Clickability tracking pixel
This is how it’s done

The Special Districts Awards Program is designed to recognize innovation and leadership within special district agencies across the country. This year, we are looking for notable examples of how special districts applied innovative technologies and leadership to response and recovery efforts as they relate to COVID-19. An evaluation committee will review nominations in the three categories below and select award recipients. Award winners will be notified of their selection by October 12th and will be presented their awards through a virtual national event. Submissions may be entered by the public or private sector.

Award Categories

Technology Innovation: Citizens

This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve service delivery to citizens – for example, making physical services available online, deploying new citizen engagement solutions, enhancing user experience, et al.

Technology Innovation: Operations

This category recognizes special districts that have utilized technology to improve internal operations with employees – for example, deploying new work from home initiatives, reengineering business processes, enhancing security measures, et al.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

This category recognizes special district leaders who have led innovative technology initiatives and bold responses to COVID-19. The nomination should highlight vision, leadership and the use of information technology.

For any questions regarding the awards program or submission process please contact Janet Grenslitt.

2019 Midwest US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Eight-Facility Wi-Fi Provision: Naperville Park District, Illinois

The district engaged in public-private partnerships and exchanged advertising space for free broadband equipment, installation and service at eight of its facilities to provide Wi-Fi for visitors; the district has plans to expand Wi-Fi service to an additional eight facilities next year.

SW Prime - Microtransit Service: SouthWest Transit, Minnesota

The microtransit service SW Prime is similar to popular rideshare services. Rides from the on-demand, curb-to-curb service can be requested by phone, online or a smartphone app and helps ensure communities receive equal service levels and wait times. Ridership has increased by over 40 percent each of the four years it’s been in operation.

Technology Innovation: Operations

New Technologies Usage: Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio

New technologies allow staff to quickly turn digital assets into physical ones or scan a physical asset into a system for digital analysis. These conversion processes are efficient for both production and decision-making, and result in assets that can be repurposed.

C-pass Collaboration with COTA and MORPC: Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, Ohio

To offset building office space vacancies and increasing traffic congestion in downtown Columbus, the district paired up with the Central Ohio Transit Authority and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, asked building owners and government partners to commit resources, and leveraged the regional commuter app to offer free bus rides to downtown. In the first year, over one million free bus rides have been redeemed, and downtown building leases and transit ridership have increased.

Container Locator: Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Iowa

The Container Locator online tool provides U.S. Customs shipping container data to manufacturers to improve decision-making and increase the efficiency of the transport of containers in the shipping network. This in turn reduces the number of trucks on the interstate and the shipping industry’s carbon footprint, as well as lowers costs for manufacturers, shippers and consumers.

Continuous Auditing Implementation: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Ohio

Internal Audit supplements traditional practices with continuous auditing techniques, such as using computerized scripts to automate controls. The transit authority now analyzes 100 percent of its transaction data in seconds versus weeks.

Transformation to Community Space: Indian Trails Public Library District, Illinois

An extensive renovation and expansion of the library building transformed it into a vibrant, active and engaging community space. A detention pond that provides a geothermal system to cool and heat the building, a partial green roof, LED lighting and 60 solar panels have also decreased energy costs by 30 percent.

311 Parks System: Naperville Park District, Illinois

The new “311 Parks” website and mobile app allow residents to report conditions that need attention. The customized “help ticket” app helps the park maintenance department address problems proactively and track the types, frequency and locations of reported issues over time. And the trend data contributes to planning and budgeting more efficiently, leading to better service for the community.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Demetria Simpson: President and Chief Executive Officer, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority

Simpson’s leadership, vision for growth and innovation in the housing arena has streamlined operations and positively impacted the community. Over the past year she has implemented three transformational projects:

  • An “Intranet Employee Portal” that engages staff, promotes team collaborations and enhances agency operations.
  • After being awarded the “Connect Home USA Grant” from HUD to bridge the digital divide for low-income families, the authority gifted 150 free computers to low-income school-age youth and several months of free in-home internet access.
  • A new “Applicant Portal” allows LMHA to better serve its residents.

2019 Southwest US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

GoFare Card: Colorado Valley Transit District

Acting like a pre-paid credit card, the GoFare Card allows people to purchase and load transit fares by website or phone. This has eliminated the hassle of finding the exact amount of cash when boarding the bus and has reduced the risk of robberies since less cash is carried on board.

