Gary Kovacs



  • Top SaaS CEOs 2021


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Gary Kovacs began his professional career 31 years ago. Today, he is the CEO of Accela. Accela provides a market-leading platform of SaaS solutions that empower state and local governments to build thriving communities, attract and grow businesses, and protect citizens.

Kovacs first got his start in 1990 in various technical and leadership positions at IBM. From there, he went on to Zi Corporation, before eventually rising to CEO, president & managing director at technologies, his most recent position prior to joining Accela.

Kovacs graduated from the University of Calgary with a master’s in business and an undergraduate degree in finance.



  1. Gary Kovacs is an exceptional leader and innovator, with more than 25 years of enterprise software and mobile technology industry leadership and executive management experience at tech leaders like Mozilla, Sybase, and Adobe. As chief executive officer and a board member of Accela, Gary oversees the company’s mission-driven growth, strategic direction, and long-term value for its customers and constituents worldwide. Gary’s open and inspiring leadership empowers our team to deliver digital-first, agile cloud/SaaS solutions designed specifically for state and local government, helping agencies – at the front lines of the pandemic and social unrest – accelerate growth, efficiency and transparency in unusually challenging times. When Gary became CEO of Accela, he recognized the power of the cloud to transform how governments serve citizens. He accelerated the 20+ year old company’s pivot toward offering the first all-SaaS platform designed exclusively for state and local government needs for community development, economic development, and public safety. Under Gary’s leadership, our 2020 pace increased 400% in terms of customers choosing to adopt SaaS, and 2021 is already 20% higher than 2020. With Gary’s continued focus on SaaS, Accela is forecasting another doubling of our pace in Fiscal 2022. Gary also spearheaded a company-wide initiative to ensure on-premise customers could easily and successfully transition to Accela’s cloud solutions to reap the benefits of modern technology. The majority of Accela customers are now in the cloud, and the migration journey has been completed for many on-premise customers. Gary understands how critical SaaS is for delivering the consumer-like experiences citizens expect from their governments as well as optimizing efficiency in government operations to maximize taxpayer dollars. Gary is the reason Accela is celebrated for its SaaS capabilities and is catalyzing government services’ broader adoption of SaaS solutions despite historically challenging practices. Gary embodies Accela’s mission – a commitment to increasing resident engagement and building thriving communities. Gary’s vision helps to deliver leading cloud-based solutions to 80% of the top 100 U.S. cities and strengthens communities for more than 275 million citizens globally. Under Gary, Accela has worked hand-in-hand with state and local leaders to migrate more than 200 data center customers to its SaaS solutions, powered by Microsoft Azure, to date. This allows governments to offer more modern services, simplify critical workflows, address costs associated with maintaining aging technology infrastructure and accelerate digitization. This is a huge accomplishment when considering that many governments had a “no cloud” policy just a few years ago. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, Gary also showed resolve and compassion with Accela staff. Internally, he gave employees the space and grace we all needed to manage the new normal of working full-time from home, balancing family pulls and challenges, while also learning new ways to engage with our team and colleagues. Professionally, he challenged the entire Accela team to be innovators and find new ways to respond to the unprecedented challenges government agencies experienced. As a result, Accela mobilized around our customers’ most pressing needs and developed 13 unique solutions to help state and local governments ensure business continuity and the delivery of critical civic services during the pandemic, which were recognized with the Inc. Best in Business Award and Microsoft US Partner Award. Gary understands the role communication, engagement, transparency, partnership and innovation play in bringing about progress and products that reflect what customers need to be most successful. He is a listener, a dreamer, a motivator, and a doer – the perfect recipe of traits for a proven, top SaaS CEO.

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