CIO, DeKalb County School District
Gary Brantley, CIO of DeKalb County School District, commands more than 20 years’ technology experience and 14 years of leadership experience. His career includes tenure with IBM and MCI Corporation as well as leadership roles with the Ohio State Department as director of IT and CIO of one of the largest urban school districts in Ohio.
Brantley earned his B.A.Sc. in computer and information sciences from Youngstown State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He also obtained a master’s from MIT in computer information systems and has completed the CIO leadership institute with their Sloan School of Management.
SVP, ITS & Global CIO, Southwire Company
Guy Brassard is senior vice president of information technology services and global CIO of Southwire Company LLC. He is responsible for the company’s global IT and technology services.
A veteran of the wire and cable industry, Brassard joined Southwire in 2013, having served as vice president of information and technology for General Cable, and in the same role with Alcan Cable before the company was acquired by General Cable in 2012.
Brassard has been involved in global application and infrastructure projects, mergers and acquisitions, strategic business, and operating planning in the Americas, Europe, and China, with a focus on being a results-oriented executive with a track record of successful and cost-effective organizational transformations. He has also worked as an information and technology teacher in Canada and in different technical lead roles for the forest and transportation industry within the Quebec government.
He was named one of the 2012 USA 500 Masters of Technology by Information Week magazine and was a finalist in the corporate category for the 2012 CIO of the Year award presented by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association, of which he is a member. Brassard earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology management from Quebec University.
Chief Operating Officer, HD Supply Waterworks
Brad Cowles has been chief information officer for HD Supply since January 2015 and vice president of information technology for the HD Supply Waterworks business unit since June 2013. He is also a 2016 Finalist for Georgia CIO of the Year.
Since joining the HD Supply team in 2005, Cowles has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility in mergers and acquisitions, IT infrastructure and three business units consisting of lumber and building materials, interior solutions and now waterworks and fire protection.
Cowles has more than 20 years of engineering, manufacturing and IT experience. Prior to joining HD Supply, he spent 10 years with the Michelin Tire Corporation in various leadership roles within research and development, manufacturing and quality in both the United States and France.
Cowles holds a master’s degree in gas dynamics and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Group VP & CIO, Rollins, Inc.
Lee Crump is the CIO and group vice president of business support for Rollins Inc. Prior to joining Rollins in 2009, Crump spent 10 years as the CIO of the largest and most profitable ServiceMaster subsidiary. In 2012, Crump was named Georgia CIO of the Year by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association.
In his current capacity, he manages a team of 150 professionals and is responsible for all information technology and program management. Crump holds the PMP credential from the Project Management Institute and has a long track record of successfully delivering major systems implementations. He served as the Six Sigma executive deployment champion in his previous role with ServiceMaster. He has spent more than 35 years in IT, equally divided between IT executive management and business consulting.
He is a member of American Mensa, the Georgia CIO Leadership Association, the Project Management Institute, the Technology Association of Georgia, the Association of Telecommunications Professionals and the Society of Information Managers.
SVP & CIO, Aflac
Julia Davis joined Aflac in 2013 as senior vice president and CIO. Currently, Davis oversees the day-to-day operations and the strategic initiatives of Aflac’s information technology division. Before joining Aflac, she served as CIO at American Safety Insurance.
Prior to her tenure at ASI, she served as CIO of the equipment finance division for GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services and GE Capital Business Productivity Solutions. Additionally, she held IT leadership positions at GE Energy, Armstrong World Industries, Information Builders, Ogden Government Services and CRSS Services Inc.
Davis has been honored with several prestigious awards and recognitions, including Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2015 Women Worth Watching award; Insurance Networking News’ 2015 Women in Insurance Leadership; the Silver Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year; Evanta’s 2015 Breakaway Leadership Award, and she was named a finalist to the 2015 Georgia CIO of the Year award. Davis has been selected as one of Computerworld's Premier 100 Technology Leaders for 2016.
Davis began her career in the U.S. Air Force as a software engineer and earned the rank of captain. She received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in system administration from St. Mary’s University.
EVP & CIO, Southern Company
Martin Davis, executive VP of Southern Company Services and CIO of Southern Company, leads more than 1,200 experts in information technology strategy development, operations and delivery across 120,000 square miles and supports Southern Company’s nine subsidiaries, including Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power.
Davis has spent nearly 30 years leading complex technology organizations in highly regulated environments. Previously, he served as head of enterprise IT, executive VP and CTO at Wells Fargo. He was instrumental in the financial institution’s integration of Wachovia, leading the largest technology integration in the history of U.S. financial services.
