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County GIS, IT director headed to Portland

Sim Ogle takes a position with the Port of Portland

by: KATE WENNERSTROM/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Sim Ogle has taken a position at the Port of Portland, leaving the county's GIS and IT departments without a director.

In three short years Sim Ogle has transformed the county's communication technology to contend with the best systems in counties across the state.
   However, now Ogle's time with Crook County is limited as he has taken a position in Portland, leaving the post where he has demonstrated his cleverness and expertise.
   "Sim's contributions to Crook County have been enormous," Crook County Judge Scott Cooper said. "As director of GIS (Geographic Information System) and IT (Information Technology), he has built a state-of-the-art program in Crook County which serves numerous partners."
   By the end of May, Ogle will take the position he has accepted at the Port of Portland which owns, among other projects and programs, the international airport, the marine terminal and regional airports throughout the Portland metro area.
   "I'm going to be doing a similar job to what I do here in many ways," Ogle said. "My job is to, first of all, do a lot of business analysis for their strategic plans. The second part of the job will be helping to set up a GIS department for the Port which is what I've done here in the county."
   Taking the lead position in the Port's GIS division, Ogle intends to coordinate the many department heads who manage more than 800 employees.
   "All the information produced by those departments has to be centralized so that it can be analyzed and mapped," Ogle said. "My job is going to be on the analysis side getting all of that information, along with the other people working in that department, getting it together and actually creating a mapping center for the port. Then, we'll get the information out to the employees so they can make more informed decisions."
   With future plans to update the exchange of information at the Port of Portland, Ogle's proven history in Crook County has altogether changed the way the county functions.
   "He launched a mapping and property research tool which has been a great service to those needing access to county property records," Cooper said. "He has overseen the purchase and installation of three major software systems, including tax and assessment, finance and community development. He has built an amazing IT infrastructure which keeps the far-flung units of the county connected. He has implemented the only e-mail archiving system in the State of Oregon. He has redone our phone contracts and significantly reduced telephone costs. He has introduced training modules which has raised all our skills."
   "The great thing about working here in Crook County is that we constantly surprise people," Ogle said. "That's because the perception is that Crook County is a rural county, whilst that might be true geographically, it's not true in terms of how the county itself deals with technological challenges. We have a department that's on par with any county locally or even on the west side of the mountains in terms of how technologically advanced we are. It's always nice to exceed people's expectations."
   As Ogle prepares for his next adventure, Cooper summed up the countywide appreciation of the director.
   "Sim has been a great personality who has befriended us all and who enjoys the respect and appreciation of the entire county staff and our many partners," Cooper said. "He is just a nice guy. Crook County cannot match the professional opportunity which the Portland job presents for Sim. We can only wish him well and tell him that we wish our time with him were going to be longer."