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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Event Alert: Greening Your IT Shop

When & Where

November 21, 2008
8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (EDT)

Partnership II Building
Room 208
3100 Technology Parkway
Orlando, FL 32826

Who Should Attend:

Any executive interested in learning more about the benefits of Green IT.

Why You Should Attend:

>To learn from best in class shapers of the Green IT movement, including Intel,
Lockheed Martin and Citrix.
>To find ways to communicate benefits of Green IT to Executive Management.
>To engage and network with peers.


Bart Heisey, Intel
Drew Rassmussen, Citrix Systems, Inc.
Moderator: Todd Rader, Avancent Consulting

How to Register:

$25 AeA members/ $45 nonmembers

Online at:

Phone: 407.882.2447

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

As you may imagine from my educational background, both politics and literature are passions of mine. Although political blogging is not the purpose of this site, I just had to share a piece that speaks to me in light of last night's historic election results.

To follow is an open letter from Alice Walker, one of my favorite authors, to Barack Obama. Regardless of political affiliation, I think that her reflections are more than worth the read:

An Open Letter to Barack Obama
By Alice Walker
Alice Walker on expectations, responsibilities and a new reality that is almost more than the heart can bear.

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,

Alice Walker

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm Back and I've Brought a New Article!

Well, the two people who actually follow my blog are really ticked that I haven't been keeping up with it, so...I'm back...not exactly from outerspace, but close. It was a wild summer here at The Force, but with the onset of Fall, I'm ready to get back to the business of blogging.

With that in mind, I want to share an article that is particularly relevant given the 2009 IT Salary Guide meetings that are occupying the bulk of my time this quarter. In case you haven't received one yet, the industry trend that we focused on in this year's guide is the role that social networks, ala LinkedIn and FaceBook, are playing in our recruiting efforts.

In addition to using these tools for more effectively recruiting that 'holy grail' of candidates -- the passive candidate (you know, the ones who are already gainfully employed and doing a great job), we are also educating all of our candidates on the role that the internet plays in managing one's professional image. Many candidates, and even some of my clients, would do well to remember that the line between 'business' and 'personal' is extremely blurry in the today's MySpace age.

All in all, I thought that the article to follow is an excellent read, particularly if you're planning to interview any time soon. Long story short: In hiring, if you can Google it, it's fair game.

One in five employers research job applicants on the Web
Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:04PM EDT

As the social-networking scene continues to explode, the who, what, where, and when of what you post on your profile becomes even more critical. Case in point: A new study reveals that one in five hiring managers utilize the Web and social networks to screen new potential applicants.
The study, reported by Reuters, found that out of 3,169 hiring managers, 22 percent of them (about 698 managers) used social networking sites to find out information regarding potential candidates. This is up from 11 percent, or 349 managers, since 2006.

Even though 22 percent may not seem like a huge number now, one can only expect that number to continue to rise. The study revealed that 9 percent surveyed were currently not using social networking sites for screening purposes but plan to in the future.
Here's the kicker: About one third of the applicants screened online were dropped from contention after inappropriate content was found on their profile. Yikes.

So, who should be wary of these statistics? Those that are currently undergoing the transition from school to professional career. Social networking in college is a completely different animal than in the professional world. Pictures posted of last week's mixer are totally commonplace if not universally accepted in college. However, the second that these two worlds collide, what you and, more importantly, your friends say about you becomes a liability in the workplace.
I'll be completely honest—I have actually been doing a little housecleaning on my Internet profiles. Are you applying for a new job? Make sure you follow these tips:

First, privacy settings are your friend. Sites like Facebook and MySpace have tools to ensure that only you and your friends can view those scandalous pictures you took at your best friend's New Year's Eve party. Blogs are also a huge potential risk (there are cited instances of people getting fired from blogging), so make sure you set up privacy settings to keep tabs of who is exactly reading what you're writing.

Second, use search engines to keep tabs of what is posted online about you. You can start by using major search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, or you can give, a "people search engine," a try. What you see in these search engine results will most likely be the same thing that your future hiring manager will be seeing.

Third, don't "friend" anyone unless you're absolutely confident that it won't have any negative repercussions (even then, it can be a risk). I generally try to keep my personal and professional social networks completely separated (Facebook and LinkedIn), but it can be very difficult.
Fourth, keep tabs of what people are posting about you. Facebook's photo tagging system can be particularly dangerous, as it can label you in the image and link them directly to your profile. I know it can be difficult to manage, but this is particularly important.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Will All of the Bobble Heads Please Stand Up?

