Sid Bala, President & CEO, alligatortek
Sid Bala drives the vision and direction of an award-winning software firm dedicated to solving business challenges with technology. alligatortek was established in 1993 to build custom enterprise applications. These solutions address process bottlenecks to improve efficiency, productivity, and the bottom line for clients. alligatortek opens the possibilities for new strategies and business opportunities with software technologies.
Under Sid’s leadership, the company has been recognized as a best-in-class partner, employer and innovator. A Microsoft Gold Managed Partner, alligatortek was the winner of the 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the category of Innovative Technology for Good Citizenship. The firm is a two-time recipient of the Chicago Innovation Awards for its game-changing solutions. alligatortek has received elite recognition for four consecutive years by the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and was listed as One of the Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent. Sid learned early on the importance of hiring talented and amazing team members as early as possible, and he believes that the company’s most valuable investment is human capital.
Throughout the years, Sid has remained an active member of the community. He has served on various charitable foundation boards and business councils.
A Chicago native, Sid attended the University of Chicago for his bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and went on to the State University of New York, Stony Brook for a graduate degree in computer science. He holds a master’s degree from MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program.
Frank J. Burr, Chief Information Officer / Chief Security Officer, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Frank Burr is the CIO\CSO for the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has a BS in Computer Science and a Master Degree in Project Management. Frank has been with Catholic Charities for over 23 years. Prior to Catholic Charities he worked at World Book Encyclopedia for 10 years.
Frank extensive experience in designing, troubleshooting, implementing, and managing local and wide-area networks and telecommunication systems and connectivity. Experience in computer and video forensics.
He is a member of Catholic Charities Disaster Response Team, Risk Management Committee, and Corporate Compliance Committee. He developed and is responsible for Catholic Charities I/T disaster recovery and I/T’s part of Catholic Charities business continuity plan. Frank is a member of InfraGard, HTCIA, ISSA, and PMI.
Patrick Cannon, VP Technical Sales, US Signal Company
Pat Cannon is currently the Vice President of Technical Sales at US Signal and brings over 15 years of IT Consulting and Leadership experience to the US Signal team. A seasoned professional, Pat has extensive experience architecting scalable, secure and resilient solutions for customers within a wide variety of industries. Pat’s experience as an IT consultant allows him to look at business objectives and technology options producing solutions that have a meaningful impact for customer operation.
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.
Dave Dyson, CEO, Eclipse Telecom
Dave is passionate in his belief that communication is the most important thing that any business does and that communication technology can be transformed from a necessary cost to a competitive advantage for organizations of all sizes.
Dave is an expert in telecommunications business process improvement, technology transformation, and cloud adoption. Dave and the Eclipse team have a deep understanding of how to leverage technology to drive business outcomes that deliver measurable technical, financial, and operational gains for their clients.
Dave is an Emeritus member of CompTIA’s Partner Advisory Council, and currently sits on the editorial panel for Channel Partners. Dave is also a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Joe’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo, NY. In his spare time, Dave is also Director of Hockey and Head Varsity Coach for the Oak Park River Forest high school hockey team.
Monika Erande, Director, Finance Digital & IT, Dover Corporation
Monika Erande is an accomplished technology finance executive providing strategic finance leadership at Fortune 500 companies for 15 years, driving cost optimization, creating and executing finance governance models and digital transformation models. Monika has extensive experience in strategic planning, IT & Digital finance operations, FP&A, building allocations and governance models, KPIs/metrics, team development.
Monika currently leads the global IT and Digital finance function at Dover, a diversified global manufacturer that delivers innovative equipment and components, specialty systems, consumable supplies, software and digital solutions, and support services with annual revenue of over $7 billion. Her previous experiences include supporting IT and Digital initiatives and senior leadership at Thermo Fisher Scientific and operations at Western Digital and, Lam Research.
Monika began her career in Silicon Valley, CA and served in corporate finance for large Technology organizations. She received her MBA from San Jose State‘s Lucas Graduate School of Business and obtained a BS in Accountancy and MBA from India.
