MERIT Individual Award

MERIT Individual Award: Bill Hart
Honorable Mention Individual: Duncan Bond
Honorable Mention Individual: Victor Chakravarty
Nomination Individual: Leigh Wilkinson
Nomination Individual: Eric Stout
Nomination Individual: Susan O'Connor

MERIT Individual Award: Bill Hart

Bill Hart is the Manager of the Operations staff within OIT CTS Enterprise Operations & Monitoring group. The EOM group consists of Data Center Facility, High Speed Print, Central Print and Operations. Operations is split into 3 units: Edison Drive (24/7), CMCC (16/5) and MDOT. Bill is responsible for all 3 locations and how the scheduling of staff is done. His staff is made up of about 20 people.

Bill has been with this Department nearly 30 years and has continuously demonstrated a level of dedication and commitment. He has proven himself to be the focal point' of the Operations' group and has the trust and respect of most everyone he works with, upper management, co-workers and users alike.

Bill has made himself available to his staff at every location at ALL hours, carrying both a pager and a cell phone, to insure he's reached when needed. He's taken calls in the night, on weekends, on Holidays and even during vacations. Bill is known to occasionally check in with staff during off hours to see how their respective shifts are doing, especially when there are out of the ordinary' projects/events scheduled. Depending on circumstances, he will assist staff in getting through tasks and new projects, taking the time to train others, all the while demonstrating accountability for the results and praising those who have earned it.

Bill's keen insight of Operations has allowed him to cross into other areas and contribute in the planning and implementation of many a project. Bill has the ability to identify week' areas of a plan as they relate to Operations, propose alternatives and be prepared to support them. He's willing to drop whatever he may be doing and head to another site to assist with issues, sometimes travelling an additional 15 to 20 miles daily above his already 80 miles or so to and from work. He's never been known to complain unnecessarily nor ask for anything specifically for himself. However, Bill is tenacious with requests when it involves the betterment of his workers or process adjustments.

MERIT Honorable Mention Individual: Duncan Bond

For his consistent efforts above and beyond job expectations, continued off hours dedication, and outstanding technology skills and knowledge, Duncan Bond received an honorable mention for the individual merit award.

Duncan supervises a small group of individuals responsible for managing all executive branch local area networks, the wide area and Augusta metropolitan area networks, and load balancers. This complex network consists of thousands of devices, serves hundreds of locations, and connects tens of thousands of devices. Just managing a network of this size and complexity is typically a full time job for a staff larger than his. However he also is the person everyone turns to work on the toughest network problems and in some cases problems that aren't network related. If there is a complex issue everyone wants Duncan to look at it and in most cases he finds a way to schedule some time, collect the data, analyze it, and report his findings. This usually leads to further work for him consulting with other resources, engineering a solution, or monitoring for effect. On more than one occasion he has worked on or rescheduled a vacation to accommodate another group's schedule or to stay on an issue.

Duncan is typical of many in network services who have served in a formal on call duty longer than most can remember. Duncan takes it to the next level monitoring and responding to network issues from home even when not on call. Although his official work hours are 9 to 6 he typically checks in online before coming in to work. When there are problems and technicians need assistant, he is the first person who comes to mind. 2 PM on a Saturday afternoon or 2 AM on a Sunday, if reachable he takes the call and provides assistance.

The major reason people turn to Duncan is his outstanding technical skills and knowledge combined with a strong ability to break down issues and apply good fundamentals of analysis. His knowledge of networking principals is recognized by his peers and nationally with our major product vendors. Through the years numerous product enhancements came about as a result of his input. Tools such as WebNM that we use daily to monitor our network and other OIT assets are the direct result of his lead. In November 07 the trade magazine Communications Week featured him and the complementary tools we use to manage the state network.

Duncan is our equivalent of a chief network engineer and the overall high levels of reliability, sophistication, and integrity in our network is a testament to his efforts. This coupled with his long standing dedication and willingness to help out whenever possible warrants his selection for the individual merit award.

MERIT Honorable Mention Individual: Victor Chakravarty

Victor's efforts have resulted in a full complement of architectural policy documents for the State. They include policies, such as Deployment Certification, Remote Hosting, Software Development Lifecycle, Architecture Compliance, Mobile Device Security, Domain Name Standard, and many others. They also include such diverse artifacts as general principles, a 360-degree environment document, and about fifty product specification Bricks. Incidentally, the Deployment Certification Policy remains the most highly quoted State I.T. policy to date, and the environment document remains the single most referenced document by external partners & vendors.