Davis formerly served on the board of trustees at Winston-Salem State University. He currently serves on the American Heart Association’s Mid-Atlantic region board and on the South State Corporation board of directors. He has been recognized as one of the “50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology” by U.S. Black Engineers & Information Technology magazine and one of the “75 Most Powerful African-Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise.
President, Sprint Business
Jan Geldmacher, president of Sprint Business, leads Sprint’s national sales and service teams focused on delivering wireless, wireline and IoT solutions to large, global corporations along with small- and medium-sized businesses.
Previously, Geldmacher served as CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprise, the London-based business unit responsible for defining the strategy and operational execution of Vodafone’s relationships with multinational corporate customers worldwide. He also served as director of Vodafone’s Enterprise Business Unit, CEO of British Telecom Germany and head of international networks and joint ventures with Deutsche Telecom.
CIO, MAG Mutual Insurance Company
Sallie Graves, executive vice president and CIO at MAG Mutual Insurance Company, develops and manages the company’s technology strategy and operations. She serves clients by developing and implementing innovative technology solutions that enable a stronger relationship between the customer and company. These solutions also lead to better outcomes in the practice, business and regulation of medicine for the policy owners.
Throughout her career, Graves has worked in a range of industries including insurance and consumer products. Previously, she was senior global IT director for The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, she was responsible for the global IT project management office and processes for solution delivery to enable sustainable growth for The Coca-Cola system. She was also responsible for enterprise solutions and regional development teams.
Prior to that, she was CIO at ING for US Insurance, including retail life and employee benefits business lines. She was responsible for designing, planning and building technology innovations that enabled ING to deliver new products and reach new markets in the life and employee benefits insurance segments.
Graves holds a BBA in management information systems from the University of Georgia.
VP Global Infrastructure, PRGX
Andy Green, VP of global infrastructure for PRGX, is a transformational IT executive with more than 15 years’ IT leadership experience and more than 10 years’ experience in managing global IT infrastructure, personnel and IT operations.
His specialties include IT management, international Business, cloud migration, M&A, data center management, network management and security, system administration, Server Deployment, IT project management, strategic planning and disaster recovery.
Chief Information and Technology Officer, Weather Channel, Inc.
Chris Hill, chief information and technology officer for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, is responsible for all technical operations that bring to life Weather’s rich collection of globally scalable B2B, B2C and B2B2C products and services. Within the IBM Watson and Cloud division, The Weather Company operates one of the largest-scaled IoT data insights platform in the world.
Hill has been with Weather since 2000 and has played an important role within many technologist roles. Most recently, he served as senior VP for data platform and services with responsibility for the company’s data and content delivery APIs as well as analytics and systems engineering. Prior to that, he was VP of web development, during which he led the complete redesign and rebuild of weather.com from the ground up. He also held positions as director of software engineering and senior software engineer.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in economics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Group SVP & CIO, Brambles, Ltd.
Jean Holley is group senior vice president and chief information officer at Brambles Limited. She is a member of the global executive team and is directly responsible for leadership on technology trends and industry futures including the IoT, big data/analytics, cybersecurity and disruptive technologies. As a member of the executive team, Holley is directly responsible for the assessment and integration of acquisition strategies, divesting targeted businesses and the global IT operations for Brambles worldwide. Brambles is the global leader in pallet, container pooling and supply chain logistic solutions serving a wide variety of manufacturers and major retailers around the world.
Prior to joining Brambles, Holley served as EVP and CIO for Tellabs and was the CIO for USG Corp. Holley holds a master of science in computer science/engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science in computer science/engineering from the Missouri University Science & Technology.
Sarah Ming Hsi
CIO, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Sarah Ming Hsi, assistant general manager of IT and CIO for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transportation Authority, leads the IT team to provide efficient, reliable, cost-effective and responsive technology services to internal technology users and external riders throughout the MARTA system. In addition, she is responsible for setting the IT strategies, policies and procedures and overall management and direction of the company’s technology investments. As CIO, her duties include systems support, technology programs and projects management, financial and resource planning, technology acquisition, data center operations, information security and enterprise architecture.
During her 14-year tenure at MARTA, Hsi has been instrumental in implementing various mission critical applications for the Authority, including automated fare collection, automated vehicle locator and enterprise resource planning systems. Hsi introduced Wi-Fi on buses and a mobile payment system for MARTA riders. She further built a public-private partnership to design and install the cellular network for underground stations and tunnels.