As do most sales organizations, Kforce frequently motivates its employees with exciting incentives and opportunities to shine. As a Kforce 'rookie,' I have been part of one of our most recent contests, The Rookie Rally, which rewards the top rookies in each business line with one of the most unique prizes ever heard of- a custom bobble head of our CEO.

Well, if they hadn't sent me my very own Dave Dunkel bobble head, I wouldn't have believed it, but, I won The Rookie Rally for Kforce's Technology Division, and now I have my very own minature Dave Dunkel! He arrived last week, and although Ethan (my two-year-old) almost decapitated him on the car ride home, Dave did make it safely back to Kforce Orlando. As you'll see in the picture below, I am now proudly displaying my tiny CEO prominently on my desk. He is perched high atop my cube walls, keeping an eye on all I do.

The Tiniest CEO Ever

And, oh are my fellow cubies jealous. Rob Reading, my colleague on the Finance and Accounting team, won the rally fourth quarter last year, but his little CEO failed to arrive. I had to pry Dave away from him after this picture was snapped.
Rob Reading Coveting The Tiniest CEO Ever

So, if you're interested in meeting my CEO when I come out to visit just let me know. I may not be able to get him there in person, but I can certainly bring a life-like representation. And, naturally, if you've ever won a crazy corporate prize, I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Central Florida Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Chapter Meeting

Just in case you're looking for a great new techie group to join, I thought I'd throw this one out there. Dan LoPresto of Brighthouse Networks recently introduced me to the Central Florida Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association. I attended the July meeting and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. If any of you plan to attend, let me know, and I'll see you there! You can register via the links below.


The following are details for our next Central Florida Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Chapter Meeting.

Date: Tuesday August 12, 2008

Location: National Center for Forensic Science, Room 102, 12354 Research Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32826. Near University of Central Florida (UCF) NAVAIR station.

Drawing Prizes: Norton 360 (3-user license) and others!

Lunch: ISSA of Central FL will order sandwiches from Firehouse Subs, compliments of Protegrity. Meeting registration required, please click the following link to register:

There is no cost to attend this meeting and you need not be a member of ISSA. If you'd like to learn more about the ISSA and/or join, please click here: Speaker: Ulf Mattsson, Chief Technology Officer, Protegrity Corporation

Speaker Bio:

Ulf T. Mattsson, Chief Technology Officer, Protegrity Corporation, created the initial architecture of Protegrity’s database security technology, for which the company owns several key patents. His extensive IT and security industry experience includes 20 years with IBM as a manager of software development and a consulting resource to IBM's Research and Development organization. He specializes in the areas of IT Architecture and IT Security. Ulf is the inventor of a number of European and U.S. patents in the areas of Encryption Key Management, Separation of Duties, Policy Driven Data Encryption, Internal Threat Protection, Data Usage Control, Dynamic Access Control, Intrusion Prevention and Cross System Layer Security. He holds a master's degree in physics, a degree in finance and a degree in electrical engineering. Ulf is an IBM Certified IT Architect and a research member of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) WG 11.3 Data and Application Security.

Presentation Title: Enterprise Data Protection - Understanding your Options and Strategies

Presentation Abstract:

The session will review the different options for data protection strategies for PCI DSS and other regulations. We will present case studies on data protection in an enterprise environment. We will position different solutions that can protect the enterprise data against advanced attacks from internal and external sources. We will show how to provide a balanced mix of different approaches to protect sensitive information like credit cards across different systems in the enterprise, including tokenization, encryption and hashing. We will show how to balance performance and security, in real-world scenarios, and recommend when to use encryption at the database level, application level and file level. This session will also present methods to protect the entire data flow across systems in an enterprise while minimizing the need for cryptographic services.
Review of case studies on enterprise data protection
How to prevent internal and external threats
Review solutions for enterprise data encryption and key management
How to prevent data misuse and advanced attacks on data
How to protect the entire enterprise data flow
How to develop a database encryption strategy balancing security, performance and other aspects
Review and position different solution alternatives

About Protegrity:

Protegrity, the leader in Enterprise Data Security Management, delivers centralized data security management solutions that protect sensitive information from acquisition to deletion across the enterprise.

Meeting Agenda:

Arrival, Networking & Registration

Speaker Presentation & Q&A

Lunch (Sandwiches & soda)

Raffle, Chapter Business and Wrap-up


Monday, June 23, 2008

'Kareforce' at Work

Recently, one of our valued Finance and Accounting consultants on assignment with Charles Schwab tragically lost her home to the lightning storms that passed through Central Florida. Liliana Rodriguez, a working mother of two, was left stranded and homeless as their house burned to the ground. This devastating disaster forced her family to move into a family member's spare bedroom until they figure out what to do next.

When we brought this to the attention of Ray Morganti, VP of Sales Operations at Kforce, he immediately went to the board of Fezzywig (Kforce's Charity Foundation). The Fezzywig board promptly voted YES in favor of assisting Liliana and her family. Because of this, we were able to surprise Liliana at work and give her a helping hand. Liliana and her family were presented with an $800 gift certificate to Wal-Mart, and a trip to Tampa to visit a special warehouse where she can get whatever she needs to start over again (furniture, appliances, and the like).

Tears of joy flowed all over the room as Liliana's co-workers and managers looked on. What an emotional moment!

This is just one of the stories we like to share with our partners and friends about how we work hard to really care for our consultants everyday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

“Never judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you judge them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes.”


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kforce Clinical Research Wins Merck Award

Kris Ellis, President Kforce Clinical Research and Darlene Cassello, Strategic Account Director, accepted the Outstanding Operational Award for Clinical Development at the Merck Supplier Recognition Forum on Thursday, June 12.

Merck invited 75 strategic suppliers from around the world to this recognition event at their corporate headquarters in Whitehouse Station, NJ. The award presented to KCR was in recognition and appreciation for outstanding contributions to Merck’s success and business performance.

“This is very significant and a major accomplishment. For a firm of Merck’s values and history to recognize Kforce suggests a real validation of the business model and alignment of vision and values,” said Dave Dunkel, CEO.

Kforce was one of only thirteen suppliers to win an award. President of Health & Life Sciences, Pete Alonso said that it is an outstanding achievement for Kris Ellis and the KCR team.

Being recognized for its client-centric approach emphasizes KCR’s commitment to Kforce’s mission to be the firm most respected by those we serve.

“Our partners at Merck are wonderful people and our business relationship is both enjoyable and rewarding. It was such a great day,” said Ellis.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great High-Level Consultants at Great Rates

If your organization is in need of specialized consultants for upcoming projects, we can help. We currently have numerous high-level consultants available at great rates! I have a spreadseet available that outlines skillsets and bill rates.

Some sample skillsets are Oracle Developers, SAS Programmers, .NET Developers, Technical Java Leads, and many more. Bill rates range from $59 to $74 per hour - all inclusive for contract assignments that are six months or longer.

Please let me know if you are interested in learning more about one of our great IT resources.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kforce to Sponsor State of the Art Technology Center

The Gary & Mavis Smith Salesian Youth Center is the newest Boys & Girls Club center and Kforce is helping make it the best. The 142 acre center is now under construction and upon completion will include a state of the art technology center funded entirely by Kforce Jeans Days. The technology center will be equipped with large screen LCD TVs, 20 PCs and an electronic gaming center with Xbox and Wii systems.

Kforce’s sponsorship is unprecedented and will set a new standard for clubs to come, says the Boys & Girls Club. Take a look at the club under construction...

If you’re interested in learning about how you can support the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Tampa or elsewhere, please contact Ray Morganti, 813-552-3478.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Great People = Great Results (x3)

There are definitely some very tough days in my business, and, recently, a few of those days have come back-to-back and seemed to go on-and-on. It can be difficult to keep things in perspective when the going gets tough, but I try to remember that hard work and consistent effort pay off, and that continuously refining my process and and really weighing and evaluating client and candidate feedback paves the road to successful long-term partnerships.

That being said, my job is also very rewarding on days like today. Already this week, I have helped three of my clients find the talent that they need by connecting them with our great candidates. I received confirmation today that we have three candidates starting with my clients on Monday: A Senior QA Analyst starting with Universal Studios, an entry-level QA Analyst starting with Tempus Resorts International, and a Senior DBA starting with Connextions, Inc.

While I truly enjoy working with managers to find the right match, hearing the excitement in our candidate's voices when we call to deliver an offer reminds me just how meaningful my work can be. Helping people develop their careers and connecting them with great opportunities is definitely worth the effort, even if there are a few bumps here and there along the way.
As always, our efforts result in even more great candidates looking for the right "homes" and next opportunities, so if your organization happens to be in the market for these (or other IT) skillsets, please feel free to contact me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

And the winner is...

Thank you to those of you who subscribed to my blog! I have received some very positive feedback and comments on it, and I'm definitely enjoying adding content.

As I mentioned in emails to my clients, I entered new subscribers in a drawing for a $50 Darden Restaurants gift certificate. (Since Darden is one of my clients, I'm especially glad to support their great company.)

So, without further adieu, the winner of the gift certificate is....

Congratulations, Robert! I'll see you next week with your prize and donuts for your team.

