Congratulations to the 2017 NC Digital Counties Survey Winners!

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) announced the winners of the 15th annual Digital Counties Survey. The survey, conducted by CDG in partnership with NACo, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and even reduce carbon emissions.

“Digital counties are leveraging technology to improve the ways they conduct business and engage with citizens in increasingly innovative and exciting ways,” said Todd Sander, executive director, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year’s winners for their work to reduce costs, encourage citizen engagement, increase efficiencies and proactively address citizen expectations.”

“As technology continues to grow in all facets of our lives, country governments are adapting and innovating,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “The Digital Counties Survey spotlights how counties deploy technology to enhance services and benefit residents while being responsible stewards of taxpayers resources.”

Link to full article:

1,000,000 or More Population Category
Wake County, NC
250,000 – 499,999 Population Category
Cumberland County, NC
Durham County, NC
150,000 – 249,999 Population Category
Onslow County, NC
Cabarrus County, NC
Pitt County, NC
Up to 150,000 Population Category
Rowan County, NC



Congratulations to the CGCIO class of 2017!

NCLGISA would like to share the graduation celebration of another successful CGCIO class for 2017.  Congratulations to all the students in the class and those at the UNC-CH SOG making it possible!


Conover IT Director Wins ‘Soul of IT’ Award

Conover IT Director Wins ‘Soul of IT’ Award

Friday November 25, 2016

Conover NC, The City of Conover is pleased to announce that Christopher Niver, Information Technology Director, was recently presented with the first ever ‘Soul of IT’ award at the annual Spiceworks user conference in Austin, Tx. The ‘Soul of IT’ award was created to honor IT pros that use their tech expertise to make a positive impact in their local businesses, organizations, and communities.

Mr. Niver was selected from over 100 nominations and chosen for his passion for technology and volunteerism within our community.  His volunteer work includes helping several non-profit organizations such as the Greater Hickory Jaycees, the Footcandle Film Society, the Hickory Downtown Development Association, the Catawba Science Center, the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA), and many more. He enjoys volunteering his time during events hosted by these organizations as well as assisting several of them with their various IT needs. In his free time, Mr. Niver enjoys creating free websites and social media platforms for various local small businesses and non-profit organizations, helping them get their messages and brands out into the community.

Spiceworks, founded in 2006, is a professional network for the information technology (IT) industry that is headquartered in Austin, Texas and offers its professional network and software free to users. The Spiceworks Community is a network of over 6,000,000 IT Pros that work together to find solutions to IT problems, trade tech tips, show off their awesome projects and share real-world advice from the IT trenches.

Chris Niver Award

City of Durham, NC takes 1st 2016 Digitial Cities Population Group



Durham moved from eighth place last year to take first place in 2016. The city’s strategic planning leadership team aligns IT and other initiatives to the City Strategic Plan goal of an “Innovative and High Performing Organization.” For example, the city implemented an innovative enterprisewide IT Governance model to provide effective IT portfolio management; and the city’s new website received a Best of the Web award for excellence.

During the last three fiscal years, the city built new network infrastructure comprised of a centrally located data center connected to remote locations using Metro Ethernet and direct fiber connections.

Meanwhile, Durham’s open government and open data programs have grown significantly over the last 12 months. During that time the city also implemented new cloud-based platforms that offer mobile access to services and information and a citizen engagement initiative entitled “City Hall on the Go” — a Wi-Fi-enabled truck that takes city services to neighborhoods and city events.

The city is also working on enhancements to its performance management system and recently completed a security assessment and is implementing the resulting recommendations.

Maurice Ferrell receives MCNC Community Empower Award

Ferrell_Maurice_2010 Maurice Ferrell, Assistant Director of the Center for Public Technology was honored with the MCNC Community Empower Award at MCNC’s annual Community Day event!  He is such a valuable asset to all of us in the public sector IT community and we’re proud to call him a friend and colleague. Way to go Maurice on this well-deserved honor!

