Building Community

Kevin D. Rooney ,  Board Member

Kevin D. Rooney,

Board Member

I hope that all of you had a chance to enjoy the recent Memorial Day weekend. We remember those that served honorably during this time protecting our freedoms. In the broadest sense, the holiday is a time to reflect on those that gave of themselves for their community in order for future generations to reap the rewards of their effort and sacrifice. Reflecting on my own weekend, it was a particularly meaningful and personal holiday. Indulge me as I share three interactions this past weekend with people that know what it means to work to build and protect a community.

My dad served in the Navy on the USS Deliver in the '50s. I had the good fortune to road trip and visit with him this Memorial Day weekend. While his memory is fading, we enjoyed a few moments where we shared stories of his that remain with me today. He seemed surprised at those things that stuck and I was grateful to get a chance to "confess" that I had been listening to him. He taught me about service, integrity, and passion which remain with me to this day.

Also this weekend, a friend from high school reached out to many of us about a particularly memorable and inspirational teacher that had been hospitalized. The authentic, passionate, tell-it-like-it-was, and funny Mr. Brosnahan inspired so many of us to the point where one of his students even immortalized him as a teacher in his best-selling book "Perks of Being a Wallflower". Unfortunately, he passed the other day but the impact he made and the community of life-long learners he inspired was self-evident.

Finally, one of the original founders of SIM reached out to check in as he was inspired by Alwin Brunner's newsletter last week. I have not yet had a chance to meet Dick Dooley but I was grateful to exchange emails and let him know the impact SIM has had on the Chicago community. The vision and dedication to create this community 50 years ago is inspiring and makes us all determined to serve for another 50.

Inspiration. Service. Teaching. Vision. Integrity. These things build community. Why do I share these stories? You see, SIM Chicago is NOT a professional networking association. All that takes is a data subscription with CIO contact information and an event planner. Everyone reading this newsletter is, I'm sure, inundated with such emails. SIM Chicago is instead a community. We have each other's back. It's personal. It's about service and the future. It's why we have 30 volunteer board members and about as many committee members helping to make these connections happen. It's why we have built a life-changing leadership program called RLF. It's why we offer a flex membership to extend the value of SIM to your team. It's why we support STEM scholarships and gave a record $66k in our philanthropic efforts this year.

So take a moment to reflect on our good fortune to stand tall on the shoulders of those that have gone before. And continue to build our community to greater heights by actively engaging and paying it forward. 

We look forward to seeing you on June 6th at the Chicago CIO Executive Leadership Summit where we will together reimagine the future of the enterprise. We will then recognize and celebrate the CIO of the Year with speaker Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelez International on June 28th.  Finally, reserve July 31st for the most fun day of the summer as we raise money for i.c.stars at our annual golf outing at White Eagle.

Thank you for being part of this special community.