2018 Minnesota Association for Court Management (MACM) Awards

The Minnesota Association for Court Management announced the recipients of its 2018 awards at its annual meeting in September, 2018.

Aaron Williamson (MACM President), Shelly Sherman, Holly Bohlken, Heidi Carstensen, Shelly Ellefson, Chuck Kjos, and Vanessa Jeske (MACM Third Vice President)

Champion of Change - Shelly Sherman

Business Process Specialist from the Fourth Judicial District

Ann Basta and Shelly Sherman

A champion of change is a person who fosters collaboration to promote innovation by embracing opportunities to utilize technology and other resources to increase efficiencies and productivity in the work place.

The recipient of the 2018 champion of change award is Shelly Sherman, Business Process Specialist from the Fourth Judicial District.

In the words of the person who nominated her: Shelly is persistent and consistent in her work. She builds strong relationships with partners, both internal and external, and accomplishes projects and tasks in a consistent manner – which is why she is seen as an expert in criminal court business processes in the Fourth.

Shelly is an exceptional Judicial Branch employee and leader. She is relied upon for her years of experience and her sharp mind. She is a champion of change when it comes to implementing any new project or change in the Fourth Judicial District. She also works will with all of her colleagues at State Court and in other districts to collaborate and make sure our efforts run smoothly in relation to theirs.

She has either been project lead or an integral part of a large number of projects impacting the Criminal Division in Hennepin and others throughout the state such as:
  • The 2/4 project – she tested SessionWorks Clerks Edition and was on site before and after the transition to make sure things ran as smoothly as possible;
  • eReminder and eCheck-in – she was the main resource for the contract developers on this project and is greatly respected by our vendors for her knowledge and her ability to mitigate risk and prevent issues;
  • eSearch Warrant for eCharging – she lead this effort that is now used across the state for judges to electronically sign search warrants;
  • eFiling – she helped set up queues, maintained the event code list and tested eFS;
  • eFiling Search Warrants – Shelly developed training and delivered it to law enforcement agencies so they could start eFiling their search warrants.

Shelly sees the big picture and ensures we make the right decisions when planning a process up-front so that we don’t have to deal with issues down the road. Shelly is also the type of person who will drop what she’s doing to help colleagues dealing with an important issue. She understands her role on the team, and wants others to feel supported. She has vast expertise and knowledge and is a Champion of Change because she makes things happen – the right way, the first time.

Shelly was nominated by: Aaron Williamson from the 4th District.

Congratulations Shelly Sherman as the 2018 recipient of the Champion of Change award!

Early Career Excellence - Holly Bohlken

Dakota County Court Operations Supervisor of the Major Criminal Division

Vanessa Jeske and Holly Bohlken

A person who exhibits early career excellence demonstrates achievement in the courts through obtaining a high level of knowledge in a short amount of time; is a quick learner and a valuable resource to others; is dependable and consistent while working to achieve success in their local court or for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.

The recipient of the 2018 Early Career Excellence Award is Holly Bohlken, Dakota County Court Operations Supervisor of the Major Criminal Division.

Holly has been with the Judicial Branch since 2008 and all of her years of service have been with the First Judicial District. She started her career as a Senior Court Clerk in the Major Criminal area, and she has been repeatedly promoted through the ranks including Lead Worker in 2011 and then Court Operations Supervisor in 2016.

In the words of the person who nominated her, Holly immediately stood out as potential leadership material with her positive attitude, can do spirit, and her dependability to support the Judicial Branch mission and vision.

Within 3 years of becoming a Senior Court Clerk, Holly’s dedication to excellence and approachability brought her into a lead worker role. In that role she embraced leadership qualities of her position by becoming certified in SharePoint administration, assisting her team with eFS implementation, and completing DiA.

After 5 years of being a lead worker, getting married and having 2 bouncing baby boys (busy lady!), Holly was promoted to the Major Criminal Court Operations Supervisor role in 2016. She supervises the largest department in the First District and has demonstrated forward thinking leadership, unwavering dedication, and optimistic encouragement to everyone she encounters. She leads with confidence, sincerity and integrity. She holds her team to high values yet is respected for her fairness. Holly is a leader in change and promotes her entire team towards change acceptance.

She is an exceptional supervisor and with less than 10 years in the branch, Holly is the epitome of an Early Career Excellence award recipient.

Holly was nominated by: Heidi Carstensen, Dakota County Court Administrator

Congratulations Holly Bohlken as the 2018 recipient of the Early Career Excellence award!

Distinguished Service Award - Heidi Carstensen

Dakota County Court Administrator in the First Judicial District

Gena Jones and Heidi Carstensen

The Distinguished Service award honors a MACM member who has distinguished themselves through a record of service to the profession; outstanding service to the community and courts; demonstrates leadership by improving the administration of justice and delivery of public service through the application of modern management techniques.

The recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award is Heidi Carstensen the Dakota County Court Administrator in the First Judicial District.

In the words of the person who nominated her: Heidi has demonstrated significant accomplishments and leadership throughout the almost two decades that she has worked in the Minnesota Judicial Branch. She is passionate about leadership and the court system. She serves as the First District representative on the statewide Reengineering Steering Committee and has been instrumental in redesign discussions at both the state and district levels. In fact, this past year she led First District Town Hall sessions covering topics such as Reengineering and OneCourtMN.

Over the years, Heidi has been on so many state, district, and county committees and workgroups that there are too many to delineate. She has been involved in NACM and MACM and last year, Heidi became an ICM Fellow. Her paper is entitled “The Certified Court Specialist: Delivering Educated Justice on the Front Lines” is a reflection of her commitment to court staff, improving the administration of justice, and ultimately delivering excellent customer service.

