by Margaret Locher

Philanthropy Can Boost a CIO’s Career

Mar 26, 20072 mins
IT LeadershipRelationship Building

When you work with colleagues on a philanthropy project, it benefits your career. That’s what Becky Blalock, senior vice president and CIO of Southern Co. in Atlanta, tells her staff. “The issues we are facing are universal,” Blalock says. By talking with peers, she might come across the answer to a problem she’s been trying to solve.

Blalock has been working with TechBridge, a nonprofit that provides IT consulting to other nonprofits, for several years. Among many projects, she has worked alongside other major corporations in Atlanta to build Habitat for Humanity houses. “I like it because my security people are out there with security people from Georgia Power,” she says.

Vendors can pitch in too. “We allow vendors to participate with us, which they like because they get some airtime with us,” she says.

Blalock’s charity and volunteer work is extensive. That’s why Computers For Youth (CFY) gave her this year’s CIO of the Year award, recognizing a CIO for community service.

Blalock’s already thinking of ways to help CFY. “I’m hoping to build a partnership between TechBridge and CFY,” she says. “A lot of kids don’t have access to technology, and they’re in a world where, to be successful, you have to have that.”