Houston CIO Executive Summit

December 8, 2021 | Hyatt Regency Houston

December 8, 2021
Hyatt Regency Houston


Collaborate with your peers

Get together with Houston's top CIOs to tackle shared business challenges and critical priorities facing your role today. Participate in this one-day, local program with peer-driven topics and interactive discussions with your true C-level peers.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CIOs today:

Seizing momentum – influencing and leading the enterprise

Thriving through uncertainty - empowering people and delivering value

Advancing and scaling strategic, outcome-based technologies

Houston CIO Governing Body

The Governing Body Co-Chairs shape the summit agenda, ensuring that all content is driven by CIOs, for CIOs.


Jennifer Hartsock

Baker Hughes

Jennifer Hohman

Seadrill Americas
Chief Information Officer & Vice President

Lori Kittle

Landry's Restaurants
Chief Loyalty Officer

Al Lindseth

Plains GP Holdings
SVP, Risk Management & IT

Laura Tibodeau

Chief Information Officer

John Varkey

Waste Management
VP, Enterprise Digital Services

Sudhakar Virupakshi

Par Pacific

Allen Wuescher

Toshiba International

What to Expect

Interactive Sessions

Hear from CIO practitioners and thought leaders on how they're solving critical challenges impacting your role today in Keynote sessions, and join smaller, interactive discussions with your peers in Breakout and Boardroom sessions.

Community Networking

Make new connections and catch up with old friends in casual conversations during dedicated time for networking designed to better acquaint you with your Houston CIO community.

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a private, one-on-one setting through Evanta's Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.


December 7, 2021

6:00pm - 8:30pm  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Governing Body Private Dinner

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select guests, this dinner is a can’t-miss opportunity to connect with your peers prior to tomorrow’s Executive Summit. Please join your colleagues for an evening of good food, wine, and lively networking.

December 8, 2021 - morning

8:00am - 8:45am  Registration & Breakfast

8:45am - 9:00am  Itinerary Sessions

9:00am - 9:30am  Keynote

Leading Locally, Influencing Globally

Jennifer Hohman headshot

Jennifer Hohman

Chief Information Officer & Vice President

Seadrill Americas

CIOs are some of the most intelligent and influential people on the planet. Their understanding of business, economics and technology provides enormous opportunity to help influence their communities and industries. Jennifer Hohman, VP & CIO at Seadrill does just that, using her intrinsic knowledge of value creation and problem solving to make a global impact on human rights and environmental citizenship.

Join this session, as Jennifer illustrates how CIOs can influence change by:

  • Applying common IT methodologies to solve global issues
  • Leveraging your knowledge and leadership to create solutions for the greater good
  • Shaping the way leaders overcome challenges using traditional IT approaches

9:30am - 9:45am  Break

9:45am - 10:30am  Breakout Session

The Business Value of a SASE, Zero-Trust Journey

Nathan Smolenski headshot

Nathan Smolenski

CISO, Head of Cyber Intelligence Strategy


With people working remotely and most user traffic destined for SaaS and cloud, network security requires transformation. It’s no longer efficient or cost-effective to route traffic through the corporate network to apply security controls. Adopting a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Architecture while focusing on Zero-Trust principles ensures that your employees can be productive and secure working from anywhere.

In this session, we will discuss:

  • The economics and business case for a SASE journey
  • Best practices for implementing Zero Trust within a SASE architecture
  • The importance of granular Cloud and SaaS visibility in a SASE architecture

9:45am - 10:30am  Breakout Session

Optimizing the Organizational Model for IT/OT Alignment

Sudhakar Virupakshi headshot

Sudhakar Virupakshi


Par Pacific

As the boundaries between operational and information technology fade, CIO's understand the importance of leveraging OT to accelerate digitalization. Establishing one single technology team creates a certain synergy without having to duplicate teams and skillsets, generating cost efficiencies and quicker time to value.

