Gary Smith Scholarship Recipients Named

The Gary Smith Scholarship for Public Managers was established by the NASDDDS Board of Directors in honor of Gary Smith, an extraordinary leader in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) field who was intensely committed to making state government disabilities agencies effective at delivering good services and achieving positive outcomes for people. Gary served in senior management positions in the states of Illinois and Colorado. As the Director of Special Projects for NASDDDS from 1987 to 2001 and an expert in state operations and the use of Medicaid to fund services, Gary was well known for confronting state agencies with respectful criticism and the challenge to perform better and helping them do so.

Recognizing the importance of public professionals to receive leadership training and for other participants to be involved with state leaders during leadership training, the NASDDDS Board of Directors approved an annual contribution to the Gary Smith Scholarship Fund to support the participation of individuals from state government at the Leadership Institute, held twice yearly. The scholarship fund in Gary Smith’s name is a legacy to support others who work for state, local, or the federal government in their pursuit to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families.      

Congratulations to the Summer 2023 scholarship winners!

Hetal Jani is the Social Services Chief Administrator for Delaware Department of Health and Social Services/Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DE DHSS/DDDS). She started her career ladder from being Administrative Specialist in 2012 for DE DHSS/Division of Social Services (DSS) and moving up to Fiscal Management Analyst (FMA) position with DHSS/Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance (DMMA).  As a FMA she was responsible for Tracking and Reporting Medicaid Expenditures. During her tenure with DMMA, she learned about Medicaid program, state and federal match, expenditure reporting requirements and various waivers offered under Medicaid. Her passion is to anlayze, reconcile and report Medicaid expenditures as per the Federal and State rules.  She is Bachelor in Advanced Accounting and Auditing from India and immigrated to US in 2011. 

Miranda Hutchison is the Business Analyst for Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Services (OK DDS). She began her career with OK DDS as a case manager in 2002 and then transitioned to fill the roles of Program Field Representative and Programs Manager II where she was responsible for supporting case management and quality assurance.  In January 2022 she accepted her new role as the Business Analyst for OK DDS where she oversees continuous improvement initiatives and project management. Miranda developed and launched the remote support and enabling technology programs for OK DDS. She is passionate about helping people to be their best selves. Miranda is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, is a LifeCourse Ambassador, Hope Navigator, and received her Grow with Google Project Management Certificate. Miranda holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Oklahoma City University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Pennsylvania State University.