BICSI Winter Conference Welcomes Thousands of IT Pros

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BICSI, the association supporting the information technology systems (ITS) industry with information, education and knowledge assessment, opened its 2013 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition on Sunday, January 20.

Thousands of industry professionals gathered at the Tampa Convention Center to participate in committee meetings, knowledge sharing, educational sessions and networking.

The sold-out Exhibit Hall opened on Sunday with a performance by the University of South Florida (USF) Herd of Thunder Show Band and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with BICSI President Jerry L. Bowman, RCDD, NTS, RTPM, CISSP, CPP, CDCDP, BICSI Executive Director & CEO John D. Clark, Jr., CAE, and BICSI Exhibitor Liaison Committee Chair Kurt Templeman, RCDD. In addition to nearly 180 vendors displaying their state-of-the-art products and solutions, the Exhibit Hall was home to the sixth annual Cabling Skills Challenge competition, several Speed Challenges, and the E3—Enhanced Education & Exhibits sessions. The Exhibit Hall was open again on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Several of Sunday’s and Monday’s Pre-Conference Seminars sold out. Tuesday morning’s Opening General Session drew a crowd as president Bowman officially welcomed attendees to Tampa for the conference, which marks BICSI’s 40th anniversary.

“This conference is a very special celebration for BICSI. We’ve come a long way in 40 years, and while this is a time for reflection, it is also a time for forward thinking. We are proud of all that has been accomplished, but we continue to look ahead, always moving forward, to ensure the stability and prosperity of this great association and ever-evolving industry,” said Bowman.

Dr. Judy Genshaft, president of the USF System, spoke to attendees during the Opening Session, welcoming them to Tampa and congratulating BICSI on its anniversary celebration. USF provided BICSI with office space for almost 11 years while the association was still in its early development. Genshaft commented on USF’s ties to BICSI, noting that BICSI is among USF’s major success stories.

The Opening General Session continued with a recognition ceremony of BICSI’s Past Presidents. Afterward, a panel of four BICSI past presidents and a former executive director sat down with Tampa Bay’s WFLA-TV News Channel 8 Co-Anchor Keith Cate to discuss the history of BICSI and its evolution from a small, 17-member association to now serving nearly 23,000 ITS professionals worldwide.

“I’m so delighted to see such a beautiful display of BICSI’s 40 years in existence,” said BICSI past president Bob Bader, RCDD. “I was there from the beginning and was part of the catalyst of BICSI’s rise to what it is today. It’s always been a family organization. We contribute to the well-being of information technology all over the world, and we also continue to support children in local charities. It brings tears to my eyes.” Bader served as BICSI president from 1992-93.

During the Annual Business Meeting later on Tuesday morning, president Bowman addressed the membership regarding the successes and challenges the association experienced during 2012, and the 2013 BICSI Board of Directors was presented. Board members include: President Jerry L. Bowman, RCDD, NTS, RTPM, CISSP, CPP, CDCDP; President-Elect Michael A. Collins, RCDD, CCDA, NCE; Treasurer Brian Ensign, RCDD, NTS, RTPM, OSP, CSI; Secretary Robert "Bob" Erickson, RCDD, NTS, OSP, RTPM, WD; as well as Region Directors Peter Levoy, RCDD; Brendan "Greg" Sherry, RCDD, NTS, WD; Christy Miller, RCDD, RTPM; Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS; Jeffrey Beavers, RCDD, OSP; Charles "Chuck" Wilson, RCDD, NTS, OSP; Larry Gillen, RCDD, ESS, OSP, CTS; and Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer John D. Clark Jr., CAE.

“Without BICSI’s efforts, through its standards, publications and volunteers, the industry that we enjoy today would have probably never happened,” said William Hatton, RCDD, NTS, of HatMac Communications in Brandon, FL. “BICSI thought out of the box. This conference is a chance for all of us to meet and see how much BICSI has given. We are still able to network, meet old friends and make new ones.”

The General Session’s technical presentations covered a variety of topics, including the convergence of Wi-Fi, DAS and smartphones as multi-venue intelligent amenities; delivering communications solutions in a challenging arctic environment; cabling infrastructure for educational facilities; and the STEP rating system.

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