Public Outreach: Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 2, Texas

The district implemented a new text and email alert system, updated its website, developed a specialized infographic about the status of the levee system, and installed stream and rainfall gauges that provide real-time information – all in an effort to increase communication and engagement with residents about flood risks.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Plan for Unaccounted for Water: Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District, Texas

To meet the standard for “unaccounted for water,” the district implemented a multi-year plan, which included meter replacement, resident education, leak detection, and the creation of operation and maintenance programs.

Detour-Aware Real-Time GTFS Feed: Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Texas

The data from this feed is used for trip planning in the CapMetro Mobile App, as well as for message signs at stops and stations. It leverages new vehicle routers that provide GPS data every 10 seconds, and merges with a data set regarding any detours. Capital Metro’s prediction accuracy has since increased 30 percent for the three-minute arrival window.

State Highway 45 Southwest: Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

State Highway 45 Southwest (45-SW) is a four-lane toll road that uses technology, including wrong-way driving detection technology and Permeable Friction Course pavement, to improve driver safety and mitigate environmental harm. 45-SW is now the model for environmental mitigation and sustainable highway development in Central Texas.

Fare Cards: Colorado Valley Transit District

Fare cards have allowed the administration to concentrate on higher-level tasks versus spending time counting change from fare boxes. They have also streamlined the flow of operations and helped track the demographics of those that use the transit system.

GoBus New Fare System: East Texas Council of Governments

GoBus recently implemented a new fare system with the use of Square credit card processing to provide a more dynamic and efficient way to collect fares from passengers. The entire operations staff was involved in educating passengers on the new system.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Rene Vicente Torres: Information Systems Manager, Edinburg Housing Authority, Texas

Torres has done several things to improve operations at the Edinburg Housing Authority (EHA), including increasing cyber safety by adding multiple layers of security and enhancing employee communications by implementing a chat app and an “express text” app.

Tyrell T. Morris, MBA CPE: Executive Director, Orleans Parish Communications District, Louisiana

Morris successfully led the city’s efforts to combine 911 and 311 by embracing a digital low-code application development platform. Under his leadership, the agency also deployed a new mobile CAD for first responders and integrated GPS tracking of responders, which helps finds the closest available unit in an emergency – increasing both first responder and citizen safety.

2019 Southeast US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Project SOAR: Housing Authority of the City of Prichard, Alabama

The agency implemented innovative initiatives to increase connectivity and approved devices for 35 percent of its households. For instance, a summer camp offered basic computer training where participants received certificates and free laptops they built; training programs helped families with job applications, certifications or online degrees; and a three-month class helped senior citizens learn how to access Social Security and other sites.

Water Well Construction Module: St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida

The district developed a scalable mobile- and user-friendly Water Well Construction Module to improve productivity for water well contractors in the field, increase customer satisfaction, improve permit accuracy and accelerate the permit application process.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI): North Springs Improvement District, Florida

The district’s AMI infrastructure uses low-power radio transmitters connected to individual water meters to send hourly readings to a network of rooftop receivers, which creates a database that works seamlessly with the billing system and eliminates property meter readings. This has decreased customer complaints and water usage, and increased revenue annually by eight percent.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Technology Projects: Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District, Florida

The district reduced operating costs and increased safety by adding radio repeaters to every fire vehicle, allowing radio communication inside buildings to reach fire fighter’s face masks. In addition, the district designed a system for tracking radios, tools and expiring stocks of drugs with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, which provided hard-dollar savings.

Data Consolidation Initiative: Southwest Florida Water Management District

The district developed a centralized GIS-based application that consolidated several disparate record keeping systems of land data into a single system available to all district staff. This initiative provides increased transparency and asset visibility and improved maintenance data.

Trust Central: The Children’s Trust, Florida

Trust Central automated The Children’s Trust processes. Data is now tracked as it moves from one business process to another, and Program Metrics captures usage data, produces dashboards, integrates nearly double the data points as previously, and produces funding strategies in under four hours. The time to execute contracts has been cut in half.

