Margaret L. Thornberry

This spring I realized I had to chose between the increasing demands of my work as Association Coordinator with Association Management Solutions, a fast-paced job of organizing meetings in cities all across the country, managing membership, and posting technical specifications for the IP/MPLS and IPsphere forums, and my desire to spend more time on pro bono projects, such as the effort to save Fremont's Center Theater as a community performing arts venue, serving as President of the Fremont Cultural Arts Council, traveling and keeping after my old farmhouse. I will miss AMS...I've enjoyed working with a great group of people--who really know how to party and at the same time get the job done!

Since my retirement from Pacific Bell in 1996 I've been blessed with opportunities to work on interesting projects with great people at several fine firms. One of the most fulfilling was at Network Associates (now McAfee), where I developed a comprehensive and up-to-date global internal website, providing employees with current on-line information about their benefits, the resources available to them, and company policies. The high quality/high content internal site was developed with minimal resources by setting up robust processes for managing content, in partnership with internal departments. This was a very satisfying project, allowing me to put my systems training to practical use.

Systems Management is the study of how systems work (or fail to work the way we wish they would) and the practise of applying systems management concepts and tools to analyze and influence them.

Systems surround us--computer systems, the environment, our bodies, our social institutions. My background in Systems Management has helped me manage projects, web sites, computer networks and to a degree, my teens.

I've found that the most difficult part of the work I do is determining where to draw the line between the system being studied and everything else that affects the system--it's essentially an arbitrary decision. For a short overview of how systems concepts can work in practise, click here.

Master's thesis, The Impact of Computer Mediated Communication on Culture and Society: A Systems View, is available by request.

Web sites exist to convey information. It's possible to build very sophisticated web sites and html pages and still communicate clearly, using designs that are visually simple and easy to navigate. The more complex sites I've authored under contract using these concepts are not available on the web (intranet-based and protected by confidentiality agreements and security firewalls) but here are a few pages I currently maintain.

Page last modified: 30 August 2008