GCR, PCC, and MB3 Rebrand as Civix

New Orleans, LA, July 20, 2020

GCR Inc., a leading public sector software and services firm,  announced today that it and its subsidiaries, PCC Technology, Inc. and MB3, have rebranded as Civix. The new singular corporate identity embodies the companies’ shared mission to transform the public sector as well as their broad range of capabilities across industries.

“Over the course of decades, our company has evolved, and now it’s time for our brand to better reflect the full breadth of who we are and what we do,” said Tom Amburgey, the CEO of Civix. “We ultimately chose the name Civix because it represents our civic commitment to enabling public sector transformation.”

A nationally-recognized innovation technology leader, Amburgey took the helm last year and has been the driving force behind rapid, significant strategic improvements that include establishing a single corporate mission, culture, and identity; hiring a wave of talent; and creating a Center of Excellence for software development, among others.

Founded in 1979, the company has grown into a full-service firm that serves a broad range of public sector clients, including state and local governments, airports, transit authorities, and power plants, among others. Today, Civix provides software to over 100 airports and 90 percent of U.S. nuclear power plants as well as solutions that manage records for more than 25 percent of U.S. registered voters, business services for nearly half of the country’s Secretaries of State, and hundreds of billions of dollars in federal grants. The company’s technology products are backed by a deep bench of leading subject matter experts across a range of areas, including airport operations, information technology, disaster recovery, and community planning.

In recent years, the company has expanded its public sector offerings through strategic acquisitions of three companies with strong legacies and market share: PCC Technology, Inc., MB3, and Quest Information Systems.

With a growing team of some 400 professionals located across offices that span six U.S. states (CT, FL, IN, LA, OH, and VA) as well as Monterrey, Mexico and Ontario, Canada, Civix is now organized into three discrete business units: Transportation, Government, and Grants.

With implementations across 33 states, Civix Government, formerly known as PCC, is a leading provider of software for state and local governments and the premier provider of solutions for Secretaries of State. This year, the business unit named a new president, Mike Wons, hired new vice presidents of development and of IT security, added dozens of developers and engineers, and revamped its client success team. Earlier this month, it opened a new Center of Excellence that will serve as a centralized hub for innovation in GovTech.

“We are entering a new era of technological advancement, and Civix will lead the way in reimagining how governments serve constituents and businesses,” said Wons. “We are laser-focused on developing a common industry platform that uses advanced technology to provide a modern, simpler user experience.”

Civix also leads in the transportation industry as a provider of solutions that make airports and transit systems more efficient, profitable, and secure. Civix Transportation’s team of former industry executives, developers, and systems architects serve the Federal Aviation Administration, state aeronautics departments, and more than 100 individual airports worldwide, including the Houston Airport System, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport, as well as a number of transit agencies.

“No one knows the aviation industry like our team, and we’re continuing to expand and apply that knowledge in adjoining areas, as we have with transit systems,” said Tim Walsh, the president of Civix Transportation. “Our rebrand to Civix is emblematic of the alignment that has taken place to connect technologies and experts across fields to tackle the biggest challenges and drive innovation. The sky’s the limit.”

Civix Grants provides a powerful suite of technology products augmented by a talented multidisciplinary team specializing in grants management and compliance as well as policy, planning and analytics. As former state government grant and program administrators, best-in-class workflow developers, and planning experts, they bring experience, lessons learned, and best practices from administering and implementing over $200 billion in federal grants on behalf of communities across the country.

“Communities turn to us in the aftermath of disasters to help them overcome devastation and transition to rebuilding, recovery, and opportunity,” said Angele Romig, the president of Civix Grants. “We take our commitment to them to heart, and as Civix, we are expanding and strengthening the products and services that sustain and empower governments.”

Folded into this business unit is the company formerly known as MB3, which provides the only comprehensive grant management system designed specifically for State Emergency Management agencies. It manages tens of billions of dollars and has been used by states across the U.S. in some of the largest disasters in recent history including Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

“Our evolution to Civix is a major leap forward that positions us for greater impact in the communities we serve,” said Matt Blakely, the CTO of Civix who founded and was CEO of MB3. “The name change reflects our business units coming together to form one organization with a common mission, culture, and standard of operation.”

