FI$Cal’s Customer Impact Committee (CIC) is getting a new chair, almost three years after Brigadier General Robert Spano took the job in 2018. The new chair will be Jody Lusby, assistant director of administrative services at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Lusby has served as vice-chair for the past two years and has chaired the CIC’s robotic process automation (RPA) working group. She has spent 20 years in state government, much of it in accounting and budgeting and 17 years of it with CDFA.

The new vice-chair will be Leisa Maestretti, director of the Fiscal and Administrative Services Division at the California Department of Education. Maestretti joined CDE in 2017 and has spent 22 years in state service.

At the CIC December meeting, Spano lauded both successors, calling their selection a “pretty easy choice.”

“You both have natural leadership ability and you have a great intellect and great ability to take a very complex situation like FI$Cal and really translate it into something that all of us can make useful,” Spano said.

FI$Cal Chief Deputy Director Neeraj Chauhan paid tribute to Spano. “The other day I was joking with somebody about what does it take to get FI$Cal done? It takes a brigadier general to be part of your team to get things done,” Chauhan said.

“We could not have asked for anything better; you have been fantastic,” he said. “As we have launched new workgroups with RPA and artificial intelligence, you have taken personal interest in understanding what it is. You are the cheerleader for this group. You ask fantastic questions at Steering Committee. You are very well-respected. So I want to thank you for your two plus years as a CIC chair.”

As for the future, Spano said of the California Military Department: “We are planning on staying engaged and in touch with everybody as much as possible. I think that you have a great team assembled for the future.”

The CIC was created to act as the primary customer representative to the FI$Cal Steering Committee for all departments. It partners with the Steering Committee as a leadership group to provide a formal mechanism for departments and agencies to express their views and receive information from the FI$Cal project team, provide broad input and advice to the Steering Committee and promote effective representation of department needs during the entire life cycle of the FI$Cal project.