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SIM Leadership Spotlight October 2015

"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.

October 2015
Name: Mark Griesbaum
SIM Role: SIM RLF Director

This month’s Leadership Spotlight features one of the 2015 SIM Leader of the Year Award winners.  The other three winners will be recognized over the next few months.  


1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I have been a SIM Member since 2006.  I became involved to network with my peers in the Chicago area. As soon as I joined the Chapter, I was asked to join the Board.  Shortly thereafter, I was asked by John Phillips (newly elected President) to be his President Elect. I saw the direction John was taking the Chapter, and gladly accepted the nomination. At that time, I was CIO of the Career Education Corporation, then the second largest “for-profit” education company in the U.S.  Over the course of these past 9 years, I have served as the President Elect, President, Chairman, and now Trustee of the Chapter. Through John’s leadership, and those that followed, we re-energized the Chapter, growing membership, offering more events for our suburban and city based CIO’s, and partnering with several sponsors to make our Chapter financially viable again. It has been an honor to be associated with the Chapter. My career continued to grow through this period of time, serving as CIO’s, and in COO capacities with several organizations in Chicago. Now I am semi-retired, but actively consulting, and “giving” a significant part of my time to non-profit organizations focused on developing talent to enter into entry level technical positions with our Chicago-based firms.



2. Provide a brief overview of your chapter an your role within the chapter.

Chicago is certainly one of the oldest Chapters in SIM, beginning in the late 60’s to create a network of Data Processing professionals. The Chapter has grown throughout the years and matured as a Chapter in the past few years. My role in the Chapter is now a Trustee, and my main focus is on partnering with several organizations to sponsor our events. Our revenue from sponsorships has grown significantly over the past 3-5 years, and is a main reason that we can offer premier and first-class events for our members.

3. What are the hottest rends in industry?
The hottest trends in the industry are mobile apps, and cloud computing.  These two trends are changing the way in which organization’s customers are buying product, and cloud computing is changing the way in which organizations are hosting their technology.  The growth of the number of products being developed is staggering. Every day there is a new solution that seems to bring value.  The challenge that every CIO has today, is figuring out which of those new products bring the most value to their organization, and their customers.


4. What challenges is your chapter facing?
I believe our biggest challenge facing our chapter is membership. As membership grows, it is a constant challenge to replace any turnover from year to year in your membership numbers. The churn of CIO’s over the past 1-2 years has certainly created a challenge in keeping the interest for those CIO’s in SIM and the benefits of networking, even though they are now busy with their next challenge. 

5. How can a chapter member get involved in the Chicago chapter?
A member can get involved with one of our many committees in the Chapter.  They only need to contact our President or any Board member and say they would like to get involved.  We have many opportunities for them!  

An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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