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SIM CGN: Career Growth & Networking Monthly Education Calls
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Beginning in November 2016, SIM National began holding monthly conference calls to help educate our members on various topics related to networking, job search, and moving your career forward. This program is now known as SIM CGN: Career Growth & Networking Education.  These calls are directed to all our members who wish to learn more about growing their careers and how to better network, and is especially helpful to our members-in-transition.


The next CGN Education Call:


To Be Announced


Zoom Conference Call Information:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or Telephone:


        US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 558 8656 

    Meeting ID: 317 514 1337


The preference is that you join via computer so that you can ask questions via Chat. All SIM:CGN calls are interactive. Participation is not only highly encouraged, but also produce the most informative information.



Past Calls:


July 31st, 2018 at Noon EDT:  David O'Malley - "Making the jump from Small to Large companies"


Moving from a startup, or small company to a large corporation presents unique challenges. In this presentation David O'Malley will discuss his journey from small startup to global behemoth, and strategies to thrive in your new environment.

Among the topics that David will touch on are the following:

  • Dealing with both anonymity and the “fire hose”.
  • Approaches to networking broad and deep.
  • Maintaining focus and executing.
  • Define your story, build your brand, own your success.

About David:


General Electric is undergoing the largest transformation in its history. As an Innovation Leader at GE Digital, David O’Malley is on the vanguard of that transformation, with a mission to incubate and accelerate cultural change, on a global scale.

Before joining GE, David worked across many industries, in both large companies and startups. Father. Husband. Irishman, David has a passion for Business agility, music and the Human Spirit.


A proud SIM member for over ten years, David resides in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Click to view call recording


June 26, 2018 at Noon EDT: Thom Singer - "Mentors and Cross Generational Networking"

There is a lot of talk about the power of having a mentor.  Much of this is geared toward younger professionals, but a mentorship relationship does not have to be just an older executive guiding some young guns.  Surrounding yourself with people who have your back and want to help you succeed is beneficial to everyone.

Traditional mentors, peer-to-peer mastermind groups, and cross generational networking are things that can benefit everyone, no matter where they are in their journey.

But what is mentoring, and how many people do you know who have had a mentor that has directly impacted their career?  Some have, but others look at the concept of a mentor like Santa Claus (great in theory, but isn't real).

Thom Singer has had a career or teaching people how to better connect with people and has made a study out of careers and the gap between potential and results.  In this webinar he will share ideas about how to find a mentor or peer group, and how and why someone should want to be a mentor.


About Thom:


Thom Singer has an eclectic background working in sales, marketing and business development roles for Fortune 500 Companies, Law Firms, and entrepreneurial ventures.  He is a business growth speaker whose work gets people to build influence, unlock potential, and drive performance.

He believes that all opportunities come from people, and when we work together to find “cooperative significance” with others we all discover more success and illuminate their possibilities.

Thom is the author of twelve books and he speaks regularly at business and association conferences around the United States and beyond. He is also the host of the widely popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast.  On this show he interviews entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and business leaders from a variety of industries.  He encourages his guests to share tips and ideas that can help those with an “entrepreneurial spirit” understand their potential and then go for it.

Thom and his wife, Sara, make their home in Austin, Texas and are the parents of two highly spirited daughters.


Click to view call recording


March 27, 2018 at Noon EST: Ken Piddington - "Moving Beyond the Firewall: The Next Frontier of IT Leadership"

Even successful IT executives and managers are under pressure to meet the steadily increasing demands from the business.  The perception of IT’s value is declining, the pace of change is faster than ever, and time is of the essence for IT to take a stand and demonstrate how technology can change the course for an organization’s success or failure.  Business technology leaders – on any level in IT management – can change how they impact and create value for their organizations. 

Join us for this session to hear how organizations need their business technology leaders to influence and lead across the organization -- and move from traditional back-office IT to provide unique streams of value on the other side of the firewall.