Join Sudhakar Virupakshi, CIO of Par Pacific, as he discusses:

  • Merging with excellence - integrated operational challenges
  • Scaling for productivity - OT automation impacts
  • Achieving maximum performance - increased data analysis

9:45am - 10:30am  Executive Boardroom

Activating a Cybersecurity Force for a New Era

Jonathan Nguyen-Duy headshot

Jonathan Nguyen-Duy

Vice President, Global Field CISO Team


Alina Parast headshot

Alina Parast



Maria O'Neill headshot

Maria O'Neill


American Bureau of Shipping

With an increase in threat vectors comes the increased need for a sound yet dynamic cybersecurity program. CIOs must take a proactive approach in ensuring cybersecurity risk is considered at every step, even in times of rapid disruption.

Join this boardroom for a discussion on:

  • Managing third parties and holding them to cybersecurity standards
  • Quantifying, measuring, and communicating risk across the organization
  • Upskilling your cybersecurity teams to stay ahead of emerging threats

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CIOs).

To reserve your seat, please contact your program manager Tim Bigley, tim.bigley@evanta.com

10:30am - 11:00am  Networking Break

December 8, 2021 - mid-afternoon

11:00am - 11:45am  Breakout Session

Bridging IT & OT and Driving Digitalization

Rajeev Puri headshot

Rajeev Puri

Chief Technology Officer


Operations are at a premium with workforce and supply chain challenges. Machine telemetry is driving a larger pipeline and universe of data. Availability is critical and OT security risks are real. Network is the cornerstone for how organizations can accelerate the modernization of OT capabilities while integrating with IT and enabling smarter operations. Join us to learn how new advances in networking can provide the ROI needed to fund your critical manufacturing initiatives.

In this session, we will discuss: 

  • Expediting the retirement of technical debt
  • Leveraging network to accelerate digitalization in manufacturing
  • Driving cost efficiencies with digital transformation

11:00am - 11:45am  Breakout Session

Using Digital Strategy Engagement to Build Your Company Roadmap

Bhupesh Arora headshot

Bhupesh Arora


Magellan Midstream Partners

The past 18 months required all of us to pivot our digital business strategy; but what lies ahead for the transition to 2024? Building your company roadmap requires strategic engagement from all departments. It is crucial to create initiatives where employees understand how they can create more value and become engaged in technology.

Join Bhupesh Arora, CIO at Magellan Midstream Partners as he shares his strategy for engaging employees by:

  • Hosting multiple workshops with key industry leaders
  • Learning how function leaders’ partner with technology
  • Shifting mindsets to create an avalanche of ideas

11:00am - 11:45am  Executive Boardroom

Advancing the Data-Driven Enterprise

Dolly Kripalani headshot

Dolly Kripalani

Vice President, IT

National Oilwell Varco

Jason Lu headshot

Jason Lu

Chief Technology Officer

CSAT Solutions

Gaps in the use of data and analytics grow wider as organizations continue to struggle with data literacy. The cultural acceptance of D&A is essential to delivering better business outcomes, yet CIO’s face the challenge of business leaders not leveraging the true value of information assets.

In this session, CIO’s will explore strategies for:

  • Creating a data literacy initiative for the entire enterprise
  • Expanding data and analytics core competencies to increase self-service capabilities
  • Gaining leadership buy-in to effect real culture change

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CIOs).

To reserve your seat, please contact your Program Manager, Tim Bigley, tim.bigley@evanta.com

11:45am - 11:55am  Break

11:55am - 12:20pm  Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Peer-to-Peer Meetings

Connect with like-minded peers in a one-on-one setting through Evanta’s Peer-to-Peer Meetings. You will be matched with peers in your community based on your shared interests and priorities.

12:00pm - 1:30pm  Lunch Service

12:20pm - 12:25pm  Break

12:50pm - 1:05pm  Break

1:05pm - 1:10pm  Lunch Comments

1:10pm - 1:40pm  Keynote

Enhancing Productivity of the Hybrid Workforce

Christine Converse Hogan headshot

Christine Converse Hogan

CIO Advisor

Zoom Video Communications

Jeff Fleece headshot

Jeff Fleece

Chief Technology Officer, Digital Technology

Baker Hughes

Rennu Varghese headshot

Rennu Varghese


The Friedkin Group Inc

Over the last 16 months, companies have demonstrated productivity in various environments; with teams both together and apart. CIOs are now faced with the opportunity to reimagine the space used for productivity and collaboration by optimizing the way of work.

