Fast Five with Markell Storay

Published on February 08, 2024

Portrait of Markell Storay, Chief Technology Officer and Innovation & Technology Director for the City of Charlotte

Markell Storay started with the city about three years ago as the Technology Services Director for Charlotte Douglas International Airport. He now serves as the Chief Technology Officer and Innovation & Technology director for the City of Charlotte. In this month’s Fast Five learn more about his role and in observance of Black History Month, a black leader he admires.

1. Which part of the organization do you lead?

In my current role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Innovation & Technology Director, I lead an organization that delivers information technology (IT) products and services for internal and external facing stakeholders. The IT functional areas under my leadership include enterprise infrastructure, cybersecurity, enterprise applications, enterprise architecture, strategy and budget, and the enterprise project management Office.  In addition, I provide technology oversight for the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, public safety, Charlotte Area Transit System and Charlotte Water.

2. Why did you decide to work for the City of Charlotte?

Given my background as a United States Air Force veteran and previous experience in the federal government as an IT director, I have always valued roles grounded in public service. Being a civil servant allows me to take my professional expertise and align my skills with helping the citizens of my community.  When offered the role as Technology Services Director for the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in 2020, I was excited about an opportunity to join an organization that provided me the autonomy to build out functions that would take the organization to the next level.

3. What is the biggest organizational priority you’re working on right now?

As the CTO, there is a plethora of strategic efforts that are being addressed by my team. The importance of cybersecurity is at the forefront for keeping our organization safe by ensuring the right tools and safeguards are in place. Secondly, as the WorkSmart project executive, I am responsible for the implementation of the Workday enterprise resource planning platform. This unified business transformation will streamline operations, drive data quality and improve decision-making. 

4. What is your favorite part about working for the City of Charlotte?

My favorite part about working for the City of Charlotte is the opportunity to build a strategic technology roadmap, surrounded by talented professionals, all focused on doing the right thing. Each day provides the opportunities to challenge the status quo and identify areas to improve and help drive change.  

5. What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

Good question. I really prefer breakfast or brunch so I would say Stir and Snooze.  There are so many other good restaurants in Charlotte so my other choices would be Eddie V’s, Dressler’s, Dean’s (JW Marriott) and Paco Tacos. 

BONUS QUESTION: February is Black History Month. Is there a person or historical moment that has impacted you as a leader?

Muhammad Ali stands out for me as a leader I admire and appreciate the sacrifices he made for social injustice. Everyone knows him as one of the most notable heavyweight champions of the world, but most people are not familiar with his influential actions that impacted social change. One of the qualities that I admired in Muhammad Ali is his unwavering resilience. He faced many challenges in his life, but was able to withstand ridicule and personal affliction in his fight for equality. Additionally, he was also guided by strong convictions and remained unwavering in his commitments even when they were unpopular or misunderstood.