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You're Hired! The IT Apprentice Appointed by AITP Dallas

Thursday, November 17, 2005   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Deborah Lovell
Ron Darnell Wins the Job & Joins Valtech Technologies

The Association of Information Technology Professionals - Dallas Chapter (AITP Dallas) held The IT Apprentice, a mock program of the TV hit, The Apprentice, on Wednesday evening at the Intercontinental Hotel, Addison, TX, and appointed their first IT Apprentice, Ron Darnell. AITP Dallas Vice President Ted Layne, VP-Technical Services of Michaels Stores, Inc., and his two advisors, Ann McCool, Sr. Director, Sales Channels Systems of RadioShack, and Andy Laudato, Sr. Vice President & CIO of Pier 1 Imports, Inc. judged three candidates on a project assignment to build a bridge.

In partnership with AITP Dallas, Robert Half Technology and Valtech handled the screening of the candidates and selected the three final candidates last week. The three candidates who competed were: Gil Araujo, Pat Trapp and Ron Darnell. Candidate Ron Darnell heard the words "You're Hired" from Ted Layne, a/k/a Mr. "TrumpIT", before a crowd of over 100 IT professionals from the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.

The project was composed of three phases: Design, Marketing & Budget, and Implementation. Each candidate led a project team of four members comprised of IT professionals and students from the AITP Dallas, AITP Midwestern State University Student Chapter, AITP OKC, and Project Management Institute. The candidates were judged on leadership skills, business savvy, project management skills and their ability to use best business practices and professional soft skills on completing the bridge project, narrowing them down until they found ... The IT Apprentice. The audience also participated in the selection by voting for their favorite candidate using wireless audience response technology.

Throughout the event while the candidates and their teams diligently worked on the project, the audience participated in the game "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" hosted by Mr. Kelly Wick as "Regis", a professional actor/comedian, and AITP Dallas member, Kat Vickers, as his lovely assistant. Contestants won prizes donated by Culminis and Adea Solutions.

Barry Rogers, Senior Vice President-Professional Services of Valtech, and Melissa Meeker, Vice President - Marketing of Valtech, presented Darnell with a Welcome New Hire Kit along with a giant Valtech business card. Mr. Darnell will join Valtech Technologies, an IT consulting and educational services company, as a Project Manager.

AITP Dallas President, Deborah Lovell, presented the AITP "The IT Apprentice" Award to Mr. Darnell and thanked the candidates along with Valtech Technologies and Robert Half Technology, sponsors of the event, for their participation in this first time event. "We had such an "out of the box" success tonight with our first IT Apprentice, said Ms. , "we intend to make The IT Apprentice an annual event."

Valtech was established in 1993 as an IT consulting and educational services company. Since then, we have grown to more than 1,200 people and $100 million worldwide. With more than 14 offices across the globe, we provide the geographic coverage of some of our largest competitors; while our unique organizational and operational structure allows us to provide the customer service and quality of the world's highest-end IT boutiques. Each year we train thousands of our clients' employees, customers, and partners. In addition, we have worked on more than 1,000 advanced technology projects. Over the years, this experience has allowed us to accumulate significant technology and domain knowledge in industries such as finance, travel, insurance, retail and healthcare. In order to effectively meet our clients' needs, Valtech has organized its services into three high level categories: enterprise consulting, project development, and skills transfer. With services that range from classroom training to complete outsourcing, Valtech leverages industry proven processes to maximize our clients' return on their investments. For more information, please visit

The Association of IT Professionals (AITP) is a not-for-profit organization and is the oldest and most recognized organization focused on the continuing education of the IT community. With more than 7,000 professional and student members, AITP represents Information Technology professionals throughout the United States, Canada and in other countries around the world. The purpose of AITP is to engage in education and research activities focused on the development of effective programs for the self-improvement of its membership. The Dallas Chapter is comprised of executive IT leaders, project managers, developers, product specialists, business leaders, contact center leaders, sales & marketing professionals and IT students from Baylor University at Waco, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington, ITT - Irving, ITT - Richardson DeVry - Irving, Midwestern State University at Wichita Falls, High Tech Institute - Irving and Tarleton State University at Stephenville. For more information, please visit and

With more than 100 locations in North America and Europe, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support. For more information about Robert Half Technology or to learn about online job search opportunities, please visit

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