You are currently viewing the 2018 website.

View Current

Join the conference

About the Forum

Attendees across the region have come to expect a dynamic agenda with relevant, up-to-the-minute topics and exciting speakers who will share their wealth of knowledge and experience, helping you gain practical insights into your business challenges. The Charlotte CIO Forum includes powerful keynotes, informative breakouts, discussions with subject-matter experts, and cutting-edge solution providers.

38 Advisors

Our advisory council members offer valuable feedback to improve our event each year.

19 Sponsors

Premier would like to extend a special thank you to the 2018 sponsors of this event.

118 Organizations

These organizations have appointed one or more senior level executives to attend Charlotte CIO Forum.


Speakers are hand-selected by our Advisory Council for their expertise and ability to translate big ideas into stunning presentations.

  •  Justin Mennen

    Justin Mennen

    Rite Aid


  •  Jayna Altman

    Jayna Altman

    Danosky and Associates

    Board of Advisors

  •  Elizabeth Austin

    Elizabeth Austin



  •  Shoukat Ali Bhamani

    Shoukat Ali Bhamani

    Schaeffler Group Americas

    CIO & CDO

  •  Rishi Bhatnagar

    Rishi Bhatnagar

    Analytics & Big Data

    Founding President

  •  Ronnie Bryant

    Ronnie Bryant

    Charlotte Regional Partnership

    President & CEO

  •  Erik Chapple

    Erik Chapple

    IBM Global Markets

    Cognitive Solutions Unit Industry Platforms

  •  Steve Collins

    Steve Collins

    Driven Brands, Inc.

    VP & CIO

  •  Zannah Cooke

    Zannah Cooke


    Director of Sales, Detection & Response

  •  Jennifer Courtney-Trice

    Jennifer Courtney-Trice

    BestCo, Inc.

    VP, Human Resources

  •  Joe Crisanti

    Joe Crisanti


    MaaS360 & Cloud Identity Major Accounts - Financial Services

  •  Michael Del Priore

    Michael Del Priore



  •  Rich Ennis

    Rich Ennis

    Nth Degree


  •  Austin Faulk

    Austin Faulk

    City of Charlotte

    Chief Administrative Officer, Innovation & Technology

  •  Ames Flynn

    Ames Flynn

    Extended Stay America

    EVP, Shared Services

  •  Doug Foster

    Doug Foster

    University of South Carolina

    VP IT, CIO

  •  Carl Gerber

    Carl Gerber

    Global Analytics Leaders, LLC

    Managing Partner

  •  Paula Guilfoyle

    Paula Guilfoyle

    Claim Leadership

    Founder & President

  •  Denise Hatzidakis

    Denise Hatzidakis



  •  Markus Hill

    Markus Hill

    Rodgers Builders, Inc.


  •  Michael Keating

    Michael Keating

    Springs Global US, Inc.

    VP, IT

  •  Meredith LaBonte

    Meredith LaBonte


    Executive Co-Chair

  •  Jim Marascio

    Jim Marascio


    Chief Delivery Officer

  •  Wesley McPherson

    Wesley McPherson

    Info-Tech Research Group

    Research Director

  •  Ted Mueller

    Ted Mueller

    Northwood Office LLC

    CIO & VP of Operations

  •  John Murdock

    John Murdock

    Executive Search Partners


  •  Pete Murphy

    Pete Murphy

    SIM Charlotte


  •  Kevin O'Rourke

    Kevin O'Rourke

    Barnhardt Manufacturing Co.


  •  Brian Porter

    Brian Porter

    Lowes Companies

    eSAT Lead Vulnerability Assessor

  •  Michael Praeger

    Michael Praeger

    AvidXchange, Inc.

    CEO & Co-Founder

  •  Joseph Pucciarelli

    Joseph Pucciarelli


    Group VP & IT Executive Advisor

  •  Joel Stanley

    Joel Stanley


    Sr. Director, Digital Marketing

  •  Lalit Thakur

    Lalit Thakur

    Novant Health

    Head Data & Analytics, Value Based Business Unit

  •  Lisa Tuttle

    Lisa Tuttle

    SPX Corporation


  •  Tiffani Williams

    Tiffani Williams

    Northeastern University's College of Computer and Information Science

    Director of Computer Science Programs & Professor of the Practice


May 30-31, 2018

We have worked diligently to put together a stimulating and focused agenda, bringing together experts, visionaries and professionals from the IT industry. We look forward to sharing this exciting conference with you.

Welcome to the Charlotte CIO Forum exclusive networking reception. We welcome you to enjoy complimentary beverages in a relaxed setting. This is the perfect opportunity to network with your peers. Stay, chat, and enjoy yourself!

Admittance by Conference Badge Only.

Justin Mennen, CIO, Rite Aid

Technology is critical for growth and competitive differentiation in the Digital age.  It is now an expectation from Boards and CEOs that IT leaders leverage technology to unlock new revenue and growth opportunities. In this discussion, we will explore how to shift IT to a more strategic, revenue-focused organization.

Symphony IV

Symphony IV

Nina Di Francisco, President, Premier Connects, Inc.

Event Emcee
Jim Marascio, Chief Delivery Officer, Accelerance

Event Emcee
Pete Murphy, President-Elect, SIM Charlotte

Symphony IV

Paula Guilfoyle, Founder & President, Claim Leadership

  • A simple model for improved self-awareness and results
  • Easy tools to put you in control with a positive mindset
  • Powerful steps to rapidly improve every area of your life
Paula Guilfoyle is an expert at creating the thinking and behavioral change that transforms teams and cultures. The result: more effective teams that enjoy where they work and what they do. Her programs are proven to increase engagement, productivity and morale while limiting turnover.

Symphony IV

Shoukat Ali Bhamani, CIO & CDO, Schaeffler Group Americas

Ames Flynn, EVP, Shared Services, Extended Stay America

Ted Mueller, CIO & VP of Operations, Northwood Office LLC

Kevin O'Rourke, CIO, Barnhardt Manufacturing Co.

The future runs through the office of the CIO. For years considered a minor player in the C-suite, CIOs now find themselves thrust onto the center stage of one of the most profound business transformations in history. Indeed, it could be argued that, in many respects, with technology so important to an organization’s continuing viability and success, no other business executive holds more responsibility for the future of an organization than the CIO.  Our panel will discuss this evolution and it’s current state, as well as what may be in store for the future as this role continues to evolve.

Symphony I

Three of Charlotte’s emerging technology companies will introduce themselves, their company, vision and goals.  This will serve as a great opportunity to meet and learn about some of the region’s most innovative and driven technology companies that are on the move. The participants, Quaero, Stratifyd and Digitize.AI will each take time to provide their company introduction and information.

Symphony II

Markus Hill, CIO, Rodgers Builders, Inc.

The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the changes in the way that buildings are built using the latest technologies. Simple set of paper plans are no longer sufficient to construct modern commercial buildings efficiently. Today's construction is driven off digital models and simulations, and real-time information flows between all project team stakeholders.

The topics discussed will be Rodgers use of mobile devices, laser scanners, multiple dimensional modeling, virtual and mixed reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things.  While this is a buzzword soup, we will discuss how we were able to implement these technologies and drive universal use throughout our company and all the project stakeholders.

Rodgers Builders, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte. They are currently ranked #11 in the nation by Modern Healthcare for healthcare construction. They are listed #62 in the United States of the list of the most significant construction manager firms by ENR magazine.

Symphony III

Lisa Tuttle, CISO, SPX Corporation

As cyber-attacks and data breaches continue to dominate headlines, it is clear that the threat landscape is more advanced than ever. 1 million cyber security jobs remain unfilled. Global ransomware attacks move too quickly for humans to keep up. Today’s threats are more insidious too, exploiting IoT devices and third-party service providers and disguising themselves for an average of 208 days before detection.   Catching today’s most sophisticated cyber-attacks requires finding the slightest and subtlest anomalies inside networks containing millions of constantly changing data points, where billions of events take place every day. Machine learning and artificial intelligence-based systems are now being deployed to continually assess complex business environments and catch threats already inside networks.

In this session, we will discuss:
  • How new machine learning and AI algorithms are automating advanced cyber defense 
  • Use cases of machine learning cyber defense technology beyond threat detection
  • How to navigate the challenges of implementing machine learning in a business environment

Symphony I

Joseph Pucciarelli, Group VP & IT Executive Advisor, IDC

Newly published IDC global research about organizations undergoing digital transformation finds that 59% remain stuck in the early stages of their transformation journey. While some digital projects have been implemented and are progressing, most companies report they are still struggling to digitally transform their broader organization.

Challenges with legacy culture, process, and financial incentives are widely identified digital transformation impediments. However, IDC research shows that many organizations confront more specific operational challenges: 1) outdated KPIs, 2) siloed organizational structures, 3) tactical planning, 4) limited expertise; and 5) siloed innovation.  Though business and technical leaders can point to successful tactical projects, they often express frustration about their ability to achieve true systemic progress and competitive advantage.

In today's session, IDC provides unique insights and actionable recommendations to overcome these hurdles including recommended approaches for:
  • Creating new digital KPIs
  • Establishing an end state digital organizational structure
  • Constructing a long-term digital roadmap
  • Identifying and developing essential digital capabilities
  • Building a digital platform

Symphony III

Zannah Cooke, Director of Sales, Detection & Response, Rapid7

Brian Porter, eSAT Lead Vulnerability Assessor, Lowes Companies

Zannah and Brian will provide a fireside discussion about Lowe’s experience in managing its vulnerabilities, the solutions that have helped alleviate their pain points, as well as lessons learned along the way.

