Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Chicago CIO Community

Ashley Pettit

Senior Vice President & CIO

State Farm

Ashley Pettit has a passion for math and science which led her to a career in IT.  This interest has persisted, enabling her to have a rewarding career while also focusing on encouraging the next generation of Women in Tech and Girls in STEM.  

Ashley is an executive sponsor of the Women & Technology employee resource group and a member of the Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion Council executive steering group. State Farm recently hosted an event for students at the local Boys and Girls Club and Western Avenue Community Center to a STEM event in which two weather balloons were launched into space along with Jake from State Farm!

Learn more about the Chicago CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Ashley began her career at State Farm 32 years ago after graduating from Southern Illinois University with degrees in Finance and Computer Information Processing. She has navigated through assignments as software developer, information security analyst, business analyst, and leadership roles in application delivery and infrastructure areas. She also took a brief hiatus from IT with a 3-year assignment in Human Resources. Ashley assumed her current role as SVP of Enterprise Technology and CIO 6 years ago.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." I love taking on new, unfamiliar, and complex tasks!

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?

Business and technology roles will converge even more, requiring the CIO to not only be a lead technologist but a leader of your business. Diving deep to understand how technology can be a positive disruptor and influence adoption of new technology across the enterprise is a key skill for CIOs.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?

Build partnerships and alliances within your organization. Great things are achieved when technology and business peers work effectively together with mutual trust and respect. As CIO, you are in a unique position to help build bridges between internal departments and by connecting the dots to demonstrate how technology can fuel business growth and strategies.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. I have a 13-year old Goldendoodle named Bella.
  2. I love to spend time on the beach in Naples, FL.
  3. I am actively working to improve my golf game!

What is the value of joining an Evanta community? 

The community is the value -- I've been inspired, recognized, heard, and seen. I've established professional relationships and made personal friendships.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CIOs, for CIOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CIO community.