About Ken:


Ken Piddington is Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Executive Advisor at MRE Consulting.  He is an experienced business leader and technology strategist with more than 20 years of transformation leadership experience gained as CIO and executive advisor for Fortune 1000 companies. 
Ken is the former CIO at Global Partners LP, a Fortune 500 midstream logistics and energy products marketing company. Ken is recognized as an industry thought leader, is a regular speaker at business and association conferences, has been featured in multiple media publications, and is a Contributing Content Editor for IDG Enterprises.  He currently chairs the Technology Committee for Stages Repertory Theatre, chairs the advisory board for the Energy Institute High School and previously served on the Board of Trustees for the Sage School.

Ken has been named a Computerworld Premier 100 Technology leader, is a CIO100 award winner, and has twice been recognized as an InformationWeek 500 Top Technology Innovator. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Northeastern University, and attended Graceland College where he played football and baseball.  Currently Ken makes Houston, TX his home, and is actively involved in his local SIM Chapter where he serves as a mentor and coach for aspiring IT leaders.


Click to view recording of the call


February 27, 2018 at Noon EST: Julie Norris"The What, Why and How to Joining a Corporate Board" 


As companies seek to address the challenges and opportunities brought about by digital disruption, driving global growth, and entering new markets, their boardrooms are also in transition. Board directors are looking around the table and recognizing the need to bring new perspectives into the boardroom. The demand for technology, marketing, financial, geographic, and core industry expertise in the boardroom will continue to grow, as will the interest in bringing more people of diverse backgrounds (gender, ethnicity, age, etc.) to the table.

Julie will discuss what boards are looking for, how boards go about recruiting new directors, and how to effectively position yourself for board opportunities.


Mark Polansky, senior client partner at Korn Ferry, SIM NY Metro Executive Committee member, and June 2017 guest of SIM:CGN, will also be joining us and introducing this call.


About Julie:

Julie Norris is a Senior Client Partner in the Boston Office of Korn Ferry and a member of the Board & CEO and Technology Practices.
Julie specializes in the recruitment of board directors and C-suite executives.  She has completed more than 100 board director searches working with small cap, middle market and Fortune 500 clients.

Throughout her career, Julie has worked closely with boards, CEOs, and senior executives to develop high performance teams, build new businesses, and turnaround underperforming operations. Julie regularly serves as a panelist for corporate governance programs with Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, and other organizations.  She also helped develop an annual Executive Education program on Corporate Governance with Wharton.

Julie holds an A.B. in economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard College, a  J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and an M.B.A., with distinction, from Harvard Business School. 


Click to view recording of the call


January 23, 2018 at Noon EST: Shawn Banerji - "What Can Technology Leaders Expect in 2018" 


Shawn spoke with us about the megatrends reshaping the technology landscape, and focused on the impact these shifts have on skill portfolios and careers. This was also and opportunity to question Shawn on trends and new technology that SIM members have been seeing, and initiate different conversations that others may not yet be fully aware of. Questions were also asked relating on how to prepare.


About Shawn:


Shawn Banerji is the Managing Partner for the Technology, Digital and Data Leaders Practice at Caldwell Partners.  As a trusted advisor to organizations seeking to transform their businesses by unlocking the latent value of their legacy product portfolios, Shawn advises clients on the convergence of talent and innovation across all facets of the evolving digital enterprise. He specializes in the recruitment and assessment of these catalyst leaders who are resetting the value propositions of their organizations and industries through the power of data & analytics, accelerated software engineering, and Cloud. He is a loud advocate for increasing technology representation and diversity on corporate boards. He is also an ex-officio board member of SIM New York and serves on the board of advisors for The Center for Technology Management at Columbia University.  Shawn is co-located in TCP’s New York and  Stamford offices.


Click to view recording of the call


Click to view or download presentation


December 19, 2017 at Noon EST:  Lookman Fazal - "The Art and Science of Job Hunting"


Lookman is correctly doing what it takes to move his career forward.  While working hard at his current position, he is also actively exploring his next opportunity; AS WE SHOULD ALL BE DOING. As another CGN real life, front-line of business person, he will be sharing the unique yet also time-tested approach he is taking for job hunting from a practitioner perspective. We as IT professionals understand the knowledge science provides. The true art to career growth, is applying this knowledge and our skills to finding that next position.

