Meet Bob Dickson of Ward Home, Inc.!
TNotes: What is your job title?
BD: Director of Information Technology, Ward Home, Inc.
TNotes: How did you get into working in nonprofit technology?
BD: I was on the Ward Home Board when the decision was made to put in a computer network to support HIPPA compliance. I volunteered to help set it up, and when the Executive Director decided that a full-time person was needed to support the network, I was offered the job.
TNotes: What do you like best about dealing with your organization’s technology?
BD: A lot of thought went into the original network design, and while it has been tweaked over the years, it’s still supporting the needs of the agency in close to its original form.
TNotes: What do you least like about dealing with your organization’s technology?
BD: While the original design is still working, the underlying software and equipment has aged, and it can be a challenge to keep it working.
TNotes: What is your big dream for technology in your organization?
BD: That we can find the resources to bring all parts of our technology up to date so we can take advantage of tools that weren’t available in 2002 to make the jobs of the agency staff easier.
TNotes: How do you manage your technology role within your organization?
BD: It’s a mix of scheduled tasks and dealing with things that come over the wall, with priority given to keeping the network running smoothly.
TNotes: You are a regular attendee at one of the Bayer Center’s Bagels & Bytes group – what do you get from going to those meetings?
BD: The social networking has helped me find sources to go to when I have questions, and I enjoy the discussions, which don’t always stay on the posted topic, but always stay on the implied topic of nonprofit technology.
TNotes: Any words of advice or encouragement for other nonprofit techies out there?
BD: Don’t be afraid or ashamed to look for help. People are willing, and often eager to help.