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SIM Leadership Spotlight April 2016

"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 2016
Name: Bruce Leidal
SIM Role: Western New York Chapter

Question 1  |  Question 2  |  Question 3  |  Question 4  |  Question 5  


1. Please provide an overview of the SIM Western New York chapter.
The Western New York region is the headquarters for many Fortune 500 and privately held companies that range in size from hundreds of millions to tens of billions in annual revenue.  In addition, the region is the home of many top tier universities, including:  University of Syracuse, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Cornell and the University of Buffalo.  


Sixteen CIO’s from the Western New York region gathered together in recognition of the need to advance the IT profession in the region.  They sponsored the creation of the SIM Western New York (SIM WNY) Chapter.  The Chapter was established in May of 2015 with a focus on four key goals:

  1. Professional Advocacy – Improving the public image of our industry with a focus on attracting and retaining talent.
  2. Knowledge Sharing – Providing the preferred environment for facilitating the sharing of rich intellectual capital, recognizing we all have similar challenges.
  3. Professional Development – Providing means where IT Leaders may build networks, gain self-awareness, develop new skills/capabilities, test/practice new skills in a safe environment, and promote their career to achieve higher professional satisfaction.
  4. Give Back/Pay-It-Forward – Fostering opportunities for the IT profession to give back to our committees.  Providing the opportunity for established leaders to pay-it-forward in advancing the IT profession.

The SIM WNY Chapter is focused on a geography along the I-90 corridor of Western New York, ranging from Buffalo on the West to Syracuse on the East, with Rochester located in the middle.  The distance in travel time is just over two hours from end to end.  The Chapter meets quarterly at a central location along I-90, just outside of Rochester.


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

I was honored to be elected as the founding president of the SIM WNY Chapter.  My primary goals are to build a strong foundation for the Chapter, rooted in great programs and wide spread membership. 

We began our quarterly meetings in an “open” fashion to gain exposure to as many IT executives and IT educators in the region as possible.  Membership is currently 60.


3. What are the hottest trends in the industry?
While our discussions and program interest has been wide ranging, they primarily focus on five areas:
  1. Information Security and Cyber protection
  2. The use of audits by large IT companies to increase revenue
  3. Big Data methods and lessons learned
  4. Talent – the challenge for our region and our profession
  5. The impact of Cloud computing on the traditional IT organization

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing?
Two primary challenges:

  1. How to continue to keep the interest high between quarterly meetings.
  2. What “give back” event would be the most attractive to the membership, have the greatest impact, and improve the public image of the IT profession

5. What is the one piece of advice you will give the next President of the SIM Western New York chapter?

Get to know and utilize the IT executives in our region to keep the Chapter strong.  Our current Board is made up of a great group of CIOs and IT Executives.  This team needs to have strong personal relationships and be well integrated into the Chapter.


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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