We are beginning an article series showcasing the CATC Board Members and their passion for the goals and objectives for CATC. We begin our series highlighting our current Board President, Andrew Lockhart, who is a CIO at Ally Bank. Drew significantly contributed to the creation of CATC, and his tenure as president has seen many positive steps in enabling Charlotte as a technology community. As Drew moves into much deserved retirement, he will be stepping down as President but still intends to remain an active participant. Please read, in Drew’s own words, his reflections on his participation and his passion for CATC.
I’ve been engaged with the CATC for over 3 years now. I remember when I first started investigating non-profits as a way for me to give back to community. I wanted to find one that was impactful and that leveraged my skills, passion and aligned with my ideals. I met with several members of the CATC (then IT-ology) and was struck by their enthusiasm and description of the impact the CATC programs were having. In particular I was impressed and energized talking with the CIO of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools about the programs CATC supports in the public school system. She painted a vivid picture of the impact on our children of really understanding what IT was all about and the opportunities that existed for careers in technology. She described a focus on diversity, inclusiveness and creating opportunities for disadvantaged children to experience technology in a very hands on way. I was sold. I then talked with some of our volunteers that were involved with WISE (Women is Science and Engineering) and the work they were doing to help early professionals in their careers via mentoring, networking and professional development. Once again I found enthusiastic people that were making a difference, it was evident.
Fast forward, the CATC continues its mission to bring together businesses, education, government and organizations to inspire and grow the advancement of a diverse and skilled technology pipeline. Along the way we have connected with many other fantastic non-profit and professional organizations that are also doing fabulous things in our community. We are working to bring these organizations together to raise the collective awareness of the work we are all doing and are aspiring to enable a level of collaboration between them that can multiply the impact each are having. Charlotte and surrounding communities are growing rapidly, our businesses need a prepared technology workforce to power that growth. We can all help by connecting the business need with our economic and civic responsibility of preparing a diverse pipeline of talent for the future. Let’s make a difference!