Dear Member:Happy New Year to all of you!2022 is here and I am optimistic. Although the outlook is still unclear and we are still facing significant challenges, in both our families/communities and our workplaces (which are increasingly virtual), I am hopeful that we will meet these challenges and have the chance to "catch our breath," regroup, and absorb the tremendous change that has happened over the past two years.As I wrote in my letter last year, our voices have become most important to the business leaders in our organizations, and that trend continued to define our work in 2021. Our experience, as technologists, dealing with change has certainly helped us; now almost everyone has gained experience in this arena, both in the workplace and outside it. So, while we may have become a bit less unique in our agility in the face of change, we now have more allies in leadership positions outside of technology in our organizations, who have a newfound appreciation and respect for what we do and the challenges we face.2021 has also seen a transformation of the workplace – to a permanent virtual for some, to a "hybrid" environment for others, to a return to a changed office with new ways of doing business for the rest. In all these cases, technology is playing a more significant role, and the opportunities and threats for our organizations are also greater. Moreover, this has led to challenges in building community and the human connections that are not only necessary to perform our work but also enrich the workplace experience.At FWSIM, we value this sense of community, and, for that reason, have instituted programs to build this among our membership through pods, mentor circles, and virtual events. And while the pandemic limited how much we could do in terms of in person events in 2021 (although we were able to have one or two each month during the last six months of the year including two monthly programs), we believe 2022 will allow us to do much more. I will be working with our Board to make sure we focus on the activities that will bring the most value to our members, but, of course, welcome your input and assistance in helping us define the right mix of activities (both virtual and in person) to further build and strengthen this community.Finally, I would once again like to thank each of you for being a member of our chapter and encourage your involvement in chapter activities. We have a great Board in place for 2022, and I would like to personally thank these individuals for volunteering their time and expertise. I am as committed as ever to demonstrate to you, our members, the value that FWSIM can provide through our community of 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. Please let us know your feedback through our surveys, via email at email@example.com, and/or by reaching out to one of us directly. We welcome your input and involvement in our programs and activities to make our organization even more valuable to our members.I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in 2022!Jim PanosPresidentFairfield Westchester Chapter SIMCIO, Central National Gottesman Inc.
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