Speakers at the IT Portfolio Managment Conference

Dave Babicz
Dave is a Delivery Manager, Certified Scrum Master, and Agile methodologies specialist at Solstice Consulting, a Chicago-based technology and management consulting firm. Solstice is focused on gaining a competitive advantage for their clients through the use of emerging technologies, Agile methodologies, and business process optimization. Dave is also a board member of the Chicago Chapter of the Agile Project Leadership Network and hosts the Chicago Agile Methodology Meetup Group.
Brent Barton
Brent Barton is the President of AgileEVM.
Dave Blumhorst
Dave Blumhorst joined Daptiv in December 2009 and his professional services team is focused on enabling successful business outcomes for customers using Daptiv's PPM toolset. Prior to joining Daptiv, Dave ran EffectiveIT Group, a Daptiv partner and process consulting firm, that delivered implementation services to Fortune 1000 clients such as Carlyle Group, Beam Global, and Aegon USA.

Dave is a seasoned executive that has run IT, professional services, and finance departments. He has served as a controller and CFO for small to mid-sized companies, served as CIO at mid-sized companies such as Clarent, and was the senior director of the IT-PMO at PeopleSoft. Throughout his 30+ year career he has always found innovative ways to use technology to create business value.
Duane Block
Duane Block is the Director of IT Project Portfolio Management at TransUnion. He is responsible for the demand and resource management processes across information technology. Prior to joining TransUnion, Duane spent a decade as a Management Consultant focused on IT strategy and portfolio, program and project management. Duane holds an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a certificate in Advanced Project Management from Stanford University. He is also certified as a Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute.
Jennifer Buckley
Jennifer Buckley is a Project Portfolio Director at Aon Corporation – Technology Solutions and Services. Headquartered in Chicago, Aon is the leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage and human capital consulting. Ms. Buckley is managing a technology portfolio of projects that values $100 MM in total spend. She also manages the integration and cost savings program of Aon’s acquisition of Hewitt which has a target to contribute to the overall goal of saving $350M in the first year following the acquisition. In the portfolio structure, the project managers in the team roll up to her. She has over 14 years of project and program management experience, 3 of which were in project and portfolio management. She has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s in Information and Decision Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Jennifer Ciolino
Jen Ciolino is responsible for Enterprise Portfolio Management for Dow Corning and manages a department of program and project managers that deliver IT and enterprise programs and projects. She is part of the IT Leadership Team and works closely with Dow Corning’s enterprise architecture function to articulate the IT portfolio in terms of business value and its fit in the overall enterprise portfolio.

Prior to Dow Corning, Jen established and managed the governance process for technology investment decisions at Grant Thornton LLP. Jen has expertise and experience in many areas of IT, including IT Strategy, strategic business alignment, project management, vendor management, SDLC, and architecture and design. Jen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and is ITIL v.3 Foundations Certified.
 
Dan de Grazia
Dan de Grazia is a 30 year veteran of the technology industry starting his professional career developing futures trading software on a dual floppy Tandy TRS80. Mr. de Grazia has held positions in IT operations ranging from Tape Technician to Director of IT. Mr. de Grazia has managed teams and projects domestically and internationally providing both hands-on and administrative leadership at startups and traditional organizations, often managing teams spread around the globe. Mr. de Grazia is a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and regularly presents and coaches in leadership programs. Mr. de Grazia has provided a wide range of consulting services in the past including Sarbanes-Oxley auditing, litigation support and security related issues. As a trained, certified and experienced communicator, presenter and author, Mr. de Grazia co-authored the book Mastering SQL Windows from Que books. Mr. de Grazia has written and presented seminars on SQL, interface design, Resource Teams, process improvement and project management and has been the Keynote Speaker and Chairperson at various industry events.
John Fcasni
John Fcasni has over 20 years of experience in leading and supporting enterprise-wide business system implementations, building and developing effective technology strategies, establishing partnerships with business stakeholders, implementing best practices in project and applications life cycle management and integrating IT organizations. John was with CBS Corporation as Vice President, Application Development where he directed the activities of the Finance and Administrative Systems Product Center, managing an IT staff of 65 plus on-site and offshore contractors and an application portfolio consisting of custom developed, ERP, and packaged components. Major accomplishments included: leading the conversion of a legacy financial system to Oracle Financials providing approximately $4M in annual savings; directed the planning and implementation effort to split applications from Viacom and build the Corporate Technology required to support the newly formed CBS Corporation; integrated IT organizations from CNET, Simon & Schuster, and KingWorld achieving multi-million dollar IT budget savings; building an IT governance structure to support the management of the application portfolio. Prior to CBS, he worked as a consultant, implementing Project Management Methodologies, building PMO structures and managing projects for a variety of clients in the greater NY/NJ area. He also built JMF Associates into a consulting organization that provided training to help companies grow project managers and business analysts. In addition, John completed short-term consulting engagements to assist in implementing Project Management and System Development Methodologies as well as QA methods and techniques. John has both an undergraduate degree and an MBA from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. He is an avid Salt Water Fisherman and amateur BBQ pitmaster.

