CIO Foley & Lardner LLP
Career accomplishment you're most proud of: In the early '90s, I was hired to turn around project management systems at the Arizona Department of Transportation. My team of programmers and analysts and the system users didn't speak to each other, and there were at least two abends [crashes] each night. We put in IT project management and basic development standards, and, within six months, the users and my team were working together and abends only occurred about once per month.
Most important career influencer: My current boss, Darrell Ohlhauser, our COO. He made the mistake of offering me a job twice, at two places. He lets me "run with the ball."
Decision I wish I could do over: I was a letter carrier for the post office after I got out of the Navy. Being a substitute carrier working other people's routes during their days off, as the "new guy," was the most stressful job I ever had.
Size of IT team: 145
Three top initiatives for current year:
- Implementation of enterprise content management for all of our Web "properties," internal and client-facing. The implementation of a Web data warehouse will allow us to develop and deploy consistent content in a consistent manner.
- E-mail management: Implement the IT component of our records management policy.
- Centralization of our IT environment, from decentralized architecture, where every office houses a full range of application servers, to a centralized lights-out data center delivering applications on a company-wide basis.
Key tech partners: AT&T, Cisco, Interwoven (document management)
The next big thing for my business will be ... law firm consolidation. In IT, system centralization, as the industry moves from a distributed client-server architecture to a centralized data center approach.
Best piece of advice for future CIOs: Have vision, based on company strategy. Then go for it.
How I measure IT effectiveness: As I'm a former CPA, you would think that I was metric driven. Honestly, I measure our results by client service and satisfaction, of both internal clients and clients of the firm.
College/degree: University of Arizona, BS/BA, double major in accounting and MIS
Leisure activity: Scuba diving
Best book read recently: The Voyage Of The Beagle, by Charles Darwin
If I weren't a CIO I would be ... a singer. But I can't sing, so I better be a CIO.