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Georgia GMIS Spring – 2013 Conference Review:

May 6-9, 2013, King & Prince Resort, St. Simons Island, Georgia

The Georgia Chapter of GMIS International wrapped up the Spring Conference with many Super Hero IT Professionals well fed in both mind and mouth!!

Georgia GMIS typically conducts two conferences per year, one in the spring at St. Simons Island, and one in the Fall in Savannah, GA. This spring’s conference educational theme centered on "Influencing Strategies”, and is a part of the University of Georgia’s, Carl Vinson Institute of Government and GA GMIS Leadership program "ITLP”.  The formula for the ITLP requires one day of Leadership training and one day of Technical training during each GA GMIS conference, with a third day of networking based activities run exclusively by the GA GMIS chapter. Our "fun theme” was IT Super Heroes, and there was plenty of Clark Kent’s, Spiderman, masked and unmasked super heroes running around!!

This spring’s conference was no let down, and was well attended by both members and vendors.

Day one included a morning of technical training, including a Legal briefing from David A. Cole, Partner Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP (who also has extensive IT background). During Mr. Cole’s presentations GA GMIS members learned how to present issues, proposals, etc. to our legal staffs, and also received thorough updates on E-Discovery issues and changes to the Georgia Open Records Laws.

The afternoon was filled with two speakers from Apple who discussed many of the Apple products, and how governments were making use of many of the iXX devices in the government setting. Also, many mobile device management issues were discussed. Through the discussion with Apple representatives, it was discussed that maybe Apple could provide a webcast to GMIS International members on "what it takes to develop for Apple devices”. (We are working on that for a future educational opportunity for GMIS International Members).

Day two covered the Management component coursework for the ITLP, and featured Thornton May, IT Futurist, Executive Director, IT Leadership Academy, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and prolific writer – you may have seen his work in Computerworld Magazine.  (Oh – and his mother was a SPY for the CIA). Thornton was one of the most engaging speakers we have heard in a while, and every one really enjoyed this entire day, where we learned how to use our Super Hero vision to see into the future using predictive analytics to become better managers. All members were provided with one of Thornton’s books: The New Know, Innovation Powered by Analytics. 

Day two wrapped up with a reception, dinner banquet, followed by entertainment provided by Mark the Magician.

Day three included roundtable discussions, followed by "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – where each member tells all the Good, Bad, and Ugly going on in their own shops, while vendors are allowed to listen in (vendors and members love this). Following GBU – GA GMIS members experienced  a "shirt-sleeve session” where members network with one another through leisure activities.

Day four wrapped up the conference with the GA GMIS Business meeting, conference gifts, evaluation, and adjournment. GA GMIS members were encouraged to attend the GMIS International conference in Charlotte, and GA should have a great showing in North Carolina in August!!

Any GMIS International member or affiliate is always welcome to attend a GA GMIS conference. To learn more about upcoming conference or to attend or sponsor, please visit

Clark Rainer – GA GMIS Secretary/Treasurer

GMIS Illinois Springs into Summer

by Brian Johanpeter

On Friday, May 17, GMIS Illinois held its "Spring into Summer” quarterly meeting in the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois and focused on "Improving Communication and Opening Doors.” About 40 people were in attendance at the event, held at one of the Village’s fire stations, which contains a state of the art training room. Three main training sessions were conducted:  "Communication in the Workplace,” "Importance of Communication: Breaking down walls and opening doors,” and "The Role of the Human Resources and Information Technology Departments in Policy Creation, Management, and Enforcement.”

The first session, "Communication in the Workplace,” presented by GMIS Illinois President Brian Johanpeter, who holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication, provided a review of some of the conclusions of scholarly research in the areas of organizational and computer-mediated communication. Competence, or ability to communicate, is one of the important factors found in the research within these two areas, so Johanpeter reviewed some of the important principles and skills required to be successful communicators within organizations.

The session, "Importance of Communication: Breaking down walls and opening doors,” was a panel discussion, led by Village of Downers Grove Manager David Fieldman. The panel also included a school superintendent, an elected official, and a director of information technology. Each of the panelists were able to offer their own perspectives on the use of communication and technology within their own organizations. Questions from the audience helped to create an engaging and interesting discussion on topics such as social media, roaming management styles, how elected officials need to facilitate communication, and the use of media and technology to correct public perceptions and misinterpreted messages. While 90 minutes had been devoted to the session, the time went by quickly and all enjoyed the interaction the panel platform created.

The final session on policies was presented by Stephanie Dawkins, currently the Assistant City Administrator and Director of Administrative Services for the City of Geneva, Illinois. With 20 years of experience working in city and county government, and an educational background in law and industrial and organizational psychology, Dawkins was able to share some of her expertise regarding the role of human resources in organizations. Her presentation included a discussion about the different roles HR and IT departments play in the development and enforcement of technology-related personnel policies.

After a networking lunch, the day ended with the group discussing current technology-related issues, problems, and projects within their organizations. Time was also spent brainstorming additional learning topics for future meetings. Johanpeter also shared with the group some of the activities of the organization, including a new website, the start of a monthly "IT Brown Bag” open discussion using GoToMeeting, and the plans for a state-wide video conference as the platform for the summer meeting in August.

Attendees of the quarterly meeting offered positive comments regarding each of the sessions. Many appreciated being reminded of some of the basics of communication, as well as the lively discussions provided by the panelists and speakers.

The day was an ideal example of the purpose of GMIS Illinois:  "To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experience, and techniques; to promote enhancements in hardware, software, and communications developments as they relate to government activities.”

Georgia 2013 Spring Conference Photos

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Speaker JPG (524.13 KB)  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
Class JPG (310.27 KB)  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
Dinner JPG (659.42 KB)  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
Banquet JPG (650.08 KB)  more ] Administration 5/20/2013
Mark the Magician JPG (504.79 KB)  more ] Administration 5/20/2013

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