Latest cohort of Advanced Tech Leaders Academy graduates with career-changing leadership skills

May 17, 2021

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.”

To learn more about AIM’s Tech Leadership programs, visit our website or contact Monika Philp

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