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SIM Leadership Spotlight March 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.

March 2013
Name: Keri Pearlson
SIM Role: SIM Austin President


1. Please provide a brief overview of the Austin chapter.
The Austin chapter of SIM turned 1-year old two months ago, in January this year.  We began in fall of 2011 with a series of get togethers at a local restaurant with the help and guidance of leaders from the Houston and Dallas chapters, and by January 2012 we became a full-fledged chapter of our own.  Like other SIM chapters, we meet monthly and have had a wide array of speakers, meetings and events.   We have an incredibly talented and dedicated executive team which makes my role fun and energizing.  In keeping with the local Austin culture, our chapter includes senior IT leaders, academics, CTOs from local high-tech companies and a handful of leaders from vendor companies who support our goals. Like our city, our chapter is vibrant and growing and the credit goes to our great members and our energetic leaders.

2. What are/were your goals for your term as the President of the Austin chapter?
As the founding President, my goals are to create a strong foundation for our chapter, and to build a compelling road map for where we want to go.  Our first year was a resounding success.  We completed our incorporation process, we had interesting, engaging programming and we grew our membership from 0 to about 45 members.  Our volunteers on our Board learned how to work together to create a high-performing team.  For our second year, we spent the first two months creating a strategic plan and we will work on implementing that plan over the next few years.  Our strategic plan 2 defining (strategic) priorities and one support priority, and each priority has specific initiatives we plan to do over the next few years.  Now it’s time to socialize and operationalize the plan. 

3. What are the hottest trends in the IT industry? 
For our community, the hottest trends seem to be mobility/BYOD, social IT, big data/analytics, and cloud.  We also see a lot of interest in IT issues like security, change management/transformation, innovation and finding the right people to hire.

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing?
Since it’s our second year, our biggest challenges are around finding our voice/clarifying our brand and making it clear who we are in the Austin community.  There are lots of competing activities for IT leaders time and attention, and we want to have a compelling and engaging story to attract and retain our peers in this community. 

5. What is the one piece of advice you will give to the next President of the Austin chapter?
We have a great group of members and leaders in Austin. Find ways to engage them and involve them in creating programming and solving the challenges of our chapter.


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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