CivicPlus® Announces First-Ever Civic Experience Award Winner

Written by Jessica Marabella

Stearns County, Minnesota Earns Top Honors for Creating Positive Interactions with Residents

CivicPlus, a public sector integrated technology solutions leader, has announced the top three finalists in its first-annual Civic Experience Award competition. Stearns County, Minnesota, won gold honors from CivicPlus and its panel of industry-leader judges for its two-year digital transformation effort that has empowered resident self-service and created positive civic experiences in the community. The winners were recognized at a virtual award ceremony with CivicPlus on June 16. The second and third-place finalists were the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Chesterfield County, Virginia.

CivicPlus created the Civic Experience Awards to recognize current U.S.-based CivicPlus customers leading local government departments, teams, and municipalities working hard to improve civic experiences in ways that create greater resident satisfaction, safer, cleaner, and more profitable communities.

In early 2021, CivicPlus opened its Civic Experience Award competition with a call for entries from local government representatives to describe recent accomplishments helping create positive interactions with residents that are frictionless, one-stop, and personalized. The top ten submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges that included Ellory Monks, Co-Founder, The Atlas for Cities, Daniel Jones, Chief Information Officer, City of Portsmouth, Virginia, Oswaldo Mestre, Jr. Director of the Division of Citizen Services, City of Buffalo, NY, and Ashley Copeland, member of the ELGL Board of Directors.

“We were overwhelmed by the number and variety of inspiring stories we received during the nomination process,” said Jennifer Elliott, CivicPlus Director of Product Marketing. “Our goal with the Civic Experience Awards is to celebrate and recognize the outstanding efforts of local government leaders and amplify their stories to inspire others.”

Jennifer Burger, Stearns County, Minnesota, Digital Services Manager, submitted the winning application.

Burger wrote, “In the shadow of a global pandemic, with widespread lockdowns and closed government offices, it was more important than ever that Stearns County empower our community by providing information and services to more residents in more ways. At the same time, we needed to update processes and improve efficiencies for County staff who faced drastic changes in their daily work, so they could continue to serve the public. Over the last two years, we’ve launched a suite of digital services that help us achieve these objectives and improve the overall civic experience.”

The County’s implemented suite of solutions includes a CivicPlus website that incudes AudioEye accessibility monitoring, the CivicPlus Chatbot, and several online forms that allow residents to easily and securely submit information and requests to various departments.

“I was impressed by Stearns County’s application and how the County’s leaders embraced so many modern and innovative technologies, uniting them all in ways that create a seamless and positive experience for residents looking for news, information, and resources from their local government,” said Civic Experience judge Ellory Monks. “I applaud CivicPlus for elevating such stories and inspiring fellow municipal leaders to embrace the benefits of digital transformation.”

A call for nominations for the 2023 Civic Experience Awards will take place in January.