Award recognizes excellence in staff support to state legislature
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 5, 2017) — A longtime Kentucky transportation policy expert is being recognized as one of the South’s top state legislative staff members with today’s announcement that the Legislative Research Commission’s John Snyder will receive the Southern Legislative Conference’s 2017 Carter/Hellard Legislative Staff Award.
The award is given annually to a legislative staff member from across 15 southern states who demonstrates a longstanding commitment to a legislative institution, understands the role of legislative staffing in representative government, and approaches legislative work with grace and good humor under pressure.
Snyder said he was “absolutely speechless” upon learning that he would receive the award.
“Public recognition is not something you come to expect as a legislative staffer,” Snyder said. “I am still not quite sure I consider myself worthy of such an honor. Out of the 28 distinguished recipients of this award, I am especially humbled to be joining three other Kentucky recipients with whom I have been immensely proud to work with at LRC: former Deputy Director Peggy Hyland, former Director and award namesake Vic Hellard, who saw something in me 28 years ago when he hired me as a kid fresh out of grad school, and Sheila Mason, my first boss and a woman whom I have been blessed to have as a mentor throughout my career.
“I also appreciate LRC Director David Byerman for submitting my name in nomination, and was deeply touched by the sentiments he expressed in his letter. Being chosen to receive the Carter/Hellard Award is truly one of the highlights of my legislative career.”
The Carter/Hellard Award is named in honor of the late Sam Carter, a former Director of Research of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and the late Vic Hellard, Jr., who served as Director of Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission for nearly two decades until his 1995 retirement.
Snyder, a University of Louisville graduate, joined LRC as an analyst and project manager for the agency’s Program Review staff in 1989. After serving as an analyst for the agency’s Transportation staff from 1997 to 2004, he was promoted to his current position as committee staff administrator for Transportation.
LRC Director David Byerman, who nominated Snyder for the award, wrote in his nomination letter that Snyder is well respected and admired throughout LRC because he is generous in sharing his knowledge and good humor with coworkers.
“John has an encyclopedic knowledge of transportation road projects and transportation funding and he shares his knowledge in an engaging and approachable manner,” Byerman said. “He is an honorable public servant who performs an invaluable role with the highest standards of accuracy and professionalism.”
The 2017 Carter/Hellard Award will be presented at the Legislative Service Agency Director’s Luncheon at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), which runs from July 29 to August 2 in Biloxi, Miss.
The SLC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Atlanta that gives state lawmakers from across 15 southern states opportunities to come together to share best practices and speak in a unified voice on issues impacting the region.
It is the largest of four regional legislative groups operating under The Council of State Governments. The 15 SLC member states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.