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Walz, Flanagan Announce Appointments to the Governor's Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology

3/6/2019 11:46:20 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointments to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology. The Council was established last month through Executive Order 19-02. Additionally, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have designated current Technology Advisory Committee member Rick King as the Blue Ribbon Council’s Chair.

The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology will be an advisory group to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor made up of experts on development and implementation of IT in private and public institutions. The Council will provide advice on how to update and maintain the State’s IT systems to ensure that Minnesota residents and businesses who interact with the State receive the best possible service.

“I am grateful for the high caliber of experts who have stepped forward to ensure Minnesota has a first-rate technology system,” said Governor Tim Walz.  “With their expertise and guidance, we will review large projects like MNLARS, improve customer service, and implement critical security measures to protect Minnesota from cyberattacks.”

“With these fifteen appointments, the Blue Ribbon Council now has the balance of private and public sector experience necessary to advise state leaders on pressing technology challenges,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “The governor and I look forward to working with this Council to improve Minnesota’s technology system and provide the quality service Minnesotans deserve.”

As former Chair of the Technology Advisory Committee and incoming Chair of the Blue Ribbon Council, Rick King, began meeting with MNIT leadership in February to prepare for the first Council meeting later this month. The Council will have three sub-committees: a Data Privacy Sub-Committee, a Cyber Security Sub-Committee, and a Modernization Sub-Committee. Each sub-committee will be comprised of five members of the council, as assigned by the Chair.

“Governor Walz’s vision of One Minnesota – bringing everyone to the table to take on big challenges – is embodied in the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology,” states Rick King.  “It is an honor to be asked to lead this new Council and draw from the private and public sector individuals willing to volunteer their time and energy to improve our IT systems and how the state works for the people of Minnesota.”

The new appointments to the Blue Ribbon Council will include five members who have private-sector and one member with public-sector IT experience. Those appointments include:

Tewodros Bekele, SVP & CIO, Land O’ Lakes

Tom Butterfield, EVP & CIO, TCF Bank

Renee Heinbuch, IT Director, Washington County

Nancy Lyons, President & CEO, Clockwork

Michael McCullough, CIO, National Marrow Donor Program

Theresa Wise, former CIO, Delta Airlines & NW Airlines

The Blue Ribbon Council is an expansion of the existing Technology Advisory Committee. By statute the members of the Technology Advisory Committee include eight members who have public-sector and one member with private-sector IT experience.

Rick King, EVP, Thomson Reuters (Chair)

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, MN Department of Transportation

Steve Grove, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development

Eric Hallstrom, MN Management & Budget

Lee Ho, MN Department of Revenue

Chuck Johnson, MN Department of Human Services

Richard Kolodziejski, MN Association of Professional Employees

Jason Lenz, Association of MN Counties

Laurie Martinson, MN Department of Natural Resources

In addition to the 15 voting members above, the Blue Ribbon Council includes four ex officio non-voting members from the Legislature, appointed by each caucus’ respective leader. Those appointments include:

Representative Kristin Bahner

Senator Mark Koran

Representative Jim Nash

Senator Melissa Wiklund

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