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FoodLink "Give-Back" Event a BIG Success!

Posted By Chris Berson, Wednesday, December 27, 2017




Western NY SIM Chapter presents a check for $5,000to Heather Newton (Director of Community Engagement) and Juliana Stefana (Community Engagement Coordinator) ... both in "plain clothes"!



Thank you to all SIM Chapter members (and guests!) who volunteered their time on Thursday November 9th to FoodLink.


FoodLink is an amazing organization running an operation that does an incredible job providing food to a large number of families (especially children) during challenging times.  


The feedback from the entire team on the whole experience was extremely positive and we received an incredibly warm welcome.  Heather Newton, Director of Community Engagement, gave the entire group a quick tour of the facility after which we were put to work!  We were taken back to a sorting area and split into two teams where one of the staff members, Mark, quickly gave us instructions and let us loose!  One team sorted and packed fresh apples ... the other sorted and weighed various packaged foods into boxes to be distributed and delivered via various channels in our region.  Julia Tedesco, Executive Director, also came around to personally introduce herself and to thank everyone for donating their time.


While there was some competetiveness between the two teams, everyone would agree that our efforts for those few hours are DWARFED by the incredible commitment and dedication of the staff who work in that facility every day.


On behalf of the Western NY SIM Chapter, thank you again to all our volunteers -- and THANK YOU to FoodLink for the work that you do in our community!

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Bruce Leidal Awarded "SIM Chapter Leader of the Year"

Posted By Joe Bruhin, Friday, December 16, 2016


Congratulations to Bruce Leidal: 2016 SIM Chapter Leader of the Year!


By: Joe Bruhin

CIO, Constellation Brands

Program Co-Chair, Western NY SIM Chapter

Chapter Representative, SIM National Board of Directors




The Board of the Western NY SIM Chapter is proud to announce that Bruce Leidal, CIO of Carestream, and Chapter President, was recognized “2016 SIM Leader of the Year”.


Several factors contribute to an IT leader being nominated for this award …


SIM Chapter Involvement and Impact


I look forward to continuing to advance the Chapter towards its goals of strengthening the IT leadership in the area”


Bruce Leidal

CIO, Carestream

President, WNY SIM Chapter





Bruce has been an active member of SIM for more than 12 years, including the Detroit Chapter for many years, association with NYC for two years and a member-at-large for a time.  He is also an active member of the SIM Advanced Practice Council (APC), where he continuously adds value via participation and presentations. 


In addition, Bruce was the motivating force behind the establishment of the Western New York SIM Chapter.  He engaged with several other large company CIO’s who were part of a local CIO roundtable and inspired us to come together to establish the chapter.  Bruce’s passion and desire to establish a SIM Chapter was evident from the start.  He invited me to co-present about SIM to a group of IT leaders at a local IT event, and together we collected a list of interested CIO’s.  Bruce then pulled us all together and invited SIM leaders to come in and educate us on what a Chapter could do for the IT professionals in the area.  Before long, he had created a groundswell of interest in starting a SIM Chapter.  We are now one year in and have 61 members at last count, 20 of whom are C-Level IT professionals.


When asked what he is most proud of about SIM, Bruce replies “The establishment of the SIM WNY Chapter (of course).  IT exists in all types of organizations, though the challenges of the profession is very similar.  I believe it is imperative that our up and coming leaders are able to create a network of like-minded professionals that will allow them the opportunity to bring advanced concepts into their organizations.” 


It’s Bruce’s passion for SIM, his long term dedication to SIM, his amazing success in establishing SIM Western New York, and his continued personal mission to making SIM a living and breathing embodiment of SIM’s mission to bring together IT leaders to share, network and give back to their communities.


Increasing Awareness of SIM

Bruce Leidal (CIO, Carestream and President of Western NY SIM Chapter) introducing the guest speaker at a chapter meeting in 2015.

I can’t think of a greater way to embody increasing the awareness of SIM than what I’ve already mentioned.  Bruce single-handedly brought SIM in to Western New York.  While a local CIO roundtable already existed, most members were completely unaware of SIM.  Bruce joined this prestigious large-company-only CIO’s, including Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox Corporation, City of Buffalo, City of Rochester, Constellation Brands, Carestream and many others.  Most notable is that the CIO for each of the above companies, and several others are active participants in both the regular meetings and most are members of the Board of Directors for the chapter.


Bruce’s passion on spreading the word about SIM was not limited to the set up and execution of the Western New York Chapter, he is constantly looking for ways to share what SIM is all about.  He was recently asked to sponsor a C-Level IT event for the Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse areas.  His one condition was that he got to present information on SIM during the closing session.  He did a brilliant job, and from that one event alone, Bruce signed up just over 100 senior IT leaders who expressed an interest in learning more about SIM after his presentation.  Many have already been converted to active members.


In speaking with SIM leaders across the nation, I am convinced that our establishment of a chapter in Western New York can best be categorized as exceptional.  Bruce continues to lead the Chapter, having been recently re-elected as President for his second term.  His focus keeps us together and centered on growing the Western NY Chapter.  He is continually seeking ways to ensure we maximize the full value of SIM and, more importantly, working to make SIM available to all of today’s and tomorrow’s IT leaders.



I personally believe that SIM provides the greatest opportunity to get more out of being an IT professional than any other organization or group can offer.  I am an Regional Leader’s Forum (RLF) graduate, an active member of the SIM APC for several years, Director & Chapter Representative on the SIM’s National Board of Directors, I send about 6 employees per year through the RLF program, and am one of the co-founders (with Bruce) for the Western New York Chapter; yet I feel my commitment to SIM pales in comparison to Bruce’s. 


I really don’t know where he gets his energy or makes the time to do what he does for SIM Western New York and for SIM as a broader organization.


But it’s not just me, others have shared their thoughts about Bruce:



“Bruce continues to be an incredibly valuable member of the SIM Advanced Practices Council. We can always count on him to share practical advice on how to get things done as well as approaches to leverage IT strategically within an organization. A recent example is a presentation he gave at an Advanced Practices Council meeting on how to do outsourcing right. He brought to the presentation his experience as an executive at EDS as well as a CIO at Carestream. Bruce has also been a sponsor of participants in the Mid-Atlantic RLF in 2015.”

Madeline Weiss

Advanced Practices Council Director





“Bruce has been the champion of SIM in Western NY. He was the driving force behind the creation of our chapter and has continued to be SIM’s greatest advocate. Bruce always takes the opportunity to share his thoughts on how SIM can provide great value to its members.”


Dave DeLaus

Chief Information Officer

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.




“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Bruce Leidal for SIM Leader of the Year. Bruce was instrumental in organizing a Western NY SIM group in our area, and saw the need for collaboration, and overall community involvement amongst local IT professionals. He has shared a wealth of knowledge about SIM, and has helped to grow our organization to over 55 members in just over a year. Bruce is a great leader, and I am confident that our chapter will continue to be successful with his level of expertise and passion in this area.”

Lisa M. Bobo

Chief Information Officer

City of Rochester




“Having met Bruce in 2012, I’ve had the pleasure of working with him under our SIM chapter since its inception early last year. Under Bruce’s leadership, the Chapter gained incredible traction from its first days. With an open-invitation inaugural event that attracted 34 IT leaders from 16 companies with only a few weeks’ notice, the level of interest has only increased with each successive event. In a little under a year, with Bruce at the Chapter’s helm, we gained commitment from 55 paid members representing 25 companies in the region.


As a leader, he has been extremely effective in engaging with organizations in the region to promote our mission. Further, as an active Chapter member he embodies the spirit of candid information exchange by not only being willing to openly discuss challenges he’s faced and overcome as an IT leader, but also by engaging with other chapter members on challenges they are facing and providing his own valuable insight.”

Chris Berson

Vice President, Information Systems

Home Properties



“Bruce Leidal … provided the vision and leadership to create the Western NY SIM chapter, and worked with the Rochester area CIOs to make it a reality. Their prior experience with SIM and personal commitment to introduce it to this community has resulted in a valuable forum for our IT leaders.”

Kim VanGelder

Chief Information Officer

Eastman Kodak Company




“Bruce Leidal is a consummate professional who spends a large part of his time ensuring the success of his employees, company and community. Bruce has played a critical leadership role in the establishment of the local WNY SIM Chapter. His desire to have a successful group of counterparts to share experiences, challenges and successes with has been unrivaled. He is always willing to share his significant experience for the betterment of SIM and its members. I am lucky enough share the experience with Bruce at both the local and the national level, and I value Bruce’s participation and leadership in both forums. Bruce brings his SIM APC experience back and directly interjects that quality into our local chapter.


Our chapter has grown from a starting group of 8 or so individuals to greater than 50 under Bruce’s leadership. In comparison to several other local startup chapters that have longer maturity periods, our chapter has already surpassed their local membership numbers. Bruce has the chapter focused on giving back to the community, as well as bringing multiple communities together using our chapter as the conduit across Western NY. Bruce has also focused on bringing together many of the other community programs he is a part of with the local SIM chapter in an effort to benefit each program. His ability to raise awareness and foster positive participation in a collaborative setting will undoubtedly add an immeasurable value to the success of the SIM WNY chapter."


Bradley G. James

SVP, Chief Technology Officer

Tompkins Financial Corporation




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Registration Opens For 2017 Executive RLF

Posted By Marketing & Communications, Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Six-Month Program Focuses On Building Leaders’ Executive Capabilities


The 4,000 graduates of SIM’s RLF (Regional Leadership Forum) programs have another option for continuing their transformational journey of personal and professional development – the Executive RLF.  Registration is now open at for the six-month program which enables senior leaders to expand their capabilities and influence at the executive level.


