Hands On Tech Day For 8th and 9th Grade Girls

DigiGirlz Returns to Wilmington University’s Dover Campus, May 2, 2017
Registration Now Open

Dover, DE: Girls in the 8th and 9th grades are invited to spend a fun filled day learning about careers in technology and getting an inside glimpse of what it might be like to work in the technical fields. DigiGirlz Day is designed to encourage young women to explore the possibilities available in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

DigiGirlz is May 2, 2017 at Wilmington University’s Dover Campus starting at 8:30 am. It is free and open to 8th and 9th grade school year girls in public, private, charter and home schools. Teachers may attend to observe their students in selected program activities; individual students are also encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is mandatory and lunch will be provided.

This year’s DigiGirlz Day features several different career track explorations including Chemistry, Video Game Creation, and Cyber Security. Girls will participate in hands-on activities including writing code for a simple video game, exploring the science behind creating beauty products, or learning about the tools professionals use to fight computer hackers. New this year will be Roundtable discussions with female professionals in the STEM-related careers.

Recognizing that young women historically shy away from STEM education, especially as they enter their high school years, DigiGirlz is designed to address some of the myths and misconceptions about careers in more technical industries. Through lively discussion and interactive activities, the event is designed to encourage young women to put aside concerns about their ability to pursue education and careers in technical fields.

DigiGirlz is sponsored by Delaware’s Department of Technology and Information, Microsoft, the Delaware Center for Educational Technology, Wilmington University, Delaware Department of Education, JP Morgan Chase, and Dell.

Registration information can be found at https://digiknow.dti.delaware.gov/pages/DigiGirlz/2017/default.shtml

Governor’s Statement on the Confirmation of James Collins as Chief Information Officer of DTI

Dover, DE – The Delaware Senate today unanimously confirmed the nomination of James Collins to serve as Chief Information Officer of the Department of Technology and Information (DTI), replacing Jim Sills, who recently assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of Mechanics and Farmers Bank after serving as DTI CIO since 2009. The Governor issued this statement following the confirmation:

“Today’s unanimous vote by the Senate affirms the skills and talents James Collins possesses to lead the Department of Technology and Information as its Chief Information Officer.  He is not only qualified to serve in this position from his years and depth of experience in the fields of IT and data and information systems security, but also because of his commitment to ensure that Delawareans continue to receive the highest standard of service throughout the state.”


Governor Nominates Public and Private Sector Leader with IT Expertise to Cabinet Post

James Collins nominated to serve as the next Chief Information Officer of Department of Technology and Information

James Collins is Governor Markell's Deputy Chief of Staff.
James Collins, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Markell, has been nominated to become DTI’s CIO.

Wilmington, DE – Governor Jack Markell announced today he is nominating James Collins to become the next Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI), recognizing Collins’ extensive experience as a leader in state organizations and on information technology projects. If confirmed by the State Senate, Collins would succeed Jim Sills, who will take over as president and chief executive officer of Mechanics and Farmers Bank next week after serving as DTI CIO since 2009. DTI Chief Operating Officer William Hickox will serve as Acting CIO immediately following Sills’ departure. The Senate will have an opportunity to consider Collins’ nomination when it meets for a special session on October 8th.

“James understands that nearly every initiative we undertake as a state involves information technology,” said Governor Markell. “His expertise in this field along with his impressive record of developing and implementing innovative services make him an ideal candidate to serve as the state’s Chief Information Officer.

“In addition, James’ work with DTI through his previous roles will give him a head start in using his leadership skills to drive the agency’s work in protecting the security of the state’s networks, continuing expansion of access to high speed broadband, and partnering with the rest of my administration.”

Collins, who earned a Master of Science in Managing Innovation and Information Technology from Champlain College in 2005, spent ten years as the Director of Delaware’s Division of Professional Regulation (DPR) in the Department of State. He served simultaneously as Deputy Secretary of State from 2009 – 2013, where he helped to manage nearly 600 employees and expand the state’s e-Government initiatives and use of information technology, including to:

·        Enhance patient care and increase revenues by 22 percent at the Delaware Veterans Home by deploying an electronic medical records (EMR) system;

·        Increase public access to information through the Public Service Commission’s web portal; and

·        Create the Veterans Services Directory, an online searchable database of organizations that provide assistance to veterans, military members, and their families.

At DPR, Collins also led the establishment of the Delaware Prescription Monitoring Program database to combat a statewide prescription drug abuse problem. The system, used by a significant portion of Delaware physicians, serves as a powerful tool for prescribers to prevent drug-seeking “doctor shoppers” from abusing prescription medications.