Symphony IV

Michael Praeger, CEO & Co-Founder, AvidXchange, Inc.

Symphony II

Jayna Altman, Board of Advisors, Danosky and Associates

Ronnie Bryant, President & CEO, Charlotte Regional Partnership

Meredith LaBonte, Executive Co-Chair, CATC WISE

Tiffani Williams, Director of Computer Science Programs & Professor of the Practice, Northeastern University's College of Computer and Information Science

This is a diverse panel that will be sharing their insights and perspectives on the value of Diversity & Inclusion. The discussion will empower IT leaders to embrace diversity to build stronger relationships across the organization.

Symphony III

John Murdock, Partner, Executive Search Partners

Steve Collins, VP & CIO, Driven Brands, Inc.

Michael Del Priore, CIO, Diversey

Doug Foster, VP IT, CIO, University of South Carolina

In this session, John Murdock will introduce some newer CIOs from the Charlotte area in a casual and comfortable setting. You'll get to know a little more of their background and what has led them to their current positions. This session is designed to allow these new CIOs to introduce themselves to their peers from the region and help to extend their personal networks as newer CIOs.

Symphony III

Erik Chapple, Cognitive Solutions Unit Industry Platforms, IBM Global Markets

Joe Crisanti, MaaS360 & Cloud Identity Major Accounts - Financial Services, IBM

Companies with mobile initiatives are forging ahead through digital transformation by managing users, endpoints and everything in between. One challenge in doing so is that IT & security team can’t keep up by relying on traditional management approaches. We will explore how new cognitive/AI systems and techniques will help your organization comply with industry regulations, discover new device vulnerabilities, contain confidential patient data, patch systems on and off network, enforce minimum OS standards, and protect against cyber threats.

Symphony I

Wesley McPherson, Research Director, Info-Tech Research Group

A strategic direction is essential to making the right technological investments. Not every trend is worth pursuing, but missing the ones that are can be costly.  An outcomes-focused approach gives you a framework to strategically evaluate emerging technology's alignment with your business's direction. Most importantly, using a business outcomes framework can help you  create the foundation for your adoption strategy. Determine which trends are worth your attention, chart an adoption course and build a business case for your stakeholders. Info-Tech will dive into four trends that represents the convergence of several previously trending technologies:
  • User-facing AI to enable automation of front line business activities
  • Robotic Process Automation to augment, not replace,  human performance
  • The Digital Twin, an aggregated data replicate of a system, will enable decentralized monitoring and predictive analytics
  • Blockchain 2.0 enabling distributed ledger technology to specific use cases

Symphony III

Rishi Bhatnagar, Founding President, Analytics & Big Data

Carl Gerber, Managing Partner, Global Analytics Leaders, LLC

Denise Hatzidakis, CTO, ChenMed

Joel Stanley, Sr. Director, Digital Marketing, Electrolux

Lalit Thakur, Head Data & Analytics, Value Based Business Unit, Novant Health

We live in exciting and innovative times with futuristic technology at our fingertips…literally.  The Rise of AI and Machine Learning has become prevalent in so many levels of operations within companies very quickly and continues to find their way into all parts of organizations large and small.  This distinguished panel will discuss these technologies and their current impact on business and the way we do business, but also explore potential future uses and what impacts that may have beyond today.

Symphony II

Austin Faulk, Chief Administrative Officer, Innovation & Technology, City of Charlotte

Elizabeth Austin, CIO, Curvature

Jennifer Courtney-Trice, VP, Human Resources, BestCo, Inc.

Michael Keating, VP, IT, Springs Global US, Inc.

This panel of experts will discuss three main elements when it comes to developing leaders in your organization and creating succession plans to drive strategic advantage.  They will provide insight, ideas, best-practices, experiences and trends in these three specific areas:
  • Internal Talent and Leadership Development
  • Succession Planning
  • The Modernization of Legacy Systems and the Graying of IT Staff

Symphony IV

Rich Ennis, CEO, Nth Degree

It seems every CEO wants more digitization and technology in their business.  They expect that technology must play a major role in driving internal efficiency and effectiveness, creating external customer value and in part fueling competitive advantage.  The role for CIO’s goes well beyond balancing the capabilities of a company’s computing, networking and storage capabilities.  Let’s discuss a pragmatic approach for CIOs to work closely with their CEO to ensure technology is appropriately funded, and delivering on the expectations of the business.  In order to build sustainable competitive advantage, CIO’s must develop teams that are loyal to the company and want to be part of the vision moving forward.  We will look at examples from The Masters and Proctor & Gamble to provide real life examples of the power of purpose, focus and excellence in helping to build a highly motivated and inspired IT team.      
Welcome to the Charlotte CIO Forum exclusive networking reception. We welcome you to enjoy complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres in a relaxed setting. This is the perfect opportunity to network with your peers and some of the prominent speakers from the day’s agenda. Premier Connects, Inc. will be making a charitable donation to the Charlotte SIM Chapter. Stay, chat, and enjoy yourself! 

