California Health and Human Services Adds Two To Tech Team


The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) has made two new appointments. Adam Dondro will act as agency information officer (AIO) at the Office of Systems Integration (OSI) and Tony Fortenberry as deputy director for the Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) project.

Dondro will oversee the technology and governance functions within the agency. As AIO, he will provide oversight and coordination for the strategy and activities of information technology (IT) offices throughout the agency, its constituent departments, and electronic interface partners. He will also lead the agency’s governance structure to plan enterprise direction, coordinate the handling of critical IT policy issues, and lead the development of IT business and tactical plans.

Since 2013, Dondro served as the assistant director for horizontal integration at California Department of Social Services. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the assistant secretary for external affairs at the California Technology Agency. His experience also includes five years in the Legislature in both policy and budget roles.

Based at OSI headquarters, Dondro leads a team of 15 staff who work directly with department chief information officers, chief technology officers and enterprise architects throughout CHHS.

Recently appointed as OSI deputy director, Fortenberry has served as project director for CWDS for the past year. He is a veteran technology executive with more than 25 years of experience working in the industry, including ten years of experience with California state government working in roles in IT procurement, contract management, vendor performance evaluation, and Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V).

Fortenberry has worked extensively as a management consultant, technology advisor, and procurement specialist for California government agencies, healthcare services providers, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to serving as project director for CWDS, he worked on various projects at CalPERS, CalHEERS, the California Horse Racing Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Public Utilities Commission and California Department of Technology, among others. Career highlights include serving as chief technology officer for Communications Service for the Deaf (CSD), based in Austin, Texas, and as chief information officer for the City of Northglenn, Colorado.

As a part of CHHS within the Office of Systems Integration, Child Welfare Digital Services is developing a modern platform and infrastructure to replace a 20-year-old legacy child welfare management system used by county case workers. The project consists of eight digital services to replace the Child Welfare System/ Case Management System (CWS/CMS) that manages work for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.

In November of 2015, after a decade of planning, the project changed its development strategy from the traditional “waterfall” approach to using agile methodologies which focus on iterative development cycles and a rapid feedback loop with end-users. Agile teams work in two-week sprints with daily status meetings to measure progress. With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working toward full velocity under the new approach. Momentum is building as more developer teams are joining the effort each month.

Fortenberry joins Department of Social Services Deputy Director Kevin Gaines and County Welfare Directors Association Executive Liaison Penni Clarke as members of the project’s Executive Leadership Team.