SIM Boston and RLF Pioneers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards

Submitted by Dennis Ravenelle, Harvard University
The 50th anniversary of SIM’s national event, SIM Connect Live, was held last week in Dallas, Texas and many of our SIM Boston members were in attendance. Following Friday morning’s keynote in which Dr. David Bray highlighted the characteristics of courageous leaders and change agents, master of ceremonies Sarah Michel called to the stage our own Pat Randall, member of SIM’s Management Council, to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to “two fabulous change agents.”
First to accept this wonderful recognition was Dick Dooley, who in the late 1960’s worked in Chicago and was one of the original founders of SIM. (See the oral history video here Twenty-five years later he launched the Chapter Hosted Learning Forum for SIM which was subsequently renamed the Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) and has been a very successful program since its inception.
Among the drivers for creating this program, Dick explained, was recognizing the importance of connecting practitioners with one another and understanding that making that connection is accomplished more easily and naturally in small groups. He went on to point out that many of the RLF graduates from the past 25 years are now running local chapters and running SIM, “Where IT Leaders Connect.” “As David [Bray] pointed out,” said Dick, “connecting is a lifetime commitment.”
Next, Pat introduced Bart Bolton, who launched the Boston Chapter’s RLF program and has presided over more than 1,000 graduates (!). Bart recounted the story of how he first became involved, to show that synchronicity plays a big part in anything. “The Board was asking what’s this pilot that Dooley is starting in Chicago? Sounds interesting. Who can we get to run it for Boston? They all looked at me figuring I wasn’t doing anything else, and I said, ‘sure, I’ll run it.’ Then I stayed one book ahead of the class.” Bart closed his remarks with a “thank you for everything you’ve given me through SIM and the RLF program.”
For more information on the RLF program, visit


Stay tuned for details about an oral history video on Bart Bolton coming soon!


~ Dennis Ravenelle, Harvard University