About Lookman:

Lookman Fazal is the CIO & CISO at ATC.  ATC offers global services and expertise in supply chain management to highly regulated industries and manages multimillion dollar budget, a global staff across 3 continents and 28 locations around the world.   His primary objective is to set the technology & security blueprint and roadmap to position ATC for future growth across the 5 distinct business divisions.  Mr Fazal has reestablished business and IT partnership by strategically aligning IT organization to business objectives.  This was done by building transparency, trust, selling IT services and by showing the technology benefits to the business.  Prior to joining ATC, Lookman Fazal has worked with several fortune 500 companies in various leadership roles at EmblemHealth, Avaya, Lucent and Novartis.  He has a Masters in Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and has 10 certifications and 5 patents. Lookman is an active member of SIM New Jersey.  


Click to view call recording


November 28, 2017 at Noon EST:  Greg Fell - "Making the Leap From CIO to COO"


In a continuation of the theme of talking to people on the “Front-lines of Business”, Greg will be discussing with us as to why he saw the next step of his career being the COO position. This is a career direction that all of us can, or should be, relating to. It is what we have been hearing for years; is the top CIO or CTO now really the COO of an organization?  Greg will be expressing his thoughts on this very relevant topic.


About Greg:


Greg Fell is the Chief Operating officer of Gama Aviation. Gama is the largest managed aircraft business in the US, and the exclusive Air Carrier for WheelsUp. 

Prior to joining Gama Aviation, Mr. Fell served as a General Partner in The Investors Collaborative, a Boston-based venture capital group. As a trusted leader, he formally advised several technology startup companies, and mentored young entrepreneurs on the challenges in starting a technology business. 

In this role, he served as the CEO of Hire Canvas, Chief Strategy Officer of Crisply, and Board Advisor to App Point Software and BlackRidge Technologies. He currently serves as an independent director on the Boards of Kitchen Brains a leader in Fast Food automation technologies, and BluSapphire an end-to-end security solution for Small to mid-sized Enterprises. 

Prior to the Investors Collaborative, Mr. Fell served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Terex Corporation, where he led a strategic transformation of the IT Organization. Terex is a manufacturer of industrial equipment that employs 23,000 persons in 50 manufacturing locations around the globe.

Before joining Terex, Fell spent nearly 20 years with Ford Motor Company. He started as a software developer, and worked his way through a variety of management roles supporting the global Engineering and Manufacturing functions of the company. He has domain expertise on CAD/CAM/CAE systems, Lean Manufacturing, and Control Systems.

Fell is a graduate of Michigan State University, and spent several years on staff in the College of Engineering as a Senior Research Programmer, and Instructor.

His book, Decoding the IT Value Problem (John Wiley and Sons, 2013), has gained positive reviews for its research into the management issues and solutions required to make IT projects more successful.


Click to view call recording


October 24, 2017 at Noon EST: Bryant McBride - "Technology Talent from a Serial Entrepreneurs Point-Of-View"


Bryant McBride is a seven-time successful serial entrepreneur. Six of the companies he has started have been technology based. Yet, Bryant is not what you would traditionally call a "Tech Person".


With such a proven track record of being so repeatedly successful, how has Bryant partnered with and then further hired the IT talent he needed (CTOs, CIOs, CISOs, Developers, IT Directors, etc., etc.), to create so many valuable companies based around new technologies? During this unique and casual conference call, Bryant will give us insight into what he looks for when seeking out a solution to a  problem that creates a new business, the technology talent he needs to build that business, and the partners he works with.


About Bryant:


Bryant McBride is co-founder and CEO of Burst. The technology Burst offers is currently being rolled out by Broadcast Networks to 72% of all U.S. households.


Bryant has over 25 years of experience as an executive, entrepreneur and investor. In the past 15 years, he has focused on building and nurturing technology businesses where family and sports have been strategic growth drivers. 

