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GMIS Illinois was founded in 1988 by Ms. Val Andres, an Information Technologies professional.  Ms. Andres' inspiration was to create and foster a group of technology professionals from within the public sector wherein project concepts could be openly shared.

In 2006 the Val Andres Award was established and awarded to Val on behalf of her unwavering and continuing dedication to the organization and now the award is given annually in her honor.

Every year, just prior to the annual GIANTS conference, a committee chaired by Val Andres and comprised of former award recipients selects a member of the GMIS Illinois organization for this award.  Recipients are chosen based on their spirit, dedication and significant contribution to GMIS Illinois. 


 2006 Val Andres                   2014 Joan Middleton

 2007 Diane Nelson              2015 Brian Johanpeter

 2008 Steve Macygin           2016 Marc Thorson 

 2009 Victor Ambroziak      2017 Denise Steffen  

 2010 Chris Westgor            2018 Lori Baker

 2011 Glen Liljeberg            2019  Rick Kaczanko 

 2012 Robert Giddens         2022  James Kastrantas

 2013 Sam Ferguson            2023  Sanford Hess

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