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Omaha Chapter 2004 Year In Review

Monday, January 17, 2005   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lee Cheever, 2004 Omaha AITP Chapter President
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We had many wonderful things happen this year in Omaha. Thanks to the efforts of a hard working group of members and volunteers, we got a lot done in 2004. We'd like to share some of our achievements with you.

National Collegiate Conference
The AITP 9th Annual National Collegiate Conference was held in Omaha on April 1-3, 2004. The event was a huge success and the largest National Collegiate Conference to date with 762 attendees. Omaha student chapters at Metropolitan Community College and Creighton University served as conference co-hosts. AITP Omaha chapter members Lloyd Hasche and Mary Dobransky co-chaired the event.

Eighty-five colleges and universities were represented at the conference. Attendees participated in contest events and breakout sessions, and enjoyed presentations by keynote speakers Katherine Spencer Lee, Robert Half Technology Executive Director and Jim LeValley, Director of Microsoft Learning. The nearby Old Market district was popular for dining, entertainment and shopping, and the conference served as the opening of the brand new Omaha Hilton Hotel. The conference concluded with an awards banquet at the Omaha Qwest Center with 677 people in attendance. The 9th Annual Collegiate Conference was a truly wonderful event for students and faculty, and AITP Omaha was proud to have the event here in Omaha.

Infotec©2004
AITP Omaha annually hosts Infotec, the Midwest region's most comprehensive
business Information Technology conference and exposition. 2004 was our first year in the new Qwest Convention Center in Omaha. This new venue allowed us to expand on and improve the scope and quality of our show. The show floor contained over 100 vendor booths from local, regional, and national vendors.

Over 90 conference and training sessions were offered with special emphasis tracks that included Bioinformatics, IT Infrastructure Development, Small and Medium Business, Software, Security, Wireless Technology, and Homeland Security. One of the high points of Infotec©2004 was the Keynote Presentations by Ray Weinberg "Creating a High Performance IT Culture" and Roy Kimbrell "Future Computer Systems Technology - 5, 10, and 15 Years Out".

Another highlight of Infotec©2004 was the dedication of the Bill Justsen Computer History Museum. The museum houses a wide variety of data processing equipment dating back to the mid-1960s. Many Omaha chapter Infotec veterans have made this possible and continue to maintain the technology displayed in this museum.

Infotec©2004 became a regional destination event, highlighting the rich IT resources of Omaha and the surrounding region. Infotec is now a forum for new and existing businesses of all sizes to find new resources for doing business and opportunities to flourish.

Infotec©2005 is now in the planning stages and promises to be an even greater Exhibition and Conference than any preceding conference. For more information please visit, www.infotec.org.

Scholarships
Over the years, AITP Omaha has been heavily involved in providing services to the local community. 2004 was no exception.

At our May meeting, the chapter awarded another $7000 in scholarships to area college students pursuing education in Information Systems or related fields. Since 1996 the Omaha chapter has provided nearly $60,000 in scholarships. These scholarships are funded from the net proceeds of our highly successful Infotec Conference and Exhibition.

The chapter is also a continuing sponsor of the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair. For the past three years, AITP has presented a "Teacher of the Year" award as well as prizes for best IT projects. A $1000 cash award has been given to the teacher who "Best exemplifies the goals and objectives of MSEF and AITP". AITP Omaha also sponsors presentations and speeches with other local information technology groups.

Books for the Omaha Public Library
Since 1976 the Omaha Chapter of AITP has donated over $25,000 in money or books to the Omaha Public Library. From 1976 to about 1987 the chapter donated money to the library. In 1987, after reviewing the technical material available in the area, most of the computer science collections at local libraries were found to be very limited. We thought the chapter could do a better job of selecting books that would meet the members' needs.

The chapter members decided that a library could most effectively manage the collection. The chapter selected the Omaha Public Library as a repository for the books since it had an online catalog and most of our members resided in Omaha. For those members living outside of Omaha, the books could be obtained at another library through interlibrary loan. Also, the collection would be available for other computer professionals in the area. One of the members of the Omaha chapter, Mike Lewis, volunteered to select the books that would be donated annually to the library.

Since 1987 the collection has grown and has been used by a wide variety of people. The books have been used by chapter members, other computer professionals, and by college students. They have been checked out directly and through interlibrary loan. At one of the chapter meetings when the books were presented to the Omaha Public library, the Assistant Director of the Omaha Public Library System commented that her son was majoring in computer science. He had told her that the collection of computer science books at the Omaha Public Library was superior to the collection at the library of the major university he was attending.

In 2004 over $900 of books were selected and donated to the Omaha Public Library. Some of the topics in this selection of books included: Computer Forensics; Computer System and Network Administration; Database References; Hiring Technical People; Revising and Converting Legacy Computer Code; Hardware Technical Interfaces; Problems with Wireless Networks; Computer and Network Security; Software Testing; Computer and Security Certification; How Hackers can Break into Computer Systems and Networks; and New Techniques in Software Engineering.

Software Donations for Non-Profit Organizations
Early in the year we received two complimentary copies of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition from National. These were being provided through a special program with Microsoft and Culminis. We donated them to two organizations ? one of them being a non-profit. A special need in our community was uncovered. There were a number of other organizations we talked to that wanted the server software, but couldn't afford to purchase it.

We contacted National to see if any more copies were available. Thanks to Kim Barnett, Kevin Jetton and Culminis, we received fifteen additional copies. These were donated to a wide variety of non-profit organizations in Omaha including: Visiting Nurse Association; Salvation Army; Open Door Mission; and Child Saving Institute.

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