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Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections is first in state to receive Governor’s Sterling Award

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office has become the first in the state to receive the Governor’s Sterling Award.

The award is considered the most prestigious award for organizations excelling in performance excellence.

“Our vision is to be the best place in America to vote. And today, as the first Supervisor of Elections to earn the Governor’s Sterling Award, we received recognition that shows we’re working toward our vision in a meaningful way,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.

The Florida Sterling Council established to determine whether an agency is eligible to receive the coveted award uses seven different criteria – leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, knowledge management, workforce focus, process management and results.

An organization must submit a 50-page application in order to be considered and scored under the criteria.

“I pursued the Governor’s Sterling Award to show voters that I take their trust seriously.  This was a verifiable way to demonstrate that our elections meet the absolute highest standards of excellence,” Latimer said.

According to the supervisor’s office, examiners spent an entire week interviewing employees and observing the office’s day-to-day operations. The group also analyzed operations and compared its processes and results to other organizations within both the public and private sectors.

“We proved to the Sterling Council that we have sustainable processes and measurements in place that will lead to continued success and improvement. We have never had a better foundation to meet whatever challenges come our way, and to exceed Hillsborough County’s expectations for elections,” Latimer continued.

The Governor’s Sterling Award was established under former Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Latimer is planning to issue a more formal announcement on the award Monday.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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