Several of the company’s industry leading software solutions, such as AirportIQ, ElectionNet, and EMGrantsPro, will also undergo name changes while maintaining the same or seeing improved levels of functionality and quality.

Civix is an HKW portfolio-company that combines Civix’s established leadership and track record for excellence with HKW’s collaborative approach, providing support by contributing essential resources, knowledge, and strategic insights.

More information on Civix and its products and services can be found at gocivix.com.

GovTech Innovation Leader GCR Opens ‘Center of Excellence’

Heathrow, FL, July 7, 2020

GCR Inc. (GCR), a leading public sector software and services firm, is opening a Center of Excellence in Heathrow that will focus on innovation in GovTech. It is the cornerstone of a significant investment in the company’s State Government business unit, PCC, which will centralize and grow its software development operations in the location.

“There is so much opportunity in GovTech, especially with emerging technologies that have the power to disrupt the technological status quo and radically transform the way governments do business,” said Tom Amburgey, the CEO of GCR. “For decades PCC has been leading the charge, and we are doubling down on that legacy with an eye toward revolutionizing the GovTech space with new energy, new vision, and new products.”

The Center of Excellence will house the talent of a major software development company, including systems architects, developers, testers, business analysts, product managers, and administrative staff. GCR will base up to 75 employees there within the first year with plans to grow into the hundreds over the next few years.

“We’re committed to innovation that will help governments dramatically improve the way they serve the public,” said Matt Blakely, GCR’s Chief Technology Officer who founded and led MB3, a grants management software company acquired by GCR in 2018. “Locating our software development operations in the Center of Excellence will allow us to create a common culture and facilitate an exchange of ideas that will spark new technological advancements.”

Over recent weeks, GCR named Mike Wons president of PCC and hired a new Vice President of Development and a new Vice President of IT Security along with dozens others for the Heathrow location.

GCR’s Center of Excellence will focus on overcoming the unique IT challenges facing state and local governments.

“Governments deliver hundreds of adjoining services, and the goal must be to bring them together on a common platform that is modern and frictionless in order to deliver a single, quality user experience,” said Wons, a software developer by trade with more than 20 years in senior roles, including with leading GovTech companies and as the first-ever statewide CTO for Illinois.

“We are going to build on PCC’s strengths to expand our suite of products, creating new enterprise solutions and building an open API structure that uses advanced technology to make connectivity easy and implementation quick,” he said.

GCR chose Heathrow after an in-depth site selection process that involved more than a dozen leading locations across the country. The State of Florida and Seminole County provided an incentive that totaled $1.5 million through the Florida Qualified Targeted Industry program – a performance-based business incentive that provides companies a tax refund once new jobs are created.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Central Florida community, and we are grateful for the leadership of the State of Florida, Seminole County, and the Orlando Economic Partnership for their exceptional work in welcoming GCR,” said Amburgey. “Central Florida quickly became the clear frontrunner with its deep skilled-talent pool, proximity to airports and universities, and livability.”

A Visionary Approach to GovTech

New Orleans, LA, June 1, 2020

Submit Form A, deliver to Agency B, then write a check to Office C – but only after you’ve filed your paperwork with Division D. If you’re still not clear, see Section E and fax or mail a letter with your questions to Group F.

Virtually everyone who interacts with government has experienced the torment of seemingly nonsensical procedures, disjointed offices, and outdated technologies. It’s a common problem for state and local governments across the country, and it was for Illinois, too. That is, until the new Governor tapped Mike Wons to re-envision how the state does business, through the lens of technology.

In 2015, Wons was appointed Illinois’ first statewide Information Technology Officer and given the unenviable task of wrangling its vast, fractured IT operation. At the time, he had been a successful private-sector CTO at the top of his career with more than 20 years of experience in senior roles for GovTech leaders, including Payit, CellTrak Technologies, and Federal Signal Corporation.

