John Smithers became executive director at Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s information technology and bioscience industry association, in August. Smithers talks about how Tech Collective is transitioning itself into the technology hub for Rhode Island, and some of the initiatives it has underway.
PBN: What is your background?
SMITHERS: My technology career includes working for startups, large engineered-product companies, and a long stint at a technology research firm. In 2000, I consciously left the business world to pursue career opportunities in higher education. In addition to my higher-ed CIO experience, I have consulted for various adult education, health and human service, and technology service nonprofits. Following a recent higher-ed consulting engagement in Texas, I was looking for a full-time, mission-driven position closer to home.