and business processes.

“This year’s Best of Texas is a testament to the innovation of public servants dedicated to improving government interactions with citizens,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government.  “It is a pleasure to showcase the contributions and innovative work of the award recipients who’ve demonstrated an unfailing commitment toward engaging citizens, improving communities and solidifying the future well-being of the great state of Texas.  Congratulations!”


2012 Best of Texas Awards

Demonstrated Leadership in Management of Information Technology

Leatha Mullins, Chief Technology Officer, Dallas County Schools 

Ms. Mullins leads the team providing managed technology services to school districts across Texas; more than 1200 districts, 2,000 professionals and 425,000 students. 

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Management

Nanette Monte, IT Project Consultant, City of Fort Worth 

Ms. Monte simultaneously managed the three-year Microwave Replacement Project for the city and over 15 outside agencies; and the Computer Aided Dispatch Upgrade, resulting in a savings of $500,000. 

Best Application Serving the Public 

Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE) Redesign Project, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

The 350,000 prospective adoption families visiting the TARE website monthly can build a profile, perform searches for children and sibling groups available for adoption and view their profiles, photos and videos; and submit inquiries to adoption caseworkers. 

Best Application Serving the Public 

Texas Permitting and Routing Optimization System (TxPROS), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

TxPROS is a web-based system that allows Texas trucking companies to apply and pay for an oversize/overweight permit, reducing the permit waiting time from from three hours Monday – Friday to less than 30 minutes 24/7.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs 

Benefits Pension Administration System (BPAS) Project, Texas Employee Retirement System

Implementation of BPAS, a business rules management system, provided 40 percent improvement in batch processing and 50 percent improvement in service response times.

Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs 

City of Austin’s Flood Early Warning System

FEWS provides accurate, effective flood warning of dangerous roadways during inclement weather, based  on real-time synthesized flood data from multiple sources. Designed and developed internally, FEWS saved over $950,000. 

The Green IT Award 

Communications Technology Management Green IT Program, City of Austin

Austin is saving $1.1 million annually from the PC refresh program, power and data center management, virtualization, use of energy star devices, and from 35,000 lbs of equipment diverted from city landfills then made into street signs.

The Green IT Award 

Efficiency by Design, Lone Star College System 

The “green” data center allows the college to leverage private and hybrid cloud computing models, improving service delivery while reducing operational costs resulting in $625,000 in cost savings from server virtualization and more than three million dollars in construction cost savings.

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations 

Foundation School Program – Bond Programs, Texas Education Agency

The Bond Programs application facilitates the flow of information among districts, the Municipal Advisory Council, and the Texas Education Agency.  It automates two key components of Texas' public education funding that finance more than $1 billion annually for building and refurbishing schools in property-poor districts.

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations 

IT Support of Child Abduction Response Team, City of Bryan

The Amber Alert Network established an inter-agency Brazos Valley Child Abduction Response Team, supported by a “leads tracking” system, search team GPS tracking and data conversion, and establishment of interoperable radio communications.

Best In-House Developed Application 

Bexar County Online Parks Reservation System

The Bexar County Parks Reservation System hosts maps of Bexar County’s parks detailing significant points of interest and 360-degree panoramic virtual tours and reservation information and online payments for pavilions, barbeques, kitchens and other rentable assets.  

Best Mobile/Wireless Project

Harris County Mobile Service Request

Harris County citizens can now submit non-emergency requests using a smart phone or tablet; such as reporting a pothole, traffic obstructions, or identifying road closures with just a few clicks and minimal input.

Most Innovative Use of Social Media

“Tweet-Along” – Virtual Ride-Along on Twitter, City of Arlington Police

To raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, Police Chief Theron Bowman rode with a DWI Enforcement Officer and tweeted calls-for-service and activities from the passenger seat, attaching photos. Now hostsed quarterly, followers on Twitter have nearly tripled to over 2,600.

Special Award for Government Transparency and Citizen Engagement

Senate Committee App, Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce Commerce

The Mobile App capitalizes on several of Senator John Carona’s technology initiatives  - giving the user a Committee overview, providing a web-optimized blog feed, and making it easy to send an email or tweet to the Committee office. Agendas, real-time testimony, and backgrounders are easily accessed.


Outstanding IT Service and Support Awards

Recognizing the tireless work of those who work day after day - as team members, team leads, IT project leads and managers - upholding the highest standards of public service.

Outstanding IT Service and Support Award Winners

  • Shawnette Brown, Senior HR Analyst, City of Fort Worth
  • Matt “Mateo” Esquibel, Web Services Supervisor, City of Austin
  • Sergeant Major Thomas Gleason, NCOIC, Texas State Guard
  • Tom Jenkinson, Project Manager, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
  • Bryan McKay, Lead Systems Support Specialist, Texas Workforce Commission
  • Lance Menchu, Systems Analyst, Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Kyle Neely, PMO Manager, Texas Employee Retirement System
  • Bich Nguyen, Programmer/DBA, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
  • Ana Perez, IT Budget and Procurement Manager, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Diana Taylor, Project Manager, Texas Project Management Office, Data Center Services Transition
  • Priya Venkatesan, Systems Analyst VI, Texas Employees Retirement System


For the awards article see:

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.  See  

The Center for Digital Government is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation. See

For more information, please contact:

Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards


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