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September CIPS Volunteer of the Month: Ken Metcalfe, I.S.P., ITCP, CCP


September 2012 CIPS Volunteer of the Month:

Ken Metcalfe, I.S.P., ITCP, CCP   

Director I.T., Privacy Officer 

The Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance Co.

About Ken: 

What is your Background?

Anybody looking for old Byte magazines?  I believe I still have a couple of 8Kx1 memory chips from my socketed Z80 motherboard!  When looking back Computer Science at university had been largely languages, numerical analysis and just beginning to branch out as a department in its own right.  Moore’s Law was evident with computers rapidly escaping the glassed-in, raised floors of the mainframe world.  ARPnet was all the buzz, promising to connect networks of computers and the university’s PDP 8 to the “world”.

Employed with Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance since 1978, I began at the bottom and at the top at the same time as I was their first “computer’ guy. After stabilizing the IBM System 3 card system, the company ‘computer’ department has transitioned over the years from a “necessary evil” into an integral business component.  


What type of Involvement have you had with CIPS?

My first involvement with CIPS began with their national conferences.  In 1987 CIPS became a permanent component of my career and I obtained my I.S.P. in 1992.  Working with the CIPS Winnipeg section in various board positions, I became the Manitoba Region Director on the CIPS National Board, ultimately holding executive board positions of both Treasurer and Secretary.  I participated during the formation of the provincial CIPS structure and have held executive board positions in CIPS Manitoba and continue as a working board member.  At CIPS National I have remained a member of the Finance Committee.

Over the past 10 years I have been your national representative to the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP), which provides knowledge assessment towards the I.S.P. and ongoing recertification credits. I currently hold the executive board position of vice president.


What value has your involvement with CIPS provided?

Active involvement in CIPS has been the key to my professional growth.  I could not have led the company I.T. transition without my constant and active participation in CIPS.  Understanding and maintaining a professional I.T. focus has been both a rudder and engine driving my career.  While business focuses on business, CIPS members have provided key support and insight, keeping me on the path of an I.T. professional.