Jeffrey A. Balagna
EVP, Chief Information & Customer Technology Officer Carlson Companies, Inc.
Jeff Balagna joined Carlson in August 2005 as Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Customer Technology Officer. Balagna oversees Information Technology across all Carlson business units, including the development and application of customer-facing IT operations, data, and software development.
Before joining Carlson, Balagna served as Chief Information Officer at Medtronic for four years. During his tenure there he oversaw the creation of a shared services organization and the deployment of Lean and Six Sigma processes to global operations. He was responsible for supply chain, quality IT, and shared services; and as Medtronic's first CIO, he instituted operational structure and discipline for each of these areas.
Prior to Medtronic, Balagna was with GE for four years and most recently held the position of GM-Operations of GE's $4B Medical Systems Americas division, and directed that group to greater than 20 percent per year record growth. While at GE, he also held the position of CIO of the company's Consumer Motors and Controls and GE Medical Systems Americas division.
Balagna holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Computer Science from Oakland University, Rochester, Minnesota. He is also a graduate of the GE Executive Development program at Crotonville, in Ossining, New York. He is also a certified master black belt in Six Sigma and lean operations. Balagna is a board member of Tennant Company.
CTO UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
Mike Connly joined UnitedHealth Group in early 2004 and was named Chief Information Officer of UnitedHealth Technologies, the company's technology division, in October 2004. UnitedHealth Technologies, now referred to as the Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) division of the larger UnitedHealth Group IT, provides the common technical infrastructure for the enterprise to ensure service stability and scalability for each of the UnitedHealth Group businesses. ETS also acts as master project integrator and supports the management and deployment of corporate technology initiatives.
Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Connly served as CIO of The St. Paul Companies and held other executive-level positions within the company including Vice President of Application Development. Connly joined The St. Paul in 1997 after a 14-year career with Hewlett-Packard where he served as account manager for the financial services business unit and for value-added business sales and marketing.
Connly holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
EVP, CTO Head of Technology Infrastructure Services Wells Fargo & Company
Scott Dillon has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial and banking industries. He began his career at Norwest (Wells Fargo) during which he held various positions including Vice President of Performance Reporting and Cost Accounting and Controller, Bank Operations and Cash Management. The next half-decade took him to Deloitte Consulting, LLP where Dillon was a Lead Client Services partner, Co-Leader of Strategic Sourcing and Outsourcing practice for Financial Services. He finished his career with Deloitte as a partner. He returned to Wells Fargo in 2002 as Executive Vice President of Payment Strategies and Strategic Alliance and Ventures where he created and lead the Strategic Alliances and Ventures groups. In addition, Dillon lead payments electronification, emerging payment and business strategy initiatives in his role as Executive Vice President and Head of Strategy; Payment Strategies. From midyear 2004 through September 2006, he held the role of the head of Wholesale, Investment and Trust Technology group within Technology Information Group.
Dillon's role, as CIO for the wholesale business, encompassed more than 40 discrete businesses units. Responsibilities included delivering all technology solutions to the Wholesale, Investment and Trust businesses which include application development, infrastructure management, and architecture. The technologies and associated production environment are recognized as best-in-market by competitors and independent third parties (e.g., Phoenix-Hecht, Global Finance).
A few key accomplishments of Dillon's CIO organization include:
- Actively identified and built strategies to attack the biggest production threats (e.g., dedicated firewalls, isolated Channel Secure, focused DBA, and end-to-end system support).
- Improved core systems availability by more than 30bp's over an 18 month period.
- Developed best-in and first-in market payment electronification solutions.
- Led development of best-in-class CIO governance model and support infrastructure.
- Supported business in achieving record volumes, customer satisfaction and bank / industry leading cross-sell goals.
