Greg Verdino
Business Futurist
Opening Keynote

Greg Verdino is a highly regarded authority on “the digital now”. He is known for his uncanny ability to get ahead of trends, spot the difference between fads and the future, and apply his understanding of the rapidly changing global landscape to solve pressing business challenges.

Greg’s perspectives have been shaped by more than 25 years spent working at the forefront of change, during which time he has advised hundreds of organizations including more than 50 of the Fortune 500; has served in senior leadership positions at a half-dozen technology start-ups; and has launched innovative products, lines of business, and divisions from within traditional companies. Through his work speaking, writing and consulting on digital strategy, transformation and innovation, he helps business leaders build thriving 21st century companies.

He lives on Long Island with his wife, teen daughter, toddler son, and the world’s most disobedient cat.

Connect with Greg on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @gregverdino.


Jim Grubb
Chief Technology Evangelist, Cisco
Closing Keynote

As an expert in Digitization even before it was called Digitization, Jim has spent most of his career inventing and explaining the Art Of The Possible with technology. He is an exponential thinker and charismatic speaker working with most of Cisco's largest customers as they build their Digital Strategies. 

As John Chamber's Sidekick, he has delivered over four hundred Keynote demonstrations at industry, technology. and CXO events, including Cisco Live, CES, HIMSS, NRF, Oracle World, Salesforce, DODIS, Cisco Partner Summit, and Cisco's World-wide Sales meeting.

He has also presented to many Government and World Leaders, including Hillary Clinton, George W Bush, Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright, Dimitry Medvedev, Al Gore, Viktor Chernomyrdin, Vicente Fox, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Carnahan, and Jim Gilmore. When he's not explaining technology, Jim is an Astronomer, Musician, Photographer, Pilot, and avid Boater.

Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.


Rob O'Regan
Global Content Director, IDG Communications (CIO Magazine)

A longtime journalist and editorial consultant, Rob has written extensively on media, marketing and technology topics. He brings these insights into his role as Global Content Director for IDG Strategic Marketing Services.

Rob sets the strategic direction for content operations and helps clients develop and deliver successful content marketing programs.

This is Rob’s second stint at IDG; from 2004-2006, he served as founding Editor in Chief of CMO, a critically acclaimed magazine and website that received the ASBPE’s Magazine of the Year award in 2005.

Before rejoining IDG, Rob was the founder and principal of 822 Media, a content marketing consultancy. Previously, Rob was a senior editor with McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm, and he also spent 14 years at Ziff-Davis Publishing, where he served as executive news editor of PC Week, an award-winning technology newsweekly.

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn.


Matthew LoBaugh
Global Strategic Growth Lead (SAP), Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Matthew is responsible for driving the global SAP strategy at AWS through strategic initiatives with SAP, partners, and customers along with developing the Industry approach for how customers can achieve more from their SAP investments and accelerate innovation.

He was previously responsible for developing the SAP partners for AWS which included SAP focused; system integrators, hosting providers, independent software vendors, and technology partners.

Overall, Matthew has been in the enterprise technology industry for more than 20 years with prior roles at SAP, Oracle, and Hewlett Packard.

Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn


Ravi Kandukuri
Principal SAP Cloud Solutions Architect, Microsoft 

Ravi has spent over twenty years working with SAP technologies and has held various roles as SAP Enterprise Architect and Delivery Lead for global SAP deployments.

In his current role of SAP Principal Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft, Ravi is responsible for customer success of global fortune 500 customers with their SAP deployments and migrations to Microsoft Azure.

Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn


Andrew Malinow
Principal Data Scientist & Area Practice Director of Analytics, AI & ML, ePlus

Andrew has spent the last 15 years architecting, implementing and managing large-scale analytics initiatives. As an Area Practice Director in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) at ePlus, Andrew plays an integral role in helping customers leverage the full capabilities of advanced technologies as well as the latest innovations in Open Source and commercial Analytics, AI, Deep Learning and ML frameworks.

An avid Python developer and practicing Data Scientist, with a focus on Natural Language Processing, Andrew has expertise in Healthcare, Life Science, Higher Education, Insurance and Manufacturing verticals. Andrew earned his Bachelors, Masters and PhD from Columbia University.

Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn


Bill Hedgepeth
Enterprise Account Executive, Nutanix

Bill  has been a technical Account Manager for 25 years working for various companies including IBM, Cisco, Juniper, and EMC. 

He has high-level relationships with the largest customers in the Raleigh and the Triad.  

Bill, his wife and two children have lived in the Raleigh area since 1995 and have close ties with the community.

Connect with Bill on LinkedIn


Eduardo Almeida
Senior Sales Engineer of Security & Architecture, Splunk

Eduardo is a 20-year IT veteran with 15 years of experience as a security subject matter expert and Security Sales Engineer.

Eduardo’s career also spans time spent as a security operations center (SOC) Analyst, Security Analyst, Product Development and Linux System Administrator.

Connect with Eduardo on LinkedIn


Adrian Escobedo
Enterprise Data Solutions Evangelist, Lenovo

Adrian Escobedo is an Advisory Account Executive @ Lenovo. This means that he evangelizes technology and is an internal advocate for all of his clients. ‘Esco’, as he is known, assists clients in embracing IT as move towards digital transformation.

While he is responsible for Lenovo portfolio of Data Center options for client adoption, he and his team help clients bridge gaps within their organization to move forward with sound IT strategies.

With over 20 years in IT, he has seen IT evolve from a single app/server, to virtualization, all the way to the multiple cloud options of today.

Connect with Adrian  on LinkedIn


Neal Matthews
Strategic Accounts Lead, HPE

Neal provides expertise for technology assessments and implementations, pre-sales and strategic engagements. Neal has worked with a number of industry-leading financial and insurance firms to architect the migration of large data environments to the public cloud. He has expertise in the life sciences, insurance and financial services verticals, and he writes about data governance, data quality, predictive analytics and other topics. 

Neal has worked for more than 20 years in technology and project management positions for Pinnacle Solutions Inc., Learning Enhancement Corp. and CloudShield Technologies. He holds certifications as an AWS Associate Architect, AWS Big Data Specialist and a Google Certified Data Engineer.

Connect with Neal on LinkedIn


Sheree Fields
Senior IT Director, Ascend Performance Materials

Sheree is an experienced CIO, and retired Director in management consulting with a deep background in enterprise application solutions, M&A implementations, security compliance and cloud computing implementations.

Sheree is Sr. IT Director for Ascend Performance Materials, the second largest global Nylon 6,6 manufacturer. Sheree’s past career assignments touched in various industries from high tech, process, oil and gas, utilities, public sector and entertainment.  Sheree is passionate about mentoring women in leadership and the concept of “lean-in.”

Connect with Sheree on LinkedIn


Bill Farrell 
Director of SAP Technology & Governance, Dole Packaged Foods

Bill is the Director of SAP Technology and Governance at Dole Packaged Foods. 

His focus on delivering IT value based on business priorities and growth have enabled Bill to lead a migration project with several SAP HANA applications, including a migration to S/4HANA in 2017.

Bill’s background also includes extensive knowledge and experience in IT application and systems development and management.

Connect with Bill on LinkedIn


Alfred Freudenberger 
SAP HANA Infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud Consultant, Tech Data

Alfred Freudenberger is a SAP HANA Infrastructure Subject Matter Expert and consultant.  Prior to starting his new company, ASI Consulting, he worked for 34 years in IBM infrastructure sales with the last 15 years dedicated to SAP systems. 

Alfred has been a speaker at SAP TechEd, ASUG meetings and webinars and an instructor at IBM Systems Technical University and Top Gun sales classes in addition to being a featured speaker on hundreds of customer calls, briefings and internal and external webinars.

Connect with Alfred on LinkedIn


Matt Hough
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Cintas

Matt joined The Cintas Corporation in 2013 as the Director of Applications. During his tenure in the Cintas IT Department, he managed the Divisional Business Systems for the Company. In 2019, Matt was promoted to Chief Information Officer and is charged with leading Cintas through their Digital Transformation Journey.

Prior to joining Cintas, Matt led several Organizations through Global SAP implementations in the San Francisco, CA area. He developed a reputation of Aligning IT with Business goals and executing on the same. Matt brings with him over 20 years of IT experience in the Software, Consumer Electronics, Semi-Conductor, and Public Utilities Industries with a deep knowledge of Supply Chain, ERP implementations and SAP.

Matt earned his bachelor’s degree from American Sentinel University in Management of Information Systems. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy and resides in Loveland, Ohio with his Wife and two daughters.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn


Shogo Cottrell
Executive Security Advisor, IBM

Shogo is an Executive Cyber Security Advisor with IBM. In this role, Shogo is responsible for driving strategic initiatives and providing thought leadership and insight regarding the ever-changing global threat landscape.

Prior to joining IBM, Cottrell was the Chief Security Strategist with the Enterprise Security Products business unit at Micro Focus and previously served in the same capacity with the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software Business Unit.

Cottrell led the Global Information Security organizations at an international retailer and at a U.S. based financial services company. He was instrumental in establishing information security programs at both organizations that reduced risk and protected the business from emerging and existing threats.

He started his career as an Information Systems Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and has over 25 years of Information Security and Information Technology leadership experience. He holds multiple certifications, such as the C|EH, GCIH, CISM, and CISSP security certifications and is an active member of the information security community, including InfraGard and ISSA.

Connect with Shogo on LinkedIn


Sham Karim

Partner and Business Consultant, Clarkston Consulting

Sham Karim is a partner and business consultant with Clarkston Consulting.

He has more than 20 years of industry experience consulting primarily to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, consumer products and wholesale distribution clients.

Sham currently leads the SAP Implementation Practice at Clarkston with a focus on Life Sciences.

He is based in Charlotte, NC.

Connect with Sham on LinkedIn


Christian Primeau 
Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Syntax

Prior to joining Syntax, Chris was President & COO at Dialogic, a Novacap company. He oversaw R&D, operations, marketing, product management, finance, and administration.

Chris has over 25 years industry experience, much of it in executive roles with public and private growth-oriented companies in operations, engineering, delivery, sales, and general management roles.

Chris spent the early part of his career at Sun Microsystems where he initially joined as a Pre-Sales Engineer. In his thirteen years with the company, he held a number of key management positions in Montreal, Toronto, and Menlo Park California where he served as VP Partner and Alliances, Sales Director, Client Executive and Business Development Manager for ERP and E-Commerce solutions.

He holds a Bachelor Degree in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration(MBA) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Connect with Christian on LinkedIn


Marcelo Tamassia

Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Syntax

Marcelo Tamassia is currently Global CTO at Syntax and is responsible for all software engineering, DevOps, monitoring, public cloud, and product management areas.

Marcelo has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and has joined Syntax through the acquisition of EmeraldCube Solutions, which he co-founded in 2013. At EmeraldCube, Marcelo established and led the AWS cloud practice and the software R&D team, creating innovative solutions that propelled EmeraldCube to a leading position in the Oracle JD Edwards ecosystem. Prior to founding EmeraldCube, Marcelo led a technical consulting organization and actively participated as a technical leader in more than 90 ERP projects worldwide.

Marcelo holds advanced AWS, Oracle, and Microsoft certifications in addition to an MBA from the University of Florida and post-graduate education courses from Stanford University. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

Connect with Marcelo on LinkedIn


Casey Husar

Chief Operations Officer (COO), Americas, Syntax

Casey Husar has more than 25 years of cross industry experience in IT applications and service delivery. He has a proven track record of providing optimal technology and business services and solutions, reducing costs, and enhancing the client experience. Casey is highly skilled in implementing continuous improvements and emerging technologies, and cultivating key partnerships and relationships.

Casey spent the early part of his career with several companies in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, including Accenture and SAP. Casey later joined GlaxoSmithKline as Director of SAP Operations and managed technical architecture, administration, and availability with responsibility for service delivery in their regulated and validated environment, ensuring compliance with systems and services.

Casey then joined Freudenberg IT (FIT), now Syntax, where he has spent the past six years. He began as the Director of Strategic Operations and subsequently held the role of Chief Operating Officer. Casey currently serves as COO of the Americas Region for Syntax. During his tenure, Casey has successfully transformed the organization’s SAP group into world-class delivery team by overseeing company operations encompassing development and execution of vision, strategic plan, budget, business development, customer engagement, and succession planning.

Connect with Casey on LinkedIn


Ryan Etinson 
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Americas, Syntax

Since joining the company in 1996, he has held several executive positions including Managing Partner, Vice President, and Executive Vice President.

After becoming a high-value Oracle JD Edwards partner over 17 years ago, Ryan has helped to expand Syntax’s offerings over the years across different industries, platforms and geographies.

Over the last five years, he has been directly responsible for changing the company from one that primarily served customers in Eastern Canada into a North American success story.

He holds an MBA with honors from John Molson School of Business and completed his undergraduate studies at McGill University.

Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn

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