For immediate release:
May 06, 2019
Contact: Patrick Mulford
CROWNSVILLE, MD - In recognition of the Hogan administration’s commitment to innovation and technology in the State of Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan, representatives of two state agencies, and the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange recently received StateScoop 50 awards. These awards recognize efforts to make state government more efficient and effective for citizens, and celebrate outstanding achievements and tireless efforts to make a positive impact both in the government IT community and in public service.
The awards were presented at the 6th Annual StateScoop 50 Awards on May 5th at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor. Maryland Department of Information Technology Secretary Michael G. Leahy represented the administration at the event.
The governor received the Golden Gov Award, which is presented to a visionary state executive who leads state government into a new technology landscape with innovative ideas and inspires others. Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland has created an unparalleled economic development ecosystem by harnessing technology, encouraging innovation, and investing in workforce development. The Hogan administration has also made it a priority to secure and modernize the state’s IT infrastructure improve Marylanders’ access to technology.
“Our administration is committed to improving access to state government services for our citizens throughout the state,” said Governor Hogan. “With initiatives like the Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit, the Maryland Innovation Initiative, and the nationally recognized Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) workforce development program, Maryland will remain a leader in innovation and technology. I am honored to receive this distinguished award on behalf of our administration.”
“Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, the state has created a sustainable environment for technology investment and growth that has flourished throughout all parts of the state,” said Secretary Leahy. “Congratulations to Governor Hogan, Dayne Freeman, John Evans, Christopher Paez, and those involved with the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange in recognition of their dedication to the citizens of Maryland.”
Three of Maryland’s IT leaders also won StateScoop 50 awards in other categories. Dayne Freeman, the assistant secretary for the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance at the Maryland Department of Labor won the State Leadership Award for her dedication to modernizing the state’s unemployment IT systems. Freeman led a $100 million contract consortium with Maryland and West Virginia that is effectively integrating unemployment insurance, workforce development, IT, and data.
“The unemployment modernization project exemplifies Maryland’s commitment to customer service and accessibility,” said Acting Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski. “Assistant Secretary Freeman’s leadership has been essential to bringing this important project to fruition. We are proud to have her on our team and are grateful for her tireless enthusiasm and passion for helping our customers navigate the unemployment insurance process.”
John Evans, the Chief Information Security Officer at the Maryland Department of Information Technology, was awarded the State Cybersecurity Leader of the Year award for his commitment to strengthening Maryland’s cybersecurity infrastructure. Evans’ efforts over the past year included leading the creation of multiple system security plans and achieving a full system authority to operate. He also worked on securing MDThink, the state’s groundbreaking cloud platform released last year.
Christopher Paez, a Desktop Services Supervisor at the Maryland Department of Information Technology, was awarded the State Up & Comer of the Year award. Christopher has designed and implemented a centralized imaging system, streamlined several IT processes, and received consistently high satisfaction survey reviews from employees for his detail-oriented service.
The Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange, developed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, was recognized as a State IT Innovation of the Year. This first-of-its-kind comprehensive resource is an interactive, geographic information system website featuring projects and businesses in Maryland’s 149 Opportunity Zones and serves as the state’s core tool to facilitate Opportunity Zone investment. The exchange is open to the public and provides the latest information on Opportunity Zone activity for investors, fund managers, property developers, new or expanding businesses, and local stakeholders, including a comprehensive list of the state and local incentives available in specific Opportunity Zones.
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