Bryant's past entrepreneurial activities have resulted in the creation, growth and profitable sale of multiple companies including, Vision Sports and Entertainment Partners, Football Scouts Inc. and Sports Technologies Inc. Bryant has also built growth initiatives with Fortune 500 companies and leading consumer brands including M&M Mars, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Kraft Foods, Sunkist, Sam's Club/Walmart, Bank of America, Choice Hotels, and United Technologies. Prior to his entrepreneurial activities, Bryant was the VP of Business Development for the National Hockey League, where he led the evaluation and creation of new businesses, including international broadcasting, rink development and multiple grassroots fan base building initiatives.

Bryant was elected the first African American class president at West Point where he served as a Cadet from 1984-86. He graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut where he also became the first African American to be elected class president and was voted an All-American defenseman for Trinity's Championship hockey team. In 1990, Bryant obtained a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Bryant serves on the boards of directors of the New York City Track and Field Armory, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the New York Road Runners Club - the largest running club in the world and organizers of the New York City Marathon. Bryant is a father of three who has also started and completed 26 marathons.


Click to view call recording 


September 28th, 2017 at Noon EST: Cecilia Rose - "The Underbelly of Leadership"


Cecilia Rose, MCC, President/Founder of Next Door Strategies is an ICF-Master Certified Coach and Executive Career Strategist. Cecilia partners with senior level executives in Global Fortune 50 companies as a change-agent, leadership development, trusted advisor, and facilitates executive leadership teams. She is dynamic and high energy and known for taking the pain out of change, and accelerating the epiphany process.  She facilitates Senior Executive Roundtables, Retreats and Forums. She is a sought-after keynote speaker focusing on change and leadership in the new marketplace. She taught and co-wrote for University of Houston Small Business Development Center. She has been interviewed by Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s Finance Magazine, 20/20 and ExecuNET.  She appears regularly as “career expert” on the television show “Get A Job”.  Her resume coaching expertise was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly. Her extensive writing credits range from her own byline in national trade magazines to USA TODAY and the Washington Post.


Cecilia serves on numerous Executive Advisory Councils, numerous panels, and has presented before organizations including BP, Shell Oil, Chevron, Accenture, ExxonMobil, Comerica, Coca Cola and NASA. 




We start a new job. We have a job. We feel confident. We are excited, secure and feel the world is our oyster. It is a wonderful feeling. However, to quote Bob Dylan, 'The Times They Are A-Changin'.
In today's environment and in the blink of an eye, we can lose a job that we have had for years or we can lose a job we have had for a couple of months. And in that blink of an eye we can lose our confidence, our money, our power and people who we thought were friends. We no longer hear from these perceived 'friends', we lose our routine, and the structure in which we performed our work. Most of all we lose our identity. We spend our careers introducing ourselves by what we do and when that is gone… We become lost because doing great work is what brings us personal value and self-esteem. 
This becomes the time of utmost importance that we add new competencies to our career repertoire. We have always had choices we just didn’t exercise them. You can transition and get another J-O-B. OR you can go through a transformation and DISCOVER and UNCOVER the gold within you: the you now have time to mine the gold, the LEADERSHIP qualities you had no idea existed within you 
It. Is. Your. Choice.


Click to view a recording of the call (diminished quality due to Zoom issue)



June 20, 2017:  Mark Polansky - "The Ever-Changing Role of the Chief Information Officer"


Mark Polansky is a Senior Client Partner in Korn Ferry’s Information Technology Officers Center of Expertise, a practice he headed up for more than twelve years. He has been based in the firm’s New York office since joining Korn Ferry in 1997.


He has extensively recruited chief information officers, chief technology officers, chief information security officers and other senior IT leadership talent across varied vertical sectors including Industrial, Consumer, Life Sciences and Higher Education. Before entering the search field, he developed and marketed information systems within the Financial Services and Higher Education sectors.


His clients range from the Fortune 100 to smaller high-growth companies as well as prestigious public and private universities. His consultative approach to search encompasses talent strategy, organization design, search process and diversity recruiting.


