NCIA Award Winner Nominations

NCIA 2019 Award Recipients

Michael J. Moore, Director, Louisiana Prison Enterprises

Michael J. Moore – Rodli Award

Nomination by Brenda Chandler, Vice President, MINNCOR Industries (MN)
It is my sincere pleasure and great honor to nominate my colleague and friend, Michael Moore, Director of Louisiana Prison Enterprises, for the esteemed 2019 Rodli Award. I have served alongside Michael Moore on the NCIA Executive Committee for the last two years and have been impressed by his passion, attention to detail, and dedication to NCIA and Correctional Industries. Michael served as NCIA Treasurer from 2017-2018 during which time he overhauled NCIA’s Investment Policy and worked with NCIA’s financial adviser to significantly improve investment performance, enhancing NCIA’s financial growth and stability as an organization. He took his role as treasurer extremely seriously, providing the rest of us great confidence in his stewardship and impressing us with his knowledge of NCIA’s financial picture. He dedicated countless hours on this and other critical NCIA issues. There is no one that is better prepared for a meeting or a committee call than Michael Moore. I learned quickly that if you ask Michael Moore to serve on a committee, you can expect some serious input and analysis, as well as grammatical review—he truly is one of the best committee members with whom I have served.

Prior to his tenure as Treasurer, Michael served as Regional Appointee for the South Central Region from 2013-2016. He also has been a member on the NCIA Program Development, Awards and Audit Committees, in addition to serving as Chairman of the 2014 and 2015 Audit Committees.

Now to Michael’s ‘real job’… Michael has been with Louisiana Prison Enterprises for 25 years. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from LSU and a Louisiana CPA Certificate. He began his career in 1993 as Accounting Supervisor and then moved on to Chief Accountant. He was charged with improving and clarifying accounting methods, working with auditors to resolve issues. He was promoted to Administrative Director where he was responsible for oversight of all Administrative/Business operations for 10 years. Promoted to Deputy Director in 2008 and ultimately to Director in 2009, Michael currently manages a staff of 72 LPE employees.

Michael Moore has faced many challenges during his tenure, such as increasing budget cuts to the DOC and state agencies, loss of positions, loss of facilities, fluctuating raw material and agriculture markets, and much more, but has always managed to lead the organization to success. He has guided his staff through major events such as multiple hurricanes, affecting production and staff, as well as the 2016 Flood, which shut down the women’s facility and in turn LPE’s garment plant. Michael worked with the neighboring men’s facility and with the help of the warden, was able to open a smaller scale facility to maintain some level of production. He oversaw the major undertaking of relocating LPE’s headquarters last year, due to the construction of a new State facility in the former location. This move required the renovation of an older building that is in the same complex as the Department of Corrections Headquarters. As you can imagine, this was a major undertaking and Michael was there to instruct staff and give guidance along the way.

Other major accomplishments for LPE during his tenure include:

  • Implementation of a Canteen Package Program (including construction of the warehouse where it is housed)
  • Implementation of Certified Treatment and Rehabilitation Program (CTRP) credits for offenders employed in skilled trades
  • Implementation of an Apprenticeship Program for Offenders

Michael Moore is committed to fulfilling the missions of both the Department of Corrections and Prison Enterprises. In order to ensure his organization’s continued success, he contains costs while seeking new ways to do business. He earned an extensive knowledge of Correctional Industries during his twenty-five years in corrections, and with his background in accounting, he is able to assess the financial viability of new operations and proposed products and determine if they will contribute to Prison Enterprises’ success.

While his dedication to NCIA and his strategic leadership as director of Louisiana Prison Enterprises make him more than qualified, Michael Moore’s humility and genuine character make him an admirable candidate. For all these reasons and more, it is my honor to nominate Michael J. Moore for the esteemed 2019 Rodli Award.

Ashley Lohr, Chief Development Officer, Maryland Correctional Enterprises

Ashley Lohr – National Staff Award

Nominated by Steve Shiloh, CEO, Maryland Correctional Enterprises
In the last four years alone, Ashley Lohr planned and coordinated the 2014 NE NCIA Regional Conference, developed a PIE program with a local electrical contractor, and planned and coordinated both MCE’s 2018 employee appreciation/business luncheon and the organization’s 3rd ACA reaccreditation audit. Ashley handles all MCE legislative needs, plans meeting agendas, provides support to MCE Councils and the Board of Directors, and supervises and coordinates all MCE-mandated employee training.

Ashley’s can-do attitude and work ethic are second to none. She assumes many responsibilities for us that are not a part of her official duties. In addition to performing her regular duties as our Chief Development Officer, Ashley also handles our Human Resource needs, provides executive assistance to the CEO, and serves as both MCE’s Public Information Officer and Legislative Liaison to Maryland’s General Assembly and provides executive assistance to the CEO.

Ashley’s nomination is based on an accumulation of achievements. MCE is experiencing high vacancy rates (currently 26.9%) and we are short-handed in many areas. Ashley has stepped up to the plate wherever and whenever we have needed her to handle additional work assignments.

Ashley is a role model to other employees in many ways. She has a sense of urgency about performing her job, pays attention to detail, and provides excellent customer service to all. She is a professional in every sense of the word, is well liked and respected—a very valuable member of the MCE team.

