March 2012 CIPS Volunteer of the Month:
Pat Gaudet, ABCP, I.S.P. (ret.)
CIPS Golden Horseshoe, Executive Member - Meeting Coordinator
Gaudet & Associates, Consultants - Advisor / Consultant
What is your background?
At the time when I started my career at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) there was relatively little formal education offered in Information Technology careers and the demand was high. I was fortunately able to learn on the job through self study and classroom courses. I supplemented that education with attendance at conferences and local events hosted by industry leaders and external education and networking associations.
I am very grateful for the valuable assistance from supervisors and work and other colleagues who mentored me at different times in my career.
I spent my whole IT-specific career in the Systems department at RBC, with a variety of types of positions from programmer through to program manager. I was fortunate enough to gain early valuable experience by developing, installing and maintaining banking systems in a number of international sites. Other interesting experiences included managing the project for an internal IT conference for business and IT managers and staff, and participating in a newly-established function providing internal consulting to IT and to business units. Then came Y2K - I coordinated the EUC/MIS preparation for Y2K and then the IT unit’s Y2K contingency plans, after which I managed the unit’s business continuity process for the department for a five years.
After finishing my career with RBC I established myself as an independent consultant specializing in business continuity management and have been enjoying the exposure to different types of businesses.
What type of involvement have you had with CIPS?
I became active in CIPS Toronto about 20 years ago when I helped establish a special interest group (SIG) focusing on end user computing / management information systems. I also co-founded CIPS Toronto’s Y2K and Business Continuity Management (BCM) SIGs.
I became a member of the CIPS Toronto Board in 2000-2007 with early responsibilities tied to media relations and publishing the CIPS Toronto magazine. I was President of CIPS Toronto 2001-2003, spent three years 2004-2007 on the CIPS National Board and four additional years on the Finance Committee. In 2007 I joined the CIPS Golden Horseshoe Board where I still serve today.
I received my I.S.P. designation in 2002 (currently inactive status due to shift of work focus).
What value has your involvement with CIPS provided?
My involvement with CIPS has been a very good investment. Through participation in meetings, conferences and volunteer leadership activities, I have benefited from exposure to many aspects of technology and business and management that would not have been possible if I had not looked outside my own work environment.
My CIPS colleagues have been great sources of information about the industry and about management practices. Many of them have become longer term friends through shared goals and experiences. Similarly, working with my CIPS colleagues has provided value back to my employer, as my gained knowledge and skills are applied in the work environment.
I strongly believe that you get back what you give. Over my career I have been active in many different types of volunteer organizations including Junior Chamber (Jaycees), Junior Achievement, school and police advisory boards, ASM (Association for Systems Management) and, currently, the Canadian Red Cross, and throughout, that rule has held for me.