Jay Hoskins

Jay Hoskins is a Senior Portfolio Management Solutions Architect at PowerSteering Software.  He helps companies improve the value and return of their portfolios, programs, and other business investments through efficient and effective business processes, change management, and system automation.  Jay has helped many business leaders successfully implement enterprise-wide Portfolio Management processes, Business PMO’s, IT Governance, Six Sigma, Merger and Acquisition, and New Product Development programs.  With over 25 years of experience, Jay has been a portfolio management professional for 9 years with an extensive background in aerospace, manufacturing, supply chain, financial services, IT, and enterprise applications. Jay also has experience in managing enterprise deployments of ERP systems, project management, and software development methodologies.

Bob Kaput
Bob Kaput founded Mercury Consulting in 1990 with a desire to offer a comprehensive range of leading edge Information Technology services, which solve business problems and capitalize on opportunities to enhance organization effectiveness. Bob holds a degree in Behavioral Psychology from Elmhurst College. He has served our country through duty with the Marine Corps were he got his first exposure to Information Technology.
Through his career Bob has touched all the core areas of IT including: applications, infrastructure, decision support, and database management. He has gained IT experience working directly at a variety of industries as represented by organizations such as Kraft Foods, Continental Bank, McDonalds Corp, International Harvester, Wickes Furniture, and Continental Can among others.
From this broad exposure Bob gained clarity in understanding project execution, and, a keen appreciation of the challenges surrounding IT portfolio prioritization. Over the last decade Bob developed a great interest in business collaboration, and in IT lifecycle management. Bob is here today to share a “break-through” perspective on managing the portfolio of IT projects, and on improving IT execution by applying a Collaborative Approach to the IT Lifecycle.
Dale Landowski
Mr. Landowski has over 25 years experience in IT in a variety of leadership roles from front line technical support to design, engineering and enterprise architecture. He is strong proponent of the inherent value of IT Service Management (ITSM) and has successfully applied ITIL and ITSM concepts in projects of all sizes. He is currently engaged in an enterprise-wide ITSM program at AbbVie. Mr Landowski is certified as an ITIL Expert, ISO/IEC 20000 Consultant and Project Management Professional (PMP).

Ram Narain
Ram Narain has over 20 years experience in establishing and executing IT Portfolio and Program management frameworks across various industry verticals. His expertise includes: establishment of effective IT governance processes, IT vendor management, development of Project Lifecycle frameworks and continuous improvement of operational processes. He is currently the Director of PMO for Global Initiatives and Planning at Aon. In this current role, he is responsible for the strategy and execution of a global IT infrastructure PMO. Prior to his current role, he was a senior program manager at IBM where he drove the implementation of complex program frameworks for Fortune 500 clients. He is a certified project management professional (PMP) and an IBM Certified executive program manager.

Matt Peters
Matthew Peters is a research associate with CAI, and doctoral candidate in Information Sciences & Technology at Penn State University. His research focuses are systems design and architecture, knowledge management, decision-making, and learning. Throughout his career Matt has served as a subject matter expert consultant on projects for several major technology corporations in the areas of enterprise systems integration and knowledge management. He has authored several papers and workshops on design research, workforce learning, and the ROI of research. His primary focus at CAI is development of the IT Management Insight application suite for executive decision support.

Rebecca Porterfield

Rebecca Porterfield is both a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) and a Project Management Professional (PMP), bringing 15 years’ experience in project management and project portfolio management. Over the last eight years, she has become a passionate agilist, leading several organizations through successful transformations from chaos to predictability at the team to the portfolio management levels. Rebecca is a recognized thought leader in agile project portfolio management frequently interviewed for best-practices in PMO building for PM Network, PMI’s national trade magazine. While she has worked in a variety of environments, from two-person start-ups to academics and even Fortune 500 companies, her love and specialty is in giving small to mid-sized, fast-growing organizations just the right amount of process to allow scaling without losing entrepreneurialism, agility and energy.

Fabrice Roche

Fabrice Roche, a Senior Vice President and Chicago Regional Director with UMT Consulting Group, has over 12 years of Portfolio and Project Management implementation, software development and consulting experience.  Fabrice is actively involved in managing, leading, planning and participating in all facets of Portfolio and Project Management, with concentrations in methodology development, governance, process design & definition, creation, prioritization, optimization and on-going management of portfolios and projects. He also has a strong financial background including Accounting and Corporate Finance.  Fabrice has taken leadership and participated in multiple strategy consulting, business process and IT implementation projects for Financial Services, Professional Services & Manufacturing clients in North America and Europe. He has worked with several Fortune 1000 companies including but not limited to JPMorganChase, Wachovia, KeySpan Energy, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Michelin, Renault Nissan, Arcelor, Alcatel, Dassault, National Savings, etc.  Fabrice holds an MBA with focus on Management and Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a Master of Science and Engineering from ENSTA, a leading French engineering school.

