DSA Interview with Cary Adams: Benefits of AIIM and the Hazards of Working with IT

By Bryant Duhon posted 09-13-2011 16:06


Cary Adams moved from writing about technology to actually working with technology. He's also been critical to the success of the Old Dominion Chapter.

Q: Why did you decide to move from writing about technology to selling, then consulting, then managing technology?

CA: I basically moved on from writing because of limited opportunities and limited income – I had been laid off from successive writing jobs due to downsizing, and decided to take what was then a hobby (PCs) and pursue it as a new career.  The rest was just an arc of career development and pursuing opportunities that presented themselves.

Q: What is your biggest ECM challenge today?

CA: From where I sit, the biggest challenge my organization faces is working with its own IST department.  We seem often to be operating at cross-purposes with little inclination on either side to make the adjustments necessary to achieve together. 

Q: How as the industry and the challenges changed in the decade since you became a ‘user’?

CA: Certainly social networking and also the “pushing-down” of decision-making and policy-making from management to line personnel.  These changes are also what has fueled the conflict with IST here as it sees its role as being the “preventer” of those innovations that they see as threats to central control of systems.

Q: Without you, the consensus is that the Old Dominion Chapter wouldn’t exist, what made you decide to make the personal investment in time and energy to keep it going?

CA: I got a lot of support from the chapter membership, and particularly from the other officers and board members!

Q: Any tips for anyone looking to start/revitalize chapter involvement?

CA: Don’t be afraid to take small steps.  Try to identify the interests of your members and hold small scale events that are easy to participate in and that attempt to address those interests.

Q: Why be involved in chapters? And AIIM in general?

CA: It has always been a two-way street for me, I have learned as much or more from participating that I have contributed myself.  What I have learned and those I have met have been of great value.

Q: Favorite part of being involved in the ECM industry?

CA: It has to be the smart, generous, friendly people who work in that realm

Just for fun:

Q: What are your three favorite websites?

CA: I like aggregator sites for news, Daily Beast and Huff Post for national and for local Richmond stories. And I collect vintage fountain pens so regularly check collector sites like and

Q: What are the three greatest books ever written—and what’s on your  nightstand today?

CA: That’s a tough one.  I remember being moved by Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Larry L. King’s (not the broadcaster) “The Old Man.”   I just finished “The Gentleman’s Hour” by Don Winslow – good but not as good as his classic, “The Winter of Frankie Machine,” which was a great read!

Q: What are the three greatest movies of all time—and what’s the last one you’ve seen?

CA: “Citizen Kane” made an impact on me and Film Noir classics like “The Big Sleep,” and “Notorious” are a guilty pleasure.  More modern ones I remember liking are “Memento,” “Mulholland Drive” and I guess the last one I’ve seen was the remake of “True Grit.”

Q: What was your first concert—and what are the three greatest songs on your iPod?

CA: Giving away my age here, but the first one I remember was Jimi Hendrix, probably Summer 1968.

Some tunes I’m listening to now:  The Subdudes “Save Me,”  Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban, “La Luna En Tu Mirada,” and pretty much any tune from the “Love Is Strange - Live in Spain” set by David Lindley and Jackson Browne.

#Hendrix #awards #AIIM #ScanningandCapture #DSA