Palm Coast - Throw any challenge at Don Kewley and chances are he will prevail. With an extensive professional background, impressive higher education and admirable public service to our country - one that occurred during a high-profile event in history - he has already seen success in many areas.
Hired to oversee all aspects of the City's fiber infrastructure, this isn't the first time Kewley has managed this kind of technology. He comes to the City of Palm Coast from the City of Ashland, Oregon, where he served as the Ashland Fiber Network Operations Manager. There he restructured and revitalized the city-owned fiber network - increasing the number of subscribers to the public network's high speed internet by 45 percent. This helped Ashland achieve national recognition for its smart city initiatives.
"So much of Don's previous technology experience aligns with the goals of the City of Palm Coast, that he was a perfect fit to help our team through the next phase of our growth" said Matthew Morton, Palm Coast City Manager. "In addition to his work with our municipal fiber program, Don has other duties that will help us identify and leverage our current resources and infrastructure to maximize value to the community."
Kewley began working for the City of Palm Coast on July 1. Fun Fact: He had never been to the east coast of Florida until he interviewed in Palm Coast, but has traveled all over the world.
In addition to fiber, he is also responsible for growing third-party partnerships, enhancing smart city initiatives, overseeing the cell towers project, working with economic development teams and connecting broadband to local businesses and residents for better internet service.
"Since joining the City of Palm Coast, I've conducted an analysis of the City's IT and telecommunications infrastructure and identified opportunities for improvement," Kewley said. "I am excited to have stakeholders from the Innovation District, Economic Development team and local government partners sitting at the table and developing strategies to revitalize the City's fiber optic infrastructure and utilize it as a catalyst/primer for future growth. I'm honored to lead the charge for building a smart city infrastructure that will provide best-in-class services to the community."
Some of the projects on his plate for the future include developing the next stages of the Palm Coast Connect customer service platform and taking the drone program to the next level as a service of IT for maintenance flights of canals and providing video of major city events.
Kewley has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University - Chico and an MBA from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Leadership and Change Management. Prior to Ashland, Kewley has held numerous positions as a project manager for several private companies.
Born in Missouri and raised in Southern Oregon, Kewley joined the Army National Guard in Oregon after graduating high school. He also served in the California National Guard during the 1992 L.A. riots. He also had several stints of active duty and was deployed throughout the U.S. working forest fires and performing floodwater rescues.
Kewley is married with three sons and two grandchildren. He is a certified rescue diver and licensed dive master, though he hasn't explored the popular diving hot spots of the Sunshine State yet. You can also find him riding local trails, walking local beaches and enjoying all of the amenities Palm Coast has to offer.