Terry Bledsoe retired as the CIO of Catawba County, N.C. on Oct. 31 after serving more than seven years in that role.
He began his tenure on Feb. 2, 2006 and played a part in multiple technology projects that benefited his jurisdiction. Government Technology honored Bledsoe for his role in noteworthy Catawba IT efforts, selecting him as a 2011 Top 25 Doer, Dreamer and Driver.
During his tenure, the county received a $1 million grant to buy portable radios for firefighters, and Catawba migrated its emergency communications network to an 800 MHz frequency to increase interoperability with other radio systems while keeping the old one around for backup. The county also placed QR codes on building permit cards that allowed people to scan the codes with their smartphones and learn a facility’s current inspection status.
Bledsoe worked with quite a few people to make these projects happen, and he’ll miss the collaboration now that he’s no longer in government service.
“I had an excellent staff and they were very creative, so I could bounce an idea off of them and they took it and ran with it,” he said. “My philosophy has always been to focus on what’s best for the people and what’s going to provide the best services.”
Valerie Jones is serving as acting CIO for Catawba until a permanent replacement is chosen. Bledsoe recommends that she and his eventual successor continue to put people first when it comes to technology and developing county services.
"I would recommend that they just keep going on that path," he said. "I think as long as you're looking for finding ways to improve what you're doing, you can't go wrong."
Bledsoe has no other professional commitments on the horizon at this time.
“I want to spend some more time with family and my wife, do a little traveling,” he said.