Director's Awards - Annual Report 2010
Directors's Awards Recognize Outstanding Service in the Courts
Exceptional creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and dedication of court employees in their service to the Judiciary were recognized with 2010 Director's Awards for Extraordinary Actions, Outstanding Leadership, and Excellence in Court Operations (Court Technology and Court Support).
A screening panel of court and AO staff reviewed nominations and forwarded them to a review panel that included court and AO representation. AO Director Jim Duff made the final selection.
Electronic Court Recorder Operator, District of Nevada, was honored for her selfless assistance to a court security officer who was fatally wounded by an assailant at the Las Vegas federal courthouse, and for her demonstrated leadership and strength in the weeks after the event.
Anita Lopez Chavez
Chief Probation Officer, U.S. Probation, New Mexico District Court and Judiciary employee since 1982, was recognized for her efforts to enhance awareness of the issues affecting probation officers along the border and increase the safety of officers in her district. She was commended for reaching out to colleagues in other states to discuss best practices, for streamlining hiring practices in her office, and for authorizing adoption of an Interfaith Chaplain Support Program to support officers in need of spiritual and emotional support. She has encouraged enhancements to community safety, and has promoted participation in the annual Law Day presentations at middle schools and high schools where officers raise awareness of behavior consequences through discussions with students
Robert W. Rack, Jr. (retired)
Chief Circuit Mediator, Sixth Circuit, was commended for 28 years of service as head of the mediation office at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was honored for the pivotal role he has played in creating, developing, and shaping mediation programs in the federal appellate courts. Rack helped secure funding, administrative support, and regular training programs for circuit mediators nationwide
Dana C. McWay
Clerk of Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Missouri-Eastern, was commended for her service to the Judiciary since 1988, first as a law clerk in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, then as Chief Deputy Clerk in the Eighth Circuit, followed by her appointment as Bankruptcy Clerk of Court in 1998. McWay was recognized for her committed service to the Judicial Code of Conduct Training Program, which she has worked on for more than a decade, for her participation in the FJC's bankruptcy court education programs, and for her efforts in implementing CM/ECF in the courts, including as chairperson of the Next Generation of the Bankruptcy CM/ECF Clerk's Office Functional Requirement Group. She also contributed to successful implementation of the 2005 bankruptcy law that dramatically changed bankruptcy court operations
Excellence in Court Operations – Court Support
Pamela E. Robinson, Clerk of Court; Martha Bailey, Case Manager; Jeffrey A. Gustafson, Information Services Director; Kerin Burns, Courtroom Deputy; and Cynthia D. Fears, Pro Se Law Clerk, Illinois-Central, received their awards for developing the e-filing project that automates and streamlines the prisoner litigation process.
Excellence in Court Operations – Court Technology
Kent Creasy, Director, Technology Services, and John Bain, Project Director, North Carolina-Western, were recognized for their work in creating and promoting the Jury Evidence Recording System (JERS) that captures electronic versions of court case exhibits for jurors to view during deliberations.
William J. Isbell IV, Programmer, Alabama-Southern; Eric Michael Swanson, Programmer Analyst, District of New Hampshire; Donald L. Martenz, Jr., Probation Officer Specialist, Probation Office, New Jersey; and Kevin L. Beaulieu, former Network Administrator, District of Maine, formed a team that earned the award for creating the Offender Payment Enhanced Report Access (OPERA) system. The tool makes available to probation officers offender fine, restitution, and special assessment data recorded by district clerks' offices within the Judiciary's financial management program Civil-Criminal Accounting Module. OPERA became available through the Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System (PACTS) in October 2009.
Jeffrey Elmore, Director of Information Technology; Tony Cirigliano, Assistant Director of Information Technology; and Bobby Boone, Programming Manager—all from the Bankruptcy Court, North Carolina-Eastern—and Luta K. Pleiss, Help Desk and Software Trainer, Nebraska District Court were honored as a team. Together, they developed, converted, and piloted a program to test digital audio recordings of court hearings, now used in the Judiciary. Pleiss developed a user's manual of best practices to accompany national implementation.
Timothy Dole, Attorney Advisor, AO Office of the Deputy Director, and Ross Eisenman, AO Assistant Director for Facilities and Security received the awards for exemplary service to the courts from the Conference Committee on Audits and AO Accountability. The committee selected Dole for managing to completion two major national projects of substantial importance to the courts: production of a redesigned Guide to Judiciary Policy, and revision and modernization of court forms. Eisenman was recognized for his leadership in providing 2,000 judges with home alarm systems in the wake of the murder of members of Judge Joan Lefkow's family, and in instituting budget controls in the facilities program that have resulted in significant savings. Administered by the Conference Committee on Audits and AO Accountability, the award recognizes significant achievements on projects or initiatives that improve internal controls, program effectiveness, communication, or efficiency in the courts or the AO.