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News & Press: Chapter News

Dallas Chapter Hosts Its Third Annual Meeting(in partnership with Culminis and Microsoft)

Monday, June 14, 2004   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Deborah R. Lovell

The Dallas Chapter, in partnership with Culminis, held its Third Annual IT Spring event on May 19. The meeting was attended by 157 IT professionals from the DFW metroplex. We received 10 new member applications on site and several commitments from others who will be applying online. Attendee feedback ranked our programs, once again, as outstanding, and our four local sponsors were impressed with the turnout and our organization as a whole.The speakers and panelists delivered as promised and our hotel staff continues to provide us the best venue and atmosphere in the DFW area.

While we were bumped last minute by the media circuits for our air time, our PR firm prepared press releases about the event and submitted them to the various media channels to give us some after-event publicity.

The event provided a day of three great sessions and included a networking social and dinner:

Session 1: From Campus to Real World, a personal development program

Session 2: Microsoft Longhorn Feedback Session, a Town Hall Forum

Session 3: Exporting America: Losing Jobs or Gaining Economical Globalization,

A Town Hall Meeting with IT Executive Panelists

The first session provided tips on beginning a career in the IT business world for graduating students of the Dallas Student Chapters, UTD, UTA, DeVry, Tarleton State University, Midwestern State University and ITT Technical, as well as seasoned IT professionals who may want to brush up on their personal skills.

The session - attended by 90! - was presented by Derek Galier, chief technology officer of Adea Solutions and the Dallas Chapter's immediate past president. He gave tips on entering the professional world, interviewing techniques and staying abreast of trends and technologies after leaving the campus. To assist IT professionals in obtaining jobs and capitalizing on networking opportunities, Colonel Richard Kaniss, chief officer of CareerConnections, shared key career strategies to provide IT professionals assistance in retooling themselves in today's IT industry, as well as refining their résumés and interview skills.

The second session, Microsoft Longhorn Feedback Meeting, was co-partnered with Culminis and was a tremendous success, with more than 130 attendees. The Dallas chapter was one of four groups nationwide selected by Culminis to host the Microsoft Longhorn Feedback Session, a live town hall meeting with the Microsoft Product Managers in Redmond. The Culminis team - Ron Gandiza and Dave Sanders - generously provided giveaways to the attendees, which included 200 copies of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with 25 CALs (a retail value of $4,000 each) as well as USB 4-port flash drives, USB Flash Pens and other great items.

The Microsoft town hall meeting was moderated by Richard Grady of Consulttus, Inc., and gave our IT professionals a platform to provide live feedback to Microsoft on what they want to see in Longhorn Server, the new operating system. In addition, a number of great door prizes were raffled off, including 50 Microsoft TechNet Plus annual subscriptions (a retail value of $529 each), 10 Audio Certification Study Guides (a retail value of $46.95 each), and one 5-day Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Class (retails for $2,125)donated by New Horizons of Dallas.

Our day concluded with the third session, "Exporting America: Losing Jobs or Gaining Economic Globalization, The Ongoing Political Debate." This topic has been quite hot among our members and guests since the DFW area was hit hard with layoffs from the fiascos. This town hall meeting included moderator Richard Grady and a panel of experts: Merv Tarde, CIO of Interstate Batteries, Jerry B. Byrd, CIO Partner of Tatum Partners, Chuck Smith, CEO of Effective Teleservices, Phil Farr, CIO of Homemade Gourmet Foods and Mark Pfeil, CFO Partner of Tatum Partners.

The session took questions from the 120 attending professionals and provided expertise on the risks and strategies of outsourcing, both onshore and offshore. The forum provided an opportunity for attendees to interact with a panel of corporate leaders to discuss the impact of outsourcing in general, as well as specifically offshore outsourcing of businesses and IT professions. Our expert panelists provided insight and clarity on the current trend of outsourcing and offshoring,in addition to the resulting impact on businesses and American jobs.

Local sponsors included Midwest Consulting Group, Adea Solutions, Integrated Print Solutions, Simplistic PC, Inc. and PMAM Corporation. These sponsors provided several door prizes as well as financial support for event costs. The SMU School of Engineering graciously donated 40 hours free attendance for any Microsoft class. Rackspace and Microsoft & .NET Magazine also attended and donated giveaways.

Our overall success was the result of a very dedicated volunteer team of AITP Dallas professional and student chapter members. We could not have accomplished our goals for this event without them and their hard work over the past few months.

The Dallas chapter regular meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month at the Hotel Intercontinental at 15201 Dallas Parkway in Addison, Texas. To find out more about upcoming events, please visit

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