Why ParkerGale Loves ITA
Monday, August 5, 2019
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Ryan Milligan, Partner, ParkerGale Capital
I’ve been an active participant in the Chicago Tech community going on a dozen years now. As a private equity software investor at ParkerGale Capital, our effectiveness directly correlates with whom we know, and who knows us. Yes, our companies sell software – but the companies succeed because of people, and we want to converse with folks looking to make an impact. This connection is why I love the ITA – which I rate the most community-oriented, selflessly dedicated organization serving Chicago’s technology community as a bridge to the past, across the present and into the future.
Chicago is the United States’ third-largest city – but I think we all feel our tech community does not always get the national recognition it has earned. There is a humility and “under-the-radar” component of Chicago’s culture that I think is both an asset but can also be a hindrance. ITA is a mainstay proponent of Chicago companies and the people who work in them to stand up, feel great about being visible, connect, and proudly celebrate our and our peers’ accomplishments.
I’ll get personal for a moment and talk about where the ITA has made a significant impact on me. The second I got involved, and in touch with ITA leadership, I realized that the more I put into the relationship and community, the more I got back (which is a nice feeling!). When I was looking to get my bearings in an industry, ITA forged new connections and opened doors. At ParkerGale, we love to network and entertain so joined up with ITA to co-host a dinner event in our offices – with the only goal being tech community leaders getting to know each other and have a good time, which we pulled off beautifully. At a certain point, I realized I was having so much fun being in the flow of the organization, I raised my hand and said I wanted to get more involved – which led me to the leadership council and now board.
Having now been in the ITA board room, I can say the ITA’s heart is in the right place -- diversity, access, visibility, talent -- these are predominant topics of board meetings with a laser focus on delivering them to members. The 20th anniversary of CityLights is approaching, which celebrates everything the ITA stands for in one night. It isn’t about the winners, but about the process of our community stepping back, taking stock of what folks are working to accomplish, and making sure that Chicago humility doesn’t always prevail.
Whether you are an official member or not, ITA amplifies the entire Chicago tech community , and I encourage you to lean in. These are just a few reasons I love ITA.