New CTO Finds Greater Meaning in OneNet’s Mission

John HennesseyOneNet is fortunate to have a team of highly proficient and innovative individuals at our organization that function as one. A new addition to the team is John Hennessey. In his new position, Hennessey enjoys the opportunity to influence technology projects and initiatives across the organization.

Hennessey serves as OneNet’s chief technology officer. A CTO is an executive-level position in an organization whose focus is on the technological needs within an organization.

With a passion for technological evolution, Hennessey started his career with an extensive amount of education and a part- time information technology job.

“I was blessed to have had access to computers from an early age and really enjoyed working with them,” he said. “This interest extended into part-time IT jobs while in college and includes starting my first full-time IT job even before graduation.”

Hennessey earned a Bachelor of Science and later a Master in Library and Information Studies. He has 20+ years of experience in higher education and private industry, along with technical experience leading infrastructure, security and support teams. All of this experience prepared him for his current position in support of OneNet’s mission to advance technology across Oklahoma.

Hennessey explained how important OneNet’s mission is to him.

“As I advance in my career, I find greater meaning to mission and am grateful for working for an organization with a mission that can be stated so simply and yet still have such reach and benefit,” he said.

Hennessey FamilyAs CTO, Hennessey looks for daily opportunities to learn more about the organization and have a positive impact on its operations. With involvement both internally and externally, he engages with customers, partners, vendors and other constituents.

Striving to fulfill a critical role in helping OneNet within the success of ever-changing technological advancements is something he wants to accomplish. He hopes to contribute his technical vision to OneNet with a goal of aligning existing and future service offerings with current and future needs.

“This allows us to focus our energies on what will hopefully provide the most benefit to our customers and to Oklahoma,” he said.

Keeping up with new technologies is important to Hennessey, and he watches for those that will be vital for OneNet customers.

“Augmented reality is a technology that we are only starting to tap its potential,” he said.  “It has tremendous benefit in many areas, especially in the education and health care industries.”

Being new to the office, the CTO position at OneNet has given Hennessey the opportunity to work closely with higher education institutions again, where he spent most of professional career, while providing new and exciting challenges.

While he says the combination of a senior leadership role in a new organization can be challenging, he has readily taken on that challenge.

“I’ve found that you can’t be afraid to ask questions and that often these questions will lead to good discussion around a topic and benefit others as well,” he said.

He also appreciates working along-side each of OneNet’s team members and the benefits that come from teamwork.

“I’m surrounded by an incredibly talented, motivated and friendly team which has made my time here at OneNet a great experience,” he shared.

At home, he reaps the benefits of a large family. Hennessey lives in Norman, Oklahoma with his beautiful wife and incredible five kids whose ages range from 3 to 12 years old.

Hennessey FamilyHe is married to Dr. Maeghan Hennessey who is the Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma and Associate Professor of Learning Sciences.

Having a large family is exceptionally dynamic and occupies Hennessey’s time. He says the family has a number of beloved activities that makes family life busy.

“As you might expect my family has plenty to keep us busy between school, church and after-school activities, which include multiple kids playing soccer this past year,” Hennessey said. “We also love to travel and find time for the pool and our new dog as well.”

Story by King Mason, Strategic Communications Intern, Fall 2021

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