2019 Minnesota Association for Court Management (MACM) Awards

The Minnesota Association for Court Management announced the recipients of its 2019 awards at its annual meeting in September, 2019.

Mary Dalbec (MACM Third Vice President), Monica Tschumper, Angie Hutchins, Sharon Schubert, Gena Jones and Aaron Williamson (MACM President)

Coach/Mentor of the Year – Gena Jones

Court Administrative Manager for Washington County, Tenth Judicial District

Kris Cunningham and Gena Jones

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 2019 Coach/Mentor of the Year is Gena Jones, Court Administrative Manager for Washington County in the Tenth Judicial District.

In the words of those who nominated her: Gena is an experienced and trusted advisor who is very personable, approachable and knowledgeable. When people go to her with a problem, she listens with empathy and is always kind and encouraging. When you simply need to be heard, she listens. But when a situation calls for it, she springs into action.

Gena is always happy to share her knowledge in order to benefit others and the court, and throughout her time with the Branch she has found various ways of sharing her knowledge and expertise. For example, she has participated as a mentor in the Merging Minds Mentorship program for several years. She has also served on several statewide committees, ranging from eFS, MNCIS and eAppeals. These committees that Gena has served on have been instrumental in shaping the way our work is performed through the use of technology.

Mentoring can sometimes be an overlooked requirement of a good manager but it is one of Gena’s outstanding strengths! She mentors and encourages others to achieve their goals by providing excellent coaching. She is continually sought out as a resource for people in a variety of positions and has coached people through interview prep, resume feedback and continual focus on their long-term career goals. She is also a proponent of continuing education and encourages people to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the Judicial Branch.

Gena was nominated by Jodie Pfeffer on behalf of all Washington County Court Administration.

Congratulations Gena Jones as the 2019 recipient of the Coach/Mentor of the Year award!

Champion of Change – Angie Hutchins

Deputy District Administrator, Third Judicial District

Angie Hutchins and Rhonda Williams

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 2019 champion of change award is Angie Hutchins, Third District Deputy District Administrator.

In the words of those who nominated her: Angie is exceptionally talented at fostering collaboration among court staff as well as supervisory and leadership personnel in order to promote innovation. She consistently embraces opportunities to maximize the use of technology.

In the past year Angie really stepped up to the plate by voluntarily taking on the project managerial duties and responsibilities, and for leading the development and implementation of the Third District’s districtwide case processing vision.

She selflessly gave of her time, energy and talent to initiate and shepherd five case processing vision workgroups. Staff at all levels of the organization were enrolled and a part of the solution. Due to her leadership, direction and guidance, all workgroups developed their recommendations on time, and each milestone in the process was reached with the spirit of collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork. She has an uncanny ability to connect her technical knowledge with her workflow understanding, and then communicate that in an easy-to-understand manner.

Angie’s strong empathy and developer skills result in her being patient, yet persistent in achieving results. She helped to remove barriers and to create a stable environment during the change process while creating a safe place for people to express themselves, generate common solutions and foster the change initiative being successful.

While many employees, supervisors and managers throughout the district were collectively responsible for the development of the Third District’s districtwide case processing plan, this enormous change initiative would not be nearing implementation had it not been for Angie Hutchins’ remarkable ability to lead people through change, and her ability to effectively organize people and activities to support this change initiative.

Angie’s extensive technical knowledge, her deep understanding of how the organization operates, her ability to analyze and leverage others’ strengths and skills to maximize and drive performance are all examples of why Angie is so deserving of this award.

Angie was nominated by: the Third District Administrative Team.

Congratulations Angie Hutchins as the 2019 recipient of the Champion of Change award!

Distinguished Service Award – Monica Tschumper

Wright County Court Administrator, Tenth Judicial District

Annette Fritz and Monica Tschumper

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 2019 Distinguished Service Award is Monica Tschumper, the Wright County Court Administrator in the Tenth Judicial District.

Monica has been with the Judicial Branch for 25 years. She started in 1994 as senior court clerk in Benton County. She spent eight years as a Court Operations Supervisor in Mille Lacs County and has been a Court Administrator since 2009; in Isanti County for six years and in Wright County since 2015.

She is a very active MACM member. She served two terms as the Second Vice President and Chairperson of the Education Committee, has been an Executive Officer and on the MACM Board of Directors since 2014 and is a current member on the Education Committee. In the words of the person who nominated her, “Monica is passionate about serving the Minnesota Courts and developing agendas that include top notch education to her fellow court leaders.”

