Q&A: Meet CMG’s New Managing Director
A Q&A between Kevin Mobley (CMG President) and Matt Sarrel (CMG Managing Director)
In June, CMG hired our first ever Managing Director, Matt Sarrel. Hiring Matt was the result of a three-month, nationwide search during which CMG leadership evaluated over 350 candidates. Matt officially took the reins of the day-to-day management of operations on June 1. In addition, he’s developing a long term strategy to launch new products and services.
Recently, MeasureIT sat down with current president Kevin Mobley and Matt as they got to know each other.
KM: On behalf of CMG, I want to welcome you to the Managing Director role. What attracted you to joining the organization and taking on the challenges of this role?
MDS: Thanks, Kevin. I’m glad to be on the team and playing my part in continuing CMG’s illustrious history. CMG has been a tremendous resource for enterprise IT professionals for many years. The technology field is constantly changing and I’ve joined CMG to develop innovative programs that will help us continue to succeed in this rapidly evolving field. For example, everyone knows that for years and years CMG enabled some fantastic discussions around mainframe performance and capacity planning. Sure, mainframes are important, but as technology shifts to areas like web, mobile, and IoT, CMG will move to the forefront in these areas as well. Evolving our content focus will be a critical role for the Managing Director.
KM: As you know, you’re the first Managing Director in our 40-year history. What’s the significance of hiring a Managing Director now?
MDS: Hiring a Managing Director is itself a statement that the board of directors is committed to moving CMG forward. Many associations have evolved the way they work with members and the programs they provide. As businesses tighten their belts, paying employee dues and sending employees to multi-day conferences has come under fire. Moreover, the way that people interact and learn has changed dramatically over the past few years. As Managing Director, I’m deeply focused on providing more benefits and programs to our members in order to retain existing and attract new members.
KM: Matt, what about your background do you think makes you well-suited for this role?
MDS: The combination of deep technical knowledge, journalism, and marketing, all combined with years of business savvy and leadership, is what caused me to stand above the candidate pool. I have over 25 years of experience in IT with a deep focus on network and information security, performance testing, and infrastructure design and management. I’ve worked at large organizations and startups. I’ve worked in healthcare, fintech, high-tech, and publishing. In 2000, I joined PC Magazine as a technical director. I ran half the test lab, responsible for all of the testing done by the network, internet services, applications, servers, development tools, and operating systems teams. Since 2004 I’ve been a contributing editor for PC Mag and have written for eWeek, BYTE, CIO Update, EnterpriseAppsToday, eSecurityPlanet, GigaOm, and InfoWorld. For the past 12 years I’ve run my own technical marketing firm, Sarrel Group, where we tested products and helped companies develop marketing programs. Every day I discover new ways to integrate my skills into CMG to make it even better.
KM: What are your priorities for the organization?
MDS: I spent my first 30 days assessing our current operating policies and procedures. I’m in the process of streamlining and updating operations with the goal of decreasing cost and increasing efficiency. I'm deeply impressed with the quality of past and current programs and the enormous impact of the association to date. We have some incredibly smart board members and members in general. I look forward to building on past success in order to propel us to new heights.
I'm currently developing new strategies that will:
- Increase the benefits of membership to better serve existing members and bring in new members
- Improve conference program and format so that attendees can get more out of the event
- Build and promulgate industry best practices for performance and scalability professionals
- Provide training and certification around performance engineering
- Enhance online and in-person opportunities for members to share with and learn from peers
- Develop online venues for members to be recognized as a performance and scalability experts
KM: This is great stuff, Matt! The rest of the board and I are very happy to have you on-board. I’m looking forward to working with you to make the next generation CMG a reality.
MDS: Thanks, Kevin. By the way, I’d like to add that I strongly believe that our members are our greatest asset. They are what makes CMG the powerhouse association that it is. I’d like to encourage our members to contact me at [email protected] to share their ideas about taking CMG to the next level.