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State Technology Department Recognizes Employees

In its annual Ovation Award series, the California Department of Technology acknowledged state staffers whose work “furthered” its mission and delivered outstanding service.

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The state technology department has recognized individuals in California government for their contributions in and around IT.

The California Department of Technology (CDT) has delivered its annual Ovation Award series which, the department said in its tech blog Friday, “recognizes outstanding employee accomplishments” and “honors individuals and teams whose exceptional efforts have furthered the department’s mission and provided better service to the state of California.” Honorees were celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony Thursday morning. CDT highlighted the work of two teams and one employee in particular.

Christopher Eddy
The department recognized Christopher Eddy, an IT specialist II in its Office of Enterprise Technology, with the Performance Excellence Award — the series’ highest honor — as someone who “has shown superior performance beyond their typical duties.” Eddy, it said, had a “pivotal role” in implementing the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record (DCVR) portal and advanced encryption standards. The portal gives Californians a free digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record. Since its launch in June, CDT said more than 11 million records “have been claimed.” Eddy received an engraved award and a $200 prize in recognition, CDT said.

“Chris was a critical leader on the development of the California Digital Vaccine Record system,” Rick Klau, state chief technology innovation officer, told Techwire via email. “His ability to quickly learn about a variety of new technologies, his commitment to ensuring the system could scale to serve all Californians — and eventually be available to other states — make Chris the foundation on which the DCVR system’s success was built,” Klau said, adding: “I’m so grateful for his many contributions to this vital effort during the ongoing pandemic.” Eddy — who received an IT Leadership Award from e.Republic, parent company of Techwire, in 2020 — was part of two other award-winning teams. One received the Innovation Award; the other received the Team Excellence Award.

CDT gave its Special Recognition Award to two teams for their work responding to the pandemic. The COVID-19 Contact Tracer Team, it said, “worked tirelessly to identify, locate, and interview potentially exposed residents, mitigating the spread of the virus.” State staffers on this team were Grace Achazo, Gabe Arnold, Jorge Avila, MaryJo Chafin, Scott Cole, Anthony Coleman, L’Tanya Cubit, Murli Dadlani, Rebecca Delgado, Cindy Doyel, Jolanda Driessen, Michelle Duran, Brittany Estrada, Anita Fearman, Paula Galvez, Sean Ferguson, Daniel Fernandez, Don Gloor, Kristi Gretler, Brent Horiuchi, Amber Massey, Dina Navarra, Jake Nelson, Lance Nguyen, Sylvester Okonkwo, Steven Pierce, Traci Pilgrim, Rosalinda Santana, Diana Thomas, Kevin Thompson, James Tung, Tony Tung and Emanuel Vargas. The COVID-19 Vaccination Support Team, CDT said, “quickly volunteered to provide urgent IT support at mass vaccination sites, working long hours in challenging conditions to support the state’s vaccine campaign.” State staffers on this team were John Armenta, Predrag Lezaic, Leilani Sweeney and Micheline Wilcoxen.

“For many employees at CDT, the challenge of this pandemic served as a catalyst to seek better solutions for our residents,” CDT said in its blog. “We are grateful to our CDT team, and glad that some have been honored with an Ovation Award for their commitment to advancing the department’s mission of providing greater digital government services to all Californians.” The award series was previously known as the Directorate’s Award; a complete list of winners may be found here.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.