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June 28 Newsletter


Welcome to the New SIMCAC Weekly Newsletter....
....Where each week, we'll share SIMCAC announcements, member spotlights, local/national industry news, upcoming events, and recaps of past ones! 

Event Recap From SIMCAC's June Event "Technology Megatrends & The Future of Work" 

A beautiful day turned a little bit brighter with the incredible and intelligent guests attending the SIMCAC event in Arlington.  Business leaders, robotics teams and inspirational leaders filled the venue with spontaneous conversations regarding challenges, success, failures, change, upcoming technologies and empowerment stories of their organizations.

Shortly after all the guests arrived, focus shifted solely to the “Wizards.EXE” robotics team as they demonstrated their robots to the crowd. Wizards.EXE is formed of 11 students; five boys and six girls aged 13 to 18. On May 1st in Rockville, MD, the Wizards team won the First Tech Challenge (FTC) Championship Inspire Award recognizing excellence in design, engineering and outreach to both the corporate and local community. After their incredible success, they were selected to represent the United States as Team USA at the second annual FIRST Global Championship in Mexico City, Mexico! After their immaculate presentation, each member of the team spoke individually regarding their favorite aspect of being on a robotics team such as “The Wizards”. To little or no surprise, the students spoke with such poise, and modesty.

Following the Wizards demonstrations, the discussion turned into a terrific dinner where more discussions of robotics, technology and the effect of technology on businesses took place. After food and drinks, the crowd migrated into a presentation room where more surprises took place. Joe Malfesi first took the floor and introduced himself, Chairman of the Board Mike Huthwaite, guest speaker Christina “CK” Kerley, and Patsy Mangas who founded of the organization “She Rocks The World”.  Following introductions, he proceeded to thank the wonderful guests for coming out to the event and for everything they do for the community and others. “Think ahead to the next generation. We must do what we can now because they are our future” said, Malfesi.

Mike Huthwaite also had wonderful things to say about all the guests attending. Including, “She Rocks The World” organization. As a father of 3 daughters, Huthwaite spoke dearly from his heart as he spoke to founder, Patsy Mangas. She Rocks The World is an organization designed to inspire teenage girls to fearlessly use their own voice through experiences and empower one another.
After kind words and a few laughs, both Mr. Mike Huthwaite and Mr. Joe Malfesi surprised the robotics team, Wizards.EXE with a check for $2,000 and the She Rocks The World organization with a check for $2,500! The entire SIMCAC board is incredibly proud to sponsor such amazing organizations who empower and encourage the next generation to do extraordinary things.

Next up, keynote speaker of the night, innovative and dynamic Next-Gen Tech guest speaker, Christina “CK” Kerley presented her speech on Tech Megatrends: everything from artificial intelligence and robotics, to high-tech health, automation, and the re-skilling revolution. It was clear from the start the CK commanded the speaking circuit by invigorating her audience with high energy, passion and amazing graphics. CK went on to discuss the importance of keeping up with “the next BIG thing” and how businesses MUST adapt if they want to be on top. “In the next 20 years, there will be more change than in the last 200 years” said, CK. She proceeded with how robots will make our lives easier, healthier and longer on multiple levels. With robots and sensors there must be an IT crew to assist with data processing and mining. These two factors are without a doubt, imperative to the success of any business in the future. To conclude her impressive and energetic presentation, CK continued to affirm that companies who are not agile and who do not adapt to these new and upcoming trends both internally and externally, will be far behind the rest of the pack.
Member Spotlight Article: Joe Malfesi 
-You are about to retire as Vice President, Global Infrastructure Services at Transaction Network Services, a leading global provider of data communications and interoperability solutions. Can you tell us a little bit about that role and also your biggest accomplishment?
By combining innovation, advanced technology, experience and service excellence, TNS delivers managed communications solutions to service providers and enterprises in nearly 70 countries via more than 120 points-of-presence.  With one common backbone network, we operate in 3 markets:
Payments – transaction delivery solutions for credit card processing, settlement and secure managed services
Wholesale Telecom – SS7 networks, intelligent database/registry, fraud protection, robo-calling identification and hosted roaming and clearing solutions to wireless, wireline and cable operators
Financial Services – fully managed, high availability, low latency global network providing access to premier financial institutions and liquidity destinations including equities, fixed income, derivatives, foreign exchange, and options
My role was twofold:
  1. Develop and manage the infrastructure in 49 locations upon which our gateway applications and internal systems reside
  2. Participate as a member of the Due Diligence team and act as Transition Executive
When I joined TNS, many of the functions that ultimately became part of my responsibility ran independently.  So, pulling these groups together and managing a 250% server image growth (on mostly virtualized hardware that had not previously existed) was a major contributor to the cost reductions we were able to achieve.  I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the sale of a major part of the Company to MasterCard and then managing the 2½ year transition.
-You've been VP of Infrastructure Services at TNS since early 2013 (and Chief Technology Operations Officer at Amtrak for over six years before that), can you reflect on the beginning of your time in that role and on the department that you inherited? What were some of the things you did in the early days to set it on the right course?
I should mention first that I have been in IT for 50 years and had both CIO and CTO positions prior to Amtrak and TNS.  That experience taught me a few things:  allow your team to participate in managing and respect the excellent work done in the field office, not just headquarters.  So, the first thing I did when joining TNS was to disobey my boss.  To address the decentralized support mentioned above, he had asked me to develop a set of standards within 30 days.  I told him that, given the circumstances, the best way to approach this was to empower the senior engineers/administrators from each of these areas to jointly develop the standards.  That would take longer but would be better accepted.  It worked.  The other thing I did was an employment understanding that afforded me the budget to travel both domestically and globally since I would have staff in so many locations.  I have always felt that you must go out into the field to meet with and share ideas with your entire team.  I have just completed my 6tharound the world trip and, judging by the feedback, these visits have been very worthwhile.
-What are you planning to do in retirement?
Some people know that the primary motivation to retire now was not my age, but to better support my wife who had to take a disability retirement due to multiple job-related injuries.  So, in addition to being around the house to help her, I plan to remain active in the SIM Capital Area Chapter with our Outreach/STEM programs and possibly with SIM at the national level.  I have also been approached to take an adjunct professorship at a local university which I will consider.  Of course, there’s the house renovation that’s being planned and the upcoming marriage of my son who promises multiple grandchildren in the coming years.  Lots of travel in the future starting with a trip to Alaska and later this year to Beijing.  On the personal side, I had played guitar professionally for many years but put it down 40 years ago.  I plan to re-learn the guitar and may even learn to golf after all these years!
-You've spent years as chairman of the Capital Area SIM Chapter, and also done work as a volunteer for SIM's STEM foundation. Can you talk about those experiences?
As an IT leader, besides ensuring that the business is supported today, you need to look to the future.  For some, that may mean 3-5 years.  I look ahead a whole generation.  While the number of Computer Science graduates are increasing there is gross underrepresentation by women and minorities.

For these reasons, I think it important to support multi-level STEM programs with a focus on females:
  • K-12
  • Post High School
  • College
  • Teacher Education
In the Chapter and through the SIM Foundation, we have begun to work with organizations in each of these levels to develop the next generation of all-inclusive IT professionals.
-What has been the most beneficial part of being member of SIMCAC/SIM? What would you like to see SIMCAC become in the years ahead?
I have been involved with SIM for nearly 30 years.  It has been a wonderful experience building networks and making friends.  The Chapter has evolved over the years from monthly dinner meetings to more social activities and different types of venues.  SIM has a rich set of programs that more SIMCAC members should be aware.  Except for SIM Women, I have been involved with the Advanced Practices Council, Regional Learning Forum, Members-In-Transition, the start-up of the CyberSecurity SIG, etc.  To SIMCAC members, I recommend you get involved for yourself and to give back to our community.  It certainly has been a rewarding experience for me.
July SIMCAC Events

July 14 - SIMCAC Member Only Wine Event at the Overlee Clubhouse in Arlington, VA 

One of our member's most favorite events year after year. You are invited to bring a guest and join us for our 5th annual membership appreciation event, where you'll enjoy an evening of good company, exquisite food, and outstanding wines, all carefully crafted to dazzle your tastebuds. You'll want to bring your spouse or significant other to share the evening as Fusion Cuisine prepares food that are works of art and pairs them with wines that lift you into another world. Sat, July 14, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT 
Register Here

July 30 - The Inaugural SIMCAC Golf Outing at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. 

We have worked diligently to put together a stimulating and focused agenda, bringing together experts, visionaries and professionals from the IT industry. As part of SIMCAC's core principles to give back to our community, a portion of the proceeds from this golf outing will fund our various Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) partners. Visit the official event website for more information and registration. 
Check out the new SIMCAC LinkedIn Page 

We'll periodically be posting updates here at the new SIMCAC LinkedIn Company Page. Please follow and share via your personal page so we can spread the word about SIMCAC updates and events!
Attention SIMCAC members! Since our members are the lifeblood of this great chapter, the success of this newsletter depends on our ability to share the happenings within it! So we're going to ask for your help in making this newsletter the best it can be. If you or fellow SIMCAC members have announcements, articles, pictures, videos, or any other content you'd like to share (and please do!), email to