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AIF launches focus groups to improve Florida gov’t information technology

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Associated Industries of Florida is taking a closer look at information technology used in state government, to offer recommendations for ways to provide better service to all Floridians.

AIF announced the launch of three focus groups on Monday – Cyber Security, Education and Health Care, and an IT Stakeholders panel — each made up of technology and business leaders selected to support the group’s Information Technology Council (ITC).

Created in early 2006, the ITC was designed to get feedback from service and support providers, hardware and software companies, consultants, and resellers representing a range of businesses from Fortune 500 to small, independent firms. Council members will examine the role of IT in Florida’s government, which for many years fell behind in providing essential services to Floridians.

AIF CEO Tom Feeney said the focus groups will share ideas and “build synergy” with other firms with similar interests.

“The IT Stakeholders panel will bring additional expertise and non-vendor perspectives on important issues to the Council,” he added.

The newly formed IT Stakeholders panel brings together experts and leaders in their fields – offering experience in various aspects of information technology used by government and industry.

Panel members include: Steve Evans, a retired IBM executive; Rob Fields, chief information officer, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; Michael Johnston, chief information officer, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Bill Lindner, director, Center for Academic & Professional Development – Florida State University; and attorney Ed Lombard, of Vezina, Lawrence & Piscitelli, a law firm specializing in government procurement law.

As “The Voice of Florida Business,” AIF has advocated for prosperity and free enterprise before the state government since 1920. A voluntary association, AIF was created to foster an economic climate in Florida conducive to the growth, development, and welfare of industry and business and the people in the state.  AIF supports the information technology industry through the ITC.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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