Principal Executive Advisor, CEB, now Gartner
Vimarsh Bakaya is a principal executive advisor with CEB's Technology Practice. Over the past decade with CEB, he has advised hundreds of CIOs and IT leaders on their key initiatives such as strategic planning, innovation, organizational design and governance.
After business school, he worked as a strategy consultant for Marakon Associates in New York City helping CEOs and senior business leaders reset strategy and building stronger organizations. Prior to business school, Bakaya was a technology strategist at Verizon Communications developing innovative customer care and billing solutions and was involved in both the retail and wholesale telecommunications businesses.
He has a B.S. with honors in computer science and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Vice President, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM
Jeff Berman is vice president of IBM’s cognitive process transformation practice for the healthcare and life sciences industry. With more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he specializes in helping clients get access to better data, develop bolder insights and drive bigger innovation ideas to increase revenue and profits. Specifically he helps clients achieve results with lean process design, robotic automation and implementing smarter cognitive enterprises with technologies like IoT, blockchain and Watson platforms. He believes that data is the natural resource for the Cognitive enterprise and using advanced analytics and machine learning can unlock value and insights never seen before.
Berman is an active speaker at many industry and Fortune 500 events. He is also a published author of the leading book “Maximizing Project Value — Defining, Managing, Measuring for Optimal Return” as well as several white papers.
He holds an MBA in finance and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Northeastern University and an executive certificate in strategy and transformation from Harvard Business School.
Comedian, Panic Squad Improv Comedy
Andrew Bright has been a professional comedian with The Panic Squad Improv Comedy for 20 years. He has had the privilege of performing across the United States and Canada for diverse events ranging from local churches and businesses to large national conferences and top Fortune 500 corporations. Live audiences have ranged from the six people who attended his first show to more than 35,000.
Out of a combined passion for improv comedy and professional development, Bright created a number of workshops and keynote sessions that use improv comedy to teach key elements of teamwork and leadership.
Understanding how to lead, follow and function within a team is essential to succeeding in improv. In improv comedy, momentum is everything. There is no time to hold a meeting, vote for the best idea or dissect a personality test. He believes the key is knowing how to work as a team so you can succeed in the moment.
In 2017 Bright released his first book, “Improv Leadership — A Comedian’s Guide to Effective Leadership in an Unscripted Workplace.”
CIO & VP, Kaiser Permanente
Jim Crawford is VP and group business information officer for Kaiser Permanente’s 3.5 million Southern California members and more than 200 thousand members in Hawaii. As the CIO, Crawford is responsible for the delivery of IT for the 4000 Physicians and the 45,000 Health Plan employees in the Southern California region, as well as 400 physicians and the 4400 health plan employees who work across the Hawaiian Islands.
Crawford has more than 20 years of experience working in IT organizations. Prior to joining the Southern California region in 2006, he was the senior director of planning and operations for the Care Delivery Portfolio and regional CIO organization. He was also the regional CIO for the Georgia region. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, he worked at Tempus Entertainment as the director of information systems and retail operations and served in a similar role for the outdoor retailer Patagonia.
Crawford holds a bachelor’s from UCLA with additional training from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and The Kenan-Flager Business School. He chairs the board of Health-e-LA and is a board member for the LANES collaborative, the Barlow Foundation and is on the CIO Executive Summit Governing Body.
Vice Provost IT & CTO UCLA, CTO Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, UCLA
CIO, SVP, Virco Mfg. Corporation
As CIO for Virco Manufacturing, Rob Devers guides Virco’s current and future direction, leading the overall direction for IT. He is responsible for IT strategy and digital transformation along with the planning, development and implementation of all technology-related services at Virco.
Previously, as Avery Dennison’s VP, global IT strategy and architecture, Devers drove the company’s worldwide IT strategy, transformational initiatives and global architectural design. He led the ongoing advancement of a strategic roadmap for key initiatives and ensured emerging technology trends and business priorities were integrated for maximum business impact. Along with overall IT strategy, Devers also established Avery Dennison’s IT architecture, empowering IT to dynamically support future business needs as well as present demands.