Mark Smith
Mark S. Smith has 25 years of Information Technology experience, including over 20 years of management experience, 15 of which have been in senior management roles. Currently Mark is the Interim CIO, Director of Business Application Development and the Director of the Project Management Office (PMO) at American Water, the nation’s largest investor owned water and wastewater utility company. Mark is responsible for technology solutions for Financial, Customer, Billing and Field Service Operations. His team is comprised of a wide variety of roles including business analysts, programmers, project managers, quality analysts, groupware/web specialists, database administrators, and change management specialists (communication & training). Recent successes for his team have included a customer web self-service solution, internal web hosting, development of a data archive initiative for the company’s customer information system, implementation of disaster recovery for critical applications, and the deployment of a SharePoint-based contract management solution.
Leigh Ann Thomas
Leigh Ann Thomas has over 15 years of experience in business process reengineering, ERP implementations, and client facing engagements spanning the construction, insurance, and utility industries. Today, Leigh Ann focuses on the design, development and communication of technology methodologies (software development and project governance) for the nation’s largest water utility. Throughout her career, Leigh Ann has specialized in representing the needs of the business and speeding the acceptance and adoption of new IT processes. Her work has involved the recruitment and development of change management, business analyst, communications, and training teams that excel at translating ‘IT speak’ to business-focused solutions. She prides herself on the ability to build teams that understand how to partner with the business from initial requirements gathering through end user training in delivering solutions that meet or exceed client expectations. Leigh Ann has experience with a wide variety of technology projects for organizations such as Accenture, CNA Insurance, Deloitte Consulting, Pulte Homes, Britannica.com and American Water.
Joe Touchette
Joe has 30 years experience managing high technology and business transformation projects spanning IT, manufacturing, new product development, fulfillment and operations. He has provided project management training and consulting across industries ranging from health care to microelectronics. Joe has developed and taught project management courses at two colleges, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has held diverse management positions. As an executive project manager, he delivered global, division-wide, mission critical, high visibility and high cost of failure projects. Of particular note are two major business transformation projects, including implementing state-of-the-are enabling system capabilities, in the fields of fulfillment and new product development. Joe holds a BS and an MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. He also holds certificates from Michael Hammer and Company and has attended development programs at UCLA, Dartmouth and Emory University. Joe holds PMIsPMP Certification as well as Stanford University’s SCPM Certification.  
Jim Unander
Jim has over 30 years of IT experience, the last 20 focused on Project Management and overall IT Leadership. His background includes managing teams of developers in mainframe, client-server and web technologies, directing major technology transformation projects, and
leading Business Analysis and Quality Assurance organizations. In Jim’s current role he is responsible for all facets of IT for MDRT, the Premier Association for Financial Services Professionals, with over 42,000 members in 71 countries. He is a life-long Chicagoan, and loves to travel across the US finding hidden gems for hiking and biking and great food.
 
Jeanine Vincent
Oracle business consultant Jeanine Vincent has more than 20 years of experience delivering business and technology consulting services. She is an expert in the design and implementation of innovation processes and decision support systems, encompassing ideation, phase- and gate-based new product development, project management and portfolio management. Her expertise includes the creation and use of portfolio management applications and executive dashboards for improved decision-making. Jeanine has consulted with global leaders in the chemicals, financial services, food and beverage and consumer packaged goods industries.
Eric Willeke
Eric Willeke is a generalist software practitioner with over ten years of experience covering development, leadership, coaching, training and consulting roles. Eric has continually demonstrated an ability to fit lean and agile practices cleanly into organisations across an incredible variety of contexts, amplifying the chances of ongoing adoption.Eric's passion for helping teams engage with their work and their customers is evident in his writing at http://ericwilleke.com and his involvement in both the Agile Alliance and Lean Software and Systems series of conferences.

Randy Wimmer

Accomplished, results driven leader with over 25 years of IT and business experience. Developer of strategies as well as tactical solutions enabling IT Portfolio Management and PMO capabilities within various companies such as Allstate Insurance, MillerCoors and currently Walgreens. Successfully and consistently demonstrates an ability to deliver seamless, cost effective solutions leveraging critical thinking and established frameworks (e.g. PMBOK, CMM, ITIL, etc.). Enjoys working in a team setting that utilizes common goal/objectives definition, collaboration, joint problem solving, and knowledge sharing. Develops fellow professionals (internally/externally) by providing coaching, mentoring, and serving as a volunteer conference chairman for CAMP IT Conferences. He is an avid craft beer fan and is planning to take the Certified Cicerone exam.