Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Palo Alto, CA


m/Oppenheim Associates is assisting the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) in the search for a a proven IT manager/strategist with a career track record of selecting and implementing administrative and externally facing B2B & B2C systems solutions that: have a strong customer focus, deliver critical functionality, are easy to use & maintain, and are cost effective, secure, scalable and resilient.

We are reaching out to the community for suggestions and nominations for the Vice President of Technology position, and would appreciate your support.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology builds on the work of generations of women technologists, to advance the careers of new generations of women in technology. The organization originated in the mid-1980s, and is today the world’s largest and internationally most influential community of women in technology. ABI is based in Palo Alto , has a budget of $21M, a staff of 42, 53 corporate partners, and a community of well over 25,000. The IT Department has a staff of 4 and a budget of $1M, and functions as a general contractor selecting, engaging and managing subcontractors and vendors. The Vice President reports to the President & CEO and will work closely with other senior staff, partners and vendors.

ABI currently runs a mix of different, overlapping, non-interoperable systems that inadequately deliver essential functionality. Current systems generally fall into five categories: event management, content management, financial & business development management, office automation, collaboration & email management. In addition to the above list, there are a number of department specific processes and systems that are in use that need to be incorporated into an overall and rational software stack that minimizes duplicate data and functionality (and avoids data reconciliation processes) as the organization grows.

One of the critical decisions that need to be made is the data architecture for storing and retrieving critical data about ABI’s community. Historically this information was stored in the Salesforce system and in and ABI’s former registration system called RegOnline. Both have proven ineffective and unwieldy.

There are three initial priorities for the Vice President in the next 12 – 18 months:

First, ABI must find a way to function using a simplified combination of systems currently installed at the Institute. While there are too many overlapping and redundant systems in use by different departments, it will not be possible to quickly transition from the current mixed architecture to one that is both lean and rational. The Vice President must find practical compromises that enable ABI to serve its community and advance its mission, while also helping the organization to transitioning to components that are interoperable and scalable.

Second, one system must function as a master record for every member of the ABI community. It is currently not possible to produce a snapshot of data for any ABI community member, whether an individual or a business partner. There should be a single master record and transaction history for each member of the ABI community, and one for each partner.

Third, invoicing and accurate financial reporting are a particular challenge. The Vice President must craft an approach that produces clear data that can be used as a basis for accurate invoicing and financial reporting.

Once implementation of core systems improves, the next phase of the Vice President’s work is to collaborate with the leadership team to develop and implement a range of web-based self-service systems for the ABI community.

Your suggestions and nominations are most welcome, and feel free to distribute this position description as you deem appropriate.

We thank you for your support as we seek great leaders for Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and are happy to return the favor should you need us in the future.

For additional information or to apply please contact Mark Oppenheim or Lisa Grossman at info [at] moppenheim [dot] com.

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