Secretary Williams talks cybersecurity with Lockheed Martin system users

April 19, 2018
Rob Smith, a vice president at Lockheed Martin, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams after the secretary’s speech on cyber security at the firm’s Deer Creek facility last week. (Lockheed Martin photo)

Major credit card companies this month eliminated the need for customers to sign their receipts, but don’t except the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to adopt that policy any time soon for voters who turn in their ballots.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams explained how the ballot process works when he addressed a Lockheed Martin seminar at its Deer Creek facility last week during a conference on cybersecurity. He said a voter’s signature is a “critical part of the integrity of the process.”

“When you have a mail ballot sent to you, the way we know it’s you is you signed the envelope and we scan that envelope when it comes in and we compare your signature to the signature that’s on file,” he said. “I don’t see us stepping away from that until we get some other way to verify it actually is that person.”

The seminar at Lockheed was attended by users of  Radiant Mercury, a cross-domain intelligence sharing system that allows secure sharing of sensitive data between unclassified and classified security domains. The system was developed at the Deer Creek facility. Among those at the seminar were members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and the intelligence community.

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Secretary Williams champions small business ventures for veterans

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network hosted its 11th annual veterans small business conference in Colorado Springs Thursday. From left to right; Dan Nordberg, regional administrator of Regional VIII with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Aikta Marcoulier, director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Allie Coetzee Leslie,  deputy administrator with the SBA, Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and Kelly Manning, state director  of the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network. (SOS photo)

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network hosted its 11th annual veterans small business conference in Colorado Springs today, aimed at helping veteran entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow a business.

Secretary Wayne Williams emphasized that Colorado is one of the best states in the country to start a business when he spoke to the small business development center. Many business filing options are available online and Colorado is the only state to offer free online business certification.

Williams also announced that the  Secretary of State’s office plans to update the business registry system later this year.

“The current system is nearly 14 years old and in need of modernization,” he said. “Our system processes more than 850,000 filings per year and is accessed millions of times a year. This is a priority for my office and will position us for further growth and ensure we remain responsive to our citizens’ needs.”

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Anchors A-Wayne! Secretary Williams finishes naval submarine chapter

The USS Colorado officially joined the fleet today in a ceremony in Connecticut attended by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other Coloradans.

Four years ago, Colorado’s new secretary of state, Wayne Williams, headed to Rhode Island to participate in a ceremony marking the official start of construction on the USS Colorado.

On Saturday the submarine officially joined the U.S. fleet in a ceremony attended by Williams, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, the state’s two U.S. senators, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and others.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and his wife Janet, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne of Colorado Springs at today’s naval ceremony in Connecticut.

“It’s exciting to know that Colorado’s name and our values will be carried around the world by such a magnificent submarine,” Williams said.

Sen. Bennet shared that sentiment.

“For decades, people will see her come and go and say ‘There goes the Colorado.’ And I think that’s wonderful,” he told The Denver Post.

Colorado Politics posted a video of the event with a story that began “Colorado has its Broncos, its Rocky Mountains and its Olympic stars. Saturday morning it officially added a $2.7 billion nuclear attack submarine.”

Read moreAnchors A-Wayne! Secretary Williams finishes naval submarine chapter

Happy 70th, U.S. Air Force

Senior airman Justine Sunny during an incentive flight, which is awarded to airmen that excel in all aspects of Air Force life.

“The world’s greatest air force” turns 70 today. On Sept. 18, 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the U.S. Air Force.

Full disclosure: The Air Force is near and dear to my heart. My younger sister, Justine, is an airman serving at Kadena Air base in Okinawa, Japan. More on that later.

Wayne Williams, then chairman of the Colorado Springs Housing Authority, Brig. Gen. Mike Drennan, Dick Sullivan, the Housing Authority executive director and Col. Jack Perroni on the July/August 2000 cover of Defense Communities magazine.

My boss, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, helped those stationed at Peterson Air Force base obtain affordable housing when he served as chairman of the board for the Housing Authority in Colorado Springs in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Williams, who practiced law at the time, worked with the board on a development where monthly rent would equal the enlisted members’ housing allowances. At the time, there was a housing shortage for those assigned to Peterson.

The Air Force has a huge presence in Colorado. The Air Force Academy is in Colorado Springs. There are four air bases in Colorado: Buckley, Cheyenne Mountain, Schriever and Peterson.

Justine and me.

And then of course, there was Lowry. During World War II, Lowry became so critical in providing trained personnel to the U.S. military that the base population reached 20,000 and operated in three shifts, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, according to a Lowry website.

During a ceremony Friday honoring the Air Force as it approached its 70th birthday, President Trump praised the organization as he addressed the military at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

The president said he was “honored to join you on this really, really historic occasion, the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force. The greatest air force on the face of this Earth. By far.”

As for my sister, Justine enlisted her senior year at Lakewood High School, Class of 2015,  and went off to basic training just a few months after graduation.

She works in armament, so basically she loads missiles on to fighter jets.  She is a little over two years in to her six-year contract, I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Check out the video of some of the SOS staff and their experience in the Air Force.

How casual day for the Arapahoe County clerk’s office paid off

Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, the third person holding the check, and his staffers present a check to the Wounded Warrior Project . (Arapahoe County photo)

Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane put a new twist on casual day at his office.

Every Wednesday, Crane and his employees each pay $1 if they want to wear jeans. The clerk’s office began the jean fundraising project in 2013 with a $5,000 goal. The goal was exceeded in 2016, but with the presidential election taking over much of Crane’s time, the donation was postponed, allowing even more money being raised.

Last Friday, staffers presented a $7,172 check to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that, according to its  website, “Serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.”

“It was an honor to give back to the men and women in our Armed Forces who have fought and sacrificed for our life and liberty,” said Crane. “Employees loved this charitable opportunity. By paying a dollar to dress down, they enjoyed a comfortable workday and their small contributions over time added up to a significant donation for this deserving organization.”

Next up for Arapahoe County? To keep casual Wednesdays going to meet another $5,000 goal. This time, the charity will be Freedom Service Dogs, an organization that rescues, trains and places dogs with people with disabilities.

Julia Sunny is the social media coordinator for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.