Mr. Polansky holds a master’s degree in computer science from Pratt Institute and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and electrical engineering from Union College. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for Columbia University's executive graduate program in Information Technology Management. Mark is a longtime member of SIM, and has served as President and Chairman of SIM New York Metro, where he is currently a member of the Advisory Board. He frequently addresses conferences and writes on information technology and career management topics.




In this call from June 2017, Mark teaches us about:

  • The Historical Perspective of the CIO’s Role
  • Today’s CIO Leadership Agenda
  • Current CIO Operating Models
  • Requirements of the Role in Today’s Environment
  • Transformation & Innovation: What Makes a Great CIO
  • Growth/Future Roles: “CIO-plus” and “Beyond CIO”

Mark also answers questions that you have always wanted to ask of a top recruiter in our field.


Click to view a recording of the call



May 23, 2017:  Michelle Tillis Lederman, CPA, MBA, PCC - "Get Known, Get Connected, Get Ahead"


Michelle Tillis Lederman, CPA, MBA, PCC named one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts, is the author of three books including The 11 Laws of Likability and her latest Nail the Interview, Land the Job. Michelle is the CEO of Executive Essentials  which provides custom communication and leadership training and coaching programs. Michelle has appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox, Gayle King, and NPR and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Working Mother, US News & World Report,, USA Today, CNBC, and She holds degrees from Lehigh University and Columbia Business School. Connect with Michelle on Twitter and Facebook. 


Some of Michelle’s social media links are:

Websites:,, Twitter,  Facebook, YouTube

Books:,,  Nail the Interview, Land the Job




What do you need to get ahead? In this day and age, we live in a network economy - - it’s all about who you know, who knows you, and what they know about you. In this talk The 11 Laws of Likability author Michelle Tillis Lederman explains the types of relationships you want and need, how to create positive mood memory, and how to ask for what you want. 
What You Will Learn:
 The correlation between relationships and promotion, hiring, and business results
 The key relationship types that impact success
 How to create positive mood memory and extend relationships
 How to make an ask and ask for what you want


Click to view a recording of the call


Click to download Michelle's Presentation


Help Michelle out with her new book! Click to take a quick survey


Access Michelle's Free Gift Pack -



April 25, 2017:  Kristen Lamoreaux - "Leadership, Authenticity, and Humility – How to get EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, into your resume"


Kristen Lamoreaux has over 20+ years in IT recruitment and is:

-       President & CEO of Lamoreaux Search

-       EVP & MIT Chair, SIM Philadelphia

-       Co-Chair, SIM Philadelphia Joe Tait Invitational Charity Golf Outing

-       Events Chair, PHISIM Foundation

-       Founder, SIM Women

-       Member, SIM STEM Outreach Committee




It’s truly difficult to create a resume that not only reflects the challenges you’ve overcome and monumental tasks you’ve completed without appearing arrogant.  In an interview, you can manage your tone of voice so you don’t sound like you’re bragging, but what if you don’t get that chance?  And yet, if you go all “my team” it sounds like YOU didn’t do anything. For the April call, Kristen shared with us tips and tricks on how to put YOU in your resume. Kristen believes every candidate is more than the sum of their accomplishments and she strives to ensure every resume reflects the whole person authentically and as well as their value proposition. 


Click to view a recording of the call


Click to download the PowerPoint presentation



March 21, 2017:  Jessica Taylor - "Raise your Voice, be an Ambassador for Your Brand"

Jessica has over 18 years of cumulative experience in the technology industry in functional areas of sales, marketing, and professional education. She has designed thought leadership, strategic branding, and a suite of content platforms to accelerate education, communication and engagement for C-suite executives, relationship marketers, and strategic sellers. Jessica has worked with business luminaries like Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief, Forbes Media; Gary Hamel, world renowned author, speaker, and business thought leader; Mary Fran Johnson, Editor Chief and CIO Events, IDG; Jim Stikeleather, Futurist and former chief innovation officer, Dell Services, as well as numerous other C-suite leaders.




The market is demanding a Digital and Transformational CIO, and there is a growing importance for an executive's’ brand to tell the story of leadership and technology in a different way.  In fact, one important attribute organizations are looking for in a CIO is that of an ambassador for the brand. There is research that indicates that customer loyalty is tied directly to market perception of the leaders of an organization.  

