Sharon Peterson is a long-time MSFT friend who called me over the summer with a wild idea. The idea was to get WILD ABOUT ANCHORAGE and attend Steve Gonzalez’s IT Expo Alaska. Steve is a man after my own heart – trying to advance the technology level of Alaska. Something you might not have known is that I grew up in Alaska (lived in Anchorage for 20-years as a kid). I have intimate knowledge about the wealthy Alaskan economy, based on tremendous natural resource reserves such as oil, gas and minerals.
Alaska is surprisingly technically advanced using its oil wealth to invest in the latest and greatest technology. Alaska’s journey is analogous to the way that El Salvador was rebuilt after its civil war. In this case, El Salvador went straight to wireless telephones as it built out its telcom infrastructure. Alaska has made similar generational leap frogs and I plan to visit my home state much more often, scoping out techie bits where I can find ‘em!
It was an honor and a pleasure to be on the same speaker roster as the infamous Robert McDowell from Microsoft at the IT Expo Alaska event. McDowell is Microsoft’s global ambassador.
At IT Expo Alaska – there was legitimate news. Governor Sean Parnell announced the Governor’s Performance Scholarship (GPS) wherein Alaska high school students with excellent grade point averages (GPAs) will have all or part of their college tuition paid. For example, a student with a GPA at 3.5 or higher will have 100% of her college tuition paid for by the State of Alaska. This is akin to how many students from the Middle East attend US universities. WOW! Learn more about GPS here: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=5095&type=1
Some loyal SBSers and SMB Nation friends where in the house at IT Expo Alaska including Cisco, Microsoft and Blackberry.
Cisco in the house in the brand new Dena’ia Civic Center, venue for the IT Expo Alaska!