09 Feb Rice to leave Wisconsin technology association
Madison, Wis. – Jim Rice, who has served as president and CEO of the Information Technology Association of Wisconsin for the past year, will leave ITAWi after an agreed-upon transition period and will head back to the telecommunications industry, the organization announced.
ITAWi’s Board of Director has begun a search for Rice’s successor, and Chairman William C. Mortimore will assume Rice’s duties until a replacement is found. Rice will remain on the ITAWi board.
Rice, who declined to comment on any specific private-sector opportunities he may have, said he has been discussing his future with the ITAWi board since last fall. He intends to head back to the telecommunications sector to focus on opportunities in next-generation broadband access, citing recent financial commitments to Wisconsin from companies like Verizon to build digital content here, including enhanced voice, video, and high-speed broadband to homes.
Among his previous stops was Marcus FiberLink, a high-speed data business that merged with Charter Communications and became Charter Business Networks.
“This is something I’m very excited about,” Rice said. “We’re in a unique situation in the [broadband] access area right now with respect to telecommunications companies.”
During his tenure with ITAWi, Rice concentrated on membership growth, workforce development initiatives, and legislative advocacy. He also sought to connect state technology officers through CIO peering networks.
He said the technology association, which was established in 2005 to strengthen the state’s information technology sector, would like to find a successor to move ahead on advocacy, especially with state budget deliberations on the horizon.
However, he said the organization has a Capitol group to help with legislative affairs, and would proceed with forthcoming programs on IT workforce development and with its contributions to the Fusion 2007 CEO-CIO Symposium.
“I’m comfortable that this is going to work out just fine,” he said.
Mortimore also said the association had planned for the transition. “Jim isn’t going away,” he noted, “and some of the connections he’s made will be available to us during this period.”
Mortimore said the board has already worked on finding a replacement because this is a decision that Rice has been considering for quite awhile, and one he had alerted ITAWi directors to. He said the board will not restrict its search in any way, and it will look for someone who can build on what Rice has accomplished.
“We want someone on board who has a passion for Wisconsin,” he added.
ITAWi has a membership of more than 70 companies and major sponsors such as Manpower, Metavante, and Robert W. Baird.
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