Dr Shannon Tufts Piercy receives tenure at UNC-CH SOG

ShannonTufts I know each and everyone one of you all have in some way benefitted from the work of one of the most hard working person in our community. I am very proud to spread the news of Dr. Shannon Tufts Piercy’s most recent achievement. After many years of personal dedication to her work and to our NCLGISA family, graduating hundreds of CGCIO professionals in local government, numerous speaking engagements around the world, thousands of hours of research and stacks of publications, Shannon has received tenure at the UNC-CH SOG.
Please join me in sending her a great big CONGRATULATIONS!

Brunswick County 5-year Strategic Plan Spotlight

Steve Randone, MIS Director at Brunswick County shared the following on his insights from the NCLGISA 2016 Fall Symposium on the strategic planning for technology.  Click here to get the entire plan…

“As you review it, please note that this document is 3 years old. Yes, we have completed everything on the 5 year priority list in a 3 year time period but, as we are all so familiar with, processes and technology changes dramatically in a short period of time. Therefore, some recommendations in the plan are not exactly how it ended up being implemented. Examples would be: Microsoft EA recommendation progressed into MS365, Exchange has progressed from on premise to off premise, DR plan has progressed into a cloud solution, etc. As explained in the session, these type plans are living documents as business processes and needs change/evolve, as technology changes occur and budget restraints are realized. We are currently working on a long overdue update to our plan that will take us to the year of 2021. Once this is completed, I will ask the NCLGISA web/marketing committee to post this to the site as well.

If you have any questions regarding the plan or would like further information, please feel free to email or call at 910-253-2640.”

Carteret County GIS Flood Mapping Web App

The IT Department/GIS Division has developed a web app to allow citizens to easily compare the current effect and preliminary flood maps affecting Carteret County.  The flood map data is derived from the State of North Carolina Floodplain Mapping Program.

Carteret County GIS Flood Mapping                    Carteret County GIS


North Carolina Counties Recognized by CDG and NACo


The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) have announced the 2016 Digital Counties Survey winners. The survey, conducted by CDG in partnership with NACo, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; or innovate through unique and exciting projects.

“Digital counties have evolved to recognize the value of technology, empower their tech leaders and use new ideas to make life better for everyone who lives and does business in the county,” said Todd Sander, executive director, CDG. “The Center for Digital Government congratulates this year’s winners for their work to innovate, improve transparency and proactively address citizen demands and expectations.”

“Modern technology allows counties across the country to innovate, providing citizens with smarter, more cost-effective services,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “The Digital Counties Survey recognizes county innovations that truly benefit our communities and, by extension, America.”
This year’s first-place winners include:

  • Wake County, N.C. (500,000 or more population category): The county launched an open data portal to allow citizens and businesses access to a broad array of county data. The county also hired a data scientist to analyze disparate data sets and enable it to make more informed business decisions.
  • Sonoma County, Calif. (250,000-499,999 population category): The county’s technology group is fully engaged in supporting the county’s strategic goals, while an emphasis on open data creates citizen confidence in government and allows for meaningful discussions. Collaboration with other jurisdictions gives citizens access to all data from a single entry point.
  • Arlington County, Va. (150,000-249,999 population category): Arlington County reorganized their IT team into two areas – one focused on traditional IT support and one focused on innovation. The change resulted in several new technology initiatives, including new mobile apps and open data projects. The county also implemented a management structure composed of team leads (“team of teams”) to improve communications, goal sharing and production.
  • Nevada County, Calif. (up to 150,000 population category): Nevada County lost 28 percent of its staff during the recession. To offset the loss, the county implemented new technology to improve workforce productivity, enable citizen self-service offerings, and enhance organizational efficiencies.

The Center for Digital Government thanks the underwriters for this year’s survey: Accela andLaserfiche.
Congratulations to the 2016 Digital Counties Survey Winners!

