Patrick Benson, Systems Engineer, Veeam
For over two decades I’ve been involved in the IT industry starting with desktop support. I have steadily moved upwards, having been a network administrator, manager of the IT staff, network supervisor for an ASP division with data centers around the globe, a senior systems engineer designing new components and refining the existing infrastructure for a global organization, and a solutions architect for a VAR advising clients and designing complex infrastructures as a pre-sales resource.
In my current role, I am a Systems Engineer with Veeam Software. I help my customers prepare for and overcome the worst case scenarios that could threaten their organizations. I consider it a privilege to be entrusted with designing their disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, and I humbly do my best to make sure they are protected when a disaster strikes.
Working my way up from implementing the simplest of technical solutions to tackling business critical projects using the latest technology has shown me how important it is to know why you are deploying a solution. IT is no longer an optional component that enables a business, but instead IT is at the core of how all business is done. The next generation of business will need IT professionals who have moved beyond having only technical skills, and my passion is for designing technical solutions that are tailored to a business’ needs using my communication skills to relay overall business value.
Keith Conlee, Chief Security Officer, IT, College of DuPage
Keith Conlee has over 30 years in the Information Technology field delivering innovative and effective solutions including working at the National Security Agency (NSA), Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technology, and is currently the Chief Security Officer for Information Technology at the College of DuPage. His duties are focused on building strong security governance, security policy/procedure and risk management programs including Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Keith is a Payment Card Industry Professional (PCIP)™, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA®), and a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP). He is an active member in the ISC2, ISACA, PCI Security Standards Council, and the BRPA of Chicagoland. His undergraduate and graduate education is in Computer Science, and with an added Law Degree gives Keith the unique ability to interpret and align technical legal regulatory compliance and business objectives.
Kevin Finch, Senior Business Continuity Architect, Sayers
I have 20 years of experience in IT, and have worked the last 15+ years in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Management. Previously contracted as the Business Continuity Program Manager at Nissan Group of The Americas. I have also worked for a Fortune 500 transportation company with over 300 locations, and prior to that was the Global Head of the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery programs at a Fortune 50 financial services company. I also worked for a time as a contract Technical Project Manager at Bank of America, one of the most rigorous Project Management environments anywhere.
I enjoy working in Business Continuity Management (BCM) and I feel that it should be a vital part of any enterprise. I am well-suited to it, and the work matches the way I naturally approach problems. I continue to improve my skills as time goes on – I became Master Certified in March of 2014 as a part of self-improvement in my field (BCI Member #026244).
One of the things I take the most professional satisfaction from is finding a unique solution to a problem. One innovation at a previous employer saved them $2.5 million over the course of a hardware rollout, and a minor change to their payroll software I suggested has saved them over $10 million per year since it was implemented. Another innovation of mine reconfigured pre-installed software on client systems, improving speed and uptime with no additional licensing fees. This spawned new consulting revenue streams as we took on new clients to perform these performance-improving upgrades. In the BCM realm, I’ve found ways to use existing financial records to improve the quality of Business Impact Analysis (BIA) data.
I am also an MBA graduate of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State, finishing the program in the top 20% of my class.
Paul Jespersen, VP Worldwide Sales & Business Development, Sandfly Security
Paul is a veteran technology sales entrepreneur in networking and cybersecurity with over 30 years of experience building companies around innovative technologies, including 2 IPO’s, multiple acquisitions, numerous funding rounds, and yes, even a few flame outs. He has worked with some of the largest users as well as cutting edge operators globally, including ATT, Verizon, NTT, AOL, EY, and many enterprise, government, telco, MSSP, and education deployments around the world, developing architectures and product solutions in networking and cybersecurity, ranging from dial up modems at US Robotics to routing at Cisco, optical routing at Ocular (Tellabs), MPLS at Timetra (Alcatel), zero trust at Zscaler, browser and malware isolation at Comodo, and Malware / ATP Sandboxing at Lastline (VMware.) Before joining Sandfly as founding VP Sales, he was the founding VP Sales and BD at Stellar Cyber, one of the original XDR platform innovators. Paul has his BA as well as Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) from University of Texas at Austin.
Adam Kohnke, IT Cyber Security Architect, Charter Next Generation
Adam Kohnke is a cybersecurity professional with more than a decade of experience across various technological disciplines including IT Operations, IT Audit, and Information Security. As the Cybersecurity Architect at CNG, he is tasked with the development, implementation and maintenance of essential cybersecurity practices including Policies, Procedures, End User Training & Awareness, Vulnerability Management, Incident Response, Continuous Monitoring, Physical Security, Penetration Testing, and various other responsibilities. His passions include authoring IT Audit and Cybersecurity articles with an aim at offering practical guidance to the expansive security community, volunteering, traveling and pursuing professional certifications to maintain cutting edge technological skills.
Marc Kreppel, Manager, Zerto
Marc is a creative sales executive with over 20 years of experience helping companies best leverage technology to achieve measurable business outcomes. Since starting a consulting business while in college, Marc developed passion for enabling client success and growth through adoption of technical solutions. He gained manufacturer and integrator solution selling expertise in the New York metro enterprise sales and financial services accounts. Marc’s focus on performance and cost optimization of technical solutions has fostered his success with excellent communication, relationships, and sales execution to support clients’ needs.
Ryan Radtke, Director, Information Security Architecture, AbbVie
Information Security professional with 20+ years of experience and a solid background in Strategy, Architecture, Engineering, and Operations. Excellent communication skills and ability to influence business leaders to make security-conscious decisions. Demonstrated ability to balance the imperatives of information security requirements and business demands. Productive and capable of delivering results in a timely manner.
Dean Sharp, Global Director of Information Security Architecture and Engineering, ManpowerGroup
As a professional consultant for over two decades I have provided not only technical expertise to my clients but strategic guidance paired with large doses of common-sense. I do not sell technology for technologies sake; rather I provide complete solutions that offer sustainable architecture, cost benefit and growth potential.
My ideology of striving to be better than the competition is not unique yet my passion for success separates me from my peers. Consultants are generally held to higher standards when engaged and as a consultant I have received accolades for exceeding expectations, have been awarded permanent titles, and have always acted in the best interests of my clients.
In a continuously changing marketplace and a faltering economy it can be complicated to forge ahead, especially when labor and benefits are being scrutinized and cost containment is being mandated. To that end it makes sense to engage persons that offer the most ‘bang for the buck’.
By understanding the business of the client I am able to adapt technology to the needs of the client. The personal attention, dedication to the success of the business and never fail attitude is just another way I provide exceptional service.
In the last decade I have worked in over thirty countries around the world designing, deploying and delivering solutions utilizing best of breed technologies. Global WAN deployments, network and security infrastructures, data center design and implementations and much more – all meeting and exceeding the client’s needs and requests.
To say that I’ve done all of this alone would be naïve and irresponsible. My success directly corresponds to the teams that I’ve worked with, managed and learned from. I have faced remarkable adversity at many of my clients, from budget restraints and nearly impossible timelines to cultural differences across the world. In each and every instance I was able to overcome, adapt and continue to resolution.
Specialties: End to end solution design and architecture, disaster recovery and BCP, centralization and cost savings, strategic technology adaption and positioning, vendor and contract management.
Ron Versetto, Executive Director – IT, University of Illinois at Chicago
Ron has nearly 20 years of experience in Information Technology in industries such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, and higher education. He has a background in regulatory processes and extensive experience with network and infrastructure. He is currently the Executive Director of Information Technology for the Liberal Arts and Sciences College at University of Illinois at Chicago.