Meet the State & Local Government Executive Services Team

Author(s): Alia Mendonsa, Brent Messer, Eric Frohlick, Hillory Courtney, Jeff Vining, Jerome Driessen, Joe Meier, Katy Piatanesi, Kwan Mitchell, Lisa Hager-Duncan, Mary VanLeer, Mike Higginbotham, Paul Ruth, Peg Yeates, Scott Magerfleisch, Titus Moore, Angelina Atkins, Tom Hawley

Meet Your Dedicated State & Local Government Team

SLG Executive Services – West & Midwest

SLG – West & Midwest

SLG – South & East

Angelina Atkins – Managing Partner

Tom Hawley – Managing Partner

Hillory Courtney

Brent Messer

Jerome A. Driessen

Jeff Vining

Eric Frohlick

Joe Meier

Scott Magerfleisch

Kwan Mitchell Sr.

Katy Piatanesi

Lisa Hager-Duncan

Peg Yeates

Mary VanLeer

Alia Mendonsa

Mike Higginbotham

Paul Ruth

Titus Moore

Tom Hawley is the Managing Partner for State & Local Government across the Southern and Eastern US. As a Managing Partner, he is responsible for the delivery of Info-Tech services to members and the alignment of research with the Government sector's needs. Tom joined Info-Tech with more than 40 years of experience in information technology. He has held senior IT leadership roles at USAA, CSAA, Coventry Healthcare, and Affirmative Insurance Holdings. As a consultant, he has worked with companies in many industries including P&C insurance, insurance analytics, energy, state and local government agencies in Texas and Nevada, and telecommunications. Just prior to joining Info-Tech, Tom served five years as an Executive Partner for Gartner, supporting large enterprises in the west and southern US, across many industry verticals.

Brent Messer is an Executive Counselor for Info-Tech Research Group. He is an award-winning thought leader, a best-selling author, and an international speaker on the world of leadership, broadband, smart cities, Agile, IoT, digital transformation, and innovation in the public sector. For over 25 years, Brent has focused on adding value to organizations through technology in the private, public, and academic sectors.

Brent is the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the City of Chattanooga, focusing on innovation and digital transformation in local government and transforming the city into an agile and innovative civic tech powerhouse that is recognized the world over as one of the most innovative cities in the United States, known as the "Gig City" for their 25-gigabit, municipally owned broadband network.

T. Jeff Vining is an Executive Counselor for Info-Tech Research Group with over 15 years of experience working with enterprise clients to drive business value. As a Research Vice President for Gartner, Jeff helped clients accelerate their digital transformation journey. He has managed high-performance teams that consistently deliver innovation and exceptional results. At Gartner, Jeff received the coveted Maverick Research Award. He is quoted in business and trade press, including the New York Times, Financial Times, Investors’ Business Daily, and the Wall Street Journal. He has over 15 years of experience in market research and/or product marketing, and in translating research into client-facing insights and thought leadership.

Joe Meier is a Senior Executive Advisor for Info-Tech Research Group. Joe is an accomplished executive/director in information technology (IT) governance, planning, and management, with a proven record of improving business agility and technology sustainability. He has achieved repeated success directing mission-critical technology and organizational transformations involving enterprise growth, mergers, and divestitures. Joe is skilled in the administration of strategic planning, business management, and IT service management methodologies to optimize IT service delivery and technology investments with appropriate IT risk/value tradeoffs and a blend of people, process, and technology change. Joe is a talent coach who leverages individual strengths to empower staff and generate team success. His strengths include problem-solving skills, communication skills, and leadership, with an entrepreneurial spirit to foster positive change and innovation.

Kwan Mitchell Sr. is an Executive Counselor providing valued services to public sector IT executive leaders. Kwan joined Info-Tech with over 30 years of experience in state and local government as well as significant experience in public utilities.

Kwan has built a reputation as being a successful creator of high-performance teams and a confidant to executives across public sector organizations. With his broad range of experience straddling both technical and business acumen, coupled with his track record at conquering challenges and his innate ability to provide sound counsel to C-level executives, Kwan is a go-to thought leader. Kwan is a former CIO at the State of Arizona, Department of Child Safety, and served as the Chief Data Officer, Assistant CIO, and Deputy CIO for the City of Phoenix, Arizona.

Lisa Hager-Duncan is an Executive Counselor with Info-Tech Research Group, providing strategic direction and support to CIOs and their staff with respect to their current IT challenges and initiatives. In this role, she enjoys building meaningful relationships with her clients as well as thinking through creative ways to solve business challenges. She also enjoys helping leaders and their teams realize their strengths, maximizing effectiveness through clear communication, recognition, and strategies that support a strong culture.