Prior to joining Avery Dennison, he served as Enterprise Architect for Dole Food Company, where he was instrumental in creating Dole’s strategic technology vision along with developing Dole’s architectural framework. He has also held senior-level positions at Ernst & Young, Capgemini and Accenture, where he has extensive experience delivering innovative and complex IT initiatives.
A former U.S. Air Force pilot and graduate of the Air Force Academy, Devers has degrees in math and electrical engineering.
CIO, Taco Bell Corporation
As chief information officer of Taco Bell Corporation, Greg Fancher leads the development of innovative technological solutions that facilitate efficient delivery of information to team members, business partners and consumers in revolutionary ways. He ensures that these solutions are in place to support the operational goals of Taco Bell restaurants and to deliver industry-leading customer service. Fancher joined Taco Bell in 2013 with 17 years of IT leadership experience, most recently as the director of IT for lululemon athletica in Vancouver B.C. He was accountable for supply chain systems, store technology, business intelligence, mobile applications and enterprise architecture. He has technical background in enterprise architecture, as well as application development and store technical know-how from across the retail industry with companies such as Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss. Fancher received a master of science in business administration from San Francisco State University, as well as a bachelor of arts in economics from Colgate University in New York.
SVP & CIO, Qualcomm Incorporated
Mary Gendron, senior vice president and chief information officer for Qualcomm Incorporated, leads Qualcomm’s global IT organization, driving operational excellence within the IT function and across the enterprise, as well as collaborating with the executive and business unit leadership teams to ensure the company continues to incorporate forward-looking technology solutions into the business, products and strategies to achieve company business goals.
Previously, Gendron served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Hospira, a leading global pharmaceutical and medical device company. She brings more than 25 years of IT experience to the role, with expertise in developing and executing IT and talent-focused strategies, services and plans. She has led complex global organizations, driving proactive business strategies required to develop differentiation, and has consistently generated customer, shareholder and employee value. Prior to working at Hospira, Gendron served as CIO at Celestica International Inc., and served in other senior IT leadership positions at companies like The Nielsen Company, Motorola and Bell Canada.
Gendron holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from McGill University in Canada.
SVP & CIO, The First American Corporation
Larry Godec is SVP and CIO of First American Financial. In this capacity, Godec oversees the strategic architecture, business process management, applications development, data center operations, infrastructure and core technologies that support the business.
Godec started with First American in 1999 as the CIO for First American Tax Service Company located in Dallas. In 2001, he moved to the corporate office in Santa Ana, California, as CIO for First American Title Insurance Company. Godec has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of information technology. Prior to First American, Godec held senior technology management positions at Nissan North America and Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.
Godec has a B.S. in mathematics from Colorado State University. He has been involved in numerous professional and community organizations including the Southern California CIO Forum, CIO Executive Governing Board, Society of Information Managers, Data Administration Management Association and Software AG International Users Group, where he served as president for two years.
CIO, Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Rick Hopfer is the Chief Information Officer at Molina Healthcare, Inc. As CIO, Hopfer manages and leads the IT department to align enterprise objectives, programs, and strategies. Hopfer has extensive experience leading large, complex IT operations in a variety of industries. Most recently, Hopfer worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he served as CIO for four years and as SVP of IT prior to that. Before Sony, he served as CIO for Homestore.com and then as chief technology officer for Homestore International. Rick also has held senior IT leadership positions at Simon and Schuster, Bankers Trust Company, and Aetna Life and Casualty, among others.
Hopfer is a graduate of Arizona State University and holds a B. S. in computer information systems. He is actively involved in a number of CIO—related technology and advisory boards.
CIO, Creative Artists Agency
Eric Iverson, CIO of Creative Artists Agency, oversees the information technology department. His responsibilities include cybersecurity, infrastructure and operations, help desk, applications and development, analytics and strategic technology alignment with the business.
Previously, Iverson was SVP and Divisional CIO at Sony Pictures Television, where he was responsible for the global systems portfolio and led strategic technology change initiatives for television production, distribution and networks channels.
Iverson earned his bachelor of arts from Pepperdine University.
CIO, Zendesk, Inc.
Tom Keiser is chief information officer at Zendesk and brings more than 25 years of global technology and business experience with a focus on retail and e-commerce.
Most recently, he served as chief information officer and executive vice president of global product operations at The Gap, Inc. Previously, he was chief information officer at LBrands, a fashion retail company that includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works.
Keiser holds a B.S. in systems science from the University of West Florida.
CIO, City of Pasadena - California
Phillip Leclair is CIO for the City of Pasadena and is responsible for leading the city’s technology strategy and managing overall IT operations and customer service. His initiatives include improving service delivery through embracing effective and efficient use of technology, creating new online and mobile service delivery models, exploring city data as a strategic asset and leading strategic initiatives to be flexible, adaptable and responsive to customer needs.
Prior to the city, he held positions as a consultant for an IT management and strategy consulting firm and with the city of New York.
He holds a B.A. degree in economics from the University of California Berkeley and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.
CISO, City of Los Angeles
Timothy Lee is the chief information security officer at the City of Los Angeles. He is responsible for overall cybersecurity policies and initiatives for America’s second-largest city. One of those initiatives is the city’s first Integrated Security Operations Center, which won several awards, including Center for Digital Government’s 2015 Cybersecurity Leadership and Innovation Award. His work affects all 40 City of Los Angeles departments.
Previously, Lee was the CISO at the Port of Los Angeles, where he established the Port’s cybersecurity program and was the project manager for the Cyber Security Operations Center, which won the 2015 American Association of Port Authorities IT Award of Excellence.
Lee has 20 years of experience in the information security, network and telecommunication field. He is a recipient of the 2016 StateScoop 50 Award in the category of state leadership and has spoken at several conferences.
As the director of product marketing at Puppet, Gia Lyons collaborates with IT leaders to drive automation and DevOps adoption. Over the last 20 years in the enterprise software industry, Lyons has studied how IT organizations embrace or avoid technology-driven transformation. Lyons has applied that knowledge to help light a fire to effect that transformation. Lyons has worked with Fortune 1000 companies while at Whittman-Hart, IBM and Jive in a variety of roles, from developer to technical evangelist to strategic consultant.
SVP, Global IT, Financial Systems, Live Nation Entertainment
Tim Moran is SVP of global IT for Live Nation Entertainment, the global leader in live entertainment and ticketing. He is an entertainment industry IT veteran, responsible for Live Nation’s global finance technology, including day-to-day operations and projects.
Moran has been with Live Nation for 21 years, since 1996, wearing many hats along the way. He started as MIS manager with MCA Concerts, then became director of IT with Universal Concerts, senior director of IT with House of Blues, VP of business systems with Live Nation, and VP of global IT financial systems with Live Nation Entertainment.
Moran's key projects have included migrating financial systems from on-prem data centers to the cloud; global ERP and EPM implementations and upgrades; multiple data center builds, moves and consolidations; mergers-and-acquisitions-related integrations; deployment of business intelligence, analytics and financial reporting systems; custom development of booking, marketing, settlement, and show profitability systems; House of Blues venue openings, intranet, extranet and custom applications; MCA/Universal Concerts websites, online ticketing, event and sponsorship sites.
Prior to joining Live Nation, he headed an LA-based technology firm focused on the entertainment industry with clients such as Sony/Columbia/TriStar, MCA/Universal, Warner Brothers Records, Nederlander Concerts and the Grammy Awards.
SVP, Data & Applications, MapR Technologies
Jack Norris has more than 20 years of enterprise software marketing experience. He has demonstrated success from defining new markets for small companies to increasing sales of new products for large public companies. Norris’ broad experience includes launching and establishing analytic, virtualization and storage companies and leading marketing and business development for an early-stage cloud storage software provider. Norris has also held senior executive roles with EMC, Rainfinity (now EMC), Brio Technology, SQRIBE, and Bain and Company. He earned an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a B.A. in economics with honors and distinction from Stanford University.
