Mayor announces key admin appointments


MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced January 24 the appointments of Augustus Bramble Jr. as Executive Director of Information Technology and William Harkins Jr. as Executive Director of Public Services.

Bramble currently serves as Senior Manager of Infrastructure, Security and Communications for ThyssenKrupp – Outokumpu Stainless USA, as a contract employee for NetPoint ITS. He previously served as Senior Corporate Business Area IT Manager for Best Buy Co. in Richfield, Minn., and as Director of Technology for Abbott Systems in Daphne.

Bramble received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Spring Hill College in Mobile and was named the top technology student in the State of Alabama. Bramble will start effective Feb. 7.

“Augustus is a proven technology leader who is ideally suited to help us bring our outdated IT systems into the 21st Century,” Stimpson said. “His business experience combined with his high level of detailed technology expertise make him a world-class addition to city government.”

Harkins is currently the Director of the Department of Safety and Performance for the City of Mobile. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and served as PRT (provincial reconstruction team) commander in Afghanistan. Harkins began working for the city in 2006, standing up and running the performance measurement system known as CitiSmart.

Harkins is a native of Mobile, attending St. Dominic’s grade school, Davidson High School and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Alabama before being commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1985. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree in 1997 from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Theology degree from Spring Hill College in 2012.

His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

He and his wife, Maria, have been married 26 years and have one daughter, Savannah who is currently attending the University of South Alabama. Harkins will assume his new job immediately.

“Bill brings outstanding leadership skills, integrity and innovative thinking to an area of city government that touches the lives of every Mobilian,” said Stimpson. “He will be critical to our efforts to improve accountability and responsiveness as we seek to bring a higher level of service to our citizens.”

Stimpson also announced the hiring of Jena Longo Berson as a Senior Advisor.

Berson joins the City of Mobile from Washington, D.C. where she most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She previously held the position of Director of Communications for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and Clear Channel Government Affairs.

Berson also previously served in staff positions for U.S. Sens. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, John Breaux and Ben Nelson.  Prior to her work in Washington, she served in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mayor-President’s office where her primary role was communications.

Berson is originally from New Orleans and received a B.A. from Louisiana State University. Her husband Michael is a Mobile native and they will be relocating back to Mobile in the coming months. Berson joined the administration on January 21.

“These talented and accomplished individuals will be valuable additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing the City of Mobile,” said Mayor Stimpson. “I look forward to working with them as we continue our mission of making Mobile the safest, most business and family-friendly city in America by 2020.”

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