Interview Dave Sanders: President and CEO of Culminis – Bringing IT Together


This is the next interview in the continuing series of Computing Canada’s (CC) Blogged Down (BD) which is featured here “first” in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum.

In this interview, we talk with Dave Sanders, CEO, MVP : internationally respected leader, pioneer, founding visionary and President/CEO of Culminis.

Enjoy! /Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP

Dave SandersA lot has happened in the past year for Dave Sanders, MVP and Culminis President and CEO. He was chosen by Microsoft for his fourth MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) award earlier this year.

Culminis went over one million members this year making them one of the largest and fastest growing organizations in the world. They are now nearly 1.8 million and anticipate reaching the two million mark by year's end. They just launched in Japan where Dave gave a presentation on community, leadership and Culminis at the TechEd event in Yokohama. Earlier this year, he traveled to Osaka and Tokyo and participated in a Leaders' summit giving presentations at both events. His own user group has continued to grow and flourish with the average number of attendees at monthly meetings exceeding 400 and overall membership at 6000+.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Dave is pushing for even greater things for both his user group and for Culminis. They are working on a lot of exciting projects and initiatives which they hope will bring a great deal of value to the community in the next year.

Index and links to Questions


Culminis grew out of your success in founding a user group in Charlotte NC. What is the status of your group and your current projects?


What ten essential tips can you pass on for those considering starting up a user group inspired from your successes in this area? Where can one find resources to support this process-can you provide links?


What are the key benefits derived from belonging to a user group?


What are the ten essential attributes of a successful user group and how do you achieve these qualities?


Where do you see online communities positioned versus offline?


What kinds of technologies work for both online and offline communities?


You are a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional or MVP. What does this mean to you and though the process is secret, what do you think contributed to you receiving this special award?


What is the current status of Culminis in terms of numbers, member organizations, and countries represented?


How has the vision, mission and objectives of Culminis changed from 2004 to 2006 and where do you see Culminis heading for 2007 to 2010?


What are your main programs and projects?


What are your five biggest challenges today and how do you propose to address them?


Who are your partners and how do they share in the Culminis vision?


Why would an IT society, association, or user group want to belong to Culminis? How have you structured your programs to provide services tailored to each kind of group?


Dave, can you comment of what it is to be an IT Professional in 2007 to 2010? How has the job market changed and what attributes/skills are necessary?


How do you propose to address the skills gap, skills shortage, declining enrollment in ICT programs, low women in IT figures?


What are the top challenges facing IT Pros today and how can they be addressed?


You are a very successful CEO and leader. What specific leadership methods do you use and why? How can these skills be applied in other organizations?


Dave, where do you see yourself in five years?


What do you do to relax?

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