OLYMPIA – Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech) Director and the state’s Chief Information Officer, Michael Cockrill, announced yesterday WaTech’s unification of the infrastructure area, formerly of the legacy Consolidated Technology Services (CTS), with enterprise applications, formerly a division of the Department of Enterprises Services (DES-ETS), under the leadership of Heidi Geathers who steps up to a new role this week as Deputy Director of WaTech.
Geathers initially joined the WaTech executive team as the steward of the enterprise applications division when the agency launched July 1, 2015. “Heidi Geathers’ robust technology background in the financial industry, before coming to public service just two years ago, includes corporate mergers and acquisitions. She’s a technologist and she knows the reorg drill. WaTech is very fortunate to have Heidi in this critical position at such an important juncture in our new agency’s trajectory,” said Cockrill.
Under Cockrill’s leadership WaTech employed a lift and shift strategy to start up the new agency last summer when legislation passed to bring together CTS, DES-ETS and the Office of the Chief information Officer. “We’ve built a foundation with minimal disruption to staff across the impacted agencies, and we are now turning our focus toward improving accountability and creating operational efficiencies to best serve our customers,” Cockrill said.
WaTech was also fortunate in retaining nationally recognized technology leader Bill Schrier during the new agency’s startup phase. Schrier transitions the infrastructure area to Geathers this week. “Having Bill Schrier as part of our startup team has made this reorganization possible,” Cockrill said. “I want to thank Bill for providing critical leadership in operations during our first 100 days. Bill is a top caliber public servant and we’re doing everything we can to keep him here.”
WaTech has negotiated to retain Schrier in a limited capacity while he assumes the newly established Chief Information Officer position with the Seattle Police Department. Schrier will continue for WaTech as Washington’s state point of contact for FirstNet and as the chair of the State Executive Interoperability Committee—the roles that brought him into state government several years ago.
Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech) is "the consolidated technology services agency" (RCW 43.105.006) charged with enabling public agencies to better serve the people of Washington State. WaTech operates the state's core technology infrastructure--the central network and data center; supports enterprise applications; and, innovates services and practices. The agency is also charged with preparing and leading the implementation of a strategic direction and enterprise architecture for state government IT. Additionally, WaTech houses the State Office of Cyber Security and Washington OneNet.
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