Last Friday, AIM held a virtual graduation ceremony in celebration of the latest cohort to complete Advanced Tech Leaders Academy, AIM’s intensive leadership development program for tech professionals.
Thirty-four participants from 14 companies completed this an annual management course for tech professionals, the goal of which is to enhance leadership skills essential for current and upcoming managers in the tech industry.
The event was led by Todd Campbell, application development senior manager at TD Ameritrade and chair of the AIM Leadership Academy steering committee. In addition to his dayjob, Campbell teaches leadership development in both the Emerging and Advanced Tech Leaders Academies. (A skilled Jazz guitarist and songwriter, Campbell kicked off the ceremony by playing a snippet of one of his originals at the request of some attendees.)
Each attendee was given a moment to share what they had gained from the program. Testimonials were overwhelmingly positive.
“I learned about myself and others, my own personal brand, how to improve in my current role and how to prepare for the next one,” said Mary Arko, Information Services Manager for Mutual of Omaha. “This has been an experience I will never forget.”
Change management, reality-based training, big idea thinking, servant leadership and identification of one’s personal strengths were consistently mentioned as some of graduates’ favorite aspects of Advanced Tech Leaders.
“Over the past few months, I’ve grown as a leader and have pushed myself to go outside my comfort zone, even though it can be really hard at times, especially with me being shy,” said Bryce Costanzo, software engineer at T.D. Ameritrade.
Costanzo’s colleague, Tracy McElwee, scrum master for T.D. Ameritrade, agreed, citing initial discomfort with a virtual learning format as a factor that ended up helping her succeed in the course. “Over the last six months, I’ve grown so much. And while we all work in IT departments, we all brought something different, and that was the beauty of it.”
The course’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech workplace was especially appreciated.
“I just want to thank not only the AIM team, but the entire cohort, because I really felt seen and heard, not only in my capstone group, but overall—and for me, that’s a rare professional experience,” said Vonda Page, organizational change manager for PayPal. “Because of that, I feel like I’m more connected to the Silicon Prairie tech community.”
Congratulations to all the graduates!
Stephanie Andresen, Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska
Mary Arko, Mutual of Omaha
Todd Briston, Team Software
Lynsey Byers, PayPal
Juan Chavez, Apple Inc.
Bernie Conway, Farm Credit Services of America
Bryan Costanzo, TD Ameritrade
Clinton Davis, BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska
Charles Draper, Kiewit
Ken Duncan, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska
Chad Dzingle, CSG
Vladimir Georgiev, Mutual of Omaha
Inna Goldman, Omaha Public Power District
Chris Greer, Mutual of Omaha
Jorge Grimalado, Siena Francis House
Chequetta Jackson, Omaha Public Power District
Amanda Lane, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Tracy Masker, Gavilon, LLC
Tracy McElwee, TD Ameritrade
Sarah Muth, CSG
Vonda Page, PayPal
Seth Phillips, Team Software
Sindura Polavarapu, TD Ameritrade
John Ramsey, Mutual of Omaha
Samuel Requenez, Farm Credit Services of America
Jeris Rue, CSG
Ashley Schantell, Farm Credit Services of America
James Schneider, Mutual of Omaha
Brett Schultz, Kiewit Corporation
Naveen Rangasamy Velusamy, CSG
Alesha Walker, Omaha Public Power District
Maryanne Weinstine, Kiewit
Scott Westbrook, Tenaska
Nathan Wood, FNTS