Longtime Colorado Secretary of State employee to retire

Senior systems manager Brenda Lavely retired today after working for nearly 32 years at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. (SOS photo)

Senior systems manager Brenda Lavely ends her long and accomplished tenure at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office at the end of the year when she retires after serving under eight secretaries  over a span of nearly 32 years.

At her retirement ceremony today, Lavely was feted with two huge cakes, greeting cards and heartfelt well wishes.

“It’s not all been fun,” she said to laughter, “but there are so many of you who are really close to my heart. It’s bittersweet for me but it’s time. I want to thank you all for being my friend.”

Among those who attended the retirement ceremony was former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs, who retired in 2011 after serving five secretaries of state over 12 years.

Lavely has participated in the transformation of the office from paper forms and lines out the door to automation. She has impacted the lives of hundreds by making sure the data center operations run smoothly, managing the help desk to provide internal customer support, and being involved in the design and construction of the existing agency data center.

“Brenda is one of those people who will do whatever is needed to get the job done well,” said Chief Information Officer Trevor Timmons. “She has a long track record of helping people who don’t even know what they need get what they need.”

Read moreLongtime Colorado Secretary of State employee to retire

Nov. 6 went “extraordinarily well” — from an election official’s standpoint

Look, it’s election staffers at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and man did they do a great job this year! From left to right, deputy elections director Hilary Rudy, elections director Judd Choate and Kris Reynolds with campaign finance. (SOS photo)

The two top election staffers in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office praised colleagues Wednesday for their behind-the-scenes work that led to the successful general election on Tuesday.

“We ran a really fantastic election yesterday,” elections director Judd Choate said to those assembled outside his office.

Among the Colorado Secretary of State staffers listening to a speech about how well Tuesday’s election went were, in the foreground, Joel Albin and Jeff Mustin, behind him, with ballot access, and Steve Ward on the phone talking to voters calling in with questions. (SOS photo)

In fact, the bipartisan attorneys who hang out in the Secretary of State’s office on election day handling reports from their folks in the field conceded the day was a bit boring.

That was  just fine with Choate and his deputy director, Hilary Rudy.

“We had a great election, a secure election,” Choate said.

“One of the things about working in elections is you get notoriety or publicity when things go badly. That’s when people pay attention to elections. They don’t really think about the people behind the curtain,” he said. “I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and I think all of the citizens of Colorado appreciate all of your work.”

Read moreNov. 6 went “extraordinarily well” — from an election official’s standpoint

Colorado SOS participates in Homeland Security election exercise

Two Colorado Secretary of state staffers, Trevor Timmons, left, and Rich Schliep, right, flank two Dominion Voting Systems staffers, Donetta Davidson and Kay Stimson, after a Department of Homeland Security tabletop exercise Monday. (SOS photo)

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office and other agencies participated Monday in a virtual exercise aimed at election preparedness.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsored the tabletop exercise with some 20 states as the general election looms and concerns continue about election security issues.

“They posed scenarios and asked, ‘How would you approach this?’” said Trevor Timmons, chief information officer for the Colorado Secretary of State.

Timmons and other SOS officials, along with members of the Colorado National Guard, the Governor’s Office of Information and Technology and DHS officials based in Colorado participated in the table top from the Secretary of State’s conference room.

Additionally,  Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, recognized as a leader in election security, appeared today on a national public radio program to talk about election security.

“You have to have processes in place that people can have confidence in. That’s why Colorado has some of the highest voter participation rates in the country,” he told The Takeway.

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Homeland Security “hunts” at Colorado Secretary of State’s office

The “bad boys” of the Colorado Secretary of State’s IT department: Craig Buesing and Dave Shepard, network and security engineers, Trevor Timmons, chief information officer, and Rich Schliep, chief information security officer. (SOS photo)

At the invitation of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Department of Homeland Security officials came to Colorado hunting for bad guys in the SOS’s network.

Did they bag anything?

“I learned a new acronym: NSTR — Nothing Significant to Report,” said  Trevor Timmons, the Secretary of State’s office chief information officer.

The exercise is the latest effort by Williams to ensure that Colorado’s elections are accurate and secure. The Washington Post recently wrote about “how Colorado became the safest state to cast a vote.” Colorado already had implemented many of the measures recommended after election officials learned of Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.

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Arapahoe High’s Ben Timmons: a true Warrior

Arapahoe High School Warrior Ben Timmons, whose father Trevor works at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. (Timmons photo)

By Julia Sunny

Around the Secretary of State’s office, Trevor Timmons is rarely seen without his Arapahoe High School lanyard around his neck — his son Ben is one of the team’s star basketball players.

Ben Timmons, who thought his career was over because of two back-to-back injuries, ended up helping the Warriors earn a berth in the Sweet 16 this season.

“He is big and talented,” Trevor said of his 6-foot-7, 220-pound son.

When Trevor’s not in meetings dealing with cyber security and other issues — he’s the Secretary of State’s chief information officer — he’s doing duty as president of the boys’ varsity basketball booster board.

Trevor also tweets out the Warriors’ progress during the games.

Ben isn’t the only tall guy in his family. His younger brother, Bryce, is 6 foot 2, and their grandfather was 6 foot 4.

“I’m the smallest guy in my household,” said Trevor, who is 6 feet tall.

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