Welcome to a New Year at SIM Portland - 4/20/2020

Richard's Home Office
Dear Chapter members,

I find myself writing my first Presidential update in a very interesting time. Like all of you, I have been following the "Stay Home, Save Lives" mandate and am holed up at home with my family. My daughter is home [early] from university in Paris (that’s a whole other story) and our family is together again under very unusual circumstances. I “commute” to work every day now by fighting the traffic in the corridor to my “cubicle” in the living room. I now work and meet at my seat in front of the computer which is making movement and exercise a challenge. Online meetings via Zoom and Teams are much improved, though I had to upgrade my bare bones internet service to handle the increased bandwidth demands of a quarantined family. For those of you who have not seen it, here is a very funny video on modern web conferencing, which I think needs to be included with the online meeting guidelines at every organization!

SIM Portland April online meeting
I am taking over the reins of the SIM Portland Chapter at a time that the organization is trying to adapt as well. We held our first virtual meeting on Wednesday 8th April using the Zoom Webinar platform and which 77 people attended. The event included Mark handing over the virtual baton to me on video. Unfortunately, it did not quite work as we had practiced! We knew this was our first experience delivering a program online and that it is going to take some practice with the capabilities and boundaries of modern Web conferencing. The event focused on the challenges and opportunities of managing IT in the midst of COVID-19. We were able to record the session, and our Trustee Pradeep has put in a dozen or more hours editing and posting it for people to be able to watch. The link is currently on the private LinkedIN SIM Portland group, and will be posted to the member-only area of the website that is currently under construction.

At April's meeting, we announced the results of our first online election. Interestingly this is something that we had already planned last year and recently changed our bylaws to allow for. Having been elected last year, and holding the position of President-elect for the last 12 months, I am now the President. The newly elected, or re-elected, Board members are the Secretary, Bob Leek; Director of Marketing, Saby Waraich; Deputy Treasurer, Dava Jiacoletti; and Events Director, Lisa Harper; and our Trustees, Steve Hufford and Pradeep Kumar. The incumbent Board members are Membership Director, John Boone; Treasurer, Tatyana Corban; Programs Director, Tony Alferez; and Past President, Mark Wehrmeister. I would also like to thank outgoing Secretary, Bud Borja and Marketing Director, Jeff Krueger for their service and dedication to our Chapter. There is more to come on the new Board as I plan to interview them over the coming months so they can share their stories and what they hope to accomplish during their tenure as a Director.

The Appleyards safely in Portland, OR
I hope to maintain this monthly Presidential blog on the SIM Portland website, along with an accompanying video blog to keep you up to date with the Board’s activities. This will be planned for release shortly after the monthly Board meeting so I can put a more personal face on the “meeting minutes.” The overall initiative for my first year was going to focus on stabilizing the organization and making sure that we have a firm foundation from which to launch more aspirational goals in the second year. How interesting that this is turning out to be even more important with the COVID-19 situation. Our regular monthly in person networking meeting is no longer possible at this time. So we are more aggressively exploring how to fulfill our organization’s goals in an online setting. Whilst the in person meetings will eventually return, I predict the way our organizations serves the members and its mission will be changed forever going forward.

The way things look as I write this, our May 6th Book Club and our May 13th Chapter meeting will be online. However there are positive signs that self-isolation may start to ease in May. The Chapter Board will continue to monitor the situation, the recommendations of the authorities, and communicate out to you all when in person meetings can resume. Please feel free to reach out to me at richard@simpdx.org, @appleyar and on our social media feeds with your feedback and concerns. And I look forward to seeing you online at an upcoming event!

Richard Appleyard, PhD
SIM Portland Chapter President 2020


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