An Association of Government IT Leaders

November 7, 2013


Q4, November 2013

In This Issue

  1. Presidents Message
  2. GMIS 2013 Annual Conference Recap
  3. 2014 Save the Date
  4. 2013-2014 Board of Directors
  5. GMIS International President Wins Award

GMIS Social Media Webinar

GMIS is pleased to present a webinar on Social Media on December 3. This one-hour webinar will review how to tap into the conversations, most relevant to your city, county, or government agency. Click here to read more about the event.

Upcoming Chapter Events:

GMIS Ilinois: Open IT Brown Bag, Nov 21, 12:00 PM - The November 2013 IT Brown Bag event is open to both members and associate members (vendors). An open venue for the sharing of ideas, the IT Brown Bag virtual meeting provides everyone who participates a unique opportunity to discuss challenges, projects, and solutions.
For more info click here.

GMIS Michigan: Regional Roundtable, Nov 15, 12:30 PM - Roundtables are open to Government IT Professionals only. As with roundtables at our annual conference, we hope that this format will provide a venue for peer networking, problem solving and helpful, relevant, timely discussions about challenges we face. For more info click here.

GMIS North Carolina: Fall Symposium in Pinehurst, Nov 13, 12:30 PM - The fall education & training symposium will be November 13-15, 2013 at the Pinehurst Resort. There will be pre-symposium training on Nov 12-13. NCLGISA symposium registration includes the sessions, the business meeting, meals, social events, and sponsor access. For more info click here.

GMIS South Carolina: 2014 Software Developers Workshop, Jan 16, 8:30 AM - The 2014 Software Developers Workshop, will be held at the Saluda Shoals River Center in Columbia, S.C., and will feature a full day’s agenda of networking, discussions and sharing of information. This always popular event will focus on a variety of software development issues. For more info click here.

Presidents Message


For all of you literature buffs, please know that I am not comparing our current times to the French Revolution. However, I did find the beginning paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens to be words that could easily pertain to our crazy IT world.

Here is the first paragraph of this 1859 classic. 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.   

Amazing.  Don’t those words sound very similar to the dueling forces in our chaotic IT world today?  

The dueling forces that are especially manic in the public sector IT world include:                     

  • Transparency versus Privacy 
  • Transformation versus Low budget
  • BYO-Device versus BYO-Destruction
  • Open source versus Proprietary
  • Security strength versus Security breaches 
  • Disasters versus Opportunities
  • Enterprise versus Consumerization
  • Strategic versus Operational 
  • Infinite demands versus Limited capacity
  • Having a seat at the table versus getting a swift kick in the seat of our pants
  • And the list goes on and on

But we love our jobs!  These are the best of times.  These are exciting times.  Very few of us would willingly regress 15 years.  What did life look like 15 years ago?  No smart phones.  No smart tablets.  No Twitter.  No Facebook.  No Skype.  No Google Maps.  No Tesla from Elon Musk.  No commercial suborbital spacecraft from Richard Branson.  No drones mapping wildfires and taping football games.  No genome/DNA specific medical treatments.  GPS and AVL existed but were not yet easily affordable, stable, and ubiquitous for the public sector.  Same with VOIP.  The last 10 to 15 years have been miraculous in terms of scientific and technological advancement.  Yes, Charles Dickens, these are the best of times.

And yet, these are also the worst of times.  Data breaches by very, very, very bad guys occur almost daily.  Most of us have received "the letter” informing us that our university, our bank, our fill-in-the-blank has had a data breach and our SSN, name, home address, birth date, and credit card numbers have been stolen.  Because some head must roll whenever there is a data breach, often that head is our own.  In my county we log an average of 200,000 external attempts per week to breach our firewall.  Per week.  And we are not a very large county with a population of only about 350K.  Another area of angst is that our impatient customers with their own smart phones often believe that they are qualified to make organizational IT decisions.  Since they see themselves as smart IT consumers, they seem to think that they are, by default, just as knowledgeable as all the experienced professionals in the IT Department.  Our customers can download an app in 3 seconds.  So why does it take 3 months for the monolithic IT Department to build them one?  We are under constant threat of losing our relevancy and our creditability.  Many of us miss the good-old-days when IT Departments had much more organizational control and our customers were not such anarchists.  Yes, Charles Dickens, these are the worst of times.