Are you an ambassador for your brand?

Click to view a recording of the call



February 21, 2017:  Larry Bonfante - "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

Larry has held numerous executive leadership positions over the past 35 years. He has received industry accolades including being nominated for the CIO Hall of Fame, being named as one of CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 and one of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders. As CIO at the United States Tennis Association, Larry’s team was responsible for all information technology related services supporting the US Open. Larry is the founder of CIO Bench Coach, LLC and has served as executive coach and trusted business adviser to executives at some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Larry is also the author of the book “Lessons in IT Transformation” and writes a leadership blog for CIO Insight. He has served as both President and Chairman of the Fairfield-Westchester chapter of SIM and is a founding member of the CIO Executive Council. 




Many people who find themselves in transition immediately start looking for jobs that resemble their prior role. However you are not your business card!  You are a combination of competencies, experiences, passions and preferences.  A job is simply an opportunity to help an organization solve problems and leverage opportunities. In this call Larry showed us how you think about who you are, and how you can add value in helping an organization succeed.


Click to view a recording of the call



January 24, 2017: Beverly Lieberman - "Ask the Recruiter"

Bev Lieberman, nationally renowned, IT recruiter and Board member of SIM FF/Westchester answers all questions asked about career progression and job search. Bev has recruited CIOs and direct reports in all industries and sizes of companies for the last 25 years. She is also an executive coach. She answers questions like how you can best “market” yourself to recruiters and how to differentiate yourself, as well as many other topics. 


Click to view a recording of the call. (Due to technical issues the introduction was cut off at the start of the call. Recording starts after Beverly's introduction. Bev has just started answering the question, "What is the best way to find and begin working with an executive recruiter?")



December 13, 2016: Ed Pospesil - "Networking Does Not Mean Exchanging Business Cards"

Ed is an adjunct professor at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering in the Department of Technology Management & Innovation and helps to teach the Career and Transition Management Module. He trains and mentors students in the Executive Management of Technology master’s program, concerning resume development, how use career networking and dynamic interviewing. He operates his own firm, Edward J. Pospesil & Co., LLC. He has spent nearly four decades in IT executive search, recruiting and personal mentoring. Ed is founder and Chairman of the Technology Executives Networking Group, LLC ( ), and a member of the Fairfield-Westchester Chapter of SIM.




Career networking involves more than exchanging business cards at conferences and cocktail hours. If we expect others to remember us, share valuable contacts and information with us, we must first give them a reason to do so, by building and maintaining relationships with them. 

Click to view a recording of the call (Audio only with call information. First two minutes of call were not recorded due to technical difficulties)


November 15, 2016:  Rhona Kannon - "How Recruiters Use LinkedIn"

Rhona is Director of Recruiting at Cybercoders. She has been a technology recruiter for over 15 years. Prior to recruiting she was in technology for 19 years where during the last ten she was a development manager for PepsiCo. Rhona is a longtime member of SIM Fairfield-Westchester and is currently VP Member Recruitment.


November's call was on two topics: "How Recruiters use LinkedIn" and "Thinking Like an IT Person for Search Engines".

Click to view a recording of the call (Audio & Screen recording of older conference call software)



For more information on SIM CGN and these monthly calls contact Mitchell Schneider ( of SIM NY Metro.


Mitchell Schneider has had a made career being COO and CTO of small and medium sized companies engaged in the product distribution, sustainable energy services, product development and manufacturing industries (national and international). Typically, these companies are growing to the next level of their vertical, and he has provided the technical and operational management needed to achieve this success. Currently, he is President of his own consulting firm, Koolmax Professional Services, where he continues to provide this guidance to companies needing help to grow or needing an analysis of potential companies to acquire.

Mitchell, a graduate of Boston University, is also the founder and moderator of the SIM National Career Growth and Networking Monthly Educational Call/Webinar. Monthly, SIM members are educated on networking, job search & moving their careers forward.




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