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2004 National HIDTA Program Award

Appalachia HIDTA - Karen Manning, Appalachia HIDTA Financial Manager

The AHIDTA Executive Board nominates Karen Manning, AHIDTA Financial Manager, for the National "Outstanding Administrator" Award. We nominate her in recognition of the specific accomplishments as set forth below. We nominate her in recognition of her years of experience upon which we have come to rely. And most of all, we nominate her for her unceasing, enthusiastic and tireless dedication to the people of Appalachia.

Karen has been with the AHIDTA since its inception in 1998. Under her able leadership, Karen's financial staff has built the financial infrastructure of the AHIDTA, from the ground up, into an efficient and effective operation. The backbone of this infrastructure is the Fundware budget tracking software system. Karen selected this system from among several that she and her team evaluated. Working with the fiduciary, Karen and her team implemented the software and tailored it to efficiently track expenditures and budget balances in a manner that has assured excellent financial management for the AHIDTA. The system allows for the monitoring of expenditures by grant year, initiative, agency, budget category and sub-category. This level of budget management contributes to the efficient overall operation of the AHIDTA.

Karen has conducted numerous training sessions for participating agencies in all three states in the AHIDTA. These sessions covered the methods and procedures for all applicable aspects of financial management at the AHIDTA. These sessions have been well received by AHIDTA participants and have resulted in enhanced communications and more efficient operations.

In August 2004, Karen was selected as one of six Financial Managers from the National HIDTA program to travel to Miami and test the new Everest Financial Database Software being developed for the HIDTA program.

Beginning in 2003, based on reviews and recommendations by ONDCP, the Executive Board along with the AHIDTA management team was challenged to restructure AHIDTA. Karen, with her experience and leadership, assisted in transforming the AHIDTA into the kind of HIDTA envisioned; a full functioning and effective collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and demand reduction specialists working toward the reduction of drug use and trafficking. The AHIDTA changed the fundamental structure of 7 umbrella type of initiatives that were agency focused to 27 multi agency initiatives which are task force driven. Karen's job expanded from one of monitoring 12 federal and 17 state agency budgets to that of monitoring 9 federal, 13 state and 64 local law enforcement agency HIDTA budgets. With these changes, Karen saw the need for expenditure monitoring at the task force level. Karen devised a system, utilizing an AHIDTA form LC-07, that allows task force commanders to review all HIDTA expenditures for their task force before HIDTA funds are dispersed. In effect, this system provides accurate, timely and reliable financial information. It also creates another channel of communication through which the task forces can make their needs known to AHIDTA management in a timely and direct way. In turn, AHIDTA management is able to provide the task forces and its officers with the resources they need to get their job accomplished.

Karen Manning's responsibilities notably do not end with the financial side of AHIDTA. Considering that long range planning and finance are inextricably linked, and recognizing Karen's skill as both a financial planner and a manager, the Executive Board Chair appointed Karen to the newly formed AHIDTA Strategic Planning and Budget Committee as an ex-officio member. This committee is responsible for long range strategic and financial planning for the AHIDTA and became fully functional in January 2004.

In January 2004, AHIDTA held its first Annual Conference where Karen not only made a presentation concerning the AHIDTA budget process, but was actively involved in the conference planning.

In February 2004, Karen provided assistance in the Initiative Write-up Training, held for all the AHIDTA task force commanders and initiative representatives as they prepared their 2005 Initiatives and Budgets.

Karen additionally has been involved with the development and responsibilities of the State Coordinating Committees (SCC) beginning in late 2003 with AHIDTA's restructure and new vision. The SCC is a working committee responsible for recommending the submissions of interim reports to the Executive Board by way of Executive Committees. The SCC additionally is responsible for initiative development, budgets and a review process. In July, 2004, Karen assisted the SCC with its mid-year AHIDTA Initiative Reviews by providing a budget history for the initiatives and assisting in the preparation of an evaluation process which has become a standard to be utilized in future reviews.

Her leadership and experience is called upon daily by the AHIDTA Director, management team and AHIDTA participants. In September 2004, Karen was instrumental in preparing an AHIDTA Interdiction Initiative proposal by requesting additional funding from ONDCP regarding discretionary funding announced in August 2004.

As a consummate professional, and team player, Karen has not only completely restructured the financial landscape of AHIDTA, she has shown her leadership skills through constant support of the AHIDTA staff and all the participants of AHIDTA that she considers extended family. Karen exhibits compassion, excellent team building skills, and a logical approach to problem solving. The entire AHIDTA team has come to rely on Karen's knowledge and experience as evident from the above examples. AHIDTA values her advice and opinion. Karen Manning is “making a difference” for the citizens of AHIDTA and our country. These qualities make Karen a vital member of the AHIDTA management team and an outstanding emissary of the HIDTA Program. AHIDTA, enthusiastically nominates her for this honor.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005