Jeff Stovall’s focus on the future

When I met with Jeffrey W. Stovall, chief information officer for the City of Charlotte, in his 10th floor suite at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, he was just returning from a visit to a school.

The idea of information technology standouts encouraging IT careers among youth is nothing new for him.   Like other selectees in the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology, he’s ahead of the game when it comes to the Presidential initiative called Educate to Innovate.

Stovall is the city’s first chief information officer, part of a movement taking hold among government agencies to see knowledge as a discrete function.  The federal government just named its first CIO under the Obama administration.

Despite the rigors of keeping track of all the information in a city that is bursting at the seams, both vertically and horizontally, he’s made significant commitment during his first year on the job  of visiting schools.

While in Kansas City, Stovall was active in a youth robotics program, which he hopes to bring to Charlotte.

Companies and agencies looking to make a difference can use the examples of Stovall and New York State CIO Dr. Melodie Mayfield-Stewart who have integrated such outreach into the normal course of doing business.

Anyone who works in the field understands that we are just scratching the surface of the employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to come.