Previously, Hsi held various IT-related positions at AT&T, BP Whessoe Coggins Systems, Bass Hotels & Resorts and Hitachi Data Systems. She also worked as a consultant for the Department of Defense and Fulton County Court Systems.
SVP, Media Software & Services Entertainment Applications Group, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Krandall Jones, SVP of the Media Software & Services Entertainment Applications group, oversees development and implementation of entertainment applications, strategic software and technology for Turner Broadcasting System.
He and his team provide third-party and custom-built software solutions in support of operational needs of all Turner businesses, including studios, entertainment networks, content distribution, network operations, research, film acquisition, finance and more. Throughout his 20-year tenure with Turner, Jones has served as manager of quality assurance and configuration management and collaborated with key business partners throughout Turner to leverage and deliver applications technology in support of business goals.
Previously, Jones served at Inuit Inc. in software development, information security, IT compliance and quality assurance and also held roles in software implementation at Peachtree Software and Alltel & Synchrologic.
Jones earned a B.S. in computer information systems at Grambling State University and an MBA in information technology from the University of Phoenix. He also completed an IT management partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology and NAMIC’s executive leadership development program at UCLA.
Author, “People Before Things” and Former CIO, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.
Chris Laping brings 25 years of information technology and business transformation experience to his newly released book, “People Before Things,” which focuses on change leadership. His book explores the connection of the human experience to the outcomes of change and transformation initiatives and the role leaders play to pave success.
Prior, Laping spent 14 years as a chief information officer across three different brands, and the work of his teams has been spotlighted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company and CIO Magazine, among others. Most recently, Laping was the senior vice president of business transformation and chief information officer at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, where he was part of a management team that completed a successful turnaround of a stock from $8 to $89.
Laping has received several awards for his work in the IT industry including The Economist’s Top 5 Social Business Leader and InformationWeek’s Social Business Technology Leader. He has also been named as a ComputerWorld Premier 100 IT Leader and received three InfoWorld 100 awards.
He received a bachelor of science in management information systems at Florida State University and his master of business administration at the University of Florida.
Director, Global Portfolio Messaging, Dell EMC
Sam Marraccini is a 17-year EMC veteran and 26-year technology veteran. Part of Dell EMC global portfolio marketing team, Marracchini is focused on the Dell EMC storage strategy and developing messaging to support the storage portfolio. The global portfolio marketing team is responsible for developing and delivering customer messaging across the full Dell EMC product portfolio. In addition to developing the global portfolio storage messaging, Marracchini’s passion and drive continue to be demonstrated in multiple blogs including: Dell EMC The Source Podcast, "TheSourceBlog.emc.com" and www.insideflash.com (All Things Flash at EMC).
His EMC career started in 1999 as an account SE in Pittsburgh, evolving to a role as a regional technical business consultant focused on EMC software products. With his Microsoft background prior to EMC, he was recruited to be one of the first EMC Microsoft specialists and shortly after promoted to be the central enterprise application solution manager covering Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, VMware, SAS and DB2. He then became part of the EMC Microsoft alliance team, a flash storage evangelist and director of flash strategy before his current position of Dell EMC portfolio messaging director.
CIO, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
John Martin, CIO for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, is an innovative IT professional with more than 25 years’ experience in the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of technology products, services and processes. He is certified in all of the major industry standard process frameworks including CMMI, ITIL, COBIT, 6 Sigma, TQM and has implemented process improvement programs to increase operational effectiveness and efficiencies in both the private and public sector.
His organizations have been recognized for innovation, including 2012, 2014, 2015 Innovation of the Year in Georgia. Nationally, Information Week recognized his team’s Georgia Outdoor Map product as one of the Elite projects in the U.S., and Gov Delivery selected it as the national top innovation in state agencies for 2015.
Martin received a B.S. in information systems management from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Wesley College with a concentration in executive leadership. In addition, he holds a Software Engineering Process Management Certificate from Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute and was also awarded a certified government CIO designation from the University of North Carolina.
VP & CIO, Graphic Packaging International
Vish Narendra is a seasoned technology and business executive who has developed and honed his skills over the last 20 years to drive business value, growth and operational efficiencies.
Narendra is the CIO at Graphic Packaging International and leads the technology function for the business, driving digital transformation, innovation and growth.
