Pavi Agrawal, Chief Applications Architect, MARS

Pavi Agrawal is an IT Leader. He has a proven ability to execute and partner with business users and technologists to add value by providing innovative solutions for complete business transformation and tactical initiatives. Pavi is a transformational leader with an endless passion for driving innovation and growth.


Pavi has been a Co-Founder and a Chief Technolgy Officer of four startups, which he sold to PE. His experience spans various industry verticals, including retail, CPG, wholesale, e-commerce, d-commerce, b2b, b2c, d2c, b2b2c, banking, manufacturing, media, M&A, business transformations, and startups.


With over two decades of experience, Pavi has provided value-added consulting services for many small to large companies resulting in increased customer satisfaction, increased revenues, new solutions, and new business models. Pavi is currently the Global Head of Enterprise Business Applications Architecture for Mars.


As Global Head of Enterprise Business Applications Architecture, he is responsible for leading over 90 person teams of a cross-functional working group of product managers, solution architects, process owners, and SME’s to establish architecture strategy and architecture compliance business applications. The architecture strategy and compliance of architecture for the company to be implemented in finance, supply chain, HR, marketing, merchandising, manufacturing, logistics, sustainability, R&D, lab works, health services, IIoT, and analytics on-prem, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS applications.


Before joining Mars, Pavi was Director of Technology and Architecture for SAP. During his time with SAP, he served as a lead customer advisor for Sr. leadership within key enterprise customers to drive technology optimization, data strategies, and business transformation initiatives.


Along with his professional career, Pavi serves on the Advisory Board for ArtSugar Cloud Advisors and Webdoctors.com. He also spends time volunteering for the Indian Red Cross Society, Feed My Starving Children.


Pavi graduated with a Master of Business Administration in Strategy and Finance from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institue of Technology. He also completed the Executive Program in Artificial Intelligent Strategies from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Pavi is a certified AWS Cloud Practitioner and received a Microsoft Azure Fundamental certificate. 

Patrick Carnathan, Director, IT, Carthage Vet Service

Patrick is a 6 year Veteran of the United States Navy serving on Submarines as an Electronics Technician and Reactor Operator. This is where he found his love for computers and High tech working on 8086 computers. Working in the IT industry for 25+ years from Help desk to his current position as Director of Information Technology at Carthage Veterinary Service in Carthage IL. He has an AS in computer Science, BA in Organizational Management and a Master’s in Business from Concordia University Chicago. He is currently moving CVS into a more digital footprint and has worked with large IT companies moving dozens of clients to the cloud.

Tom Drez, CIO/CPO/CSO/Managing Director CIPP, Christian Brothers Services

Tom Drez is the managing director of Christian Brothers Services’ Information & Technology division. He is also the chief information officer, chief privacy officer and chief security officer for Christian Brothers Services. As the leader of the Information & Technology Services division for the last 31 years, his responsibility has been to manage the portfolio of business and technology initiatives across all business units and all systems to continually improve services, efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, he is responsible for information protection, including privacy and security, for the entire organization.


Mr. Drez holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois, and the designation of Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
He is chairman of the Church Benefits Association’s Information Technology Group, a member of the Diocesan Information Systems Conference (DISC) and a member of the Lewis University Computer Science Advisory Board.


An active member in his community, Mr. Drez volunteers his time with the Lions Club, where he was a past president of the Lemont Lions, cabinet secretary for the District 1-BK Lions and the information technology chairman for the Lions of Illinois.

Neil Goodrich, CIO, M. Holland Co.

As the technology leader at the M. Holland Company, Neil is responsible for driving and establishing information technology strategies, digital organization change, and company software, mobility, and applications development. His multi-disciplinary background includes previous experience in accounting, project management, and investigation while his recent work has focused on building IT teams around cultures of creativity. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration in Operations Management from the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business. He continues to have strong ties to the UIC campus, where he mentors a cohort of high performing students as part of the Business Scholars program.

Jeff Handa, Solution Architect, Liferay

Jeff Handa is a Solution Architect with the Liferay Commerce team, responsible for supporting Liferay and Partner sales teams during the pre-sales phase of Liferay Commerce deals. Jeff also continues to work with the implementation team post sale to ensure that best practices are being followed. Jeff brings over 20 years of experience in developing and delivering enterprise grade solutions and has been working with the Liferay Platform for over 11 years.

Alison Kassel, CIO, Workforce Management Group, TrueBlue

Alison Kassel is Chief Information Officer, Workforce Management Group, TrueBlue. She is a versatile business technology leader, with experience in developing strategies, transforming organizations, implementing portfolio management and governance models, and delivering solutions enabling organizations to achieve their strategic and operating plan objectives. Alison was CIO of Seaton before its acquisition by TrueBlue in 2014. Prior to that, Alison has held significant IT roles for highly respected organizations such as U.S. Cellular, McDonalds, Motorola, NutraSweet, and Andersen Consulting.



Alison is on the Board of Directors for Have Dreams, a non-profit organization which serves children, teens, and adults impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is also an advisory member to i.c. Stars, a non-profit organization that prepares inner-city youth for careers in information technology and dedication to community involvement and leadership. Alison has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa and has completed Executive Education programs at The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She is Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), and is a Certified Change Agent.

