Greetings ITSMF Family!
Most recently I have been thinking about legacy. More specifically, I have been thinking about the things that people do that have a lasting impact on the world…even after they have passed onto their greater reward.
ITSMF hosts Ignite Forums to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to build leadership skills, connect with other entrepreneurs and to access resources and tools. Ignite forums help founders of businesses develop mind, body, and soul and improve or expand their business. What many do not know is that ITSMF’s commitment to entrepreneurs was inspired by Darrell Freeman. Darrell, at age 57, passed away suddenly last month. A longtime member of ITSMF was a serial entrepreneur. He founded Zycron, Inc. and grew it into a multi-million-dollar information technology consulting firm. Twenty-five years later he sold it for $23 million. He was also the co-owner of Pinnacle Construction. Darrell Freeman was a past chair of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Board and Chairman of the Board of S3 Recycling. He also modeled ITSMF’s expectation around mentoring and sponsorship. Darrell is responsible for helping countless entrepreneurs get their first big contract, helping members successfully apply for Board seats, mentoring others and hosting numerous events and excursions with ITSMF family members.
The Ignite programming that Darrell Freeman inspired, represents the future of ITSMF. The ITSMF Board of Directors has a strategic goal of developing an ecosystem that provides $3 million in resources to entrepreneurs by the end of 2023. This ecosystem will include an annual pitch competition, regional networking forums for entrepreneurs, an academy for Founders and access to RFPs, contracts, and capital. The expansion of Ignite will mean that businesses will grow and eventually create more jobs; black tech founders will continue to lead innovation and solutions for our most pressing business and societal needs. Most importantly, we hope that each black tech founder that participates in Ignite reaches back and opens the door for others the same way that Darrell Freeman did. If you are a Founder or know a Founder that is ready to develop stronger leaderships skills, expand their network, grow, or improve their business, please email us at email@example.com. If you work for a company that is committed to investing in Black businesses, please share information about that commitment and resources available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.