Robert Ball is the new Information Technology (IT) manager for the city, replacing Farren Williams who retired last year.
Ball started with the city on Feb. 13 and according to City Manager Toby Wells "has been quickly getting adjusted over the last two weeks."
Ball grew up in Modesto, graduating from Beyer High. After high school he attended a vocational school in Arizona, and then returned to Stanislaus County. Realizing that he liked Arizona better, he returned to Phoenix. Shortly thereafter he became a correctional officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections. He worked at institutions in Florence and outside of Phoenix. In his time with the department Ball worked at medium, maximum, and double maximum security institutions.
When his parents moved to Oklahoma, he followed and became a correctional sergeant with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Being interested in Information Technology he went back to school to study computer science. While in Oklahoma he met future wife Tonya; their 16-year marriage has produced have three daughters and three grandchildren.
Choosing to pursue a career in IT, Ball earned several certifications which led them back to Modesto where he accepted an offer to teach IT courses at the Modesto Institute of Technology.
"Wanting to be more in the industry, I left teaching for an opportunity to work as a Systems Administrator for a hospital in Stockton, then promoted into IT management for one of the large retail chains in the Central Valley," said Ball. "Most recently I returned to the correctional environment to be a systems analyst with CDCR at Deuel Vocational Institution."
Having been in the IT field since the late 1990s, he aspired to reach the next level and went back to school again, earning an MBA in IT Management.
When he's not working on computers or working he likes to spend time with his family, camping, riding motocross, or traveling on his Harley.
Williams retired in November after a 24-year city career that started when he was hired by the late Police Chief Pete Peterson to build an IT department for the Ceres Police. It grew from there and eventually became the IT Department for the entire city operation, with Williams as the manager overseeing three IT specialists. The IT Department has always been housed at the Police Department Building.