2nd Annual Technology Leadership Conference 2006 was a big success

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From presentations that offered a look at the technology Group at the Hotelissues facing education, business, healthcare, government and the community at large, to hands-on training to learn quick tips about Microsoft, the second annual San Juan College Technology Leadership Conference provided a wide range of information. More than 250 industry leaders and community members throughout the Four Corners registered for the event.

The College’s Office of Technology Services hosted this year’s conference, which was funded through SJC industry partners and corporate gifts. Under the theme “Technology Innovation and Community Collaboration,” top industry professionals from SunGard Higher Education, the Austin City Wireless Project, San Juan Regional Medical Center, Cisco, Microsoft and Brainstorm Networks served as speakers.

Dr. Carol Spencer, president of San Juan College; Dr. James Henderson, chairman of the San Juan County Commission; and Bill Standley, Farmington city mayor, welcomed participants.

Little Theatre“The understanding and use of technology has become a necessity in our lives,” says Dr. Spencer. “We were excited to have the opportunity to present information on how technology can enhance the educational, healthcare, business and private sector.”

“These outstanding speakers provided participants with information that could easily be utilized in a variety of workplace settings,” adds Shah Ardalan, San Juan College vice president for technology services.

Morning conference attendees had the opportunity to gain information from keynote speakers Dr. William Graves, SunGard Higher Education senior vice president; Richard McKinnon, Austin Wireless City Project president; and Steve Altmiller, San Juan Regional Medical Center president and CEO.

Dr. Graves gave conference goers a look at education and how to use IT to improve performance in ways that will increase alignment, success, and satisfaction among students, instructors, boards, and external policy makers. McKinnon presented information about how the Austin Wireless City Project started out as a grassroots movement with volunteers to improve the availability and quality of free public Wi-Fi. Altmiller’s discussion involved technology’s role in supporting and driving a company’s strategy.

Afternoon keynote speakers included John DuBois, Microsoft senior productivity advisor; Blake Adkins, Brainstorm Networks executive vice president; and Matthew Stein, Cisco marketing manager.

Dr. William GravesDuBois presented a look at the research and technical challenges in mobility, human-computer interaction, simulations, graphics, and technologies for education. Adkins focused on the strategic direction of technology regarding voice over IP, video over IP, wireless and mobility. Stein shared information about how Cisco developed a network architecture that is service-oriented.

Moderated by Blake Adkins, the conference concluded with a panel discussion of professionals who fielded questions from conference participants about network and data security.

New to this year’s conference was a 90-minute, hands-on training opportunity, where participants of all skill levels learned the latest about how to use Microsoft Office Systems more effectively to simplify work and maximize productivity.

Prior to the afternoon session, conference goers were treated to a barbeque lunch, while listening to the classical guitar sounds of Mario Armendariz. Many participants also went away with door prizes, which included various software packages, a Symantec firewall, a Gateway Tablet laptop and numerous flash drives.

The comments we received from the conference were excellent,” Ardalan says. “Many commended the conference saying, ‘The presentations were engaging,’ while another said, ‘superb speakers,’ and ‘This conference sparked ideas that we can apply within our own organization’.”

“We look forward to providing the third annual conference,” he continues. “As technology continues to advance at an extremely fast pace, we want to offer this conference as a resource that will enhance our community’s technology awareness and its capabilities.”