“It was a hard decision for my family, and those in the public sector understand why. Working in government is tough and there are many competing priorities with limited resources,” he said. “While discussing it with my wife, she asked me why I wanted to do it. I told her, ‘because I believe that I can help make a difference.’”

Indeed, Wons made a difference.

Within six months, working alongside the state’s CIO and select business and IT leaders, he helped successfully launch the state’s first federated IT agency, combining 40 individual agencies, 1,400 staff, $1.1B annual IT spend, and over 2,800 systems all under the newly created Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT).

“It was a massive undertaking by the DoIT team that focused on reducing the overall expenditure on IT, moving the state to common platforms and tools for innovation and helping establish a laser focus on enhanced cybersecurity,” he said. “But at the heart of it all was a desire to deliver a modern, frictionless experience for the state’s residents and businesses,” Wons recalls.

The experience opened his eyes to the unique challenges, pitfalls, and idiosyncrasies that stand in the way of government innovation, which he described as “immense.” Many state and local governments rely on legacy applications and an aging workforce. And agencies are often siloed and difficult for constituents to navigate.

Wons’ winning solution: a common industry platform for government.

According to Wons, “States deliver hundreds of adjoining services, and the goal must be to bring them together on a common platform that is modern and frictionless in order to deliver a single, quality user experience for constituents and businesses.”

This hard-won experience and perspective is now available to government agencies throughout the country, as Wons was recently named president of GCR’s State Government business unit, PCC, which is a leading provider of software to state and local governments.

“Mike brings the perfect combination of government experience, technical expertise, and a genuine commitment to public service to this role,” said Tom Amburgey, the CEO of GCR. “Mike is a visionary who is going to build on PCC’s solid foundation to disrupt the GovTech space and revolutionize the way this industry operates.”

Wons is driving the company to expand its suite of solutions, but he doesn’t want to create what he calls “one-offs.” A software engineer by trade who got his start coding during high school, Wons is directing PCC to develop enterprise solutions and to build an open API structure that uses advanced technology to make connectivity easy and implementation quick.

Creating a common digital identity is a lofty goal, but it’s one that Wons says PCC, a GovTech Top 100 company, is primed to take on.

“You can be visionary while being practical in implementation, advancing one step at a time,” he said. “That’s why I am excited about the possibilities at PCC. We have incredible talent and are making significant investments in our team and in innovation, which we’ll be excited to announce soon. We also have a solid record of success and, importantly, the trust of governments to forge ahead in this direction.”

Wons is not new to this type of big-picture, fast-paced evolution. As CTO for the State of Illinois, he led a statewide IT transformation, creating a common IT culture, moving the state to a common domain, launching a cybersecurity operations center, delivering the first statewide ERP implementation, and founding an IT Advisory Board for effective management of future IT investments. He also helped establish a culture of innovation that delivered sustainable new solutions in 75 days or less.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has underscored the importance of integrating technology into government operations, could serve as a flashpoint for a GovTech revolution. States with robust online platforms have been able to maintain workflow without interruption, while others are facing huge backlogs when they return to the office after working from home.

Finding ways to learn from the lessons of the pandemic and effectively apply them is a challenge Wons doesn’t shy away from. A self-described “tech junkie,” Wons keeps his finger on the pulse of emerging technologies and ways to make the GovTech more personal, more secure, and faster. He spots four digital disruption levers that can help: the Internet of Things, AI and Machine Learning, the future of loosely coupled database structure and architecture, including Blockchain; and consumption, including the use via mobile devices.

“The possibilities are limitless, and I’m eager to work with PCC’s clients as a thought partner and to be at the table for visioning and conversations about these emerging technologies including Blockchain and AI,” he said. “I was attracted to PCC because of its mission to ‘transform the public sector.’ In fact, it’s my passion. And I’m eager to have a hand in ushering in a new era of digital transformation.”

States Avoid UCC Lien “Shutdown Backlog” with XML

Windsor, CT, June 2, 2020

Some Secretary of State business services teams are returning to their offices to find mountains of backlogged UCC lien paperwork waiting for them. Those with robust electronic filing systems, though, have kept pace during statewide shutdowns.

