Speakers at the IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference

Patrick Benson
For over a decade I've been involved with the IT industry starting with desktop support. I have steadily moved upwards, having been a network administrator, manager of the IT staff, network supervisor for an ASP division with data centers around the globe, a senior systems engineer designing new components and refining the existing infrastructure for a global organization, and a solutions architect for a VAR advising clients and designing complex infrastrcutures as a pre-sales resource.
In my current role I am a systems engineer for Atlantis Computing. My role is to provide technical expertise and to work with the sales team as we educate both customers and partners on how Atlantis Computing is revolutionizing storage for virtual environments.
Working my way up from implementing the simplest of technical issues to tackling business critical projects using the latest technology has shown me how important it is to know why you are deploying a solution. IT is no longer an optional component that enables a business, but instead IT is at the core of how all business is done. The next generation of business will need IT professionals who have moved beyond having only technical skills, and my passion is for designing technical solutions that are tailored to a business' needs.
J.D. Butt
J.D. Butt is a network security technologist with over 20 years' experience designing, testing, and implementing secure architectures for networks, application deployments, and software. J.D. serves as Nexum's Vice President of Technology, with Nexum's Solutions (services) and first*defense® (managed services) organizations reporting to him.
J.D.'s professional experience includes founding Midwest Communications, an Internet Service Provider that ultimately consolidated over 90 smaller ISPs into a coherent, secure whole. As an ISP industry spokesperson, J.D. helped drive the CLEC competition to SBC and helped force the design and implementation of the PPPoE standard for DSL. He designed Nexum's first*defense® (MSSP division) standards, processes, procedures, and much of the technology back-end.
Prior to Nexum, J.D. was Vice President and Senior Network Engineer for Midwest Communications, where in addition to his roles as VP and Engineer, he developed consumer training, network and security monitoring systems, and event correlation engines. Much of the code was given over to Open Source projects.
Mike Chudzik
Mike is currently a Systems Engineer with Pure Storage, having joined as one of the first three field engineers in 2011. Pure Storage enables their customers' business transformation through the consistent low latency of their enterprise all flash storage arrays that are priced less than legacy mechanical disk arrays. Mike's knowledge of the flash storage market allows customers to evaluate and compare the various flash storage architectures available for suitability in their environment. Prior to joining Pure Storage, Mike spent three years helping customers transform their backup environments with Data Domain reducing costs and improving operations. Before switching to a vendor pre-sales role, Mike spent over 10 years at United Airlines managing large storage and server infrastructure environments.
Lawson Kelly
Responsible for driving broader adoption of private and public cloud technologies such as a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) across all United Stationers subsidiaries. Areas of focus included:
-Cloud vendor suitability analysis for large enterprise use cases
-Financial modeling of traditional insourcing versus cloud outsourcing for IT capabilities such as
development / test, disaster recovery, and non-differentiating services such as email, collaboration, and office productivity tools
-Policy governance of cloud-enabled services with an aim to balancing business agility and data
protection objectives
John Phelan
John is currently VP, Global IT Operations for CommScope, a $4B global manufacturer that enables communications through products in broadband, data center, and wireless markets. In his role, John is responsible for the IT “Run” organization. His team manages the IT Infrastructure, Databases, a global Service Desk, and regional site support. John has 30+ years of IT experience and graduated from Governors State University with a B.A. in Business Administration and an MBA. He also serves on the Board of Directors, chairing the financial resources committee, for Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.  
Bill Rocholl
Accomplished and results-driven Senior IT Executive with consistent success in directing corporate operations for global companies.

Special expertise in developing and implementing enterprise strategies, leading global transformations, and process improvement in support of revenue growth.

Specialties: Commercial Management and Negotiation of managed service providers, Global Network Architecture, Security Architecture, Acquisition Integration
Jason Severe
Jason Severe is the Vice President of Information Technology Operations for The Inland Real Estate Group. He joined the company in 2012 and has nearly 20 years of experience providing technology solutions across a broad spectrum of industries. As the VP of IT Ops Mr. Severe oversees a staff of 12 people who service more than 1,200 employees nationwide. Mr. Severe and his team are responsible for all infrastructure and operations related assets and services including strategy, infrastructure, telephony systems, and all levels of support.
Prior to joining Inland, Mr. Severe worked as the Infrastructure Manager for the Filtration Solutions division of Pentair, an $8BB global manufacturing company. Before Pentair, he worked at MicroTek Computer Labs, Spiegel Group, and several consulting firms. He holds numerous certifications across many facets of technology and business.
Nick Verceles
Nicholas Verceles is Vice President of Business Sales for Windstream, a Fortune 500 premier communications and IT services provider. Verceles manages over $100 million in revenue across the Central region and helped Chicago become a top market based on 2013 revenue. Over the last 8 years at Windstream, Verceles has helped businesses overcome challenges through smart, personalized, enterprise-class data, voice, network and cloud solutions. Verceles holds a degree in political science from Miami University and currently resides in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood.