State of Colorado wins four national technology awards

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DENVER – Winners for the 2020 StateScoop 50 Awards were announced today and the State of Colorado was honored in four categories, with Governor Jared Polis taking home the GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year award. Polis is well-known for his support of IT innovation, making it easier for Coloradans to do business with the state. 

The 2020 StateScoop Awards honor the projects and people driving state government technology and cybersecurity. The groundbreaking Colorado Digital IDTM project earned a spot in the State IT Innovation of the Year category, and two talented Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) employees were recognized for their achievements. OIT Project Manager Olga Klinger received the State Up and Comer of the Year award for her work to launch the myColoradoTM app, and Director of Identity & Access Management Yvette Florez was named a Cybersecurity Leader of the Year for improving security in the identity and access management arena. 

Thousands of state and local IT government people and projects were nominated for the StateScoop 50 Awards, and the list was narrowed down to 182 finalists, which included many OIT all-stars. From there, more than two million votes were cast from across the nation to select the final 50 winners.

“These awards highlight the far-reaching impact of IT leaders and projects in state government,” Interim Chief Information Officer & Executive Director Tony Neal-Graves says. “At OIT, we are leveraging technology every day to support Governor Polis’ vision of making government services more efficient and accessible to all Coloradans.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were presented virtually rather than at the annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) midyear conference. Additionally, StateScoop will highlight the award winners in a series of upcoming podcasts, beginning with the winners in the GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year category, as well as in featured video interviews.

Below are the nomination biographies for each of Colorado’s four winners.

Governor Jared Polis, GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year

Gov. Jared Polis is a catalyst in expanding virtual access and simplifying how Coloradans engage with state government. Under his administration, the innovative Colorado Digital ID launched within the myColorado mobile app. The Digital ID allows Coloradans to create a secure, electronic driver license or state ID on their smartphones as proof of identification, age and address within the state. Colorado is among the first states to offer a Digital ID to its residents. Among Gov. Polis’ other key priorities is expanding access to affordable and reliable broadband and continuing Colorado’s leadership in blockchain technology. This past year, rural broadband coverage expanded from 83% to 87% and the state’s first blockchain solution architect was hired.

Olga Klinger, State Up & Comer of the Year

As project manager for myColoradoTM, Colorado’s official mobile appTM, Klinger worked tirelessly to launch this innovative solution for residents. Klinger is a fearless leader, brand champion and is passionate about the future of digital identity. The myColorado and Colorado Digital ID program has required her to work collaboratively with leadership at all levels, staff across several state agencies, as well as managing the work of multiple internal teams.

Yvette Florez, Cybersecurity Leader of the Year

Yvette Florez has a vision for the improved security of identity and access management throughout the state, not only for employees, but also for Colorado’s residents. Florez has a very collaborative approach, lots of enthusiasm and an ability to cast a vision. These attributes have made her very successful at getting the agency support and the legislative funding necessary to purchase tools and to up-skill her team to address the state’s complex identity challenges. Florez has built a team of motivated practitioners who are excited about making these improvements across the state.

Colorado Digital ID, State IT Innovation of the Year

In October 2019, the Colorado Digital ID was launched within myColoradoTM — the state of Colorado’s Official Mobile AppTM. To date, 40,000 Coloradans have downloaded the app and created their Digital IDs. The initial launch of the Digital ID enables residents to create a legal, electronic version of their Colorado driver license or state identification cards, and positions the state to quickly adopt mobile driver license standards once identified. This is just the beginning of the state’s digital identity program — through an executive order signed by Gov. Jared Polis, state agencies and Colorado businesses are authorized to accept the Digital ID as proof of identity, age and/or address.

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