Ashwood Receives 2013 Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award
Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award. The National Emergency Management Association, or NEMA, presents the award each year to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to emergency management over a career.
Ashwood was appointed director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management in August 1997 and is the longest-tenured state emergency management director in the nation. He held the position of state coordinating officer for seven presidential disaster declarations, including the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and at the request of New York Gov. George Pataki, Ashwood spent two weeks at Ground Zero to help establish and implement debris removal operations.
He has received numerous awards and accolades, including a commendation from President Bill Clinton for his work in the Oklahoma City bombing. He was also the first recipient of the Governor’s Humanitarian Award for efforts following the May 1999 tornadoes and has received numerous citations for developing the “Oklahomans Can Survive” Safe Room Rebate Program. Ashwood served as NEMA president in 2006–07.
NEMA presented the Lacy E. Suiter award to Ashwood during its 2013 Annual Emergency Management Policy & Leadership Forum in Anchorage, Alaska.
“Albert is one of the most experienced and tenured emergency management directors in the nation,” said Trina Sheets, NEMA executive director. “More importantly, his concern for the safety and well-being of the citizens of Oklahoma are at the forefront of everything he does. For all those reasons and more, he is entirely deserving of this award that honors those who have made a real difference in the field of emergency management.”
SLC Awards Recognize Kentucky, Virginia Programs
A panel of government policy experts selected Kentucky’s Vet Connect program and Virginia’s Step Down Program for Offenders in Administrative Segregation as the winners of the 2013 SLC State Transformation in Action Recognition—or STAR—program. The STAR program of the Southern Legislative Conference identifies and promotes state government solutions to regional problems, focusing on innovations that are creative, effective, impactful and transferable.
Kentucky’s Vet Connect program utilizes pretrial services officers to identify combat veterans who have been arrested. These combat veterans are provided specialized veterans’ services to assist them with the judicial process. The program was implemented at no cost and imposes a minimal additional responsibility for pretrial services officers. As such, the Kentucky Vet Connect program was recognized as an exceptional and highly transferable solution to providing appropriate legal services to arrested combat veterans.
Corrections populations in administrative segregation are managed with high security controls and locked in cells for 23 hours per day. As such, they are more expensive to operate than general population prisons due to staffing needs, facility design and added security controls. Administrative segregation, although necessary in some cases, is counterproductive to long-term public safety. While more than 90 percent of offenders complete their sentences and return to the community, those who have spent years locked in a cell 23 hours a day are less prepared for re-entry.
The Virginia Department of Corrections’ Segregation Step Down program utilizes evidence-based practices to provide a safe and secure way for offenders in administrative segregation to earn their return to the general population. The Virginia corrections department is the first state correctional agency to apply the principles and practices of evidence-based research to an administrative segregation super-max prison population. The program reduced the number of offenders in administrative segregation by 53 percent; increased safety by reducing prison incidents by 56 percent; and reduced staff stress and improved morale as evidenced by a decrease in the use of sick leave.
The programs were selected as SLC STAR programs during the 67th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference, held in Mobile, Ala., in July.
Hogan to Lead MIC3
The Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children has selected Brigadier General Stephen Hogan as the new executive director. Hogan comes to the commission with a background that reflects the mission of the organization. He is a 30-year veteran of the United States Army, serving in an active component and Army Reserve; he is still a member of the Kentucky National Guard.
The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, or MIC3, will hold its 2013 Annual Meeting in San Diego Nov. 18-21. Visit www.mic3.net for more information.
Montana Hosts CSG-WEST’s
Legislative Service Agency/Research Directors Committee
CSG West’s Legislative Service Agency/Research Directors Committee met September 25-27 in Whitefish, Mont. These nonpartisan staff leaders gather annually for outside management training and inside sharing of best practices.
Curt Swenson, an organizational development specialist, shared strategies for managing stress in today’s legislative environment. Brigham Young University professor Quin Monson reviewed public opinion trends shaping the West and the increased partisanship in legislative institutions. Judy Hall, retired secretary of the senate, led discussions on building better relationships within state capitols.
Staff leaders also participated in several panels on legislative management, including intergenerational challenges, transparency versus confidentiality, technology advances, dealing with partisan gridlock and legislative structures.
Mike Christensen, director of Utah’s Office of Legislative Research & General Counsel, chaired the meeting. The vice chair is Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi, Hawaii’s acting director of the Legislative Reference Bureau.
National Forum Focuses on Recidivism, Employment
The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation in September hosted a national forum that brought together leaders from the fields of criminal justice and workforce development to share perspectives on integrating cross-system strategies to support people returning to their communities after incarceration.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez provided introductory remarks and speakers discussed the implications of the framework featured in the recently released white paper Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness.
BLC Meets in El Paso
Attendees at the XXVII Border Legislative Conference in El Paso, Texas, in September discussed cross-border transportation infrastructure, border master plans and the effects of climate change to the region’s agriculture and water supplies.
Congressman Beto O'Rourke and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser welcomed the group to Texas.
Chihuahua Diputado E. Gabriel Flores Viramontes was recognized for his service as the 2013 BLC chair. California Sen. Lou Correa will serve as 2014 chair; Mexico legislators elected Diputada Imelda Alejandro of Nuevo Leon as vice chair.
The XXVIII BLC will convene in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, in 2014. For more information, please visit www.borderlegislators.org or contact the CSG West office at (916) 553-4423.
2014 NAST Officers Selected
Treasurers elected the 2014 slate of officers during the National Association of State Treasurers meeting in October. Utah Treasurer Richard Ellis will serve as president. Other officers will be Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard Jr., senior vice president; Washington State Treasurer James McIntire, secretary treasurer; Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce, Eastern Region vice president; Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, Southern Region Vice President; South Dakota Treasurer Richard Sattgast, Midwestern Region vice president; and Wyoming Treasurer Mark Gordon, Western Region vice president.
Virginia State Treasurer Manju Ganeriwala will serve as NAST president until her term expires in December, at which point she will serve on the NAST Executive Committee as immediate past president.
NAST Recognizes Four Treasurers
The National Association of State Treasurers recognized four individuals with national awards. The recipients were chosen by their peers to receive the recognition during the 2013 NAST Annual Conference in October.
Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard Jr. received the 2013 Jesse Unruh Award, which is named in honor of a founding member of NAST and former California State Treasurer. The award recognizes an active treasurer’s outstanding service to the association, the profession and his or her state.
Former Virginia Treasurer Mary Morris, current treasurer of the College Savings Plans Network, received the Lucille Maurer Award, which is presented to a former treasurer in recognition of outstanding service to the profession and the association.
Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce and New Mexico State Treasurer James Lewis each received the 2013 Harlan Boyles-Edward T. Alter Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to dedicated public servants whose outstanding career in government has provided a respected voice for NAST at all levels of state government.
“It’s my distinct honor to recognize these individuals who have served NAST above and beyond the call of duty,” said NAST President and Virginia State Treasurer Manju Ganeriwala. “These award recipients have been stalwart supporters of NAST and of public fiscal responsibility.”