Praveen Moturu, VP, Digital Technologies & Chief Enterprise Architect, MARS

Innovative, accomplished business and technology leader, visionary with strategic leadership experience in digital transformation, information technology optimization and enterprise change leadership at global and Fortune 500 multinational corporations. Elite expertise in strategy, planning, digital services, Innovation management and product monetization.

Ritesh Patel, Chief Digital Officer – Health, Ogilvy Consulting

Full biography coming soon!

David G. Rettig, CEO, Synoptus

David Rettig is CEO of Synoptus, delivering IT Operational Excellence and Salesforce architectural services. He holds two masters degrees and finishes his doctorate this January, specializing in business leadership development that results in real behavioral change. He has authored three books on leadership & business-IT alignment. He has over 25 years of hands-on and leadership experience with IT in manufacturing, tier-1 automotive, supply chain, higher education, engineering, and nonprofits.

Claude Scher, Chief Project Officer, Senta Technologies LLC; Former Director Applications Development and Maintenance, Charter Manufacturing 

Claude has been a repeat presenter at the CAMP IT PPM conference. He is currently the  Chief Project Officer at Senta Technologies.  Previously, he was PMO manager for Charter Manufacturing, a family-owned lead producer of steel and iron headquartered in Mequon, WI. Claude has over 20 years of experience leading large IT programs and managing diverse portfolio of projects for various size businesses and industries. Over the last 10 years, he has been a very active volunteer with the PMI organization acting as president and board member of the PMI Milwaukee Chapter as well as an active member of the US delegation for TC258, a global ISO initiative focused on standardization in the field of project, program and portfolio management.

Steve Shelton, RSM, Vertica

Steve Shelton has over 15 years of IT sales experience helping organizations protect their people, processes and data. Steve brings a variety of knowledge to his customers, which he developed from his tenures at CDW, Verizon, Symantec, RSA and Proofpoint. He believes the best working relationships come out of integrity, trust and care. Steve’s main goal is to make the lives of those around him better in any way he can.



Steve has a variety of interests outside of work, including Tai Chi, yoga, nutrition, parent coaching and staring at goats.

Nisar Syed, Director Operations & Infrastructure, IT, The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Nisar Syed is the Director of Operations & Infrastructure for the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. Founded in 1898, Booth is one of the oldest schools in the United States. Nine Booth faculty members and alums have won the Nobel Prize in economics since 1982.


Nisar has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, majority of which has been in the Healthcare & Life Sciences area. Nisar manages teams with responsibility for Mission Critical Infrastructure with responsibility both in traditional on-prem Data Centers and in the cloud (AWS & Azure).


Peter Szoke, Senior Director, Information Technology, Metals USA

Most people don’t know it but I ended up in the IT field by accident. I was looking for a job in HR, and having no luck, I ended up getting a job as a computer salesperson at Quill. Let’s be real here; I was not very good at selling, but I was really good at helping people solve their computer problems after the sale. Thankfully, I was moved into after sales tech support and the rest is history. Now I’m the Senior Director of IT and I love what I do and believe I have been successful because I understand that the one thing that is sorely missing in IT: COMMUNICATION. Many people in IT love to do the work of IT but they always leave out the part where they tell the users about the changes ahead or get caught up in the technical aspects of the change. I explain the WHY before the WHAT. For that reason, over the years I have become the “go to” person and have remained approachable. My strength is in explaining how technology can help reach business goals. I enjoy mentoring others so they can also spread this philosophy to users. I have been so lucky in my career to work for wonderful leaders who have taught me how to be a leader in my own way. I look forward to continuing to learn from other leaders and teaching my staff. A few accomplishments I’m proud of include:



I now work for Metals USA, a $2 Billion division of Reliance Steel and Aluminum. Before Metals USA, I worked at a privately owned Engineer to Order company, a family owned national Tree Care company, and a family owned Chemical Manufacturer. In each case, the IT team was not thought of as a partner to the business when I arrived. It was a “money sucking black hole” as one VP put it on my first day. My teams and I change that perception into a positive one with raving fans of IT. Who would have thought.

Kirti Vaidya, Vice President, Business Architecture and Transformation, Gallagher Bassett

An IT executive with demonstrated vision and leadership in Business Process driven Application Transformation, Customer Engagement based enterprise-wide Agile Process Implementation, and Service-focused Integration Architecture. Leader and Product Manager of public API offerings. Author and practitioner of agile processes at scale. Subject matter expert and strategic partner for VPs, CTOs, and CIOs. Thought leading speaker and panelist at many industry conferences. Lived and worked in India, Germany, Australia, Japan, and USA.

Sharmila Wijeyakumar, Vice President, Veriday

I love the world of digital transformation and enjoy helping companies bring new products to market as well as serve customers by helping them bridge business gaps with BI, Digital Marketing, Digital transformation, and change management. I serve enterprise organizations with the help of an amazing team. I am blessed to have the support & freedom to balance my faith, family, vocation, and passion to fight human trafficking.



My background has helped me to gain industry expertise in Financial Services & Insurance, Healthcare, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Retail. I am here to serve you in any way I can.