While technology has always played an important role here at the Chester County Planning Commission, 2020 proved (more than ever) its ability to keep things moving amidst a global pandemic. Luckily, thanks to the knowledge and expertise of our Technical Services Supervisor, Gene Huller, and his team, the Planning Commission was able to overcome many of these challenges and continue to work successfully!
After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a Presidential Communications Equipment Support Technician and putting himself through college, Gene began working for the county back in 2003 as a temporary employee for the Department of Aging. While he was updating his resume (after 10 years of working in a computer support role outside of the county), he stumbled across the Chester County Planning Commission’s opening for a Technical Services Specialist. Gene’s technical skillset and experience, plus his ability to work in a collaborative environment (coming from a family with 9 siblings), made him the perfect candidate for the position.
In October of 2016, Gene was promoted to the Technical Services Supervisor. In this role, he continues to play a big part in the Planning Commission’s technical services – including one-on-one support and training with staff, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance time, and geographic information systems (GIS) mapping and data analysis. Some of his other duties include assisting the Planning Commission’s web developer by setting up domains, security certificates, and other necessary technology to make sure things work smoothly.
Additionally, Gene supervises the Planning Commission’s GIS Planner and the GIS/Technical Service Specialist, and updates the county’s Act 247 Plan Review map and its underlying data on a weekly basis. In fact, one of Gene’s favorite projects he’s worked on was building an interactive map in partnership with the City of Coatesville and the 2nd Century Alliance showcasing the city’s economic development opportunities, projects in progress, and amenities. Some other favorite projects of Gene’s included helping with the backend of the county’s two Photo Contests and Public Survey for the update of Landscapes3, as well as partnering with county departments (such as Voter Services, the Health Department, Water Resources Authority, and the Office of the Commissioners) to help them achieve their technological goals.
While his family was originally from the Philadelphia area, Gene was born in the northern “panhandle” of Florida and spent the first 4 years of his life there before his family moved back up north where he got his first taste of the region’s history and natural beauty. Having been brought up in a large family, Gene is looking forward to resuming family gatherings and campouts once the pandemic ends, where he can spend some time with his siblings, their families, and other family members.
In his spare time, Gene can be found spending time with his family – from sitting on the sidelines at his children’s weekend activities and sports games (lacrosse, baseball, ice hockey, and karate), to hiking at a local park or preserve with his mother (Marie), two daughters and son, girlfriend (Traci), and her son and daughter (as pictured).
When it comes to life philosophies, Gene believes that everything happens for us as individuals (or societies) to learn and grow from on various levels – whether it’s something as simple as an unsuccessful basketball shot to overcoming a horrific global pandemic. When asked what his favorite song, quote, or book was – Gene’s answer provided a unique combination of all three. “Some of my favorite quotes derive from poetry and song lyrics because both can be seen as a direct path to and from the heart. So, I was naturally moved this holiday season when my daughters put together a book for Traci and me that contained 14 poems each with accompanying hand-painted illustrations. The poems were comprised of the lyrics of multiple songs by their favorite performers and ours put together in a way to create their own poetic meanings.”