Prior to GPI, Narendra was with the General Electric Company in a variety of leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including CIO of the Alstom acquisition integration, CIO of demand management for the power gen business, and Asia region CIO for GE Energy and GE Aviation. Narendra has developed C-level leadership skills, partnering with senior management in defining and implementing IT and business strategy to enable growth. He developed high-performing global teams of technology and business professionals that consistently executed on budget and on time. Narendra began his career at PCL in India before moving to the U.S. to pursue his MBA in information management at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Subsequent to that, he worked for several years at System Software Associates. After a two-year consulting stint with a boutique firm specializing in business process re-engineering solutions, he relocated to Atlanta to begin his career at GE Energy.
Global Group Director, Emerging Technologies & Strategic Innovation, The Coca-Cola Company
Anthony Newstead, global group director of emerging technologies and strategic innovation for The Coca-Cola Company, is responsible for the development and implementation of a strategy for business-driven emerging technology and innovation. His activities are focused on leading an IT innovation pipeline powered by the creation and co-founding of “The Bridge,” a program for startups piloted in Tel Aviv in partnership with a number of leading corporations. Now focusing on the Atlanta community, Newstead drives the development of entrepreneurial growth through concentrating on sustainability initiatives and the establishment and coordination of business-led open innovation networks leveraging “The Bridge” and other community programs.
VP Information Security, WestRock
As chief information security officer, Wayne Proctor has global responsibility for the FleetCor information security program. He also serves as the chief privacy officer. His key responsibilities include privacy, strategy, architecture, security operations, IT risk management, policy, awareness, forensics, e-discovery, compliance and IT business continuity.
Proctor has more than 25 years of IT management experience with 15 years in information security leadership positions. Prior to joining FleetCor, Proctor held CISO positions in UPS, Bank of the West, First Data USA, Certegy and BellSouth International.
Proctor is a nationally recognized information security professional. He is an active member of several information security organizations including ISACA, ISC2 and InfraGard. He is also an ISSA fellow and an executive member of the ISSA CISO Forum. He has spoken at National InfoSec events and has been quoted in a variety of industry magazines. He received a B.S. in computer science in 1988 and his MBA in 2008.
VP of IT, McKee Foods
Bill Richards has worked for 30 years in information technology with McKee Foods Corporation, the privately held maker of Little Debbie Snacks, and is currently VP IT. After 10 years of teaching accounting, statistics, finance and taxes, a year-long sabbatical with McKee Foods opened his eyes to the enjoyable challenges of IT.
Richards is responsible for dramatic changes in McKee Foods’ information architecture. The average tenure of his IT staff with McKee Foods is 17 years, resulting in an immensely valuable accumulation of business process knowledge within IT. Richards is the winner of the Robert Beyer Gold Medal Award from Touche, Ross and Company for the highest score on the June 1980 Certified Management Accountant exam. He has a number of professional certifications including CPA.
He received his B.S. in accounting from Southern Adventist University and his Ph.D. in accounting from Michigan State University.
CTO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
As chief technology officer of the nation’s premier public health agency, Jaspal Sagoo is responsible for and leads the development of IT standards, best practices and strategic guidance in support of CDC’s business and scientific mission priorities. Under Sagoo’s guidance, the CTO office operates both the CDC technology R&D and infrastructure architecture activities.
He has been with CDC since 1989, serving in a number of roles. Previously, Sagoo served as a senior network engineer, CTO and co-chair of the CDC CTO council at the CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB prevention.
In addition to his role as CTO, Sagoo co-chairs the HHS Cloud Computing Advisory Council, the CDC High-Performance Computing committee and the Innovation and New Technologies Subcommittee.
Commissioner & CIO, City of Atlanta
Samir Saini’s career began at General Electric, graduating from its highly regarded information management leadership program. At GE Energy, Saini took his first CIO role supporting a $250M power business. Afterwards, he was tasked to build an Oracle ERP deployment team for GE’s $25B energy services business.
Following GE, Saini accepted a position with MGM Resorts International as VP of corporate systems. Saini successfully completed the largest back-office technology standardization initiative in the sector across 17 properties. Following this role, Saini accepted a position as the SVP and CIO for the Atlanta Housing Authority. While at AHA, Saini led a transformation effort that reduced the agencies operating costs and improved overall service delivery.
Continuing his firm commitment to service the public at a local level, Saini is currently the commissioner and CIO for the City of Atlanta. As CIO, Saini is accountable for information technology services for all 25 city departments including public safety, justice, operations, administration and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Principal Executive Advisor, CEB, now Gartner
Alex Stille, head of faculty for CEB’s role-based training programs, accelerates development of key roles across IT, information risk, procurement and other functions. He has worked with leadership teams and key staff across global companies, helping them to apply skills they develop on CEB’s courses directly to the complex organizational matrices they work in.