The 2017 Executive RLF will be guided by CIO Hall of Fame member Darwin John and strategic change consultant / executive coach Mary Jo Greil.  John is one of the leaders who created the RLF program more than two decades ago. 


“The Executive RLF takes the time-tested, successful synergies of the RLF program to another level with an even more intense, interactive and introspective experience,” says John.  “In 2017 we will work with senior leaders from across the nation to build their executive competence, broaden their influence power, deepen their power of presence and advance their career journey.”


The 2017 Executive RLF will consist of four 2-day sessions in March, May, July and September at the Eaglewood Resort near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.  Additional continuous interaction with experts, mentors and program leaders will take place throughout the six-month program. 


Participants in the program will be RLF graduates operating at the senior level with significant experience leading others.  Additional information is available at

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Chapter Meeting (Q2/2016): Step IT Up America & Portfolio Management

Posted By Chris Berson, Friday, April 22, 2016

The Western NY SIM Chapter held our second quarterly meeting of 2016 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, on April 21st with Synergy Global Solutions generously sponsoring.


Turnout remained strong for what was our first “members only” event – although we did allow members to bring guests.  46 IT leaders registered for the event, of which a dozen were guests of members – in all, 24 companies were represented. Bruce Leidal, Chapter President and CIO of Carestream, provided opening remarks on the status of the Chapter and upcoming events for the year, including discussion of a mid-year “give back” event the details of which still need to be determined.  Bruce then introduced Lisa Bobo, CIO of City of Rochester, who provided an update on the “Step IT Up America” program, as part of the Federal Tech Hire program.  She brought the group up to speed on a recent breakfast meeting during which IT leaders learned more about the program and expressed interest in bringing it to the western NY region, to identify and fast-track training for select candidates who are looking for a new start in IT, to connect those candidates with hiring organizations and ensure a commitment to employ them.  Follow up from the breakfast included conference calls and meetings to support a class on “information security” for Veterans, working in conjunction with Veterans Outreach and Rochester Works.  Anyone wanting more information on this exciting program should contact Lisa Bobo (

The evening then moved to our speaker: Steve Wilson is a program & project management expert with 25 years’ experience and an extensive history of promoting the skills and discipline of project management both locally, and globally.  He is currently a Program Manager & Senior Project Manager at Bosch Security Systems, and is President and Co-Founder of Journey Training Institute (JTI).  

Through JTI, Steve has delivered training to close to 1,000 project managers in the US, South America, and Europe.  He has spoken at numerous events and hosted many workshops on various topics around project management, as well as leadership and team dynamics.  Locally, Steve has presented at PMI events across western NY, and was the keynote speaker at the Rochester PMI Professional Development Day last year.  He is a highly sought after expert in his field and the Chapter was excited to have him come in to discuss Portfolio Management.


Steve brought his own personal experiences into the room, speaking about the challenges faced by IT leaders as we all seek to deliver highly complex projects to meet strategic company objectives, all the while being faced with limited budget and highly constrained resources.  The common theme Steve brought the group back to was the “people” factor and the challenges of communicating with, engaging, motivating, and negotiating with stakeholders throughout the company to move a portfolio of projects along.


He spoke about the relationship between projects, programs and portfolios and how they must always support the strategic objectives of the organization -- and he spoke of the art and the science of orchestrating everything that must happen to meet the organization’s needs.  Throughout his presentation, Steve actively engaged and interacted with everyone in the room and challenged everyone to take some of the key points back into each of our organizations.  Above all, he stressed that leadership and communication were critical to progress and success.


To stress the point, he quoted Madeleine Albright’s “Do-ability Doctrine” – admittedly quoted from an episode of “Madam Secretary"...

Steve’s presentation struck a chord with the entire room and there was some energetic conversation afterwards on the challenges being faced around management of projects. 

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Western NY SIM Chapter Board Re-Elected

Posted By Marketing & Communications, Friday, February 5, 2016

The SIM Western New York Chapter By-Laws require an annual election of the Board members to be voted on by members in good-standing.  With the Chapter being established early in 2015, the Nomination Committee recommended the re-election of the current Board for a second term extending from January 18th, 2016 to January 17th, 2017.  

Chapter members were granted access to an online survey where they could review information on each candidate and indicate their selection for each board position.  This included the ability to write-in a candidate's name.


Voting was open until January 15th, after which the votes were tallied.


As a result of this election, all Board members were re-elected to their prior positions, as follows:






Bruce Leidal


Vice President and Programs Co-Chair

Joe Bruhin

Constellation Brands

Programs Co-Chair

Dave DeLaus


Marketing & Communications Co-Chair

Lisa Bobo

City of Rochester

Marketing & Communications Co-Chair

Chris Berson

Home Properties

Finance Chair/Treasurer

Tom Degrave



Carol Schmitt

City of Rochester


John Milazzo

Kodak Alaris

At Large

Kim VanGelder



At Large

Brad James
Tompkins Financial Corporation

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