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The Pierce County Information Technology Department has received numerous awards and national grants for technological innovation and excellence.
2016 Apex Award of Excellence: Digital Media Category
The Puget Sound Fresh App won an Apex Award for graphic design and overall communications excellence. The Apex Awards is an international competition that recognizes exceptional work in digital and print media. Pierce County partnered with neighboring agencies, the University of Washington Tacoma and Seattle Tilth to create the app.
2016 WAURISA GIS Person of the Year Award
Pierce County’s Chuck Buzzard was named “GIS Person of the Year” for his expertise and countless hours of volunteering.During his 20+ year career, Chuck has volunteered for critical leadership roles, including serving as WAURISA President, Conference Chair, and past Board member.
2016 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
Staff from IT, the Auditor, and Budget and Finance won an Innovation Award for designing a biometric time entry system. The system allows Elections extra hires to quickly clock in using any finger, thereby saving Pierce County more than $10,000 a year. Additionally, an IT, Auditor, and Assessor team won a Partnership Award for linking recorded documents with parcels in the Public GIS system. This project provides greater access to 15 commonly used recorded documents, including deeds of trust, bargain and sale deeds, surveys, liens and easements.
2015 3CMA Savvy Award for Digital Interactive: Mobile Apps
The Puget Sound Fresh App won the first-place "Savvy Award" for best new mobile app. Pierce County partnered with neighboring agencies, the University of Washington Tacoma and Cascade Harvest Coalition to create the app. Both Android and Apple users can use the app to find more than 350 farms and farmers markets, as well as recipes, harvest calendars and events.
Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Award
Pierce County won the top URISA award for creating the most advanced permitting system in the nation. Online permitting tools reduced the number of customer phone calls and office visits by 20%, while also reducing the average consultation time by nearly 80%. Meanwhile, the mobile permitting app allows inspectors to access inspection requests, plans and permit data on their iPads.
2015 Digital County Survey Top 10 Digital Leader
Pierce County made the list of “Top Ten” digital leaders among large counties (500,000 or more population). The county was recognized for the Farm Fresh website, self-service tools for District Court, mobile permitting, the Child Abduction Rapid Response system, and the FirstToSee emergency support system. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost efficiencies.
2015 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award: Criminal Justice & Public Safety
Pierce County Emergency Management and Information Technology won a national award for the Child Abduction Lead Management System. Investigators can use the system to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location. The system has been used to rescue several children in the past year.
2015 NACo Achievement Award for Planning
Pierce County Planning and Land Services (PALS) and Information Technology received an award for the Mobile Permitting System. The system allows inspectors to access inspection requests, building plans and permit data on their iPads. Customers can receive either electronic or printed copies of their inspections and request a re-inspection for the same or next day. Mobile permitting allows Department to conduct up to 70 more inspections a week – or 3,500 more per year!
2015 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
The Pierce County Sheriff's, Emergency Management, and IT Departments received the Partners in Service award for the Child Abduction Response Team (CART) program. The Pierce County CART team worked together for nearly 5 years to obtain federal certification. These efforts ensured that Pierce County is now one of only 21 certified agencies in the nation.
2014 Society of Technical Communications Merit Award
The Society of Technical Communications (STC) presented the
with a merit award for excellence in graphic design, layout, and technical writing. Judges also praised the FirstToSee mobile app for excellent design and functionality. The project team is being honored alongside professionals from major Northwest companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing.
2014 Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award
Pierce County's Public Works Road Operations and Geographic Information Services teams have received a SAG award for outstanding work with GIS technology. The cross-division team used GIS and asset management systems to create a dynamic inspection program of storm drainage infrastructure. Public Works road crews now have access to interactive maps on their mobile devices, which has led to an annual cost reduction of 24% for maintenance.
2014 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Technology & Innovation Award
Pierce County has won a national award for using the latest Web technology to help locate abducted children. The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) has recognized the County’s Lead Management System for a Technology & Innovation Award. Investigators can use the system to quickly search and organize thousands of tips about a child’s possible location.
