Aladin Gohar - It Factor

Millions and millions of almost archaic paper checks used to zigzag across the United States in the bellies of 747s on pilgrimages home to the banks from which they came. This was all part of a process that had been in place forever by banks to verify funds between each other. At one time, this made sense. After 9/11, it wasn’t practical.

“What drew me to the whole idea of engineering was really the problem-solving aspect of it,” says Aladin Gohar. “You could take the principles of engineering and really apply them to any business to streamline or improve their way of doing things.”

Gohar, now vice president of technology at JP Morgan Chase, helps banks like his employer push for a more electronic, user-friendly way of handling checks. Instead of massive amounts of traveling and physical processing, things are handled electronically and confirmed via the Internet. In his position, he’s always looking to build on and improve what is already there for the benefit of everyone.

Gohar has been working with the Chase Leadership Academy for the past six years, taking on the role of mentor for the best and brightest from inner-city schools. He walks them through the process of applying for college, an option many never even considered or thought was a possibility.

“It’s been something that has been really rewarding,” says Gohar. “I’ve been to six graduations at West High School now, and I still stay in touch with a lot of them to see how they are doing in college.”

Communication was something that Gohar realized was important for his field, when in 2008, along with his friend John Bishop, he founded IT Martini, a group that brings together IT professionals to one place to create a community within Columbus.

“We just realized that there were all these big companies in Columbus with these huge IT departments and that for some reason, in our field of work, people kind of isolated themselves to their own groups,” says Gohar. “We had our first event, and 200 people showed and the numbers have been increasing since.”

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