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Leadership Spotlight: Meet David Thorpe, Chief Information Officer

Pictured: David Thorpe, CIO Prior to joining the municipality this September as Chief Information Officer, David Thorpe worked in leadership positions at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and various technology firms in Halifax over the span of 28 years.

We caught up with David to learn a bit more about him and what he’s most looking forward to in his new role. Welcome David!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role.

A: My wife and I moved to Halifax in 2001 from Toronto. At the time, I worked for a consulting company called Cyberplex and I transferred from their Toronto office to Halifax to take over the General Manager role. I worked for a couple of other consulting firms in the region, a local marketing firm, and immediately prior to coming to HRM I was Vice President of Information Technology at Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. My career has involved all aspects of Information Technology, especially project delivery, customer service, and IT strategy.

In my current role of CIO, I lead the team which supports the organization in leveraging technology to be more productive, have greater insights, and make data-driven decisions. A big part of my role involves ensuring we build and maintain strong and active relationships with all the Business Units in the municipality so we are attuned to the how we can best assist them.

Q: What do you like most about your role so far? What excites you about joining the municipality?

A: The 20 years I have lived in Halifax have been wonderful; there is no other city in which I wish to live. Having the opportunity to do work every day which can help grow and enhance our region is a big draw for me.

So far what I have been most excited about is the people. I am part of a very diverse and dedicated team who are eager to help the organization utilize technology effectively. I have had the opportunity to meet people in business units throughout the organization and have been impressed by everyone’s focus on making life for our residents continually better.

Q: Can you speak to some of the short and long-term goals you hope to achieve, for yourself and your team?

A: The work of the IT team is driven by the needs of the business so I’m focused in the short term on learning all I can about how each of our business units work and what their needs and priorities are. The main goal for the IT team is building and maintaining strong partnerships throughout the organization so we can align and continually improve the services we’re providing to the organization.

Q: What is the best career advice you have received?

A: The best advice I have received is “consider the people component first”. As a technologist it can be tempting to lead with technology and its capabilities. However, a technology solution is only valuable if it aligns to the needs and preferences of the people who use it. Every piece of technology is only going to work as well as the team of people who implement and maintain it. You always need to start with the people part of the equation if you want to have an effective technology practice.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: My wife and I have two daughters, 13 and 17 years old. Family activities take up most of my spare time. Both of our girls have always been heavily involved in sports - soccer and ringette in particular. I am also quite involved with ringette where I coach my youngest daughter’s Under 14 team for the Harbour City Lakers Ringette Association and the Under 14 Provincial program through Ringette Nova Scotia.

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