4th Annual


August 24, 2016
Fort Worth Convention Center

Interactive Breakout Sessions

Innovation, Leadership, Agility
Enterprise, Architecture, Hybrid Storage
Security, Infrastructure, & More!

Invaluable Networking Opportunities

Network, Connect &
Reconnect with Colleagues

Value & Convenience

Education & Resources
From Your Regional Peers

Executive Level Attendees
Companies Participating


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Founded in 1983, the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Chapter of SIM is the regional organization for top information executives in North Texas. Its membership includes senior information technology executives from more than 140 local private and public industry organizations, government agencies, and universities.

Members gather monthly to engage in conversations with top practitioners, industry leaders, and nationally recognized experts in information systems and management practices. Our social hour and dinner-meeting format provide ample opportunity to discuss important managerial and technical issues and to network with their peers from industry and government. Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of each month (except July) with a traditional year-end Holiday Banquet and Awards ceremony held in December. 

Members also enjoy a vendor-sponsored Golf Tournament each year and other opportunities to collaborate such as Clay Shootout and Bowling.  In addition, the SIM Chapter collaborates and supports several key conferences in the Dallas/Fort Worth area including CIO Executive Leadership Summit, Innotech, and the EFM Fort Worth IT Symposium.

Learn More

Planning Committee


Kevin Christ

Sr Director
Alvarez & Marsal

Blake Holman

St David's Foundation

Pam Presswood

VP of IS
Luther King Capital Management

Renee Arrington

Senior Vice President
Pearson Partners International

Nellson Burns

VP of IT
The HollyFrontier Companies

Joan Holman

Strasburger & Price LLP

Advisory Committee

John Burke

Ambit Energy

Tom Felton

SVP & Chief Administrative Officer
Wall Industries

Larry Freed

Overhead Door

Dennis John

City of Arlington, TX

Michael R Kingston

Neiman Marcus Group

Andy Laudato

Pier 1

Srinivas Maddipudi


Edward Marx

The Advisory Board Company/Clinovations

Gale Moericke

Huckabee & Associates

Christopher Nchopa-Ayafor

Tarrant County Information Technology

Janis O'Bryan

Chapter President

Philip Parker

VP of IT
Cornerstone Healthcare Group

Dr Kelly Slaughter PhD

Director, Center for IT & Management
Naveen Jindal School of Management
University of Texas at Dallas

Sallie Trotter

ITIS/SD Director
Texas Wesleyan University

Michael Kriesman

Jet Capital
Join Us At The 2016 Fort Worth IT Symposium

August 24, 2016

At The Fort Worth Convention Center



7:00am - | Attendee Check-In: Mexicana Breakfast Buffet Served

Sticky Buns with Cinnamon and Pecans Sliced Seasonal Fruits with Yogurt Sauce Migas Egg Casserole with Sausage, Green Chilies, Queso Fresco, and Tomatoes Served with Fried Tortilla Strips and Fire-roasted Salsa Roasted Breakfast Potatoes with Peppers and Onions Coffee, Assorted Teas with Hot Water, Chilled Juices, and Iced Water

8:00am - Ballroom B | Welcome Message

Janis O'Bryan

Chapter President
8:15am - Ballroom B | Organizational Transformation & The Role of IT

Mark Sunday


Cloud, mobile, social, big data, and customer expectations have radically transformed the way companies must do business in order to survive.  At the center of all these changes is the IT organization, positioned to be the catalyst to help the business be the victor, not the victim of all this change.

Join Oracle’s CIO, Mark Sunday as he addresses this new role of IT in leading the digital transformation by providing some refreshing insights as he shares the ‘top 10 lessons learned as the CIO of Oracle’.  As a technology visionary and culture warrior, Mark brings with him a wealth of knowledge and personal experiences in successfully leading a global IT organization through a time of great change and disruption at one of the largest technology companies in the world. 

9:00am - | Networking Break
9:15am - | Breakout Sessions
9:15am - 201A | Ludicrous Speed: Developing IT Strategy in the Face of Accelerating Business and IT Paradigm Shifts

Kevin Christ

Sr Director
Alvarez & Marsal

Chris Boult

Greyhound Lines

Peter Gott

Head of Barclaycard Technology Delivery

Michelle Johnson

The Freeman Company

Rusty Kennington

Sr Director
Americas IT at Commercial Metals Company

While the pace of technology innovation is top-of-mind for technologists, industry and business dynamics are adapting just as rapidly.  New models for customer interaction, distribution, production, and embedded technologies are upending proven industry models regularly.  With this panel, we will explore what these leading companies are doing in relation to:

  • Innovation, adoption and idea generation – roles and approaches in business functions and IT
  • IT Planning and Re-planning ---roles, resources, techniques and frequencies
  • Execution – accelerating on delivery of the IT Plan
9:15am - 201B | Starting from Scratch: Key Tools and Insights from Building-out a new IT Environment

Michael Kriesman

Jet Capital

Scott Stutheit

Infrastructure and Security Lead
Jet Capital

Successfully building an entire IT environment in 5 months is more realistic than ever due to the cloud and the new offerings available to take advantage of it.  In this session we’ll discuss a real-life example of how this was accomplished in 2016 at a new financial services company.  Get an inside perspective of the tools, processes and insights gained during the journey from day one, through launch and to today.  Attendees will walk away with practical tools & tips that can be utilized at any size company to help IT partner with and scale at the pace of the business.

9:15am - 201C | Cyber Security in the Cloud – 100% in the Cloud & 100% Safe

Shawn Wiora

Creative Solutions in Healthcare


9:15am - 202A | Creating Your Enterprise Cloud Strategy
sponsored by Oracle in association with Intel

Matt O'Keefe

Oracle Cloud Group

Cloud is in the process of impacting every industry and geography. Why? In the digital economy, it’s the new model of how IT services will be produced and consumed. Organizations that were earlier adopters of this innovative platform and those that are just now ready to implement their cloud strategy must be prepared to refine their strategy regularly to remain relevant and maintain their competitive position. Attend this session if you are responsible to developing strategy for your enterprise application architecture and want an overview of industry trends and how to bring agility to your enterprise application landscape.

10:00am - | Networking Break
10:30am - | Breakout Sessions
10:30am - 201A | Latest Trends in Security

Pam Presswood

VP of IS
Luther King Capital Management

Darren May

Tarrant County Information Technology

Adam Newberry


Jeffrey Kok

Mill Creek Residential

Gordon Brucks

CIO/SVP Operations
Southwest Bank

   • Federal security requirements
   • Legal trends in data security
   • Best practices for protection
   • Effective integration of security programs in a changing threat landscape
   • Metrics used for continuous improvement in a security program
   • And more!

10:30am - 201B | Organizational Change Management & The Need For Business Alignment & Strategic Relationships

Joan Holman

Strasburger & Price, LLP

Build it and they will come, or will they?  The successful technical implementation of a project is only part of the way to success; the adoption of the solution being implemented is the true success.  In this session, we will explore the need to ensure an organization is ready for change and how to achieve the appropriate level of readiness including traditional organizational change management, how to change in a fast-moving world and the necessity of business alignment to achieve those goals.

10:30am - 201C | 5 Valuable Reasons to Monitor Your Data Center
sponsored by OP5

Jan Josephson


As the world changes, devices, tools and associated applications become more advanced, the identity and overall role of the data center constantly changes. Organizations of all types are growing rapidly so new demands around the data center platform create direct efficiency challenges which need to be addressed. IT Administrators, infrastructure managers, and network architects have realized the modern data center is complex and needs to be monitored efficiently. op5 spent time working with our development team and some of our customers to compose 5 Reasons to Monitor Your Data Center. Take a ways from this session include:

  • Automation - How to make solid decisions to quickly convert your support process from reactive to proactive
  • Compacity and Resource Utilization - How to improve the management of your infrastructure
  • Smarter Correlation - How to lower downtime risk
  • Visualization of Data Center Services - How to lower support costs and time investment
  • Scalability and Security - Decrease demand on staff and human resources
10:30am - 202A | Migration to Cloud – Is there a case for Unified Communications as a Service for everyone?
sponsored by Peak Uptime

Charlie Bogart


All the industry analysts point to a massive migration to cloud for all types of computing in the next several years. Is there evidence that Unified Communications is best served from a cloud platform? Or are there circumstances where a premise based system is superior? We will discuss the operational and economic metrics around this technology shift, and how you should analyze and prepare for the future. The objective is to enable decision makers to move confidently in the proper direction.

10:30am - 202B | Legal Issues Emerging From the Internet of Things

Janet Knaus

Warner, Norcross & Judd

Kelly Hollingsworth

Warner, Norcross & Judd

Experts estimate that by 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. The proliferation of the “Internet of things” – the network of connected objects with the ability to communicate and share data with each other– brings both untold benefits to businesses as well as significant security, privacy, and legal risks. Vulnerabilities in some of these internet-connected devices can be exploited to allow hackers to access and misuse personal information, or even cause harm to the device or the device’s user. In this session, we will give you an overview of the emerging legal issues and trends from the “Internet of things.”

