Pat Cannon, Vice President, Technical Solutions, US Signal

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.

Tony DeSpirito, Vice President / General Manager – Operation Services, Schneider Electric


Tony DeSpirito is Schneider Electric’s Vice President/General Manager of Data Center Operations. His responsibilities include strategy, marketing, sales, and execution of Schneider Electric’s data center operation services business. Schneider Electric operates many of the largest datacenters in the world and delivers operational excellence through rigorous processes and discipline supported by a digital foundation.

A seasoned high-technology marketing and sales executive, Tony has deep domain expertise in enterprise software and managed services. His previous position was Managing Director of Strategic Accounts with responsibility for Schneider’s relationship with IBM. Tony’s skills range from C-Level selling, relationships and solution development to operational management of both channel and direct sales teams.

Tony holds a BS in Mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and earned his MBA from the University of Rhode Island. He is a veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Provide Comfort Campaigns in Southwest Asia and was a decorated Combat Aviator while a Captain in the United States Air Force.

Tom Flaherty, Area VP, Arista Networks

Full biography coming soon!

Steve Gilliom, Vice President of IT, PHD, Inc.

Full biography coming soon!

William Hester, Director – Information Technology, Dwyer

Full biography coming soon!

Joe Johnson, Director of IT, ServerCentral

Bringing together an entrepreneurial spirit deeply rooting in building and running business and a deep passion for technology, I’m a versatile IT executive leader with more than 15 years of experience developing and deploying best-in-class enterprise strategies and architectures. I’ve a proven history for driving business technology needs, architecting strategic plans, and departmental management in the technology space and a track record for delivering high quality work for my clients and employers. As a strong leader, I’m also able to define effective project roadmaps with clear milestones that allow team members to produce optimal deliverables in a collaborative environment. In addition, in my history as a CIO and a Service Delivery Manager, I’ve allocated and administered IT budgets, sales budgets and quota, purchasing, and procurement.


Specialties: Providing strategic planning and oversight to traditional organizations and web-based properties, helping to grow and nurture their business to the full potential through the creative use and implementation of technology systems in the enterprise.

Aaron King, Director, Cloud Sales, US Signal

As Director of Data Center Strategies at US Signal, Aaron King helps clients design and implement business continuity strategies built on best practices. After 20 years of experience in business continuity and disaster recovery engineering and operations, Aaron now works in the business development side not only implementing business continuity strategies but also helping clients with IT Transformation and Cloud Migration.

Joe Meadors, Vice President of Information Services, Gaylor Electric

Serving as the Vice President of Information Services, Joe Meadors brings more than 20 years of IS leadership experience to the Gaylor team. Focused on service and reliable systems, Joe believes in a pragmatic approach to IS that provides for growth with stability.


A native of Indianapolis, Joe earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Butler University and his Master of Science degree from Indiana University. He holds multiple IS certifications and often speaks at regional IS conferences.

Lori Powers, SVP, Global IT Operations & Service Management, CNA Insurance

Lori Powers is a delivery-focused, results-driven Information Technology Executive with over 25 years’ experience in application development, project management, service management and infrastructure operations.   Lori currently holds the position of Senior Vice President – Global IT Operations & Service Management at CNA, a Property-Casualty insurance company headquartered in Chicago, IL with locations in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries across the globe.  In this role, Lori is responsible for providing strategic leadership and operational governance and oversight of production technology operations.   This responsibility spans distributed systems, mainframe, database and storage solutions, data and voice network, and end user computing in addition to CNA’s Service Desk and ITIL process management functions.  In 2018, CNA is embarking upon a transformational journey to retire legacy systems and remove technical debt by moving to the public cloud.  This transformation will be a primary focus for Lori over the next 36 months.


Lori holds a BBA in Organizational Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and a BS in Computer Science from Marshall University.  She received her Leadership Development and Coaching certificate from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in 2008.

Adam Shake, Supervisor, Application Support, Country Financial

Full biography coming soon!

Eric Stenstrom, Director of IT, MEADE

An IT leader that views technology from the customer perspective. A business partner adept at aligning strategic goals with technology processes, operations and infrastructure to improve efficiencies, contain costs and increase client/staff satisfaction. An individual who is comfortable translating business needs into actionable technical plans with the ability to communicate clearly with management on challenges, progress and value.

Mary Stevens, Director IT Infrastructure University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

I have focused on networking for the last 13 years. My primary focus has been centered around network security devices and deploying them successfully in a university network. This includes working through the technical, political, and cultural issues surrounding deploying such devices on a campus.


I have worked extensively with the routing and switching infrastructure.
Programming in perl and expect enough to support the network, do monitoring of equipment deployed, and automate simple tasks.


Familiarity with supporting technologies like radius, various syslog implementations, UNIX support, netflow implementations, and monitoring platforms.


I have additionally worked as the leader of the network engineering group, managing people and budgets for the last 4 years. My experience in the MBA program has helped me develop leadership skills, and become more aware of business drivers related to networking issues.


Specialties: Firewalls, VPNs, IPS, IDS, Foundry/Brocade, Juniper, HP, Cisco, Netscreen, Tippingpoing/3Com,routing, switching, UNIX administration.

Jim Unander, MBA, PMP, Senior Director – Information Technology, Million Dollar Round Table

Jim has over 35 years of IT experience, in healthcare and association management industries.  His background includes leading teams of developers in mainframe, client-server and web-based technologies, directing major technology and business transformation projects and setting strategic direction for Technology to advance organizations.  In Jim’s current role he is responsible for all Information Technology functions at the Million Dollar Round Table – the Premier Association of Financial Professionals – and as part of the Senior Executive staff is charged with setting direction for the future of the organization from both a technology and business perspective.


Jim is a life-long Chicagoan, and loves the energy of the city as well as the calm of the suburbs and getting out of town to hike in the mountains as much as possible.

Patrick Vellender, Director, Global Networks, Kellogg Company

Pat Vellender is Director, Global Networks with the Kellogg Company. Mr. Vellender and his team are responsible for network design and delivery throughout the US, defining global network standards as well as partnering with regional network teams to ensure consistency of network design and delivery globally. He has been with Kellogg since 2014 and served as a Senior Network Architect prior to his current role.


Before joining the Kellogg Company, Mr. Vellender was with CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade and New York Mercantile Exchange) where he most recently was responsible for a network infrastructure that enabled a microsecond trading system that processed trades worth $3-5 trillion of notional value on a daily basis. Additionally, he has spent time in the insurance (CNA) and construction/engineering (Fluor Corp.) industries in various roles of increasing responsibility.

Mr. Vellender holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Science degree in Telecommunication from DePaul University.

Ronald Wan, Vice President, IT Operations, Empire Today LLC

Ronald Wan is an innovative IT veteran versed in value creation in a historically “keep-the-lights-on” field. Currently, as the Vice President of IT Operations for an established and popular national brand, Ron navigates his team through the technology landscape and drives the enterprise to the forefront of Cybersecurity, as-a-Service Architecture, and End-User empowerment. The breadth of Ron’s current responsibilities, include, Security, Routing/Switch, Server/SAN, Endpoints, telecommunications, and Backoffice.


Prior to joining his current organization, Ron worked as an ERP Implementation Consultant with a firm servicing the SMB Market. Earlier in his career, Ron’s focus had been on Financial Management with several manufacturers and distributors. This combination of Accounting/Finance and ERP Solutions Deployment built the foundation of Ron’s business acumen that encapsulates a robust understanding of IT Systems.


Mr. Wan holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from the Keller School of Management at DeVry University.