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Modern STEM influencers A2Z - V is for Viola Maxwell-Thompson

  • Broadcast in Business
Tech Expresso Cafe

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Viola Maxwell-Thompson—a highly recognized thought-leader in business transformation, process re-engineering and corporate diversity—serves as executive director of Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), a national non-profit membership organization for IT executives of color at Fortune 500 global companies. Founded in 1996, ITSMF’s mission is to prepare the next generation of African-American IT leaders for the C-suite. 

Ms. Thompson is a former vice president and partner with Ernst & Young, LLC’s Management Consulting Practice in Chicago and Atlanta, where she specialized in organizational development and technology deployment during her 17-year tenure. Since taking ITSMF’s helm in 2004, she has drawn on her vast expertise to transition ITSMF from a 55-member organization into a prominent professional development organization with an annual budget of $1 million and corporate sponsorship of $650,000. As part of a recent rebranding initiative for ITSMF, Ms. Thompson created and launched “The Leadership Academy,” a comprehensive career advancement program that focuses on business acumen, political savvy and effective leadership for mid-level IT managers through senior vice presidents. She also has upgraded the seminars offered at ITSMF’s quarterly educational symposiums and implemented the annual “IT Executive Achievement Awards” to honor industry leaders who have advanced in the field of IT, while demonstrating proactive leadership in diversity initiatives. 

Ms. Thompson is often featured in the media for her expertise in diversity and the retention of executives; work-life balance issues; and career management as a female executive of color. Her insights have been featured in numerous industry including CIO Insight, IT Management Consulting, Black Enterprise Magazine, Diversity Careers Magazine and Comcast's NewsMaker Segment.