Player Roster: The Team that Runs IT in New OrleansBy Baselinemag | Posted 2006-03-06 Print
Mayor Ray Nagin promised to run the city like a business. Did he have the right team in place to do it? Here are the major players.
Mayor of New Orleans
CIO, CTO and Deputy Mayor
As the first technology chief in New Orleans' history, Meffert's responsibilities include improving technology, reviewing business practices and eliminating inefficiencies within the city's departments. He also has authority over several departments besides technology, including city planning and safety and permits. Before joining Mayor Ray Nagin's administration in 2002, he was one of the city's most successful software entrepreneurs, having raised some $35 million to fund the encrypted document transfer firm where he served as CEO and, later, CTO.
Director of Safety and Permits
After Katrina, Centineo had the responsibility of completing the initial round of inspections for more than 120,000 flood-damaged homes,
and he worked with software vendor Accela on ways to speed up the process. He was a building inspector with more than 30 years of experience working for the city before he was named director of the department in 2003.
Web Project Manager
During Katrina, Domke, who works under contract to the city through Imagine Software, was responsible for improvising an Internet Protocol-based phone setup for the mayor's staff, after other communications channels failed. As Web project manager, he developed and maintains the Cityofno.com Web site, which recently won first place at the Center for Digital Government's Best of the Web contest.
Wireless Project Manager
Drake oversees the design and deployment of the city's wireless network, which was originally deployed to support surveillance cameras and later expanded to support mobile network access for police and other city workers. In the recovery from Katrina, he has also employed the wireless network to reach city offices that otherwise wouldn't have network access.
Wireless Project Manager
Charbonnet is working on extending wireless network access to police cruisers and on the surveillance camera network. Like Domke and Drake, he is assigned to work on city projects through Imagine Software.
A former Green Beret who served in Vietnam, Minyard was one of the first outsiders to make it into downtown New Orleans after Katrina, when he came bearing a portable satellite communications unit. Minyard also assisted with setting up the city's Emergency Operations Center.
Richard E. Morrey
Chief Technology Officer, Accela
Morrey came to New Orleans as part of a team from Accela that tailored its software to support the building inspections that needed to be completed after Katrina, and trained inspectors in its use. Morrey has more than 30 years of experience with state and local government computer systems. He was also the co-founder of Kiva, an early Web application server vendor.
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