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New England IT Community Leaders Meetup


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A big thanks goes out to Dan Stolts for organizing this gathering yesterday at the Microsoft office in Waltham. We had over 20 people in attendance on Tuesday afternoon, both physically there, as well as remote, connected via Microsoft Lync. What was this “gathering of the minds” you ask? Well, we had a great mixed audience, of those that run the BUG (Boston User Groups) site, Windows and Unix System Admins who run local User Groups, MVPs, Virtualization User Group organizers, and of course some representation for the local SharePoint Saturday Boston, SharePoint Saturday Hartford, and the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group. I had the chance to put some faces to some names, as well as walked away, and hopefully imparted, a wealth of knowledge on how we can make the community as a whole grow, as well as our user groups and community events.

Some background information on the meetup group… (copied from: http://www.meetup.com/NELeaders/about/)

The purpose of the group is to offer a central place for Information Technology Community Leaders to network, collaborate and share ideas. While the main purpose of the group is for Information Technology Community Leaders, other community leaders will also be welcome. Some examples of Information Technology Community Leaders include:

    Who Should Join?

  • User Group Leaders (Presidents, Board Members, Leaders, etc)
  • MVP – Most Valuable Professional (Microsoft MVP)
  • Influential Bloggers and Forum Participants
  • MCT – Microsoft Certified Trainers (and other trainers too)
  • Other people in the technology industry that help the broader online or in person community

The scope of this group initially is the New England and Upstate NY territory.
Who started this group and why?
Dan Stolts started the group. Dan has been very involved with the technology community for more than a dozen years. He is founder of Virtualization Group Boston (www.virtg.com) former president of Boston Area Windows Server User Group (www.WindowsBoston.com) and current president of Boston User Groups (www.BostonUserGroups.org). He owns a technology consulting and hosting firm (www.BayStateTechnology.com) and works for Microsoft as the North East District IT Pro Evangelist. Dan has been looking for a way to bring the many community leaders he knows together to share ideas. In his capacity at Microsoft he has had several gatherings of community leaders and in all cases there was a call out by many to do this more often. This group is the answer to those requests. Additionally, as the Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist for the North East territory, Dan wanted to have a monthly gathering of local user group leaders and MVP’s. This group is a perfect fit to bring these groups together to network, share ideas and collaborate.
To kick this group off we will have our first event be a discussion about what this community would like to see / achieve when they get together. If you would like to contribute or stay on the list but do not want to make your involvement known publicly, please email Dan Stolts
http://danstolts.com/… directly and he will keep you in the loop.

Dan, and the other local evangelists at Microsoft do a great job at bringing the community together, and this was no different. We were able to hear how others “get people in seats”, as well as share information. If anything, myself, Ryan Tacy, and Talbott Crowell, walked away with some great ideas, new local contacts, and more, that we can in turn share back with the community as a whole. I look forward to more meetings like this, and hope other local voices in the community begin to attend these gatherings.

For more information, head on over to http://www.neleaders.com.

Dan – also, great job on keeping us on track, and in line Smile

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About Geoff Varosky
Geoff Varosky is a Senior Architect for BlueMetal Architects, based out of Watertown, MA. He has been architecting and developing web based applications his entire career, and has been working with SharePoint for the past 13 years. Geoff is an active member of the SharePoint community, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group, co-founder for the Boston Office 365 Users Group, co-organizer for SharePoint Saturday Boston and speaks regularly at SharePoint events and user groups.

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