IT Executives Urged To Look Beyond the Glass Ceiling at ITSMF Symposium/Awards Gala Minority Executives Honored for Contributions to IT profession

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The "Who's Who" of information technology (IT) leaders from the public and private sector gathered in Irving, Texas, last month to honor colleagues who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of information technology while demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity.

Globalization from a Business, Economic and Cultural Perspective

The "Who's Who" of information technology (IT) leaders from the public and private sector gathered in Irving, Texas, last month to honor colleagues who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of information technology while demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity. This highly-anticipated event was part of the symposium "Globalization from a Business, Economic and Cultural Perspective," a forum designed to equip African-American and Hispanic IT executives to compete in today's global marketplace. Events were co-sponsored by The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) and The Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC).

The Awards Gala, which attracted approximately 500 corporate, government and association executives and guests, featured a keynote address by Dr. Randal D. Pinkett, an established entrepreneur, speaker, author and community servant, and winner of NBC's top-rated show The Apprentice. Pinkett is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, New Jersey.

In his presentation entitled "Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Game-Changing Strategies for IT Executives and Entrepreneurs," Pinkett proposed that the "glass ceiling" is no longer a relevant metaphor for the challenges facing minorities in 21st century, and that a more appropriate analogy would be that of an "ever-changing game." Pinkett then outlined the game-changing strategies IT executives and companies need to succeed in IT today -- working across lines of difference; creating strategic partnerships between IT entities; and fostering mentoring relationships between IT corporations and minority IT firms.

ITSMF 2009 Recognition Awards Ceremony
Each year, ITSMF is proud to honor industry leaders who contribute to the advancement of the IT industry and help ITSMF fulfill its mission: to fill the pipeline with the next generation of African-American IT leaders. This year's award recipients were:

•Monte Ford, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, American Airlines - Diamond Leadership Award.

•Dr. Randal Pinkett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BCT Partners - The Beacon Award.

•Dr. Cheick Modibo Diarra, Chairman Middle East & Africa, Microsoft Corporation - The Summit Heritage Award.

•Dr. Elva Jones, Department Chair, Winston Salem State University - The Ivory Dome Award.

•James Cook, VP Data Center Transformation, Hewlett-Packard - The Sterling Leadership Award.

•UBS - Corporate Sponsor of the Year Award.

•LaTasha Gary, Senior Director of Global Channel Partner Information, Hewlett- Packard - Member of the Year Award.

•David Segura, CEO of VisionIT and Vice-chair of HITEC - Special Recognition Award.

"I cannot express in words how grateful I am for this honor. I believe so much in the vision and mission of ITSMF… that you reach back and pull in the young people who had no idea that they could achieve the levels that you have achieved," described one recipient. Another summed up the ceremony event best: "ITSMF encourages me and motivates me to stay in the game."

For more information on this year's award recipients and award categories, visit ITSMF's website at

The evening also marked the first time ITSMF held an Executive Online Auction, giving members a chance to benefit from one-on-one networking with some of the nation's most sought after executives from America's top global organizations. Participants praised ITSMF for offering a great opportunity to network and build relationships with senior level executives.

Globalization Symposium speakers helped IT execs compete in today's global world
ITSMF/HITEC's globalization symposium, held on February 12-14, 2009, was an ideal opportunity for IT executives at the C-level, or striving for a C-level position, to learn, share and network with other Fortune 500 IT executives.

The lineup of speakers - who helped IT executives grasp the importance of globalization and move this issue to the forefront within their organizations -- included:

•Mark Polansky, Senior Client Partner & Managing Director, Information Technology Officers Practice, of Korn/Ferry, the executive recruitment industry's leader and innovator. Polansky's session looked at how senior management's expectations of the Chief Information Officer position have evolved towards a leadership role as a catalyst for change, transformation, innovation and value creation.

•Terri Morrison, Co-Author of Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More Than Sixty Countries. Cross-cultural expert Morrison spoke about local customs and proper business etiquette throughout the world.

•Leo Abruzzese, Editorial Director in North America for The Economist Intelligence Unit. Abruzzese offered a global forecast for the next two years for an economic crisis that has spread from Iceland to Indonesia and may have much further to run.

•Jorge L. Lopez, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst for the Gartner Group. This dynamic session addressed how CEOs view the current business climate and its impact on IT for 2009 and what CIOs will face over the next 18 months. Lopez also shared the most significant CEO viewpoints and their impact on IT and what IT executives should do about them.

Event sponsors were About the Information Technology Senior Management Forum:
The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to fostering senior-level executive talent among African-American IT professionals. ITSMF provides a supportive network for enhancing the leadership skills of the IT executives that make up the membership; and its formal mentoring program assists dedicated mid-level managers to grow into executive level positions. For more information about ITSMF, visit

About the Hispanic Executive IT Council:
Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) was founded by senior Hispanic IT executives who have built outstanding careers in information technology but realized that there were far too few Hispanics in the IT leadership role. The mission of HITEC is to prepare Hispanic IT executives to be world-class business and IT leaders. HITEC provides current and future leaders with the professional development and networking opportunities needed to advance their careers. For more information about the HITEC organization, visit

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