Registered agents generate and submit hundreds of UCC lien filings every day, nonstop. This can jam online systems, making it impossible for small filers to get their turns. Moreover, some states require paper filings, which means hundreds of forms per day need to be entered manually – a problem compounded during office closures. Enter states like Indiana, which is using PCC’s UCC Solution to channel bulk filers through XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

This best practice, endorsed by the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA), maintains system functionality for all filers by creating a special backend XML channel for registered agents, eliminating paper filings and increasing efficiency.

“Secretary of State Offices that were set up to use XML for bulk filings were well positioned to maintain operations while working from home,” said Vishal Hanjan, AVP of Product Management with PCC, a GCR company. “Exemplary states, like Indiana with its award-winning INBiz platform, have continued processing UCC liens electronically without interruption throughout the pandemic.”

PCC’s UCC Solution allows filing office staff to perform day-to-day business and fulfillment from an in-house portal while the general public performs filings, searches, and data/report purchases through an authenticated online portal.

Learn more at https://gcrincorporated.com/ucc-2/

Homelessness: A Problem with a Solution

New Orleans, LA, June 9, 2020

It’s an all-too-common sight in communities across America. One that can be disturbing for many to take into full view. It’s the human face of the growing epidemic of homelessness.

“We can think of this crisis in abstract terms or data points, but at the heart of it are real people, our community’s most vulnerable residents, who just need a helping hand,” said Allison Ulrich, GCR’s new Senior Grants Manager who has spent her professional career working on issues of affordable housing and homelessness. “Now more than ever, ending homelessness is an important community and public health issue that urgently demands our attention.”

The challenge of homelessness is much more pervasive than many might imagine, and it is on the rise. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than half a million people experience homelessness on any given night. This comes at a high cost for cash-strapped cities, because people without housing often experience high rates of chronic mental and physical health conditions or co-occurring disorders and can be heavy consumers of public services.

“Homelessness has been an escalating problem for many communities, particularly those with limited resources, even prior to the coronavirus pandemic. We can only expect to see matters become more dire with what is forecasted to be a protracted recession. As communities contend with how best to protect their most vulnerable residents, finding effective solutions to homelessness is vital,” said Ulrich.

She says that while the causes of homelessness are often complex, the solution is straightforward: housing.

The challenge is, however, that many communities face an extreme shortage of affordable housing and have limited resources with which to fill the gap. As a California Bay Area native, a region that has some of the steepest rents and rates of homelessness in the nation, Ulrich has seen the effects firsthand. After earning a law degree, she began working in the Bay Area to provide housing counseling services. She went on to coordinate housing development activities across 10 area counties for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and she later began advising Continuums of Care across the U.S. She also serves as the Policy Chair for the American Public Health Association’s Caucus on Homelessness and on the board for a nonprofit organization that provides meals to those experiencing hunger and homelessness in New Orleans.

“Through my experiences across the country over the past 15 years, I’ve seen how focusing on data-driven, systems-level improvements can dramatically increase a community’s ability to house more people,” she said. “That’s why I am so excited about the potential we have at GCR. This team’s existing knowledge, experience, and dedication can completely change the game for Continuums of Care and others working to end homelessness.”

For nearly 40 years, local governments, public sector agencies, and organizations have counted on GCR’s extensive multidisciplinary expertise to help navigate the complex workloads of federal grant management, community planning, and real estate matters. With Ulrich’s addition, the company is broadening its services to include helping communities employ thoughtful and strategic approaches to addressing the urgent challenges of homelessness and housing instability.

“We will apply the same systems and expertise that GCR has become known for in its disaster management and community development work to help communities improve the lives of their most vulnerable members and support cost-effective housing solutions,” she said. “Creating and supporting efficient systems of care ultimately depends on effectively managing and maximizing resources.”

The chief source of funding for states, local governments, and nonprofit providers to address homelessness for families and individuals is HUD funding, which requires significant capacity and regulatory knowledge to be administered successfully.

