I P M A  News

  Information Processing Management Associates February 1996  

Edited By Mary Ellen Bradley

[ Profile: An Interview with Bob Monn ] [ Changing of the Guard ]
[ January Board Meeting ] [ Survey Results Are In ] [ Bills Worth Watching]

Profile: An Interview with Bob Monn

As one of our most recent additions to the IPMA Board, Bob Monn is a man of action. Read on to learn more about him.

Bob grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania which is noted as the only town in the north that was burned by the Confederates in the Civil War. Bob attended Lehigh University and received a BS in Civil Engineering. He then earned a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Virginia.

After finishing school, Bob focused his job search on the West Coast since he had never been west of Ohio. He accepted a job with the Washington Department of Highways on the basis of a telephone interview. He packed everything he owned into his car and headed to Olympia in July 1968.

Bob worked for the Department of Highways as a transportation planner for three years. He then moved to the Department of Ecology shortly after it was created. He worked in the Water Resources Program for eight years and then joined the Water Quality Program where he remained until he became the Information Services Manager five years ago. He has spent twenty-seven years working for Washington State government.

Bob's first experience with computers was as a college freshman in 1962. He used a GE 225 computer with a programming language called GEWIZ. He remembers punch cards and the "glass house" where he would submit his programs and data to be run.

He was a computer user at Highways where he ran transportation models on an IBM 360. At Ecology he was less involved with computers until the PC revolution. He purchased an original IBM PC and his interest in computers grew as a hobbyist. As part of his hobby activities, he developed a dBASE program for water quality permits which was a predecessor to an Oracle application currently in use at Ecology.

His involvement with computers at Ecology grew and he became actively involved in improving information management within the Water Quality Program and across the agency. At that time, Ecology's IS activities were heavily decentralized. He worked with several committees and work groups within Ecology to address information management issues identified by the Efficiency Commission and the Environment 2010 project.

When Bob was chosen to head Ecology's Information Services Division, he was charged with developing an agency-wide approach to IS. He has served as a leader in raising the profile of IS at Ecology and has helped launch an information engineering program designed to integrate information across Ecology's programs. He is also leading Ecology's efforts to increase public access to the agency's information via the Internet and other means. He credits Mary Riveland, Ecology's Director, for critical executive leadership of the landmark efforts to bring an agency-wide, business-driven approach to information management at Ecology.

Bob's interests in the IPMA are in fostering strategic partnerships among agencies and in promoting the professional development of members. This year he will be working on the Professional Development Committee as well as helping with the Communication Committee.

On the personal side, Bob and his wife Michele, will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year. They have a son and daughter, both in college.

--Mary Ellen Bradley

Changing of the Guard

At its January meeting, the IPMA Board of Directors elected new officers and appointed committee chair persons.

Officers are Bob Marlatt, Chair; Al Bloomberg, Vice Chair; Shelagh Taylor, Secretary; and Phil Coates, Treasurer.

Committee Chairs are Al Bloomberg, Business Planning/Budget & Finance; Dennis Laine, Professional Development; Mary Ellen Bradley, Communications; Jim Andersen, Forum '96; and Darrel Riffe, Executive Seminar '96.

"We are off to a great start," said Bob Marlatt. "I can feel the excitement and energy level rising among Board members. We sincerely want '96 to be the best year ever for the IPMA and I know we can do it with the continued support and involvement of our members," he proclaimed.

January Board Meeting

Member Present: Joe Coogan, Darrel Riffe, Bob Monn, Shelagh Taylor, Phil Coates, Dennis Laine, Al Bloomberg, Jim Andersen, Bob Marlatt, Phil Grigg, and Mary Ellen Bradley.

The Annual Planning Meeting of the IPMA Board of Directors was held January 19, 1996.

The minutes for the December 1995 Board meeting were approved.

