ITS Employees Recognized for Excellence at 2017 Employee Recognition Awards

Friday October 27, 2017

ITS is pleased to announce the award winners for the 2017 ITS Employee Recognition Awards. In total, ITS bestowed 13 awards to deserving employees and teams, and 30 finalists were recognized with certificates. The Employee Recognition Awards highlight the important contributions and achievements of ITS's talented employees, whose work touches every aspect of New York State government.

This year's program included eight award categories to recognize everything from outstanding customer service, to innovation and creativity, to leadership excellence, to those who consistently go above and beyond in all aspects of their work. The Going the Extra Mile Award, or GEM award, was new to the program this year, and was given to ITS staff who have performed above and beyond normal expectations in recognizable ways and have made extraordinary contributions within our agency to help ITS deliver best-in-class IT service and innovation that matters... for all New Yorkers.

Awardees and finalists were recognized at a special event held in October 2017. ITS received more than 110 nominations from across the agency for the awards this year.

2017 Employee Recognition Award Winners and Finalists are as follows:

2017 ITS Championship Award

Raymond Pritchett

Raymond Pritchett was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Championship Award. The Championship Award recognizes an ITS employee who strives for excellence and demonstrates commitment in all they do in support of ITS and its employees. Raymond was recognized for his work in improving the productivity of the NYS Directory Team and for his ability to recognize talent and contributions within and outside the team, helping to improve morale. He inspires others to move that vision forward. He tirelessly works with technical and non-technical partners, clients, and management to improve delivery and security of the NY.gov ID service for over 15 million active user accounts and nearly 1,200 applications protected by the system.

ITS also recognized three finalists in this category: Ferdinando Cammarota; Sadie Dean; and the SSA Compliance Review Team.

2017 ITS Change Agent Award

Fausto Franco

The EBS Information Security Office Team was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Change Agent Award. The Change Agent Award recognizes an ITS employee or team that embraces and furthers change within the organization.  Recipients understand that change is necessary to grow and they help to facilitate the implementation and acceptance of change within the organization. The EBS Information Security Office Team was recognized for their work in authoring and disseminating the EBS Secure System Development Life Cycle (SSDLC) Procedure at the beginning of 2017. Over the next four months, the team conducted group presentations to articulate the security artifacts that would be required for all future projects within EBS. Today, EBS ensures that information security is being adequately considered and built into every phase of the SDLC. Security risks are identified and proper controls are implemented to reduce cyber risk to an acceptable level for all State Entities under the purview of EBS. Team members include: Zachary Battisti, Jenna DonVito, Rachel Feldman, Fausto Franco, and John Lewis. Pictured is Fausto Franco.

ITS also recognized four finalists in this category: Michael Agiovlasitis; Dan Donnelly; Christopher O'Connor; and Matthew Tiscione.

2017 ITS Customer Service Award

Dan Fitzgerald

Daniel Fitzgerald was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Customer Service Award. The Customer Service Award recognizes an ITS employee who routinely exceeds their customer's expectations. Recipients of this award understand and anticipate their customer's needs, invest the time and effort needed to develop sustaining relationships, and deliver results. They elevate the customer experience and put the customer first. Daniel was recognized for consistent professionalism and "Superstar" performance in executing projects. Daniel was described as a forward thinker who anticipates best and worse-case scenarios. 

ITS also recognized three finalists in this category: Kevin Cleary; Janet Hickey; and Dominic Russomanno.

2017 ITS Innovation and Creativity Award

Stephen Button was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Innovation and Creativity Award. The Innovation and Creativity Award recognizes an individual that demonstrates commitment to this value by encouraging and displaying their own creativity, cultivating a learning environment, and seeking inventive solutions that solve problems. Stephen was recognized because he demonstrates a deep understanding of DOL's business; making him very skilled at implementing solutions that are the best fit for both ITS and NYSDOL. His impact and influence can be seen in what is now the portal for DOL's self-service applications. Stephen was described as one of the "best and most relied upon resources...."

ITS also recognized two finalists in this category: Scott Kesecki and the Service Delivery Analytics Team.

2017 ITS Leadership Award

Andrew Lyng was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Leadership Award. The Leadership Award recognizes an ITS employee who strives for excellence and demonstrates commitment in all they do in support of ITS and its employees. Andrew was recognized for his instrumental role in the datacenter migration and consolidation for the various agencies within the Public Safety Cluster. Mr. Lyng has spent a significant portion of his career designing and supporting critical services, such as the Electronic Fingerprint Application. These services require passion and confidence to responsibly serve the people of New York. Here is what someone had on behalf of Andrew's nomination: "While he has experience, and great ideas, there are times when staff disagree, or have a better resolution. I have walked into his office, with an idea that differed from his, and his response was ..."OK, Convince Me" - A leader willing to Listen, is one worth listening to. He has earned my respect."

