Chapter President's Message

Chapter President's Message

Dear Members,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and/or participation in SIM MN this past year.

We capped off 2019 with an extraordinary panel discussion on “Surviving Transition” on 11/21 where Doug Koch and Bryce Austin (both past Presidents of SIM Mn) were joined by Cary Felbab, VP of Retail Technology at Securian, and Lynn Willenbring, VP Client Ops and System Services at Optum State Government, to share their transition experiences.  They all strongly advise currently employed technology leaders to get out and network at least once/month in case you are faced with an unexpected transition in your future.  It was a lively discussion that continued through the break until we had to close off the conversations at the end of our scheduled time.  Of great satisfaction for me was that conversations continued in small groups even after we adjourned the official meeting.  Evidence once again of the value of professional networking.

It reminded me of our CIO Round Table session in May where we scheduled 5 sitting CIO’s to discuss anything members wanted to talk with them about.  That session also generated a lot of informal conversations beyond our scheduled meeting time but received extremely high feedback from members please with the opportunity to discuss topics with other experienced IT Leaders.

Based on member input, we also had several sessions of deep technical content.  Everything from RPA to Kubernetes and Cloud-native development.  We’ve also reached out to fellow technology organizations in the Twin Cities to make sure our members are aware of opportunities to both advance their knowledge (eg. University of Minnesota Information Systems Research Center and the MHG Strategy Summit) as well as providing opportunities to give back to the community through mentoring others and STEM initiatives.

All these sessions were in response to our renewed effort to provide SIM members the content and experiences they are most interested in as we fulfill our mission of ‘Advancing the Practice of IT Leadership’.

To that end, we have a great lineup of programs scheduled for next year.  So far, we’ve got sessions on Information Security Compliance, Building an AI and Data Analytics Practice, as well as another Leadership Round Table and the opportunity to again participate in the annual SIM IT Trends Survey.  Members who participate receive the always-insightful results of this national survey on technology trends.

I’d like to encourage all our members to join us on what will be an incredible journey through fascinating topics and networking opportunities in 2020.  Renewing and new members can visit the SIM Mn website at, click on the “Join” tab, and either Renew or Apply.  I look forward to connecting with you in the new year.  Should you have any issues registering, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at


Harold Knutson
President, SIM MN