Category Archives: AITP

Association of Information Technology Professionals

It’s All About NCC

NCC is the National Collegiate Conference and is a yearly event that is organized by the Association of Information Technology Professionals.


When I first made the decision to attend NCC, I did so with some trepidation. I would be away from home for 4 days and I really do not like to do that for various reasons. I imagined that it would be a long, boring 4 days where I would not have much to do except listen and be an observer. So, I departed Pittsburgh early in the afternoon of April 4th and arrived in St. Louis and was booked into my hotel room by 3:00 P.M.


I went to the event conference hall and was surprised with the amount of people who were in line for registration. I had heard that over 600 students were attending along with the professional members, sponsor and speakers which brought the total count of about 700.

 Shortly after going through the registration, I ran into AITP members, Elaine Miller (web portalIMG_0730 administrator), Bill Fly (Association President), Barb Shaver (Akron Chapter) and Chris Leja (St. Louis Chapter). I started to feel better about attending the event after seeing several people that I knew.


I also ran into Mark Gilfand, who is the editor of the AITP Information Executive. I had had email correspondence with Mark for several years and had finally met him at the Members Meeting in Green Bay last October.


One of my goals that I had was to meet the Student Chapters from Region 18, who were attending the event. I ran into Ed Drum of the Kent State University Ashtabula campus and was able to meet up with his group. On Friday, I ran into members of the Student Chapter at James Madison University and finally on Saturday I met the students from Appalachian State.


KSU Ashtabula Students
KSU Ashtabula Students
JMU Students
JMU Students

I had signed up to attend the St. Louis Chapter meeting on Friday evening. Several of the AITP

Mark Gilfand
Mark Gilfand

Board Members were in attendance. I sat with 4 members of the St. Louis and had a great time. The speaker for the evening was Mark Gilfand and his presentation was titled “AITP and You – Keys to Your Success”. If you ever have a chance to listen to Mark make this presentation, please do so. It was fantastic and spot on!





On a side note, I ran into 2 students from Georgia PiedmontTechnical College. Mechelle Davis and Schwann Brown-Richardson informed me that their College, among many others, will be planning for the 2014 NCC, which is being held in Atlanta, Georgia.


Several free exams certifications were available for the students to take advantage of. Certiport, Microsoft and ICCP had a very strong presence at the event and it was very much appreciated. Also, the students could take part of several IT contest such as: Student Chapter Banner and Shirt Competition, Database and Network Design, Security, PC Trouble Shooting and Java / Web Development. I able to talk with several students before and after the testing / contest sessions. It was very refreshing to see how excited they were about all of the different opportunities that were available at the event.


During the luncheon on Friday, several awards were handed out. Irene Edge of the KSU Ashtabula Campus was presented the Going the Extra Mile award. This was a well deserved award and was made extra special with the Dean of the kent State University  making a surprise appearance during the presentation.


Irene Edge
Irene Edge

Also, Carolyn Carvalho was recognized for her efforts to make sure that free testing was available for the students. Early in the year, it was announced that testing for students was not going to be featured at the event. Through the diligence of Carolyn, this part of the event was back in place.

 The James Madison University was named the Student Outstanding Chapter Award. An article from JMU was in the last Region 18 CommuniGram.

 To add icing on the cake, Dr Susan Kruck of JMU was name Faculty Advisor of the Year. I had some concerns about this as I had been asked to write a letter of recommendation for Dr. Kruck by the Student Chapter. Despite my involvement, everything worked out.

 I also met and talked for a short time with the faculty advisor and students from Appalachian State College.

 Dr. Joyce Currie Little of Towson University was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. I was able to spend an hour or so talking with her and Vickie Hampton (Assoication Director) Saturday afternoon. What a fantastic person!


Dr. Joyce Little and Vicki Hampton
Dr. Joyce Little and Vicki Hampton

The awards dinner was exciting for the students and I got to hear the cheers as all colleges were named in a roll call. A ton of awards were handed out for all of the different contest that were held.

 This event was hosted by the Capitol and St. Louis Chapter, student chapters at Eastern Illinois University, Missouri Western State, Univ. Missouri State, Univ. Southern Illinois and Southern Illinois Univ. at Edwardsville.

 Sponsor of the event include Robert Half Technology (who awarded two $2,500 scholarships), State Farm, USAA, IBM, ICCP and others.

 Sunday morning arrived and it was time to leave St. Louis and head back to eastern Ohio. Even at that, the fun continued as I saw and talked with several people who had attended the event and were flying out of the St. Louis airport. Tired but still excited, it was great hearing that plans were being made for next year in Atlanta. AND to top it off, I was patted down by security after my t-shirt set off the x-ray machine. THE THRILLS JUST DON’T STOP!!!!

 Any reservations that I had about attending NCC were quickly forgotten. I had a fantastic time and would recommend that any member make the effort to attend a NCC event in the future.

Two Quick Podcast

After procrastinating for a couple of months, I finally dug out my podcasting equipment and recorded a couple of podcast. I did not realize how much I missed this and I need to get back in the habit. I know I will not get a lot of views but that is OK.

First up is a short podcast about upcoming WordCamps. I am really looking forward to attending two or three this year along with other tech events.


