I along with CDN have always supported CompTIA, an industry trade association based in a Chicago. CompTIA's A+ Certification is basically the gold standard.

Recently CompTIA founder John Venator went into semi-retirement after a very long run at the top. He was replaced by Todd Thibodeaux. And, it looks like Thibodeaux has injected the association with some enthusiasm.

I spoke to Thibodeaux late last year in Toronto and he told me that his direction for CompTIA is to be more open than ever before. Case in point, CompTIA Canada has signed on to sponsor CDN's Top 100 Solution Provider event this April. I thank them for the commitment and I want to ensure CompTIA that they will not be disappointed.

It is also great to see during this doom and gloom period in our history Thibodeaux's positive outlook.

Thibodeaux, a strong believer in free trade, says it's crucial to take down trade barriers because it has serious implications to IT employment. Given that 175,000 or so IT jobs have been cut in the last little while it is refreshing to see a leader such as Thibodeaux working hard to protect jobs.

I think the channel community in Canada is going to be very fortunate to have a chance to here Thibodeaux and CompTIA's new direction at the Top 100 event.

One quick hit before I go.

Stan Shih, founder of Acer Inc. and one of high tech's pioneers, is lending a hand to D-Link and HTC Corp. in helping those two Taiwanese-based vendors build better brand awareness. Shih retired from Acer in 2004 and was replaced by Gianfranco Lanci. Shih's company is called iDSoftCapital Inc., and it has been set up to provide advice and even venture capital to businesses in Taiwan who are commited to improving its brand.



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