Heidi is extremely focused on our court customers, community outreach, and providing excellent customer service. Heidi has spent a tremendous amount of time developing the court’s relationship with the local bar association.

One of the biggest professional compliments that a person can receive is to be someone committed to developing others and creating a lasting legacy of people who serve the public well in years to come. Without question, Heidi is that person. She is a vigorous proponent of education and training. She encourages staff at every level to take every opportunity to develop themselves and attend educational opportunities. Heidi serves as an instructor for the Court Management Program Strategic Visioning and Strategic Planning course, which continues to be a program that develops our future court leaders.

In summary, Heidi has made numerous contributions to the court management profession and the Minnesota Judicial Branch, and as a result has earned a high professional regard and respect from judges, district and court administrators, court staff, justice partners, and others associated with our court system. Heidi has distinguished herself in this profession and is proven to be a dedicated leader.

Heidi was nominated by: Brian Jones on behalf of the First District Judges and Staff, as well as the public who have been positively impacted by Heidi’s leadership and distinguished service.

Congratulations Heidi Carstensen as the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award!

Coach/Mentor of the Year - Shelly Ellefson

District Administrator of the Third Judicial District

Deb Lepper and Shelly Ellefson

A coach or mentor is a person who fosters trust while encouraging others to achieve their goals without thought of reciprocation. They share their skills and knowledge with others and provide excellent coaching in the ongoing development and enrichment of others.

The recipient of the 2018 Coach/Mentor of the Year is Shelley Ellefson the District Administrator of the Third Judicial District.

In the words of those who nominated her: Shelley’s leadership is unmatched, her competence is extraordinary, and she is highly respected by all who work with, for, and around her.

Shelley continuously fosters collaboration within and between court and district administration offices, and between administration and the bench. She creates, supports, and maintains a working environment where everyone comes to the table to discuss any topic, all voices are heard, information is widely shared, and respect and transparency is valued by all.

She mentors and encourages district-wide, as new employees start their employment with the branch, new judges come on board, as new teams start up, during times of strategic goal planning and re-engineering, and as an ongoing effort to keep employees abreast of the “why” behind district initiatives.

Shelley seeks out, supports, and encourages personal and professional development for all levels of employees and judges in the 3rd District. She has helped create a culture where the level of coaching and mentoring is beyond exceptional.

For these reasons and many more, Shelley Ellefson is a well-deserved recipient of the MACM Coach/Mentor of the Year Award. She was nominated by: the Court Administrators of the 3rd District.

Congratulations Shelley Ellefson as the 2018 recipient of the Coach/Mentor of the year award!

Lifetime Achievement Award - Chuck Kjos

Court Administrator of Olmsted County in the Third Judicial District

Chuck Kjos and Annette Fritz

The Lifetime Achievement award honors a MACM member who is recognized for their many contributions to the court management profession and for their years of service to the Court. They have earned a high professional regard and the respect of other members in the profession. They demonstrate diplomacy, advocacy, and a consistent professionalism when faced with challenges. They demonstrate outstanding leadership and give selflessly of their time and talent.

The recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award is Chuck Kjos the Court Administrator of Olmsted County in the Third Judicial District. Chuck has been with the MN Judicial Branch since 1977, that’s 41 years folks!

In the words of those who nominated him: Chuck has continually made outstanding contributions and demonstrated how to work effectively with judges, staff, justice partners and the people we serve. He has continuously exhibited the utmost professionalism regardless of the challenge. Chuck is consistently diplomatic and always shows a high degree of respect for others. He’s calm, courteous, patient and resourceful, and has always set an example for staff regarding how to maintain composure and represent the Court well.

Chuck has built and maintained exceptionally effective working relationships with the judges he’s served and he’s developed quality working relationships with the staff that work for him. His bench and justice partners rely heavily upon him and frequently seek his counsel. He does a great job of building partnerships with county cohorts to make the work flow efficiently for all concerned. For example, during roughly the past decade Olmsted County has been under-judged. Chuck worked tirelessly with his bench and his Olmsted County justice partners to effectively utilize judicial resources allocated to his county.

In Chuck’s 41 years of court service he has literally served on, participated in or led countless local, district and state level committees, organizations and activities. One of his most recent substantive forms of service was to the Judicial Council. From July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2014, Chuck served the Minnesota Judicial Branch as the Judicial Council’s sole Court Administrator representative. Throughout his tenure on the Council Chuck did an outstanding job of representing the voice of court administration at the Council table, and not just the voice of Olmsted County or the Third District. He took is role very seriously and continuously provided all Court Administrators across the state with information before Council meetings and updates after Council meetings. He spoke up at meetings, even when his comments were not popular. This earned Chuck high professional regard and respect from Council members and administrators across the state.

On June 14, 1991, Chuck became an ICM Fellow. This was in the ‘old days’ when candidates had to travel around the United States to attend the Phase I and Phase II courses, and they were required to participate in the off-site 3-week Phase III curriculum. Chuck went to Steamboat Springs, CO for Phase III. Those that have become Fellows in the past few years know how demanding Phase III and IV can be, yet it was even more challenging and it was a different kind of commitment back in the 90s to become a Fellow. The financial out-lay was much more substantial and the time commitment away from the office and family was much more extreme then than it is now. Despite the burdens, Chuck made that commitment to himself and to the Court that he served. Chuck’s commitment to the profession and to this personal and professional development is very strong.

Chuck has continuously demonstrated his commitment to sharing his knowledge, and after 41 years he’s got a great deal of institutional knowledge!! We wish him all the best that retirement has to offer!

Chuck was nominated by: the Third Judicial District Administrative Team

Congratulations Chuck Kjos as the 2018 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award1