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EMPLOYEE AWARDS

The Judicial Branch is able to achieve its mission through the dedicated efforts of the various people who make up Maine's Judicial Branch. The awards program recognizes people who have contributed in a variety of ways. For some, it is the consistent and exceptional contributions made over the course of a career. For others, it is recognition of some outstanding commitment that was demonstrated during the last year.

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Doug Birgfeld

Doug Birgfeld

Doug Birgfeld, Employee of the Year recipient.

Doug Birgfeld, of Farmingdale, who serves as Project Manager in the Office of Information Technology has been named the Maine Judicial Branch Employee of the Year for 2008. Chief Justice Leigh Saufley presented the award during a recognition program attended by members of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Chief Judges of the trial courts and a gathering of court employees.

In conferring the award, the Chief Justice said,"Though his tenure in the Branch has been short, his reach has been long. Doug has played a significant role in the design of the branch's custom information technology system. He strives to find solutions to a variety of challenges facing the Branch, including increasing the availability of video conferencing, to reduce travel time and costs in our statewide court system; establishing the framework for electronic filing and records management; and working with vendors to improve systems utilized by the Violations Bureau." In addition, Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gorman praised Doug for his part in the development of the new Unified Criminal Docket in Cumberland County. Simply put, his accomplishments are numerous. He approaches every project with an infectious "can-do" attitude, and inspires others to achieve more.

This award is given annually to the person who has best exemplified the qualities of competence in providing court services; commitment to public service; respect, courtesy to fellow employees and members of the public; and a willingness to learn and grow. Doug Birgfeld has displayed all of these qualities in his work to improve technology and increase efficiency in Maine's court system. In accepting the award, Doug commented that while his role is a visible one, it is all of the employees in the Office of Information Technology who deserve credit for these accomplishments.

CAREER PERFROMANCE AWARD: Sandra Lewis

Sandy Lewis

Sandy Lewis, Career Performance Award recipient.

Sandra Lewis, of West Gardiner, is the recipient of the Judicial Branch Career Performance Award. The award was presented by Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, at a December 19 employee recognition program held at the Judicial Center in Augusta, where Ms. Lewis works.

The award is given annually to that person or persons who consistently contribute(s) above and beyond expected job responsibilities to further the Judicial Branch mission.

Sandra Lewis, a 25-year Judicial Branch employee, is a secretary at the Maine Judicial Center. Chief Justice Saufley said, "While Sandra works closely with District Court Chief Judge Ann Murray and Deputy Chief LaVerdiere, she helps everyone who passes through the Judicial Center. She is the "go to" person at the Judicial Center. There is not a function or a problem that Sandra can't handle, even on short notice."

Chief Justice Saufley also spoke about Sandra's many years working with the late Judge Courtland Perry at the Augusta District Court. Judge Perry was a brilliant jurist, but his blindness meant that he had to rely on someone with exceptional skills who could ensure that the judge had everything he needed to carry out his judicial responsibilities. Sandra was that exceptionally skilled person for many years.

Sandra has consistently gone beyond the requirements and expectations of her job throughout her long tenure with the courts and for that we are grateful.

SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD: Family Division

Chief Justice Leigh. I. Saufley announced that the Maine Judiciary's Special Service Award for 2008 has been awarded to the employees of the Family Division.

In April 2008, the Judicial Branch hosted Moving Mountains: A Summit on Childhood Development, Parental Participation and Permanency Success . The employees of the Family Division developed and produced this two-day conference designed to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in the State's child welfare system.

450 people from varying professional disciplines, including members of the bench, the bar, guardians ad litem, parents, and others who are involved in child protective court matters attended the conference. In making the award the Chief Justice said, "The employees' work in organizing the conference, developing the agenda, engaging the speakers, as well attending to the myriad details that go into organizing a conference of this magnitude was outstanding."

The Family Division is located in Augusta, and the employees are: Tracie Adamson, Lindsay Camire, Sarah Cross, Karen Grossman, Trisha Rossignol, Kirsten Skorpen, and Lisa Waitt.

ROY RICE AWARD: William MacKenzie

Bill Mackenzie

William MacKenzie, Roy Rice Award recipient.

William MacKenzie, of Lewiston, is the recipient of the 2008 Roy Rice Award, for his outstanding contribution to the safety and well-being of the employees of the Judicial Branch and the public. Mr. MacKenzie received the award during a December 19 employee recognition program at the Judicial Center in Augusta. Members of the Supreme Judicial Court, Trial Court Chiefs, and court employees were in attendance for the presentation.

In making the presentation, State Court Administrator Ted Glessner explained that the Judicial Branch has only one position, the one filled by Bill MacKenzie, to oversee some 40 facilities around the state. Age, deterioration, and lack of funding have combined to take their toll on many of those buildings. It is Bill's job to plan for work to be done and to oversee that corrective action takes place.

Chief Justice Saufley said, "In this time of severe budget constraints, Bill MacKenzie is often the only resource for a clerk and a courthouse when something goes awry with a facility. With short notice, Bill will travel anywhere in the state to address a mechanical or technical problem. Leaks, flooding, heat or lack of heat, indoor air quality, septic, and fire, are just a few of the problems that Bill has addressed."

Bill's tireless efforts have significantly contributed to the safety and efficiency of the courts in Maine.