News Column

DTI Secretary Sills Returns to Banking Industry to Lead M&F Bank

August 11, 2014



DOVER, Del., Aug. 11 -- Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., issued the following news release:

After leading the Delaware Department of Information and Technology (DTI) for more than five years, Secretary Jim Sills will step down to assume the role of president and chief executive officer of Mechanics and Farmers Bank (M&F Bank), effective September 1st. Secretary Sills was appointed by Governor Jack Markell in 2009.

"Jim has earned the respect of many throughout the State of Delaware, including the strong and capable team at DTI, who will continue to build on the efforts of the past five years," said Markell. "While we are sad to see him leave, we know his exceptional leadership skills and extensive banking background will serve M&F Bank well."

Prior to his current role, Sills served in multiple senior leadership positions, including chief operating officer of First Tuskegee Bank and president and CEO of Memphis First Community Bank (now Landmark Bank). For five years, he served as executive vice president of MBNA America Bank/Technology Sector (now Bank of America). Following this role, he founded Homeland Security Verification, LLC, a small employment verification company, in 2007.

"I want to thank Governor Markell for the opportunity to serve in his cabinet," said Sills. "I have enjoyed my public service experience, serving the citizens of Delaware, and working with the Cabinet, Legislature, Judiciary, and K-12 school districts to enhance the technology offerings in the State of Delaware. It's been a privilege to lead the staff at the Department of Technology and Information (DTI). We have accomplished and implemented many IT initiatives that have served the state and taxpayers well. I want to thank the DTI staff for their hard work and dedication."

Key accomplishments advancing Governor Markell's technology and information agenda include:

* Implementation of the State's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project (New First State Financial System): This $80 Million project was successfully implemented in July 2010, and was the largest effort ever undertaken within state information technology. This project affected 35 state agencies, 19 school districts, 19 charter schools, and 2 higher education organizations, with an impact on 35,000 employees. Ultimately 3,700 end users were trained in the months prior to implementation.

* Consolidation of IT resources in state government: Starting with Executive Order 20, enacted in August 2010, DTI has been the lead state agency in identifying redundant functions and resources within various agencies and consolidating them into leaner and more efficient entities. This has led to significant improvements in customer service, service delivery, cost savings, and overall insight into the departments' major projects. In addition, DTI launched an Enterprise Data Management & Governance Plan (EDMP) to better share data within and across organizations, to create efficiencies with business processes, to optimize the usage of data, and to reduce costs to the state by optimizing software licensing and reducing hardware footprints.

* Virtual Servers: Delaware leads the nation with 85 percent of our servers virtualized. DTI developed a private cloud solution, and added more than 1300 physical servers to the virtualized private cloud. These physical servers made up a 262 percent increase since 2009, and this consolidation has resulted in an estimated cost avoidance of approximately $4.0 million.

* Cyber Security Awareness and Education: DTI is deeply involved in many Cyber Activities. They include hosting the Cyber Brief: "Cyber Terrorism Defense Training", the annual Delaware Cyber Security Exercise, and Cyber Safety presentations to school-aged children, as well as Cyber Aces and Cyber Security Challenge camps. Delaware is recognized as one of the top states for awareness, training, and outreach in this space. Further, Delaware is one of four states that require their employees to take an annual Cyber Computer Based training program - 98 percent of the employees have taken the course.

* Expansion of High-Speed Broadband Access in Sussex County: House Bill 96 created the "Delaware Broadband Fund" to support and enhance broadband services in the State's public schools and public libraries and for rural broadband initiatives in unserved areas of the State. DTI and Governor Markell announced the $2 million grant opportunity (https://owa.state.de.us/OWA/redir.aspx?C=lMdFBIA3skSjTwPYgN_DxER3JHldidEIVLWZjGKsLKGlbkaUjRwuCXjfiY4a4cSWrrcJiMOi94g.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fnews.delaware.gov%2f2014%2f06%2f24%2fgovernor-announces-expansion-of-high-speed-broadband-access-in-sussex-county%2f) for telecom providers to help expand broadband in the Georgetown/Sussex County area.

M&F Bank is the wholly-owned subsidiary of M&F Bancorp, Inc., a one-bank holding company headquartered in Durham, NC, with assets of approximately $299.9 million as of March 31, 2014.

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