Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BETF Hall of Fame: Joe Smialowski

We received resignation letter from long-time BETF board member Joe Smialowski this week. He wrote
I will be retiring from Freddie Mac at the end of this year, and in the process of handing over my responsibilities to my successor, Mike Perlman. When I decided to retire, I also decided to simplify my life and as a result respectively submit my resignation from the board of the BETF as well as other organizations. Thank you for the opportunity that you provided to be involved in the BDPA and its related activities.
I spent a quiet moment reflecting on my experiences of the past few years as National BDPA President-Elect (2002-2003), National BDPA President (2004-2005) and BETF Executive Director (2006-2007). We truly had some wonderful accomplishments over that time in terms of corporate sales and fundraising.

Much of our financial success over the past few years can be traced to the vision of Joe Smialowski. He and his executive leadership team from FleetBoston Financial (since purchased by Bank of America) met with us during the 2002 National BDPA Technology Conference in Orlando, FL. They wanted to create an aggressive corporate partnership with a focus on return on investment and employee development. The discussion resulted in Fleet becoming the first Platinum Sponsor in the history of BDPA. Other positive aspects of Joe's involvement with BDPA include:
  • Appoint Fleet executive (Will Bundy) as BDPA outside director
  • Keynote Speaker at 2003 annual Awards Gala in Philadelphia, PA
  • Chair BETF Investment Committee (2006-2007)
  • Facilitated creation of BDPA chapters in Albany, Northern Virginia and Rhode Island.
  • Personal referrals resulting in over $400,000 sponsorship from other corporations
BETF is a respected organization within our community and around the nation as a result of Joe's leadership. I recall being worried about whether or not BETF could live up to its vision of being a fundraising tool for BDPA programs and services. I watched as Joe worked with others on the BETF board of directors to quietly and effectively hire an executive director, solicit funding and empower creation of a BETF 'Pitch Book'. Joe provided the leadership that resulted in the creation of new BDPA chapters in Rhode Island, Albany and Northern Virginia.

Joe is one of those remarkable visionaries in our nation. He is able to work through others to turn ideas into reality. The beneficiary in this case are the IT professionals and students around the country. Joe provided remarkable service as a BETF director from 2003-2007.

We don't have a BETF Hall of Fame yet. When we do ... Joe Smialowski will be a charter member!


Unknown said...

Did you know that Joe is the primary reason that we have BDPA chapters in Northern Virginia and Rhode Island?

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

Just to echo the post on Joe Smialowski, the Hartford Chapter will always be grateful for the support that Mr. Smialowski has always given us the support we needed to move on and continue.