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Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards

Friday, Dec 7, 2012

* I absolutely hate deciding on the best legislative admin assistant awards. I love them all, but they rule the world so I’m scared to death of them (just kidding… kinda).

Kristin Milligan got a whole lot of nominations this time around. Her boss, Skip Saviano, lost his election, so let’s all hope her future is bright and secure. Kristin won last year, so that’s why I chose to give it to someone else - not because she isn’t the best. I just wanted to spread it around a bit.

And even then, I couldn’t decide. So, I’m declaring a tie in the “Beth Hamilton Golden Horseshoe Award for Best House Secretary/Admin. Assistant.”

Carol Shehorn

Have to agree that Carol Shehorn is a “gift” to anyone who works with the House and Leader Currie. It does not matter if it’s perfunctory day, Budget Address Day, committee deadline week or the last in May, Carol goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist people. And she does it with a smile on her face and makes everyone from an intern to a Legislative Leader feel like they are the most important person she will talk to that day. They don’t come any better than Carol.

And Sally McDaniel-Smith

Sally Smith is unquestionably the best admin in the House. Her patience is astounding. She supports House legal staff with a smile on her face – even though dealing with 12 young lawyers day in and day out is enough to make even the sweetest person near suicidal. Even when deadlines are looming, HWV’s left eyeball is twitching, and everyone is at their wits’ end . . . Sally remarkably remains calm, cool, and collected. There were days I would have nominated her for sainthood – let alone a golden horseshoe.

I truly wish I could give it to every nominee.

* Now, let’s move on to today’s category…

Best Senate Secretary/Admin. Assistant

As always, keep in mind that intensity is all-important here. Nominations without explanations will be ignored.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - fan of cap fax - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    Melissa Earles would be my choice for best Senate Leg. Assist. She’s sweet, oh-so-kind to all, a hard worker, and a great Mom when off the job. Melissa has had to put up with a lot and always does it with a smile!

  2. - been there - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    I also agree with the Melissa Earles best LA. Anyone who cn put up with the traffic up in that office deserves the award!! She has a very pretty smile that brightens anyones day!

  3. - Spliff - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    Robin Gragg in the senate presidents office. Dealing with the calls and people she deals with on a average session day would cause the normal person to be jaded. But not Robin. She gets through every day with a smile and her quick wit.

  4. - Doc - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:33 pm:

    Roseann in Senator Koehler’s office gets my vote. She is the best assistant in the Capitol. The Koehler office runs like a well oiled machine. Extremely organized, smart, funny, and always knows the answer to your questions. The 46th District is lucky to have her.

  5. - Majority of Me - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    Cheryl Sakris with Senator Althoff’s office may be quietly working behind the scenes, but she was the reason that Illinois successfully hosted the NCSL conference this summer. She worked countless hours on behalf of the senator organizing all of the staff that volunteered for the conference from each caucus and other legislative agencies.

    She went above and beyond her duties for everyone and also worked every shift during the conference. Cheryl is the best!

  6. - Themistocles - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    I don’t know whether district office staff count in this category (if not, they deserve their own!), but I wanted to nominate Shiva Mohsenzadeh, the chief of staff in Sen. Schoenberg’s district office, for the honor. She’s smart, hardworking, and effective–and will be missed once she leaves the Senate’s employment when Sen. Schoenberg retires. Whoever scoops her up will be fortunate indeed.

  7. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    Cheryl in Althoff’s office. Can find her Senator anywhere, anytime and is kind to everyone.

  8. - Bluefish - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    I second the nomination of Cheryl Sakris. Keeping up with Sen. Althoff can be a challenge but Cheryl makes it look easy.

  9. - Yule - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    Teresa Jones in Jacqui Collins’ office. Intelligent, always helpful and on top of things, with a great sense of humor that helps everybody get through the day.

  10. - winning - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    There is no question- Roseann Visintin wins my vote. She needs to be cloned and given to all of the State Senators in Springfield. Not only is she a hard worker and a pleasure to be around, she actually enjoys her job.

    Her number one priority is to do all she can do to help ALL of the constituents in the 46th. No problem is too small or big for Roseann to handle; Senator Koehler and the residents of the 46th are fortunate to have such a caring person to advocate for them.

  11. - Dan Johnson - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    I’m going with Tammi Zumwalt because she’s got to deal with me far too much for any reasonable person and she’s still relatively nice to me.


  12. - So Neat - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 3:09 pm:

    Robin Gragg is the best!! Her personality says it all! She is so nice and outgoing and really makes everyone feel so welcome!!

  13. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 3:27 pm:

    Cheryl Sakris is always willing to help. I think Sen. Althoff would be lost without her.

  14. - Humble staffer - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 3:50 pm:

    Robin Gragg. Years ago when I started as a staffer in the senate minority robin was always able to answer questions and point me in the right direction. Even though I am a lobbyist now Robin is still there with a smile or her face answering my questions and everyone else’s.

  15. - Fortunate - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    I agree with Roseann Visitine!!! She is so helpful to everyone and has given alot of LA’s a gift of her knowledge and experience. Without Roseann my ship would have sunk, I’m fortunate to know and love her!

  16. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:24 pm:


  17. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===- Norseman - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:24 pm:

    Fd ===

    Oops don’t know where that came from. My android tablet gets a littly funky at times.

  18. - after much consideration - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    It’s Michelle (Snyder) McAnarney. I’ve taken a lot of people through lobby days and Senator Hutchinson should be very proud of the kindness and courteousness her constituents (and everyone else) receive from her office. As we all know, the trained lobbyists often bully their way in and intimidate the little guy, intentionally or unintentionally. Michelle evens out the playing field and really helps people out and makes them feel welcome in their state house. There’s a lot for the little guy to navigate, and three word responses like “she’s in committee” don’t explain much. All the lobbyists love her too because shes bright and fun and there’s nothing wrong with that!

  19. - gator mcklusky - Friday, Dec 7, 12 @ 7:17 pm:

    Another vote or Roseann in Sen.Koehler’s office. She is all around great person and a pleasure to work with! She is the best in the Capitol. Always kind, witty, and knows all the issues.

  20. - JH - Saturday, Dec 8, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    Teresa Jones in Sen. Jacqui Collins’ office. She is so hard-working and kind. Sen. Collins is extremely conscientious and passionate about her work and that puts a lot in Teresa’s lap to execute - and she does it with a smile.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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