Collins left the Department in January to become the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, a position that includes acting as Markell’s policy advisor on issues relating to DTI.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be nominated by Governor Markell to lead DTI,” said Collins. “If confirmed, I will take very seriously the agency’s most important obligation to safeguard the state’s data and information systems, and to provide agencies with strong support in order to help them deliver the highest quality services to our ultimate customers – the people of Delaware.

“I know the state is highly dependent on secure information systems that are functioning at their highest levels. If given the opportunity to serve, it will be my priority to work with the talented team at DTI to make the agency’s expertise and assistance readily available for these initiatives.”

Prior to joining the Department of State, Collins implemented large-scale computer technology projects as a senior consultant with Peregrine Systems, an enterprise software company, and MAXIMUS Inc., a leading operator of government health and human services programs around the world.

Collins, 44, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wesley College in 1997, while serving in the United States Air Force for nearly nine years, before finishing his military career at Dover Air Force Base. He is also certified by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction as a technical trainer in the information technology industry. He resides with his wife and daughter in Magnolia.

The Delaware Department of Technology and Information serves as the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state.

DTI Secretary Sills Returns to Banking Industry to Lead M&F Bank

Will take over as President and CEO of the North Carolina-based company effective September 1st

Wilmington – After leading the Delaware Department of Information and Technology (DTI) for more than five years, Secretary Jim Sills will step down to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Mechanics and Farmers Bank (M&F Bank), effective September 1st. Secretary Sills was appointed by Governor Jack Markell in 2009.

“Jim has earned the respect of many throughout the State of Delaware, including the strong and capable team at DTI, who will continue to build on the efforts of the past five years,” said Markell. “While we are sad to see him leave, we know his exceptional leadership skills and extensive banking background will serve M&F Bank well.”

Prior to his current role, Sills served in multiple senior leadership positions, including chief operating officer of First Tuskegee Bank and president and CEO of Memphis First Community Bank (now Landmark Bank). For five years, he served as executive vice president of MBNA America Bank/Technology Sector (now Bank of America). Following this role, he founded Homeland Security Verification, LLC, a small employment verification company, in 2007.

“I want to thank Governor Markell for the opportunity to serve in his cabinet,” said Sills. “I have enjoyed my public service experience, serving the citizens of Delaware, and working with the Cabinet, Legislature, Judiciary, and K-12 school districts to enhance the technology offerings in the State of Delaware. It’s been a privilege to lead the staff at the Department of Technology and Information (DTI). We have accomplished and implemented many IT initiatives that have served the state and taxpayers well. I want to thank the DTI staff for their hard work and dedication.”

Key accomplishments advancing Governor Markell’s technology and information agenda include:

  • Implementation of the State’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project (New First State Financial System): This $80 Million project was successfully implemented in July 2010, and was the largest effort ever undertaken within state information technology. This project affected 35 state agencies, 19 school districts, 19 charter schools, and 2 higher education organizations, with an impact on 35,000 employees. Ultimately 3,700 end users were trained in the months prior to implementation.
  • Consolidation of IT resources in state government: Starting with Executive Order 20, enacted in August 2010, DTI has been the lead state agency in identifying redundant functions and resources within various agencies and consolidating them into leaner and more efficient entities. This has led to significant improvements in customer service, service delivery, cost savings, and overall insight into the departments’ major projects. In addition, DTI launched an Enterprise Data Management & Governance Plan (EDMP) to better share data within and across organizations, to create efficiencies with business processes, to optimize the usage of data, and to reduce costs to the state by optimizing software licensing and reducing hardware footprints.
  • Virtual Servers: Delaware leads the nation with 85 percent of our servers virtualized.  DTI developed a private cloud solution, and added more than 1300 physical servers to the virtualized private cloud. These physical servers made up a 262 percent increase since 2009, and this consolidation has resulted in an estimated cost avoidance of approximately $4.0 million.
  • Cyber Security Awareness and Education: DTI is deeply involved in many Cyber Activities.  They include hosting the Cyber Brief: “Cyber Terrorism Defense Training”, the annual Delaware Cyber Security Exercise, and Cyber Safety presentations to school-aged children, as well as Cyber Aces and Cyber Security Challenge camps.  Delaware is recognized as one of the top states for awareness, training, and outreach in this space.  Further, Delaware is one of four states that require their employees to take an annual Cyber Computer Based training program – 98 percent of the employees have taken the course.      
  • Expansion of High-Speed Broadband Access in Sussex County: House Bill 96 created the “Delaware Broadband Fund” to support and enhance broadband services in the State’s public schools and public libraries and for rural broadband initiatives in unserved areas of the State. DTI and Governor Markell announced the $2 million grant opportunity for telecom providers to help expand broadband in the Georgetown/Sussex County area.

M&F Bank is the wholly-owned subsidiary of M&F Bancorp, Inc., a one-bank holding company headquartered in Durham, NC, with assets of approximately $299.9 million as of March 31, 2014.