11:15am - Southern Comfort Lunch Buffet Served

Spinach Salad with Chopped Egg, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Mushrooms, and Bacon Vinaigrette Cherry Tomato, Cucumber, Salami, Banana Peppers and Sherry Vinaigrette Traditional Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy Roasted Chicken with Herbs Caramelized Carrots and Roasted Red Potatoes Assorted Breads with Butter Deep-dish Pecan Pie with Caramel Bourbon Sauce Iced Tea, Coffee, and Water Service

11:40am - Ballroom B | Trinity River Vision Project Overview

Matt Oliver

Communications Manager
Trinity River Vision Authority

The Trinity River Vision is a master plan for the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas. It is underway now - connecting every neighborhood in the city to the Trinity River corridor with new recreational amenities, improved infrastructure, environmental enhancements and event programming. The TRV will create Panther Island, a vibrant urban waterfront neighborhood, expand Gateway Park into one of the largest urban-programmed parks in the nation, enhance the river corridor with over 90 user-requested projects along the Trinity Trails and program public spaces including the Panther Island Pavilion, a waterfront music venue and festival space directly adjacent to downtown Fort Worth.

11:58am - Room | Keynote Introduction

Joan Holman

Strasburger & Price, LLP
12:00pm - Ballroom B | A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement

Daren Martin

PhD & Author

Lack of employee engagement is the biggest challenge facing business owners and leaders today. Daren Martin delivers proven insights and solutions he uses to create ownership cultures in some of the biggest companies in the world. Using insights gleaned from years helping companies and coaching leaders, Dr. Martin teaches company leaders how to turn team members into owners. He will describe why employee engagement is so low at many companies, and what you can do to maximize it at yours.  He will also touch on Company Culture Killers as well as how to Act Like an Owner and become indispensable to any organization or company.

12:45pm - | Networking Break
1:00pm - | Breakout Sessions
1:00pm - 201A | What I Wish I Knew Before I Signed That Contract

Blake Holman

St David's Foundation

Gregory Weiss

GTW Management LLC

Contracts are a tricky thing – the devil is in the details. Legal review is a must-have any more, yet companies still experience issues with contracts down the road when they least expect it or can least afford a contract “snafu”. Attend this session if you want an easy to follow approach for identifying issues and doing your best to prevent them from being problems. When contractual disputes arise, that is the worst time to realize that the contract review was insufficient to best meet your needs. Equip yourself to get it right before the contract is signed.

This session will cover common contract elements, where the lines of responsibility lie (Legal versus Business) and common pitfalls / things to look for that often come back to ruin your day. We’ll share several stories to illustrate the concepts rather than tying ourselves up in deep, twisted legal-ease.

1:00pm - 201B | Phishing – How Hackers Hack

Phillip Fort

CyberSecurity Engineer

Social Engineering and phishing are the primary means by which hackers infiltrate modern corporate networks. I define Social Engineering plus (+) phishing is equal (=) to Spear Phishing (Social Engineering + Phishing = Spear Phishing). Spear Phishing is a highly customized message that once delivered looks to be a credible and relevant to the victim. Since spear phishing is specific to the victim, they are far more likely to succeed than traditional phishing attacks.

In this session you will be introduced to how attackers gather information and use this information to create Spear Phishing messages. This session will include live demos that demonstrate what happens and the capabilities of an attacker once a phishing link is clicked. Lastly, we will give our defense in depth strategy on how to combat Spear Phishing attempts.

1:00pm - 201C | Ditch the Consultants! Write your own IT Strategic Plan

Christopher Nchopa-Ayafor

Tarrant County IT

Ever been frustrated by consultant-led or consultant-generated strategic plans?  Were you surprised to realize your organization actually had a strategic plan?  Does your team struggle with executing the plan so it ends up being a dust collector?

Sound familiar?  You are NOT alone. This presentation is for you.

A strategic plan needs to speak to the heart and soul of the organization. You are not going to get that from outside consultants.
Chris Nchopa-Ayafor, CIO for Tarrant County Information Technology Department (ITD) will take you on their journey in building an IT strategic plan of ownership, accountability, execution and reportable progress.

Based on ITD’s motto of Business First, Technology Second, he will share the methodology and tips Tarrant County ITD staff engaged for creating their strategic plan.  Known as Vision 2020, their self-made plan is a framework to ensure information technology investments align with evolving business priorities and Tarrant County’s strategic goals.

1:00pm - 202A | Why IT Strategy Matters Before the Pieces and Parts
sponsored by Pure Storage

Trevor Starnes

Systems Engineering Leader
Pure Storage

Join Pure Storage Principal Engineer, Trevor Starnes for an interactive dialogue on the current trends and technology from a storage vendor’s perspective and what we are seeing and hearing from customers of all sizes. We’ll also share our perspective and provide best practices on how we advise our customers and prospects the importance of setting your IT strategy first before filling up a data center with just hardware and software without a vision or strategy.