Join Zoom CIO Advisor, Christine Converse as she offers insights into hybrid work by:

  • Discovering the vision for hybrid work
  • Preparing your organization for the transition to hybrid
  • Uncovering best practices for remote work

1:40pm - 1:55pm  Networking Break

December 8, 2021 - afternoon

1:55pm - 2:40pm  Breakout Session

The CIO’s Roadmap — Security at the Center

David Cain headshot

David Cain


CVR Energy

Sebastien Lehnherr headshot

Sebastien Lehnherr

Chief Information Officer


Heightened cybersecurity risks of the last two years have proven security initiatives and business continuity planning must be ingrained in every enterprise’s corporate culture. CIOs must set an example, demonstrating a commitment to security, positioning it at the core of IT and enterprise roadmaps.

In this interactive session, you’ll discuss:

  • Building robust cybersecurity strategies that align with new business objectives and hybrid workforce models
  • Reconceptualizing cyber roadmaps to enable digital business rather than inhibit innovation
  • Tackle growing security threats against infrastructure through security awareness and threat intelligence

1:55pm - 2:40pm  Executive Boardroom

Restructuring the Enterprise for Innovation

Jason Bourg headshot

Jason Bourg



Jennifer Hohman headshot

Jennifer Hohman

Chief Information Officer & Vice President

Seadrill Americas

An efficient and functional organization design is critical for the enterprise to evolve and maintain a competitive edge in the market. A successful structure should not only focus on internal team alignment but also on innovative technologies, like automation, that will allow the organization to reach new heights.

Join this session as CIOs explore ways to:

  • Compellingly communicate a vision for the future to gain buy-in from stakeholders
  • Analyze market trends to identify and adopt competitive technologies
  • Break down silos in the enterprise to innovate collaboratively

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to CIOs).

To reserve your seat, please contact your Program Manager Tim Bigley, tim.bigley@evanta.com

2:40pm - 2:55pm  Networking Break

2:55pm - 3:30pm  Keynote

Accelerating Influence as a Strategic Change Agent

Al Lindseth headshot

Al Lindseth

SVP, Risk Management & IT

Plains GP Holdings

A successful CIO understands technology is only one small piece of their overall responsibilities. By broadening one’s role, the CIO can expand their influence on the organization, impact new processes and technologies and become a success business leader and change agent.

Join Alfred Lindseth, SVP Risk Management & IT at Plains GP Holdings as he considers the CIO as a strategic change agent by:

  • Considering behavioral processes when implementing new technology
  • Creating influence within the organizational culture
  • Leveraging optimal success as a transformative business

3:30pm - 3:40pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

3:40pm - 4:10pm  Social Hour


We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming in-person gathering

Evanta programs are uniquely positioned to succeed in the current landscape.

  • Our invitation-only gatherings are designed to be smaller in scale, providing a safe and comfortable environment.
  • All in-person programs are local and complimentary, with zero impact on your organization’s T&E.

To ensure the well-being of participants, partners, and associates, we will continue to monitor and adhere to government, venue, and health agency guidelines.

As a part of our commitment to create the safest possible environment, we are requiring all participants, partners, and associates to confirm adherence to our program participation requirements prior to arrival. Additional information and FAQs can be found here: Health and Safety Policy.


Venue & Accommodation

Hyatt Regency Houston

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Houston at a reduced conference rate. Reservations should be made online or by calling 713-654-1234. Please mention G-XEVG to ensure the appropriate room rate.

Deadline to book using the discounted room rate of $219 USD (plus tax) is November 15, 2021.

Your Community Partners

CIO Thought Leaders
Program Partners

Houston CIO Program Manager

For inquiries related to this event, please reach out to your dedicated program contact.

Ashley Coryell

Program Manager