Gale Given announced as WVOT new CTO

​Retired Verizon executive to head tech office

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration has a new chief technology officer.

Gale Given, a former Verizon executive, started work Monday. She replaces Kyle Schafer, who resigned in March.

Given, who grew up in Point Pleasant and graduated from Marshall University, retired as a Verizon regional president in December.

She'll make $132,934 a year as West Virginia state government's technology chief.

"West Virginia has been very good to me, so I wanted to contribute something back, and state government was a good way to do that," Given said Monday. "I wasn't ready to do the retirement lifestyle yet. I was looking for an opportunity to do something different."

Tomblin announced Given's appointment Monday morning. In a release, the governor noted that Given was recognized as a Distinguished West Virginian by former Gov. Bob Wise.

"After retiring from the telecommunications company, I am pleased Gale has decided to return home and lead the state Office of Technology, where her skills and expertise will direct the future of efficient and effective governance," Tomblin said in a statement.

Given started her career in the telecommunications industry as an engineer with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. of West Virginia in 1979.

After a stint with Bell Communications' research division, Given worked for Verizon on regulatory issues, then was promoted to president of Verizon West Virginia.

Given served as regional president of Verizon's Great Lakes region from 2003 to 2008.

In 2008, she became president of Verizon Pennsylvania, and two years later took over as president of Verizon's regional office that covers Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Given, who now lives in Teays Valley, will oversee about 250 employees.

"I am so happy to be back home in the hills of West Virginia," Given said. "It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve the citizens of the state through the work of the Office of Technology and the agencies it supports."

Verizon has numerous contracts with West Virginia agencies.