By: Curtis Eubanks, DIS Account Manager
It was the AUTIS event…..The 2015 annual Tech Update and Legislative Reception event! Each year, the AUTIS Board works hard to schedule events that provide a forum for members and non-members who are interested in the rapidly changing fields of telecommunications and information systems. This forum provides the basis for the exchange of ideas, personal experiences and similar pertinent information. AUTIS also supplies to educational institutions, charitable organizations, and other organizations, speakers who are knowledgeable in telecommunications and information systems.
The AUTIS Tech Update – Legislative Reception was held March 12, 3:30 – 6:30 at the Capitol Hill apartment reception area. This year, Mr. Mark Myers, newly appointed Director of The Department of Information Systems opened the Tech Update and Reception with comments and perspective regarding legislative context as it applies to DIS and our business model. In attendance were approximately seventy individuals representing many Arkansas agencies as well as vendor participation. We were privileged to welcome a large number of Representatives that came by to relax, share a meal, and discuss many technical issues facing Arkansas.
This year, AUTIS welcomed representatives from the EAST Initiative, (Environmental and Spatial Technology, Inc.) an education model unlike any other model in modern education. It is a project-based, service-learning oriented program that provides students with high-end technology available in the most progressive fields in the world. We enjoyed a presentation from Mr. Matt Dozier, President/Chief Executive officer of EAST. Mr. Dozier is an incredible advocate for the EAST program is quick to share this education model progress and successes.
Also, this year, AUTIS invited Connect Arkansas, which is a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to increasing high-speed Internet subscription and improving and sustaining Internet adoption throughout Arkansas. Attending was Ms. Mary Bea Gross, a technology partner with AUTIS the recipient of this year’s AUTIS grant for $1,500.00 presented to Connect Arkansas, Computers 4 Kids. This grant will be applied to a project in Forest City, an economically and under-served area.
As we concluded the evening, reflecting on the comments and surprised by the excellent turnout, particularly on a rainy evening, I felt a sense of pride talking to peers in the State government technology arena. As we discuss how things are moving at the speed of light…. With so much going on in Arkansas, it was good to take a step back and consider how all this impacts our individual technology needs and Arkansas at large.