A first step to connect with others involved with data management is through membership in DAMA.

According to Thomas Hamlin, vice president of marketing for the Michigan Chapter, "Joining DAMA provides access to internationally recognized speakers in a local chapter venue and a great opportunity for professional development." DAMA chapters sponsored more than 150 events in 14 international and 137 U.S. locations. Speakers bring valuable, real project knowledge and encourage participants to share "war stories" to leverage lessons learned, maximize best practice value and minimize project pain.

Wayne Johnson, president of the Seattle Chapter, adds, "DAMA events help build and validate appreciation for best practices, which aids in increasing interest for best practices in the workplace." Johnson believes that with regulation driving many IT projects these days, best practices advocated by DAMA leverage efforts to achieve many Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and other regulatory requirements.

Participation - talking with peers at chapter events, meeting new people, leveraging lessons learned across companies, industries and geographies - enlivens connections. "Professional sharing as doctors exchange professional tips and experiences triggers ideas for existing problems and future projects," says Hamlin. A powerful participation approach taken by Johnson is akin to a buddy system. "In addition to my own participation, I invite my management and peers to attend DAMA learning events. That way, my work associates and I can play advocacy roles for data management best practices within the firm to chip away resistance and influence others to support best practice methodologies for data management," says Johnson.

DAMA participation results in tangible, winning benefits. According to Gordon Benkler, president of the Chicago Chapter, "One of the people on our DAMA jobs list has found a full-time position. Two others on our list have landed contracts for consulting." Benkler encourages companies to submit job opportunity descriptions for distribution to DAMA members in transition. Participation in DAMA is one way to illustrate interest and currency in the data management profession.

Hamlin admits, "I landed my latest job through DAMA. And in another situation, a DAMA associate was on the committee responsible for selecting and approving data management services." Meeting key people in informal yet professional settings builds bridges in growing and expanding the sound network beneficial for today's economy.

Winning DAMA benefits go well beyond job networking. Johnson's buddy system increases the number and level of people within an organization knowledgeable about data management best practices. Growing interest and advocacy within a firm can ease the pressures facing a data management professional in moving toward consistent and professional data management practices. One can increase job satisfaction by helping transform an organizational culture to be more supportive of data management best practices, reducing company costs and redundancy while showing IT contribution to achieving company objectives.

As vice president of marketing for DAMA International, I encourage you to join, participate and win. To join, visit www.dama.org. Participate by checking your Chapter's event schedule and attending one or more events. As for winning, professionalism breeds winners. Share a story that illustrates ways DAMA has helped you win. E-mail your success story to VP_Marketing@DAMA.org and put in the subject line DAMA: WIN STORY.

Let's move the data management profession forward!


Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)
Canberra, Australia
Central Pennsylvania
Dallas/Fort Worth
Denver (Rocky Mountain)
Heart of Texas Chapter ("HoT Chapter")

Kansas City
London, UK
Los Angeles
Melbourne, Australia
New Jersey
New York
Ohio (Central Ohio)
Ohio (Southwest Ohio)
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley
Pittsburgh (IRMAP)

Rochester/Upstate New York
Sacramento Valley
San Francisco Bay Area
Seattle (DRMA)
South Africa
St. Louis
Sydney, Australia
Toronto, Canada (Information Resource Management Association of Canada)
Virgina (Central Virginia)
Washington, DC. (National Capitol Region)

This is the list of DAMA international chapters. For details, visit our Web site: www.dama.org.
Can't find a chapter near you? See our Web site for information about our Member-at-Large program and forming chapters.

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