2020 CSDA Award Nominations

Individual Awards

Board Member of the Year
Nominations may be submitted for Board Member of the Year based on experience, effectiveness, and leadership. Examples must be submitted that illustrate the rationale for the nomination.  

General Manager of the Year
Nominations will be accepted for the general manager believed to have exhibited exceptional experience, effectiveness, and leadership in his or her district. Illustrative examples must be submitted with the nomination demonstrating how the individual has excelled and brought substantial benefit to the district and/or public.  

Staff Member of the Year  
Selected from nominations by special district board members/trustees or district management staff. Nominations should include length of service to the district and specific accomplishments during employment.

Ralph Heim Exceptional Outreach & Advocacy
The criteria for this award include a demonstration of exceptional engagement with the public, Legislature, and/or other key stakeholders to promote the individual’s district and the entire special district community, particularly on matters related to CSDA’s grassroots advocacy and public outreach efforts. Additionally, the individual may have initiated or contributed to significant grassroots or public outreach communications efforts that are appealing and include creative, thorough, and highly relevant content. As CSDA's long-time contract lobbyist, Ralph Heim contributed significantly to CSDA and special district advocacy efforts for well over 20 years. As someone that always represented CSDA and its members extremely well and with strong integrity, Mr. Heim and his work in outreach and advocacy serves as a great example of excellence in this area.

William Hollingsworth Award of Excellence
The criteria for this award includes a demonstration of significant leadership for special districts regionally or statewide over time. Individual must be actively identifying and implementing programs and/or partnerships that benefit special districts regionally or statewide, dedicating time, efforts, and/or career toward the advancement of special districts, and advocating on behalf of special districts regionally or statewide over time. William Hollingsworth was one of the “founding fathers” of CSDA and an advocate for special districts in the Capitol from the 1970s to his retirement in 1990.  Mr. Hollingsworth served the Olivenhain Municipal Water District for over 22 years, was instrumental in the formation of CSDA, and has helped to establish and perpetuate the finest tradition of public service and the special district form of government during his long career.

This award is open for nominations from CSDA Members, CSDA Staff and consultants. Selection of the recipient will be by the CSDA Board of Directors. The CSDA Board reserves the right to not award each year if they so choose. In addition, active CSDA Board Members having served three or more terms are eligible to be nominated. CSDA Staff are not eligible to receive the award.

Chapter Awards

Chapter of the Year
Chapters are an integral part of communication, advocacy and education efforts throughout the State. CSDA will present an award to one affiliated chapter nominated for its effectiveness in outreach, involvement, and creativity with activities on behalf of all districts in the chapter’s territory and/or an ongoing commitment to continuing education. 

District Awards

There are categories for Small District (budget under $5 million) and Large District (budget $5 million+) for the district awards only.

Innovative Program/Project of the Year (Large and Small District)

The criteria for this award includes originality of program/project, tangible and positive results produced and a documented decrease in district costs or a demonstrated improvement in the district’s quality of service without significantly increasing costs. Additionally, the program/project should be easily adaptable and serve a best practices example for other districts.     

Exceptional Public Outreach & Advocacy (Large and Small District)

The criteria for this award include a demonstration of an increase in the district’s visibility with the public, Legislature, and/or other key stakeholders. Additionally, the program may include improvement in district-constituent communication and evidence of communication pieces that are appealing and include creative, thorough, and appropriate content relevant in communicating the districts business and/or program(s)/service(s). Additional consideration will be provided to nominees that have actively participated in CSDA’s Grassroots Advocacy efforts.

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More Information

The district must be a CSDA Member in good standing and must submit the following by May 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

  • A completed online Award Nomination Form or PDF Form
  • Executive Summary of nomination not to exceed four pages
  • Optional: up to three attachments of supporting materials not to exceed five pages each

Address your packet to:

Vanessa Gonzales, Communications Specialist
California Special Districts Association
1112 I Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA  95814
Or send electronically to: vanessag@csda.net


If you have any questions regarding the awards process, please contact Vanessa Gonzales, editor-communications specialist, toll-free at 877.924.2732 or by email at vanessag@csda.net.  All nominees and selected award recipients will be notified prior to the CSDA Annual Conference & Exhibitor Showcase in Palm Springs, CA where awards will be announced and given out.