Nathan McDaniel and the Mohave County IT Department keep the county on the cutting edge | The Miner Kingman Miner
KINGMAN – The Department of Information Technology (IT) is a key and vital part of Mohave County government. Today there is an increased use of communication through computers and smartphones which need to be constantly and continuously updated. This is essential to the proper functioning of local government. Fortunately, IT is in good hands at its Kingman headquarters. The CIO is Nathan McDaniel, a longtime Kingman resident.
McDaniel was born in Leon, Iowa, but has lived in Kingman since he was 8 years old. “I’m basically a product of the Kingman community and the local school systems,” he says.
However, despite being surrounded by the exterior panorama of the county seat, it spends much of its time inside the virtual data center landscape of today’s high-tech environment. When he was born, this cyberworld was a child like him. Keeping up with constant change is now a daily task that he and 22 employees in the IT department must manage with cutting-edge expertise. (Two more full-time employees will come on board in July.)
McDaniel attended Palo Christi and Hualapai elementary schools, then Kingman Middle School. He graduated from Kingman High School in 1994, earned his AAS in General Technology from Mohave Community College in 1997, began working for Mohave County through temporary employment services, and became a full-time employee. of the county as a PC Network Technician in 1998. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Kaplan University and was promoted to Director of Information Technology in October 2008. He will be 25 on duty in the county in March 2023, and that’s most of his life.
McDaniel defines its IT department with this explanation: “We build and support the technology infrastructure that is used by county departments so they can do business.” He is of course right. Specifically, it’s another way of saying that IT oversees all computers, training, and internet usage for county employees. He points out that “we are building the foundation of all the technological aspects for all the departments that are necessary for them to carry out their activities. All of the county’s critical data systems live inside this data center. We build, support and continuously maintain the Mohave County Data Center. »
No questions about this. The primary software system used by the Office of the Treasurer, as well as the Recorder, Assessor, All Legal (such as County Attorney, Public Defender, and Solicitor), Financial system, Development Services applications and public works. Everything the county uses from a technology perspective is built, supported, and maintained by the county’s IT team. (The sheriff’s system is similar to the rest of the county, but it remains isolated from other departments. Some IT employees certified by the Criminal Justice Information System and with special training certification maintain this system.)
The IT department is also in charge of the auditorium in the Beale Street administration building in Kingman. This is where all Supervisory Board meetings are held. McDaniel and his employees oversee all necessary audio and video, including recording meetings and posting them to the county’s YouTube channel. It’s done both live and recorded. Here too, technology is constantly evolving. Over the past five years, McDaniel has replaced older projectors with high definition laser projectors. In addition, six HD video cameras have replaced the old ones. Four years ago, McDaniel introduced the highly respected Newtek Tri Caster TC-1 video system. He says “it’s a miniature TV studio” actually. We are really happy where it is right now.
It’s also more essential because the county is using virtual video conferencing like “Teams” and “Zoom” much more than ever before. Thank you COVID-19 for that. McDaniel says “we were forced to mature. We use all the money, resources and equipment we have and we make it work. He adds that “there are still gaps that we would like to fill”.
Meanwhile, McDaniel still remains on his toes, keeping details close to the waistcoat on the cybersecurity measures he has in place. They are key to warding off bad actors looking for new soft targets. He says everyone needs to be alert because “over the past five years, the cybersecurity landscape has changed. This is no longer unique to government. Virtually everyone has a smartphone now; every person uses online banking, it is difficult to live in the world without technology. For this reason, cybersecurity is a very important element in all our lives.
Finally, McDaniel praises his “team” of county computer scientists, emphasizing: “I am not alone. I am head of the IT department. I’ve worked here for almost 25 years, but I certainly couldn’t have done it all myself. We have built a very good team of employees. I am the figurehead, but I am certainly not solely responsible for our success. It’s all in the team. »
A good strong and capable team is hard to find. McDaniel knows one of the best can join him in this massive data center landscape.
(This is part of a series of Mohave County employee profiles produced by Mohave County Communications.)