ITSMF’s theme for 2023 is Answering the Challenge. This is an appropriate title to follow our 2022 ReBoot. In 2022, we needed a ReBoot to rethink, reimagine, and reignite our thinking and our commitments to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace, in our communities, and in the nation. We also needed to rethink, reimagine, and reignite our commitment to generational wealth building and entrepreneurship. Our Reboot was successful. We grew membership to just under 500, graduated record cohorts in our prestigious Emerge, Management, and Executive Academies, supported entrepreneurs of color through our inaugural pitch competition and Ignite networking event. We supported over 80 college scholars pursuing STEM majors through our mentoring and scholarship programs, which helps us strengthen the pipeline of new technology talent. We also raised over $4,000,000 to support these efforts. We could not have done any of this without you—our members, our strategic alliance partners, our Board, and our corporate partners.
In 2023, we are Answering the Challenge. The Challenge our Founders answered in the mid 1990’s at the annual BPDA conference after being inspired by the first-ever all Black CIO panel. The Challenge to diversify the highest levels of leadership in Fortune 500 companies through the cultivation of Black technology executives mind, body, and soul. Twenty-seven years later… We are Answering the Challenge by mentoring and sponsoring our peers and the next generation. We are Answering the Challenge by completing the academies and taking our new leadership skills, new relationships, and renewed energy back to our companies, which often results in greater leadership roles and responsibilities. We are Answering the Challenge when we enhance the field of technology through innovations, new solutions, emerging technologies, bottom line impact, public speaking, publishing, and training others. We are Answering the Challenge when we continue to build and support the ITSMF family. We are Answering the Challenge each time we take on new leadership roles, grow our own tech businesses, recruit new members, support each other, and challenge each other to be our best. We are Answering the Challenge when we open doors of opportunity for each other. Yes, we are Answering the Challenge of our Founders … but there’s still much work to be done and we need to pick up the pace!
We are adding three new Global Institute for Professional Development Programs in 2023:
- Board Bound Academy, a new academy that provides leaders with a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) certification;
- Ignite Academy to help Black tech entrepreneurs grow their businesses; and
- a CxO retreat to ensure that our ITSMF leaders continue to grow and prepare to take on even bigger roles.
Our first symposium of 2023 will be held in Hudson Yards, New York, May 4-6. The Founders will be in attendance, and we have some special surprises planned for you throughout the symposium. Our black-tie Technology Leaders Awards Gala will be epic and will once again showcase the best of the best. You don’t want to miss it!
I can’t wait to see you in New York City!
President and CEO, ITSMF
About Information Technology Senior Management Forum
Since 1996, Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has been dedicated to increasing the representation of Black professionals at senior levels in technology to impact organizational innovation and growth. We do this by developing and nurturing these dynamic leaders through enrichment of the mind, body and soul. At its inception, only 3% of senior-level positions in the technology industry were held by Blacks. With a half-million new computer-related jobs expected by 2028, ITSMF is committed to increasing the number of qualified Black professionals for these positions. For more information about ITSMF, visit www.itsmfleaders.org.