Last week I had the opportunity to attend the SIM National Leadership Summit right here in Rosemont IL where we had SIM board members from 35 different chapters convene, share and collaborate with each other. Discussions focused on how we further support and promote three core benefits of the association for business technology leaders:
I've been a SIM Chicago board member since 2012, volunteering first with the programs committee and now am responsible for membership referrals. With about 300 SIM members in the Chicago chapter, we have a strong network of technology professionals from various company sizes and industries. Our programs committee has created a solid lineup of monthly events in different locations and times (breakfast and dinners) offering a great opportunity to meet someone new and learn something from our speakers and each other. From a professional development perspective, the SIM Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) is one of the finest senior leadership development programs that your organization can offer to your employees -- each year the RLF demand and class size has been increasing with our current class at 60+, the largest cohort-to-date.
Today however I want to spend some time on the third area... community outreach. With work and family consuming most of our time, I hope that each of you will find time to give back and help with the community. There are many venues and ways to do this and so I wanted to share with you three thoughts where you can make a difference.
Many of you know that I am involved as a mentor and committee volunteer with another organization that SIM has a longtime relationship and raises funds each year through our annual SIM golf charity event. The organization is icstars.org and provides a 16 week training "bootcamp" for disadvantaged adults interested in a STEM career, paired with corporate sponsors that provide job opportunities. You may have heard of the ICStars "High Tea" where it only takes a hour of your time to share your personal story or advice. Not only will you have an opportunity to inspire others, but you will also be inspired by the students in this program. They are genuinely curious and ask great questions. High tea is at 4PM every day and you can sign-up directly on their website: https://www.icstars.org/engage/high-tea
Have you had a great leader or mentor in your own career? Why not give back and be a mentor for someone else? Although mentoring someone at your company would seem natural and convenient, consider also being a mentor through a professional organization, religious group, or academic institution. For example, the Chicago Project Management Institute (PMI) has a great mentoring program where you meet only 3 times (kickoff, mid-point, final presentation) during the mentorship period. For more information: http://pmichicagoland.org/MentorInformation
FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN:
Finally on November 7th, SIM Chicago chapter will be back for our second year at Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg where we will pack food for starving children. This is a fun, team-based food packing event where volunteers have a hour to pack as many food packs as possible in a human assembly line fashion. What a great way to make a difference! Please register here: https://www.sim-chicago.org/events/2017/11/8/sim-chicago-volunteer-at-feed-my-starving-children-t4rbt
So there you have it, three practical community outreach ways to make a personal difference!
Please don't miss our upcoming SIM Fall Gala October 16th at the Chicago Union League Club where you will hear retired US Navy Admiral Michael Rogers speak about technology leadership and innovation.
Also as 2019 is around the corner, don't forget to renew NOW for 2019 before December 31st and use promo code : EB19 for an 10% early bird renewal discount!