State chief information officers often have to get creative while on the job to find solutions for their governments, but Delaware CIO James Collins might have all his colleagues beat in that regard.
CIO of Delaware since 2014, Collins exchanged his IT shoes for dancing shoes to take home the trophy at the Dancing with the Delaware Stars competition on Jan. 27. The competition raised $190,000 to be split between the Greater Dover Boys and Girls Club, of which Collins is the vice president and a former participant, and the Mom’s House of Dover, which provides child care for single mothers pursuing education or entry into the workforce.
Collins partnered with local School of Ballet owner Brittany Faulkingham to raise $50,000 dollars and beat out 10 other couples to win the competition, which was judged partially on dancing talent and partially on how much money the couples raised for the two charities hosting the event. The competition was structured similarly to the television show Dancing with the Stars, with Collins and Faulkingham practicing for six weeks in the run-up to the event.
Collins has caught some good-natured ribbing from his colleagues at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, where he also serves as vice president.
“Once it hit the front page, it definitely took off,” he told StateScoop, referring to reports in the local press, but “it was worth it for the kids and those that benefit from Mom’s House services, as well.”