The new I.T. procurement rider has prevented the state from purchasing custom software without source code which inevitably resulted in sole-source lifetime dependency on a single vendor. Issues such as accessibility, source code protection throw software escrow clauses and many others have been addressed by the new rider. The new I.T. procurement rider explicitly takes care of all these insidious traps, and much more.

Victor is also the prime-mover behind the semi-annual developer's conferences. First launched in the spring-summer of 2006, there have been seven held to-date. Developers look forward to these DEVCON sessions for the networking opportunities and the rich content available. The value of these events is attested to by the sheer attendance numbers. I've heard that on multiple occasions, developers have braved storms and blizzards to pack the venue to its full capacity.

Last but not the least, Victor has always been available to development teams and others for retail advice and consultation. The goal of standardizing tools, languages, applications and environments has been fostered by his input, his time and experience. Victor's judgment is trusted and his advice looked forward to on architectural or development methodologies. The selection of RUP as the state SDLC method and Victor's willingness to listen, understand and guide discussions that deviate slightly has not only provided a better process for the state but guided software development efforts in new costing saving directions.

Victor Chakravarty embodies the definition of "outstanding leadership by an individual who has gone above and beyond in their respective technological area whether the outcome is a service, a product or a dramatic increase in job satisfaction due to this person's contribution".

MERIT Nomination Individual: Leigh Wilkinson

Leigh brings a wealth of management and consultant knowledge from the private sector to our Office of Information Technology (OIT) family.  These skills were put on display over the past several months as he coordinated the various disciplines within OIT trying to determine the cause of the performance degradation associated with the DHHS ACE's application.  Through Leigh's leadership we have started to learn how, we as an enterprise organization, work together to resolve very complex and at times intermittent technical issues. 

Leigh has also exhibited leadership moving us forward with our recent adoption and implementation of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes'.  Leigh is a valued member of the OIT team that has taken on the roll as our in-house facilitator. 

MERIT Nomination Individual: Eric Stout

Eric started working for the State of Maine in May of 2007.  Since that time Eric has become an integral COG in a technically complex and diverse machine.  On numerous occasions Eric has been able to assist our technicians and managers by becoming the communication hub keeping a variety of audiences informed during significant events.  Once the event is over Eric is front and center assisting in the creation of the Incident Report documentation in accordance with our adopted ITIL standards.     

Eric prides himself in his abilities to adapt to any given situation large or small.  Eric takes his job assignments and his responsibilities within OIT very seriously.  When given an assignment, whether it is to work on updating the web site or managing a technical project, Eric dives into it with enthusiasm and a strong desire to see it through to a positive outcome.  We can always count on Eric's support. 

MERIT Nomination Individual: Susan O'Connor

Susan O'Connor, in her capacity as ALMS Application Manager, deserves recognition for creating and leading an organization that has become a shining example of excellence in state government.

The Agency License Management (ALM) System is used by over 40 regulatory programs within the Departments of Professional and Financial Regulation and Public Safety, each having unique needs and processes. In this dynamic and challenging environment, Susan provides the vision, the management processes and the day-to-day direction to ensure that the diverse needs of all system users are met in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Susan's leadership can be credited with the evolution of the ALM System from a single-department application into a true enterprise-wide solution. As an increasing number of agencies across the enterprise have realized the value of the ALM System and have elected to become ALM System users, Susan's disciplined, yet pragmatic project management methodology has proven invaluable.

Susan has been a significant asset to the Department of Public Safety as it has deliberated the pros and cons of migrating to the Agency Licensing Management System (ALMS) in several of its bureaus. Says DPS Deputy Commissioner Janet Richards, Susan has provided clear, concise information on the capabilities of the system, answered questions about our unique processes as they might relate to the new system and helped to identify solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable at first blush. Because Susan and her team have delivered timely and understandable information, Public Safety was able to make good policy decisions that will impact its offices for years to come.

The "dynamic tension" that often exists between development organizations and their users is something that Susan does not accept. She considers the user community to be an equal partner in the product planning process and shares information with them openly and honestly. Her organization has developed an enviable reputation for not just making firm commitments, but meeting them. Her inclusiveness and personal integrity have been central to the bond of trust and cooperation that has formed between her team and the user community.

The Board of Dental Examiners is a small agency but Susan's commitment to explaining the technological and financial realities of migrating to ALMS was important to her and critical to in the Board's decision to use the ALM System. The Board states, Susan has been an extremely helpful resource for all of us here. She is always pleasant to work with and has a calming manner. She constantly ensures that everyone has had a chance to provide input. We are grateful for the relationship that has been built between us and with other ALMS users through her leadership. Susan O'Connor's role in the success of the ALM System cannot be overstated. She is a difference-maker and a credit to the State of Maine .