by Jake Williams

Presented for its seventh year, the StateScoop 50 awards honor the projects and people driving state government technology and cybersecurity. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were presented virtually for the first time. In previous years, the awards ceremony and announcement coincided with the midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Both the midyear and annual conference were moved to a virtual format this year.

Starting in February, members of the state and local IT community nominated thousands of leaders and projects for the awards. From there, StateScoop narrowed the list to the 182 finalists who received the most nominations. Between March and June 2020, readers cast more than 2 million votes nationally between March and April to select the final winners. Executive-level winners were honored Thursday at a virtual roundtable event, sponsored by Google Cloud and Duo Security, now part of Cisco Systems.

"It's an honor and delight to recognize the top 50 leaders in our community," said Goldy Kamali, founder and CEO of Scoop News Group, StateScoop's parent company. "Each of the leaders recognized has gone above and beyond for our community this year, in spite of unprecedented challenges at home and at work. These reader's choice awards honor the best leaders from across the state government community, and acknowledge the important work they are doing to make government better each and every day."

The winners span more than a dozen states and eight private sector companies. Award winners for 2020 include executive-level elected officials like Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, as well as more junior up-and-coming leaders.

The winners:

Shawn Rodriguez
Industry Leadership of the Year
Shawn Rodriguez is responsible for supporting state and local government agencies and educational institutions in implementing innovative technologies while helping reduce costs, enhance security measures and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. Rodriguez is a trusted subject matter expert with more than 20 years' experience driving SLED strategy to deliver integrated business and technology solutions. He joined WWT in 2019 to lead the firm's strategic focus on and investment in SLED. Leveraging WWT's Advanced Technology Center and Innovation Center, Rodriguez leads a collaborative team of industry experts to develop IT solutions from ideas to outcomes to experiences for the SLED market.

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