I was recently able to have a chat with Joy Belinda Beland, Managing Partner, LA IT Girl, LLC, about her involvement in the
Joy explained that she has been in business for 17 years, and she has been an active member in her local community for the past 10 years. She started her business, not as an IT consultant, but as a business consultant, and quickly learned the ropes of the IT world due to her tenacity and dedication to perfection.
In fact, Joy said that her peers look to her as a business consultant first, and an IT consultant second. Before starting her own consultancy, Joy was the right-hand person to a variety of decision makers for organizations such as Disney and Carnation (pre-Nestle), where she developed, refined and enforced new company processes to ensure smooth business flow. She explained that this real-world training is what drove her to build her own business.
With her background came the expectation that most business practices were secrets to be kept close to the chest, though she was in for a surprise. Joy explained that her first foray into the IT user group scene was at an SMBTN Pasadena meeting about 10 years ago. Though she wasn’t sure what to expect, she said that she was overwhelmed by the show of support at this meeting, where fellow attendees were true peers, not competitors, and where the focus was to better everyone’s business.
Joy explained that she believes most IT Consultants are not sure what to expect with their local user groups, which can often cause apprehension to attend meetings. She told me that she dedicates time each year to attending as many local user group meetings as she can, not only for the welcoming atmosphere, but for the great resources and ability to bounce ideas off of those with the same concerns.
“What we do is very stressful, I think,” said Beland in an interview today. “I find that my quality of life improves the more I reach out to my community, and I feel less stress when I can network and bounce ideas off of my peers.”
For the second half of our interview, Joy spoke about her upcoming role at Continuum’s first-ever user conference, Continuum Navigate, September 21-23, 2014. For this event, she will be presenting her process for working with businesses to increase productivity. She explained that this topic originated as “A Quarterly Business Review,” and has been presented to numerous user groups in her area. She has refined this topic for the Continuum conference, and she will be presenting her methods, including: who to meet, what to cover during the review, which materials to bring and expectations for the meeting. She did explain that, depending on the size of the organization, she may perform this review as much as once a month, or only once every 6 months. Joy has previously been a presenter at Connectwise’s IT Nation 2012, and we look forward to seeing her at more events in the future.