Personalities: Her faith in tech industry on LI pays off
BY CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN
For many years, Barbara Viola, president of the Long Island chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, kept the faith in tech.
She became president of the group in 2000, when tech was still going strong. Then, especially after 9/11, the industry went from darling to dud. That put her and other techies on the defensive.
"I had to convince people that this would pass," said Viola, who owns Viotech Solutions, a Farmingdale computer-consulting and staffing company. "I just felt that this was something we would get through."
And now the 20-year industry veteran feels vindicated, or she would if she weren't so modest. Tech is coming back. Long Island now has more tech jobs than it has people to fill them. And the jobs are among the fastest-growing and best-paying on the Island.
"I'm really happy about it," she said.
Her group has grown along with the industry. From 35 members when she took over, it now has about 200. And it has just been named the outstanding chapter of the year by the national organization, a title it shares with a Wisconsin chapter. As is typical, Viola doesn't take all the credit.
"I believe that our group is strong because of the strength of the IT industry on Long Island," she said.