Neighborhood Master Plan: Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Northwest Gardens Neighborhood Master Plan is LEED certified and each site has a computer lab and library for residents. After building neighborhood walking trails and deploying cameras with public access to the live stream, the crime rate dropped over 50 percent. The Housing Authority also operates the StepUP apprenticeship program that trains and educates high school dropouts with criminal backgrounds – over 15 percent of the agency's full-time workforce are graduates of the StepUP program.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Cherrie Calloway: Neighborhood Networks Technical Trainer, Tampa Housing Authority, Florida

Calloway led the agency’s ConnectHome USA program by creating “Internet Cafes“ in several public housing developments, which brought high-speed internet to residents. Residents use the computers provided or their own devices and can receive training in several areas such as Microsoft office and social media. Calloway also manages three “smart-home communities” that offer free access to WiFi and computers and laptops. She has saved the agency thousands of dollars and enhanced the lives of residents through technology.

Shawn Hanson: Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal, Greater Naples Fire Rescue District, Florida

Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Hanson, the district implemented a district-wide Rapid Access (key) Solution to decrease emergency response times and expedite access to victims inside private and commercial occupancies and more than 50 public schools. This cloud-based emergency vehicle system also enhances security and accountability. Hanson initiated the program and partnership with local law enforcement, emergency medical services, the public school system and other fire rescue agencies.

2019 Northeast US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Wheels2U Micro-Transit Service: Norwalk Transit District, Connecticut

Wheels2U is a new on-demand shuttle service app that allows riders to request pickup and drop off locations. Each shuttle has a tablet that tracks trip statistics and provides an app that drivers use for navigation, live traffic conditions, and real-time pick-up and drop-off information. Since the app, ridership levels are growing at a rate of 20 percent each week.

meterUP Mobile Pay App: Philadelphia Parking Authority, Pennsylvania

The authority created a custom mobile parking payment app “meterUP” and engaged in extensive digital marketing campaigns throughout the city educating people on its use. Usage has grown from 7 percent of parking transactions to nearly 30 percent, and the app store rating is 4.8 out of 5.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Web-based Applications: Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Pennsylvania

After being outfitted with iPads, plumbers and field technicians can populate work orders in an app within 60 seconds, and locate and map their assignments using GIS integration and web-mapping services. The assignment procedure is so streamlined that they can now drag and drop assignments on a dashboard.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Margaret Zampini: Manager of IT Communications and Customer Services, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Zampini successfully led a multitude of technology projects that spanned the authority’s strategic priorities. She used project governance as a strategy for the department’s mission, and initiated a research project to refine current financial policies to ensure Technology Department needs were balanced with other business departments.

Philip True Savino: Chief Technology Officer, Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

True’s leadership strategy has been to reduce capital and operating costs while increasing resources and efficient processes. He has successfully implemented cloud and IoT technologies, including the “Wanted Plate” stealth alerting using license plate recognition (LPR) and an LPR deployment in conjunction with online registration for the Residential Parking Program.

Ai Yamanaka: Data Analytics Program Manager, Aviation Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Yamanaka built a data analytics team in the Aviation Department, which uses analytical tools to maximize facility efficiency. She is also creating an aviation data analytics warehouse and data dashboard to maintain live-assessment and operational data and vital key performance indicators for the busy airport system.

2019 West US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

MyWater MNWD: Moulton Niguel Water District, California

The district deployed a secure, cloud-based portal where customers can pay bills, view their water usage, learn about water conservation programs such as turf replacement and rebates, sign up for paperless bills and watch conservation videos – all from their mobile phones.

Mobile App: South Coast Air Quality Management District, California

In addition to viewing new air quality forecasts, a new one-stop mobile app lets residents access an interactive map, temperature and weather, alert notifications, and the location of hundreds of alternative fuel stations. Previously available only for IoS, the application now has an Android version as well.

Food Handler Card Testing System: Southern Nevada Health District

The Food Handler Card Testing System was developed to assess and test safe food handling practices of individuals applying for a Food Handler Card, which is required for everyone who works with food or beverages in Southern Nevada. The new system administers 11,000 tests per month in five locations, is available in 18 different languages, and has reduced customer fees by 50 percent.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Mobile App and Supporting Infrastructure: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District

Over the past five years the district made the transition from a paper-based field data collection system to an infield mobile application using tablets. The database provides the foundation to track disease surveillance, target outreach campaigns and deliver useful data that maximizes connectivity for field staff.

Mobile Special Technology and Aerial Response (MSTAR) Concept Vehicle: Menlo Park Fire Protection District, California

The district created this unique mobile response platform to support public safety connected devices, such as drones. MSTAR Concept Vehicle provides acres of on-scene Wi-Fi, drone quick launch, satellite video streaming and computing support – which is significant progress in creating a connected emergency response capability.

myEBS Search: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

This web application provides employees with a personalized, intelligent dashboard, alerts and search capabilities for their financial information. Used on both desktop and mobile devices, myEBS Search has improved productivity and efficiency, saved costs and enhanced security for internal operations.

Real-Time Distribution System Monitoring Using Mobile Technology: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Mobile technology now enables Real-time water quality monitoring in the water distribution network. The district also automated processes for collecting samples and entering data. Data is now entered directly into mobile devices - resulting in improved data integrity and reliability, and more efficient business processes.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Stefan Jaskulak: Chief Financial Officer/Director of Administrative Services, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, California

Casey Hiatt (pictured): Acting IT Manager accepting award on behalf of Stefan Jaskulak

Jaskulak drove the formation of an integrated administrative services business line with training, conferences and co-location. He also provided a roadmap for the next three years of organization-wide process and technology improvements. Under his leadership, the district has a foundation to sustain its recent organizational growth and diverse programs, as well as to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving environment.

Ron Moskowitz: Chief Information Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California

Within one year, Moskowitz implemented policy and governance changes that have greatly aligned IT closely with the goals of the district. He has spearheaded several successful projects, including the district’s mobile app, the “Replace Your Ride” program and online filing for permit applications. His project management skills and experience contributed to the increased efficiency and quality of every aspect of these projects.

Lauren Skiver: CEO/General Manager, SunLine Transit Agency, California

For the past five years, Skiver has helped the agency move to a performance-driven environment and has delivered a very robust capital program. Under her leadership, the alternative fuels program and the zero-emissions fleet continue to grow. She also initiated the “Rethink Transit” initiative – which includes an app-based ride-share service, micro-transit and “quick bus” routes. Skiver is committed to providing clean renewable fuels and is a founding member of the Zero Emission Bus Alliance (ZEBRA), where she currently serves as chair.

2018 Northeast US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Public Awareness/Public Information Campaign: Brunswick Sewer District, Maine

The public awareness campaign started as a proactive public education approach to gain support for a treatment facility upgrade – which required a 40 percent increase in rates – but resulted in the district being a key partner in the community. After a year-long campaign utilizing its newsletter, website, Facebook, local cable, YouTube videos, an interactive poster of the system that works with QR codes, two kiosks and a walking trail, the referendum passed with 72 percent approval.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Transform NY - mNTCS Transformer Monitoring & Diagnostic System: New York Power Authority

mNTCS – a monitoring and control system for transformer management – is a “system of systems,” operating across multiple standards and interfaces with multi-vendor assets and sensors. mNTCS delivers a complete real-time picture of the transformers’ conditions and includes a vital predictive ability. This initiative enabled NYPA to achieve significant cost avoidance and provide New Yorkers with uninterrupted, low-cost power.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Emily Schapira: Board Member and Executive Director, Philadelphia Energy Authority

Schapira has been the executive director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) since 2016 and a member of the board since 2011. Schapira joined PEA to develop and execute the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year initiative to advance energy efficiency and clean energy across Philadelphia, while creating over 10,000 jobs. So far, 225 jobs were created in the first year of the Energy Campaign, with more than $50 million in active projects through Fiscal Year 2019; more than 160 homes are participating in the Solarize residential solar energy program; and more than 50 free energy audits for small businesses were completed.

2018 Southeast US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Landlord Program Enhancements: Atlanta Housing Authority, Georgia

The Atlanta Housing Authority created a Landlord Portal to give landlords immediate access to inspection results and request re-inspections after remediating noted deficiencies. The authority also provided inspectors with tablets to support mobile property inspection filing, improved efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint. So far in 2018 the authority has made 1,000 new housing units available to participants, helping to bring more affordable housing to the city.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Remote Monitoring of Plant Operations: Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District, Florida

During Hurricane Irma, the district’s operations departments used real-time remote monitoring processes, including multiple cameras, various “level” indicators, automatic start and stop functions, historical trends and alarm set points. This enabled continuous operations before, during and after the hurricane – and helped keep personnel safe.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Edward L. Johnson: Chief Executive Officer, Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)

Johnson leverages technology to achieve his vision of mobility management – putting individuals in the most cost-effective and direct mode of travel for themselves and for LYNX. In 2017, he rolled out free Wi-Fi on all 300 LYNX buses and implemented four mobile apps. Johnson’s leadership is also instrumental in the Central Florida Autonomous Vehicle Partnership, which is working to demonstrate the effectiveness of autonomous vehicles in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, as well as developing the plan for the integration of autonomous and connected vehicles, called the Autonomous Vehicle Mobility Initiative (AVMI).

2018 Midwest US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Website Redesign: Chicago Park District, Illinois

By leveraging citizen testing and feedback, using open source platforms, implementing mobile-responsive design, and integrating the procurement portal and contract library for streamlined bid submission, the Chicago Park District (CPD) was able to redesign its website and drastically improve the user experience. CPD has since seen a 13 percent increase in online revenue and a 25 percent increase in page load time.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Wet Weather Map: Great Lakes Water Authority, Michigan

The Great Lakes Water Authority developed a GIS map that displays real-time data along its interceptors and at its rain gauges, which increases transparency and improves communication and response times during wet weather events. The map is color-coded with flashing symbols to indicate rate of precipitation, opening gates, water levels and what is happening up to 20 miles upstream. The map is accessible from mobile devices, which has tripled the number of users.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Wesley Goodwin: IT Manager, Applications, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Ohio

Goodwin was the visionary behind – and now manages -- Greater Cleveland RTA’s “Trip Planner.” The app offers riders personalized multi-modal transportation options like rail, bus and trolley alongside features that allow users to find landmarks, amenities, entertainment and city services – all in real time. Goodwin also created the IT Major Projects Dash Board, and managed both the transit app project and the district’s transition to mobile ticketing, which now brings in more than $340,000 monthly.

2018 Southwest US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

GPS.MyGovernmentOnline: South Central Planning and Development Commission, Louisiana

The MyGovernmentOnline Software Partnership Program provides seamless cross-boundary services -- for permits and licensing, planning and zoning, and public works, including in-field use -- to hundreds of jurisdictions across 10 states, lowering costs and providing digital conveniences such as mobile apps, text notifications and digital plan review.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 2, Texas

As part of the district’s technology initiative, the pump station/emergency operations centers installed separate high-speed internet connections linked by a fiber optic line and all cameras now capture high-definition video and easily monitor flood levels. In addition, all district assets were inventoried using a GIS database that is available to inspectors in the field. These efforts have made operations more efficient, effective and secure, and have enhanced flood protection for multiple hospitals, Sugar Land City Hall, two major transportation arteries and 9,000 homes and businesses in the district.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Michael Parks: Deputy Executive Director for the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas

Parks brought stakeholders and experts together to offer broadband service to the rural areas of Central Texas and provide a better future for the residents of Brazos Valley. He convinced the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Healthcare Connect Fund to declare funds available to rural area hospitals, clinics, school nurses and county jails. He also formed COGnet, a fiber-sharing and management consortium comprised of healthcare facilities, schools and local government. Finally, he worked with Texas A&M University to design a double-ring architecture that provides bandwidth, speed, quality and reliability.

2018 West US Winners


Technology Innovation: Citizens

Flood Early Warning System: San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, California

The interactive Flood Early Warning System website provides real-time information via text and email alerts to citizens about where and when flooding is possible or expected in residential and business areas of three cities along a flood-prone creek in the heart of Silicon Valley. Utilizing data from newly installed rainfall and in-stream flow gauges, and tapping into recently updated hydraulic modeling, this public interface provides location-specific notifications to previously flooded neighborhoods two hours in advance of potential overtopping.

Technology Innovation: Operations

Regional Streetlight Program: Western Riverside Council of Governments, California

The Regional Streetlight Program is designed to assist 11 jurisdictions in transferring their streetlights to local ownership and retrofitting them to energy-efficient LED technologies. The program provides cost savings for the nearly 48,000 streetlights, reduces local and statewide energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent, and enables revenue-generating and smart city opportunities.

Technology Innovation: Leadership

Dante Ramirez: Principal Accountant for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, California

Ramirez is an innovator in creative and effective uses of technology in the finance arena. He initiated application improvements for several processes in the accounting department, which resulted in saving hundreds of staff hours, improving the accuracy of records and reducing erroneous payments. Ramirez’s initiatives overall have increased the efficiency, integrity and reliability of financial data.

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.

Sign-up for the newsletter.

E.REPUBLIC Platforms & Programs