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September 2, 2009

Illinois Child Support Official Receives National Award
Child Support Enforcement Head Named Outstanding Manager of the Year

CHICAGO – The National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) today recognized Ms. Pamela Lowry, Administrator of the Division of Child Support Enforcement for Illinois, as Outstanding Manager of the Year.  NCSEA thanked Lowry for her tireless efforts to improve the state’s child support collection program, resulting in record annual collections.

“I would like to thank Pam for her devotion for more than 20 years to making a difference in the lives of Illinois children and their parents,” said Governor Pat Quinn.  “Pam Lowry is an unwavering advocate for Illinois families, and I commend her for her years of service to the people of this state.”

NCSEA’s Board of Directors presented the award, recognizing Lowry for spearheading new initiatives and programs, and for fostering a positive working environment.  The Outstanding Manager of the Year Award recognizes experienced managers in the public and private sector, who have made significant contributions to child support enforcement at the local level. 

“Pam is a shining star at HFS, and I am privileged to work by her side day after day for Illinois families,” said Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry S. Maram.  “We have worked together to implement innovative new programs to hold parents accountable for their children.  Pam inspires me and everyone around her to work harder for results, which she achieves year after year with record amounts of dollars collected, and families are lucky to have her on their side.” 

Lowry began her career in public service in 1989 at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.  She joined the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) in the Bureau of Finance handling child support accounting in 1991.  She moved to the Division of Child Support Enforcement in 1998 where eventually she became the division head. 

Several years ago, Illinois was ranked as one of the worst programs in the country, and under Lowry’s direction, the same program has been recognized for its unprecedented turnaround and annual record-setting child support collections.
Lowry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management from the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), and is working on her Master of Arts in Political Studies at UIS.  Lowry is an active member of the boards of both NCSEA and the Illinois Family Support Enforcement Association, as well as an active member of the National Council of Child Support Directors.  In October 2008, she was presented with the Illinois Family Support Enforcement Association's Madalyn Maxwell Lifetime Achievement Award.

HFS collected a record $1.38 billion of child support dollars during fiscal year 2009.  The fiscal year marked the fifth straight of record collections in Illinois, despite the current economic climate posing new challenges to collecting money. 

In September 2007, Illinois was honored by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement with a Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for High Performance.  In August 2006, Illinois was named the 2006 Most Improved Program in the country by NCSEA.



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