During her distinguished 30+ year career, Ms. Hager-Duncan worked at Gartner for 24 years, where she assisted and coached hundreds of CIOs in both the private and public sectors, providing proactive advice and consultation. Prior to that, Ms. Hager-Duncan spent eight years at Xerox, where she worked closely with CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs across the enterprise in the area of software and new business development. Ms. Hager-Duncan also worked at a Westchester sales office for Trane Company where she monitored and managed projects out for bid within the commercial air-conditioning business. Lastly, Lisa worked at AT&T during the divestiture in various capacities, one of which was in the payroll department, troubleshooting employee-related issues and discrepancies.

Mary VanLeer is currently a CIO and Executive Counselor for Info-Tech Research Group. Her past positions include Partner at Bay Cloud Partners, a group of independent consultants focused on emerging technologies that create a holistic response to business needs in Data Automation, Machine Learning, Cloud, Security, and Networking; Director of Technology Strategy and Implementation for the State of Arkansas supporting the Sustainability Consortium (TSC) at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Lottery Commission; Director of Engineering Operations at International Game Technology; and Director of Software Engineering and Serviceability at Sun Microsystems.

Mary has been an invited Industry Advisory Member to Systems Engineering and Information Technology programs at Stanford University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of California at San Diego, and Montclair State University. She has published several peer reviewed journal articles on systems engineering processes and was one of the 40 authors of the Graduate Reference Curriculum in Systems Engineering as part of an international initiative hosted by the United States Department of Defense, the International Council on Systems Engineering, and Stevens Institute.

Mike Higginbotham is an Executive Counselor as part of the Executive Services team at Info-Tech Research Group.

Mike has over 20 years of technology and customer service leadership experience spanning across the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Info-Tech Research Group, Mike worked in public sector leadership roles, including serving as the Chief Information Officer for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Prior to TxDMV, Mike served as Corporate Vice President and divisional Chief Information Officer for the long-term care insurance division of New York Life Insurance Company (NYL). Mike also served in additional roles during his 14 years with NYL's long-term care operation, including head of customer service, program manager, enterprise architect, application development manager, and senior programmer. Prior to joining NYL, Mike served as a senior programmer developing insurance software for Computer Sciences Corporation.

Paul Ruth is an Executive Counselor with Info-Tech Research Group. In this role he combines his experience and Info-Tech resources to provide strategy, advice, counsel, and customized support to CIOs and senior IT executives in the government and education sectors. As a technology executive, he leverages his extensive public sector expertise in strategy development, program management, business process improvement, and operations management to enable and enhance business value and to drive innovation for IT leaders in the public and education sectors.

During Paul’s 40+ year career in Information Technology, he served 29 years with Cobb County Government with the last 14 in the CIO role. He then served as the CIO for the Georgia Department of Public Health, leading enterprise digital transformation efforts and initiating organizational and cultural change in a federated department. Most recently, he provided consulting and senior advisory services to government and education executives, enabling them to leverage information and technology solutions to maximize the value on the services provided to their citizens.

Titus Moore is an Executive Counselor with Info-Tech Research Group. His strengths include partnering with business and technology leaders to overcome obstacles and advance business objectives by better leveraging technology. He is a strategic thinker and planner supported by his ability to listen, learn, and fully understand the unique challenges being presented to him. This allows him to lean in as a transformative leader and decision maker. Titus embraces challenges that require cultural, philosophical and/or technological change. Titus leverages a progressive career in technology management, professional services, M&A, sales, and operations to play a critical role in influencing business strategy, core values, and talent acquisition and retention. He drives positive change across organizations by acquiring and retaining top talent, mentoring, instilling accountability, and fostering out of the box thinking.

Angelina Atkins is Managing Partner for Info-Tech’s Executive Services, focusing on delivery excellence for State & Local Government members across the West and Midwest. Ms. Atkins has over 25 years of experience assisting CXOs and IT leadership teams to achieve successful business outcomes, working extensively with state, local, and federal government agencies, as well as Fortune 100/500, midsize, and start-up organizations in a multitude of industries.

Ms. Atkins’ previous experience includes 17 years advising CXOs within Gartner’s Executive Programs (EXP). Prior to that, Ms. Atkins consulted with small enterprise and start-up organizations where she provided guidance on product development, business models, and operating strategies that resulted in competitive advantages, enabling organizations to grow revenue, increase profit margin, improve customer experience, and accelerate speed to market.