So let’s blaze these trails together.  GMIS can help.  By leveraging the collective knowledge of our membership, we can stay one foot ahead of the crushing boulder rolling downhill.  Although things will surely get worse, together we can ensure that our IT world gets exponentially better.  Charles Dickens would be proud of us.  Charles Dickens would be proud of GMIS.

Janet Claggett, CIO, Richland County, SC

2013 GMIS International Annual Conference Recap

Charlotte provided the perfect venue for the 2013 GMIS International Conference.  There were over 253 attendees representing GMIS members, spouses, speakers, exhibitors, and international guests.  Our international guest representation was the largest ever with representatives from Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Belgium. There were 40 vendors represented highlighting their product and service offerings. We launched a successful  pre-conference Spiceworks  session  attended by 19 participants.  We also enjoyed giving vendor speed dating a try to learn more about the technology and services are sponsors offer.

This year’s Charlotte conference gave GMIS attendees insightful presentations, informative tech labs, and  a lot of fun and excitement on foot, bike,  and Segway  exploring Charlotte and experiencing all that it offers!   We also enjoyed after-hour fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the NC Music Factory to race, sing, dance and network together GMIS style!

Finally, we recognized and honored are 2013 GMIS award winners. Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Skip Floyd, Outstanding Professional Award
  • Karen Knight, Hershel Stickland Award
  • Mark Pfeiffer, Member Emeritus
  • Phil Svesnik, Member Emeritus
  • Elaine Isler, Member Emeritus
  • Johnny Walton, Member Emeritus
  • State of Nevada, Enterprise IT Services (G2C), GMIS G2 Award
  • Princeton Township, NJ (G2G), GMIS G2 Award
  • Sussex County, NJ, GMIS Best Practices Award
  • New Mexico Chapter, GMIS Champion Chapter Award
  • SHI, GMIS Diamond Award
  • Dell Corporation, GMIS Ruby Award
  • Brian D. Kelley, Presidents Award

Planning is now underway for the 2014 GMIS Conference in Savannah, Georgia, August 17-20, 2014! Save-the-date and plan to be there!

Brian Kelley, CIO,CGIO
2nd Vice President GMIS International

2013-2014 Board of Directors

President: Janet Claggett, Richland County
1st Vice President: Matthew Wainwright, Town of Middletown
2nd Vice President: Brian Kelley, Portage County
3rd Vice President: Bill Haight, Salt Lake City
4th Vice President: Justin Heyman, Township of Franklin
Membership Development: Lori-Ann Fox, South Kingston
International Director: Clark Rainer, City of Stockbridge
Treasurer: Sherri Flynn, City of Sparks
Executive Director: Paul Ruth, Georgia Department of Public Health

GMIS International President Receives Award

GMIS President, Janet Claggett, was recently given the annual Leadership in Technology Award by the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  Janet was secretly nominated by one of her top IT Division Chiefs, Steve Collins, who himself is a former president of the South Carolina state GMIS chapter.  The Chamber of Commerce recognized Janet for building the IT Department of Richland County (state capital county) from zero to a county IT Department recognized nationally for its digital excellence, for being an early adopter of VOIP (in the late 1990s) which has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, and for her efforts in regional broadband.  Janet was also recently given the title Community Broadband Champion by ConnectSC for leading the new community–wide initiative to ensure that all county residents and businesses have adequate and affordable broadband, even those residing in the rural areas.   

GMIS Would Like to Thank Our Sponsors




Prosys Information Systems
Tyler Technologies


PO Box 27923
Austin, TX 78755