As former state government grant and program administrators, best-in-class workflow developers, and planning experts, GCR brings lessons learned and best practices from administering and implementing over $200 billion in federal grants on behalf of communities across the country. Its team is also experienced in combining HUD funds with other sources in compliance with multi-agency regulations, which can translate into maximized housing outcomes.

“We are thrilled to have Allison join our team and open our eyes to how we can apply our resources and expertise to help communities address homelessness,” said Angele Romig, GCR’s President of Land and Grants Management. “This new service offering is a natural evolution for us and builds on our extensive work delivering strategic and effective solutions for the communities we serve. Whether needing to overcome crises or wanting to realize a brighter future, communities know they can rely on GCR.”

>> Read Allison’s Guest Post for the National Public Health Association

>> Learn more about GCR’s Solutions for Ending Homelessness

About GCR

GCR improves, expedites, and digitally transforms public sector offerings in the areas of grants management, critical infrastructure, land and facilities management, elections, and government business services. Together with its subsidiaries, PCC Technology Inc. and MB3, GCR is recognized as one of the top government technology and service providers in the country.

Readying for GASB-87

New Orleans, LA, June 10, 2020

Even with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) recent decision to postpone its standards and enforcement, GCR continues to push forward building a solution to help its airport clients comply with GASB 87.

“It is a challenging and uncertain time for airports, and we’re here to give them the support and expertise they need to navigate this fluid situation,” said Tim Walsh, GCR’s President of Critical Infrastructure. “We’re staying ahead of the deadlines, irrespective of them being postponed, and ensuring our software systems meet the specific needs of airports relative to the new lease accounting standard.”

GCR has assembled a Steering Committee of airport executives from across the country to inform upgrades to its AirportIQ Business Manager (ABM) and AirportIQ Business and Revenue Management (ABRM) systems, which are used by more than 50 major airports nationwide. The group met remotely this month to review the GASB 87 guidelines and fine tune GCR’s applications to help make compliance easier, automated, and more efficient.

“It is critical for airports to understand how GASB 87 applies to them and to put necessary systems in place to implement the reporting requirements,” said Walsh. “Early compliance is encouraged, and GCR’s experts are providing airport executives with guidance on how best to leverage ABRM to meet their airport’s unique needs, especially in light of this extraordinary situation.”

In immediate response to the decline in passenger air travel due to the pandemic, GCR recently hosted a client-only webinar to walk airports through the process of managing rent deferment and forbearance in ABM and ABRM.

In addition to strong accounting functionality, the AirportIQ suite offers solutions for virtually every aspect of airport management, from revenue management to security and credentialing, all of which work  together to make airports more efficient, profitable, and secure.

To learn more about how GCR is helping airports prepare for GASB 87 compliance, contact Spencer Stewart at [email protected] or 805.245.9050.

A Change Agent for Airports

New Orleans, LA, May 4, 2020

Looking down on the shrinking city through his window, Bryan Helaire sunk into his seat and began thinking. Although he’s been working in airports for nearly two decades, each time he travels it is a contemplative journey. As a frequent passenger, he gets to experience how systems, infrastructure, policies, and much more come together to shape the passenger experience. He can’t help but spot opportunities to leverage technology in his unrelenting quest for the ideal.

The airport industry has always been on the leading edge of tech, but this is an unprecedented era of innovation. Cybersecurity, biometrics, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and other emerging technologies are at the forefront for airport CIOs, CTOs, and IT Directors. What seemed like science fiction not long ago is becoming reality. Some airports are already piloting or implementing drones, autonomous vehicles, robots, and facial recognition.

“It’s an exciting time for technologists. What had been considered the future is the present,” said Helaire, who recently joined GCR as Vice President of Customer Experience where he will head up user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) for airports. “Airports want innovation where it adds real value, providing quality service and elevating the experience of the passenger.”

A big grin grows across his face as he talks about how airports are uncovering the possibilities of Internet of Things, AI, biometrics, and other IT solutions.

