California Public Sector CIO Academy: Innovation and Leadership in Focus

Kiefer Consulting recently sponsored (Patron Sponsor) and attended the California Public Sector CIO Academy, an event that featured informative sessions and keynote speeches that showcased the impact of technology on public service. The event gathered technology leaders, such as State CIO, Liana Bailey-Crimmins, Guy Kawasaki, and other respected professionals, to talk about the future of digital governance and innovation in California.

Moreover, this event gave a chance for emerging leaders in state service to learn from leaders within state government. Leaders shared advice and perspective that would be useful to those who want a career in IT leadership within the State of California.

Inspirational Keynotes and Sessions:

Innovation as a Key Priority for State CIO, Liana Bailey-Crimmins:

In her keynote speech, Bailey-Crimmins delivered a strong message about the importance of constant innovation. She presented the Department of Technology’s projects, such as the AI-based wildfire detection system and the state’s emergency alert system, showing how these technologies improve public safety and services.

Bailey-Crimmins also discussed the vital topic of digital equity, revealing that 20% of California homes do not have high-speed internet. The upcoming digital equity plan aims to tackle this gap, showing the state’s dedication to ensuring fair access to digital resources.

Additionally, the strategic plan Envision 2026 was mentioned as a guide for improving state services through technology, focusing on initiatives like single sign-on capabilities to simplify access to government services for Californians.

Murder Your Mediocrity:

Tip #5: Go see, go be. – Encourages those responsible for making things REMARKABLE to participate and experience.

Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist of Canva, opened the event with a keynote that encouraged attendees to pursue excellence. Drawing from his book, “Think Remarkable,” and his experiences with Apple and Mercedes Benz, Kawasaki inspired a move beyond the ordinary to achieve a remarkable life and career.

President, Ben Cox, meets Guy!

The Growing Influence of CIOs in the Public Sector:

This session, with leaders like Thomas Boon and Quentin Wright, explored how CIOs’ role in the public sector is evolving. Discussions highlighted how CIOs today are essential for creating organizational culture, innovation, and digital transformation projects. We appreciated the tips the panel offered to aspiring CIOs. It was evident that the leaders on this panel are setting a good example and inspiring the future generation of IT leaders.

Great panel of CIOs

The panel included – 

Moderator: Maisha Dottery, Chief Information Officer, Department of Community Services and Development, State of California

Thomas Boon, Chief Information Officer, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, State of California

Shaw-chin Chiu, Managing Client Partner, IBM

Don Foley, Chief Information Officer, Department of Toxic Substances Control, State of California

Calvin McGee II, Chief Information Officer, Department of Real Estate, State of California

Michael Rockenstein, Director, Consulting Services, CGI

Quentin Wright, Chief Information Officer, Department of Technology, State of California

Adapting to Change to Create a Future Focused on People:

This general session, moderated by Cathilea Robinett, explored how to use technological and cultural changes to improve public service. The panel, which included Katie Hagen and Kim Mirabella, talked about how leadership can stay flexible and compassionate when dealing with ongoing change.

The panel included – 

Moderator: Cathilea Robinett, Chief Executive Officer, e. Republic

Katie Hagen, Director, Department of Industrial Relations, State of California

Kim Mirabella, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Sales, Verizon

Developing Executive Presence:

This discussion gave tips on how to cultivate a confident and compassionate executive presence, essential for public sector leadership. Speakers such as Christine Blake and Sam Silva revealed techniques for effective communication and connection building. Moderator, Mike Driessen, asked questions that created an engaging conversation for the panelists.

Notes from the session on executive presence.

The panel included – 

Moderator: Mike Driessen, Vice President, Government Technology

Christine Blake, Product Manager, Health and Human Services Agency, Center for Data Insights and Innovation, State of California

Michael Muth, Deputy Director, Project Management Division, Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Technology and Solutions Integration, State of California

Sam Silva, Chief Information Officer, Office of Technology Services, Department of Pesticide Regulation, State of California

Kiefer Consulting’s participation in this event underscored our commitment to supporting California’s digital transformation. The insights gained from sessions and keynotes, particularly on leadership, innovation, and the importance of digital equity, will shape our approach to providing technology solutions that meet the evolving needs of the California government.

The California Public Sector CIO Academy was a great event that highlighted the visionary leadership and the effects of innovative technology in the public sector. Kiefer Consulting appreciated listening to leaders like Liana Bailey-Crimmins and Guy Kawasaki. Their views emphasize the significance of digital transformation in public service but also indicate that there is a way ahead for a more integrated, effective, and fair future for all Californians.


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