Inspiring Southlanders 2013

The SoTeC Inspiration Award seeks to discover and recognize Technology Professionals who are doing exemplary work, inspiring others to join them in giving back to the community.

Are there people like that out there? Yes there are! And to help get you thinking about who you might want to nominate, we’re including profiles of the 2013 SoTeC Inspiration Award Winners – Colleen Kirtland and Roc Paez

Colleen Kirtland

Colleen Kirtland

Background

  • Quality assurance (QA) professional for multiple companies/industries throughout her career
  • Member of Women in Technology International (WITI), current social media and public relations chair
  • Colleen is passionate about rallying technology professionals to leverage their skills and lead social change. As technology rapidly transforms the way we do things, there is a need to ensure that it does not create an even larger socioeconomic gap. She is motivated by the possibilities of making things better one day at a time, helping others realize their vision through persistence and inspired conviction.

    Colleen prefers to focus on just a few nonprofits at a time and deliver actual results.

  • 5 Gyres Institute (http://5gyres.org/)—Currently working with the organization’s directors and board to determine where they need the most help.
  • KidSingers (http://www.kidsingers.org/)—Helps identify children in need who would benefit from this program. Contributes financially as well.
  • Past Efforts

  • Back to Natives Restoration (http://www.backtonatives.org/)—Helped the organization’s director edit grant proposals, one of which resulted in a $10,000 award from Wells Fargo & Company.
  • Braille Institute, Orange County Center(http://www.brailleinstitute.org/orangecounty/)— Helped to forge a relationship between a local dance company and the Braille Institute that resulted in two summer dance camps for blind children.
  • Rock Paez

    Rock Paez

    Background

  • Senior Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) Consultant, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. (HP)
  • Member of itSMF USA since 2008, 2014/2015 president-elect
  • Magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Completed fifteen marathons in nine different states
  • Husband and father of three children
  • Volunteer and Community Efforts

    Mission trip leader to Rwanda, Africa, for Saddleback Church’s The PEACE Plan (http://www.thepeaceplan.com/) since 2006

    Mission Trip Activities

  • Help community leaders start animal livestock programs, which have resulted in 8 cows and more than 200 goats, 500 rabbits, and 500 chickens to date
  • Assist villagers with hundreds of garden and vegetation projects, including composting
  • Help pastors start small businesses within communities
  • Support the development of five PEPE preschools (Christian-based preschools in poor communities); six additional PEPE schools are planned for 2014
  • Support provision of clean water projects (e.g., hundreds of water wells and water capture projects) and hygiene training
  • Work to provide electricity to rural villages through solar panels; support the electric companies building utility poles
  • Assist with numerous other small projects (solar ovens, English classes for adults, education supplies, etc.)

  • Inspired? Click here to nominate someone today!