500,000 or more population category:

1st Wake County, NC
2nd Fairfax County, VA
2nd Montgomery County, MD
3rd Sacramento County, CA
3rd County of San Diego, CA
4th County of Alameda, CA
4th King County, WA
4th Miami-Dade County, FL
5th Oakland County, MI
6th Baltimore County, MD
6th Prince George’s County, MD
7th Bexar County, TX
7th Orange County, FL
8th County of Ventura, CA
8th Hennepin County, MN
8th Westchester County, NY
9th Los Angeles County, CA
10th Chester County, PA
10th Cook County, IL

250,000-499,999 population category:

1st Sonoma County, CA
2nd Chesterfield County, VA
3rd Dakota County, MN
4th Loudoun County, VA
5th Cumberland County, NC
5th Dutchess County, NY
6th Bell County, TX
7th Leon County, FL
7th Ottawa County, MI
8th County of Santa Cruz, CA
9th Douglas County, CO
10th Dauphin County, PA
10th Richland County, SC

150,000-249,999 population category:

1st Arlington County, VA
2nd Charles County, MD
3rd Frederick County, MD
4th St. Tammany Parish, LA
5th Boone County, MO
6th Cabarrus County, NC
7th Davidson County, NC
8th Oneida County, NY
9th Delaware County, OH
10th County of Barnstable, MA

Up to 150,000 Population Category:

1st Nevada County, CA
2nd Albemarle County, VA
2nd Allegan County, MI
3rd Roanoke County, VA
4th Montgomery County, VA
5th Brunswick County, NC
6th Coconino County, AZ
7th Goochland County, VA
7th Martin County, FL
8th Skagit County, WA
9th Franklin County, VA
10th Summit County, UT
10th Tompkins County, NY


2016 Top ten technologies and initiatives which are likely to have an increased focus in the next year:

1. Cyber Security
2. Mobility/Mobile Applications
3. Hire/Retain IT Personnel; and Open Government
4. Disaster Recovery/Continuity of Operations
5. Budget/ Cost Control
6. Portal/ E-government
7. Citizen Engagement
8. Shared or Collaborative Services
9. Business Process Automation; and Virtualization
10. Business Intelligence/Analytics

How many staff (FTE equivalents) across the enterprise support county IT?

·68% have fewer than 100 staff

Top 5 Most Widely-Adopted Technologies – County-Wide:

92% End Point Security and Wireless Infrastructure
83% Redundant/ Offsite Data Storage
81% Board/ elected body Public Meetings Videoed, Archived, Searchable online
81% ECM (Enterprise Content Management), Document Management, Workflow
78% Broadband Infrastructure
78% Shared or Collaborative Services
77% Performance Benchmarks, Measurement & Reporting
77% Threat Detection
77% Web Analytics

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. CDG is a division ofe.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

Contact: Janet Grenslitt, Director of Surveys and Awards

Congratulations to our James S. Cooper Award Winner!

“The James S. Cooper Award was created in 1996 after “Jim” died of a sudden aneurysm in his 40’s. Jim personified our organization in his quick acceptance of friends and ideas and in his willingness to share information and methods. The spirit of the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award recognizes the individual and/or agency that provides service above and beyond their normal performance of duties with regard to interagency cooperation.”

The 2015 James S. Cooper Award Winner is:

Keith Archambault, Town of Knightdale

KA - Cooper15 FB

“Keith helped out the Town of Wendell by investigating a server failure at the town about 5 years ago.  He took the time to evaluate the situation, propose the purchase of a new server and assisted working with the town for the next few months, getting it installed with a consultant that he trusted.  He also hired a part time person for Wendell and trained that person and assisted when needed.  The two towns had an agreement and Keith did a great job in facilitating this operation and they hired me(second person).  His involvement continued for another year until Wendell hired me part time in 2011, full time in 2012.  Keith was always willing to answer my questions and assist when asked well after the agreement between the towns was over.  He is a true public servant and shared that with a neighbor town.   The Town of Wendell would like to thank him for his help and expertise.”

Nominated by: Tamah Hughes, IT Director, Town of Wendell

City of Raleigh appoints new Chief Information Officer.

News posted Nov. 06, 2015 – 6:00 am
Darnell Smith


D. Darnell Smith has been appointed chief information officer for the City of Raleigh, City Manager Ruffin Hall announced today. Mr. Smith will assume his new duties on Jan. 4.

“Mr. Smith has extensive experience and knowledge in the field of information technology,” Mr. Hall said. “He will be an outstanding addition to the City’s management team.”

The City’s chief information officer oversees the Information Technology (IT) Department. The department provides technology services and information systems that deliver value to the City and the greater Raleigh area.