He said, “Airports that embrace technology and innovation as core competencies will be able to quickly meet the demands of their customers. Think about how quickly the world adopted utilizing smart phones for payment transactions or as identification to gain access. Those airports that were frontrunners, on an average, received higher customer experience ratings. So, what’s next? As long as customers are comforted with knowing they control their data, they will continue to desire a touchless environment. Facial recognition is already being piloted in the boarding process. Imagine the customer wanting to have that experience at every touch point, from parking to check-in, dining, and boarding.”

As an early adopter and advocate for tech, Helaire has been on the leading edge of airport innovation. As the Assistant Director for Applications and Support at the Houston Airport System, he worked alongside GCR to decrease processing times for arriving international travelers, from 32 minutes down to 16, by deploying Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks. The highly successful program expanded to a global market.

“If integrated in a meaningful way, technology can have a significant impact on both, the customer experience and operations,” said Helaire, who most recently served as the Director of Information Technology for the Jackson Airport Authority in Miss.

There, in response to the growing lines that came with the addition of new air services, he deployed LIDAR (motion analytics) to continuously inform travelers of expected wait times at TSA security checkpoints.

“Research told us that if passengers had a sense of how long they’d be waiting, it could potentially reduce anxiety levels. The biggest impact, though, was equipping the local TSA and airport management with valuable data to make informed decisions during peak times,” he said.

Helaire is enriching GCR’s team with an emphasis on user experience.

He joins the company’s cadre of veteran airport executives who are advising more than 100 airports across the U.S.

He said, “Our team is ideally suited to add efficiencies for airports. We have an unparalleled roster of former airport directors and senior managers as well as the more than 300 developers, system architects, and GIS professionals who can provide unique insight into organizational and operational needs and apply our skill sets to create effective solutions.”

Helaire will be focusing on GCR’s product development with an emphasis on UX/UI.

“We’re not just focused on new ideas, but rather creating solutions that are valuable, intuitive and actionable for our peers and colleagues,” he said. “Whether airport staff, airlines, concessions, vendors, or travelers, we’re thinking of the end-user first when developing new technologies. That’s how you create true super-users and get the greatest return on investment.”

While noting the seemingly endless possibilities, Helaire advised that “effectively deployed technologies require proper planning with subject matter experts. The solutions must align with the strategy of the organization, otherwise value is not added.”

GCR currently offers a broad suite of airport solutions, and Helaire plans to focus on the development of new enterprise applications.

Helaire describes his role with airports as that of a change agent.

Airports are like micro-cities. They are complex ecosystems comprised of many discrete parts working with each other in particular ways, some closely integrated and some barely linked.

“Technology can help organize and manage dynamic systems, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” he said. “Some may be afraid of the unknown. To be successful, IT leaders are required to be change agents. I see this as one of my primary roles, working with airport management to understand their strategies, digest obstacles, visualize possibilities, and, together, determine the course of action.”

Helaire has on-the-job experience in this regard. Over the years he has advised on IT strategies at airport authorities in both Houston and Jackson. He also has vast experience in facilitating discussions with senior airport executives to formalize and implement strategic plans. He has been an active member of the Business Information Technology Committee for the Airports Council International, which examines new and emerging technologies for airport systems.

“Bryan is well known and respected in the airport industry and having him join our team is a major win for us and our clients,” said Tim Walsh, GCR’s President of Critical Infrastructure. “With Bryan driving product design and UX/UI, GCR will continue to build on its success as a leading provider of airport solutions.”

GCR’s experts have provided solutions to the aviation industry for more than 40 years. Its leading AirportIQ suite is a family of connected software solutions built to help manage airports, comply with federal regulations, and provide actionable information.

About GCR

GCR improves, expedites, and digitally transforms public sector offerings in the areas of grants management, critical infrastructure, land and facilities management, elections, and government business services. Together with its subsidiaries, PCC Technology Inc. and MB3, GCR is recognized as one of the top government technology and service providers in the country.

A trusted partner of the FAA, the company administers nationwide federal inspections of all public and private use airports and has professional relationships with 13 U.S. state aeronautics agencies and over 100 airports worldwide, including the Houston Airport System, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, JFK, and SFO.


