Home Events Past Events 10th Annual AITP CIO Round Table Dinner and Panel Discussion
10th Annual AITP CIO Round Table Dinner and Panel Discussion E-mail
Written by John Kosar   
2016 CIO PanelLast month AITP Atlanta hosted our 10th Annual CIO round table dinner. I wanted to share some of the history behind our round table dinner and the insights I learned the CIO panel discussion.  Ten years ago when we were exploring ideas of creating additional value for our AITP Atlanta members as the membership chair I presented our board of directors an idea of hosting a CIO at each round table.  This provided every AITP member an opportunity to meet, interact, and have dinner with a C-level executive.  Having dinner with a CIO is something not all of us get the opportunity or privilege to have very often or at all.  Everyone at the first CIO dinner experienced the immediate value of connecting with the CIOs in a genuine and sincere way. This event quickly become our largest chapter meeting of the year and drove our membership upwards.  The following year the AITP Atlanta Board of Directors approved the CIO round table proceeds to be directed to the newly created our Julian P. Wade, Jr. Student Scholarship fund which was created to honor our past AITP Atlanta president and now currently the National AITP President, Julian Wade. This year marks Julian's 35th year of dedication and contribution to our association.

Each year we have had an impressive set of CIOs and this 10th year was no different with a distinguished lineup of CIOs that included, Gregory Morrison, Serena Sacks, Thomas Phillips, Prakash Muthukrishnan, and Bob Toupin, as well as, our moderator, Elizabeth Holmes.

Elizabeth started with some fun light hearted questions for our panelists like what keeps you up at night and what do you like best as a CIO. The answers were typically short like 'security' and 'making a difference'. The depth of the conversations picked up when the moderator discussed how the first generation of digital natives in the workforce, millennials, are entering into the corporate world with a different mindset than their Boomer or GenX bosses. She ask each of the CIOs how their organization is going about attracting Millennial talent, and more importantly, retaining them? The answers again were right on point, clear and concise, such as,
If you really want to have your employees appreciate you, thank them for the job that they do. The millennials theme continued later in the evening when Elizabeth shared how young people today value innovation and technology over the bits in the middle that make it all work.  Then explored with the CIOs how to change the perception about what keeps the service delivering value as opposed to just the attraction and perceived value of the shiny new technology? It was accepted that millennials do have a different challenges but they are like everyone else too when it comes down to it, millennials want to be paid well too. But they are not as tied to an organization as other who have been around an organization much longer. They are more likely to want to move around to take on new challenges. So if they are not feeling like they are getting new challenges they are more likely to leave to obtain that instant gratification.  You need to be able to answer the questions of what did you do for me today, what are you going to do for me tomorrow.  Plus, they want to be recognized and rewarded. However, if you give the millennials freedom to create new things that are brand new you will see them thrive and add value in a unique and valuable way to the business. But bottom line, everyone wants to feel valued.

As I like to say, IT still takes people, and your work is digital but your career is not. So, now is the time to connect, discover, and advance with AITP!

John E. Kosar, III
AITP Southern District Director

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