2023 Rising Star: Aaron Rice

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IT security administrator, Board of County Commissioners, St. Lucie County, Florida

Aaron Rice
Courtesy: Aaron Rice

In less than a year on the job, Aaron Rice has already had a major impact on his county’s preparedness.

As the IT security administrator for the Board of County Commissioners in St. Lucie County, Florida, Rice has played a leading role in developing the county’s disaster recovery plan. But what caught officials’ attention was his initiative in making sure all county employees could easily use the county’s software applications. 

Jason Davis, St. Lucie County’s deputy county administrator, said he noticed the IT staff spent a lot of time training and retraining staff on the technology and software the county used. To reduce that time and make the process more efficient, Rice drafted two-page reference guides workers could use to refresh their memories on various applications. His effort helped shrink retraining requests by nearly 95%, a key win for an already overtaxed IT shop. The simple concept delivered a “substantial return on investment,” Davis said. 

With only 800 employees, the county runs a lean operation, so “staff is charged with being creative,” Davis said. “And Aaron took it upon himself to create an efficiency that saves time, money and resources.”

County employees appreciated the reference guides, while Rice and his colleagues in IT welcomed the reduction in service calls. Managers, meanwhile, valued a more efficient IT department.

Rice is a “team player, customer service advocate, and all around excellent public servant,” Davis said, adding that he is a full-time student and serves in the Army National Guard. He is a “shining example of what an IT professional should be not only in the public sector, but private sector as well.”

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