Here is the chat log from tonight's LOPSA Live session. Thank you to our moderator, our candidates, and our attendees!
Your Leadership Committee (LC) has been hard at work preparing our candidates for the upcoming election. Incumbent Board Members John Boris and Matt Disney will not be running for re-election.
For this election, we have five seats to be filled and six candidates running. Our candidate slate follows:
Hello to one and all. Thank you for considering my for a candidacy for the LOPSA Board. In comparison to the others on this ballot I am a relative newbie but I bring a large history in customer facing and community roles. I believe this history and experience can benefit myself and this organization going forward to the future.
I believe that an organization is only as strong as those that support it and the base we have here is great but like any organization there is always room for improvement. To grow that we need to get out to the community and make sure they know their voice is heard and known. I believe my experience here will be beneficial. The community is strong, but it can always be stronger. The key foundations of the organization need to be built on and fortified. Mentor-ship, Education, and Involvement in the community are where it starts.
If elected I will work tirelessly to help promote and foster the great things we have done and the great things we have yet to accomplish. Help the current generation of System Administrators and help locate and educate the future generations.
I have been working in the IT industry for the past 21 years, and have been a system/network administrator for eleven of those years. I hold graduate degrees in Geology/Geophysics. Current areas of specialization include Windows and Linux server administration, LAN/WAN and wireless networks, cloud (Microsoft Azure and Office 365) administration, and network/host security. Due to working in a medium-size (~260 person) company where I hold a number of roles, I consider myself an IT generalist. This requires ongoing training both to ensure my skills remain current, and to learn new topics as job responsibilities evolve. LOPSA has played a significant role in my career development through professional conferences, trainings, meetings, and networking opportunities with peers. As a LOPSA board member, my commitment would be to expand these opportunities, and ensure that other system administrators recognize LOPSA’s considerable career benefits and become involved with the organization.
Two years ago I ran for the LOPSA board of directors on the central
idea of increasing LOPSA membership. I sought to improve our member
customer service processes by responding to requests as quickly as
possible and reducing the time it took to handle memberships generated
from our conferences, especially the Cascadia IT conference.
What I didn't know, but have learned during my time as a board member,
is that many traditional membership-based organizations are having
trouble retaining members, let alone increase their membership base,
when competing against the many options for finding like-minded people
via social media and other Internet-based services. What this means
to me is that we in LOPSA need to embrace these services, improve our
relevance to the system administration community, and reach out to
communities outside our traditional core audience of UNIX/Linux system
Most importantly, though, I want to continue my focus on service to
LOPSA's members, and represent your desires for what the organization
should accomplish, through my participation in the LOPSA board of
I have spent the last two years serving on the Board of LOPSA. In that time we have made many steps towards improving our organization, but there is still much that needs to be done. We need to continue to improve our organization so that it will be viable for years to come.
Our greatest strength is our ability to bring both experienced administrators and inexperienced administrators together through education and career development. There are three main parts to our educational mission:
We need to continue to improve and expand our mentorship program to move it forward. It is probably the best program that LOPSA has. But there is always room for improvement. We need to close the loop and gather better feedback from mentors and mentees once they are matched. We also need to reach more potential mentors to meet demand.
The locals need a lot of work and improvement. One thing we all know is that the current model is not working. Yes, we have a few standout locals, but a majority of locals are smaller and need help. Additionally, we have not opened many new locals. So what is the problem?
First, LOPSA national needs to provide more support. We need to provide support, services, and structure so that they can succeed. We need to make sure they are setup for success and provide mechanisms for feedback and effective communication.
Second, we need to help the locals be more organized. Currently, many locals are loose groups of people who are meeting once a week for presentations. This model worked before the meetup world, before the modern world of the internet. What we need to do is change the way locals operate. LOPSA national needs to develop a plan in conjunction with the locals to help provide a strong, sound base. They need to become places of learning with groups of people coming together for a common goal. Locals need to be more organized and have a core group of leaders who are willing to educate and develop local system administrators.
The last part of making locals better is to harness the youth movement. Nearly half of our membership are student members. We need to take that enthusiasm and build a program of LOPSA local chapters on college campuses. This would allow us to bring a new generation into LOPSA, while instilling the values of education, mentorship and technical skills. These students can then return to their communities and join a LOPSA chapter, or start a new one to continue the tradition.
Conferences are an area that we have succeeded in the past. We have stumbled a bit with our East Coast conference in recent years, but I believe we will be able to revive it, and make it better. We need to provide structure and support so that we can replicate these small, affordable local conferences all over the US. We need to evaluate what went wrong with LOPSA-EAST, and put a framework in place to help prevent future cancellations. We should leverage the successes of CascadiaIT to build a framework for other conferences. The end-goal is to position LOPSA as the go-to organization for small, local, conferences.
My plan for the next two years is to make the locals stronger, and more relevant in today’s world. To build a framework so that we can open more local chapters, and give them a path to success. We will continue to develop and run local, low cost conferences to help the community learn. And, we will continue to grow and improve the mentorship program.
I was first introduced to LOPSA via the PICC conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At that conference I learned of the mission of LOPSA and the importance of a conferences such as PICC (Now LOPSA-East). I began attending LOPSA-NJ meetings and started speaking at them. Since that time I have spoken at larger conferences and grown professionally through the experience I gained in the smaller LOPSA local and LOPSA led conferences.
When I moved away from New Jersey I found that LOPSA was also active in my new home town of Seattle, Washington. For the last three years I have been serving the local Seattle chapter of LOPSA, SASAG. In addition to serving as Vice-President of SASAG, I have helped manage sponsorships for Cascadia IT, the West Coast LOPSA conference.
If I am successfully elected to the board I would continue supporting Cascadia IT. I feel the smaller size of Cascadia makes the conference a great incubator for system administrator speakers, many of the speakers have gone on to speak at larger conferences. I also feel that the local LOPSA chapters are an important part of the professional system administrator community. The #lopsa channel on IRC is still very active and supportive. I firmly believe you use the best tool to solve the job and that is a belief supported by LOPSA. As I've often heard from fellow members, "any system requires a system administrator". It doesn't matter if the system is a system of Cisco switches or Windows Active Directory servers, or even a farm of Linux machines, the person running those systems is a system administrator. Any system administrator can join LOPSA and help to elevate and further the professional awareness of our field.
I would like to express my interest in serving as a Board Member for the League of Professional System Administrators. I understand the commitment involves attending a bi-weekly meeting as well as a mandatory in person meeting annually. I am aware there are at least 10 committees that I may also be asked to assist with in one shape or form.
I will bring to the table 15 years of technical and managerial experience to the board. My experience includes positions of VP of Information Technology, Director of IT, Systems Administrator, and Help Desk Supervisor as well as my very first IT job as Technical Support.
My passion for the information technology field, proven skills and diversified experience will enable me to contribute to this organization.
I appreciate your consideration!
SCALE 14x is in full swing and LOPSA is at booth 317 in the exhibition hall. If you are in the area, stop on by to learn the latest about LOPSA.
Thanks to many people, LOPSA's 10th Anniversary and After Dark party were a big success. Many thanks to Jennifer Ash-Poole for picking up the wonderful cake and providing all the silverware; to Qumulo for sponsoring the first round of drinks; to the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel for all their help; and to all the members who came to the party.
The League of Professional System Administrators
PO Box 5161
Trenton, NJ 08638-0161
Phone: (202) LOPSA01 (202-567-7201)
Fax: (609) 219-6787