In September 2006, Dillon transitioned to his current role as Group Technology Executive for the Enterprise Hosting Services (EHS) organizations within the Technology Infrastructure Management group at Wells Fargo. Enterprise Hosting Services is often referred to as the Heartbeat of Wells Fargo. EHS provides reliable and cost-effective 24x7 data center operation support for Wells Fargo's mission critical applications and customer delivery channels. These channels are delivered from the core data centers; best known as the home of our 7x24 mainframe computer environments. In addition to Mainframe EHS also supports thousands of Open Systems servers and applications including our Messaging environments, Custom Platforms. The goal of EHS is to provide business partner and shareholder value by deploying the knowledge and skills of our people, harnessing the power of technology, leveraging the strength of our extended enterprise, and being disciplined problem, change, and risk managers.
Dillon holds a BS in Banking with finance emphasis from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Wayzata, Minnesota with his wife and four children.
Corporate VP, Food Ingredients Platform Cargill, Incorporated
John Geisler serves as Corporate Vice President with responsibilities for Cargill's Global Food Ingredient businesses. His role is to focus on leveraging knowledge, perspectives and experience to make connections across the Cargill portfolio of businesses and its people.
Geisler joined Cargill in 1978 and held a number of positions in Cargill's wheat milling business until he was named Country Manager of Cargill's operations in Thailand in 1993. In 1996 he returned to Minneapolis and soon was named President of Cargill's worldwide dry milling division and Executive Supervisor of its worldwide malting business.
In addition to his Cargill responsibilities, Geisler serves on the boards of Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, MN and the Malt-O-Meal Company. He also serves on the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management's Board of Overseers, and in August 2005 was appointed to their Executive Committee.
Geisler graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Rita J. Heise
Corporate VP & CIO Cargill, Incorporated
Rita Heise serves as Corporate Vice President of Cargill. She is a platform leader for the Ag and Farm Businesses, and a member of the Corporate Center, the Cargill Process Committee, Cargill Managed Assets Committee, and the Ventures Business Information Technology sub team. As Chief Information Officer she is responsible for Cargill's information technology worldwide.
Prior to joining Cargill, Heise was the Chief Information Officer for Honeywell's Aerospace business and for Honeywell's Europe, Middle East, and Africa operations. She has worked on business integrations, process improvement teams, and mergers/acquisitions. During her 25 years at Honeywell, she held various IT assignments, and positions in supply chain, operations, customer service and distribution.
Heise received Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, and has an MBA from St. Thomas University. She participates on IT industry committees, serves on the board of Adventium Labs, and represents Cargill on advisory boards with Dell Corporation and the College of St. Catherine.
John N. Johnson
VP & CIO Intel Corporation
John N. Johnson is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Intel Corporation where he is responsible for Intel's Information Technology organization. Johnson has over 5,500 IT professionals spanning more than 50 countries. These professionals support and develop enterprise business applications, productivity solutions, engineering applications, manufacturing applications, voice and data networking, data centre operations, and custom information solutions to over 85,000 employees.
Johnson has driven major initiatives at Intel that include Data Centre consolidation and virtualisation, an 85% mobile enabled workforce and initiatives that have returned 20% productivity improvements to the workforce. He continues to publish the IT Annual Performance Report for his organization and has completed a major reorganization to better leverage efficiencies, align with the business units and reduce bureaucracy. He is also the director of Intel's Corporate Emergency Operations Centre.
Johnson joined Intel in 1981 and held technical positions in sales, marketing, and business development. In 1992, he became the director of Worldwide Technical Marketing, responsible for all applications, customer technical support, and influencer sales activities worldwide. He joined the IT organization in 1999 and in 2003 became a Vice President responsible for the IT Customer Services organization. He was appointed to the co-CIO position in February 2005 and became sole CIO in July of 2006.
Johnson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Inter-disciplinary Engineering from Purdue University in 1976.
EVP & CIO Schneider National, Inc.
Judy Lemke is Executive Vice President and CIO at Schneider National Inc., a leading provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services. In this position, she leads the company's strategic technology, engineering and business transformation initiatives as a member of the executive team.
