Carolina Technology Consultants’ annual Retreat and IT Awards on October 22 brought together a couple hundred of UNC-Chapel Hill’s information technology professionals for a day of learning, networking, recognizing outstanding achievement and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the campus network.
More than 260 people registered to attend the 2015 CTC Retreat at the Carolina Club, a slight increase over last year. The conference informs Carolina’s IT professionals about new technologies and efforts from across the University and enables them to make new connections as well as to reconnect with people they may not encounter regularly on campus.
The CTC Retreat featured keynote speaker Lori McLeese, Human Resources Lead at Automattic, opening remarks by Information Technology Services CIO Chris Kielt and a presentation about the history of the campus network by Jim Gogan, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Communication Technologies at ITS. Throughout the day, attendees also chose among three or four sessions during each of five breakout periods.
“I have been overwhelmed by the positive response from this year’s Retreat,” said Clint Kale, CTC President. “Most people enjoyed the quick-paced format for this year, but a few would have enjoyed longer sessions and longer breaks.” Sessions had to be shorter to provide time for the anniversary celebration of the network.
“We had so many great presentations and presenters,” Kale added. “What it really comes down to is this: the CTC community respects each other, wants to learn from each other, and at the end of the day knows how to throw a party.”
Kathy Anderson, Assistant Dean for Information Technology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, calls the CTC Retreat “the best opportunity I have all year to mingle with, learn from and celebrate our IT community.” At this year’s event, she said she “was both humbled and blown away by the achievements of our people.”
“This year, I particularly appreciated the balance between sessions on technology and those focusing more on people,” said Anderson. “I think that reflects our core values and innate understanding of the critical roles that people play in any successful technology implementation.”
The two sessions that attracted the largest crowds were “Diversity & Inclusion in IT” panel and the “Office 365 – Where are we now? Where are we going” discussion presented by ITS’ two newest AVCs, Dennis Schmidt and Sandra Germenis.
The “Diversity & Inclusion” drew well for a couple reasons, Kale said. “The IT community is becoming more and more aware of the need for different voices in our work environment. To get those voices heard, we need to learn how to open our ears,” he said.
As for the interest in what’s happening with the future rollout of Microsoft Office 365, Kale said, “Dennis and Sandra obviously know what the CTC community is interested in, and were able to bring a lot of knowledge and excitement about the developments surrounding 365.”
If you would like to provide CTC with feedback on the Retreat, please email Kale at email@example.com.