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October 18th Newsletter


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

Only four spots remaining so please register now!
SIMCAC at 40: Looking Towards the Future of AI, the Internet, and Data in Open Societies

October 29th at 5:30 PM - Virginia Tech Research Center Arlington
Register Now

About the event

By several estimates, the next 20 years will see more technological change than the last 40 years combined which will have ripple-effects on organizations, societies, and nations. Some experts are concerned about what they call “surveillance capitalism” and others are concerned that open societies cannot survive waves of misinformation and disinformation. This talk will consider “quo vadis?” — specifically, we’ll explore where open pluralistic societies might want to go in this new digital era ahead, and what each of us, as positive #ChangeAgents, might want to do to help ensure a future were IT advances are employed to uplift communities and societies around the world. We’re also planning some surprises and reminiscing about the past 40 years in the SIM Capital Area Chapter – the first chapter in SIM. Join us for an evening you won’t soon forget.

Guest Speaker:

David Bray


Dr. David Bray

Executive Director, People-Centered Internet coalition

Senior Fellow, Institute for Human-Machine Cognition

Chief Strategy Officer, MapLarge

Faculty focused on Impact & Disruption, Singularity University

More on Dr. Bray, the event, and registration here

Announcing the November SIMCAC Executive Women Leadership Event
SIMCAC Women: The Higher the Calling, the Tougher the Climb

November 12th at AARP's Innovation Labs (aka The Hatchery)

About the event

Across industries, C-level management is becoming more diverse. Women are benefitting from this shift and stepping into Leadership roles, including Board memberships. Along the way, many men have used their position of Leadership to serve as mentors and advocates for the advancement of Women.

The November SIMCAC Executive Women Leadership event will focus on how aspiring leaders can overcome challenges to find the optimal roles and support to achieve success.

Women still face many challenges when it comes to opportunities to fill Leadership roles and to be effective in those roles. Some of the challenges come from long held stereotypes about women in the business world. Some of the challenges are a lack of the right supportive network that can lift women past barriers and into positions of Leadership.

Selecting the right coaches and mentors, participating in the right networking and events, connecting to the right influencers can all affect a woman’s chance to be exposed to and take advantage of the right opportunities.

Many women are hesitant to speak about the challenges they have overcome, seeing them as potential weaknesses rather than strengths. Telling our stories is important and demonstrates our capability and resiliency in the face of challenges.

To succeed, women need to examine their circle of influence and decide if they have the best network to elevate them to the next level. They need to consciously seek people that offer a boost to overcome obstacles and move ahead, rather than individuals who are not supportive of helping them achieve their goals.

Attend the November meeting and learn the elements of mental toughness and how to become the example, the role model, for men and women in corporate America. Realize that others are probably watching you closer than some of your male counterparts, so give them something to notice. Be the “RESOURCE”, the one other professionals come to for advice, introductions, inspiration and solutions; and strive for excellence at all times, even though we know it will never be perfect, be known for doing things in an excellent way.  Event underwritten by BMC.  

Visit the event page and register here

Our Moderator:


Dondi Saunders - Dondi is a Managing Partner at Levia Partners and is an experienced professional in executive recruiting and mentoring. The core elements of her life enable her to have a powerful, proactive impact on businesses and their communities through placing and motivating authentic and diverse leaders. She is spearheading the charge to place these leaders in the C-suite and in strategic roles on corporate boards, mentoring them along the way. Undoubtedly, these executives will drive social transformation and financial value for their organizations, sparking global change.  

She is a mission driven executive committed to growing the value of organizations and the people connected to them. She strives to create an environment predicated on doing what is best for the company, client, prospect and aligned partners or sponsors.

Our Panel:


Wayne McGurk - Wayne is the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of IT at the National Rural Electric Corporative Association where he leverages expertise in technology, financial, and business management to create and execute action plans that positively impact top/bottom-lines on a global basis.  He delivers cost-effective, customer-focused business solutions that enable organizational growth and transformational change..  McGurk most recently served as Executive Vice President and CIO at Moneygram International. He has more than 15 years of experience in various IT leadership roles, including First Data Corporation and Walmart. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Military Police Corp.  Occasionally, he may be seen directing traffic when there is a traffic jam.


Ivy Ho - As Vice President of Technology at FINRA, Ivy leads product development of a diverse portfolio of applications for FINRA's external stakeholders including financial firms, SEC, other regulators and the public.  
Ms. Ho is a technology leader with over 30 years of experience in technology.  Before joining FINRA in 2003, Ms. Ho held leadership positions consulting with large corporate clients in delivering innovative technology solutions to drive business strategy. Ms. Ho began her career as a software engineer and assumed increasing responsibility in software architecture, and project and program management with many large corporations including Maririott International and General Electric early in her career.


Trey Webb - Trey is the Chief Information Officer at Allied Telecom Group, LLC, where he is responsible for product development and engineering, as well as data analytics and business process improvement. Trey joined Allied in 2012 and has held a number of roles, including Manager of Network Operations and Director of Engineering. During his time at Allied, Trey has successfully performed a number of roles, including special assignments to address mission critical issues company-wide. He has 20 years of technical and management experience across a variety of high-tech industries including telecom service providers, network equipment manufacturers, software development companies, technical consulting firms and systems integrators. Trey is a Juniper Network Certified Associate and holds a MEF Carrier Ethernet Certification.


Kara Freeman Lee - Kara is vice president of administration and chief information officer (CIO) for the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for the nation's higher education institutions, located in Washington, DC.   

Lee has over 28 years of experience in software application development and management, system analysis and integration, proposal writing, process reengineering, and project management. She also has substantial executive experience in leading and transforming teams to successfully define and implement strategic business solutions in the administrative areas of information technology, facilities management, human resources, finance, and events logistics.  In her capacity as CIO, Lee is responsible for setting the direction of ACE's use of technology and leading its IT enterprise. She was named Vice President of Administration in May 2011, adding to her portfolio oversight of the Council's facilities and office services functions.

Before joining ACE in 2006, Lee was a program manager with Lockheed Martin Information Technology. In this role, she managed several IT contracts, including contracts for the development of systems associated with e-Gov initiatives, which advanced the use of IT innovation within the federal government. Lee also has held management and technical positions with companies such as AT&T, MCI, and Jacobs Rimell, among others. She has worked as an independent contractor for technology and venture capital firms, including Fidelity Ventures, and has taught information management systems as an instructor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 

Lee holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and an M.B.A. from The George Washington University (DC), both in information systems. She also holds a project management professional (PMP) credential through the Project Management Institute and a certified association executive (CAE) credential through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).  She currently is a member of the ASAE Technology Section Advisory Council and has previously been a member of the EDUCAUSE board of directors.

Register Now!

Registration is open for the 2020 Mid-Atlantic RLF program

For more information on 2020 curriculum, sessions, facilitators, and registration, visit the program page here.
Industry-Related News and Content DC: AARP Innovation Labs welcomes 5 tech startups into its program Great article on AARP's Innovation Lab (The Hatchery) which is also the host of our 11/12 Executive Women Leadership event!

HBR: How to Get Noticed by Your Boss’s Boss

CIO: The new core competencies IT must master DCDC ranks as the top city for diversity in STEM
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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