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Excellence in Technology

MNIT Celebrates Excellence in Technology and Service at its Annual Award Ceremony

11/25/2019 4:59:49 PM

Commissioner Tomes speaking in the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda.

On November 22, Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) awarded employees, partners, and teams for their work delivering outstanding IT service to Minnesota and its executive government. Nominated by their peers, recipients receive the highest recognition for their service excellence, and exemplary performance in fulfilling MNIT’s mission, vision, values, and priorities. Here are this year’s winners!

Project of the Year

This award recognizes a successful project that helped contribute to the success of a business partner across the executive branch. The Transportation Asset Management System (TAMS) Project is the single source of data for managing and maintaining roadside infrastructure including the work, equipment, materials, and staff needed to maintain that infrastructure. In its second phase, the project team added GIS functionality, and the number of roadway sections that are managed by the system, including traffic barriers, culverts and drainage ponds, pedestrian infrastructure, pavement striping, and signs. Now, almost all roadway maintenance work can be tracked by TAMS.

Employee of the Year

This award recognizes the individual contributions of an employee that contributes to MNIT’s mission, visions, and values through their daily work. Gabriella Tsurutani is a Senior IT Business Analyst, partnering with MnDOT, and is awarded for her excellent client service and performance that allows her to be a mentor for her team. Gabriella is a go-to person on her team for her technical and business knowledge, but also brings a level of personal understanding to the team that brings out the best of those working with her. She plays a leadership role within her team, where she is typically assigned the complex, high-profile, enterprise projects for the agency.

Manager of the Year

The manager of the year award recognizes a manager who not only contributes to the mission of MNIT but lift other team members up as an example of leadership. Hal Watson leads an 11-member team at MNIT partnering with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Hal is mission-oriented and works with his team to instigate year-round discussions on how their team can best partner with the DNR, MNIT to provide Minnesota’s citizens with the best products for managing and conserving natural resources.

Team of the Year

This award recognizes an operational team across the agency that provides excellent customer service for both our executive branch partners and Minnesotans using the technology. This year’s winner provides support for over 360 applications for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and MNsure, allowing Minnesotans to do everything from sign up for the health insurance exchange to receive treatment. The Major Application Support Team uses its varied experience to provide efficient and critical support for the tens of thousands of DHS staff and its partners, the 12,000+ patients and clients at direct care and treatment facilities who access DHS systems, and the 123,000+ Minnesotans that enrolled in MNsure.

Nominations for the awards opened July 1, 2019 and closed on August 30, 2019. A team of Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) members reviewed and scored each nomination according to a previously-defined rubric. Those with the top average scores became finalists. From the group of finalists, the Executive Team chose a winner that closely matched the organizations mission, values, and priorities.

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