Grant Award: 2014 FEMA Port Security Grant Program
Pierce County received $225,000 to develop new features for the FirstToSee Emergency Support System, as well as to expand the system to other jurisdictions outside of Western Washington.
2014 NACo Best of Category Award for Court Administration and Management
Pierce County District Court is one of the first courts in the Pacific Northwest – if not the country – to embrace live chat and online self-scheduling tools. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has recognized these innovations with a “Best of Category” achievement award. Self-service tools have lowered county costs and improved public access to justice.
2014 NACo Achievement Award for Emergency Management
Pierce County Emergency Management and IT received a NACO award for the FirstToSee emergency system. The FirstToSee system provides the public and responders new tools for quickly sharing information during a disaster. This revolutionary system uses the latest mobile and social media technology to give emergency professionals greater situational awareness.
2014 Apex Award of Excellence
The FirstToSee Website (
) won an Apex Award of Excellence for outstanding graphic design and Web content. The site also received honors in the WordPress page sub-category. The Apex Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from Websites to newsletters, magazines and annual reports.
2014 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
Planning and Land Services and IT received a joint innovation award for the Mobile Permitting System. The system allows inspectors to access inspection requests, building plans and permit data on their iPads.
2013 Digital Government Achievement Award (Honorable Mention)
Pierce County's mobile internship has been recognized for excellence in driving digital government. The internship program provides students with real-world experience in creating mobile apps for the public and county departments. Students learn the latest software tools and gain skills that are in high demand with companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing.
2013 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for Emergency Management
Pierce County Emergency Management and Information Technology won an achievement award for the Damage Assessment mobile app. By taking advantage of the latest mobile technology, Pierce County has found a cost effective way to ensure accurate, real-time tracking of infrastructure damage during an emergency.
2013 NACo Achievement Award for County Administration and Management
The Pierce County Auditor's Office and IT won an achievement award for completing a major voter redistricting project in record time. The election team successfully remapped 503 voting precincts within 154 election districts in five weeks. These efforts saved considerable money while ensuring 100 percent accuracy.
2013 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
Pierce County IT won two Standing Ovation Awards in the Innovation and Partnership categories. Two staffmembers were recognized for building a partnership with local universities via the mobile internship program. IT and District Court employees received an award for creating online chat and self-scheduling tools that have greatly reduced the large number of calls and in-person visits to District Court.
2012 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Global Technology & Innovation Award
Pierce County Emergency Management and Information Technology won both a national and international award from IAEM. The awards recognize the Damage Assessment mobile application, which allows emergency responders to more easily track property damage caused by a disaster.
2012 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards
The Pierce County IT Department won a NACO Achievement Award in the Public Safety category for enhancements to the Legal Information Network System. IT also won a joint NACO award with the Planning and Land Services Department for creating online permitting tools. The NACO awards recognize the most innovative county government programs in the nation.
2012 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
Pierce County IT won two Standing Ovation Awards in the Sustainability and Innovation categories. The IT Sustainability Team won an award for promoting green practices through purchasing Smart Strips, starting the Stop Junk Email program, creating the Sustainability Board, and signing the Northwest Plug Load challenge. Employees from the Auditor Department and IT won an award for their work on the 2012 redistricting project.
Grant Award: U.S. Department of the Interior USGS Pierce County LiDAR Update
As a supplement to a previous ARRA grant awarded to Pierce County to update our LiDAR system, the USGS awarded Pierce County IT/GIS a grant for an additional $25,000 to increase the resolution for the Tacoma Fault and White River Fault systems.
ARRA Grant Award: U.S. Department of the Interior USGS Pierce County LiDAR
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pierce County Geographic Information Services was awarded the sum of $355,575 to partially fund an update to Pierce County's Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system. The project included a number of commissioned flights to photograph Pierce County from the air, for the purpose of updating the county's orthographic mapping capabilities.
