I’ve written in glowing terms over the years about the significance of local organizations in advancing the goals of an industry. In fact, not only am I a big fan of these groups, I once worked for the IESNA, a group organized around its local chapters. Last night, I experienced how these groups work on a whole new level. I also got to experience how difficult it is for local groups to remain focus.
Yesterday Chris Sedore, VP for IT and CIO at Syracuse University drove roughly three hours across New York State to tell all about Syracuse’s new data center, before an audience of about 35 people at the second meeting of the Empire State Chapter of the 7x24Exchange. He spoke for a little under an hour and handled questions for about 30 minutes.
I’ve seen Chris speak before, but never in this intimate of a setting and never in this depth. National meetings of any group have to adhere to a schedule and can get off track if sessions run over. Joe Maggio, Albany’s Chapter president, wisely let allowed the question and answer to continue until he adjourned the meeting to the hotel bar.
Joe deserves a lot of credit for the existence of the chapter, and also for last night’s meeting. While, I, as vice president, neglected my duties in favor of personal obligations, Joe met and recruited new members from among the customers at 74 State Street, where the meeting was held. They were there not for our meeting, but for the local Christmas Tree lighting or the Chicago concert, which both took place within walking distance of our meeting.
Joe and the other board members were focused and advanced the cause. I was the case history in how to be distracted. Considering I missed the first meeting…
Well, I’ll be ready next time.
Still our new chapter is off to a good start: two meetings in just a few months, some excellent sponsors (thank you ME Engineering and Enersys for sponsoring last night), and a growing roster of contacts. We’ve already set dates for our next events, and I’m hoping that it too will be a success. IBM’s Jeff Newcomer will be doing some of the organization tasks this time. Others of our board members, including Chris Kurkjian, Michael Schwarz, Frances Miranda, and Doug Sandberg will help.
I have really enjoyed learning about some of the significant installations in the area. For instance, MetLife has a local facility, and I really think that the two men responsible for that facility liked knowing that that are more sites like theirs. Plus, since meeting Patrick Muldoon at a movie showing hosted by Enable Labs, I have learned that the area hosts a good number of smaller data centers. These are sites I never knew about.
I’m looking forward to learning even more about this community in my backyard and also finding out what the Empire State Chapter can do for them.
I’ll be blogging more about our chapter growth and looking for ways to make us more effective. Please feel free to share any experiences you have.
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Heslin is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in the editorial departments of business-to-business and technical publications. During his career, he has written and spoken about topics including energy cost and reliability, electrical safety, and data centers. He can be reached at email@example.com. Also you can follow him on Twitter @datacenteredit. Follow Mission Critical magazine at @mcritical.