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Employees of the Quarter!

On a quarterly basis, BIT recognizes staff in honor of their outstanding performance and dedication to our agency, state government and the citizens of South Dakota. This time around, we gladly recognize:

Todd Mahoney
 Todd Mahoney is a Technology Engineer 4 for BIT. He has been a member of BIT for two and a half years. Before working for BIT, Todd had over 20 years of experience in the Windows-based technology industry, most recently working for a South Dakota software reseller in Sioux Falls. In his previous employment he worked with agencies across state government, supporting their migration to and implementation of the state’s standard Imaging service, FileDirector. Through his years of experience selling and supporting FileDirector, Todd has developed deep knowledge in the inner workings of not only imaging technologies, but also the inner workings of the vendor who developed the state’s standard imaging system.

One of Todd’s passions is automating system-level work and tuning. Together with his BIT Imaging partner, Ken Hutchinson, he led the recently completed detailed integrity review of 12.3 terabytes of imaging data as part of the migration to the newest version of the software. This work was required as the file formats changed and every migrated imaging file needed to be checked to assure its integrity remained intact after its move. To accomplish this monumental data review, Todd drew on his years of system automation, programming experience, and relationship with our vendor to partner with Ken and our vendor to automate an integrity checking process.

While that process was a key component to proving data integrity had been maintained during the migration, FileDirector has always also been a large consumer of backup resources. Knowing this, Todd also took advantage of the integrity work being done to look for ways to optimize backup and recovery. Using tools provided by the vendor, he aggregated hundreds of millions of image files into a specialized storage format that dramatically reduces the time required to run daily backups. As a result, daily backups now run faster and more efficiently.

Most recently, Todd also played a key role in automating the search of hundreds of thousands of imaging files to detect and redact PII data before it is subjected to a final human verification and made available to citizens. It’s reasonable to assume the task would have consumed thousands more hours of people effort without the automated process Todd developed.

Todd’s years of work as an imaging software reseller and support technologist have put him in good standing to support his team in speaking up about the value and effective use of imaging at the state. These qualities among many others make Todd a valued member of BIT and the Data Center.

Two of Todd’s hobbies are darts and hunting. Most recently he went with some family to Idaho on a successful black bear hunt (you may want to ask him yourself whether his darts skills came into play on the hunt, he’s been very quiet on this aspect of the hunt). Where the resulting bear rug will reside in their residence is, apparently, a delicate subject at home.

Todd grew up around the Parker area in South Dakota and studied at South East Technical Institute. Most recently he lived in Beresford before coming to Pierre and BIT. Todd, his wife (Michelle) and son (Soren) enjoy life in Pierre with a few family pets, a Great Dane (Emmitt, and yes, the name does in fact reflect that Todd is a Cowboy’s fan) a Basset (Bailey, named after a Bronco’s player), two cats (Peyton–after Peyton Manning, and Carter, of course named after Cris Carter).

Jordan Block

Jordan started as an intern with BIT Development team 2 in May and was hired as a full time Software Engineer after two months of interning. Since joining BIT in May, Jordan has been working on the DENR 37 FoxPro System rewrite project and has excelled at everything he has been working on within that project.

Prior to the 2015 calendar year, the project previously had eight systems completed in a course of two years. Within the 2015 calendar year alone, there is projected to be 17 new systems completed. Jordan has been a driving force in getting those systems completed this summer which involved not only his GIS skills, but android development, in addition to his overall software engineer skills. His skillset is very advanced.

Furthermore, Jordan has taken the lead in migrating several DENR FoxPro systems into .net/sql with GIS integration including: Observation Wells, Lake Level, Lake Information and Ground Water Monitoring. He was able to build interactive hydrographs into both Observation Wells and the Lake Info/Level applications for DENR. The hydrographs are active on the website to allow zooming and hovering over specific points to gather data, as well as the ability to remove erroneous data entries. The hydrographs can also be exported along with the data for offline use or reports by DENR.

Additionally, Jordan took it upon himself to learn how to code in android so that the Observation Wells and Lake Info/Level Tablets could be updated to work with the new system and update well and lake data over the internet. The old process involved manually emailing/copying a .csv file and importing into FoxPro.

Miguel Penaranda

In 2005, BIT began looking for someone with creative talent, graphics skills and great website design abilities. Miguel was selected from a pool of great candidates, and quickly developed an outstanding rapport with agency staff and webmasters, working with them to solve their development problems and improve their websites. Currently Miguel serves as a security engineer for BIT and was nominated for EOQ based on a request from Public Safety. This request is unique in the case that an agency had been so impressed with Miguel’s outstanding service that they felt compelled to request that he be recognized for it. Below is some text attributed to Miguel from Maria King of Public Safety.

“I would like to nominate an employee for the BIT quarterly employee recognition employee. Miguel Penaranda was a lifesaver for me in getting the CLIPS software scanned that SDHP and Huron State Radio are now using as part of the Zuercher consolidation. It took a bit more time to get a few of the bugs worked out, but all 3 dispatch centers throughout the state are now using the same Zuercher system for CAD and maps and use CLIPS for NCIC records maintenance. “

“I also wanted to relay how important this part of the process was for the entire consolidation. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated Miguel’s dedication and patience in getting this scan taken care of for DPS/SDHP/State Radio and this email just brushes the surface of how complicated this process was and how much Miguel’s efforts helped in that process. “

Again, congratulations and thank you all for your efforts and for all the years of dedication of service to the State—BIT looks forward to many more!