Admittance by Conference Badge Only.

Featured Download:
Get our 2017 Event Guide

Download a digital copy of our event guide, which showcases the current program, advisory council, sponsors, and much more!

Sheraton Charlotte Hotel

2019 location is to be determined.

Charlotte is filled with exciting things to do and places to see, and Sheraton Charlotte Hotel gives you the best access to it all. Located in vibrant Uptown, our modern hotel offers the ideal blend of welcoming onsite amenities in convenient location in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.


555 S. McDowell St, South Tower, Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 372-4100

more information

Advisory Council

  •  Paula Guilfoyle

    Paula Guilfoyle

    Claim Leadership

    Founder & President

  •  John Murdock

    John Murdock

    Executive Search Partners


  •  Raja Musunuru

    Raja Musunuru

    AAA Carolinas

    VP & CIO

  •  Anja Pincus

    Anja Pincus

    Essity North America Inc.

    IT Director Strategic Projects, CIO Office

  •  Bruce Anderson

    Bruce Anderson

    Andiaz Group, LLC

    Managing Partner

  •  Elizabeth Austin

    Elizabeth Austin



  •  Michael Bates

    Michael Bates

    Snyder's-Lance, Inc.

    Former Director, IT Point Solutions

  •  Shoukat Ali Bhamani

    Shoukat Ali Bhamani

    Schaeffler Group Americas

    CIO & CDO

  •  Jon Brady

    Jon Brady

    Speedway Motorsports, Inc


  •  Larry Bumgardner

    Larry Bumgardner


    IT Project Leader

  •  Eric Christian

    Eric Christian

    Atrium Health

    VP & CTO

  •  Steve Clement

    Steve Clement

    BB&T Corp.


  •  Leslie Cothren

    Leslie Cothren

    Universal Mental Health Svcs.

    IT Director

  •  Larry Eighmy

    Larry Eighmy

    The Halo Group

    Executive Security Consultant

  •  Steve Ermish

    Steve Ermish

    Cardinal Innovations Healthcare


  •  Chris Estes

    Chris Estes

    4S Commerce

    Managing Principal

  •  Cam Faison

    Cam Faison

    Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

    SVP & CIO

  •  David Garrett

    David Garrett

    Novant Health, Inc.

    SVP & CIO

  •  Tommy Hinson

    Tommy Hinson

    Sunlight Financial, LLC

    Director of Infrastructure & Security

  •  John Hoffler

    John Hoffler

    BB&T Corporation

    AIX Enterprise Services Manager

  •  Brandon Jackson

    Brandon Jackson

    City of Gastonia

    Assistant IT Director

  •  Jerry Johnston

    Jerry Johnston

    Wells Fargo

    SVP Corporate Service Delivery

  •  Robert Jones

    Robert Jones

    Co-Chair Membership, Charlotte SIM Chapter

    Principal, Jones Grove IT Recruiting

  •  Michael Keating

    Michael Keating

    Springs Global US, Inc.

    VP, IT

  •  Allen Kim

    Allen Kim

    CPI Security Systems


  •  Adam Mann

    Adam Mann

    Charlotte Pipe & Foundry

    Director, Technology Services

  •  Jack Rech

    Jack Rech

    National Gypsum

    Senior Director of IS

  •  Marvin Reem

    Marvin Reem

    Bob Jones University


  •  Craig Richardville

    Craig Richardville

    Carolinas Healthcare System

    SVP & Chief Information & Analytics Officer

  •  Nikhil Sawant

    Nikhil Sawant

    Foundation For The Carolinas

    EVP, Business Services & CIO

  •  Darren Schmidt

    Darren Schmidt

    Corning Incorporated

    Director IT & VP Customer Experience

  •  Vince Simonowicz

    Vince Simonowicz

    City of Rock Hill


  •  Mark Stewart

    Mark Stewart

    Penske Racing

    IT Director

  •  Jeffrey Stovall

    Jeffrey Stovall


    EVP & COO

  •  Joe Topinka

    Joe Topinka



  •  Greg Turner

    Greg Turner

    Siemens Energy

    Director IT

  •  Jeff Vince

    Jeff Vince

    Dimension Data

    IT Operations Director

  •  Chris Wolfe

    Chris Wolfe

    The Business Journals

    Director, Systems & IT Operations


Join us this year in Charlotte, NC as we discuss cutting-edge technologies with influential thought-leaders.


Premier would like to extend a special thank you to the 2018 sponsors of this event.


  • Copyright 2019 | Premier Connects, Inc. | All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy