Congratulations 2023 ACE Awards Winners!

Palm Beach County Jurisdiction of the Year Award

Jurisdiction of the Year

Palm Beach County Tax Collector's Office

Facing challenges from the pandemic, the Palm Beach County Tax Collector made a strategic shift in the way services are delivered to the County's 1.5 million residents. By expanding online offerings with several innovative measures, the Office created a 24/7 self-service model for its constituents to conduct business online. 

This included transforming the Business Tax Registration applications to an online process, installing ATM-style kiosk machines in grocery stores where clients can renew vehicle registrations on the spot and receive their license plate decal immediately, and launching a new marketing plan, “Pay Smart, Pay Online” to encourage clients to utilize online services.

Surveys have shown that County residents are pleased with the changes, 82% of those surveyed rated the agency’s service as positive. The Palm Beach County Tax Collector and staff are extremely proud of these results and will continue to provide unparalleled service that inspires trust for its clients.

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Linda Hjelle

Excellence in Office Leadership

Linda Hjelle, Assessor – Snohomish County, WA

There is a difference between authority and leadership. Linda Hjelle has all the authority of an elected Assessor. Yet, it is her deferential leadership that keeps her team motivated to provide the best service to the citizens of Snohomish County. Linda’s leadership style starts with balance. She genuinely respects the many viewpoints and opinions she is presented with daily. She believes a good leader listens to all sides. From this vantage point, she synthesizes the input she receives from others into an actionable course, saying, “Without understanding the big picture nothing gets accomplished in a productive way.”

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Bart Stevenson

Excellence in Business Process Transformation

Bart Stevenson, County Assessor – Stafford County, VA

By changing business processes and utilizing ProVal to its fullest capabilities, the Stafford County Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office has been able to increase the overall accuracy of assessments and the efficiency of our appraisal staff. When most people talk about the "real estate market" they typically think of one large heterogeneous market, in reality the real estate market is a collection of hundreds of sub-markets. The more precisely an Appraiser can recognize and reflect the trends that are occurring within that those sub-markets, the more accurate and equitable their valuations will be. These trends can be impossible to identify without a powerful CAMA system and Appraisers willing to utilize the tools available to them. Bart Stevenson has fostered an environment that encourages creativity and hard work. He and his team have reengineered Stafford’s mass appraisal process to allow for Appraisers to identify and value properties at the sub-market level instead of using the less accurate, yet commonly used, practice of trending.

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Michelle McBride accepts ACE Award

Excellence in Community Service​

Michelle D. McBride, Collector of Revenue​ – St. Charles County MO​

Michelle is a dedicated public servant. Michelle does many community service activities above and beyond the scope of her job as the St. Charles County Missouri Collector of Revenue. Although St. Charles County is the third largest County in Missouri with over 409,000 residents, Michelle takes the time to volunteer and contribute to her local communities – including school, church, civic, and professional. Michelle is most deserving of being recognized for Excellence in Community Service.  Her many positions of service with the Seton Regional School, St. Charles Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Missouri County Collectors’ Association and the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers are not requirements of her job and the hours devoted to the furtherance of the purposes of these organizations are not financially compensated. They are “Community Service” hours that Michelle engages in for the betterment of all members. 

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Laurie Stone

Jeff Watkins ACE Award for Professional Services

Laurie Stone, Assistant Assessor/Recorder – Solano County, CA

For over 2 years Laurie worked to consistently navigate the Solano County Aumentum implementation. She promoted confidence in the state of the project from the beginning by rolling up her sleeves, digging into the application and business processes, asking relevant questions throughout our numerous RPA workshops, as well as the conversion process.
Laurie always maintained a positive demeanor with her Solano staff, leads, management, and the Aumentum team whether we were on-site or remote. Laurie leads her staff and communicates with Aumentum Technologies support and Business Analysts when it comes to reporting, testing bug, and data fixes. She does not shy away from performing each step of a process herself, as well as team testing with her staff upon application deliveries and version updates. Laurie played a key role in the Assessor Office's successful closing of the annual 2023 tax roll only three months post go-live.

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AJ Balram and Michelle Harris Palm Beach County

Lisa Redding ACE Award for Project Management

Ajit "AJ" Balram and Michelle Harris, Excellence Manager and Application Manager - Palm Beach County, FL

Ajit “AJ” Balram, Excellence Manager for the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s office, is nominated for his outstanding leadership in managing the performance and control phase of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s office’s upgrade to Aumentum Platform in August 2022.
AJ promoted confidence in the project among the agency’s staff by developing a detailed and efficient test strategy and plan document and developing test cases with clear and detailed acceptance criteria that mapped directly to the contractual business process requirements.

Michelle Harris, Application Manager at the Palm Beach Tax Collector, is being nominated for her exceptional project management during the upgrade to the Aumentum Platform. Michelle’s leadership, combined with AJ’s management of this project ensured that a successful launch of the Aumentum Platform upgrade was delivered to the Palm Beach County Tax Collector in August 2022.

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