Greg Volan, the new CIO of Bloomington, Ind. (pop. 69,291), has virtually no hands-on IT experience. He’s a lawyer with a liberal arts degree and most recently was CEO of BlueMarble Telecom, an ISP founded by his brother. He has a natural aptitude for math and science, though. So even when Volan says, “I can’t manage any of the servers we have in the city today,” he quickly adds, “I’m convinced I could learn.”
What attracts a non-IT person to a CIO’s role? Opportunity. After running BlueMarble for three years, Volan wanted a new challenge. Bloomington needed a new CIO to lead e-government initiatives and manage an ambitious project to build a citywide fiber-optic network and, well, that was enough.
Lacking traditional IT experience, Volan feels his legal and business background more than balances the ledger. “It’s not my goal to make sure the city has the latest and greatest toys,” Volan says. “My goal is to add functionality and to provide new services to city departments and citizens.”