LST Honoree Speaker Series kicks off on International Women’s Day with Judy Spitz

Although it wasn’t planned, the fact that the first of our LST Honoree Speaker Series fell on International Women’s Day was serendipitous to say the least. The event was part of a run-up to the Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards, an annual benefit for the Seidenberg School during which we celebrate outstanding individuals who best exemplify leadership and innovation in the tech field. This year’s award will be going to Suresh Kumar, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at BNY Mellon. Tickets can be purchased at various levels for this fantastic opportunity to attend the reception, network with industry professionals and alumni, and support the Seidenberg School.

Judy Spitz is the Founding Program Directory of the Initiative for Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY). She received the LST award in 2012, when she was the Senior Vice President and CIO at Verizon. On Wednesday March 8, a crowd of over 100 students, alums, and friends from the Pace community got to hear an incredible interview where Judy shared the wisdom she has collected over an eventful career.

The event was introduced by Seidenberg advisory board member, Helen Altshuler, a senior engineering leader at Google, who remarked that “progressing in technology and making strides is a common goal for women and for men. The more people we can bring into this conversation, the more we can progress as a community.”

Progress was a key theme of the event. As Seidenberg student Niamh Fitzsimon opened the interview by asking about Judy’s career and advice for success, it quickly became clear that being open to different paths of progress is crucial.

“Don’t be so tunnel visioned,” Judy cautioned. “While you’re en route to doing what you want to do, there will be opportunities that come onto your radar and the key is not to be too rigid about whether it meets your checklist; whether you think it’s the right move. It’s a jungle gym, not a ladder. This idea where you’re going to get the next job then the next and the next in a linear fashion – that’s not going to happen. In a jungle gym, there are lots of different ways to get to one place. If some paths opens to you, move in that direction. You might end up having to turn back, but you’ll have learned something along the way.”

Words many of our extremely driven, motivated students needed to hear. When you are so focused on following a strict career path to get to where you want to be, you could become blinded to opportunities that offer an alternative route to the end goal – or even ones that take you somewhere else entirely, somewhere that ends up better than your original plan.

Judy also outlined her 5 steps to success. Given the 8 step plan offered by Amtrak CIO Jason Molfetas during his Big Data Innovator talk last fall, perhaps the first and foremost step should be “Come up with a list of steps”!

Judy Spitz’s 5 Steps to Success

1. Be a great storyteller

“It doesn’t matter where you are in your career,” Judy said, “Whether you’re at the beginning and you need talk to the people you work for about what you are doing and why it matters, or you’re middle management and it’s about collaboration with your peers, or whether you’re in a leadership potion and you need to motivate the people you expect to follow along, you’ve got to be able to tell a great story.

“Storytelling has a beginning, a middle, and an end. You get better by thinking about it ahead of time, finding a hook; that hook is how people follow along. And rehearse your story. There has never been one time when I’ve had to stand up and give a presentation when I haven’t rehearsed it beforehand, out loud. Just standing there and reading what you think you want to say is a cognitive process. If you just practice in your room beforehand, I guarantee you will fumble it.”

2. Think non-linearly but execute in a linear fashion

“See both the forest and the trees: you have to be able to stand back and get the big picture so you can get an idea of what matters and what doesn’t,” Judy said. By seeing the big picture, you learn which smaller parts are the most important and can execute tasks in a way that makes sense on both the minute and grand levels.

“However, you also have to be the kind of person who can go down to the minute letter and actually do the work.”

3. Have passion

“Passion is what drives you to go to work when you have reasons not to.”

4. Be accountable

“Don’t ask yourself ‘did I do what I was supposed to do?‘, but ask whether the project did what it was supposed to do. If you just think about your own performance, you’ll never get promoted. Ask people what you can do to help them.”

5. Have humility

“It’s never about you.” As close as you can get to a project, sometimes the decision you want to make isn’t always the right one for the project. Remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the work.

Continue reading part 2 of Judy Spitz’s interview here!

This was the first event in our three-event series, with the next taking place on March 22nd with Nicholas Donofrio, IBM Fellow Emeritus (Ret.) IBM Executive Vice President, Innovation and Technology, on our Westchester campus. The final event will be an interview with Austin A. Adams, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer (Ret.), JPMorgan Chase, at our NYC campus on April 19th.

The LST Honoree Speaker Series is part of a run up to our annual benefit, the Leadership and Service in Technology Awards. Tickets are available now!

Part 2

LST Honoree Speaker Series brings award winners to Pace

A special event series will take place during March and April. The LST Honoree Speaker Series will bring past winners of the prestigious Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) award back to Pace University for a set of lunch and learn events that should be on everybody’s calendar.

Each event takes place on a Wednesday from 12-1:30pm.

As well as getting the opportunity to learn from a set of remarkable trailblazers in the field of technology, attendees will enjoy a free gourmet lunch, free swag, networking with industry leaders and experts, as well as Pace alumni and fellow students, and the chance to win $100 in a raffle!

Register for events below!

March 8 – Judy Spitz, LST Honoree

Founding Program Director: Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY), Cornell Tech

RSVP for Judy Spitz here

March 22 – Nicholas Donofrio, LST Honoree

IBM Fellow Emeritus (Ret.) IBM Executive Vice President, Innovation and Technology

RSVP for Nicholas Donofrio here

April 19 – Austin A. Adams, LST Honoree

Moderated by Mike Zbranak, Managing Director Deputy Chief Information Officer, Chase Consumer & Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase

Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer (Ret.), JPMorgan Chase

RSVP for Austin A. Adams here

The series is part of an exciting run-up to this year’s LST Awards Ceremony, which takes place in May. This year, Senior Executive VP and CIO of BNY Mellon, Suresh Kumar, will be recognized for his innovation within the tech field. The ceremony is a fantastic opportunity to network with professionals and Seidenberg alumni working within the technology industry.