Next is a video about upcoming AITP events in the Wheeling, WV area, Region 18 and the annual NCC event.



Was It Worth It?

I have been asked this question several times over the past 2 or 3 years after returning from a tech event.

This question came from someone who is not involved in the tech community and does not belong to any groups or organizations.

Through my involvement with AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) and my local Greater Wheeling Chapter, I have held many of the officer position (twice being president) and attending many of their sponsored IT events. In 2011 I was asked to serve as Region 18 Vice President and was elected to the position of Region President in 2012. This year, in that capacity, I have visited chapters in Akron and Ashtabula, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Raleigh, NC. I attended IT seminars and was able to go to the Members Meeting which was held in Green Bay, WI in October. At this event I was able to meet the Association officers and volunteers.

I have been working with WordPress for the past 4 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have attended three WordCamps in Columbus and this past April in Nashville, TN. This is a great way to pick up information about WordPress and the session’s covers a wide variety of subject. The WordCamps are 1 or 2 days in length and feature speakers who are locally and nationally known. Being able to meet people who I have only known through their websites, emailed, Tweeted or had conference calls with has been great. The information flows freely and no question is considered too small or mundane.

Now, please don’t think that I am bragging about how much I have traveled this year. In the past, there have been AITP Region Presidents that have had to make multiple visits each week. I know people that attend WordCamps on a monthly basis. That is not the point that I am trying to make.

Let’s look at a couple of these events in economical terms. My trip to the AITP Members Meeting which was held in Green Bay, WI required 12 hours of driving each way, 3 nights lodging and meals. Going to Nashville, TN for WordCamp was an 8 hour drive, and 2 nights lodging and meals.

How much value did I derive from these events? I could not put a dollar figure on it. Hearing presentations by people who are renowned on the national level for their knowledge and experience, meeting people face to face who I have emailed or had conference calls with, making new friends who have a common interest, how you can say that there is nothing of value to be gained from these types of conferences.

So in closing, when I have been asked “Was it worth it?” I can honestly answer……


AITP Meeting of the Members

Last week, I was very fortunate to be able to attend the 2012 AITP Meeting of the Members which was held in Green Bay, WI. It was about a 13 hour drive from my home in eastern Ohio but it was an interesting trip with some great scenery.


The Radisson Hotel in Green Bay was a great place to hold the event. The rooms were spacious and clean, the meeting rooms were comfortable and the dinner on Wednesday evening was delicious.


Tuesday evening, I was invited to go to Curly’s Restaurant located in Lambeau Field. That evening and the next day I was finally able to meet a lot of people who I have emailed several times this year in my capacity as President of Region 18. As the saying goes, “It is nice to put a face with the name”.


 The Meeting of the Members was held on Wednesday, October 10th. AITP President Norbert Kubilius gave several updates during the morning session. Vice President Bill Fly, Secretary Barbara Viola, Past President Jim Henry, IE Editor Mark Gilfand and others, gave updates as well.


I was invited to attend the ABOD lunch and board meeting but I missed the board meeting because of a misunderstanding on my part. It was still interesting to hear the discussions during the luncheon.


The afternoon sessions were varied and informative. Cloud Computing, Bring Your Own Device and Effective Communication Skills were among the topics presented. 


Larry Schmitz, Region 5 President and Past Association President, conducted the meeting Wednesday evening after dinner. He introduced the members who took part in organizing the event. Norbert was the keynote speaker for the evening. He spoke at length on the future of technology and the role AITP can play.


Because of commitments on Friday, I was unable to attend any of the Region 5 Conference on Thursday. It was a long drive home that day. From talking with people who attended the Region 5 event on Thursday, I understand that the chapter leadership sessions were very interesting.


Overall, I would have to say the the Meeting of the Members was a great experience. I had attended the members meeting in Dallas, TX a few years ago but since my involvement at the Region and Association level was minimal, I did not have much interest in what was happening at that time. Now, I wish that I had paid more attention as I would have been better prepared for my duties as a region president. I did learn a great deal but I have a long way to go.   



The Association of Information Technology Professionals, Region 18, has organized a tech event which will be held on Saturday (8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.), August 11, 2012 in Independence, Ohio.

IT Con is a one day conference which is open to the public. The theme for this event is mobile computing and will feature speakers who are on the leading edge of the tech industry.

The event is being held at Holiday Inn – Cleveland South, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, Ohio

A special room rate of $92 per night is available for Friday and/or Saturday night for anyone coming from out of town.  Mention “AITP” when making your reservation at or (216) 524-8050.  If you are coming into town by air, the hotel offers free shuttle service to and from Cleveland-Hopkins airport.

Details for the event can be seen at the AITP Region 18 website:

Sessions and Speakers include:

Supporting BYOD presented by Keith Mayer, Microsoft IT Pro

Mobilizing Your Customers’ Experience presented by Brian Stein, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pervasive Path

Developing Apps for Mobile Platforms presented by Jeff Blankenburg, Microsoft Developer Pro

To see speaker bio’s go to

 Also, a dinner for AITP members is scheduled for Saturday evening after the event is concluded.

Hope to see you there!