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Reporter's Notebook: Network love, and other tales

It's day two and our reporters are still sniffing out the good stuff. Here are a few items we thought were particularly poignant.

It's hard to be humble

Andre Mendes, CTIO of Public Broadcasting Service is a humble guy -- and got there the hard way, he says. He admits to making a lot of mistakes taking the nonprofit company into the future. One lesson learned: Don't assume that just because your CEO has buy-in, the rest of the troops will willingly fall into line. "I overestimated the support of my CEO," he said and underestimated the user. "The power is in the trenches when it comes to change."

Come here often? A new spin on networking

Some people say CIOs are short on networking and schmoozing skills, but Radio One Inc. CIO Leslie Bauer and Cooper Communities Inc. CIO James Craig apparently know how to work a room. The two CIOs first saw each other at last year's CIO Decisions Conference in Pebble Beach, Calif., and returned to this year's Carlsbad event as a pair, engaged to be married.

This week the couple attended how-to sessions on negotiations, mergers, budgeting and searching for single versions of the truth (all good topics for newlyweds). But with Bauer based in Lanham, Md., and Craig working in Rogers, Ark., what they really need from CIO Decisions magazine "is a story on how to deal with long-distance relationships," Craig quipped.

No lines, no waiting

CIO Decisions 2006 coverage

Job getting tougher for IT execs

Senior IT execs honored with midmarket leadership awards

Reporter's Notebook -- Day One  

Bracing for the next Katrina  

Bringing a CEO mind-set to IT

Playing hardball with your vendor


Forget skill sets, find yourself a board to sit on

We didn't actually count them, but it seems the number of women attending CIO-focused conferences is growing -- this an observation from a few male attendees. They're not threatened -- just stating a fact. But if there are more women, why? Not sure, say some women attendees.

"Maybe there are just more of us being promoted," said one female CIO. Another said, "perhaps it's because we're at an age where we can finally leave our kids at home and travel to these sorts of venues." Whatever the reason, one thing still hasn't changed: There's never a line in the ladies' room.

My teenager, the driver

Sam Lamonica, CIO of Redwood City, Calif.-based general and engineering contractor Rudolph and Sletten Inc., admitted he was nervous about presenting his session, "Surviving the Pain and Agony of an Acquisition." But he realized standing in front of 200 of his peers to present a case study was no more frightening than being the parent of a teenage boy.

"My 16-year-old son just got his learner's permit," Lamonica said. "I've been through so many harrowing and near-death experiences, my nervousness is gone."

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