ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers honored state cybersecurity leaders and Ohio’s chief information officer with special recognition awards at their annual conference that concluded here this week.
Chief information security officers from Delaware and West Virginia received the Thomas M. Jarrett Cybersecurity Scholarship for “exception state CISOs” at the conference. Named in memory of former Delaware CIO Tom Jarrett, the scholarship grants recognized CISOs the chance to attend the conference and “contribute to the national dialogue on cybersecurity and related issues,” NASCIO announced.
Elayne Starkey, the chief security officer for the state of Delaware, and a former colleague of Jarrett’s, received the award after being nominated by current Delaware CIO James Collins. Starkey was not present at the conference and accepted the award via a video speech.
“The man for whom this award is named, Tom Jarrett, was my mentor and supporter of all things cyber,” Starkey said in the speech. “[Jarrett] said, ‘We need to put a human face on IT because a lot of people just want to talk about the boxes and the commodity aspect. The boxes don’t make it work, people make it work.”
Joshua Spence, West Virginia’s chief information security officer, received the award after a nomination from state Chief Technology Officer Gale Given.
“This award may be recognizing individual accomplishments, but it’s absolutely the team that I have the privilege to work with back in the state that is the result of why we have the improvements that we’ve had,” Spence said.
Stu Davis, the chief information officer for the state of Ohio and NASCIO’s former president, received the association’s meritorious service award, which honors “leadership in state government and dedication to the advancement of NASCIO’s mission.”
Davis, who served as the 2014-2015 president of the association, was appointed state CIO of Ohio in 2011. He’s also served on the NASCIO executive committee since 2012 and has served in every role on the group’s executive board.
Before NASCIO, Davis was the president for the National States Geographic Information Council in 2007.
In addition to serving on NASCIO committees and speaking at the group’s conferences, Davis has also spoken on behalf of state CIOs in testimony before the U.S. Congress and other national conferences and associations, NASCIO said in a release.
“Stu is the embodiment of true leadership, vision and service and I cannot think of anyone more deserving,” NASCIO’s 2015-2016 president and New Mexico CIO Darryl Ackley said in a release. “Having Stu as a friend and resource has been invaluable to me during my tenure as CIO and I know that I am certainly not alone in that sentiment.” Mississippi CIO Craig Orgeron — the 2015 recipient of the meritorious service award — presented the award to Davis.
“The recipients are selected by the executive committee for their consistent leadership — leadership that doesn’t just last a cycle. Leadership that lasts years, through different parts of the NASCIO organization,” Orgeron said. “The state of Ohio has made tremendous strides in optimization, which is transforming government, truly [under Davis’ leadership].”
In accepting the award, Davis told an audience of peers and IT industry, “I’ve said this time and time again, you get out of NASCIO what you put into it and the more you put into it, the more reward you get. As a group, collectively, it doesn’t get any better than that. We find solutions, we work together to get to those solutions and we implement those solutions.”
The group also released the winners of its annual state IT recognition awards at the conference.