Announcing the 2017 Pinnacle Award Winners

Leslie Labrecque and Suzy Christophersen

The National Association of Government Web Professionals (NAGW) announced its annual Pinnacle Award winners at the organization’s 2017 conference in San Diego, California. NAGW Secretary and East Region Director, Barbara Belli, made the announcement during the awards banquet held Sept 21 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla hotel.
The Pinnacle Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in government websites,” said NAGW President Leslie Labrecque.” NAGW congratulates all of the winners on the outstanding work they do."
Pinnacles Awards are judged by a group of web professionals inside and outside of the government web industry and are awarded to the best entries based on the following judging criteria: team size, content, organization, design, performance and flexibility, accessibility standards, and interactivity.
Awards were presented this year in each of four population categories for cities and counties as well as a Pinnacle award for state/federal agencies, microsites and special site features.
Additionally, the NAGW membership voted on the Members’ Choice Awards from among the entries in each category. Pinnacle Awards event sponsor Siteimprove, a leading provider of web governance software, presented the Sponsor’s Award to Baltimore County Maryland.

The Steven Michael Moore Pinnacle Award for excellence in a government web profession went to former NAGW Secretary and Mountain Region Director, Suzy Christophersen, from Boulder County, Colorado.
“This award embraces the legacy of our friend and colleague, Steve Moore, who passed away in January 2015," said Ms. Labrecque.​ Suzy was one of the founding members of NAGW and without her hard work and dedication we would not be an organization today. She continues to help our profession with her work on open data policy and standards. I am excited for Suzy to win this award as she genuinely deserves it.” ​

The following are the 2017 NAGW Pinnacle Award winners:

City/County Small Population Group (40,000 residents and fewer)

City/County Medium Low Population Group (40,001 – 95,000 residents)

City/County Medium High Population Group (95,001 – 150,000 residents)

City/County Large Population Group (150,000 residents and greater)


Microsite/Special Site Feature

Sponsor's Award presented by Siteimprove

Steven Michael Moore Pinnacle Award

  • Suzy Christophersen, Boulder County, Colorado

More information on the NAGW Pinnacle Awards


Conference year: 

It just got real: Terrible Tales and life lessons from the govie security trenches


Sometimes excrement hits the oscillating rotary device. When you’re in charge of a local government website, the only question is “when.” Join Carolyn Shannon, the Web Administrator of the City of St. Charles, IL, and AJ Van Beest, the security lead for Bayfield County, WI, as they talk about experiences they each had of getting hacked. Learn what happened, how they responded, and the lessons they learned. Key take-aways: How to tell when you’re hacked, how to respond, and how to make it harder for the next hacker.

Conference event time: 

  • 1 to 2 p.m. (Sessions)
Thursday, September 21, 2017


  • Aventine C

CGDSP Certification Class (2017)

  • Welcome
    • Alan Shark, Executive Director, PTI
    • Leslie Labrecque, MSCIT, President/Director At Large/Executive Committee Chair, NAGW​
    • Katya Wowk, Communications Director, Township of Montclair, New Jersey
  • Introductory Session: Student Knowledge Exercise
  • Course and Program Review, Policies and Procedures
  • State of the Profession
  • The New Digital Services Professional – Ingredients for Success – What Does this Job Description Really Look Like?
  • Common Challenges and Strategies
  • Review of assignments and certification details
  • Adjourn

Conference event time: 

  • Tuesday, September 19
Tuesday, September 19, 2017


  • Delphi AB (2nd Fl)

Enhance Citizen Experience Through Your Website

Your citizens looks to you for information about city services, community programs, maintenance alerts, breaking news, upcoming events and more. We’re here to help you deliver it all with ease through your website.  We will begin the session by discussing the ROI your agency can get from a modern citizen-focused website. Attendees will then receive practical tips, examples and best practices for website design and content that can enhance the citizen experience by making it easier for citizens to find the information they’re looking for and engage with their government.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to calculate the ROI of a fully-functional, modern website
  • How to improve service delivery through your government website
  • How to foster two-way communication and engagement between your government and its citizens
  • How to enhance the citizen experience with a usable website

Conference event time: 

  • 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 20, 2017


  • Aventine B

Making 3rd Party Platforms Accessible

This session will provide insight into successfully integrating with 3rd party technologies and platforms to ensure conformance with ADA-related digital accessibility requirements. In addition, technical recommendations for remediation and understanding key elements of accessibility regulations will be covered.


Key Takeaways        

  • Accessibility 101: Guidelines, Regulations, and the Law
  •  3rd Party Platforms & Common Errors of Accessibility
  • Asking the Right Questions: Make Sure Your Solution Does This …

Conference event time: 

  • 1 to 2 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 20, 2017


  • Aventine A

Dan Sullivan

Audio Eye, Inc.
Dan Sullivan

A senior executive and technology professional, Dan Sullivan is a Digital Accessibility subject matter expert. Versed in the range of topics critical to achieving conformance with ADA-related digital accessibility requirements, Dan possesses an in-depth understanding of the nuances of both technology and business standpoint of working with third-party platforms to ensure websites achieve conformance and remain accessible. A member of the executive management team of AudioEye, Dan joined the company from in 2015.


