Tim Zimmerman ’84: Leadership and Service Award citation & response

Tim Zimmerman ’84, today you are being honored with Cornell’s Leadership and Service Award. 

Tim Zimmerman ’84You laid the foundation for your success in life here on the Cornell Campus. You earned 10 letters in three varsity sports, served as a resident advisor, and were elected vice president of Student Senate while earning degrees in physics and computer science. You even worked as a DJ at KRNL-FM. You credit One Course At A Time for honing your organizational skills.

After leaving the Hilltop, you held management positions in a variety of businesses which gave you the tools to understand how daily and strategic decisions were made. Here at Cornell you leaned toward technology and your first job was at a tech company in Cedar Rapids. You got married and moved to Guam for two years to an international company before returning to the States.

As you advanced your career with a succession of ever-more-responsible jobs, you earned an MBA from the University of Iowa. Today, you serve as vice president for research at Gartner, Inc., the world’s leader in developing and implementing data-driven business decisions. You live with your wife in North Carolina. During your career, you were a pioneer in developing the protocols and standards that make Wi-Fi work
around the world. Your work on radio-frequency identification has also resulted in five patents for technologies that enable businesses to automatically track individual pieces of inventory as they are stored, shipped and replaced.

Your expertise helps firms large and small around the world to develop strategies to manage their businesses. This expertise has been particularly valuable as companies adjust to rapidly changing environments because of the global pandemic.

In addition to your professional work, for the last 15 years you have volunteered as an active member of board for a non-profit travel soccer organization helping kids from 3 to 18 years old to play the sport; over 25% of the players are first generation Americans. For 10  years you also served as a United States Soccer Federation referee. That in itself is unusual since you never officially played the sport.  More recently you have served on the advisory board for Computer Information Services at Appalachian State University where you have also lectured.

We are proud of the record you have established in your professional life and the contributions you have made to your community. It is with great pleasure that we present you with the Cornell Alumni Leadership and Service Award.