Forum Board Elects Jim Bell Chair and Benny Thottam Vice-Chair

Thanks Bob Loomis for Years of Service

During its September meeting, the Board of Directors of the NYS Forum Inc. elected new officers for the Program Year 2020-2021. Jim Bell, Director of Senate Technology Services was elected to a one-year term as Chair of the Board. In his role as Director of Technology, Mr. Bell has focused on improving access for the people of the State of New York. Some recent projects include a new citizen-focused public website, an improved constituent management system to manage casework and communications with 19 million New Yorkers and a free open data feed of state legislative activity. With more than 30 years experience in NYS government, Mr. Bell shares his wealth of knowledge through teaching, writing, public speaking and volunteering.


In addition to the election of Mr. Bell as Chair, the Board also elected Benny Thottam, Chief Information Officer at the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) to serve as Vice-chair. In that role he determines the agency’s long-term technology goals and works to keep IT investments in sync with NYC’s technology strategy. Mr. Thottam came to NYC Government after serving in a number of key positions in New York State government including as Chief Information Officer for the New York State Education Department and Prior to that as CIO of New York State Department of Labor.

In addressing the Board, Mr. Bell lauded the tenure of outgoing Chair Bob Loomis of the Office of the State Comptroller. “Bob has set a high bar for excellence, and I want to applaud him for years of dedicated service as Chair. He will be missed, but I hope we can still call on his wisdom and knowledge going forward.”

Mr. Bell also talked about his own long history with the organization. “I’ve benefited for almost my entire career from being a member of the Forum. The Forum has grown and changed with the times and provided real value for years to its members. I want to see it keep doing that for many more years.”