2022 innovate chair thomas phelps

Chair’s Message

Welcome to 2022, probably the most anticipated year in history!  That’s the feeling from everyone I talk to … staff, students, parents, educators, fans, everyone is ready to move forward to whatever the “new normal” turns out to be.  And Innovate@UCLA is a key organization helping many colleagues do just that … move forward and help define the new normal.

There is truly an air of optimism growing among our members as COVID-19 vaccines roll out and opportunities to continue our journey evolve.  Months of challenges remain, but there is a real sense of optimism beginning to break through.  Probably the most significant lesson of 2020 is one that is already familiar to most technology professionals: Resourcefulness, Adaptability and Innovation are the keys to success.  The rapid deployment and adoption of innovative technologies in 2021 will be leveraged for decades, changing the workplace forever.

Innovate@UCLA adapted our many programs to the new virtual reality.  These programs proved to be life-lines for our members, finding their way in a new “stay at home” world.  In some instances, our colleagues found our virtual events to be even more efficient and effective than live events (it’s a lot easier to click “join meeting” than drive across town).

Don’t get me wrong, we all long to get back to real human contact, now more than ever, but 2021 will forever be remembered as a breakout year for technology teams everywhere.  Slow, methodical technology adoption was accelerated many fold, through sheer necessity.  Rapid change has never been so widely accepted.  2022 will see those continued adoptions as technology professionals everywhere parlay 2021 success into continued evolution of what’s truly possible with technology.  And our members at Innovate@UCLA will have a front row seat!

Members tell us the number one reason they join Innovate@UCLA is for the networking.  Our membership covers a broad set of industries in Southern California and is already growing as we continue to engage in virtual programs going forward.  It’s an amazing group of people who love what we do, so when you have a question or need help, your Innovate@UCLA friends are here for you.  Consider that, and then add UCLA to the mix and you uncover our secret sauce.  With access to UCLA professors, students and research, it’s a unique combination that other organizations can’t match.  If you want to learn more about the future of technology, Innovate@UCLA should definitely be in your quiver.

As the Executive Board Chair for 2022, I look forward to continuing the 40+ year tradition of Innovate@UCLA, collaborating and learning how to accelerate business forward through innovation.  On behalf of Innovate@UCLA, we invite you to join us on this exciting journey.

Thomas Phelps IV
Innovate@UCLA Executive Chair
Laserfiche CIO & SVP of Corporate Strategy