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Jeff Sandene: A finance guy talks about how tech forums benefit his business

A finance guy talks about how tech forums benefit his business
Jeff Sandene, president of Sandene Strategies, LLC
by Melinda Guravich

Even if you’re not a full-time engineer at a tech company, Tech Titans can provide knowledge about where the profitable technologies will be tomorrow. Jeff Sandene is a certified financial planner (CFP) and technology enthusiast. He began attending monthly Tech Industry luncheons to stay on top of trends and developments.

“I have several technology clients and wanted to be able to talk to them about their businesses,” said Jeff. “I knew that blockchain technology was going to impact the financial services industry in a big way. I wanted to stay ahead of the curve and meet people in the industry.” 

When he learned that Tech Titans was starting Blockchain Forum in 2018, he became a member and got involved as the committee’s tri-chair. “There’s a solid blockchain community in Dallas. It’s great to be plugged in through the forum,” said Jeff.  “I really enjoy putting programs together and finding speakers that deliver value to event attendees.”

Jeff now serves as a tri-chair for the Cybersecurity Forum and continues to inspire other committee leaders with his activity and passion for the topics he supports. Earlier this year, the forum put together a joint program with the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance at UT Dallas. The sold-out event drew 160 attendees. “It’s one of the hottest tech topics right now,” he said.

 “The biggest impact of getting involved is growing my network of business professionals. I also have learned a lot about the specific technologies,” he adds.

The future is forums, virtual and in-person
Tech Titans’ eight special interest forums are built on the value of personal interaction. The recent move to all-online events during the COVID-19 crisis was initially challenging for both presenters and participants. “However, these are still interactive experiences. We’re able to accomplish the heart of the meeting on Zoom,” Jeff said. There’s usually a group discussion before or after the webinar presentations.

“There’s value in viewing each other on screen, and in using private messaging to say ‘hello’ when you see someone you know. It’s still a touch point,” he said. “We can hold a larger general conversation for a while and then use Zoom’s break-out feature to split into groups of four, for example, to discuss an assigned topic.”

“The upside to on-line events is that the better we get at this, the easier it is to provide programming and will attract an expanded audience,” he said. With many of the forums being recorded, members also benefit from replay opportunities.  

Tech Titans Live!
Jeff served on the planning committee for the 2019 Tech Titans Live! Expo and Happy Hour. He promoted it to his network and recruited three exhibitors.

Tech Titans’ forums hosted technical presentations throughout the Expo. “It was somewhat of a friendly competition between the eight forums,” recalls Jeff. “Each brought in outstanding subject matter experts.”
Sandene Strategies was a sponsor of the Expo. Although sponsorship was not something he had anticipated doing, Jeff grasped the value and opportunity it represented. “It allowed me to build brand visibility among technology professionals,” he said.

Intentional involvement
Jeff says that he’s a purpose-driven person, and always does things like joining Tech Titans or sponsoring an event for a reason. He expected to meet people but didn’t anticipate just how deeply he would dive in. “The most gratifying outcome is all of the relationships I’ve developed here.”

“I look forward to finding doors I haven’t opened yet and seeing what’s behind them. I know there’s great potential for helping out and adding value to our group.”

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