Executive Director, UCLA IS Associates
Don Olender was recently appointed executive director of the UCLA IS Associates, a host sponsor of the 2015 Southern California CIO Executive Summit.
Olender is the recently retired CIO of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, a $35B commercial financing subsidiary of Wells Fargo's wholesale banking division. WFF delivers secured financing to middle market businesses through multiple lending divisions located in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Wells Fargo Capital Finance is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Olender was with Wells Fargo for nearly 20 years and had served as its CIO since 1997.
Throughout his career, Olender has been in technical and project management, working previously as the head of the PMO at Providian Bancorp in Northern California, and as a senior project manager at Bank of America in their card services division. Olender is a member of the Southern California chapter of SIM and is the founding chairman of the Commercial Finance Association's technology committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and human resource management from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, graduating magna cum laude.
Senior Technology Strategist, Sprint Business
Lyle Paczkowski, senior technology strategist for Sprint’s advanced technology development division, is credited for the directing the development of several advanced enterprise wireless voice and media applications and products, including converged and integrated wireless and wireline applications.
His portfolio includes a unique mobile integration product known as Sprint Mobile Integration using IP multimedia subsystem. He has created new near field communications applications, including co-inventing a new novel UHF RFID bar code replacement chip design; wireless application development; unified communications enhancements; new hardware-assisted security protocols, and hosted multimedia platforms.
A 25-year innovative information technologies veteran, Paczkowski has 115 Security, IMS, network, wireless access, and media application patent awards and 42 patents pending. He has extensive experience in large-scale wireless infrastructure deployments, contact center solutions, application development and project management, and computerized telephony integration technologies. As such, Paczkowski presents at numerous domestic and international technology conferences as a subject matter expert focusing upon mobile network device security topics, blockchain protocols, and enterprise wireless converged application development.
SVP of Platform & Chief Strategy Officer, Box
Jeetu Patel is senior vice president of platform and chief strategy officer for Box. In this role he leads Box's platform organization, driving the strategy for Box's platform business and developer relations. He also oversees Box’s corporate strategy and development organization.
Patel has more than 20 years of experience in enterprise information technology, and before joining Box, he was general manager and chief executive of EMC’s Syncplicity business unit. He previously held leadership roles in EMC’s information intelligence group, including chief marketing officer, chief strategy officer and chief technology officer. Prior to EMC, Patel was president of Doculabs, a research and advisory firm focused on collaboration and content management across a range of industries, including financial services, insurance, energy, manufacturing and life sciences.
Patel holds a B.S. in information decision sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Head of Strategy - Communications, Media & Info Services Group, Tata Consultancy Services
Shrikant Pathak is head of strategy for the communications, media and information services vertical at Tata Consultancy Services. He has more than 35 years of experience in enterprise information technologies and solutions for firms in manufacturing, technology and communications and media. He has played a leadership role in building the industry advisory functions for communications and media vertical, and catalyzing solutions for smart content management, over-the-top video, automated content conversion to XML and rights and royalties’ management.
He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from BITS Pilani, and an M.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He has also successfully completed the Executive Leadership Program of Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor.
CIO, County of Ventura, California
Michael Pettit serves as CIO of the County of Ventura, California, the twelfth largest County in the state with an annual budget of $1.7B. In addition to setting technology strategy and direction for the County, Pettit serves as the director of the Information Technology Services Department that delivers business-enabling services to more than 65 different County agencies, departments, and external government entities.
Pettit brings more than 20 years of IT experience to his role as CIO with much of it gained in various technical and leadership roles with Silicon Valley companies ranging from small startups to Fortune 100 corporations such as Hewlett Packard. During his time with the County of Ventura, Pettit has partnered with many County agencies and separtments to successfully accomplish key business transformation initiatives, one of which was recently nominated for the Digital Communities Award.
