CIO, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
Rita Reynolds has been working to help Pennsylvania localities implement technology and enhance IT operations since 1988 — back when tech in government was just getting off the ground.
She set one of the smallest counties in the state up with a new electronic accounting system, and word about her services got out — she ended up working in 35 different counties setting up the QuickBooks-based fiscal tracking system that she designed and created; troubleshooting computers; and setting up an application to track statistics on adoption and foster care. The state saw what Reynolds had designed and purchased it from her, so that all but a few Pennsylvania agencies could start using a standard system.
A professional connection Reynolds made through her work with the counties took a job at the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP). “And he and several of the board members came to me and said, ‘You need to apply for this job and we’ll let you do what you’re doing now.’”
It was an offer Reynolds couldn’t refuse. And after a few years, she took on the director of technology/CIO position, where she’s been ever since.
Over these 18 or so years, Reynolds has created and led a first-of-its-kind criminal justice case management system for the courts, which other states are starting to emulate, and she led the formation of PA Cyber Safe — which began as a support group, of sorts, for cybersecurity. It has since grown into a formal meeting in which CIOs and security officers meet to discuss cybersecurity issues and solutions, and even includes security training and a reduced rate on phishing software that is shedding new light on vulnerabilities.
As for what Reynolds considers her greatest accomplishment during her tenure at CCAP? Definitely the County Criminal Justice Unified Case Management System. “It is a one of a kind,” she said. “What we’ve accomplished by creating a solution on Microsoft Dynamics that unifies offender data and adult probation and district attorney offices — it doesn’t exist anywhere else that we’re aware of.”