Walk us through your CIO path. How did you decide to pursue a career in technology, and how did you progress to your current organization?
I started in college going towards a Finance degree and got a part-time job working on a helpdesk. I ended up purchasing the hardware the organization was using and interacted with the Finance team more than IT normally would have. It only took a few months to make me realize I couldn’t do that for the next 40 years. Thankfully IT has let me realize limitless opportunities to do really great work that hasn’t been done before.
Tell us about the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Speak to the mission, the size of the company, and the services provided for your athletes and volunteers?
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will be the largest in history, serving a Delegation of 5500 from all 50 US States and 12 Caribbean nations to host 19 sports plus Esports. We will be supported by over 10,000 volunteers and expect 125,000 spectators to descend on the greater Orlando area June 5-12th. This will be the largest humanitarian event Florida has ever hosted. We will also have a very large Healthy Athletes program and anticipate doing 12,000 health exams in seven disciplines. Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health provider for people with Intellectual Disabilities.
What are your top 3-5 (ongoing) main priorities as CIO in your organization?
Execute the largest Special Olympics USA Games in history, showcase and leverage technology wherever possible, and leave a legacy for the ones that follow us. We will be 25% larger than the last USA Games in 2018, will be the first major Special Olympics event to have a fan engagement platform to celebrate athletes and we are doing all of it as a work-for-hire project to give the code back to the community.
How do you decompress from your role as a technology executive? What do you do for fun?
My wife and I have two adult children – one moved to Florida with us – and adopted three children with special needs (7, 6, and 5 years old). Two have Down syndrome and one has Cerebral palsy. Between young kids at home and two dogs, I don’t have a lot of downtime. I really enjoy spending time with my kids and trying to get out to enjoy nature when possible. Florida has a lot of amazing things to do year-round.
List your top 1-3 books that you would recommend for a technology leader to have on their bookshelf/Kindle.
People Before Things by Chris Laping, Hard Work is Not Enough by Jeff Shannon, and Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Share a specific quote that is a source of inspiration for you as a leader.
“Never underestimate the ability you have to make a difference in someone else’s life.” I heard that from Jeff Shannon in 2015 at a Special Olympics Nebraska event and it has changed my life.
Please share a testimonial as a member of this CIO Professional Network.
The CIO Professional Network will help any CIO up their super-powers and equip them with incredible briefings, access to curated content, and other peers who are rockstars in every industry. By investing 10 minutes per day, you will gain access to collateral that would take you weeks to find on your own sifting through LinkedIn channels and other external research firms without the dreaded sales calls. The team behind the network is truly amazing and works tirelessly to ensure every member is appreciated and can add value to their respective companies.