After 30 years, the man who has been instrumental in growing the technology and Management Information Systems (MIS) of Hall County Government is retiring.
James Thomas (pictured), Hall County’s MIS Director, announced plans to retire at year’s end.
“When I started, we had a much smaller team,” Thomas said. “The use of email and internet wasn’t widespread like it is today, so we had to physically run wires through departments, and hook people up to the internet. We introduced the web and email to our employees. That is part of what has made this such an interesting career—technology is always changing and always growing, and we’re constantly working to make sure we’re staying up to speed so that County services can grow as technology improves.”
After serving as both a Computer Programmer and Systems Administrator, Thomas became the director of the MIS department, a group of employees that is critical to providing network security and connectivity, server administration and computer support services for the various departments within County government.
Thomas’ leadership and the MIS team’s critical role within the organization was never more apparent than during the recent cyberattack experienced by Hall County earlier this year.
“James knows how to provide leadership to employees during difficult times,” Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said. “We were fortunate to have had him as we walked through that challenge, and I know that we came through that experience quicker and better because of a long list of safeguards and security measures James and his team put in place. His strong leadership will be missed. Fortunately, James has assembled an excellent and competent team and will be leaving the department in very good hands.”
Daniel Sexton, Hall County MIS Systems Administrator, will be stepping into the role of MIS Director beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
“I have had the pleasure of serving Hall County Government for more than 16 years, and I look forward to serving both the employees and citizens of Hall County in this new role,” said Sexton.
Connell said Sexton’s understanding of Hall County Government and his technical expertise will serve the County well moving forward.
“Daniel has been a crucial member of the team, and he and James will undoubtedly make this a smooth transition for all involved,” he said.
This transition in leadership has been guided by Hall County’s Strategic Plan, passed by the Hall County Board of Commissioners in 2018, which speaks to management succession planning that promotes continuity and continuous organizational growth. A link to the strategic plan in its entirety can be found here.