BitNet (Business Information Technology Network) operates as an association of individuals, business and organizations with a common interest in the practical and innovative use and development of technology, to the benefit and prosperity of the Golden Horseshoe community. Since 1992, we have been committed to fostering a networking and learning environment and remain dedicated to taking action on issues that are relevant to our members.
The BitNet Value Proposition
The membership of BITNET spans information technology providers and users, governments and educators throughout the Golden Horseshoe region. An important discriminator of BitNet is the value proposition that we offier our members.
BitNet membership benefits include:
Submit An opportunity to network with businness leaders, technology providers, technology users, government
and educators all of whom share a common interest in technology and its application to todays business
Submit Educational opportunities on timely and relevant topics
Submit Access to technology influencers, job-seekers, information and technical resources
Submit Public relations – enhance the visibility of your business
Submit Advocacy-provide input on issues and concerns important to the IT industry in this region.
BitNet originated in Mayor Walter Mulkewich’s vision for revitalizing Burlington’s local economy in 1992. The City’s Local Economic Action Plan identified Burlington’s economy as a restructuring one facing an information technology revolution. In order to grow and compete globally, this sector needed to connect and communicate. The key to this was networking.
Mayor Mulkewich shared his idea with BitNet board member, Neil Howie who seized upon the concept and enthusiastically spread the word about this networking group that would encourage the Information Technology sectors to communicate with one another.
The first meeting of approximately 10 people was held in 1992 in a conference room at the City of Burlington. Attendees exchanged business cards, described their work and networked informally.
At the first meeting Mayor Mulkewich invited Barrie Haywood to participage in the new organization and they guided
BitNet until 1999 when Mr. Howie left BitNet.
Neil Howie then involved Mary Dillon Manager of the City’s Economic Development Office at the time. She suggested the present BitNet format of inviting people to breakfast where they could listen to an informative speaker from the IT industry for free! This proved to be the winning formula for BitNet coupled with Neil’s uncanny ability to identify dynamic, interesting speakers that kept members abreast of the rapid changes in the information technology industry.
Until 1999 when BitNet became an independent organization, administrative support was provided by the City of Burlington. Invitations were sent out to each meeting and the growing mailing list was maintained.
In 1998, BitNet partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) and the Halton Region to present a seminar called Harnessing Information Technology. Presenters included Sun MicroSystems, IBM, Break-Through Business Systems and Neil Howie. This event attracted 35 participants.
In 1999 Barrie Haywood contacted Mayor Rob MacIsaac and Councillor Carol D’ Amelio with a proposal to separate BitNet from the City of Burlington as an independent organization. The new BitNet would have a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Board of directors.
To facilitate the change Mayor MacIsaac convened task force to plan the necessary changes and finalize the direction BitNet would take.
Scott McCammon of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce was appointed Chair of the tast force. Other members included Neil Howie, Steve Rieck, Sondra Meis, with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Barrie Haywood, Ed. Sajecki, of the City of Burlington and Jim Frizzle.
After incorpororation as a Not – For- Profit in 1999 the following executive was elected.
The first Executive Committee was composted of the follow: