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TLA June 17th Meeting Announcement

TLA June 17th Meeting Announcement

Technology Leaders Association (TLA) ( was established to help senior level IT executives develop and manage their careers. As part of this effort, we hold monthly meetings to network, share ideas, and learn from featured guest speakers in the career management field. This month, we are pleased to present Rob Thorpe of FITOP who will present “Chicagoland's Top Networking Events - Which Have the Highest Impact?”

Date: Friday, June 17th
Where: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, 1020 West 31st Street, Downers Grove
Cost: No charge

We’ve been given direction by the Blue Cross Blue Shield security people. Due to BCBS HIPPA issues, we are allowed in the meeting room only. Please do not wander the hallways of the office building. If you must leave the conference room for any reason, you must be escorted by a Blue Cross Blue Shield employee. Also, parking in the lot is allowed in the visitors parking only and not in the assigned spots. Thanks for your cooperation.

For reservations, please reply to with your name and telephone number.
For location information: Contact Jim Anfield at

Reservations must be made before noon on Thursday, June 16th with the first 80 reservations accepted. No walk-ins please.

The location for this month's TLA meeting will be the Blue Cross Blue Shield office building in Downers Grove located at the intersection of Highland and 31st Street near the Highland exit at I-88. The building has the Blue Cross Blue Shield name at the top. For directions: Exit I-88 at Highland Avenue going south. At the first light south of the highway (100 yards), make a right turn onto 31st Street. At the first entrance for an office building at 1020 West 31st Street, take a right and park on the lower level in parking garage adjacent to the building in visitor parking. Then exit the garage and enter the building at the lower level. Take the elevators to the 6th floor for check-in.

7:00AM – 7:15AM Check-in and coffee
7:15AM – 8:30AM Structured networking – two rounds
8:30AM – 8:45AM Announcements
8:45AM – 9:30AM Rob Thorpe (Chicagoland's Top Networking Events - Which Have the Highest Impact?)
9:30AM Adjourn

Structured Networking
Structured networking is a technique used at most major executive transition groups. It is meant to be a powerful method of generating ideas that might help each of our searches. During this process, we will quickly brainstorm potential job lead ideas, gain networking contacts at desired companies, and generate advice from the members by sharing our backgrounds as well as our career objectives. It is designed to generate ideas, but given the time constraints, not get into immediate detailed discussions. You should plan on following up with anybody who may have had an interesting idea or a good contact.
Please bring business cards, handbills (career overview) or resumes (plain paper is fine) to pass around if you have them. Figure on about 20 copies of the resumes/handbills and 50 business cards.
We will run our networking, dividing the room into small tables of a maximum of 8 people and doing 2 rotations before our speaker begins. At each rotation, you will have 90 seconds for your pitch and about 90 seconds for Q&A. Spend no more than 1/3 summarizing your past (this is not the time to rehash your resume), then spend about 1/3 on what you are looking for and 1/3 on what we can do to help (such as target contacts) or ask for advice on an issue.

Our Speaker and Topic
Robert Thorp, from FITOP Staffing, will facilitate a dialog and review the current state of Chicagoland associations--including which ones have the highest impact for your individual career. We will discuss in this forum many associations or groups that are probably new to you. Attending networking events is an important part of any career development plan and Mr. Thorp will outline which associations and events can provide you the best return on investment of your time and resources.

Robert Thorp is Founder and Managing Partner of FITOP Staffing (Financial Industry's TOP Staffing). Thorp started FITOP in 1999. He was a founding member of three technology spin-outs from global financial organizations, including UBS Warburg and ABN AMRO in Chicago. Thorp was previously an officer in the banking and insurance industries for Charter One and Metropolitan Life Insurance, respectively. He is a regular speaker at the University of Chicago and DePaul University. An active member of his community, Thorp works with the Chicago Public Schools to improve and enhance technology concerns. He received his financial and technical staffing expertise from Fortune 500 firm's Spherion & NEC. Born in the Chicago area, Thorp received his MBA in corporate finance from DePaul University (Ill.) and bachelor's degree in investment finance.

Date of Event: 
06/17/2005 - 7:00pm - 9:30pm