Rick Fournier, Director, Digital Realty
Rick Fournier is a 22 year veteran of the data center industry with a background in critical infrastructure, design-build, operations, and outsourced hosting. He works with enterprises on data center strategy, space/power optimization, and interconnection planning as his clients move through their digital transformation. Based in the Chicago area, Rick works with Midwest based companies on deploying their IT footprints around the globe.
Matt Gleason, VP & General Manager, CoreSite
Matt Gleason is the General Manager for CoreSite’s Northeast markets, responsible for the overall investment performance and business operation of CoreSite’s New York, Boston and Chicago facilities. In his 10 years at CoreSite, Mr. Gleason has also held the position of Vice President of Facilities, and was responsible for all electrical, mechanical and building systems associated with CoreSite’s national data center portfolio. Prior to CoreSite, Mr. Gleason served as the Senior Technical Manager at Switch and Data, overseeing the company’s infrastructure maintenance and uptime programs. He was also a noncommissioned officer in the US Navy and honor graduate of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, operating and maintaining nuclear power plants on the USS Connecticut, a fast attack submarine.
Karthik Kandamuri, Enterprise Architecture, Business Technology Solutions, AbbVie
Karthik Kandamuri works for Corporate IT group at AbbVie, providing thought leadership in information management and strategy, impacting entire organization. Over the years, Karthik led multiple initiatives covering Master Data, Internet enabled B2B/B2C strategy, Cloud, Big Data, Information/Data Catalogs. Currently he is leading initiatives in Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence area.
Kendra Karczewski, Manager, Stratosphere Networks
Kendra has more than six years of experience in the contact center and unified communication space, working with clients to consult on and provide solutions unique to every business environment. Based on how businesses interact with their employees and customers, she and our team of specialists design communication platforms by pairing different unified communication, contact center, and network/carrier solutions, including SD-WAN.
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.
Jim P. MacLennan, SVP & Chief Information Officer, IDEX Corporation
James P. MacLennan (Jim) is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at IDEX Corporation, an applied solutions business that sells highly engineered products to customers in a variety of markets worldwide. MacLennan has responsibility for Corporate IT service offerings for IDEX’ portfolio of business units, and drives innovative thinking through strategic initiatives that leverage Information and Technology as growth drivers for the industrial manufacturing space.
Anne Mansfield, Director, Commercial Software Development, Patterson Technology Center
Anne Mansfield is the Director of Commercial Software Development for Patterson Technology Center, a division of Patterson Companies. In her role, she leads product teams to plan, develop, test, deliver and support the company’s commercial software products, which are used by dentists and veterinarians to run their businesses. Her responsibilities also include medical device quality management and privacy and security operations. As a technology leader with experience in a diverse range of business functions, Anne has focused the last 14 years of her career on leading complex, cross-functional projects to transform and upgrade systems, to continually enhance processes and to drive change management in order to deliver positive customer outcomes.
Paul Rentzelos, CIO, Leopardo Companies, Inc.
For over 20 years, Paul has led the technology team that he assembled at Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Leopardo Construction, one of the nation’s largest commercial builders. Rentzelos’ responsibilities include the design, procurement, installation, implementation and management of all technology and application systems for Leopardo and several other organizations. Well-versed in LAN, WAN, IP Telephony and various software applications, Paul has been instrumental in developing Leopardo’s strategic policies as they relate to information systems.
Paul also has 10 years of construction project management and estimating experience with clients such as The Metropolitan Bank Group, Miglin Beitler Management, The Hilton Hotels, Chicago Public Schools, Kinko’s, and City of Chicago. With a career that integrates technology and construction, Rentzelos has tremendous experience in computer applications for the construction industry, including Design, Project Management, and field operations
Paul Rentzelos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in Construction Management from Illinois State University and is a member of the American Institute of Constructors.
Tom Rieger, Director AI and Analytics, OpenText
Mr. Rieger has been an industry leader focused on helping bring better technology and efforts to maximize value in the areas of analytics, cloud and extracting value out of all your data.