She contributes her time, talent and experience to the organization and the profession of court management for the benefit of all MACM members. Her leadership and dedication is distinguished through her volunteering and outreach. She has made significant contributions to the success of many MACM conferences by working with the conference venues, hotels and presenters to negotiate rates, contracts and details that have resulted in conservative and respectful use of public funds to help the organization develop leaders.

In addition to her work with the Education Committee, she is active with the Membership Services Committee, is faculty for the Institute for Court Management Case Flow Management class, serves on the annual court business conference planning committee and was the court administrator representative on the statewide eCourt Steering Committee from 2012-2017. All of these are examples of her commitment to the development of others.

She is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management and shares her knowledge and experience with others in the court system to lead a successful court. She demonstrates leadership by improving the administrative of justice and has hosted law day events in Wright County to educate the community and stakeholders about the courts.

She is an amazing, dedicated court professional who has a distinguished record of service to the profession. Monica was nominated by Annette Fritz on behalf of the Tenth Judicial District.

Congratulations Monica Tschumper as the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award!

Lifetime Achievement Award – Sharon Schubert

Kanabec County Court Administrator, Tenth Judicial District

Tracy Gullerud, Sharon Schubert and Amy Isaacson

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. The recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award is Sharon Schubert the Court Administrator of Kanabec County in the Tenth Judicial District.

Sharon’s career with the MN Judicial Branch began in 1982. She started in Stearns County as a clerk and then became a lead worker. Her knowledge, skills, and abilities were recognized when she was promoted to Court Operations Supervisor in Wright County in 1999. Then in 2015 her leadership abilities were again recognized when she became the Court Administrator of Kanabec County. She has been a member of MACM for the past 15 years.

Sharon has earned a high professional regard and the respect of other members in the profession. She loves Court Administration and her work reflects the mission and vision of the Judicial Branch. With her outgoing personality and contagious smile, Sharon has developed a network of friends and colleagues throughout the Tenth District, at State Court Administration, and across the State who can rely on each other for help when needed.

Sharon demonstrates diplomacy, advocacy, and a consistent professionalism when faced with challenges. She keeps her promises and remains true to herself and her profession. She believes in honesty above all else and anyone who knows Sharon know that she tells it like it is! She has a strong personality that never leaves a person guessing but also shows respect to everyone with whom she interacts.

She has been a member of many committees and is not afraid to share her opinions even when she appears to be the voice of the minority. She asks good questions and will pursue a definitive answer. At the State level she is a member of the Civil Process Advisory Workgroup. At the District level she is a member of many committees and has volunteered to serve as the co-chair of the Tenth District’s Administrators Group for the last four years.

Sharon demonstrates outstanding leadership and give selflessly of their time and talent. She challenges employees to take the lead on projects while guiding them through the process and passing on her own skills and knowledge. Sharon believes in education, not only for herself but for all employees, giving them opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge. Through the years Sharon has mentored many new Court Operations Supervisors and court employees. She has taught them to recognize and appreciate the importance and dignity of the work they do and the effect of their performance on the lives of the people they serve.

When Sharon became the Kanabec County Court Administrator, she worked hard to understand the work processes and unique culture of a small county and to develop effective working relationships with partner agencies and her judge.

While employed in Stearns County, court staff including Sharon experienced two tragic and life changing events. The first was a shooting in the area outside the courtroom in 1987. On that day, Sharon had checked in a person at their front public service counter and was going to walk him and his paperwork down the hall to the courtroom. She had to take a telephone call and gave the individual directions to the courtroom instead and told him she would bring the paperwork down shortly. As the individual proceeded to the courtroom, he was shot multiple times by his ex-significant other. It is frightening to think what might have happened if it had not been for that intervening phone call.

The second incident involved an explosion in 1998 caused by a gas leak during a construction project across the street from the courthouse which destroyed six buildings, killed four people, and left co-workers unable to work for over a year because they happened to go to lunch at one of the buildings that was destroyed.

Both events are imprinted on the minds of the court staff that experienced them and Sharon has often commented on the unbreakable bond that was formed between her and those other employees as a result of having gone through these experiences together.

No doubt, no one is surprised that Sharon is receiving this award except Sharon herself. She is not somebody who seeks recognition but she is very deserving of this award. Sharon was nominated by LuAnn Blegen, Tracy Gullerud, Krista Anderson and Amy Isaacson.

Congratulations Sharon Schubert as the 2019 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.