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SIM Leadership Spotlight - November 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.



November 2016
Name: Susan Malisch
SIM Role: SIM Chicago

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


1. Please tell us a little about yourself and your connection to SIM.


I’ve been a SIM Chicago Chapter member for about 12 years, and a board member for 8 years.  I’ve served as President-Elect, President, Chairman, and I’m currently a Trustee and serving on our Membership Committee.  I attend most of the Chapter Leader meetings and make an effort to contribute to national discussions and initiatives that will help us all improve the SIM brand and offerings, and that will keep the SIM network strong and relevant.

2. Provide a brief overview of your chapter and your current role within the chapter?


The SIM Chicago Chapter includes about 275 members.  We have a variety of programs throughout the year, including a Spring and Fall Gala, CIO Roundtables, jointly partnered events with the Executives Club of Chicago, the Association of IT Professionals, Black Data Processing Association, and Financial Executives International.  These joint events help deepen our relationships across the business and executive communities in Chicago.  We also sponsor STEM scholarships for college students and have an annual charity golf outing to raise money for i.c.stars.  Despite being a very large city, I really appreciate how intimate the Chicagoland business technology community really is, and I believe that SIM Chicago is an important part of the “glue” that keeps us connected!  At present, my time as Trustee seems to be best used to support membership, programs and some external relationships, however, the board approaches many of our challenges as a team and many of us are willing to pitch in where it’s most needed at the time – it’s one of the things that makes our board work!


3. What are the hottest trends in the industry?  
I’ll include in my response some trends but also priorities that I believe are pressing on all of us.  Business intelligence and data analytics is something we’ll all likely be working on for a number of years – it takes a fair technology investment but also a strong business partnership to yield results in this area that positively impact our businesses.  Although it will be a longer runway for many industries, the Internet of Things (and this is already a “tired” phrase) will really have an impact on our personal lives and our businesses.  So many devices that are not yet internet-enabled today will be available to us going forward that will fundamentally change the way we do things – you can see that in larger cities with mobile-enabled parking meter apps, Uber, etc., and there is so much more to do!  I also think we’ll see much progress in the use cases for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology but this is still developing and perhaps not yet a “hot trend”.  And information security, compliance and regulatory requirements continue to consume larger portions of our time and attention – this is a trend whether we like it or not.

4. What challenges is your chapter currently facing?

One of our biggest challenges in Chicago is the competition for the time of CIO’s and other IT leaders/decision makers.  Many groups and organizations come to Chicago to hold events that compete with ours topically and the market has gotten very crowded with many opportunities for people to meet and discuss technology strategy, priorities, and challenges, so it’s important that we serve the community very well with our set of programs and keep providing value to the Chicago business technology leadership network all year round.  SIM Chicago, like other SIM Chapters, is unique amongst these groups in that we are a non-profit professional association run by an all-volunteer board committed to promoting business technology leadership excellence in the Chicagoland community.

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

We are delighted when members want to get more involved in the SIM Chicago Chapter.  We have numerous committees that are extensions of our board; these committees are really important for us to be successful on so many fronts:  including offering very high quality programming and well-run, well-organized events, helping with regular outreach to new and existing members, volunteering for our community give-back events such as the charity golf outing, and promoting SIM Chicago with appropriate sponsors to help support these efforts as a non-profit organization.  Members wanting to get involved need only to mention this to one of our board members and we can usually match interests with an opportunity!


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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