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SIM Leadership Spotlight April 2014

"Leadership Spotlight" includes interviews with Chapter Presidents, SIM Board members, Management Council members and other SIM leaders.  "Leadership Spotlight" will not only highlight SIM’s leadership and chapters,  but it will offer insight from our leaders on topics, treads and issues facing the Society, our chapters and the IT industry.


 An archive of interviews will be found HERE.

April 2014
Name: Rich Cigna
SIM Role:  SIM New Jersey Chapter President


1. Please provide an overview of the SIM New Jersey chapter.

The SIM NJ chapter was established 20+ years ago.  Currently, we have over 325 members and are the second largest of the SIM Chapters. Our service offerings include:

  • Eight Monthly Chapter meetings.
  • One-to-One Mentoring program (typically matching CIO’s with Director level mentees)
  • CIO Roundtables
  • Annual CIO/IT leadership Conference
  • Two Social Events (December & Summer); chapter subsidized
  • Annual Golf and Technology Event, run by our highly Successful NJ SIM Foundation, which:
    • Advises and contributes to the technology challenges of charities within our state, by raising and distributing between $75,000 to $100,000 in funds
    • Awards four scholarships to IT students, totaling $10,000
    • Conducts several other outreach activities, including recent STEM initiatives.

We also promote SIM National initiatives such us MIT (Members in Transition), RLF, SIMposium, SIM Women and APC.  


2. What are your goals for your term as the President of the SIM New Jersey chapter?

My goals as President are to:

  • continue the trend of 10 consecutive years of successful chapter leadership
  • offer an array of  services and programs that continue to build relationships and enrich our membership experience and are relevant to today’s CIO and IT leadership roles 
  • expand awareness of the SIMNJ Brand to grow our Chapter and increase participation in SIM NJ’s Portfolio of Service Offerings
  • support the SIM NJ Foundation Officers, volunteers and charitable causes with finances, knowledge sharing, and website creation
  • create metrics and specific measurable results 
  • achieve 10% better growth than last year, fueled by higher percentage of member acquisition and lower percentage of member attrition.
  • learn from other chapters that might have a 3 to 5 year strategy
  • instill a forward thinking approach within the Board.   Willing to take on projects that will be delivered beyond my 1 year term as President. 
  • work closely with our Trustees, who are responsible for our board slate selection, and our current board VP’s to identify the incoming slate earlier and thus promote and direct a longer and smoother turn-over. 
  • Share best practices and collaborate with our neighboring SIM chapter.
  • Ensure that the Chapter operates in a fiscally prudent manner 

3. What are the hottest trends in the IT industry?
Mobility, Cloud, Big Data, Open Source, Security, and Continued Outsourcing are all hot trends in the industry.  The reasons are obvious, these trends and tools, where and when applicable, enable IT leaders to better support the business in a more cost effective way.  In some organizations, if these trends are done right, the organization can also increase revenue.


4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing? 
Even with almost 25 to 30% of our membership involved in committees, we are continually challenged by the management issues posed by the typical time constraints of a volunteer organization.  Also, although we are improving, long range and strategic planning is a challenge with a board that has a new President every year and board/committee VP roles that turn over every year or two. 

5. What is the one piece of advice you will give the next President of the SIM New Jersey chapter? 
  • further crystallize the cause of creating a longer term strategy
  • consider shifting roles and titles on the EC to better accommodate the current and long range missions
  • have some flexible board titles or seats that can be utilized where the need is greatest (which is not something we currently have in NJ)
  • consider how much time you will need to spend on Strategic versus Tactical issues - This will help you to meet your chapter goals and maintain balance :)

An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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