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Metro Newsroom 

Veteran GE Executive Leads Metrosafe Contract Selection Team

Friday October 27, 2006

Mayor Jerry Abramson today named Roger Schipke, a longtime senior vice president of General Electric who oversaw worldwide appliance operations, to lead Louisville Metro’s efforts to review, select and negotiate a multi-million dollar contract for the next phase of the MetroSafe emergency-communications network.

Schipke (pronounced SHIP-kee), a Louisville resident who oversaw a $500 million annual capital budget at GE, will lead a project team of Louisville Metro Government employees that will evaluate the bids for a new radio transmission network that will improve communications for more than 3,700 police, fire, EMS and other emergency responders.

The project team also includes:

  • Doug Hamilton, director, Emergency Management Agency / MetroSafe
  • Ted Pullen, project manager, General Service Administration
  • Craig Bowen, director, Purchasing Department

“Roger is a well-respected business leader with vast experience overseeing the selection and implementation of multi-million dollar investments at GE,” Abramson said. “We are fortunate to add his expertise to a strong project team that will help make our community a safer place to live.”

Abramson said he sought Schipke’s expertise because of the complexity of the MetroSafe project, the significant amount of public dollars invested, and the impact of the project on Louisville’s future grants and allocation of other state and federal funding.

“MetroSafe is perhaps the most costly and complex investment that we have ever made as a government,” Abramson said. “I want to make sure we do it right the first time.”

The first phase of MetroSafe, completed in September 2005, created a single communications center at 768 Barret Ave., bringing together 911 call takers and police, fire and EMS dispatchers that previously operated from four different locations with four different systems. The second phase, completed in June 2006, put all dispatchers on the same computer system for the first time, allowing better emergency coordination and improving response times by eliminating call transfers.

The third phase of MetroSafe includes a state-of-the-art radio transmission system and new communications center at the site of the former Federal Reserve Building downtown.

Two companies submitted bids for MetroSafe Phase III. The project team will review and evaluate the bids, make recommendations to Mayor Abramson, help negotiate a contract with the selected company and oversee implementation of the project. The selection process is expected to be completed early next year.

Schipke’s background

After more than 30 years at GE, Schipke headed two Fortune 500 companies as chairman and CEO – Sunbeam Corp. and the Ryland Group. Schipke is a former board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and has served on boards of several New York Stock Exchange Companies.

Currently, Schipke is an executive-in-residence at the University of Louisville and a frequent speaker at business schools across the country, including Harvard University and the University of Kentucky.

Schipke will serve as an independent consultant and will be paid a fee not to exceed $3,000 a month.



Roger Schipke
Roger Schipke