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Committee purpose statement: 
This Committee reviews and recommends award categories and nominations to the MCA Board of Directors for approval.

Chair: Mark Groves - President 2023 - DEED

Committee Members 
Jane Schmid - President 2022 - Brown County Probation
Mark Bliven - President 2021 - MN DOC

Mary Oberstar - President 2020 - DOC Retiree

Connie Hartwig - President 2019 - DOC Retiree

MCA Award Categories
Click here for Nomination Form
Submission Deadline was July 31, 2024

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.

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 Award - Correctional Facility
Professional Achievement Award - Field Services
These award is given to two individuals (field services and correctional facilities) who have demonstrated achievement over a period of t
ime, 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: This award recognizes exemplary service to MCA members through participation in association activities. 

Congratulations Past Award Recipients!

2022 MCA Award Winners

Corrections Person of the Year:  Trish Hansen, District Supervisor; Minnesota Department of Corrections

Corrections Officer of the Year:   John Deveny-Leggitt, Corrections Officer 2; MCF-Stillwater

Professional Achievement - Field Services:  Lisa Rindal, Work Release Center Director; The Duluth Bethel

Professional Achievement - Correctional Facility:  Healing Streets Project - Ramsey County

President's Award:  Assistant Tribal Probation Officer Initiative - A collaboration between the White Earth Tribal Nation and Minnesota Department of Corrections

Technology Award:  Jason R. Mereness, Supervisor; Ramsey County Community Corrections

Board of Director's Award:  Opportunities for Change (O4C) - High Risk Recidivism Reduction Program

2021 MCA Award Winners

Corrections Person of the Year:  Lt. Darryl Goebel, MCF-Rush City

Corrections Officer of the Year:  Sgt. Jesse Pobuda, MCF-Faribault

Professional Achievement - Field Services:  Thomas Redmond & Jennifer Sweeney, Ramsey County Corrections

Professional Achievement - Correctional Facility:  Mindy O’Brien, Superintendent; Northwest Minnesota Juvenile Center

President's Award:  Minnesota Department of Corrections Spiritual Care Team

Technology Award:  David Korte, MN DOC Retiree

Board of Director's Award:  JoAnn Brown & Shannon Olean, MCA Sponsorship Committee

2020 MCA Award Winners

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

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

MCA Office 

PO Box 261

Wyoming, MN 55092


Phone: 651-515-3254

MCA Office 

PO Box 261

Wyoming, MN 55092

Phone: 651.462.8320

Email: mn-ca 

Fax: 651.717.6137

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