Chris Cruz was, for almost four years, California's deputy chief information officer and the chief deputy director of the California Department of Technology. Today, he starts his second week in his new role, as IT director and CIO for San Joaquin County.
During his tenure with the state, Cruz won numerous awards and accolades. Most notably, he was named in 2015 to Government Technology's* Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers list of change-makers in the public sector, and last October he was one of three public-sector IT executives nationwide to win a State Technology Innovator Award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).
And now he's a movie star — albeit in a straight-to-video production that was posted on CDT's blog Friday. Cruz's former colleagues at CDT put together a "Farewell to Chris Cruz" video, complete with a musical score and slow-motion effects. It's less than a minute long, but it shows Cruz in various contexts in and out of the office.
"It was very gracious of CDT to chronicle my almost four years in the job serving as Chief Deputy Director and Deputy State CIO," Cruz said Friday afternoon in an email to Techwire. "I will miss the great group of people that I got to work with on a day-in and day-out basis as we modeled the way to transform technology in the state."
When Cruz, 54, announced his move to the San Joaquin County position, he was lauded by, among others, Marybel Batjer, secretary of the state Government Operations Agency, under whose purview the CDT falls: "Chris Cruz’s leadership as deputy CIO has been beneficial and significant to the state and to me personally," Batjer said. "His knowledge and sound counsel will be sorely missed. I wish him all the best in his new position, as he continues building upon his tremendous experience.”
And Cruz's former immediate boss, state CIO Amy Tong, echoed those sentiments: "Chris Cruz has been a valuable asset to CDT during his four-year tenure," she said. "I am sure he will bring that same value and dedication to his new position as IT director and CIO for the county of San Joaquin. We thank him for his past service and wish him the very best.”
The farewell video includes a scene in which someone tosses a water balloon to Cruz. Spoiler alert: Cruz's grasps, spins and gyrations prove that a task can require one to be agile and still end in a waterfall.