In addition to his industry experience, he holds several certifications in IT service management and delivery and a degree in industrial technology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Partner, PwC Strategy&
Dan Priest, a PwC Strategy& partner, leads PwC’s technology strategy practice. He works with clients across industries, helping them define and execute technology enabled strategies.
Priest specializes in digital strategy, operating model design, strategic sourcing and operational excellence. He has more than 20 years of experience, with previous positions including VP and CIO of Toyota Financial Services.
He has an MBA in marketing and finance from the Smith School of Business at University of Maryland and a B.A. in business and Japanese from California State University, Fullerton/Nanzan University, Japan.
VP, IT & CIO, Tutor Perini Corporation
Jim Puerner is the VP of information technology and CIO for the Tutor Perini Corporation, one of the nation’s largest construction management firms. In his three-plus years at Tutor Perini, Puerner has transformed IT operations from a decentralized collection of 19 companies to a single enterprise-wide model. This includes a new implementation of JD Edwards/Hyperion for ERP, migration to a single domain, private cloud computing at a centralized data center, and the transformation of end-user and field office support. Puerner has more than 18 years of IT leadership experience with a strong background in program/project management and a track record of transforming business operations through the deployment of enterprise applications. Puerner started his career at the Walt Disney Company and held roles in finance, accounting and operations prior to transitioning full time to IT, which allows him to bring some unique perspectives and a high level of business acumen to the IT operations at Tutor Perini. He has also served in IT leadership and senior consulting roles at Sony Pictures, The Decurion Corporation, The Port of Long Beach and the Cetera Financial group.
SVP, Communications, Media, Entertainment & Technology, Softtek
David Reitman is a global senior digital consulting leader with more than 20 years of experience assisting companies to achieve their digital transformation business goals and serves as the SVP leading the CMET team for Softtek.
Reitman is a master at assessing the state of a client’s business and learning the desired business goals to pair them with technologies that can meet business objectives and leverage agile methodologies. Additionally, he has focused within commerce, customer experience, marketing-engagement solutions, cognitive technologies, payments and tax reconciliation, supply chain, and analytics. His teams have been market-leaders in designing and delivering cognitive solutions that provide contextualized experiences. He is a thought leader who has helped companies develop successful products, services and/or vertical GTM strategies.
Previously, Reitman served as a senior digital leader with SAP Hybris, Digital River, Gaikai, Equinix and AT&T. Also, he provides board support to VC-backed startups as it relates to corporate strategy, product innovation and commercial offering, business development, business operations and investment. Reitman serves as a non-executive director to Visionary Realms and board advisor to Green Man Gaming.
CIO, City of Los Angeles
Ted Ross is CIO for the City of Los Angeles and general manager for the information technology agency. His department delivers enterprise IT services to more than 48,000 employees across 38 city departments and digital services to almost 4 million residents across 469 square miles. Comprised of 485 dedicated employees with a $92M annual operating budget, his department supports more than 125 city applications, a 24/7 data center, city data and voice communications, the 3-1-1 call center, public safety microwave and radio communications, and the LA CityView channel 35 TV station. Prior, Ross managed the successful citywide financial management system ERP project with the office of the controller and IT systems for Los Angeles World Airports. He has more than 20 years of private and public sector technology experience, earning various awards and IT credentials along the way.
IT Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Tom Soderstrom is the chief technology and innovation officer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He leads a collaborative, practical and hands-on approach with JPL to investigate and infuse emerging IT technology trends that are relevant to JPL, NASA and large enterprises.
Soderstrom has led remote teams and large-scale IT best practices and tools development and change efforts in small startups, large commercial companies, international venues, and the U.S. government arena.
He is a frequent speaker on the future of IT and is currently defining the next IT decade as it applies to enterprises like JPL. Soderstrom is working alongside industry and government leaders on what we can do about social media and consumerization, mobility, Artifical Intelligence, analytics and Big Data, cloud computing, key IT disrupters, and how to transform IT by innovating together.
