MISA Ontario Membership Series- Introducing Matt Caplin
November 16, 2016
Posted by: Jacqueline O'Hara
Matt Caplin is the Deputy CIO / Manager of Project Management and Applications for the City of Windsor. When asked, what is the most rewarding part of his job he replied:
“Being involved in so many exciting strategic initiatives across the organization”.
In addition to this role Matt is also the invaluable Treasurer for MISA Ontario. Matt graciously gave up the precious few minutes he has available to let me interview him and he gets the honour of kicking off our membership series.
Obligatory first question. Do you follow us on our social media to get the most up-to-date information about MISA Ontario?
Of course, Twitter and LinkedIn
Good man! Speaking of… did you know that you were my first Twitter viral post for MISA Ontario? The post I did with you and Ray Boisvert, aka Blackberry Brothers, was actually seen by Blackberry. They retweeted it and that post ended up getting almost 40K views with over 400+ engagements! Way to set the bar high for me.
That was pretty funny. All credit goes to you and Ray. I was just along for the ride. Does your camera add 20 pounds?
Of course not, you looked great! How long have you been a MISA Ontario Member?
Harry Turnbull, CIO of the City of Windsor, was involved in MISA before my time with the City. I started in 2002 and Windsor was already heavily involved in MISA Ontario.
How did you first get involved with MISA Ontario?
My first significant involvement was planning for the Windsor conference in 2005.
Wow and we’re back at Windsor again for the Annual Conference in June! Full circle. Are you excited to be hosting again?
Those who attended the first Windsor conference will remember how great it was. People were talking about it for several years. We are trying to set the bar higher for 2017.
What was your first impression of us?
Super friendly people all facing similar challenges.
What is it about our association that makes you renew every year?
#1 reason – networking. MISA provides us with a network of friends and colleagues across the province, and the country, in both the municipal and vendor space, with whom we can formally and informally share information and experiences.
What are some of the benefits that you take advantage of as a member? (i.e. Webinars? Job Postings, Forums, related news articles, etc.…)
I try to utilize everything MISA has to offer.
What made you decide that you wanted to be more involved with MISA Ontario as a Board Member?
I sincerely believe that each of the 444 municipalities in Ontario can significantly benefit from understanding the IT plans, IT successes and IT failures of their municipal colleagues and vendor partners.
How have you been able to balance your full-time job along with being a Board Member?
I love working in IT. I love working with MISA. The rest falls into place.
What is the biggest obstacle you face in fulfilling this position?
Time is a challenge, but I wouldn’t consider it an obstacle.
What are you most excited for about this association over the next five years?
Without question it is a combination of three related strategic decisions:
- First is increased member engagement
- Second is the MISA website redesign
- Third is a new online database of technologies used in each municipality.
As an organization, MISA Ontario will be spending significantly more time and effort in actively engaging our members, and ultimately, sharing the results of those engagements on a new, more intuitive, website. The new website, slated for 2017, is a fantastic collaboration between all of the MISA chapters, and is prime example of the collaborative power of MISA across the country. I am also very excited about the new InfoBase system, which is an online tool where all members can see the technologies, systems and versions used by all members across the country. You were asking about the next five years, but all of this is coming our way much faster than that.
I think the great thing about our association is not being limited to interacting with just our chapter but also engaging with the other chapters as well (MISA Canada, MISA BC, MISA Prairies, MISA Atlantic, RIMQ) would you agree?
100%. We also have the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world through MISA’s international efforts.
MISA as a whole is known for their conferences; why do you think that is?
Frank Sinatra was known for his voice. Tuscany is known for its wine. MISA is known for its conferences.
Nice touch. All of those are completely true. Can you give me an example of how you have been able to connect with municipalities and/or vendors since joining our association?
I am connecting all the time with members, to ask them questions, or to answer questions, about initiatives in our municipalities or companies. There are so many of these discussions. One example was when Council asked about adding P-Card information to our Open Data Catalogue. I was on the phone the next morning with friends I made through MISA. Invaluable.
I was also happy to see there is a good range of small, medium and large municipalities who are apart of our association. With our conferences and forums there is always feedback to have more municipality feedback and interaction. What would you say to smaller municipalities who are hesitant to participate?
Their IT departments often consist of just a few people, and sometimes just one person who also has non-IT responsibilities. These people do it all. Operations, Support, Projects, Procurement, Planning, Budgeting, etc. To those small municipalities, I would say, MISA can provide the huge benefit of allowing you to leverage the leg-work, research, successes and failures of other municipalities in planning and executing your work. And, MISA offers significantly discounted memberships to small municipalities.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
I don’t like cake.
That’s actually true? Who doesn’t like cake? How did this come to be? I’m very passionate about this.
That’s funny Jacqueline. Really, I don’t. No sweet tooth at all. But if you put some nachos in front of me, you can see me embarrass myself.
Do you have a TV show, app, game or YouTube Channel that you are really into recently?
Had to take the summer off from Coronation Street…. but back on track.
MISA Ontario volunteers are…
Aww you called your volunteers beautiful. Check out this charm. What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with MISA Ontario?
Do yourself a favour, and do it. The more you put in…
Finally, it’s important to get the word out about us, what would you tell someone who is thinking about being a MISA Ontario member?
Cost vs. value could not be more appropriate than in this case. For a small membership fee, the value you and your organization receive far exceeds the cost.
Thank you so much for this interview Matt. You can follow Matt on his Twitter @matt_caplin. To learn more about the benefits and fees of our membership you can click on the links below.
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