Marc Thorson is Executive Director for Regional Technology Services in Northern Illinois University’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT). He has been with NIU for more than two years. He supports iFiber in his primary role of overseeing the operations and strategy execution for NIU’s support of iFiber. Marc oversees all aspects of NIU’s broadband, Internet service, and technology service offerings to communities, school districts, and other government and nonprofits organizations. Marc wants people to know iFiber is an open-access network. This means the fiber optic cable iFiber owns and its network running across Northwest Illinois are available to any Internet, phone, and other service providers. This model lowers the barriers for any service provider to compete against much larger service provider companies. It allows those companies to invest more into the services provided. It also provides customers in the iFiber footprint to have more choices for service providers.
Prior to joining NIU, Marc worked in the local government Information Technology field in just about every capacity for over 20 years including desktop support, application developer, network administrator, network engineer, compliance lead and director. He is passionate about Information Security and data-driven decision making in environments with resource challenges. Marc is also an adjunct instructor for the nationally-ranked NIU Master of Public Administration program. The course focus is educating future local government and nonprofit leadership on what Information Technology does, why it is a critical competency for public organizations, and how to utilize it to its greatest potential in an era of shrinking budgets.
Marc has a Master of Business Administration from NIU with a focus on Management of Information Services and Marketing. He is the Marketing Director GMIS International, Committee Chairperson for GMIS Accreditation, and Past President for GMIS Illinois. On a personal note, a “fun fact” about Marc is that his uncle, Joe Parnello, was a musician and arranger/composer. He is credited with working on a few albums with Frank Sinatra and other entertainers including Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Anthony Newley, Tom Jones, Carol Lawrence, and Connie Stevens.