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Scott PaytonThe recipient of the 2016 Vic Hellard Jr. Award, which honors a former LRC worker, is Scott Payton. Scott’s more than 30 year career at the LRC included a stint as the agency’s Public Information Officer from 1995 until 2005. During his tenure, Scott guided the modernization of LRC’s communications office and nurtured its growth into one of the most respected of its kind in the nation. Scott, who’s known as a gifted writer, also mentored many of today’s top state government communicators. As noted in his nominating letter, “He taught by example a commitment to nonpartisanship and the belief that we were doing worthwhile, inspirational work.” Scott Payton helped establish strong lines of communication between state lawmakers and citizens across the state during the years that he worked in the LRC Public Information Office, including nine years as the agency’s Public Information Officer. He pushed to make sure Kentuckians knew what was going on in their Legislature, believing that government works best when connections between policymakers and constituents are strong. Scott was also the recipient of numerous newswriting awards from the Kentucky Association of Government Communicators. A 2012 column in The Courier-Journal praised his weekly legislative wrap-ups, which were distributed to newspapers across the state, as “scrupulously fair and balanced” pieces that “present relevant information in an elegant and entertaining way.”