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Missouri takes home most StateScoop Awards honoring state, private workers


Missouri state employees won five StateScoop 50 Awards this year — more than any other state.

The StateScoop 50 Awards honor state and private workers and their accomplishments in the IT community, cybersecurity, and public service. This was the seventh year the awards were presented, this year going to workers in more than a dozen states and eight private sector companies, according to the group’s website. Missouri was represented in all five government-focused awards this year.

“As public servants, we constantly strive to be the best for the people of Missouri,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “We are proud to be recognized nationally for how our team members are bringing new and innovative business practices to state government.”

The State IT Innovation of the Year Award went to the MoCareers program, which connects workers with state career opportunities. The program was recognized for its innovation in cross-departmental technology and for its replacement of more than 50 paper-based application processes with digital ones. The new system allowed applicants to search and apply for jobs across the state on a single platform. 

“Winning an award like the StateScoop Award allows us an opportunity to reflect on what we have been able to do which is to implement a statewide unified approach that improves both the experience for our job applicants and state users,” Senior Talent Acquisition Coordinator Jessie Pace told The Missouri Times. “This award showcases the collaboration and hard work that was needed to make MoCareers a success.” 

Office of Administration (OA) Commissioner Sarah Steelman was the recipient of the GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year Award which recognizes state commissioners who lead new technological innovation for the state government. Steelman began — and subsequently chairs — the Cabinet IT Governance Council to further develop the state’s IT projects and relationship with the OA. 

She also secured funding to build Missouri’s IT infrastructure through the budget process, leading to the funding of the Enterprise Resource Planning software which replaced a 20-year-old system.

Department of Revenue (DOR) Director Ken Zellers received the same award for his leadership in IT.  Zellers led the DOR to develop an IT roadmap focused on improving customer experience and the department’s programs and started the first Diversity and Inclusion Employee Council. 

It’s an honor to be among this year’s recipients of a StateScoop 50 Award,” Zellers said. “I consider it a great privilege to serve the State of Missouri as Director of the Department of Revenue and take seriously the mission of transforming the Department into a world-class organization. This award is validation that we are indeed on the right track.” 

OA Project Management Office Director Paula Peters was awarded the State Up and Comer Award for her work in developing the Enterprise Project Management Office in 2019 to support IT solution delivery and training across departments to ensure the completion of IT projects. 

“I am honored to win this award for the State of Missouri,” she said. “This puts Missouri on every other states’ radar to ask us how we accomplished everything!”

The State Cybersecurity Leader of the Year Award went to Chief Information Security Officer Stephen Meyer for his work in the IT field and focus on systems security.