NAGW2017 Speaker Spotlight on Open Data: Katie Johnston and Ron Pringle

Speaker Spotlight Banner - Open DataNAGW2017 Sept 19 - 22 | San Diego, CA

Speaker: Katie Johnston, “Make Releasing Data Meaningful”

Katie JohnstonSo you’ve put your data out there for the big wide world to see. Now what? It’s time to move beyond just releasing data. Katie Johnston will show you how to build an approach that will make sharing data meaningful for internal and external stakeholders. Her session will help you use data to identify the stories you need to tell to your governing body, management and media. You’ll learn how to engage tech audiences and the general public alike.
Katie is a Manager in the Office of Management and Budget at the City of Tacoma, WA, a leader in open data and performance management work. She is passionate about improving government services, whether that be communicating our results and goals using data or improving our decision making and service delivery using continuous improvement frameworks.

More information on this session >>

Speaker: Ron Pringle, “Open Data Successes (and Failures): Lessons from the Trenches”

Ron PringleNot yet part of the open data movement? Or just beginning to test the waters? The City of Boulder, Colorado has been “doing” open data for nearly fours years and it’s been somewhat of a bumpy ride – sometimes completely rewarding, other times, not so much.
Ron Pringle’s session will provide insights on the growing pains as well as the successes the city experienced during the last four years of “doing data,”  including the What Works Cities process that anyone can use. He’ll highlight tested methods and practices that will help your open data efforts become successful.
Ron is a senior application programmer analyst at the City of Boulder and runs the city's open data program. He also serves on the board of directors of OpenColorado, a non-profit whose mission is to support a transformation that will lead to a simple, beautiful, and easy-to-use government.​

More information on this session >>


Conference year: 

NAGW2017 Speaker Spotlight on New Technology: Dave Gallerizzo and Luis Majano

Speaker Spotlight Banner - New TechnologyNAGW2017 Sept 19 - 22 | San Diego, CA

Speaker: Dave Gallerizzo, “An Introduction to Node.js”

Dave GallerizzoWant to build scalable, data intensive and interactive applications that function around user events?  Interested in establishing RESTful APIs as a service? Node.js is an asynchronous, event driven JavaScript runtime that can be used to do these things and more!
Dave Gallerizzo, CEO of Fig Leaf Software, will teach you the fundamentals of Node.js. As a NAGW preconference session you will enjoy a four-hour in-depth look at installation, file execution, uses for Node.js and how to utilize built-in modules. 

More information on this preconference session >>

Speaker: Luis Majano, “Building Scalable RESTFul services”

Luis MajanoREST stands for Representational State Transfer and it is defined by six guiding constraints. Web service APIs that adhere to these are called RESTful APIs. REST is reliant on the HTTP standard and it is a simple request/response mechanism.
Luis Majano, President of Ortus Solutions, will teach you more about what REST is, best practices for using it as well as provide examples of REST implementations.​

More information on this session >>


Conference year: 

NAGW2017 Speaker Spotlight on Effective Communication: Augusta Branham and Robyn Mathews-Lingen

Speaker Spotlight Banner - CommunicationNAGW2017 Sept 19 - 22 | San Diego, CA

Speaker: Augusta Branham, “Plain Language”

Augusta BranhamWhen a reporter calls you to ask if a “solid waste receptacle” is the same thing as a “garbage can,” or if you've ever been cc’d on a message to a resident from your boss that reads:

“Kindly allow the within to confirm that I am in receipt of your below correspondence. I understand that you appeared at the Governing Body meeting regarding same.” (Actual text.)

Perhaps it’s time to have a serious look at the language used in your organization.

Augusta Branham, Web Content Manager at the City of Fayetteville, AR, will explain how you can simplify your writing, eliminate jargon and adopt a consistent style guide to ensure communication that’s clear and precise – and accessible to people of all levels of education. More on Augusta's session >>

Speaker: Robyn Mathews-Lingen, “Lean Writing and Assets Management”

Robyn Mathews-LingenIf your communication methodology tends to be of the scattershot variety, Robyn’s four-hour workshop is just what you need – you’ll learn how to focus your messages, bring order to your assets and streamline your communication processes.

Robin will cover steps essential to producing effective in-house communications for web and social media.

Robyn brings more than 30 years of experience as a communications consultant and trainer to the variety of government clients she serves. Since 1985, she has been owner and creative director of Designwrite Studios, specializing in communications design, open source web development and customized training development.

Check out her September 19 workshop at this year’s NAGW conference in San Diego, CA.

More Information

NAGW conferences bring excellent value to all web professionals – from coders to communicators. A broad range of industry speakers, as well as fellow web professionals, keep you up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in the government web sphere.

From diverse speaker sessions to hands-on workshops, #NAGW2017 offers a value that’s hard to match. Join us in San Diego, meet with your peers and enjoy a great conference experience! Register now >>


Conference year: