Nurturing IT’s next generation

Dave Codack already has an award named after him. Why shouldn’t he win one of his own?

The CIO Association of Canada board member and head of technology for TD Bank was up for several ComputerWorld Canada IT Leadership categories but the judges agreed he was a slam-dunk for IT Mentor of the Year. Whether you look at his work as a mentor in CATA’s Women in Leadership program, his involvement in TD’s mentoring program for new immigrants or his hours spent as a mentor of University of Toronto and former Ryerson University graduates, this is clearly someone focused on nurturing and developing the next generation of performers.

“Mentoring, including programs in educational organizations as well as individual opportunities, is still considered the best way to approach and build community. Dave, as Chair of the Advocacy committee, is directly charged with building momentum in this area,” Sheetal Vyas, assistant vice-president of Global Markets Operations Technology at Bank of America in Oakville, Ont., said in his nomination submission for Codack.

“Unfortunately, mentoring itself is still not a mainstream business process — Dave’s involvement brings much needed visibility.”

Codack’s efforts are prominently represented by the Dave Codack Academic Achievement Award, which has been granted consecutively for the past six years at Ryerson University to the student with the highest GPA from their first year to the final year of their program . Vyas estimated Codack has also helped more than 20 “mentorees” in the past 15 years.

Perhaps typical of a great mentor, Codack was quick to give credit to others after he accepted the IT Mentor of the Year award at the gala ceremony.

“I’m pleased to death. I had no idea, but that’s probably the best way to find out you’ve won,” he said. “Truth be told it’s the mentees I’ve worked with who deserve the award. They’ve been doing a great job.”

In his submission, Vyas noted that the CIO Association of Canada considered “expanded IT leadership” among the top areas of the industry that need improvement, and Codack’s work addresses that.

“Rather than focusing on one organization, (he is) leveraging time and contacts across multiple organizations and opportunities to provide hands-on coaching, a consistent approach that can be modeled easily anywhere and keeping the both the issues of talent acquisition and women in IT visible,” he said.

Codack sees such efforts as a responsibility.

“It’s all about developing the next new talent,” he said. “Whatever we can do to help the young ones to grow, to be the next leaders of tomorrow, then we should all be doing our part.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Shane Schick
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