Hillory Courtney has over twenty years of technology leadership experience in the public and private sector. In her role as Executive Counselor, she provides grounded, relevant guidance to Info-Tech members. Her previous tenure at an award-winning local government organization encompassed business relationship management, ERP implementation, project and portfolio management, digital transformation, executive stakeholder engagement, organizational change management, customer/citizen experience, and strategic planning.

Hillory strives to bring member goals into sharp focus, forming partnerships that lead to maximized business value and building operational excellence. She is deeply familiar with the organizational and cultural challenges that are unique to technology engagement and adoption within public agencies and believes that information technology teams are critical strategic partners to elevate service delivery for citizens and customers. She is passionate about helping senior leaders navigate the intersection between people and tech and empowering teams to innovate, optimize, and successfully enable future-ready applications and processes with their business partners.

Jerome A. Driessen is a future-oriented technology executive, drawing on strong business acumen to deliver solutions that have an organization-wide impact. Jerry brings 25 years of public sector experience, where he has built a reputation for achieving measurable business results through innovation and technology implementations. During his career, Jerry has honed expertise in pioneering new policies, practices, and programs to optimize operations. He is known for championing large-scale business transformation by building and leveraging internal and external relationships at all organizational levels. Jerry’s passion as an Info-Tech Executive Counselor is in helping public sector IT leaders make the link between technology-based research and solving real-world civic problems. Prior to joining Info-Tech, Jerry served as the Chief Technology Officer for the City of San Jose, where he drove a business-aligned IT strategy and vision for the tenth largest city in the United States. Prior to moving to San Jose, Jerry was the CIO for Hennepin County, Minnesota’s largest local government, overseeing the county’s technology strategy and operations along with overseeing IT efforts with lines of business and their internal technology community.

Eric Frohlick is an Executive Counselor in the Global Services team at Info-Tech Research Group.

Eric’s passion is developing people and building high-performing teams. Eric brings energy and enthusiasm to partnering with business and technology leaders, providing Info-Tech’s research-based insight and guidance, and supporting the exceptional delivery of enterprise business outcomes.

Eric draws on varied experiences acquired over 27 years of working across health and human services and a Global Fortune 100 technology firm. His experience spans strategic planning, enterprise architecture, portfolio/program/project management, business/finance management, relationship management, service management, and organizational change management. Eric maintains a keen awareness of IT risk-value trade-offs and the importance of maintaining an appropriate blend of people, process, and technology changes as a critical success factor in any IT-related transformation.

Eric embraces a growth mindset and is passionate about developing people and partnering with others to drive positive change. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Science in Software Engineering from the University of Oregon, and a Certificate of Management in Technology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Scott Magerfleisch is well versed in the public sector space, with over 16 years specifically in local government, leading two city IT departments, serving as CIO for the last five years. Prior to his public sector work, Scott managed the voice, data, and ATM network for the largest locally owned financial institution in Colorado.

Mr. Magerfleisch is well known and respected in Colorado within the public sector space, as he recently assisted the City of Greeley in the monumental task of bringing a new broadband service provider to the city, proving a third top-tier fiber network home option to the residents. He also provided guidance in FirstNet implementation for first responders within the municipalities he served. With additional focus on public safety and support for first responders, Mr. Magerfleisch helped update the FBI’s password security standards in the CJIS version 5.8 Security requirements, published in 2018.

Mr. Magerfleisch is known as an innovator and leader in technology, having served in a volunteer capacity within the state of Colorado Government Association for IT Leaders as a board member and speaker. Earlier in his career, Scott was at the forefront of VoIP technologies, assisting with the development of cutting-edge technology protocols that would later be implemented within Nortel Networks VoIP service offerings.

Mr. Magerfleisch is passionate about assisting and supporting leaders in the public sector space and brings his experience and leadership capabilities to info-Tech Research Group. He is an accomplished speaker, having spoken locally, regionally, and at international conferences on topics of both technology and leadership.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix, along with a Master’s in Business Administration from Western Governors University, with an emphasis in Information Technology Management. Scott recently attended the Kennedy Business School at Harvard University, where he earned a certificate in Digital Transformation in Government.

Katy Piatanesi works with CXOs and IT leadership teams to achieve success through creative problem solving, actionable execution, and enjoying the experience through building trusted advisory relationships. Katy’s approach focuses on providing exceptional delivery, driving solutions toward enterprise business outcomes and continuous improvement. Katy has guided and advised teams through the development and implementation of transformation and modernization initiatives resulting in growing revenue, improving customer experience, empowering employees, and influencing culture through effective communication methods. She cares about the importance of mapping appropriate resources at the right time to help organizations achieve their goals.

