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March CIPS Volunteer of the Month: Mark Olson I.S.P., ITCP

March 2016 CIPS Volunteer of the Month:

Mark Olson I.S.P., ITCP

Director, CIPS Alberta

About Mark: 

What is your Background?

I have worked in Information Systems for 20 years. My experience includes working in primary support, application support and development, IT infrastructure, security, identity management, and project and program management. I have had the opportunity to work in, learn from, and lead initiatives for, organizations in the fields of Energy, Agriculture, Municipal Government, Health Care, Professional Services and Transportation.

My other world is a life long involvement with primary agriculture. Five years ago my wife and I took over the farm that has been in my family since 1924. The physical aspects of farming are good for my mental and physical well being. And the capacity to plan, remain focused, and be resilient, that comes from working in a field where deadlines are absolute (mother nature waits for no one) has served me well in my IT career.

My education includes a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, where my class was the first to graduate without touching a punch card. I stay current and hands on by working with my own systems; my son and I both contributed software and hardware to a Raspberry Pi based driving distraction simulator that he won gold medal with at the Central Alberta Science fair.


What type of Involvement have you had with CIPS?

I have been a member since 1986, and received my I.S.P. in 1997. I have served twice as marketing and communications chair for the Calgary chapter. I have been on the board of CIPS Alberta for three terms, including president of CIPS Alberta in 2002.

I am currently on the board of CIPS Alberta, where I had the opportunity to coordinate our submission to the Alberta governments review of the Personal Information Protection Act.


What value has your involvement with CIPS provided?

My best work experiences have come from networking made possible by my involvement in CIPS. I have been able to develop, and apply, skills in leadership, marketing, and communications in my various CIPS roles. Being on the CIPS Alberta board has allowed me to learn about and practice in the field of privacy, which I am exploring as a new direction for my IT career.



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