One good deed leads to others

Story of service • Argentina • November 2012

IBM’s Tomás Carlos Otaño, left, and
Alfredo Enrique Pediconi, third from
right, with employees of Asociación
Civil Peldaños
A friend who knew of Tomás Carlos Otaño's helpful ways approached the Argentine IBMer with a simple request: would he help improve a website and related social media used by Asociación Civil Peldaños, a sheltered workshop for people with Down’s Syndrome?

The result, predictable by those who know the database management subject matter expert, has been an ambitious project that promises to transform the way the association runs its business through the Web, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media. Oh, and he's also helping the association acquire government support for a new adult day care center a few blocks from IBM Buenos Aires. This is just one in a growing string of volunteer projects sprearheaded by the ambitious volunteer.

Helping with the Asociación Civil Peldaños project are Alfredo Enrique Pediconi, Pablo Scheveloff and Sebastian Freiman, and other IBMers have raised their hands to help when needed. They have a new web page under construction to help with sales of Peldaños baked goods and solicit donations. Improvements in the use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are also on the way.

Tomás is also helping obtain government support for an elevator and other improvements to the asociación’s donated building to allow the not-for-profit to expand its mission to include adult day care. The bakery is located just 10 blocks from IBM Buenos Aires, a short walk for Tomás and other volunteers.

IBM Argentina's Tomás Carlos Otaño is using social media to help transform the business operations of a bakery run by people with Down’s Syndrome.

One good deed just naturally seems to lead to another for November's Volunteer of the Month. In 2010 he began teaching clients of the Instituto Josefina Bignone (Public Sector Institution for Blind People). Recognizing other needs, he secured a $10K IBM grant during IBM's 2011 Centennial Celebration of Service to provide open source software to digitize clinic records. "After my first project with IBM to help others, it's just never stopped,” Tomás reflects. “The energy that people give you when you help - it's huge and gratifying."

For his volunteer efforts, Tomás draws heavily on his own background as database administrator in server systems, and those of his teammates. His IBM customers include Manpower, Baxter Healthcare, Center for Addictions and Mental Health, Fireman's Foundation Insurance Company, Williams Energy, Take 2, Ally Pulse, DuPont and Royal Bank of Scotia (RBS).

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