Treasurer--Phil Coates presented the Treasurer's report and had the report approved. He also presented a report from Greg Schmitt (Accountant) who reviewed IPMA's financial records. The report concludes the current accounting system provides the essential information to management as to the results of operations. The Board approved the report.

Other topics discussed were:

IPMA Mission--its service history, its corporate esponsibilities, and its program priorities.

Membership Survey--Approximately 225 surveys were sent out to IPMA members and Newsletter recipients. 67 completed surveys were returned. Results indicate general satisfaction with the change to the quarterly program format, and many offered suggestions for future IPMA topics and speakers. Survey results will be incorporated into the 1996 IPMA program plans.

Program Planning for 1996--The Board reflected on the IPMA events of 1995, and considered improvements for the 1996 IPMA agenda. The Board decided to consolidate the Newsletter and Membership committees under a new Communications Committee. Ideas for future professional development programs were presented, as were possible topics for Forum 1996 and the Executive Seminar.

Election of Officers and Committee Assignments--The Board elected officers and made committee assignments.

Bob Marlatt concluded the meeting with a commendation of Joe Coogan for a job well done as the 1995 IPMA Chair.

--Shelagh Taylor

Survey Results Are In

Results of the recent IPMA member survey are in! 60% (67) of IPMA members returned their completed survey.

92% of the respondents prefer luncheon meetings with a speaker. Only 3% of the respondents want to attend dinner meetings and 12% said they like the idea of an after work social gathering.

81% of the respondents said they are very satisfied, satisfied or neutral on the change from monthly luncheons to quarterly educational seminars. 7% said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

Most respondents prefer half day seminars (78%). Of these, 53% prefer management topics while 42% said they prefer technical topics. Only 18% preferred full day seminars.

92% of the respondents want to read about other state agency projects in the IPMA News. Other topics of interest included:

--Interviews of IT professionals (52%)
--Employment opportunities (50%)
--Summary of ISB meetings (42%)
--Review of technical journals (34%)

We also received several suggestions for Forum '96 speakers and topics.

To those of you who took the time to respond to our survey, we thank you. We will do our very best to fulfill your expectations.

Tom Robinson of the SAO will receive a high tech calculator for returning his survey. He was the winner of the survey drawing.

Bills Worth Watching

If you are a member of Public Employees Retirement System I (PERS I) or Teachers Retirement System 1 (TRS 1), you may want to keep an eye on the following bills.

HB1215, if enacted, would allow inactive PERS I members who separate from service and leave their contributions in the system to have the same retirement eligibility standards as PERS I members who retire from active service.

It would apply to all PERS I inactive members who have not retired as of the act's effective date.

HB 2500, if enacted, would permit agencies to "utilize a retirement incentive program" under certain conditions, i.e., a significant reduction in force due to either budgetary or other fiscal adjustment or significant personnel restructuring; the closure of one or more facilities and privatization of services.

SB 6552, if enacted, would allow TRS 1 and PERS 1 members to retire if they have attained the age of fifty-five years and completed five service credit years, or completed twenty-five service credit years, or attained the age of fifty years and completed twenty service credit years. They must petition DRS by July 1 and retire no later than August 31, 1996.

SB 6568, if enacted, would allow TRS I and PERS I members who will have thirty or more service credit years by July 1, 1996, and August 1, 1996, respectively, to retire by those dates and receive a one-time, lump sum incentive payment of twenty thousand dollars after they retire.

Other bills to keep an eye on are:

HB 2514 and its companion SB 6409. These bills were requested by OFM and DIS and, if enacted, would transfer all powers, duties, and functions of DIS pertaining to the evaluation and oversight of major information technology projects to OFM.

With a different twist, HB 2673 and its companion bill, SB 6550, were requested by the LBC. If enacted, they would transfer powers, duties, and functions of the DIS pertaining to information technology planning, policies, and standards and oversight of agency technology projects to the ISB.

IPMA, P.O. Box 1943, Olympia, WA 98507-1943