By Justin Bastin, SHARE Past President
In my last message from SHARE, we announced a new strategic partner. It’s been nearly a year since then, and I write to you now from beyond my presidency as the reins have been recently relinquished to Jim Erdahl of US Bank. In reflecting on my term, two overriding feelings come to mind: immense pride and gratitude.
It’s crazy to think back to when I first started on the Board of Directors in 2012. Since then, so much has happened both in my life — like introducing my three amazing kids into the world! — and in SHARE’s life. I’m grateful to have had a view of SHARE as both a vendor and as a customer/user. As a vendor, it was all about getting a broad understanding of the general ecosystem and focusing on my area of expertise while challenging myself in new ways. As a customer/user, it has been about gaining skills to help me in my day-to-day work. In the early days for me, SHARE events were overwhelming and humbling; I always felt like there was so much to learn and that I was never going to learn it. But, as I’ve grown in my career, and after getting to know the people of SHARE, my involvement with the organization has drastically accelerated that growth and my professional network. Not to mention I’ve had an opportunity to build and shape skills around organizational governance, leadership and management that I would not have been exposed to otherwise.
SHARE was a safe environment to practice new skills. And, being able to drive a group to a conclusion, and to collectively move in the same direction, with the same vision, is something that has been an invaluable experience.
It’s better to give than to receive. And, SHARE has given me more personally than I could have imagined. A few things stand out as accomplishments as president that I am most proud to have been a part of and feel noteworthy today:
- Welcoming Broadcom as a second strategic partner, alongside IBM
- Contributing to SHARE’s reserves for the first time since 2003, thanks to strong financial management support from my fellow Board members and our current Executive Director Brian Langerman (as a not-for-profit this means we were able to invest back into the organization)
- Expanding virtual on-demand learning by increasing the amount of webcasts offered annually, and
- Launching the SHARE Digital Badge program, allowing members to validate their learning and competency in specific technical areas.
- Creating the Women in IT program that is dedicated to informing, inspiring, and empowering female professionals in Enterprise IT and promoting women in technology.
Top of mind these days, of course, is the upcoming, fully virtual SHARE event. Beyond just SHARE, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened many eyes to new and different ways of doing things, whether for health and safety or for efficiency. I absolutely am of the mindset that there will be long-term effects on the ways we work and engage with one another. Knowledge transfer and relationship building are necessary in business and in professional practice, so there will be a time to gather face-to-face, but I believe that will look different and should be reimagined.
With that, I close with a challenge to future generations of enterprise IT and SHARE leaders: Push the envelope. Don't just accept what people tell you is “the norm” today. Question “the norm” and question everything.
There were many tough decisions that had both strategic and financial implications, but all-in-all I’m incredibly proud of the leadership team and what the team accomplished. I hope you agree, and cannot wait to see where future leaders take us.