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News Governor Phil Bryant Presents 2018 Excellence in Government Awards

Created On: 8/28/2018 3:12:26 PM

Jackson, Miss. (August 28, 2018) –  Today, Governor Phil Bryant honored Lucy Allen and Dr. Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi with the 2018 Excellence in Government Awards which are designed to encourage the development of innovative systems of public administration.

The Mississippi Excellence in Government Awards program was established by the Mississippi State Personnel Board at the direction of the Mississippi Legislature, and the inaugural award was given in 2012.

The recipient of the Excellence in State Government Award is Lucy Allen.  Allen serves as the director of the museum division at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  With more than 40 years of service to MDAH, her most notable contribution has been serving as the project director of the Two Mississippi Museums. Over the past five years, Allen led the complex process of designing and building the Two Mississippi Museums and managed countless aspects of the project including coordinating developments with architectural design professionals, exhibit designers, audiovisual producers, scholars, and donors. She proofed every word of exhibit text and oversaw the collections moving into the building, the hiring of staff, contracting, and all details of exhibit design and content.  Because of her vision and commitment to the project, the Two Mississippi Museums drew thousands of visitors and widespread media attention from local, national, and international outlets.  In addition to the Two Mississippi Museums, Allen oversees the Old Capitol, Governor’s Mansion historic section, and the Manship House Museum.  She also directed the restoration of the Old Capitol in 2009 and the establishment of the Eudora Welty House and Garden in 2006.  Prior to becoming museum director in 2002, she worked as assistant curator of exhibits for 15 years and director of education and programs for nine years.

The recipient of the Excellence in Local and District Government Award is Dr. Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, a professor of sociology at Mississippi State University and the founder and executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center. He is also the executive director of the Mississippi state longitudinal data system clearinghouse.  His data and technological innovations have significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of many government agencies in the state and have helped make Mississippi a model on the national level for data-driven government initiatives.  His most significant initiatives include the state longitudinal data system, Mississippi Works workforce on demand, “Smart Start Career Pathway Model” to prepare low-income working families for economic opportunities, Mississippi’s Court Record Management System, Integrated Family-Based Early Childhood System, Integrated Case Management for Human Services, electronic SNAP redetermination, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for child support, Job Scout career interest system for middle school students, and Mississippi Grad Jobs notification system for college students and recent graduates.  The work of Dr. Parisi showcases the endless possibilities of the use data science to improve the lives of Mississippians.

“These recipients represent the best of state government,” said Governor Bryant.  “Their dedication to serving taxpayers makes Mississippi stronger, and I am so grateful for their service.”

MSPB Executive Director Kelly Hardwick said, “This year’s honorees represent progress and innovation in Mississippi.  Through their contributions to our state, these public servants have demonstrated passion for Mississippi’s past, present, and future.   It is an honor to join Governor Bryant in recognizing these outstanding individuals.”



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