June 11

Watch Now

A cloud-based communication service to hold virtual press conferences. A contact center solution that can handle tens of thousands of calls a day. A text-to-speech service and artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot solution to more quickly and simply answer constituent queries.

These are ways in which the state of West Virginia has rapidly modernized its infrastructure in the face of unprecedented demand for services associated with COVID-19.

On June 11 at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern, join Governing as we speak with Joshua Spence, chief technology officer and director of the West Virginia Office of Technology.

Register now and listen later and you’ll find out:

  • How you can use the cloud to rapidly modernize infrastructure like contact centers to handle massive volumes of calls regarding unemployment claims
  • How you can use communications technology to promote transparency and better communicate with the public and the press
  • How artificial intelligence solutions can help you streamline constituent queries


Joshua Spence

Joshua Spence

Chief Technology Officer for the State of West Virginia, Office of Technology

Joshua Spence was named Chief Technology Officer for the State of West Virginia, Office of Technology, in November 2018. Prior to the appointment, Josh served as the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of West Virginia. Under his leadership, West Virginia implemented a new cybersecurity strategy, resulting in capabilities enhancements in all four strategic initiatives (risk, outreach, protection, and operations). He holds expertise in cybersecurity strategy, risk management, certification and accreditation, cryptography, and incident response. He also serves as a Cyber Operations Officer in the West Virginia Air National Guard. With over 19 years of service, Spence has served in numerous capacities involving physical security, information security, and cybersecurity. His most recent assignment was to serve as a special liaison to the component of United States Cyber Command responsible for the defense of the Department of Defense networks.

Spence holds a master's degree in Information Technology Management from Marshall University. He has achieved numerous industry certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Incident Handler (CIH), Certified EC- Council Instructor (CEI), and Security+. In addition, he has spoken at numerous cybersecurity conferences and events and participated in multiple Department of Defense cyber exercises. In 2016, he was a recipient of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Thomas M. Jarrett Cybersecurity Scholarship.

Casey Burns

Casey Burns

Health and Human Services Practice Lead, Amazon Web Services

Casey Burns is an experienced private and public sector executive with a background in health, healthcare, technology, and organizational transformation. Casey leads the AWS state and local HHS team, working with HHS agencies across the country to use technology to solve their toughest challenges.
Prior to joining AWS, Casey built and led the public sector business at Nuna, a health analytics company whose customers include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He was part of the founding teams for 18F and the United States Digital Service, organizations charged with transforming how the U.S. government uses technology to deliver services to citizens.

Robert Groat

Robert Groat

Executive VP, Technology and Strategy, Smartronix

Mr. Groat has nearly 30 years of professional experience in the design, development, and implementation of hyper scale enterprise solutions. At Smartronix, Mr. Groat has helped pioneer innovative technologies to support his customers. He led the design, implementation and deployment of virtualized mobile data centers for forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Forces resulting in the first use of virtualization technologies in theater. Building on the virtualization success, he led Smartronix development of Recovery.gov which was the first Government-wide solution hosted in the Amazon cloud in 2010. Under his technology leadership Smartronix has developed large scale cloud solutions for Treasury, Department of Justice, Department of Interior, US Navy, Fannie Mae, Toyota, Dole Food, NFL Mobile, Allergan, Siemens, and Medtronic. Gartner has positioned Smartronix in the Leaders Quadrant for 3 out of the past 4 years in Public Cloud Professional and Managed Services Providers, Globally. Mr. Groat holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Phil Bertolini

Phil Bertolini — Moderator

Co-Executive Director, Center for Digital Government

Phil Bertolini is the Co-Director of the Center for Digital Government (CDG), a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Previously, he served as deputy county executive and CIO for Oakland County, Michigan.

During his 31-year tenure, Phil built a world-class IT organization in the second-largest county in Michigan, just north of Detroit. As Oakland County CIO, he oversaw more than 150 employees serving over 1.2 million residents. In 2005, he was also promoted to deputy county executive, holding dual positions until his retirement.

Phil’s efforts earned the county national attention, winning numerous awards for technology innovation and excellence. He was named one of Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year and Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. He was also honored by the President Obama White House as a Champion of Change for 2012.