Recap: the 21st Annual Leadership and Service in Technology Awards

The 21st annual Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards was a fantastic evening at Club 101, a gorgeous venue two blocks south of Grand Central terminal.

IMG_1893This year’s theme was “Celebrating Technology: Improving the Quality of Life” and honored our esteemed alumnus, Mike Capone, who graduated from Pace Seidenberg in 1993 and went on to have an incredible career in the healthcare tech industry. Mike spoke about his work as the COO of Medidata, a healthcare data analytics provider, where he oversees delivery of products and services, such as product management, software development, data science, professional services and marketing.

Prior to his role at Medidata, Mike spent 25 years working at ADP as the CIO and CVP of product development. In his address to the LST audience, Mike spoke about his wonderful experiences there and how he ultimately chose to move on to his dream job at Medidata.

IMG_1882The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Darnell, the Founding Director and CEO of the New York Genome Center, with which the Seidenberg School recently formed a collaboratory relationship. Dr. Darnell gave a passionate address to the LST crowd that truly highlighted ways in which technology can change healthcare.

Our power speakers: Mike Capone, Robert Darnell, Andreea Cotoranu, Jonathan Hill and Briana Vecchione

Very recent Seidenberg alumnus, Briana Vecchione (BS Computer Science ’16), also took to the podium to talk about the impact of technology in her life at the event, which just happened to be after her first day working at Microsoft!

Before and after the main event, the evening was filled with food, drinks and networking as guests from all kinds of backgrounds and industries flocked to celebrate Mike’s achievements.

We are incredibly grateful to all who attended this celebration, particularly to Robert Darnell and Mike Capone for their excellent participation.

Leadership and Service in Technology Awards: The Coverage

This year’s Seidenberg School’s Leadership and Service in Technology Award Reception honored not one but two distinguished individuals in the field of technology. On June 22, 2015, Seidenberg School Dean Dr. Amar Gupta gave awards to President and COO at GE Capital, Thomas Gentile, and President of Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Surya Kant.

The Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) award aims to recognize those who have made outstanding achievements in technology by demonstrating their commitment to development, innovation, research, and application within the field.

Dean Amar Gupta hands Mr. Thomas Gentile his LST Award

As a GE executive, Mr. Gentile has experience across a variety of disciplines and has been extremely successful in healthcare and finance. During the reception, he gave a presentation during which he spoke about the importance of science, technology, engineering, math, and computing skills (STEMC) in today’s world. He explained that around 20% of jobs today require some knowledge of STEMC disciplines, and that the number of jobs with this requirement is expected to grow by over 9 million in the next ten years – and that’s just in the USA!

Mr. Gentile also spoke about GE’s involvement with the STEMC community, particularly in its development. The GE Foundation, which is the philanthropic organization of GE, has invested over $250 million in k-12 education for STEMC initiatives. This includes projects across the nation, as well as around the world.

One such initiative includes the partnership with Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Together, GE and the Seidenberg School will be launching a new program that aims to promote STEMC studies and careers to high school girls. This will be done through a series of workshops, boot camps, and other opportunities that will allow high school girls to see the world of opportunities in STEMC studies and careers.

Not all was optimistic, though. Mr. Gentile talked about the growing challenges related to cybersecurity in an increasingly connected world. However, he was confident that Pace and the Seidenberg School would take a big part in the fight against cybercrime with the creation of cybersecurity innovations and the production of highly skilled cybersecurity graduates. He said that he looks forward to working with Dean Gupta and others to develop new cybersecurity approaches that involve persons from government, industry, and academia.

Mr. Surya Kant receives his LST Award from Dean Gupta
Mr. Surya Kant receives his LST Award from Dean Gupta

Surya Kant is the President of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the largest global information technology consulting and services company headquartered in India. Mr. Kant heads the company’s operations in North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. His achievements in the global software industry, where he has made significant contributions, earned him the LST award this year. Specializing in software quality assurance and delivery center management, Mr. Kant is also involved in cybersecurity – which is where his and TCS’ partnership with the Seidenberg School comes into play.

Not only does TCS share synergies with the Seidenberg School in cybersecurity, but global software development is a key initiative, too. Collaborations between the Seidenberg School and the honorees and organizations extend to a multitude of areas: support for STEM, STEAM or STEMC outreach, research collaborations, corporate education programs, and student internships and hiring – Seidenberg students, take note!

The Seidenberg School is honored to have hosted Mr. Gentile and Mr. Kant at the reception, as it is contributions from luminaries like them and their organizations that sustains the school and helps to prepare our students for rewarding careers in tech. Their involvement and inspiring stories helps us aim for success even more.

Verizon CIO Gets Leadership and Service in Technology Award

FiOS1 Long Island has some nice coverage on the recent LST event. Read more to check out the video.

FiOS1 Long Island has some nice coverage on the recent LST event. Check out the video on their site below. Continue reading “Verizon CIO Gets Leadership and Service in Technology Award”

Annual Leadership Award Gala a Great Success

Nearly 200 people, including members of the Pace and professional IT communities, came together to honor Gary Butler, president and CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP), at this year’s Leadership and Service in Technology Award Reception.  The event, which took place on Wednesday, June 22 at PricewaterhouseCoopers headquarters in Midtown, generated more than $135,000 for student scholarships and select scholarly initiatives.

Continue reading “Annual Leadership Award Gala a Great Success”