Executive Director’s Corner

Change, Fear, Acceptance, Opportunity

What does 2022 mean to you? For me it means change, some anxiety and hopefully opportunity I did not know was there. My journey begins with leaving my “anchor” employer after 17 years. This is the second time I have left an organization after being there 16 plus years. Marriott was the employer at that time. Do I miss the jobs, a little, do I miss the people, mostly!

When you leave the folks you worked with for so many years, it feels like a loss. They become your family. Of course, when I left Marriott, I was much younger and saw that I was going somewhere. Now I’m leaving JPL and going to what? That question first brings some fear and anxiety especially as I’m older.

I’m very fortunate, I have other things I can do. Innovate@UCLA gives me the opportunity to connect with people and companies I respect, like and want to be around. It offers me continuous learning, networking and gives me a purpose!

While this perspective is unique to me, is it that unique to others? Everyone, at some point,
in their careers will face change whether they initiate it or it is thrust upon them. Having
managed and lead organizations for most of my career, you get to see how your workforce
handles change. In the act of executing IT, you bring change to your customers too!

What we offer at Innovate@UCLA helps organizations as well as individuals, experience
change and provides outlets to share. Innovate@UCLA, being a part of a globally known
university, brings outside perspectives, strategies and connections.

2022 is going to be a tremendous year for Innovate@UCLA and it’s membership! We have
new board members, new committees and a great program line up! Our Women in Technology
(WiT) task force has planned exciting events that highlight and share insights from leaders from
different industries. Yes, change is coming, as always and you can experience it with us at

If anyone wants to know more about my journey or more about Innovate@UCLA, please
don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Jim Rinaldi