Prior to joining Schneider, Lemke served as CIO of Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was responsible for IT strategy and direction, alignment of technology and business objectives, execution of system-wide implementation programs, and oversight of critical IT initiatives in a dynamic, growing user environment.
Prior to her work at the university, Lemke served as Vice President of the Midwest region at BORN Information Services Inc., an IT consulting firm, where she managed more than 500 consultants with responsibility for sales, customer relationships, contracts, branch and practice management, and recruiting. Under her leadership, the region's revenue increased by 100% in two years.
Lemke also held several senior IT positions in an 18-year career with Medtronic, including director of IT for the Americas and international director of IT. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Managing Editor CIO Leadership Network
Kemp Powers has been a writer, reporter and editor for the past 15 years, contributing to some of the most renown publications and news organizations in the world. As a reporter forForbes magazine in both the Chicago and Southern California bureaus, he covered a wide range of topics including technology, retail, finance, entertainment and marketing. As a regular correspondent for the Southern California bureau of theReuters news organization, he covered entertainment, business and news for the West Coast region.
Powers has also written forEsquire,GQ,Newsweek,The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Vibe, Blaze, Savoy, Details, Request, Crain's ChicagoBusiness,Fortune Small Business,Executive Travel and many others. He has been featured in television and radio interviews as an expert commentator on technology and entertainment trends.
In 2002, Powers was one of 12 American journalists awarded a $55,000 Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan based on his achievements as a business writer. The fellowship is one of the most prestigious in the world for mid-career journalists, and recipients are given eight months to pursue independent sabbatical research and study at the university. Powers' area of study was global economics.
CIO UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
As UnitedHealth Group IT CIO, Santelli is responsible for leading the IT organization to strategize, plan, coordinate and integrate the UnitedHealth Group enterprise-wide technology agenda. UnitedHealth Group IT traverses our businesses and will raise the level of performance as it provides innovative solutions across the enterprise, while significantly reducing variation and cost across the technology landscape.
Santelli held the position of Chief Information Officer for Uniprise Technologies 2004-2006; and Chief Technology Officer for UnitedHealth Group in UnitedHealth Technologies 2002-2004. He led enterprise architecture and strategic system planning for UnitedHealth Group. In this role, Santelli established enterprise technology direction with UnitedHealth Group businesses as well as developed much of the corporate technology architecture. Santelli's contributions included strategic corporate hosting environments for mainframe/distributed processing, the corporate messaging backbone, portal infrastructure, and shared infrastructure services.
Santelli joined UnitedHealth Group in 1986 and has extensive experience in software engineering and application development. He has a strong background in the development of high-volume transaction processing systems and medical claim related systems. Santelli has played a pivotal role in technology growth and development at UnitedHealth Group, providing leading many development initiatives on core transaction platforms, key databases, portals such as MYUHC.com, UHConline, B2B, voice applications.
Santelli holds a Masters degree in software engineering from Union College, Schenectady, NY. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from State University of New York, Brockport.
Author, Owner & Executive Producer Brave New Workshop Theatre
John Sweeney is the owner of the Brave New Workshop, the oldest satirical comedy theatre in the United States. In his book, Innovation at the Speed of Laughter: 8 Secrets to World Class Idea Generation, he showed how the improvisational theatre principles and behaviors practiced at the Brave New Workshop can be used to develop critical business skills.
Using the eight secrets described in his book, Sweeney helps organizations increase their productivity by adapting the skills used in his world-class improvisational theatre. He has trained leaders from some of the largest and most admired companies in the world, including Microsoft, Target, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Merck, HP and Starbucks.
Sweeney was chosen by Starbucks to contribute to the company's "The Way I See It" campaign and currently has a quote from his book on millions of Starbucks cups.
With his unique background and improvisational skills, Sweeney continues to influence a new generation of great improvisers and innovative business leaders.
VP & CIO Ecolab, Inc.
Rob Tabb joined Ecolab as Vice President and Chief Information Officer on September of 2003 and has direct responsibility for Corporate Information Services in St. Paul, as well as functional responsibility for IS globally.