1:45pm - | Networking Break
2:00pm - | Breakout Sessions
2:00pm - 201A | Debate: Will the CIO survive beyond 2020?

Nellson Burns

VP of IT
The HollyFrontier Companies

H William Gordon

CIO CyberSecurity Partner
Creative Corporate Change, LLC

The Office of the CIO and the role of the CIO are transforming to meet the business needs of an ever growing digital world. New technologies are making the role of the CIO ever more complex.

Many CIOs today are in an operational role providing day-to-day technology support, managing IT assets, and overseeing the technical teams that keeps a business running. However, there is an evolution taking place as company’s recognize opportunities to leverage IT investments as enablers of business transformation. This is requiring CIOs to have a higher level of influence on how businesses change.

In order for businesses to remain competitive in their ability to innovate, a CIO's ability to play a major role in partner and customer relations is a priority. Outstanding leadership and influencing skills will determine which CIOs are most successful in the future. It means we should expect a CIO with an increasingly diverse, non-technical background who partners more with the broader business to deliver innovation and value.

But what does all this change mean to the role of the CIO and the Office of the CIO in general? Will the Office of the CIO as we know it survive or will it evolve into something unrecognizable today? What will the role of the CIO look like in four years from now? Will there even be a CIO role by 2020 or will it disappear?

Two experienced CIOs with opposite views of where the role will be in the future share their opinions on these questions, will briefly debate one another, and then will open it up the audience for their opinions.
2:00pm - 201B | Weathering the Storm: Making Your Application Resilient

Kevin Dunn

U.S. Retirement Partners

Complex application and infrastructure environments bring increasing challenges to enterprise systems availability. High availability no longer suffices in technology architectures which span datacenters, providers, and sometimes the globe. In order to have resilient applications a new model of development is required, one that is built on self-reliance, adaptive provisioning, and automated discovery.

2:00pm - 201C | Always on DR - Protecting Your Mission Critical Applications with Virtual Replication
sponsored by Zerto

John Sotello

IT Systems Engineer
Atlantic Aviation

Atlantic Aviation provides a wide range of aircraft ground handling and corporate flight support services, including fueling and line services, ground transportation, catering, hangar, deicing, and ramp space. With customer satisfaction as their highest priority, they needed a robust DR strategy that ensures 24x7 business operations. When Atlantic Aviation’s previous cloud-based solution wasn’t providing the control and RPOs, they knew they required a new DR strategy to meet their needs.

2:00pm - 202A | Using IOT to Protect and Defend the Revenue Stream
sponsored by Aruba

Byron Clymer

Approach Logic llc

Does your businesses revenue rely on a physical location for your company to transact its business?  What happens when the power goes out, or the HVAC doesn't work, or badge reader fails.  Will you know when it happens or as you drive up to your business the next morning will you see your revenue stream literally stopped at the front gate.  During this session we will talk about a case study of where IOT enabled building infrastructure protected revenue and how we would do it differently today.

2:58pm - Ballroom B | Keynote Introduction

Kevin Christ

Senior Director
Alvarez & Marsal
3:00pm - Ballroom B | Revitalizing IT: A Layered Approach

Relle Howard

Trinity Industries, Inc

Relle Howard literally earned his stripes at West Point and in the U.S. Army.  Subsequently, he rose through a number of business leadership roles at Alcatel before crossing over into information technology at Celanese Chemicals.  This diverse background provides him with a very different perspective of IT than a career technologist.

As Vice President of Information Technology of Flowserve, he used his business and IT perspective to transform the relationship between IT and the business units.  What started out as a fragmented application landscape and fractured business relationship was reigned in and integrated.  Business engagement and relationships were mended and IT had seats at the business staff tables.  Imagine the impact on the ability to share best business practices.  During this time, he developed his “layered model” approach to IT transformation.

Early in 2016, Trinity Industries hired Relle as their new CIO.  They are seeking a similar seismic transformation in their IT business relationship.

Join Relle as he shares his practical insights and perspectives about how to dramatically enhance performance when stepping into a new IT leadership role

3:45pm - Room | Closing Remarks

Nellson Burns

VP of IT
The HollyFrontier Companies
4:00pm - Networking Reception

Enjoy this complimentary cocktail reception featuring an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and conversation. Make this an important element of your attendance to the Summit. The ability to network and collaborate with your peers in an open and no-hype environment will prove to provide long lasting value to your key business initiatives moving forward.

Join Us At The 2016 Fort Worth IT Symposium

August 24, 2016

At The Fort Worth Convention Center



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1201 Houston Street • Fort Worth, TX 76102


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