ACW is home to a vibrant community of channel professionals from across the country. We enjoy getting to know them at our in-person events and are happy to introduce you to them in this recurring Membership Matters Q&A. This month we’re getting to know ACW member Dawn Crutchfield Board, an IT Business Consultant at Technology Source, where she helps organizations assess their technology needs and finds the right solutions for success.
Board, the epitome of a people-person, has spent nearly two decades in Human Resources, where she leveraged her love of people and honed her talent for communication.
Most recently, Board served in local government as the only IT Business Analyst and Project Manager for the Enterprise and Infrastructure divisions of the technology department. She also led the first International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) chapter in Southwest Virginia and mentored young women in a STEM program at a local community college.
Why did you join ACW?
I was invited to join ACW. I’ve always been an advocate for women, and with women being a minority in the field of technology, I felt it was my duty to participate, learn, grow and help other women do the same. The values of ACW are an exact match to my own, which include embracing ethnic diversity, among other things. I even have my seven-year-old daughter taking coding classes to give her the greatest opportunity to pursue anything in which she has an interest. I believe in the power of women to do great things and impact the world in the most positive way. I believe that’s what ACW is about as well. Lastly, I want to identify some women mentors for me and be a mentor to other women in the IT field, too.
What do you hope to get from and to give to ACW membership?
- Sharing of knowledge and learning more
- Empowering others and gaining empowerment
- Business opportunities
- Lifelong friendships
Are you a committee volunteer?
I just joined the Events, Communications and Education committees this week. I can’t wait to attend my first committee meeting!
What do you get from your committee participation?
I expect to learn more about how women impact the world of IT, meet like-minded women, and help the organization to make more women aware that ACW exists while keeping current members interested and uplifted.
What difficulty have you overcome that impacted your career for the better?
I would say transitioning from an HR role to an IT role was a challenge. My education has been in Communications and Human Resources, but I’ve always had a love of technology and being analytical. Even in HR, I found ways to feed my IT thirst. The problem was, changing careers after 19 years meant that I would have to take a pay cut, or so I thought. So, I sought out an IT mentor. It happened to be the Director of IT at the local organization for which I worked.
While in HR, he recommended online classes I could take to increase my technology knowledge. So, I learned Crystal Reports, SQL and C# to start. Then, I analyzed my transferable skills from HR to see how they fit with IT. Low and behold, the perfect position, an IT Business Analyst, emerged. I was able to get a job in IT with more pay than I was making as a Director of HR. It was the best move I could have made. Although it was scary, I did it! That move gave me so many more possibilities for a career path. And, I had both people skills and technical skills, that traditionally many IT professionals don’t necessarily have.
If you were to give yourself advice when you graduated from high school, what would it be?
Go into computers (that’s what it was called at that time) and stick with it. (I quit the computer path after my Cobalt class). And, DON’T GET A $400 CREDIT CARD.
What’s the best book – fiction or nonfiction – that you’ve read recently and why?
“The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t,” by Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
Pre-COVID, my hobbies were eating (I’m a foodie), going to the movies, oil painting, riding my motorcycle, being outdoors in nature, and listening to detective stories on audiobooks.
Post-COVID, my hobbies are eating more 😊, oil painting, paint-by-diamonds, watching movies on TV, listening to detective stories on audiobooks, and cooking ethnic recipes with my 7-year-old daughter. (I have a couple of Tibetan recipes that you would die for, just saying.)
What is one personal and one professional goal you have in the next five years?
One personal goal is to start a non-profit organization for HIV/AIDS Advocacy.
One professional goal is to be an expert in the field of technology where I can be on a speakers’ circuit and inspire others, women, in particular, to do what they are passionate about in the same way I have been inspired by those that came before me.
The ACW Membership Matters program is managed by the ACW Communications Committee in cooperation with the ACW Membership Committee. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.