Wednesday, 24. April 2013
Why volunteer? Three reasons:
1) To learn from others
2) To teach others and
3) To make the world a better place … all three for which creates treasured friendships.
I began my journey with MCWT in 2004 when I sat next to Kristin O’Deh at a Women in Computing awards banquet. Kristin was the president of the MCWT organization at the time. The two of us were receiving awards that evening. Her son was her date, as her husband was out of town. We talked about children, networking and IT. What a combination. Shortly after that meeting, Kristin moved to Texas and I joined the “volunteer” board of MCWT.
I had no idea what I was getting into. The new president, Cherri Musser, and I immediately became kindred spirits as we delved into what we both had admitted, the unusual world of MCWT. It was the most glorious and frustrating group of 100% completely committed MCWT women. As a leader, Cherri created the much needed order and structure MCWT required at that time. It was an absolute blast working with Cherri; her wit, humility (yes she was auctioned for $1 more than Ralph Szygenda the year they both auctioned themselves off for lunch at the annual Gala), need for productive meetings and organizational order was truly a blessing to the organization and to me. Other MCWT leaders that followed Cherri were also inspiring.
- You can never “over thank” a volunteer. Leading a volunteer organization, you must thank persistently and often. This I witnessed and learned from Marcy Klevorn; our MCWT “gratitude champion”.
- As an organization grows, change in infrastructure is a requirement and a positive measure. This I witnessed and learned from Andi Karaboutis; our MCWT “change manager”.
I could go on and on…because my learning came from far more people than the former MCWT presidents. These individuals are simply the easiest to pick on.
I feel a special closeness to the MCWT partnership committee. And it is on this committee where I spent the most time. Creating infrastructure and the strategy for growth was and is my passion. Of course I surrounded myself with others that had this same passion; Tracy Ann, Jill, Carey, Chris – and if you know this powerful group of individuals, the probability of success was inevitable. J Each of us came from different organizations, each of us brought a unique approach, each of us were and are “coachable” and together we made it happen. I treasure these friendships. This is why you volunteer. Whether you are the CIO of a billion-dollar enterprise, an executive of a smaller organization, or business development representatives from major IT organizations – we all share something in common – entrepreneurial enthusiasm and spirit on behalf of the mission we serve. This commonality creates deep and rich friendships that cannot be measured. I thank MCWT for the opportunity to serve and the long lasting relationships this organization has brought to my life.
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from volunteering?
Jane Sydlowski has more than 26 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. As president of AMI Strategies, she is accountable for all business aspects and has created a vision for AMI that includes 100% client satisfaction, profitable growth, and respect for the individual and employee empowerment. Jane has a Bachelor of Science in applied engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA from Wayne State University, and is an active member of MCWT.