Scott McPherson is a fifth-generation native Floridian. Born in Jacksonville in the mid-1950s, Scott was raised in Broward and Martin Counties. An international businessman at age 21, Scott was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1980 from the south Miami-Dade County area at age 25, defeating a two-term incumbent. Scott served in the early 1980s.
Scott has been a technology and communications consultant for the past nineteen years, and moved his practice to Tallahassee in 1991. His weekly technology column for Knight/Ridder Newspapers, “The Help Screen,” went on hiatus in 2002 after seven consecutive years of production. It ran coast-to-coast and appeared regularly in such newspapers as the Boston Globe, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, the Tallahassee Democrat, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orange County (CA) Register.
In 1995, Scott became Director of Information Technology for the Republican Party of Florida and guided the party’s IT, data collection, software production and GIS efforts through two campaign cycles – the two most successful cycles in state Party history. His legacy at RPOF includes the first state Republican Party Website and the groundbreaking “Victory Suite” software program
In 1999, Governor Jeb Bush asked Scott to leave that position to design and helm Team Florida 2000, Florida’s statewide Y2K preparedness effort. The largest IT project in Florida’s history, Team Florida 2000 became a national model and garnered several state and national awards. TF2K’s statewide critical infrastructure survey and disaster recovery awareness programs were a precursor to Florida’s best-practice homeland security efforts following 9/11.
In early 2000, following the success of TF2K, Governor Bush asked Scott to repair the ailing state Census partnership. Scott’s redesigned and reenergized effort, Sunshine Count 2000, was a critical and media success, and helped Florida secure a second new Congressional district, which no political pundit thought possible.
Immediately following the Census project, Scott designed a plan for enterprise-wide information security. In early 2001, Scott created the Office of Information Security within Florida’s State Technology Office. Efforts were accelerated following 9/11, and Scott won a national “Best of Breed” award from the Center for Digital Government in 2002 for the Florida cybersecurity effort. A derivative of the effort, “SecureFlorida.org,” was launched jointly by Scott, the State Technology Office and the Florida Department pf Law Enforcement in 2003 for the benefit of the general public, local governments and the private sector.
In March 2001, Scott was appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Florida Department of Corrections. He served in that capacity for nearly six years. Under Scott’s tenure, the Department’s Office of Information Technology has won seventeen (17) Davis Productivity Awards from Florida TaxWatch for technological innovation and excellent stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Scott is a past-president of the Corrections Technology Association, a hemispheric association of state, federal, tribal, county and municipal corrections technology professionals from the Pacific islands to Canada, the United States and Mexico. He also served on the Article V Technology Board and served as the Corrections representative to the CJJIS Council. He was the last chairman of the Florida Geographic Information Board (GIB) in 2001. Scott also was elected unanimously by his peers as Chairman of the CIO Council of State government chief information and technology officers for 2005-06.
In November 2006, Scott returned to his legislative roots and accepted the appointment as CIO for the Florida House of Representatives. “It’s good to be home,” he said.
With his unique background in government, business, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery, Scott is now recognized internationally as an expert in preparedness for an eventual influenza pandemic. Scott has lectured extensively across the country on the topic, and is frequently consulted for quotes and comments from the national and trade press on the subject. His presentations are referenced by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the State University System of Florida, the University of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the National Institute of Corrections. Scott appears on Fox News Channel as part of their ongoing swine flu coverage.
As a result of his pandemic efforts and overall body of work, Government Technology Magazine recognized Scott as one of the Top 25 public technology leaders in the United States for 2008, along with FEMA Director Craig Fugate and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Scott McPherson is married to the former Marta Carballo, and is stepfather to her two grown children. High school football fans know Scott as The Voice Of the Trojans, calling games for Tallahassee Lincoln High School’s nationally-recognized football team. This year marks his 9th year behind the microphone.