Message from the President

Dear Member:

Wow! I remember writing this letter in January of 2020 and looking forward to another great year of FWSIM; I could not have anticipated the challenges and turmoil that we would all face in our personal and professional lives.  To be sure, it was a sorrowful year for many of us, and my condolences go out to all of you who have been personally impacted by the pandemic.
2020 has also been the “Burning Platform” that has driven transformation in the way we live and work.  While vaccines promise to bring this pandemic under control at some point this year, I do not believe that we will return to a workplace that looks the same as it did in February 2020.  “Zoom Meeting” is now a ubiquitous term (even in advertising), and remote workforces will not go away.  Even the way we sign legal documents, recruit, and manage our workforces has permanently changed.  As IT professionals, our voices are louder and more important than ever in helping our organizations adapt to this new reality; our CEOs know it, and they are inviting us to participate in executive teams, boards, and strategic decision-making at a level not seen before.
And we, as FWSIM, have engaged in a transformation as well.  Not only have we moved to fully remote meetings and reduced membership fees, but we are also dedicated to sustaining and enhancing our network at a time when networks are more important than ever, helping each other through the tough times, and helping each other manage through this evolution and emerge as the successful leaders that we need to be.  I have been working with our Board on developing relevant programs during 2021 that will help our members on that journey, as well as continuing the activities (like pods and mentoring circles) that will keep our network strong.  We will also be following the science, watching the numbers, and listening to feedback from our members during 2021 to determine the format of our meetings and when it might make sense for us to have some events that are not completely remote.
Finally, I would like to thank each of you for being a member of our chapter and encourage your involvement in chapter activities.  I am very excited for the board that we have in place for 2021 and thank these individuals for volunteering during these tumultuous times.  As a member, I hope that you can see, now more than ever, the high value proposition FWSIM provides to more than 200 business and technology leaders across Fairfield County, CT, and Westchester County, NY.
As always, the Board and I want to hear from you. We are happy to receive your feedback through our surveys, via email at, or by reaching out to one of us directly.  Your input and involvement in our programs and activities helps our organization become even more valuable to our members!
Again, I am looking forward to working together with each of you during what promises to be an exciting and transformational year for all of us.
Jim Panos
Fairfield Westchester Chapter SIM
CIO, Central National Gottesman Inc.