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Innovation Awards

Innovation Awards applications are now being accepted through Friday, January 24, 2014

The Alliance for Innovation’s annual awards program celebrates excellence in local government innovation!  Following a rigorous review process, up to ten awards from Alliance members will be selected and recognized on April 23, 2014 at the TLG Conference awards luncheon in Denver, CO. 

The Alliance has two major awards, the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation and the Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government.  Additional Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation awards will be presented as a way to honor and promote innovations in the field of local government.

The J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government was created to honor Bob Havlick, founder of The Innovation Groups (now the Alliance), who retired in 2003. 

Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government was created as a tribute to Tom as a means to honor excellence in innovation. Muehlenbeck served as the City Manager of Plano, TX for 24-years and served as the first IG Board of Directors, Chair.

While we celebrate achievements and innovation in all local governments, only Alliance members are eligible to apply as one of the many benefits with Alliance membership. For tips on selecting a project or making your application stand out, see our Awards guide ebook

How to Apply:

1. Complete the Innovation Awards Application Form linked here

2. Email applications to Ryan Spillers, Alliance Executive Assistant at by January 24, 2014 at close of business.

The Selection Process:

Only Alliance members are eligible to submit a maximum of two award applications per jurisdiction.

The Award Selection Committee consists of Alliance for Innovation Board Members and Executive staff who will review every application received by Friday, January 24, 2014 and select the year’s top innovations. 

Innovation Awards will be presented at the annual Awards Luncheon on April 23, 2014 at the TLG Conference in Denver, CO. Recipients of the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government Award and the Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government Award will receive one free registration to TLG to accept their award in person.

All winners will be asked to create a five minute video of the award winning project. That video will be shown at the TLG Awards Luncheon, as well as online in the Knowledge Network.

Please note: If your organization has already indicated that you would like your Case Study submission to be considered for an Innovation Award, you do not need to resubmit. If you would like to submit an additional project for consideration, or did not select to have your case study considered for an award, we encourage you to submit a new application.

Please contact Ryan Spillers at 602.496.1984 or to answer any questions you may have. 

2013 Havlick/muehlenbeck award winners

J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government:

City of Fort Collins, CO - Sustainability Services: How Economic Health, Environmental Services and Social Services Join Together to Build Community

Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence:

City of Palo Alto, CA - Building Community with Open Data

Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Awards:

City of Decatur, GA - Strategic Planning and Community Engagement: Whose Vision is it Anyway?

City of Durham, NC - A Heartbeat Away

City of Las Vegas, NV - Development Services Process

City of Manassas, VA - Joint CIP Process between City and Schools

City of Olathe, KS - Mental Health Co-Responder Program

City of Palm Bay, FL - TAC-Tel Tactical Telemedicine

City of Phoenix - Organizational Review - Service Enhancements through Streamlining

City of San Jose, CA - Community Building 2.0:  Connect Neighbors; Strengthen Neighborhoods; Build Community

City of Virginia Beach, VA - GrowSmart

Nevada County, CA - Mobile Worker Project

the 2012 award submissions may be found in the knowledge network. 

Applications Are Now Being Accepted for 2012 J. Robert Havlick and Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Awards  
An innovation is “the creative idea become realized”

The J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government was conceptualized to honor Bob Havlick, founder of IG who retired in 2003. One local government, its internal champion(s), and the innovation will be acknowledged with the J. Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government.
One local government and its program, initiative, project, etc. will receive the Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for Excellence in Local Government. Muehlenbeck has served as the City Manager of Plano, TX since 1987 and was The Innovation Groups (now the Alliance for Innovation) Board of Directors’ Chair for 10 years.

Several awards will also be given for outstanding achievements in local government innovation.
Criteria for the Awards:
The submission should demonstrate one or more of the following:
•    How it successfully addressed an important dilemma of public service delivery concern.
•    How it has had a positive impact and tremendous benefit to the community or jurisdiction.
•    A quantum leap of creativity.
•    The government’s commitment and support of bringing the innovation to life.
•    Service delivery improvements and/or efficiencies.
•    Organizational improvement because of the innovation.
•    Tangible effectiveness and results.
To Apply, Submit:

1. A cover sheet with your name, title, jurisdiction, mailing address, phone, fax, and email address.
2. An opening paragraph with the program/project/product, etc. name and a short description of the innovation.
3. A description of your jurisdiction, the history of the situation(s) which gave rise to the innovation’s need, and additional underlying factors.
4. A description of the innovation’s importance, internal impact, and community benefits.
5. Answers to the following:  How is it a quantum leap of creativity? • Who has benefited from the innovation? • How was the innovation initiated and implemented? • What risks were associated with planning and developing the innovation? • What was the environment in which the innovation was created and sustained? • What were execution costs and savings? • What lessons were learned that could be shared with other local governments? • Which department and/or individuals championed the innovation?
6. Total page length should be between 3-5 pages.
7. We request submissions be made electronically. Acceptable formats include Word, PDF, Excel, and Power Point.  Submit applications electronically to Brandi Allen at
8. Additional attachments, if necessary, may be included.
The Selection Process:
Only Alliance for Innovation member governments will be selected. The award selection committee will review the applications and decide on the winner.
Award Winners:
Award winners will be announced during the 2012 Transforming Local Government Conference (Kansas City, April 18-20). In addition, the Muehlenbeck and Havlick Award winners will receive one free registration to the conference.
Nominations will be accepted up until Monday, January 23, 2012. For more information or to apply, please contact Brandi Allen at

Further Information:
The Alliance will be offering a free webinar on “How to Win an Award” on December 12, 2011. See the Alliance for Innovation’s webinar page for registration information.