ITS recognized three finalists in this category: John Doubrava; David Loomis; and George Panadis.

2017 ITS Partnership Award

Vijay Madala

Vijay Madala was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Partnership Award. The Partnership Award recognizes an ITS employee who works cooperatively with their colleagues and customers, supports others successes, challenges themselves professionally, and connects co-workers through collaboration and communication. They emulate harmony and teamwork. His nomination stated that Vijay "is always looking to take on new roles and additional responsibility to move ITS forward. In his current role assisting in the ZEN Data Center migration, Vijay has taken on the role to work with multiple teams to ensure proper communication is occurring and the project continues to meet its deadlines. Vijay consistently highlights his teammates successes and provides an atmosphere where people are free to discuss alternatives and collectively develop the best plan to accomplish their tasks. His knowledge and expertise on all aspects of IT allows him to engage at a detailed level and provide quality leadership to any situation.

ITS recognized five individuals and one team as finalists in this category: Patrick Clancy; Lindsey Johnson; Penny Howansky; John Rager; Daniel Travers; and the OMH EMR Deployment Team.

2017 ITS Service Excellence Award

Warren Joscelyn

Warren Joscelyn was the recipient of the 2017 ITS Service Excellence Award.  The Service Excellence Award recognizes an ITS employee who shows pride, enthusiasm, and dedication in all they do. They treat ITS resources as their own and use them wisely. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and continually strive for service excellence. They consistently put out a quality product. His nomination stated, "Warren has proven himself to be invaluable to the ITS Procurement and Contract Support unit. He has successfully procured multiple mission critical ITS projects, including the Civil Service Exam Modernization RFP and the new Mass Notification Alert RFP, which supports the NY-Alert system in notifying millions of New Yorkers of dangerous road, weather, and other conditions. He goes the extra mile by staying late, coming in early, and working on weekends. He acts as a mentor to the entire unit, and his contributions are invaluable. Warren deserves great credit for juggling multiple involved and demanding stakeholders and bringing this to a successful conclusion."

ITS recognized four finalists in this category: Kevin Cleary; Al Macey; Alkananda Rao; and Jacek Skalski.

2017 ITS Going the Extra Mile Award

ITS announced six recipients of the inaugural 2017 ITS Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Award. The ITS GEM Award recognizes an ITS employee who has performed above and beyond normal expectations in recognizable ways and has made extraordinary contributions within our agency to help ITS deliver best-in-class IT service and innovation that matters...for all New Yorkers. These employees always go above and beyond, in all aspects of their work.

Patricia Buckley was one of the recipients of the GEM award. Her nomination stated that she puts the customer first and works hard to ensure that our solutions meet their needs. Patti always emphasizes the positive aspects of her work and encourages teammates to do the same. Her positive attitude is compelling.

Steven Busch was one of the recipients of the GEM Award. Steve's nominator stated, "Steve is a highly-motivated individual with strong technical and interpersonal skills who exudes positive energy and has a really focused approach towards every assigned task."

Emily Cheng was one of the recipients of the GEM Award. Her nomination stated, "Ms. Cheng is a PM who epitomizes the concept of going the extra mile. She consistently strives for excellence, expertly employs all elements of project management, puts in extra time when needed and is recognized within the EBS cluster as the PM to whom high profile projects are assigned."

Maggie McNally

Maggie McNally was one of the recipients of the GEM Award. Her nominator said, "Maggie is totally attuned to everything that is happening in her cluster and has a keen ear to flag any potential issues before they become a problem. Thus, we are often now blazing a trail and proactively notifying and helping our client partners."

Traci Scalzo

Traci Scalzo was one of the recipients of the GEM Award. Traci was recognized for her work with the DCH Windows Server patching team in the aftermath of the WANNACRY virus. She led and organized the patch team to remediate Windows servers. She gained the respect and cooperation of her peers and the patch team which was vital during the outbreak. She took initiative to cut red tape to get servers remediated. Her actions served the greater good of ITS, NYS agencies and the public.

Eric Scardino

Eric Scardino was one of the recipients of the GEM Award. Eric was recognized for his relentless enthusiasm and dedication, which has helped bring many projects to completion and provide customer satisfaction. Eric is always reachable, either for off hours Sev 1's or to provide leadership to junior staff.  Eric is always willing to go the extra mile for numerous projects.  He is constantly thinking outside the box and willing to provide possible solutions to other areas of ITS about how to best tackle a problem when they occur.

ITS recognized five finalists in this category: Lance Chase; Rajni Chawla; Michael Collins; Brad McKenna; and Frank Wicks.

Congratulations to the 2017 ITS Employee Recognition Award Winners!