A Message from Our CEO

New Orleans, LA, April 21, 2020

At GCR, we’re very proud of the customers we support across North America who are serving the critical, but often unseen, needs of our communities during this uneasy and unpredictable time. They’re preparing for elections in the era of social distancing, deploying federal disaster funds, keeping our airports humming, supporting real estate and infrastructure, keeping power plants operating safely, and much, much more. They’re often away from their families so we can be with ours. They’re up all night to ensure we can sleep soundly. They’re innovating, pivoting, and inventing. And for the most part, they’re behind the scenes.

GCR’s customers are the unheralded who are sacrificing to make sure our communities, our democracy, and our economy keep functioning throughout this challenging, rapidly evolving situation — and they’re the ones who are working now to make sure the future will be even brighter than before.

We see you. We applaud you. And we’re here #ForYouFromHome. 

City of New Orleans Invites Citizens to Participate in Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

New Orleans, LA, April 13, 2020

The City of New Orleans held its first public meeting on April 7th as part of its ongoing effort to develop an Orleans Parish Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  The plan will identify hazards, potential impacts, and vulnerabilities across the parish and recommend mitigation strategies and actions to reduce the risks associated with those hazards as part of FEMA’s prescribed planning process.  The City has invited the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, Housing Authority of New Orleans, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, Orleans Parish School Board, Dillard University, Loyola University, Tulane University, and Xavier University to participate as formal partners in the planning process and is seeking input and participation from the public throughout the plan development process.

This week’s public meeting was convened online as a result of the current restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 emergency and is the first of several meetings that will take place in 2020 to obtain public input on the plan’s development.  The City has also invited citizens to engage by participating in a text survey, emailing questions or comments, visiting a public website that will be launched later this year, and participating in additional public forums.  GCR is proud to support the City of New Orleans and its project partners in this important effort to analyze risks and vulnerabilities throughout Orleans Parish and identify actions to safeguard people and property from potential hazards and their associated impacts.  Orleans Parish residents are encouraged to participate in the planning process by texting HAZARDPLAN to 468-311 , visiting the project website at https://ready.nola.gov/hazard-mitigation/home/ for additional information on the planning process and upcoming events, emailing comments or questions to [email protected], and participating in additional public forums as they are announced.

PCC: Covid-19 Response – Protecting Health and Democracy this Election Cycle

Windsor, CT, April 8, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to spread into the fall, state and local election officials are working to identify and deploy solutions to allow safe and secure voting in upcoming primaries and the general election.

People across the country are staying home in an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus, and many states have made it mandatory through executive orders. Some 15 states are already postponing primary elections, and the outlook for November’s presidential election is unclear. Confronted with this, many state and local officials are considering alternative options to provide voters with access to a ballot during the outbreak.

As a leading provider of voter registration and election administration solutions, PCC has quickly stepped in to advise officials and provide possibilities for meeting the new realities of the COVID-19 era.

“We work with election officials day in and day out, and we fully appreciate the challenges they are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Vishal Hanjan, PCC’s AVP of Product Management. “Our team is helping states and local governments quickly and efficiently pivot in order to hold elections, which are central to our democracy.”

There are many considerations that must be taken into account when shifting away from in-person voting. Some states may require special legislation or executive orders, and virtually all will need to consider the massive logistical requirements and budget implications. PCC’s election experts are helping guide officials through these obstacles.

“Given PCC’s many years of experience and our relationships with election officials across the U.S., we’re able to share best practices and lessons learned. There’s no time for mistakes and course corrections. Elections must be held, and they must be held with integrity,” said Hanjan.

During normal circumstances, PCC’s ElectioNet suite allows officials to electronically manage elections from polling station set-up to voting. The powerful application is capable of meeting the needs of these extraordinary times, too. It can easily and affordably be configured to support voting by mail, by absentee ballot, and online. For all these options, voters will mail in their ballots using a unique identifier, such as a barcode. The data from this barcode can quickly and easily be scanned and integrated into ElectionNet to manage processing efficiently and with confidence.

“ElectionNet is already used by more states than any other solution, so this is a relatively easy way for them to pivot and manage voting by mail,” said Hanjan.

For PCC’s “Guidance for Holding Elections During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” click here.