News & Content: ITA Take Aways

Exec Spin: New Year's Resolutions

Friday, December 29, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gary Hotze
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Recently at ITA, we underwent a major overhaul of both our frontend and backend systems. Our new website is just scratching the surface; the digital platforms and structure of our organization have completely changed from top to bottom. With an additional shift to a new email platform in the New Year, this holistic data and content migration will allow us to dive deeper into data, reach and overall effectiveness of our programming and engagement with our members.

This digital revamp has not been without the challenges and we have learned a few lessons along the way. The biggest takeaway: regardless of your focus, maintaining a baseline and foundational understanding of technology is essential when working in this industry. Period. Therefore, our charge for 2018 was to pledge to learn a new skill in the coming year that would help us in our careers and allow us to grow the Chicago technology community at-large.


Trisha Degg

VP Talent Programs

The redesign of our website demonstrated the importance of how a user or member would engage with our most important content and programs. Therefore, I am going to actually register for the UX/UI class that GA is teaching in January. I have always been interested in UX/UI so I am going to learn more about it and hopefully use the new know-how to give some polish to our talent programs, portal and outreach.


Gary Hotze

Marketing Manager

As the dominant hand behind the content overhaul and redesign of our new website, I have gained a new appreciation and understanding for UX/UI design in addition to graphics design as a whole. Historically, neither of these have been part of my marketing background and competency but I want to add them to my repertoire in the coming year through continuing education courses offered through our partner, General Assembly, and more.


Julia Kanouse


With three young daughters, getting them excited and interested in STEM is critically important to me.  Over the holiday break, my 10 year old and I are purchasing a Raspberry Pi, getting it set up and completing a project (all without the help of my CTO husband).  We haven’t figured out exactly which project, but she’s leaning toward building a robot buggy.  Although I did some coding early in my career, I’m excited to challenge myself to work with hardware and build something that the whole family can get excited about.


Jon Pfisterer

Director, Membership

As we move to a more continued digital and informational infused world, I am hoping to garner a better understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency’s involvement with it. Recently, I have started to dabble in trading these coins as they have already proven to be a solid investment which I already missed on the first go-around. I do not plan on missing the second coming.


Nola Renner

Senior Engagement Manager

For the last few months, I have been knee-deep in the data from our previous backend platform. Crafting and cleaning this data before eventually migrating it to our new platform taught me the importance of data to the future of business development engagement. That’s why I have chosen to learn about Google Analytics and its tool sets to monitor and utilize the data we have at our fingertips.  


Sandy Thomas

Member Services Manager

My technology goal for 2018 is to learn how to harness database queries and backend data reports with the goal of saving time in my job. My job at ITA requires constant database updates, at times it can be a very manual and time consuming. I am hoping to study up on reports and harness them after downloading to quickly make changes across spreadsheets and reupload them to our backend without having to flip through various datasets to make individual updates.  This in turn will make me more efficient and free up some time to allow me grow in my job in other ways.

What are your technology new year’s resolutions? Let us know. We’re always looking for new ideas when it comes to events and programs.

Happy New Year from the team at ITA! Let’s take Chicago tech to new heights in 2018!


Julia Kanouse


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