Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County will be among 13 "Champions of Change" that will be recognized by the White House Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Washington, D.C. A part of President Obama's Winning the Future Initiative, the award recipients "have committed themselves to creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship," the White House said. Deputy County Executive/CIO Phil Bertolini will be on hand to accept the award.
"It's a great honor to have our initiatives recognized by the White House," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Our programs are so strong that their recognition goes beyond politics."
The White House said the Champions of Change "showcase the amazing movement of innovation in government across America. In addition to celebrating success, the Champions of Change event provides a great opportunity to share innovative city government products, services, and business models with other cities and discuss how to scale these innovations to others, challenging all cities across the nation to similar levels of improvement."
In recognizing Oakland County, the White House said Bertolini and the technology initiatives he administers under Patterson's leadership create "enterprise solutions in government, cross-boundary resource sharing, and inter-jurisdictional cooperation." In addition, Oakland County "has directed the development of unique sustainable government technology programs and created models that can be implemented by other governments interested in improving operations while containing costs."
This is the second time the Obama administration has recognized one of Oakland County's initiatives. Because of the strength of Oakland County's economic development initiatives, the White House asked Automation Alley and Deputy County Executive Ken Rogers to participate in the December 2009 White House Forum on Jobs.
Patterson announced Automation Alley in his 1997 State of the County speech as a way to promote southeast Michigan as a destination for engineering and technology professions. Today, Automation Alley has more than 1,000 members across eight counties. It is the largest high tech business organization in Michigan. Anderson Economic Group says the Automation Alley region is second only to Silicon Valley in the number of those employed in engineering and architecture.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.