The Brains Behind the Computer
Thursday May 17th, 2018
"Kay Campbell and Renee Johnson are leading the way to create innovative it solutions for DGS"
In an effort to better serve our partner agencies and encourage government efficiency, DGS Divisions focus on innovative technologies and process improvements. DGS has two dedicated IT leaders who ensure DGS stays on the cutting edge, Renee Johnson and Kagesta (Kay) Campbell. Together, they have been vital to maintaining the momentum to move technology innovations forward within and outside DGS.
Renee Johnson has been working for the City of Baltimore for 31 years, and within DGS’ Fleet Division for 14 years. She was born and raised in Baltimore, attending high school in the city and college in the county. When she was working for the Department of Office of Civil Rights & Wage Enforcement Renee created a “peer to peer” network that allowed the department’s computers to communicate with one another. After completing the network, Renee realized her love of computer science. In her current role as IT supervisor for our Fleet Division, Renee has tackled a variety of issues through computer automation and system management. Her largest project has been “upgrading [the] fleet management software to the web version. [This program] manages 5000 plus pieces of equipment and millions of dollars”. With such a huge system to manage, it is no surprise that when asked about her day to day work Renee has one word “Chaos.” People even tell jokes about taking a ticket at Renee’s door. For Renee, system design (creating structures for data to be processed though) is something she loves about her work, and it shows in her dedication to Fleet and innovative processes.
Kay Campbell grew up in Baltimore, attending both high school and college in the city. Through the support of her family and church she was able to juggle working and college. “My foundation is the church, every person God has connected me to in my life helped pave the way”. When Kay was a junior in high school, she started working for DGS as an intern in the Fleet Division. She has been with the City for 17 years, but she didn’t get into IT until much later. It was her love of problem solving which lead her into computer science. “IT stuck with me, what was causing the machine to do this as I am typing…I am a problem solver…I recreate problems and try to solve them”.
Now, Kay manages a staff of five as the head of the Information Systems Process team. Problem solving exists throughout the programs she runs with her team: Archibus—the paperless purchase order system, and Pictometry—360-degree scanning of city buildings to provide quicker response times with facilities teams. Between the two Kay is busy! “There are no normal work days…what I do I can be challenged with...the only thing that is normal is that I am at my desk working”. The Information Systems Management team innovates to create leaner government processes for DGS. “If something is the same process every day, I promise you I have already automated it”.