Previously, Stille held responsibility for CEB’s technology practice and executive advisory services across Europe and South Africa. In this capacity, he worked with CIOs and their management teams to help understand emerging trends in technology management, define and attain strategic outcomes and drive change across their teams.
After launching CEB’s infrastructure and information risk programs in Europe, Stille was instrumental in CEB’s research on IT sourcing, vendor management, service delivery and the future of corporate IT. He worked with companies such as BP, HSBC, Roche, Standard Bank South Africa, BT, Discovery Group, Colt Telecommunications, Clariant, Actelion and many others.
Prior to joining CEB, Stille held several roles including program manager and head of OSS delivery with Cable & Wireless Europe, and vendor and contracts manager with PSINet Managed Hosting.
He holds an LLM in international and commercial law from University of East Anglia.
Deputy CIO, City of Atlanta
Kirk Talbott has more than 24 years of experience in information technology that spans the entire gamut of IT job functions across multiple industries in the private sector as well as multiple levels of state and local government. Talbott has actively managed every facet of business technology operations and consulting during his career and brings an innovative approach to both IT management as well as business technology integration.
Among his significant previous positions, Talbott served as CIO for a suburban Chicago county and two separate transit agencies in Texas and California. Prior to these roles, he served as the senior manager for IT services at Western Digital Corporation, a Lake Forest, CA based Fortune 500 international high tech manufacturer. As a consultant, Talbott served a wide range of Fortune 500 firms over nearly a decade in numerous vertical sectors.
Talbott is bilingual and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science and Spanish Linguistics from Rice University.
CIO, NCR Corporation
Bill VanCuren, senior VP and CIO for NCR, is responsible for the full strategic IT portfolio, global networks and processing services for both internal and external customer managed services. He oversees all workgroup collaborative and mobile computing, as well as the information security and compliancy and NCR’s SaaS datacenter strategy and operations.
A seasoned IT expert, VanCuren has driven world-class levels of efficiency and improved effectiveness via combined IT and business governance. He is a board member of the Technology Association of Georgia, vice chairman of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association and an advisory board member of the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business and University of Georgia MIS program. He holds a B.S. from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Dayton.
VP of Enterprise Systems, Box
Anisha Vaswani, VP of enterprise systems at Box, is responsible for enterprise applications used by Box globally to support business operations. Her team is responsible for software selection, implementation and support of applications that allow Box to grow and scale.
Previously, Anisha was senior director of cloud and web applications at VMware, with responsibility for technical delivery of enterprise cloud solutions and customer-facing web and mobile functionality. With 20 years in IT, Vaswami has held various IT leadership roles in business engagement and technical delivery.
She started her career as a software developer of sales and marketing solutions at Hewlett-Packard and holds a B.S. in management information systems, with minors in computer science and economics from San Jose State University.
Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman
Author, "Never Fly Solo"
Retired Lt. Col. Waldo “the Wingman” Waldman is a Hall of Fame leadership speaker, executive coach, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Never Fly Solo.” He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman.
As a highly experienced combat veteran with over 2,650 flight hours and 65 real-world combat missions and having flown both in Iraq and Yugoslavia during Operation Allied Force in 1999, Waldman earned military honors including five Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals, four Air Force Commendation Medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals.
In addition to his speaking business, Waldman is also founder and president of The Wingman Foundation, whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans and their families in need.
He is a graduate of the U.S Air Force Academy and also holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior.
Head of Technical Strategy, CTO Office, IBM Watson & Cloud
Landon Williams, head of technical strategy for the CTO office of The IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, is responsible for directing and overseeing the platform’s technical strategy, areas of investment and development as well as serving a lead role in the strategic direction of IBM’s transformation from its traditional roots to a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company with world-class, cloud-native capabilities developer-friendly cognitive tools. Working alongside IBM Research, Williams’ team is responsible for focusing emerging-technology incubation to align with company-wide strategic imperatives.
Previously, Williams served as SVP of product and architecture at The Weather Company — acquired by IBM in 2016, where he oversaw and directed the company’s digital transformation through leading the company’s technical and architectural decisions.. Prior to that, he worked at Gordian Technologies as a consultant on cloud adoption and global e-commerce distribution solutions.
An experienced IT executive working in architecture and big data, Williams is interested in opportunities created by the disruption, evolution and commoditization in the tech industry, focused oncloud services, data analytics and IoT.