Jeff Roseman, Vice President, Information Technology, Marmon Foodservice Technologies
Jeff is an experienced IT executive with over two decades of experience in both technology management and consulting roles. With experience in global business, marketing, sales, business process re-engineering, and as an IT director, CIO and consultant, he has worked both sides of the technology world. Mr. Roseman possesses an extensive background working with regional, national, and international businesses in a variety of industries including professional services, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, legal, real estate, construction, and non-profit. He has a broad knowledge of IT strategy, networking, telecommunications, training & development, systems integration, mergers and acquisitions, facility relocation, and business continuity planning.
Mr. Roseman continues to be successful moving IT teams from a crises management mentality to predictive, proactive, disciplined organization. He has previously lectured on social media & networking, IT leadership, customer relationship management, endpoint security, and disaster recovery planning. Mr. Roseman has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in Information Systems and Marketing from the University of Iowa. He mentors undergraduate/MBA students in the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and serves on College’s SoMAC board. He lives in Wheaton with his wife and two teenage daughters.
Gordon Sexton, AI Practice Manager, GENESYS
Gordon Sexton is the AI Practice Manager for the Genesys North American Business Consulting organization. With a keen interest in Artificial intelligence, he has been working in CX solutions since 2000.
Curtis Spall, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, BrightStar Care
I am an Executive IT Leader with experience in driving business growth through technology led transformations. My belief is that at the center of every successful enterprise lies a technology “heart” that not only provides the lifeblood of the organization, but also serves as the growth engine that powers faster product delivery, higher quality, reduced operating cost and brand differentiation. From this belief, I view my role as a leader of change in how businesses utilize technology to achieve both tactical and strategic goals.
My depth of experience leading technology teams in the Health Care and Financial Services industries has given me a broad set of perspectives into transforming how organizations (both big and small) leverage technology to drive substantially better results. For specific examples, see my experience summary.
Over the course of my career, I have learned that successful organizations achieve results through the teamwork of skilled individuals. To that end, I have become adept at identifying, attracting and developing high potential talent. Coaching my teams and mentoring individuals is critical to success and something that I am most proud of.
Building trusted partnerships with business stakeholders at all levels is also extremely important to me and aligns with my point of view that the most successful Technology organizations are integrated and working every day along side the business. We all succeed or fail together as one team.
Key Areas of Expertise:
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.
Tim Walter, CIO-SVP, Randa Accessories
Tim Walter is the Senior Vice President\Chief Information Officer of Randa Accessories. He is responsible for all technology of the company’s wholesale and direct consumer business. He works closely with all areas of the company to develop customer centered systems and operationally effective processes. He leads the core team responsible for continued development, implementation, and operations. Tim works to align the company’s informational infrastructure with its data-based client approach.
Prior to Randa, Tim served as Chief Information Officer\Digital officer for The Packaging Wholesalers, where he developed B2B and B2C website brands. He also worked as the Chief Information Officer at XSport Fitness, RMG Network’s Mall Media Division, and Cross Com National.
While at CrossCom National, his leadership resulted in the 2010 CIO 100 Innovation Award for Sustainable Innovation for their on-line mapping technology, which was used to monitor service staff across the entire United States. This technology built new revenue streams, while engaging customers to create lasting value.
He was instrumental in managing and scaling the technology at Uline Shipping Supplies as the Director of Web Programming and Infrastructure, which was responsible for the company’s explosive growth. During his career, Tim has held a number of key leadership positions in companies including Ameritech, Arthur Anderson, ServiceMaster, and Zurich American Insurance. His experience includes consumer and business websites, global Internet infrastructure, IT security, data center operations, and enterprise business applications.
Tim holds a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Software Engineering and Project Management from DePaul University. He received a Bachelor of Science from Valparaiso University. He is currently completing his MBA at Louisiana State University Shreveport.
Greg Wilson, Director, Content Services, ASG
Greg Wilson leads ASG Technology’s Content Services practice for North America. Greg has worked closely with Fortune 500 companies over the past three decades to deliver innovative solutions and help to define their enterprise content vision. Greg’s career includes tenures with leading technology firms in the content industry as well as start-up organizations. “It has been a privilege to be involved in Content Services and Information Management through such an exciting and transformative period of time.”