The Minnesota Association for Court Management announced the recipients of its 2014 awards at its annual conference on September 24, 2014.
"Court and government employees often do not receive recognition for their service and achievements. These individuals have gone above and beyond to improve operations and/or coach someone for the benefit of the Minnesota Judicial Branch and the public we serve. Through their dedication to public service and commitment to the court system, we all benefit," said MACM Past President, Vicky Carlson.
In case you were not at the conference, I am honored to announce the following (very deserving) award recipients:
Jerry Winter, First Judicial District Administrator, received the 2014 MACM Lifetime Achievement Award for his demonstrated many contributions to the court management profession and for his years of service to the court community. Jerry has worked in court administration for almost 40 years. Following graduation from the Denver University College of Law with a Master's Degree in Judicial Administration, Jerry was employed by the Oregon Supreme Court as a management analyst and judicial planner. In 1980, he moved to Minnesota accepting a position as the Fifth Judicial District Administrator. Thereafter, Jerry became the First Judicial District Administrator in 1985. Jerry has been an influential leader in the Minnesota Judicial Branch. During his tenure he has served on numerous state, district, and county committees. Most important, perhaps, he was appointed by Chief Justice Blatz to serve as Chairperson of the Transformation Workgroup, which developed alternatives to the governance structure of the Minnesota Judicial Branch and ultimately resulted in the creation of the current Judicial Council. He subsequently served as a charter member of the Judicial Council and on many other important committees. Jerry brings to his position a wealth of knowledge and experience, and he uniquely manages others and achieves successful results through the strength of his gentle personality. His thoughtful and cooperative approach is both effective and appreciated. His administrative skills are simply unsurpassed. Over the course of his career, Jerry has provided the very best service and made countless contributions to the judiciary at both the state and local levels. His is justifiably admired and respected throughout our branch of government for his professionalism, expertise, accomplishments, and who he is as a person. Congratulations, Jerry! (Pictured: Jerry Winter, and Vicky Carlson, MACM Past President.)
Annette Fritz, Court Administrator, Washington County District Court, Tenth Judicial District, received the 2014 MACM Distinguished Service Award for her demonstrated leadership to Washington County Courts and the Minnesota Judicial Branch. She has worked for Minnesota courts for 26 years. She is deeply dedicated to the Minnesota Judicial Branch and makes significant contributions to the success of the courts. She is committed to excellence and strives for quality and efficiency in all aspects of her work. She has been an active member of MACM for 21 years serving as a committee chair and on the Executive Board. She is dedicated to education and the advancement of staff and colleagues. She coordinates training and educational opportunities such as recent district wide judgment training. She is a faculty for the court management program and has organized several training sessions for justice partners. She is active with the eCourtMN implementation including the advancement of communication and problem solving through the eCourt pilot court administrator group. She led Washington County through the successful implementation of imaging, electronic file and serve, and as early adopter of the eSignature solution. In addition to her work in the courts, she is active in her community. Annette is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management. Congratulations Annette!. (Pictured: Annette Fritz, MACM President, and Aaron Williamson, Membership Services Committee Chair.)
Sue Halpern, Court Operations Supervisor, Washington County, received the 2014 MACM Coach/Mentor of the Year Award for her demonstrated outstanding mentoring, coaching, and development of her employees. Sue has worked for Minnesota Courts since 1985. Sue is a person who is an expert in her area; she recognizes herself as a mentor and coach and has opened herself up to others. She has taught and mentored many individuals for the courts for more than 15 years. She not only coaches and mentors her own staff and peers in Washington County but Sue has traveled all over the state to mentor individuals. She recently participated as a mentor in the Merging Minds program and took great pleasure from the experience. Sue is inquisitive, is a constant learner and she loves to share what she has learned with others. Sue leads by example, is action-oriented and likes to see the best outcomes but is not afraid to tell it like it is and deal with concerns. Sue is a subject matter expert in the areas of juvenile protection and adoption. Her passion, knowledge, and resources in her field of expertise have made significant improvements in our processes and procedures. She is continually researching, learning, and sharing with other supervisors. Sue has served on MACM legislative & outreach committee and various state and local committees. Sue is a certified court manager. Congratulations Sue! (Pictured: Deb Lepper, Membership Services Committee Member, and Sue Halpern.)
Vanessa Jeske, Court Operations Supervisor, Goodhue County Court Administration, received the 2014 MACM Early Career Excellence Award for her achievement with outstanding leadership and knowledge in the field of court administration. Vanessa has worked for Goodhue County Court Administration for 8 years. Vanessa started her career with the courts as a Court Collector and Jury Manager. The following year she worked as a Senior Court Clerk in the Family and Civil Divisions. Within 2 years of starting with the courts she became a Court Operations Supervisor over the Criminal/Traffic/Juvenile Divisions. Four years later she became Court Operations Supervisor over the Civil/Family/Collections Divisions. Before starting with Goodhue County District Court, she developed a legal background by working as a legal assistant at a law firm for 12 years. Vanessa has done an excellent job throughout her career with the Judicial Branch. In Goodhue County, she has worked in every division, has been a site lead to many eCourtMN implementation initiatives, was a leader in the transition to a paperless environment, she is very savvy with technology and computer programs, and is very enthusiastic about learning. Vanessa has completed the Management EDGE training and Tier I of the Institute for Court Management Program, as well as numerous other trainings. She is presently taking Tier II education classes. Vanessa is described as extremely knowledgeable about court operations, flexible and innovative, always positive, goes above and beyond in everything she does, and someone who has already proven herself to be an effective leader in court administration. Congratulations Vanessa!(Pictured: Brenda Koenig, Membership Services Committee Member, and Vanessa Jeske.)