California government’s annual IT leadership award ceremony took place on Thursday with the spotlight on 26 individuals who have contributed greatly to state programs within the last year, and in some cases over the course of several decades (photo of winners above by Bill Foster, Techwire.net).
At the 10th annual CIO Academy, awards were given for Chief Information Officer of the Year, Chief Technology Officer of the Year, and two individuals were inducted into the newly created California Hall of Fame for Technology. A special award was also presented to State and Consumer Services Agency CIO Andrew Armani who originally came up with the concept of the CIO Academy in 2002.
Mike Howland (center) receives CIO of the Year award at CIO Academy on Feb. 7, 2013. Photo by Bill Foster, Techwire.net
Mike Howland, former EDD chief information officer and chief deputy director, was selected as Chief Information Officer of the Year. Howland took over the CIO position at the peak of the recession when EDD was in the midst of the highest workload ever for the program. “Under his leadership, EDD has made great strides toward our major modernization across all departmental programs,” remarked EDD Director Pam Harris during the ceremony. Recently retired, Howland spent four decades with the state, serving in several high-profile positions including as CIO of the Department of Social Services.
Department of Water Resources’ Steve Croft was selected as Chief Technology Officer of the Year for his leadership and work as an enterprise architect to oversee the development of “state-of-the-art” systems that are capable of meeting current and future department needs. Croft’s efforts have led to the successful design and implementation of a service oriented architecture (SOA) environment, a collaboration cloud platform and an enterprise virtual desktop environment. “Steve’s a highly accomplished, very strategic and a very innovative leader and technology officer,” said Technology Agency Secretary Carlos Ramos.
Steve Kolodney, former director of the California Office of Information Technology under governors Deukmejian and Wilson, was inducted into the California Hall of Fame for Technology. Kolodney, who in 1995 was appointed CIO for the state of Washington, started his career in California in the 1980s at a time when the state had very few computers. During his tenure he built the state’s IT program from $350 million to $1 billion annually. After a stint in the private sector, Kolodney returned to California state service as a retired annuitant for the Board of Equalization and California Technology Agency where he helped develop the state IT strategic plan and methodology to guide IT consolidation.
CGI Vice President Gerri Magers. Photo by Bill Foster, Techwire.net
CGI Vice President Gerri Magers started her IT career as a college student working in the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Pat Brown Administration during the late 1960s.
She became the first female computer operator at the California Department of Justice. Years later when she was chief deputy for the Health and Welfare Data Center, Magers was the first to set up benchmark comparisons between state data centers and private data centers which helped keep state costs low. She also led the first effort with the State Personnel Board, Department of Personal Board and labor organizations in a joint review of IT classifications that resulted in the restructuring of classifications and salaries for state employees. Another first, Magers also helped establish the first formal state IT training center which now resides within the Office of Technology Services. Magers is currently the lead executive at CGI working on the Franchise Tax Board’s Enterprise Data to Revenue project.
Thursday’s ceremony also acknowledged major accomplishments by state IT Leaders over the past year. “Excellence does indeed happen in government, and in the world of IT. So today is an opportunity to recognize those folks that go above and beyond and have done some outstanding work on behalf of the people of the State of California,” said Secretary Ramos in his opening remarks.
The 2013 CIO Academy IT Leaders are:
This story was originally published at Techwire.net