Technology Leadership Experience Graduation Highlights Early Successes in Cultivating St. Louis Area IT Leadership Pipeline

Awards Presentation, CIO Panel Among Highlights as 60 Emerging IT Leaders Graduate from The Technology Leadership Experience, St. Louis

St. Louis, December 12th, 2019:  Four emerging IT leaders and three businesses were recognized for their commitment to the growth of technology leadership in the St. Louis area at the graduation program for The Technology Leadership Experience (The TechLX) in St. Louis on December 9.

Ouellette & Associates and Technology Partners presented the following individual awards, as selected by the TechLX participants:

  • John Heartlein of St. Louis University, Leader Amongst Leaders Award
  • Mike Luebbers of Vi-Jon, Leader Amongst Leaders Award
  • Tushar Shelar of Murphy Company, Mentoring Excellence Award
    Steve Schmidt of MiTek, Mentoring Excellence Award

The Leader Amongst Leaders Awards are given to the TechLX participants who best personify the leadership qualities covered in the program. The Mentoring Excellence Awards are presented to TechLX mentors who best exemplify the ideal image of a mentor.

Technology Partners as well as MiTek and Panera Bread received Community Leadership Awards from Ouellette & Associates for going above and beyond to contribute to the program’s success and demonstrate a passion and commitment to nurturing and developing the IT leadership community.

“The goal of The TechLX is to put high-potential IT professionals on the fast-track to leadership,” says Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellette & Associates. “Thanks to the outstanding contributions of these individuals and organizations, it’s also helping to strengthen the technology leadership community in St. Louis and establish it as ‘the place to be in IT.’”

The graduation program was the culmination of a 22-week, in-depth leadership development experience for 60 emerging technology leaders from organizations throughout the St. Louis area. These emerging leaders participated in leadership development workshops to increase their strategic business acumen as well as networking, peer problem-solving, and one-on-one mentoring with local CIOs and senior IT leaders.

“It’s just so exciting to see a vision come to reality. As we graduated the 60 participants of Cohorts 1 and 2, there was such a celebratory spirit in the room. Each sub-cohort presented their assigned focus projects, which were astounding,” says Lisa Nichols, CEO of Technology Partners. “The participants were noticeably grateful for the growth opportunity thanks to the investments of their mentors. Many participants plan to continue meeting with their sub-cohorts and mentors, speaking to the lasting impact of this program. There’s great value in having a community like this of like-minded IT professionals. What’s unique about TechLX, specifically, is the combined mentoring, networking and competency development that equip these future leaders to apply what they’ve learned to their respective roles.”

As part of the graduation event, a CIO panel of IT executives, including Jeff Schuchardt, VP IT of Enterprise Fleet Management, David Hakanson, CIO of St. Louis University, and Mike Prusaczyk, VP Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy at Panera Bread, discussed how to fulfill the need for strategic IT representation in local C-suites.

“In the digital era, the spotlight is on IT leaders,” says Roberts. “They have to be more than just technical experts and solution providers. They need to be strategic business partners and ‘innovative anticipators’ who can drive the business forward. The organizations taking part in The TechLX are leading the way by prioritizing the core skills, networking, and mentorship opportunities that are vital for preparing today’s emerging leaders to step up to tomorrow’s C-level roles.”

The December 9th graduation, held at St. Louis University, honored participants from the first two TechLX cohorts to launch in St. Louis. Three additional cohorts are currently underway or coming soon to the area. TechLX cohorts are also being launched over the next six months in Kansas City, Mo.; Sydney, Australia; Raleigh, N.C.; Phoenix; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Southern California; Denver; and Pittsburgh.

About The Technology Leadership Experience

Presented by Ouellette & Associates, The Technology Leadership Experience (The TechLX) provides an in-depth learning journey for a cohort of mid-level technology leaders within a single city. Through a combination of classroom workshops, peer networking, problem-solving, and mentoring, the program does more than build the next generation of technology leaders; it creates a powerful technology leadership community. For more information, visit

About Technology Partners

Technology Partners is an award-winning, Chesterfield-based company that provides premier IT staffing and solutions. With over 25 years of experience, the company has partnered with hundreds of corporate clients across a range of industries nationwide, primarily fintech, healthcare and agriculture. It is a certified Women Business Enterprise and was built upon a revolutionary transparent-margin business model. Technology Partners provides a competitive advantage for its clients while giving consultants higher salaries and career control. For more information, visit

About Ouellette & Associates

Over the past 35 years, more than 3,500 organizations worldwide in business, education, and government have relied on Ouellette & Associates (O&A) to fuel their transformation. O&A is the only professional development firm focusing exclusively on developing the human side of technology to unleash the power of IT. Through IT talent development workshops, The Technology Leadership Experience, and IT Skill Builder — a cloud-based assessment, personal development and workforce analytics platform — O&A equips IT organizations, leaders and teams for success in an ever-changing business environment. Learn more at

Technology Partners, Inc. is a Certified Women-Owned Business, supplying IT Staffing and Solutions to clients across the nation. Focusing on being a “360 degree Solution” for clients, the company offers Custom Mobile and Web Applications, Managed IT Services, Cloud Productivity, Marketing Technology, Digital Media and Design, Data Analytics, and now Digital Transformation, Business Process Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning Technology.]

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