EXECUTIVE SPONSOR AND HOST

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Guillermo Diaz, Jr., Senior Vice President and CIO, Cisco

Guillermo Diaz, Jr., is responsible for Cisco’s global Information Technology organization and services. The focus is on transforming the overall IT experience by strengthening foundational business capabilities; enabling new business models such as service, software, and SaaS; and accelerating innovative business outcomes for Cisco customers, partners, and employees.

Guillermo is a primary leader of the Cisco Diversity Council and the executive sponsor of Conexión, Cisco’s Hispanic/Latino employee resource network.

Since joining the company in 2000, Guillermo has been a major driver of the development of Cisco’s world-class IT organization by leading initiatives to build and manage significant business foundations.

EMCEE

Brenda Dennis, Head of Sales Operations, Americas & Global Enterprise Theater, Cisco

Brenda Dennis is Head of Sales Operations within Cisco’s Customer & Partner Services (CPS) organization, supporting Cisco’s largest sales geography – Americas and Global Enterprise ($28B+).  She leads a 450+ person team responsible for providing world-class customer and partner services, optimizing deal readiness and sales productivity, and making it easier for customers, partners, and sales teams to do business with Cisco.  Brenda comes to this position with over 19 years of experience in $49B+ Cisco Sales. Brenda earned a MBA from Marymount University, a BA degree in International Business from Oregon State University, and studied at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.

ADVISORS

GARY ALTERSON, PRACTICE LEAD, STRATEGY, RISK AND COMPLIANCE, CISCO

Gary is a specialist in risk management, information risk, governance, and compliance. Within Cisco’s Security Advisory Services, He leads a team of former security, risk and compliance officers in the delivery of senior level advisory services. Gary and his team have been instrumental in transforming client enterprise and technology risk programs to effectively address shifting business models, emerging technologies, and the evolving threat environment. He has deep experience in developing risk management strategies and frameworks as well as designing and leading both IT and information risk management programs. Gary is often sought out to serve as a liaison between technology professionals and their peers in audit, compliance and legal. Gary joined Cisco as part of the Neohapsis acquisition.

Kevin Bandy, Chief Digital Officer, CIsco

Kevin Bandy, Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer, is defining Cisco’s next generation digital strategy and helping to expand the company’s digital portfolio.  Using a bold vision and leveraging a broad set of customer-focused experiences, he is designing a comprehensive vision for Cisco, customers and partners to capture the true value of digitization through Cisco’s broad portfolio of solutions and services.

In his previous roles at Salesforce.com, Rhea Springs LLC, Accenture, and IBM, Kevin has focused on transformation, growth, and market relevance for his customers and clients.  

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Ruba Borno, Vice President of growth initiatives and chief of staff to CEO, Cisco

Ruba Borno joins Cisco as Vice President of Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Ruba leads business strategy and planning, provides market insights to support Cisco's investment and technology strategies, and inform the CEO agenda.

Ruba was previously a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group and a leader in their Technology, Media & Telecommunications, and People & Organization practice groups. Known for her prioritization and execution, she supported the most senior executives of enterprise and consumer technology companies as they managed organizational change, increased operational effectiveness, and accelerated business growth. In this capacity she worked closely with Cisco executives on engineering, business, and people transformation initiatives. She also co-authored articles including "Break Up or Shake Up: Get Ready for the Technology Industry Revolution" and "Technology Companies: Putting People First."

Mike Flannagan, Vice President / General Manager, Data & Analytics, Cisco

Mike is responsible for the company’s data and analytics strategy, and leads multiple software business units including Data Virtualization, Analytics, ServiceGrid and Energy Management. Under Mike’s leadership, the Data Virtualization Business Unit provides software and services that enable organizations to efficiently access corporate data assets from a variety of enterprise data sources Big Data sources, a multitude of cloud services, real-time streaming analytics applications, and the Internet of Things.

Mike joined Cisco in 2000. He previously held IT leadership positions in consulting and global media companies, and founded several start-ups. Mike is a Cisco Certified Internetwork Engineer, patent holder and published author.

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Alison Gleeson, Senior Vice President, Americas Sales, Cisco

Alison Gleeson is Senior Vice President of the Americas Sales organization, Cisco's largest geographic region, responsible for more than $20 billion in annual sales for the company. The Americas region includes more than 5600 employees in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. In her current role, Gleeson continues to serve as an advisor to the Commercial business at Cisco on a global scale, working to ensure consistent execution across the geographic regions, as well as developing a set of consistent processes, programs, and roles that will eliminate redundancies and increase growth potential for the company.

Rebecca Jacoby, Senior Vice President, Operations, Cisco

Rebecca Jacoby is senior vice president of operations. She oversees the supply chain, global business services, security and trust, and IT organizations and is responsible for driving profitable growth and enabling operational excellence for Cisco.   In her former role as CIO, she made the Cisco IT organization a strategic business partner, producing significant business value in the form of financial performance, customer satisfaction and loyalty, market share, and productivity. Her commitment to operational excellence, innovative approach to business problems, and aptitude for partnering cross-functionally have elevated the role of IT at Cisco. Jacoby joined Cisco in 1995 and has held leadership roles in operations, manufacturing, and IT.

Jacoby was recently inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame by CIO Magazine and was recognized by Forbes as a “Superstar CIO” in 2012. She serves on the boards of S&P Global and Second Harvest Food Bank. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of the Pacific and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Cisco

Francine is Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer of Cisco. She plays a major role in the company’s overall performance, leading organizational strategy, promoting operational effectiveness, and elevating team performance through innovative leadership.

Francine leads Cisco’s business-driven People Strategy and People Deal, both of which support and align to Cisco’s overall business strategy and are essential to driving the company’s transformational journey. She is also evolving Cisco’s approach to strategic workforce planning with programs highlighting the skills and capabilities that employees need to be innovative in today’s technology driven environment. She fosters a culture of full spectrum participation, emphasizing inclusion and collaboration to drive exponential business value.

James Mobley, Vice President, Cisco Security and Collaboration Services

James is a proven entrepreneur and technology executive. He has a long track record of success in both early stage companies and global technology leaders.  As VP of this new organization, he is responsible for management of Cisco’s extensive portfolio of Security, Collaboration, Internet of Everything (IoE) and Analytics services.  A key goal of this new organization is to ensure security is foundational to all services offered within Cisco’s Advanced Services Group and to provide a broad range of industry-focused solutions.

James joined Cisco in January 2015, following the acquisition of Neohapsis, Inc. where he served as President and CEO.

Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Advanced Services

Bryan Palma is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Advanced Services Group. His organization helps customers design, build, and optimize technology capabilities across network, data center, cloud, collaboration, video, mobility, and security.

Before joining Cisco, Palma was Vice President of Cyber and Security Solutions at Boeing, Vice President of Service Delivery Operations for Hewlett Packard and was PepsiCo’s first Chief Information Security Officer.  Palma also was a special agent with the United States Secret Service, where he helped combat cybercrime.

Palma holds Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Education in Counseling as well as a Bachelors in English and Speech Communications.

R. Lance Perry, Vice President, Customer Strategy & Success Cisco

Lance Perry leads Cisco’s Customer Strategy & Success (CS&S) group, which forges partnerships with Cisco sales teams and customers by sharing IT architecture, system, and application best practices.

Prior to his current role, he was Vice President of Infrastructure, where he is credited with increasing employee productivity through the design and deployment of innovative technologies. He was also senior director of IT Enterprise Operations and Hosting, where he made significant contributions to Cisco's worldwide enterprise resource planning upgrade and built a worldwide data center infrastructure.

Prior to his career at Cisco, Perry held senior IT management positions at Apple Computer, Goldman Sachs Group, and Communication Science, Inc.

Zorawar Biri Singh, SVP & CTO, Platforms and Solutions

Biri Singh is Cisco’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, responsible for driving thought leadership around Cisco's technology roadmap, platforms and architectures for the next era of digitization.  Partnering closely with Cisco’s engineering and broader CTO communities, Biri is setting the foundation for Cisco’s long-term investments and helping align Cisco’s technology strategy with the company’s strategic priorities.

Patty Wright, Senior Director, Cisco Security Solutions, Cisco

Patty is a proven services leader with a track record of understanding her clients’ security challenges with their evolving business requirements. Ms. Wright has successfully advised Fortune 2000 companies for over 15 years, helping to sketch their strategic security blueprint for today and for the future. As a Senior Director, Ms. Wright is responsible for the Security and Risk Consulting delivery organizations. 

Ms. Wright joined Cisco in January 2015 following the acquisition of Neohapsis, Inc. where she served as Vice President of Consulting Service.  Neohapsis was a leading cyber security consultancy providing mobile, cloud, risk, and compliance services to many of the world’s largest enterprises.

Industry Speakers

Peter Carter, Business Lead, Digital Services Transformation and D61+ Industry Partnerships, DATA 61, A Division of CSIRO

Peter is passionate about building business through innovation and technology - transforming the seemingly impossible into commercial opportunity.  He has been working closely with Cisco in Australia to champion industry transformation and build a national innovation ecosystem involving universities and researchers, governments and corporates and investor/start-up community. 

Peter has been building businesses in Australia, New Zealand and APAC for more than 25 years with extensive ICT industry experience in: technology, agriculture, justice and legal, healthcare and government.  Peter has a long-standing interest and involvement in international development and emergency relief programs.

NANCY CROUCH, ASSOCIATE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES AND CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PEMBROKE

In her current role at UNCP Nancy dreams, plans, and executes comprehensive technology initiatives designed to complement the ideals of the university. Leveraging tools and people to create optimal outcomes is a common thread throughout her career in education and information technology. Nancy embeds a service mindset in the culture of the organization, seeing that experiences are engineered to produce superior customer satisfaction. 

Also a Senior Consultant with the Hayes Group International, Nancy is an engaging coach, expert in igniting energy and developing vision in the midst of rapid change. She is passionate about fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that models collaborative leadership across generations.

Nancy’s expertise in developing human potential, organizational change and program development stems from over 30 years of experience in building partnerships between educational, corporate and community institutions.

Paulo De Souza, Jr., Oce Science Leader, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Paulo is an internationally recognized and awarded researcher and research manager in the fields of geochemistry, sensors, sensor networks, and ICT with twenty years of experience in industry and research organizations; more than 200 peer-review publications, three patents and four books published; committed to excellence in research, and successful track record in BD&C of research products. 

Paulo has held senior positions in Government agencies, Universities and private industry. He has extensive hands-on experience managing large teams, complex operations and large-scale projects. Paulo is passionate about translating science into meaningful outcomes for government, business and the community.

SY ESFAHANI, CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER & SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL (MGMRI)

Sy is a seasoned technology executive with over 30 years’ experience.  Since joining MGMRI July 2013, Sy has lead their overall technology strategy and execution.  Prior to MGMRI He was Chief Information Officer for Fiserv Card Services, the leading technology provider to financial institutions.  Earlier, Sy was Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President at GES, a leading global general contractor in the trade show industry.  Sy also previously held the position of Vice President of Back Office Products at ACI World Wide, as well as Director of Development at First Data Corporation, both leading technology providers in financial services.

Sy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska, and an MBA from Central Michigan University.

Frances Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Planning and Recruiting, Harvard Business School

Frances Frei is the UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management at Harvard Business School and the Chair of the MBA Required Curriculum at HBS. Her research investigates how organizations can more effectively design service excellence and has been published in top-tier journals such as Management Science and Harvard Business Review. In addition, she has published dozens of case studies across a variety of industries, including financial services, government, retail, software, telecommunications, and hospitality.

Frances regularly advises organizations seeking to create greater value through their service experiences. Her advisory work focuses on helping companies to make strategic choices that allow them to profitably differentiate on service. She serves on the board of directors of Advance Auto Parts and on the boards of advisors of several private companies.

Frances received her PhD in operations and information management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds an ME in industrial engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nigel Hook, CEO/President and Founder, DataSkill

Nigel founded DataSkill in 1981, with a vision to apply cutting edge skills to create extraordinary value from data to solve vexing problems with an ensemble of AI technologies and is a prime partner with IBM Watson.

Hook’s parallel passion for motorsports ignited with the F1 GP, Cosworth, Aston Martin and McLaren as neighbors. With an affinity for racing on the ocean, Hook has competed in 25 countries on 5 continents winning three World Championships.

Today, Hook is pushing the limits of IBM and Cisco's edge analytics to fly faster, optimize systems and pilots, and transform the sport by using an ocean of IoT data to engage fans with a virtual experience. As in business, AI-assisted split-second decisions can have an eventful impact. In racing, the consequences are immediate.

Kris Lappala, Chief Information Officer, Kiewit Corporation

Kris is accountable for technology strategy and innovation, financials, security and risk management, and technology governance. He is focused on developing a world class technology group with a focus on culture and talent development. His approach includes balancing the right blend of strategy and innovation, with a focus on operational excellence.

Kris joined Kiewit in 2011 after spending 5 years as Vice President at First National Bank of Omaha in the areas of technology and Retail Banking. First National is a top 20 independent bank based out of the mid-west. 

Vikram Mansharamani, Author, Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst, Yale Lecturer and Harvard Senior Fellow

Vikram first gained widespread attention in 2011 with his book Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst. Since then he’s gone on to show others how to use his multi-lens approach to manage risk, navigate uncertainty and peer into the future on crucial areas like China, food, the global economy, Africa, housing, investing, financial cycles, energy and much more.

Vikram Mansharamani is a global equity investor with more than 20 years’ experience investing in public and private markets. He served as Managing Director of SDK Capital (and its predecessors). Currently he is a Lecturer in the Program on Ethics, Politics, & Economics at Yale University, a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and a regular commentator in the financial media including Bloomberg, MarketWatch, CNBC, ForbesFortuneThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Atlantic, Yale Global, The South China Morning PostThe Korea TimesThe Khaleej Times, and The Daily Beast, among others. 

Jason Silva, host of Natgeo's brain games, media artist, Futurist and philosopher

Jason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s #1 rated and Emmy-nominated series, Brain Games, seen in over 100 countries. He is the creator of “Shots of Awe,” a short film series of “trailers for the mind” that serve as philosophical espresso shots exploring innovation, technology, creativity, futurism and the metaphysics of the imagination. “Shots of Awe” have received more than 13 million views. Jason also created the web series “Future of Us” for AOL, exploring exponential technology and the future of humanity. From 2005 to 2011, Venezuela-born Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy-winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote and produced more than 100 hours of original content. An active and prolific global speaker, Jason has spoken at TEDGlobal and Google’s Zeitgeist Conference and keynoted multiple events for Microsoft, IBM and Adobe.

ERIC STARKLOFF, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SALES AND MARKETING, NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS

As Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Eric leads worldwide sales and marketing organizations responsible for driving focus, accountability, and growth.

Since joining NI in 1997, Eric has held leadership positions across the marketing organization, including leading teams that pioneered industry adoption of systems platforms such as PXI and NI CompactRIO.

Eric invests his time in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and in his community serving on the advisory board for the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and the board of directors for Urban Roots, an Austin-based sustainable agriculture program to transform the lives of young people.

Starkloff holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia.

Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy, Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation, IMD

Michael Wade is a Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD and holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation. He is the Director of the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco Initiative. Professor Wade has published works on a variety of topics, including digitization, innovation, information systems strategy, international business, and SME performance. He has more than 50 articles and presentations to his credit in leading academic journals and conferences, such as Strategic Management Journal and MIS Quarterly. One of his articles was among the top 20 cited articles in business, management and accounting worldwide for 5 years, according to Scopus. Professor Wade has written seven books and more than 20 case studies based on his experience working with organizations. He is a regular contributor to print media on matters related to the challenges of digitization and managing within a turbulent environment.