Published on January 12, 2024, 9:43 pm

Tampa, Florida’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Russell Haupert, recently retired after serving over a decade in the city’s government and various other local governments in Florida. Haupert’s career in government was deeply personal to him. As a first-generation college student who relied on federal grants and financial aid, he wanted to give back to the systems that helped him obtain his education.

Reflecting on his journey, Haupert expressed surprise at the path that led him to become the CIO of one of America’s greatest cities with 128 people working under him. With a degree in business management and organizational behavior from Florida Atlantic University, he initially envisioned becoming an accountant. However, while working for a company that offered outsourcing services to banks in the late 90s and early 2000s, he realized it was time to seek more stability while finishing college. This decision brought him unexpectedly to a night operator position in the City of Coral Springs.

But fate had other plans for Haupert. Eight years later, he became the director of IT for Coral Springs before transitioning to various roles within local government. In 2011, Haupert joined the City of Tampa as a business applications manager. Recognizing that the city lagged behind technologically, he quickly advanced to become the director of technology and innovation, holding dual positions as CIO and chief technology officer.

Under Haupert’s leadership, Tampa experienced significant technological advancements and emerged as Florida’s tech capital. He prioritized expanding government services while improving reliability. Over his tenure, Haupert implemented and upgraded more systems than had been done in the previous 15 years combined.

Haupert attributes his success in guiding his IT staff towards high productivity partly to his background in business education. Analyzing departmental strengths and customer needs allowed him to train his team accordingly. Additionally, he introduced a performance management system that eventually expanded throughout Tampa’s government structure.

Before retiring, Haupert completed the remaining projects on Mayor Jane Castor’s IT roadmap. This included replacing agenda management and time and attendance systems, implementing a new customer relationship management system, and integrating a computerized maintenance management system for the city’s utility department.

While Haupert has upcoming plans for personal travels with his wife, he does not plan to remain retired for long. He looks forward to mapping out his next career move, aiming to bring his successes from Tampa to other cities across the country. Haupert encourages individuals to consider working in local government and see how they can contribute to their communities.

Haupert’s story highlights the importance of giving back and using one’s skills to make a positive impact. Through his dedication, leadership, and commitment to public service, he has transformed Tampa into a tech powerhouse while leaving a lasting legacy in its government IT sector. As he embarks on a new chapter of his career, the future holds exciting possibilities for this accomplished CIO.

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