Joseph M. Solimando
VP of Business Application Services, Disney Worldwide Services, The Walt Disney Company
Joe Solimando is vice president of business application services in the enterprise business systems group at The Walt Disney Company. He is responsible for the management, development and support of corporate and cross-segment business applications, including SAP and other platforms, in the areas of finance, HR, supply chain and other corporate functions globally.
Solimando has been with Disney since 1998 and previously served as senior vice president of operations and technology, CIO for Disney Consumer Products. He was responsible for defining the global strategic direction for information technology in the division and coordinated IT management across DCP’s various lines of business, including licensing, retail, ecommerce, interactive and publishing.
Prior to joining Disney, Solimando held the position of senior manager, information technology in the management consulting practice at Ernst & Young in Los Angeles. In his 10 years with E&Y, his clients included many top consumer products, retail and manufacturing companies. Solimando has also held information technology and project management positions at Wicke’s Companies Inc. and Fluor Engineers.
Solimando holds both an MBA and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
Comedian, Panic Squad Improv Comedy
Elijah Tadema has performed across North America with The Panic Squad Improv Comedy since 2003. He brings a fresh energy, hilarious characters and extraordinary musical talent to the team.
Together with Andrew Bright, Tadema also leads professional development training for organizations across the country. Using his winning personality and expert improv experience, he engages audiences, creates opportunities to laugh out loud and challenges audiences to lead with excellence.
Elijah currently lives in Northwest Washington with his wonderful wife, three children and a german shepherd.
CIO, SVP Information Technology, iPayment, Inc.
Director, Global Portfolio Messaging, Dell EMC
Tommy Trogden is a director in the Dell EMC Global Portfolio Marketing Organization. He focuses on cloud-native apps and converged/hyper converged platforms as a member of the Dotnext team. The Dotnext team’s charter is helping to educate customers, partners and internal employees in next-generation datacenters, as well as Dell EMC’s OpenSource projects.
Previously, he held various management and evangelism roles around virtual desktops, virtualization and datacenter automation.
Trogden is also a passionate social media proponent. As a blogger at www.vTexan.com and on twitter, he understands and embraces the value of sharing information across the great IT community. The vTexan.com blog site has been singled out as one of the top 10 storage blogs, as well as top three blogs focused on end-user computing as voted on by the great VMware community in addition to other recognition.
International Leadership & Innovation Expert, Author & Thought Leader, "Thoughtfully Ruthless"
Internationally acclaimed innovation expert Val Wright was named as one of the top 50 resources for chief operating officers by ClickSoftware. She’s one of only 64 experts inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame. The global clients who’ve requested her help include Starbucks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Financial Times and DreamWorks Animation. Wright’s corporate experience includes tenures during dramatic growth periods at Amazon, BMW, Microsoft, Harrods, Marconi and Sema Group.
Wright participated on the small team that created the fastest selling device of all time, Kinect for Xbox, which won a Guinness Book of World Record, selling more than 20 million devices. This contributed to the turnaround of Microsoft’s entertainment business from a billion-dollar loss to a multimillion-dollar profit machine.
Her unique approach, trademarked as Thoughtfully Ruthless, has produced typical client results of market domination in extraordinarily short time frames along with compassionate truth telling, fearlessness, and extensive creative, technical, and leadership gains.
Wright’s forthcoming books include “Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth” and “Innovation Trifecta: How to Catapult Innovation by Creating a Symbiotic Relationship between Creative, Business, and Technical Teams.” She’s a regular contributor on CNBC Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Reuters, LA Times, MSN and Today.
Eric Yuan is CEO of Zoom. Prior to founding Zoom, Yuan was corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco's collaboration software development. As one of the founding engineers and vice president of engineering at WebEx, Yuan was the heart and soul of the WebEx product from 1997—2011. He proudly grew the WebEx team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide, and contributed to revenue growth starting at $0 to more than $800M. He is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real-time collaboration. Yuan is a graduate of the Stanford University executive program.