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Louisville Metro's Top Techies To Leave, But Will Stay Close To City Innovation Efforts

The exit of two top Louisville Metro government employees won't send them very far.

Ted Smith, city government's chief of civic innovation, and Theresa Reno-Weber, its chief of performance improvement, announced on Wednesday they'd soon assume new roles in the private sector. Following their exit, they'll both serve as co-chairs of the soon-to-be formed Innovation Advisory Council, which will work to advise city officials on issues pertaining to technology.

The council will be made up of about a dozen people. They'll focus on assisting city officials in understanding how advances in technology can be applied to efforts at addressing everyday, city-wide struggles.

"A lot of members of our community are more in touch with these trends maybe than the average city-government employee," Smith said.

It's unclear who will make up the council. A spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer did not respond to a request for a list of members.

Fischer said the members would represent a "good, broad cross-section" of the community, and they'll have no voting power dictating how city officials invest taxpayer money.

Smith said the council members "are not a group of people who do business with Metro government."

"It's not so important how you convince city government to do something, as much as it's how do you raise awareness for this issue as something city government may be an invested party in," he said.

The group will meet in the soon-to-be opened LouieLab innovation hub on Main Street in downtown Louisville.

Although Smith and Reno-Weber will work alongside city employees as co-chairs of the council, they'll no longer be on the city's payroll.

Smith currently earns just more than $87,000 annually as the chief of civic innovation. He'll be replaced at the end of this month by Grace Simrall. Smith will assume the role of CEO of Revon Systems, a health care technology company based in Crestwood.

Simrall is the founder of iGlass Analytics and most recently was executive director of innovation for Intel Care Innovations, according to a press release. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s from the University of Louisville.

Reno-Weber is currently one of the highest-paid Metro employees, earning nearly $125,000 annually as the chief of performance technology.

She'll become president and CEO of Metro United Way at the beginning of the year. She'll be replaced by Daro Mott, who currently serves as the chief innovation officer for Cuyahoga County in Ohio.

Mott previously served as director of quality and performance for Louisville Metro government. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and has two master’s degrees from the University of Louisville.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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