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SIM Leadership Spotlight January 2013

"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.

January 2013
Name: John Pierce
SIM Role: SIM Portland Chapter President

1. Please provide a brief overview of the Portland chapter
The Portland Chapter was initially formed as a satellite of the Seattle SIM Chapter in 1996, but has stood as an independent Chapter since 1999. We draw the majority of our 200 members from Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA, but have active members as far south as Corvallis. The membership is served by a dedicated 10-member board.

2. What are/were your goals for your term as the President of the Portland chapter?
The Portland Chapter places a strong emphasis on developing future generations of IS/IT leaders and my primary goal is to build on our past success. We support this emphasis through two primary avenues.
First, in 2005 we started awarding college scholarships to deserving seniors majoring in IS/IT disciplines at local universities. The primary source of funds is our annual golf tournament and to date we have donated over $250,000 in scholarships. Recipients of our scholarships are students at University of Portland, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Washington State University – Vancouver.

Second, we work with the Business Education Compact ( to encourage younger students to explore further education and careers in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. During National Engineers Month, SIM members are paired with a student from one of our aforementioned university partners and jointly present to classes of middle and high school students at area schools. We have presented to more than 2500 students since starting this program in 2011.

3. What are the hottest trends in the IT industry? 
One of the hottest trends in the IT industry is the industry itself, as evidenced by the low unemployment rate among IT professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington and the growing popularity of IS/IT programs offered in colleges and universities. The dynamism that has been the hallmark of IT throughout my 30 years in the industry shows no signs of abating any time soon.

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing?
We’ve been hovering just below the 200 member level for the past couple of years, but are challenged to break through it – not a bad problem to have! Continuing to deliver quality programs and providing the networking opportunities our members value will be key contributors to our future growth.

5. What is the one piece of advice you will give to the next President of the Portland chapter?
It’s all about the board! Having a talented and committed board to work with, as I do, makes the President’s role an easy one.


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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