Committee purpose statement:
This Committee reviews and recommends award categories and nominations to the MCA Board of Directors for approval.
Chair: Connie Hartwig - President 2019 - DOC Retiree
Mark Groves - President 2018 - DEED
Sarah Eischens - President 2017 -DOC Mankato District Office
Steve King, President 2016 - Mower County Probation
Michelle Smith, President 2015 - Minnesota Department of Corrections
Awards Ceremony Video Coming Soon
Corrections Person of the Year: Antonio Espinosa, COII - MCF-Stillwater
Corrections Officer of the Year: Luke Beland, Sergeant - MCF-Faribault
Professional Achievement-Correctional Facility: Troy Vincent, Education Director - MCF-Stillwater
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Holly VanPelt, Corrections Agent Career - DOC Albert Lea District
Professional Achievement: Kevin Szczyrbak, Program Director - Woodland Hills
President's Award: 5th Judicial District Multi-County Veterans Court
Technology Award: Kaylee Henson, Senior Agent - Wright County Probation
Board of Director's Award: Mark Groves, MCA Board Liaison
Corrections Person of the Year: This award is given for outstanding contribution in the field of corrections in Minnesota by an individual in any employment. It could be clergy, judge, legislator, group home parent, etc., as well as a correctional professional.
NEW ANNUAL AWARD ADDED in 2019: Corrections Officer of the Year: This award is inspired by Minnesota Corrections Officers Joseph Gomm and Joseph Parise, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties. This award will be given to a uniformed officer who demonstrates extraordinary character; who has gone above and beyond the scope and responsibilities of their position to ensure the safety and security of their colleagues. The recipient of this award will be nominated for their standard of professional achievement.
Professional Achievement Awards: This award is given to two correctional staff persons (field services and correctional facilities) who have demonstrated achievement over a period of time, but shall not exclude professionals new to the field who have displayed outstanding achievement.
President’s Award: This award is given to programs, resources or facilities working in the broad field of corrections and criminal justice, which demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, effectiveness and innovation.
Technology Award: This award is given to individuals, programs, resources or facilities working with technology in the broad field of corrections and criminal justice, which demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, effectiveness and innovation.
Board of Directors’ Award (chosen and voted by Board of Directors): This award recognizes exemplary service to MCA members through participation in association activities.
2019 MCA Award Winners
Corrections Person of the Year: Shawn Yurick - MCF-Stillwater
Corrections Officer of the Year: Kelly McElroy - MCF-Oak Park Heights
Professional Achievement-Institution: Sandy Hand - MCF-Shakopee
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Jane Schmid - Brown County Probation
President's Award: Minneapolis Police Department Community Engagement Team/MCF-Red Wing
Technology Award: Project Remand
Board of Director's Award: Debbie Beltz, MCA Administrative Manager
2018 MCA Award Winners
Corrections Person of the Year: Collin Gau - Minnesota Department of Corrections
Professional Achievement-Institution: Mitch Gundovi - Hennepin County Community Corrections
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Cari Gerlicher - Minnesota Department of Corrections
President's Award: DOC Victim Assistance & Restorative Justice Program
Technology Award: David Heath - Arrowhead Regional Corrections
Board of Director's Award: Tara Rathman - MCA Communications
2017 MCA Award Winners
Corrections Person of the Year: Holly Clark, Youth Support Specialist - Minneapolis YMCA
Professional Achievement-Institution: Gino Anselmo, Warden - MCF-Togo
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Debra Schmitt, Probation Officer - Mower County Corrections
President's Award: Carlton County Restorative Justice Program
Board of Director's Award: Cal Saari, MCA Legislative Liaison
2016 MCA Award Winners
Corrections Person of the Year: Terry Carlson, Deputy Commissioner - MN Dept. of Corrections
Professional Achievement-Institution: Lynette Wold, Corrections Manufacturing Specialist - MCF-Shakopee
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Chad Christofferson, Corrections Agent - MN DOC Grand Rapids Field Services
President's Award: Damascus Way - Rochester
Technology Award: ODocS Team/ Barbara Blackburn, Tracey Gardner, Kristina Politoski - MN Dept. of Corrections
Board of Director's Award: MCA Annual Training Institute Committee
2015 MCA Award Winners
Corrections Person of the Year: Nadarajan Sethuraju, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
College of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Metropolitan State University
Professional Achievement-Institution: Lori Korts - Minnesota Department of Correction - MCF-Rush City
Professional Achievement-Field Services: Charlene Washa - Le Sueur County
President's Award: Renville County Jail - Ned Wohlman
Technology Award: Alan Baertschi - Minnesota Department of Correction
Board of Director's Award: Karla Henrichs - Blue Earth County Community Corrections