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SIM Leadership Spotlight February 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.

February 2014
Name: Scot Berkey
SIM Role:  SIM Chicago Chapter President

1. Please provide an overview of the SIM Chicago chapter.

SIM Chicago was incorporated in the late 1970’s as one of the first local SIM Chapters. With over 300 members, SIM Chicago hosts a variety of open and closed programs including CIO-only events, member-only events in downtown Chicago as well as the surrounding suburbs, large-scale Gala events open to the public, the largest CIO-focused charity golf outing in Chicagoland, and social mixers to help individuals connect outside the paradigm of a formally structured events.  SIM Chicago is also active in the Chicagoland technology community by partnering with other organizations such as Evanta and HMG for premier CIO conferences as well as by jointly sponsoring other local events with other organizations such as AITP and The Executives Club of Chicago. 


2. What are your goals for your term as the President of the SIM Chicago chapter?
During the past several years, SIM Chicago has greatly expended both its program offerings and its membership.  During the next two years, SIM Chicago will:

  • continue to retain and grow its membership
  • become more visible to the general public by more outward facing marketing activities
  • institute additional charity programs first focusing on STEM-related scholarships
  • continue to refine and expand our annual program of events to best serve the Chicagoland technology community

3. How has your role as an RLF Facilitator helped you in your role of Chapter President?  Why would you encourage someone to register for the RLF program? 
Over a decade ago I completed the RLF program and since that time have been involved with facilitation.  The RLF program focuses on creating authentic leaders and true power/leadership vs positional power: a focus on the human factors of leadership.  As organizations today become more matrixed both internally as well as externally as aggregators of services, the ability to influence from any place in the organization becomes critical to the success of the organization and therefore critical your own personal success.   

These skills translate directly to leadership in a non-profit organization like SIM.  Board members are there by choice, not be force, and they each have full schedules with their day jobs.  Similarly, our target member also has a full schedule and a wide array or organizations vying for his or her time.  While we look for passionate and dedicated people to help run SIM Chicago, we also need to be respectful of the time and effort that each person is able to dedicate, and we need to keep both the Board and the Membership feeling connected and involved.  By listening and responding to both the personal and professional needs and desires of everyone involved, we can create an organization that is compelling from both a personal and professional points of view.  As usual, in the end, it’s all about the people, and that’s what RLF is all about.  


4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing? 
Growth and continued excellence are our primary challenges.  SIM Chicago has seen significant growth in the past 6 years in every way.  Our challenge now is to put in the appropriate operational infrastructure not only to support the exiting growth of the chapter but also to prepare for the continued growth which we expect to achieve.  We have already taken steps including working more closely with some local service providers, expanding our Board, optimizing and standardizing many or our internal processes, and recognizing the opportunity and value of our non-Board member contributors.  By leveraging what we have already done and always remaining flexible with our eye on value and excellence, SIM Chicago is confident that it can continue to strongly meet the needs or our community and our membership.  

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

Know yourself, and surround yourself with people better than you.   A chapter our size is not run by a single or small set of people: it is run my many people working together, coordinating with each other, both regular and Board members, to achieve common goals.  While the President certainly contributes and may be in front of the membership more than other Board members, it’s really everyone else together that makes it all work.  I realize that fact at SIM Chicago and hope that other Chapter Presidents do too.   



An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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