Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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June 17, 2015


By: Charles Eaton

JuliusClark Julius Clark, Wells Fargo

Wow, in three years we’ve come a long way! I’m proud of the progress our foundation has made in recent years, but I’m even more humbled by the generosity and guidance our board members have provided to get us where we want to go.

I came to our foundation five years ago. We had a solid board in place, but both the board and I knew we could do more. We wanted to be a place that led the industry – both in IT and philanthropy – on finding and developing new programs that would allow people to have careers with family-sustaining wages.  

In 2012, we launched our IT-Ready program and have grown so that nearly 1,000 individuals have received IT training, with the vast majority getting jobs in IT.

DianaErmini Diana Ermini, IBM
This year we’ve added our IT Futures Lab to uncover best practices in workforce and STEM education. We’ve also absorbed many of the workforce development programs of CompTIA and are creating new opportunities for teens and adults in Illinois.

It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m deeply grateful to our board members for their vision, advice and participation to grow the foundation. This month four members of our board rotate off, and I want to give a special shout-out to them: Creating IT Futures Chairwoman Diana Ermini of IBM, Vice Chair Angel Pineiro of ASI System Integration, and Directors Julius Clark of Wells Fargo and Hayward West of Deloitte Consulting.  All four have provided unique insight with their diverse backgrounds and careers, and I hope that all of our board members get as much out of their participation as we do of them.

AngelPineiro Angel Pineiro,
ASI System Integration

Diana recently said, “It has been extremely rewarding and inspiring to be a board member with the foundation. Through my tenure, I was able to repeatedly witness how our efforts are truly transforming the lives of each graduate for the better. Graduates complete the program empowered, enabled and better prepared for life. I look forward to seeing the foundation focus on the adolescent population and help shape these young minds to become innovative technologists of the future.”

This month Jim Afdahl, vice president and chief financial officer of GED Testing Service in Minnesota, becomes our new chairman of the board. Guy Fruda, director, East Region Technology, Deloitte, steps up to be our vice chair, and we have added three new directors:

  • Angela Allen, vice president of global sales technical enablement, IBM;
  • John Malonson, senior IT program engagement lead, Raytheon; and
  • Tracey Welson-Rossman, chief marketing officer, Chariot Solutions, and founder, TechGirlz.

Many of our outgoing board members help us find our new board recruits. For instance, Julius and Hayward helped us connect to valuable industry leaders in BDPA like John Malonson. We will continue to look for new ways that we can leverage our outgoing board members’ expertise.

“It was a great experience serving on the board. I believe Charles assembled a talented team that has made significant impact in a short period of time. They are just getting started,” said Hayward. “I look forward to continued involvement with the mission. I’ve gained great friendships, insight into the foundation’s vision, and passion for the mission…creating IT futures.”

With the support of board members like Diana, Angel, Julius and Hayward, we’ll continue to create new on-ramps for IT careers and develop a new generation of technologists.

Click here to view a full list of our board members.