2010 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Award
The Ferry Technology team received a Standing Ovation Award in the Innovation category for their work on integrating six distinct technology upgrades to improve Pierce County Ferry operations and reduce costs. The team consisted of employees from Public Works and Utilities, Information Technology, Emergency Management and Facilities Management.
2010 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Global Technology & Innovation Award
Pierce County Department of Emergency Management won the International Association of Emergency Managers Global Technology & Innovation Award for its Emergency Information Portal, which provides first responders and other emergency management partners with a 'one-stop shop' of mapping, logistics management, and crisis communication information. DEM partnered with Pierce County GIS to develop this portal.
2010 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Distinguished System Award
Pierce County GIS received a Distinguished System Award in the Single Process Systems Category for their GIS Online Budget System through the URISA program. This award program recognizes outstanding system applications that result in improved government services through efficiency and access.
Grant Award: National Criminal History Improvement Program
A $179,000 grant was awarded to Pierce County as an intergovernmental agreement between Washington State Department of Information Services (DIS) and Pierce County. DIS agreed to provide National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) funds, via a federal indirect grant, to Pierce County as part of the NCHIP and the Criminal Justice Information Act of 1984. These funds were used to automate court orders.
Grant Award: EECBG Energy Efficient Storage Upgrade
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) IT award is a sub-recipient of Pierce County's total award of $4,376,400. With this funding, Pierce County staff improved the energy efficiency of the county's ten-year-old disk storage technology.
2009 Employee Incentive and Recognition Standing Ovation Awards
Linda Gerull received a Standing Ovation Award in the Customer Service category from the Employee Incentive and Recognition committee in 2009. The Pierce County Auditor's Office nominated Linda for the following: 'Pierce County is better at what it does because so many of our own county staff as well as external pertners are Linda's customers and have benefitted from her excellence. She always delivers far beyond what is requested and way beyond expectations.'
2008 Washington Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Awards
Map Contest: 'How Green is Your Commute?' - 3rd place award
Poster Contest: 'GIS is to Space as History is to Time' - Peoples Choice Award
CIO 100 Award
IT Director Terry Hale and the Information Technology Department have been honored as recipients of the 19th annual CIO 100 award for innovative use of information technology. The announcement was made by CIO Magazine, a national resource for chief information officers.
2004 Geospacial Information Technology Association (GITA) Conference:
Speaker Award - Linda Gerull
2004 Washington Chapter of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
'GIS Person of the Year' was awarded to Linda Gerull, Pierce County GIS Manager. Linda received the award in recognition of her long-term commitment, excellent work and leadership in the field of GIS technology with an emphasis on both her local and regional partnerships and contributions.
Pierce County GIS also received four of the five awards for GIS Day Posters at the URISA conference:
Excellence in Cartography
: The Arsenic Project, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
Presentation of Current Events
: Voter Turnout by Age Group, Pierce County Auditor's Office
Innovation: Analysis/Information Presentation:
The Arsenic Project, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
People's Choice Award:
2003 Standing Ovation Award, Innovation Category
The Pierce County Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX) Website received the
2003 Top-10 Court Websites
award by Justice Served in Eureka, California. The site was developed by the Pierce County safety and judicial software development team.
2003 Washington Recreation and Parks Association Spotlight Award
Discover Parks won the award for best website. The GIS Department supported Parks and Recreation by creating park maps, images and GIS files for the website.
2002 Standing Ovation Award, Leadership Category
2002 Standing Ovation Award, Partnership Category
2002 The National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) Awards
The GIS team won an 'Excellent' award for communicating results and coordinating regional technology with the GIS Bulletin.
IT won an 'Superior' award in the Computer Media Category for the Pierce County Crisis Website.
2002 National Association of Counties (NACo) Awards
IT received an 'Achievement' award for developing Threat Response Strategies and Information Systems.
The Washington Sheriff's Department and GIS team received a 'Special Achievement' award for the use of GIS Technology.
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