“I’m really excited about coming to the City of Raleigh,” Mr. Smith said. “This is a premier city and a well-run organization. I want to ensure our IT Department continues to provide the best technical support to keep our customers and our community growing.”

Mr. Smith is currently vice president of Group IT for Elster Group in Raleigh, a position he has held since 2011. In this role, Mr. Smith manages a global staff of 110 IT professionals and an annual budget of $29 million. Elster Group is a world leader in measuring and improving the flow of natural gas, electricity and water in 130 countries.

During his tenure at Elster Group, Mr. Smith developed a comprehensive three-year IT strategy that reduced operational spending by 12 million. He also conducted the company’s first ever IT benchmarking to assess Elster Group’s global IT capability against external peer groups. In addition, he identified and staffed key IT leadership positions to support the transition to a competency centered service model. Prior to serving in this role, Mr. Smith was IT director for the Americas region from 2006-2011.

Before serving with Elster Group, Mr. Smith worked for E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company from 1988-2006, holding various positions, including systems integration leader, IT manager and North America service delivery manager. His last position with the science company was as global SAP and North America service delivery manager. In this role he was responsible for SAP globally and overall IT support services in North America for what at that time was the largest of DuPont’s five business divisions.

Mr. Smith received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He and his wife, Gwendolyn, have a 13-year-old daughter.


NCLGISA Member Gray Cassell Completes ‘Intensive Learning Experience’

Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) has recognized Gray Cassell, chief in-formation officer for the Town of Kernersville, who completed the Leading for Results course as an LGFCU Fellow at the University of North Carolina School of Government (UNC/SOG).

Cassell was one of a group of individuals to attend the intensive learning experience at the UNC/SOG that provides the course as a resource to local government employees and as an LGFCU Fellow received this program tuition-free.

This is the fifth year LGFCU has partnered with the UNC/SOG to offer Leading by Results, a training initiative that provides mid-level public executives with the skills needed to build the pool of local government talent prepared for leadership succession.

LGFCU Fellows pro-gram was designed to strengthen local government through leadership development training. The LGFCU Fellows initiative was designed for mid-level managers in local government, providing them the skills needed for leadership succession as more and more experienced managers near retirement.

For more information on LGFCU Fellows program please access




Congratulations to NCLGISA Member Randy Cress on his new position!

Rowan County has selected Randy J. Cress as its new Chief Information Officer (CIO.) Cress is a Certified Government Chief Information Officer and has worked for Rowan County in Information Systems for well over a decade. He succeeds David Boling who retired September 30, 2015.

As CIO, Cress will oversee ongoing development and management of the County’s Information Systems and technology needs, providing support for over 750 employees across the County. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Catawba College in 2006 and a Masters of Public Administration from Appalachian State University in 2012. In 2007, he graduated from the Certified Government Chief Information Officer’s Course at the University of North Carolina’s School of Government in Chapel Hill.

Cress currently serves as chair of the professional development committee of the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA), which fosters collaboration and sharing of technical knowledge among North Carolina local governments and school systems. He received the Association’s James S. Cooper Award in November 2013. Cress enjoys road cycling and trail running throughout Rowan County. He and his wife, Dacia, have been married for 19 years and have one daughter.

Congratulations to all of the NC counties that placed in this year’s 2015 Digital Counties sponsored by Government Technology!!

Link to full article:

Congratulations to all of the NC counties that placed in this year’s 2015 Digital Counties Survey, but an extra special congrats to our First Place Winner!

Catawba County, N.C., took first place in the 150,000 to 250,000 population category for its social engagement initiative, centralized GIS website, performance metrics, open data efforts, shared services initiative, and commitment to the environment. Catawba County ranked first in North Carolina for total public recycling per capita.

Social engagement and social media are crucial elements of the county’s operations, said CIO Rick Pilato, because those online interactions enable them to direct citizens toward the services and information that they demand.

Catawba County was recognized by judges for its ‘Life, Well Run‘ campaign, which showcases work the government has been doing. The program’s Web portal is an instance of leading by doing, Pilato said. By encouraging issues that align with the county’s own goals, they can encourage citizens to work with them in parallel. Issues like public service and the use of green building materials are highlighted by the program, said Pilato.

