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SofTech North Bay Software and Information Technology Association


Producing SofTech Events

Bob SuessSome years back, I moderated a SofTech panel discussion on Business Process Management. I got involved because I thought that the tools being offered at the time were compelling and I wanted an excuse to reach out to the BPM vendors and end-users. The event was a big success and I had a blast. There was an additional benefit as it turned out. My involvement provided talking points for the career move I made several months later from engineering to technical client services.


Is there a topic that you'd like to learn more about?  You'd be surprised how little effort it takes to produce a SofTech event on just about any topic in the business/technology space. And I can tell you from experience that building a panel by networking with business and subject matter experts is both satisfying and rewarding.


Besides bringing industry experts together to tackle an industry topic that's been stewing in your mind, perhaps the biggest upside to producing an event is the unique networking opportunity it presents.  Here you have the chance to sit down with the development or product manager at company X to discuss their interest in a speaking opportunity at SofTech.  I think you’d agree that this approach is a lot more effective than asking to get put through to the manager on a personal business matter.


There are also promotional benefits that come with producing a SofTech event. These include having your bio posted on You will also be included in emails to our 650+ distribution list.


After having served as SofTech’s program director for two years, I’d be more than happy to coach you in producing an event if this is new territory for you.


Are you interested in any of the leading global tech initiatives such as social, cloud, mobile or Big Data?  Are there local California or Marin business initiatives that you'd like to see addressed in a public forum? 


Please reach out to me if you’d like to moderate a panel discussion or if there is a topic you’d like to see SofTech address.


Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events



This month @ SofTech

Heartbleed Panel Discussion
April 23, 2014 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm            
San Rafael Corporate Center, 750 Lindaro Street San Rafael 
If you've been on the web or watching the news recently, you've probably heard of the Heartbleed Bug. Most of us know it as the reason we need to change all our passwords but are sketchy on the what, why and how aspects of it.
According to, "The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs)."
This month, SofTech hosts a special discussion on the Heartbleed bug featuring a panel of industry experts.
Andrew McDonnell
Principal Security Consultant
Andrew McDonnell has over ten years of experience in information security and technology. Utilizing a unique composition of skills and expertise, Andrew has worked with numerous enterprise customers to improve application, network, and organizational security practices. Andrew has designed and deployed enterprise vulnerability management programs, embedded robust security practices into software development life cycles (SDLCs), and led the response to critical security incidents. Andrew's work prior to AstTech included tenures with Veracode, Qualys, AppSec Consulting, and the U.S. Department of Energy. 
Thomas Stocking
Chief Operating Officer
Thomas Stocking is a long-time open source advocate, and has worked with many project leaders to promote the use and community development of free software. In 2004, Thomas co-founded a startup company (GroundWork Open Source) that uses Linux and open source in its products. He is a developer, executive, and entrepreneur. Thomas now leads Gandi US, a subsidiary of a major domain name registrar and cloud hosting company, Gandi SAS. His interests are in cloud computing using Linux, and in developing communities of Linux administrators for small to mid-sized businesses.


SofTECH is a non-profit trade organization committed to fostering communication and cooperation for business and technology professionals in Northern California's Marin and Sonoma counties. Its goal is to identify and showcase technology leaders and support the technology user community.


Established as the North Bay Software and Information Technology Association in 1994, SofTECH hosts monthly networking meetings featuring guest speakers from the bay and beyond. All meetings are open to the public and members attend for free. If you are interested in developing and presenting a program for SofTECH, please contact our Program Director, John Melendez.