Katy has broad industry sector experience with Fortune 100/500 businesses and industries including state and local government, not-for-profit, insurance, retail, higher education, healthcare, high tech, and financial services.

Ms. Piatanesi has over 26 years of experience working in IT. Before joining Info-Tech, she spent 21 years working with CXOs in Gartner’s Executive Programs where she provided mentoring, guidance, leadership development, workplace management, and operating strategies resulting in positive work environments. Prior to Executive Programs, she was a manager and sales account manager driving excellence through solutions sales and business development.

Peg Yeates has a reputation for being a trusted leadership partner, built by a focus on relationships, understanding stakeholder needs, and converting those needs into tangible solutions delivered on time and on budget.

Peg has over 35 years of experience in technology with 25 years in counties and cities along the West Coast of the US. Her most recent role was serving as the senior IT leader at a rural county in Central California with a user base of over 4,000 users and an IT budget in excess of $20 million. In the past she played a leadership part in an outsourcing firm performing IT services for state, county, and cities on the West Coast. Her background also involves working for organizations in the private sector including software development organizations and hosting organizations.

Peg has worked with C-suite leadership in planning for large and small projects that had to come in on time and on budget. She led the successful merger of two disparate IT organizations within the county, one outsourced and the other in-house. These organizations had very different processes, procedures, and standards, and had to be standardized to become one highly effective organization able to move the county into the next phase of technology solutions.

Alia Mendonsa has worked with public sector organizations for over 25 years, supporting the development and execution of their digital government strategies. She has also consulted extensively with technology and service providers to refine their product development and go-to-market strategies.

Before joining Info-Tech, Ms. Mendonsa served as a senior director and analyst for Gartner, Inc. Her coverage included selection support for government-specific applications, as well as key policy and stimulus funding, top digital trends, and emerging technologies. Additionally, as an executive partner, Alia was a leadership coach and consigliere to CXOs for nine years. She also previously served as the research director for the Center for Digital Government, leading the custom research and advisory services programs.

How we help our members succeed

The Info-Tech Public Sector team provides practical, actionable research and advice that guides business and technology leaders on how to accelerate delivery of their key initiatives by leveraging Info-Tech Research Group’s core products:

Key Initiative Plans

In-Depth Research Centers

Comprehensive, Connected Blueprints

Actionable Diagnostic-Driven Insights

Consulting Quality Deliverables

The State & Local team builds and maintains a custom plan for how to leverage our research and advisory services to accelerate delivery of your key initiatives.

Provide our members with one stop for all of the blueprints related to key IT practice areas and topics to help you go even deeper on initiatives that matter to you.

Leverage unlimited independent and analyst-guided access to our detailed, step-by-step guides and production-ready templates that accelerate delivery of your key initiatives.

Our diagnostics team produces industry specific, benchmark-backed assessments of your organization to help you target the right initiatives and assess improvements
over time.

We do more than talk, we roll up our sleeves and create consulting quality deliverables for all our advisory, executive, concierge, workshops, and consulting services.

Deep Insights Tailored to the Public Sector


Research Samples for LOCAL and STATE Government

Business-Aligned IT Strategy

Understand the capabilities and focus areas required to meet your industry’s needs and enable value creation.

Build an IT Strategy for US Government Organizations

Build an IT Strategy for Local Government

State Budget Pressures and Implications for IT

Top Industry Trends

Identify resource, process, and environmental trends impacting your industry. Implement strategies to mitigate specific risks and take advantage of all relevant opportunities.

Local Government Service Modernization Report

State/Provincial Government Digital Government Report

State/Provincial Government Cybersecurity & Risk Management Report

Industry Benchmarking

Reveal the true state of your IT services, processes, spend, and staffing levels to align your priorities and resources. Benefit from peer data to get a reference point for how well you stack up.

State/Provincial Government IT Stakeholder Satisfaction Benchmarking Report

Local Government IT Staffing Benchmarking Report

State/Provincial Government IT Management & Governance Benchmarking Report

Core Industry Technologies & Software Selection

Arm yourself with everything you need to provide the right solutions to meet the needs of your business stakeholders.

State/Provincial Government Cloud Access Security Broker Report

State/Provincial Government Chatbots Report

Local Government Endpoint Protection Report

Our Take

The State and Local Government team is here to help our members in Public Sector to create exceptional social, environmental, and economic outcomes for the places where we live, work, and play. Our team is supported by widely recognized leaders in government research and is led by:

Patrick Spencer - Public Sector Research Practice Lead

Patrick is driven by a passion for quality and creating a product that helps leaders overcome the real problems they are facing in the public sector. His team is always looking for input from IT leaders to drive better research.

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