The Charlotte (NC) chapter of AITP held their February meeting on 2/23/05 and it was a big success. The meeting was held at New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Charlotte. The featured speaker at the meeting was Ron Gandiza of Culminis. His topic was "Redefining the IT Pro". The audience for the meeting consisted of AITP members, guest IT professionals and students representing different student chapters and educational establishments.
The meeting kicked off at 6:00pm with a social period consisting of pizza and sodas being provided to participants. During this time, Daena Spencer, Career Advisor at New Horizons then spoke to the group about a new intern program being established at their location and she handed out brochures that provided more details. She encouraged the IT professional audience to consider getting involved in this process as a way of providing exposure to students pursuing a career in the IT industry.
The chapter was privileged to have in attendance the President of Culminis, Dave Sanders. Dave was introduced and gave a short, eloquent talk to the group, emphasizing the importance of getting involved, with his theme being "Make a Difference". He noted that Culminis was a global organization only a few years old, but already involved in many countries reaching out to the IT world and contributing back to the community in many areas.
Ron Gandiza was then introduced and he presented a dynamic, entertaining presentation. Ron described today's IT professionals as lifeguards that monitor and protect the strategic assets of the company. He said that IT pros need to ensure that a company's "Digital Nervous System" is healthy they must support every business unit in a company. Ron then listed the Top 10 Technical Skills needed by today's IT Pro and noted that 6 of these skills were actually business skills. He concluded his talk by providing keys to success for today's IT pro, emphasizing the need to pursue business skills and project management training, market their abilities to solve problems and think both tactically and strategically in today's business environment. The group responded to Ron's speech with hearty applause and complimentary feedback.
Larry Bumgardner, President of the Charlotte chapter, then concluded the meeting. He reviewed current activities within AITP, presented some light-hearted material on technology for country folk, and reiterated to the audience the importance in being well-rounded as an IT professional in today's business climate. Larry also emphasized the chapter's focus this year to "Develop the IT Leaders of Today and Tomorrow" and said that the chapter would be visiting many colleges and universities this year - taking AITP's show on the road. The last item of business was to give out door prizes, which included a copy of Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Windows XP.