Tabb has 26 years of experience in the systems technology arena. He has a Bachelor's of Science degree from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from Tulane University. He is a CPA, a CMA and is APICS certified.
Tabb began his career in consulting at Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. He then spent eight years at Dun & Bradstreet Software where he held senior management positions in marketing, business development, and general management. Over a period of 12 years, Tabb has held CIO positions for Ryder Systems, CNF Transportation and most recently Nike Inc.
VP, Global Business Process Ecolab, Inc.
Chris Vitek is an Ecolab veteran with over 15 years of experience planning and leading information technology initiatives supporting all aspects of Ecolab's business. In addition, he spent 7 years in two different assignments working as part of the Institutional Sector management team leading technology and business change initiatives.
Vitek is the Business Relationship Executive for the Institutional Sector and the Global Program Leader for Ecolab's Circle the Customer Technology initiative. Vitek has a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in International Business Management from the University of St. Thomas.
VP, Radical Simplification & Innovation, Enterprise On Demand IBM
Susan Watson has nine years of executive experience in various parts of IBM's Business Transformation and IT community. She was named to her present position in July 2007. Watson is responsible for IBM's business process and application architecture, and ensuring IBM's internal IT operation is a reference point for IBM clients--a showcase for optimization of the IT environment and innovative exploitation of IBM's best technologies.
Watson was named to her previous position in February 2004. She was responsible for a $1B portfolio of application development, maintenance and systems integration primarily supporting the IBM Global Account. She was responsible for the strategy and execution of a team of approximately 9,000 people supporting the IBM Account Worldwide. She has personally led two successful $100M+ projects, and was responsible for leading the IT projects supporting IBM's divestitures of Lenovo and InfoPrint. Her team designed, developed and managed packaged applications like SAP and Siebel, as well as customized development using Websphere, JAVA, and SOA techniques.
Watson joined IBM in 1983 as a programmer. She held a variety of technical and managerial assignments in strategy, development, test and customer support in S/390 Mainframe Development, and AIX and OS/390 operating system development. Her previous executive assignments have including supporting System Group's Business Transformation efforts, and responsibility for IBM's TeleWeb strategy and execution.
Watson is a graduate of the University of Missouri, where she received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Speech and Media Studies.
Robert A. Willett
CEO, Best Buy International & Enterprise CIO Best Buy Co., Inc.
As CEO of Best Buy International, Robert A. Willett is responsible for growth outside the U.S. for Best Buy, a Fortune 100 company and North America's No. 1 specialty retailer of consumer electronics. He was appointed to his new role in 2006.
Under Willett's leadership, Best Buy International will implement a global integration and growth strategy to maximize the retailer's opportunities beyond North America, while continuing to re-engineer the supply chain and information technology functions that support the company's transformation to customer centricity. Best Buy International encompasses Future Shop, Best Buy and Geek Squad stores in Canada, along with the company's sourcing offices in China. Willett will lay the groundwork to support the opening of retail stores in China, including the development of the supply chain and IT infrastructure there.
Prior to his new role, Willett served as Best Buy's executive vice president of operations & CIO, and today continues to lead the company's efforts to improve efficiencies and simplify its customer-centric operating model. Executives responsible for enterprise-wide efficiency initiatives, information systems, supply chain management report to Willett.
Willett's experience spans a variety of positions in the retail industry over the past several decades. Willett previously was global managing partner for Accenture Consulting, where he worked with best-in-class retailers throughout the world on strategy review, business transformation, procurement and supply chain management, brand positioning, technology transformation and customer segmentation. Prior to joining Best Buy, Willett served as a special advisor to the Best Buy Board of Directors on issues relating to operational efficiency and excellence. During his tenure with Accenture, he also served as a partner on the "Process to Profits" initiative that Best Buy undertook in the late 1990s.
Willett launched his career in store management at Marks & Spencer, a leading British department store chain, and has held Managing Director and Group CEO positions at other retailers in Europe.