James S. Cooper Award

“The James S. Cooper Award was created in 1996 after “Jim” died of a sudden aneurysm in his 40’s. Jim personified our organization in his quick acceptance of friends and ideas and in his willingness to share information and methods. The spirit of the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award recognizes the individual and/or agency that provides service above and beyond their normal performance of duties with regard to interagency cooperation.”

All recipients have willingly fulfilled technical services to help other government organizations above and beyond their normal performance of duties. We are honored to recognize the following:



Christopher Niver – Director of Information Technology, City of Conover, NC

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Chris was nominated by the Town of Granite Falls for the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award.

The Town of Granite Falls is a small municipality (population 4,640) located in the foothills of Western North Carolina and does not have a full-time Information Technology expert on staff. They have staff that can oversee and monitor day-to-day technology functions but they don’t have staff members with extensive IT expertise to implement special projects. In the past year, the Town started two major IT projects that consisted of the selection of a website design and hosting firm and the selection of a firm to install and maintain a free public Wi-Fi network in their downtown area. For both projects, Chris willingly took time out of his busy schedule to assist them with design and vendor selection.

Chris unselfishly gave his time and technical expertise and reviewed all responses to the Town’s RFPs for these two projects and provided them with honest, intelligent feedback on each proposal. Chris impressed the town’s staff with how he could explain in laymen’s terms, the features, benefits and drawbacks for each vendor’s proposal which lead them to make informed decisions of how to proceed with each project. With his assistance, the Town’s staff progressed rapidly through a fact-finding stage into the implementation stage for both projects. Chris certainly went “above and beyond the call of duty” providing them with the needed technical expertise.

As written by the Jerry T. Church, Town Manager of Granite Falls, “When I read this description of Mr. Cooper, I immediately thought of our new friend Chris Niver. Chris epitomizes what the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award represents and would be a worthy recipient of this award.”

Bruce Walker & Greg Slagell, MIS Director & Database Administrator, Alamance County, NC


Bruce and Greg were nominated by Joel Hartley, CIO Davidson County, NC for the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award.

Davidson County I.T. staff was faced with the need to develop an application needed to assist DSS in the management of Medicare transports and billing data. A short time previously, Bruce and Greg had developed an application that solved these same needs within Alamance County. With approval from their county, they graciously shared and provided the application and start-up assistance to Davidson County. Equipped with this application, the Davidson County I.T. staff were able to update the application for their DSS Transportation staff’s use within a few short weeks. Without this shared application and assistance, Davidson County would have encountered many months laboring through development and testing.

As written by Joel Hartley, “This exhibits the true meaning of what NCLGISA is all about in the sharing of resources in local government.  Our users are loving the new application and are very grateful to Alamance County.”



Keith Archambault, Town of Knightdale

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“Keith helped out the Town of Wendell by investigating a server failure at the town about 5 years ago.  He took the time to evaluate the situation, propose the purchase of a new server and assisted working with the town for the next few months, getting it installed with a consultant that he trusted.  He also hired a part time person for Wendell and trained that person and assisted when needed.  The two towns had an agreement and Keith did a great job in facilitating this operation and they hired me(second person).  His involvement continued for another year until Wendell hired me part time in 2011, full time in 2012.  Keith was always willing to answer my questions and assist when asked well after the agreement between the towns was over.  He is a true public servant and shared that with a neighbor town.   The Town of Wendell would like to thank him for his help and expertise.”

Nominated by: Tamah Hughes, IT Director, Town of Wendell

Chris Stone and Chris Cowan at Wayne County

Earlier this year, they spent hours of their time sharing an innovative solution to a virtual desktop hardware issue we were having: getting signature pads to work with Compass/Laserfiche in a Citrix server hosted environment.  The solution was obviously the result of hours of development and testing on their end, and they delivered it to us practically turn-key.  Chris followed through with a lot of proactive check-ins to make sure things were going well and to see if we had any questions.

This kind of forthright contribution to the success of other agencies lifts the caliber and value of local government as a whole.  Chris and company embody the spirit of collective collaboration of NCLGISA and the James S. Cooper Award.  Submitting this at this the last minute, I don’t have time to go into greater detail, but I am happy to follow up with additional details.

Nominated by: Michael C. Wilcox, MSMIT, CGCIO, Orange County IT Operations Manager

Runner Up – Kerry Goode (City of Durham) & Greg Marrow (Durham County)

This County/City Partnership was nominated as a great example of two agencies going above and beyond to provide a better solution together.

These two gentlemen and their teams have displayed a great spirit of partnership and collaboration to improve the Open Data Initiative for the residents and employees of the City and County of Durham.  When the idea of an Open Data initiative started, Kerry and Greg instantly saw the value in a City/County partnership.  This partnership has grown to include joint funding, project management, consulting, and technology.  Through this willingness to work together, new ideas and opportunities for collaboration continue to be identified and can more easily be acted upon to the mutual benefit of both organizations.

Nominated by: Anthony Pergolotti, PMP, Senior Project Manager, PMO