Utah Correctional Industries – Performance Excellence Award

Nomination by Maria Peterson, Deputy Director, Utah Correctional Industries
Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) has made significant advancements in reentry-focused operations over the past 24 months. The organization is building a better community through career development by providing personalized opportunities for inmate workers that reduce their criminogenic risk, reintegrate them into the community and ultimately transform their lives.

UCI shifted its mission from the past focus on creating quality products to a focus on creating quality people. We are honored to nominate UCI for the Performance Excellence Award based on the adoption of best practices and programmatic changes in the following areas:

Strategic Planning: UCI Leadership gathered input from all UCI staff to create a Vision, Mission and set of Core Values to drive the strategic direction of UCI.

  • Vision: Building a better community through career development.
  • Mission: UCI is dedicated to public safety through innovative career building, community partnerships and quality production to develop successful people.
  • Core Values: Courage, Responsibility, Innovation, Ethical Operations, Self-Reliance

The Mission/Vision/Values set the cornerstone for decision-making and future operational growth. New and existing industries are reviewed for compatibility with the mission. UCI’s goal is to ensure that our operation’s primary goal is to provide inmates with a future career path. While the organization maintains a close eye on financial management and self-sufficiency; profitability is not the sole focus of any of our 18 business operations. The value to the individual is paramount in the strategic direction of the organization.

UCI has also adopted a project management model used for implementing strategic plan action items. We have connected with the Utah Governor’s office of Management and Budget to perform value stream analysis of our customer service process. Using this process improvement tool, we have begun implementing standardization of our ordering and customer service processes and expect to have fully standardized our process by mid-2019.

The division is also using data-driven decision making by conducting market research and customer surveys to drive process changes to our café and customer communication systems.

Engage Stakeholders: UCI has connected with the Salt Lake County Chamber of Commerce to provide educational resources on the benefits of hiring former offenders, to include speaking to around 400 local small business owners at the chamber’s Small Business Owners forum in the summer of 2018. Through its Offender Workforce Development unit, UCI also conducts outreach to local felon-friendly businesses and includes their contact information in packets prepared for offenders on their release day. UCI created new promotional and informational materials that clearly explain the operations and benefits of partnering with UCI. Director Scott Crowther also spoke at the Purchasing Agent’s conference to reinforce the state purchasing code and more importantly to share the shift in mission of UCI. The division hosts frequent tours of its operations for business owners, politicians and community members.

Recruit, Develop and Retain Staff: Over the past 18 months, UCI has made a concerted effort to provide growth and career development opportunities to its 80 staff. Staff have attended Makin’ It Work certified Training for Trainers, Department of Corrections’ Instructor Development, industry-specific training sessions, NCIA webinars, and additional seminars to gain tools to achieve peak performance. Additionally, we have provided all production managers with an intensive 40-hour, Leadership 101 course that identifies leadership styles and sets personal values and goals. We are working to have all Correctional Industries Production Specialists attend as well in order to build the succession planning for the organization’s long- term success.

The division also hosted NIC for a two-day course on Offender Employment Retention: Principles and Practices to provide the division with skill for increasing employment retention rates among the offenders we serve.

Finally, division leadership developed guiding principles for employee recognition and provided recognition training to its supervisors to foster an environment where employees feel valued. Supervisors were provided recognition kits with thank you notes and small trinkets to hand out to staff to recognize good work. The division also started a UCI newsletter that highlights shop successes and features employee spotlights as another way to build a culture of employee retention.

Implement Certificate Based Soft Skills Training: UCI implemented Makin’ It Work, a 10-lesson training program to help offenders transition from corrections to the community. It helps them understand their own self-defeating “thinking traps” and gain insights into employer expectations in the workplace. It them teaches interpersonal skills needed to handle difficult workplace situations in a professional manner. Participants learn soft skills, such as the code of conduct employers expect good workers to understand. The class helps participants practice valuable new communication and problem solving skills to handle difficult situations (such as dealing with criticism and expressing complaints) in an appropriate, professional manner. The division has hosted four sessions of Makin’ it Work in the first year.

Provide Certified Technical Skills Training: UCI prepares offenders for workplace success by providing professional certification and trade certification for many Department of Labor and trade organization careers. UCI issues certification for Forklift Operation, OSHA, asbestos abatement, and roofing.

The Offender Workforce Development team in 2018 added apprenticeship programs for Housekeeping, Horticulture and Cabinet Making. The team developed a system to track the apprenticeship hours and issue certification. The team sends copies of the certificates to the offender’s release address to ensure they can access the certification after release.

Create a Culture of Offender Employment Readiness and Retention: UCI has been fortunate to employ staff who are professionally skilled in the private sector operations of their shops, such as printing professionals and furniture designers, carpenters and general contractors. This provides our offender workers with real-world work environments where they learn from industry professionals on the technical skills that set them up for successful employment after release. The UCI employees serve as mentors and coaches as well as supervisors, providing shop direction and feedback to the individuals to help them hone their skills. Prior to release, the offender workforce team meets with each UCI offender to review his or her career history, provide a mock interview, and connect them with employment opportunities available to them once they are released. UCI keeps data on the offenders who are employed after release, and so far in 2019, 70 percent of the UCI offender workers have gained employment in the community.

Provide Post-Release Employment Services: UCI collaborates with the division of prison operations, adult probation and parole, and the programming division on a release packet for offenders. The packet includes employment leads, work history, and contact information for UCI in case the person needs job references or employment confirmation from employers.