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Longtime County Government CIO in Michigan Retires

Phil Bertolini, the longtime deputy county executive and CIO of Oakland County, announced his departure from local government service Friday after a 31-year career bolstering collaboration and innovation.

by / August 30, 2019
Oakland County, Mich., CIO Phil Bertolini (David Kidd)

Longtime Oakland County, Mich., CIO Phil Bertolini has retired from his role as deputy county executive and CIO after 31 years in service of the regional government.

Bertolini made the announcement Friday morning via Twitter, where he thanked his team for their “incredible work for our citizens.” He started his career in local government as an entry-level property appraiser in 1988, eventually working his way up to CIO in 2001, where he oversaw more than 150 employees serving about 1.2 million residents. His last day is Aug. 30. 

During his tenure, the county weathered the economic downturn in Michigan by deploying cost-saving technologies, such as a government cloud. He even approached software vendors for partnerships with Oakland County, where products purchased by local governments would be hosted on the county’s cloud.

As the recession continued, his idea expanded into what is now the G2G Marketplace, a portal offering solutions from approved vendors to government agencies. The goal was to provide agencies with a simple way to research, purchase and implement technology and services. The purchasing and licensing processes were boiled down to pre-negotiated blanket agreements.

“The small towns in Michigan don’t have the resources or the money, but we are large and have the capabilities,” Bertolini said of the G2G Marketplace. “I look at assisting the smaller governments as part of our mission.”

Reflecting upon how the recession impacted IT, Bertolini told Government Technology in 2012 that the deployment of cost-saving innovations with a high-yield result is the way IT shops will operate and continue to evolve.

“I think we’ve gone too far to go back,” he said. “We’ve shifted the way we do business so much, and we’ve put efficiencies into the process, that to go back just wouldn’t make sense.”

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