Social engagement can be challenging, Pilato said, but they key is not to give up.

“You can create a Facebook page and only get 100 people on there,” he added, “but if you’re putting information on there that folks are really interested in, that number’s going to organically grow and sometimes you’ve got to give it time.”

Engaging with the public also means presenting information in many different forms, Pilato said, and one thing many governments may not realize is that the format of the data is often as important as the data itself. The data that government publishes, he said, should be easily understandable and easily manipulated by the citizenry.

Congratulations to our James S. Cooper Award Winners!

“The James S. Cooper Award was created in 1996 after “Jim” died of a sudden aneurysm in his 40’s. Jim personified our organization in his quick acceptance of friends and ideas and in his willingness to share information and methods. The spirit of the James S. Cooper Ambassador Award recognizes the individual and/or agency that provides service above and beyond their normal performance of duties with regard to interagency cooperation.”


Chris Stone and Chris Cowan at Wayne County

Earlier this year, they spent hours of their time sharing an innovative solution to a virtual desktop hardware issue we were having: getting signature pads to work with Compass/Laserfiche in a Citrix server hosted environment.  The solution was obviously the result of hours of development and testing on their end, and they delivered it to us practically turn-key.  Chris followed through with a lot of proactive check-ins to make sure things were going well and to see if we had any questions.

This kind of forthright contribution to the success of other agencies lifts the caliber and value of local government as a whole.  Chris and company embody the spirit of collective collaboration of NCLGISA and the James S. Cooper Award.  Submitting this at this the last minute, I don’t have time to go into greater detail, but I am happy to follow up with additional details.

Nominated by: Michael C. Wilcox, MSMIT, CGCIO, Orange County IT Operations Manager



Kerry Goode (City of Durham) & Greg Marrow (Durham County)

This County/City Partnership was nominated as a great example of two agencies going above and beyond to provide a better solution together.

These two gentlemen and their teams have displayed a great spirit of partnership and collaboration to improve the Open Data Initiative for the residents and employees of the City and County of Durham.  When the idea of an Open Data initiative started, Kerry and Greg instantly saw the value in a City/County partnership.  This partnership has grown to include joint funding, project management, consulting, and technology.  Through this willingness to work together, new ideas and opportunities for collaboration continue to be identified and can more easily be acted upon to the mutual benefit of both organizations.

Nominated by: Anthony Pergolotti, PMP, Senior Project Manager, PMO

Kudos to the City of Ashville & Jonathan Feldman on Their Frost and Sullivan CIO Impact Award.

Over the summer Asheville, NC won the AWS City on a Cloud best practices Grand Prize for using CloudVelox software to enhance disaster recovery protection with AWS. As a fitting tribute, we’ve collected some of the best sources of information on why Asheville won, what the team learned along the way, and how you could benefit from their IT leadership.

Read more here:

Alamance County MIS receives Top 10 Award

Alamance County, NC MIS receives a Top 10 Award from GCN 2014 for their implementation of an “Electronic Protective Order System” for the Administrative Office of the Courts.  Read more about the achievement by clicking here.

2014 Digital Counties Survey Winners Announced

Hundreds participated in the 12th annual survey and the top-ranked counties will be honored at a reception during the 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference starting July 11.

Conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG), this year’s survey revealed the best work being done by county government technology agencies, and shed light on the technology trends of tomorrow.

Congratulations to all on the list including Mecklenburg County, Wake County, Cabarrus County, Davidson County, & Onslow County!

Read More:

Tim’s Tips for Tim Gard Keynote session

Be sure to checkout “Tim’s Tips” from our Keynote speaker tomorrow right here before the session. #nclgisa

2013 GIGa Winners Announced

GIGa, a partnership among the UNC School of Government, Local Government Federal Credit Union, and North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association, is designed to spur and reward technology-based innovation by offering incentives to North Carolina local governments engaged in innovative, replicable endeavors that help improve citizen services.

GIGa awards were presented at the April 9, 2014 Innovation Showcase and Awards Luncheon. Click the link below to view the winners and their projects.