Have a great weekend, and thanks again to all of my "fans."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Two Sides of the Job Search Coin: Keeping the Job You Get; Learning from the Ones You Don't

During his most recent Good Day Tampa Bay appearances, our resident staffing expert, Jason Maroney, discussed two sides of the job search coin: 1) Keeping the job you get; and, 2) learning from the ones you don't. (That's probably not the most eloquent way to describe these two interview outcomes, but it's the best I could do today.)

Regardless, I think that the information that Jason provides is very important for candidates who are actively job hunting. I've included links to his TV spots for your viewing pleasure.

What happens if you don't get the job?

It may be tough, but learning to accept rejection is part of the job hunting process. As Jason Maroney of Kforce explained on Good Day, even if you don't get the job, you can still learn from the experience.

You got the job-- now keep it.

So you've landed that job you've been dreaming of? Now it's time to make sure you keep it. We talked with Jason Maroney of Kforce who offered some tips for how to impress when you kick off your new career.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Friday Funny - Corporate Isn't Always Professional

I recently got an email from a co-worker on our Finance and Accounting team. It was written by her brother, an engineer with a large company here in Orlando. I thought his sentiments on 'life in the cube' were very funny and needed to be passed along:

"Given that I have a “great” job as an engineer, my mom questions my desire to open a restaurant. Recently, she said, “Don’t you want to work with people who are smart and professional? You should surround yourself with people who are as smart as or smarter than you, that way you can become smarter by learning from each other.”

So my cubicle area is very quiet, and, this morning. the professional guy next to me got hold of some bubble wrap. He decided it would be a good idea to pop each and every bubble, one by one for 20 minutes. In fact, he's still at it right now. Not just that, he's now laid the bubble wrap on the table and has started to pound them with his fist. My monitor is shaking as well as those on all of the adjacent desks.

Now ask yourself: Do these seem like the actions of an intelligent, professional person? Don’t get me wrong, if I got my hands on some bubble wrap, I would do the same - but not at my desk while wearing my white, collared shirt, with my fancy shoes and dry cleaned slacks.

And, trust me, this is not an isolated incident. I think I’m better off wrapping pitas with and for college students."

He does, in fact, have a point: "Corporate" and "Professional" are not necessarily synonymous, and, I daresay, anyone who thinks otherwise probably has a private office.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Knock Your Future Employer's Socks Off!

This morning, my Market VP, Jason Maroney, was on MyFOX Tampa Bay to talk about how to "shine" in interviews. This is Jason's third appearance on the morning news program, so he's quickly becoming the resident expert for staffing in Central Florida!

Here's the blurb and a link to the clip for your view pleasure:

Are you looking for a new job? If so, you probably know that the hard work isn't over once you land the interview. We talked with K-Force's Jason Maroney about how to get through the interview, follow-up, and negotiation process.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Welcome: Orlando Tech Nuts

Alright, I've been threatening to start a blog for some time now, so here it is: Orlando Tech Nuts. Voila!

"Where'd you come up with that clever little title?" you may ask. Well, it's simple really:

Orlando - for where I live and work;
Tech (staffing) - for what I do; and,
Nuts - for what I'm called by my Kforce team.

(We'll skip the obvious part about me being "nuts" for Orlando technology, etcetera, etcetera.)

Not bad, eh? It seems like a good fit, so we'll go with it. I came up with it tonight while I was putting my son to sleep, and now I'm up way too late writing this inaugural post and formatting my blog...all thanks to my OCD brain. But I digress...

Okay, so what about doing business with someone whose colleagues refer to her as "Nuts?" (Seriously, my VP doesn't know who's calling if I say, "Hi, it's Alysia," and my Director has been known to introduce me to clients as "Alysia Hazelnuts." Um, it's Hazelton, people, Alysia Hazelton.)

Actually, I consider the moniker a compliment of sorts, especially when you consider the following:

1) It typically takes someone who is a "special kind of crazy" to really succeed in this business; and,

2) I am, admittedly, a little bit nuts.

Note: I like to think that being just a little bit "nuts" is part of my charm, rather than an impediment, but it's still up for debate in the Kforce bullpen, so I'll leave it to you to form your own opinion as you get to know me.

Nuts or not, now I have a blog, and no one can stop me! Without a doubt, I am looking forward to having a forum for sharing the fun that goes on at "The Force" and with my great clients and candidates. Naturally, I'll also delve into some of the more serious elements like the Orlando tech-conomy (just made that up!), our local candidate market, and challenges in technology staffing.

At the very least, I'm excited to have a place to share news and events with my clients, candidates, and colleagues...both current and future. So, whether you work with me now or I cold-called you this morning, thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!

And, as always, may the Kforce be with you.