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Distinguished CSLN Members Celebrated at 8th Annual Partnership Awards

Distinguished CSLN Members Celebrated at 8<sup>th</sup> Annual Partnership Awards

The 12th Annual Rhode Island Child Support Conference was held on May 20th, convening child support professionals from across the state to discuss strategies for improving the lives of children. This year’s conference theme was “families first,” a holistic approach that offers services not only to children and custodial parents, but to non-custodial parents as well. The recipients of the 8th Annual Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) Partnership Awards all do their part to put families first in their own, individual way. Sharon A. Santilli, IV-D Director of Rhode Island Child Support Services and CSLN Administrator, recognized each person’s, and each organization’s, unique contribution to promoting the well being of children and families when presenting this year’s awards.

Mr. Joe Coughlan, Senior Vice President, and Mr. John LaMacchia, Vice President, accepted the CSLN Partnership Award on behalf of Gallagher Bassett. Mr. Coughlan began by stating how much he enjoyed listening to the conference speakers and their informative sessions. He expressed that it is “truly impressive” to hear about what child support professionals do on a daily basis and that “we should be giving you an award, because I can’t think of anything more important than helping children and families.” Mr. LaMacchia expressed appreciation for how much passion CSLN imparts into its mission while stressing the benefits that partnership can bring to the constituents his company serves. He shared how Gallagher Bassett strives to differentiate its corporate culture from the rest of the insurance industry by emphasizing that every interaction can make a difference with the people it serves. This sentiment can fittingly be applied to the child support industry, where each worker also has the chance to make a positive impact on a family with every interaction they have. In closing, Mr. LaMacchia conveyed his thanks by offering, “We want to be associated with groups like you [CSLN].”

Ms. Lisa Andry, Child Support Director, and Ms. Lydia Scales, Program Manager 3, of the Louisiana Department of Children and Families, Child Support Enforcement accepted the CSLN Partnership Award for a state member. Like many other states, Louisiana has experienced a shortage of resources in the past few years due to nationwide economic challenges, which left the state with an unusually small staff. Working within the constraints of limited resources makes Louisiana’s child support achievements even more remarkable. Ms. Scales shared with the audience that her state has collected more than $5.4 million from CSLN matches in just the first ten months of the current fiscal year, and she credited CSLN for their success. Ms. Scales excitedly said that she looks forward to collecting “more money, more money, and more money for children.” After thanking Rhode Island and the CSLN team, Ms. Andry spoke about how she is a strong advocate of partnerships. She believes that child support work cannot be done successfully without partners and that CSLN has been a huge partner in achieving their remarkable collections. Louisiana is a true inspiration for all states, large or small, and CSLN is proud to service a partner who continuously strives for success.   

Mr. Barry Brooks, Managing Attorney, of the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Special Collections Unit received the John F. Murphy Memorial Award, which acknowledges an individual who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the CSLN program and the partners it serves.

After thanking CSLN for the award, Mr. Brooks humbly attributed his success to his “enablers” including the Texas Special Collections Unit, fellow staff members, legislators, private attorneys, and the Child Support Lien Network. He stressed that although his award was for individual achievement, he would not have been able to receive it without the partnership of his enablers. One of Mr. Brooks’s professional achievements is assisting in the institution of mandatory reporting legislation that requires all insurers in the state of Texas, including life insurers, to check their claims for child support matches before payout. This mandatory law has undoubtedly increased the success Texas experiences with insurance intercept collections. In fact, Mr. Brooks told the audience that Texas is on track to collect an astounding $60 million from insurance intercepts alone this year. He thanked CSLN for giving him the tools his team needs to help Texas’s children, and CSLN thanks Mr. Brooks for his achievements and passionate dedication to his role as Managing Attorney in the Special Collections Unit.

Partnership was a prevalent theme in all the recipients’ speeches, reflecting just how critical collaboration is in the child support industry. Partnership is also essential in families, as indicated in the “families first” approach of helping every family member be engaged for the benefit of their children. The Child Support Lien Network is privileged to facilitate a program that strengthens these partnerships, helping states realize the goal of more self-sufficient families with happier and healthier children.

Congratulations once again to the gracious recipients of the 2016 CSLN Partnership Awards, and a sincere and heart-felt thank you to all of our partners for the impressive and inspiring work accomplished on a daily basis!

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