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For Immediate Release: May 8, 2008
Contact: Sarah Dalton, SiOC President, (916) 654-1483



California agencies win 48 honors in SIOC's 2008 Awards
for 'Excellence in State Government Communications'

SACRAMENTO - The California State Information Officers Council (SIOC) honored 21 state agencies with 48 awards in recognition of "excellence in state government communications" at its annual awards ceremony May 8 in Sacramento. CalPERS earned the most number of gold awards and the Department of Consumer Affairs the most silver. Top honors for career achievement went to Patricia K. Macht, Assistant Executive Officer in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) Public Affairs office, who was given a "Lifetime Achievement Award," and to Captain Steve Turner, Public Affairs Manager with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security, who was named statewide "Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Year."

"The SIOC Awards honor the hard working people within the state's communications and public affairs divisions," said SIOC President Sarah Dalton. "Within the confines of tight budgets, PIOs employ tremendous creativity in disseminating information about state government to the public and the news media. The annual SIOC competition allows us to pay tribute to our colleagues' talents, their ingenuity, and their commitment to excellence."

Professionals outside state government provided SIOC with impartial expertise for its 2008 Awards. Independent documentary and video producer, and three-time regional Emmy award-winner, Joyce Mitchell was Mistress of Ceremonies at the May event, and prominent Sacramento-area public relations and media professionals, who are neither members of SIOC, nor associated with the council, were award judges.

2008 SIOC Lifetime Achievement award winner Pat Macht was honored for 17 years of exemplary performance in the field of state government communications. As CalPERS'chief spokesperson and Assistant Executive Officer of Public Affairs, Macht has helped shape CalPERS' image as a sophisticated investor, a leader in corporate governance, and a catalyst in taming health care costs. Under intense media scrutiny, Macht has led CalPERS through divisive issues including CalPERS investments and ties with Enron; CalPERS battles with health plans and hospitals such as Sutter over the cost of health care; and CalPERS investment in the Sacramento downtown Towers Project.

Since 1995, Macht has expanded the CalPERS Office of Public Affairs from a 10-member staff to a full-service public affairs division. As a tireless advocate for transparency, she also gives back to the community by serving as a board trustee for her synagogue and on the board of the greater Sacramento Jewish Federation. Macht also served as secretary of the 2004-05 Sacramento County Grand Jury. Demonstrating leadership skills that earned her the award, Macht shared her award by acknowledging the support of CalPERS' executive officer. She also thanked her staff and her husband of thirty years.

Captain Steve Turner was named PIO of the Year for outstanding achievement in public information service to the State of California and to his department. The successful management of emergency services and public information dissemination during a disaster is a joint effort on the part of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), the Office of Homeland Security (OHS), and other vital state, local, and federal agencies. SIOC's award recognized Turner for his outstanding performance in the State's Joint Information Center at OES during the 2007 Southern California Wildfires. Formerly the Community Services Manager and lead spokesman at the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Turner is also a member of the American Red Cross Executive Board of Directors.

When the 2007 wildfires broke, Turner initiated information coordination between hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies, as well as nongovernment organizations. Capt. Turner received the PIO of the Year award for his dedication and performance as part of a highly trained team that included the Governor's Office, OES, OHS, CalFIRE, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), and many other State agencies, departments, offices and boards.


The 2008 SIOC honorees are:

NEWS RELEASE -
Gold Award: Caltrans
Silver Award: California Public Utilities Commission

OPINION -
Gold Award: California Public Utilities Commission

FEATURE -
Gold Award: Caltrans
Silver Award: Department of Consumer Affairs

SPEECH -
Gold Award: Office of the State Fire Marshal

ANNUAL REPORT -
Gold Award: CALFED Bay-Delta Program
Silver Award: Superior Court of California Ventura

SPECIAL REPORT -
Gold Award: Alcohol & Drug Programs
Silver Award: California State Teachers Retirement System

NEWSLETTER -
Gold Award: California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)
Silver Award: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

MAGAZINE -
Gold Award: Administrative Office of the Courts
Silver Award: Caltrans

BROCHURE -
Gold Award: CalPERS
Silver Award: Department of Developmental Services & WestEd Center

SPECIAL PUBLICATION -
Gold Award: Administrative Office of the Courts

TRAINING DVD -
Gold Award: California Integrated Waste Management Board
Silver Award: Department of Fish & Game

OUTREACH & EDUCATION DVD -
Gold Award: Victim Compensation & Government Claims Board
Silver Award: California Highway Patrol

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT -
Gold Award: Department of Motor Vehicles

INFO-GRAPHIC -
Gold Award: Department of Fish & Game
Silver Award: California Public Utilities Commission

BRAND IDENTITY PACKAGE -
Gold Award: Contractors State License Board
Silver Award: Department of Consumer Affairs

PROMOTIONAL DEVICE -
Gold Award: CalPERS
Silver Award: Department of Fish & Game

POSTER -
Gold Award: Office of Statewide Planning & Development

EVENT -
Gold Award: Employment Development Department
Silver Award: CalPERS

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP -
Gold Award: California Office of Traffic Safety
Silver Award: California Public Utilities Commission

MEDIA KIT -
Gold Award: California Integrated Waste Management Board
Silver Award: Department of Consumer Affairs

MEDIA CAMPAIGN -
Gold Award: California Office of Traffic Safety
Silver Award: California Integrated Waste Management Board

WEB SITE -
Gold Award: CALFED
Silver Award: CalPERS

INTERNET OUTREACH -
Gold Award: Department of Motor Vehicles

BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK -
Gold Award: CalSTRS
Silver Award: Department of Consumer Affairs

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Captain Steve Turner, Governor's Office of Homeland Security

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Patricia K. Macht, CalPERS

Proceeds from the entry fees and the lunch help fund SIOC scholarships for students working toward communications and journalism careers.

The State Information Officers Council (SIOC) is a nonprofit organization offering professional development and networking opportunities for public information officers throughout California. In addition to its annual communications awards competition, SIOC raises funds to provide scholarships for college students majoring in journalism, communications, and public information management.

The 2008 State Information Officers Council Board of Directors is:

Sarah Dalton, President
Anne Staines, Vice President
John Barrett, Treasurer
Carol Robinson, Secretary
Theresa Gray, Program Co-Chair
Ron Owens, Program Co-Chair
Jeanie Esajian, Scholarship Chair
Roni Java, Awards Committee Chair
Roni Java, Immediate Past President

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