City of Gaithersburg Appoints Ruth Lutero as IT Director; Janice Hartman as City Finance Manager

by MCS Staff

Maria Ruszala Lutero Venus (Ruth Lutero) announced as Director of Gaithersburg’s Department of Information Technology, Janice Hartman as Director of Gaithersburg’s Department of Finance.

Gaithersburg City Manager Tanisha Briley announced the appointment of Maria Ruszala Lutero Venus (Ruth Lutero) as Director of Gaithersburg’s Department of Information Technology. The position has been vacant since the retirement of Pete Cottrell in October of 2021. Business Systems Division Manager Brian Helms has been serving as Acting Director in the interim.

“We are delighted that Ruth will be returning to the east coast and sharing her considerable experience with the City of Gaithersburg,” said Tanisha Briley. “While the current job market has extended this search process beyond what we anticipated, we are thrilled that a strong candidate with such a broad background will be joining our team. We look forward to unique contributions that will continue Gaithersburg’s reputation for excellent service to our residents.”

“Being an IT Director in the city I love is a dream come true. Gaithersburg is vibrant and beautiful with a heart of a very diverse population,” said Ruth Lutero. “Also, as an IT professional, I am proud that we have NIST in our neighborhood.”

Ruth has more than 15 years of local government experience and more than six years working in the private sector for a global technology consulting firm. She is currently the Enterprise Systems Senior Manager for the County of Ventura, California, where she led teams to modernize the County’s Enterprise GIS as a digital platform.

Previous local government experience saw her serving as the IT Program Manager for Orange County, California, the Software Applications Department Manager for Frederick County, Maryland, and Principal Architect, Project Manager and Finance IT Specialist for Montgomery County, Maryland. In the private sector, Ruth served as the Information Technology Manager, Global Delivery Lead for Accenture, with experiences that include the design of flexible data architecture and integration patterns, enterprise data warehouse, global responsive web, and mobile applications operations and security.

Ruth holds a Master of Science in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a Postgraduate Studies in Healthcare Information Technology from George Washington University. She received a Montgomery County Best Employee Service Award (2003-2005) and the National Association of Counties Award for Government Process Innovation Projects (2003-2006).

Gaithersburg’s Director of Information Technology is appointed by the City Manager and oversees a department of 15 full time equivalent positions with an approved FY22 operating budget of $2.36 million. Primary functions include Project Management, Server/Network Operations, Systems Integration and Development, Technical Administration, Technical Research Planning, Telecommunications, Helpdesk, Geographic Information Systems, and Technical and Information Security. Ruth is relocating from California and is expected to begin on June 27, 2022.

Gaithersburg City Manager Tanisha Briley announced the appointment of Janice Hartman as Director of Gaithersburg’s Department of Finance and Administration. The position has been vacant since the resignation of Kim Francisco in February of 2022. Janice, who is the City’s Comptroller, has been serving as Acting Director in the interim.

“I am especially delighted when we have an internal candidate who demonstrates the ability and commitment to assume the highest level position in a department,” said Tanisha Briley. “These past few years have seen quite a bit of turnover in the Finance Department. As Acting Director, Janice not only kept the ship steady, she distinguished herself as a leader, demonstrating that she has the knowledge and the passion to capably manage the City’s complex financial operations. ”

“I am honored to be appointed as the Director of Finance and Administration for the City of Gaithersburg,” said Janice Harman. “I’m very excited to continue working with the City’s talented finance team and to collaborate with the various departments across the City. I look forward to building upon our strong financial foundation and advancing the City’s financial processes as we continue to grow.”

Janice started her career with the City of Gaithersburg as Assistant Comptroller in 2018, rose to the position of Comptroller in 2019, and has twice served as Acting Director of Finance and Administration. As Comptroller, she managed the daily accounting and financial operations of the City, she oversaw the City’s external audit process, and she managed financial information systems. She was challenged during the pandemic with quickly switching to remote procedures for payroll and implementing an electronic accounts payable invoice process.

As Acting Director, Janice oversaw the budget process, she managed the transition of the procurement function, assisted with requisition and purchase order maintenance, and worked to build department morale despite staff turnover and the challenges brought on by the pandemic, all while continuing to carry out her Comptroller duties.

Prior to her work in municipal government, Janice served in various private sector positions, including Manager of Finance for Maxar Technologies, Manager of Consolidations for Hilton Worldwide, and Supervising Senior Accountant for Hanger Orthopedic Group.

Janice holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association, and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Gaithersburg’s Director of Finance and Administration is appointed by the City Manager and oversees a department of 11 full time equivalent positions with an approved FY22 operating budget of $17.2 million. Primary functions include Procurement and Purchasing, Budgeting, Accounting, General Services, and Payroll. The City’s overall FY22 budget is $70.2 million.

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