Speakers at the Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity
Data Protection Strategies Conference

Michael Gabriel
Michael Gabriel has been employed by Career Education Corporation, a $1.8B for-profit, post-secondary education services company, since 2004 when he was tasked with building an information security program from the ground up. Michael came to CEC from a background in the global investment banking industry, where he provided security management and engineering since 1995. He has also practiced in the security consulting field, including a stint as an interim security director for an Internet banking startup. Michael is sought out for speaking engagements on information security topics and is a frequent contributor to security-related articles.

Ken Giden
Ken Giden is a 16 year storage industry professional focused primarily within the Backup and Disaster Recovery arena. As a graduate of the School of Electrical Engineering at Purdue University, he began his career with Storage Technology Corporation (StorageTek) in 1997 as an Electrical Engineer on the STK 9840 tape drive design team. While continuing his tenure with STK, he moved into Technical Sales positioning the entire STK tape, disk, and library product line to current and prospective customers. After STK, he spent the next 4 ˝ years at VERITAS Software Corporation (now Symantec) primarily supporting one of the industry’s largest backup applications – NetBackup – in addition to other Disaster Recovery software modules (replication, logical volume management, clustering, etc.). He also worked as a Senior Manager with Hitachi Data Systems, his responsibility included worldwide product management in the area of capacity optimization. He now is a Senior Technical Engineer for Coraid. He also holds Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Purdue University.

Scott Gill

Scott Gill is a Solutions Architect and Manager for Agilysys in the Central region. He uses his broad range of operational experience to provide practical data center architecture and planning services in a variety of vertical markets. His data center experience has delivered true value in dozens of Fortune 100 companies in the Midwest, saving money and improving quality. Scott has a BS in Computer Information Systems and is ITIL certified, with over 17 years of Enterprise level IT experience. He served as a Director of IT Operations for a $1.2B Healthcare organization, and has managed data centers and IT Operations in China, France, Germany, and the UK. He has also launched several startups including an ASP and a data center managed services provider.

David Kluger

David Kluger is StorCOM's principal technology architect. StorCOM's primary focus is aiding the clientele through a consultative approach on such topics as; overall data protection, management of data and disaster recovery strategies. Having worked in the IT industry for over 20 years he has gained an extremely wide range of experience. Additionally, David has public sector experience in consulting and providing leadership to an array of projects, managing and deploying data protection, as well as disaster recovery solutions for such organizations as; US Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Fireman's Fund Insurance. David also spent many years working as a senior consultant and systems architect at Microsoft, XIOtech and NetApp. David attended Arizona State University, where he also acquired his Masters Degree.

Lucy Risner

Lucy Risner is a Certified Business Continuity Planner and recently earned the Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP) from DRI International.  Lucy is well versed in the ten subject areas of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning including Business Impact Analysis, Developing Plans and Strategies and Crisis Management.  Lucy has leveraged her IT background to support the connection between Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery.  Prior to joining Zurich in March of 2007, Lucy was the Business Continuity Officer at a bank.  Before Lucy chose to specialize in Business Continuity, she held various positions in Information Technology supporting a breadth of business functions including Real Estate, Operations and Accounting at Fortune 500 companies.   Lucy has experience in Project Management, business process analysis and software development and has also earned the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.  Lucy has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and focused on process and metrics and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Organizational Development.  As part of her commitment to continuing education, she earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation which helps her achieve the foundation understanding to support the various Zurich business and support areas.

Todd Ruch

Todd has over 20 years in the IT Industry focused on Business Continuity and Storage Management.  He started out in IT as a backup operator and then wrote, managed and tested a Healthcare company’s first Disaster Recovery Plan.  Eventually moving on to help other companies test their Disaster Recovery Plans and assisting with actual recoveries; including the World Trade Center Disaster of 9/11.  Applying the do’s and don’ts of what he has learned over the past 20 years, Todd now helps organizations with Data Availability strategies.


Steve Susina
Steve Susina has more than 20 years of engineering and marketing experience in the telecommunications and IT industries and currently serves as Director of Marketing for Laurus Technologies, a business consulting and IT solutions provider based in Itasca, IL. Previously, he was Senior Product Manager for UTStarcom's fixed/mobile convergence product line, and has also held various sales, marketing and engineering roles at Tellabs and AT&T. His speaking experience includes technology conferences around the world on such topics as IT & business strategy, optical networking, compliance and identity management and mobile communications.  Susina holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rajesh Vallanki

Rajesh Vellanki is the Program Manger for Private/Enterprise Cloud at Rackspace.   Rajesh’s primary focus is bringing Enterprise Cloud solutions to the market. Having worked in the IT industry for over 15 years he has gained a wide range of experience in Storage, Data Protection, BCDR and Virtualization technologies. Rajesh has led a variety of strategic Product Development initiatives, most recently including: BCDR and Private Cloud.   Offering a rare blend of technical as well as business strength, Rajesh has been able to work with the technical staff, and business management to better utilize technology, understand customer needs and help develop Fanatical solutions in the areas of Storage, Data Protection, and Cloud.  Currently Rajesh is supporting both Enterprise and Mid-Tier customers from a product management perspective in the areas of Private/Enterprise Cloud. Rajesh received his Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University and MBA from UT-McCombs School of Business.

Daniel M. Vonder Heide
Dan is the Director of Infrastructure Services at Loyola University Chicago.  He is responsible for development, implementation, and maintenance of the University’s data and telecommunications networks, server operations, and client support.  He also provides leadership to the teams governing change management, budget services, and performance management.  Dan has led a variety of IT strategic projects, most recently including: data center design and build; identity management implementation; BCDR initiatives, including multi-campus data center resiliency for the university. He also serves on the Staff University Policy Committee, the Library Task Force, and the Information Commons Planning Team. Dan received both his undergraduate degree and his Masters in Human Resources degree from Loyola University Chicago.

Hasan B. Wethers
Hasan B. Wethers is currently the Business Continuity Program Manager with Sidley Austin LLP managing 18 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. Previously, he was the Senior Managing Consultant with IBM Business Continuity & Recovery Services where he managed over 70 companies within various industries addressing a wide array of Business Resilience, Disaster Recovery, Risk Management and Continuity methodologies.  He has 10 years of focused proficiency in the following methodologies: Business Impact Analysis, Business Continuity Plan Development, Continuity of Operations Plan Development, Continuity of Government Plan Development, Evacuation Plan Development, Crisis Management Plan Development, Life Safety, Emergency Communications, IT Data Center Recovery Plan Development, Plan Maintenance, Communications Plan Development, Recoverability Assessment/Health Checks, Recovery Strategy Definition, Recovery Strategy Gap Analysis, Risk Assessments, Recovery Plan Tabletop Exercises and Test Planning/Project Management at Recovery Sites.  He has led companies successfully through internal and external Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery driven audits. He has also designed and facilitated Business Resilience/Disaster Recovery training awareness programs and guided companies through the installation, design, and maintenance of Business Continuity, Crisis Communication, & Impact Analysis Software (LDRPS, myCOOP, BIA Professional, NotiFind, Incident Manager).