About Me

John S. Tonello is a writer, IT director and former city mayor who explores the intersection of open-source technology, communications and how organizations work — what he calls OpenOps. His experience working for Fortune 500 companies, major universities, media companies and non-profits has given him the unique ability to recognize how technology can help people be more productive, creative and innovative.

John’s a former newspaper reporter and editor who’s planned communications for executives and deans; worked with four governors and other elected officials to shape public policy; and led communications and IT teams for Cornell University, Accenture, Corning Inc., Gannett Co. and a public broadcasting company. He’s a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and he’s earning his master’s degree in information technology from Virginia Tech. Today, John writes for Linux Journal and is director of IT for NYSERNet, a regional optical networking company that serves colleges, universities and research centers across New York state.

Open-source software is at the center of some of the greatest advances in technology over the past 20 years, including everything from Linux to mobile phones to web servers. At its core, open source is about freedom, transparency and collaboration, the same attributes found in successful organizations. The free software movement has helped spawn entire industries and new ways of working that empower individuals.


  • Director of IT, NYSERNet
  • Writer, Linux Journal
  • Vice President of Marketing and Communications, WCNY
  • Mayor, City of Elmira
  • Director of IT and Director of Communications, Cornell University Graduate School
  • E-communications Managing Editor, Corning Inc.
  • Technology Manager, Accenture
  • Web Development Director, Pixelhead
  • Metro Editor, Star-Gazette
  • Reporter, Syracuse Post-Standard

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