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About the Forum

Welcome to the 2018 Tech Forum inaugural event! We invite you to be part of this exciting new forum where IT Leaders in the Central Connecticut area come together to hear and discuss challenges and opportunities in Leadership, Business and Technology.

The Society for Information Management (SIM) is partnering with Women in Technology, International (WITI) to bring this one-day session to you.

Engage in topics related to leadership development, recruiting and retention, and current technology topics ranging from cybersecurity, blockchain and IoT. You will gain insights from our presenters and panel participants as well as have opportunities to engage in direct discussions.

Attendees across the region have come to expect a dynamic agenda with relevant topics and exciting speakers who will share their wealth of knowledge and experience. Our goal is to help you gain practical insights into your business challenges. The 2018 Hartford Tech Forum includes powerful keynotes, informative breakouts, discussions with subject-matter experts, and cutting-edge solution providers.

Network with other leaders, forge connections, share resources, and discover opportunities across various technology disciplines.

As the day wraps up you are invited to celebrate with us as we present the National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing awards to local high school students recognized for their great work and interest in pursuing a technology based career. Information Technology has long been a male-dominated career and NCWIT’s mission is aimed at increasing the participation of women in IT and all technical fields.

15 Advisors

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

8 Sponsors

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


These organizations have appointed one or more senior level executives to attend Hartford Tech Forum.


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

  •  Sofia Bayne

    Sofia Bayne


    Director of Security & Provisioning Engineering

  •  Dana Campbell

    Dana Campbell

    Optimize Corps

    CEO, Leadership Coach & Change Expert

  •  Michelle Drolet

    Michelle Drolet


    CEO & Co-Founder

  •  Renee Ghent

    Renee Ghent


    VP, Digital Program Delivery & Enterprise Integrations

  •  Alyssa Gilhooly

    Alyssa Gilhooly


    Senior Project Manager

  •  Laszlo Gonc

    Laszlo Gonc

    MVP Advisory Group LLC


  •  Rafi Khan

    Rafi Khan

    Edible Arrangements


  •  Dina Mainville

    Dina Mainville

    Info-Tech Research Group

    Commercial Director, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation

  •  Caitlyn May

    Caitlyn May

    The Hartford

    IT Business Analyst

  •  Beth Mercier

    Beth Mercier

    The Hartford

    CIO of Small Commercial

  •  Angelo Morello

    Angelo Morello

    Pfizer, Inc.

    Director Business Technology

  •  Cheryl Morgan

    Cheryl Morgan

    Former VP, The Travelers Companies

    RLF Facilitator, Executive Coach

  •  David O'Malley

    David O'Malley

    GE Digital

    VP of Digital Transformation & Product Innovation

  •  Joseph Pucciarelli

    Joseph Pucciarelli


    Group VP & IT Executive Advisor

  •  Christine Rapillo

    Christine Rapillo

    Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services

    Chief Public Defender

  •  Sandy Silk

    Sandy Silk

    Harvard University IT (HUIT) Information Security Group

    Director, Education and Consulting

  •  Sabina Sitaru

    Sabina Sitaru

    Central CT SIM Chapter

    Board Member

  •  Stacie Watson

    Stacie Watson

    Transformative Leadership Strategies, LLC

    Executive Coaching & Leadership Development

  •  Brandy Williams

    Brandy Williams

    Farm Credit Financial Partners

    Product Manager

  •  Jane Wiltshire

    Jane Wiltshire

    Facilitator, Regional Leadership Forum

    Senior Director in Business Technology, Pfizer


May 8, 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.

Ballroom C

Ballroom C

Event Emcee
Angelo Morello, Director Business Technology, Pfizer, Inc.

Event Emcee
Sabina Sitaru, Board Member, Central CT SIM Chapter

Ballroom C

David O'Malley, VP of Digital Transformation & Product Innovation, GE Digital

Beyond the headlines and hashtags, Technology is an industry that lacks balance:  Gender. Race. Age. Work. Life. And yet, economic models show that empowered, diverse workforces drive better outcomes.

As leaders, it is our responsibility to deliver results in an uncertain world. To do this, we need to lead through a culture of empowerment.

In this presentation, David O'Malley will highlight new rules for leadership in the digital age, and how it will affect the roles of the people we lead.

Ballroom C

Laszlo Gonc, Partner, MVP Advisory Group LLC

Tremendous technology changes in recent years have made exponential leaps in the way we will communicate, interact and transact with each other for generations to come. The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought about the potential for low cost sensors on everything around us, on us and even in us. Blockchains and smart contracts with advances in encryption tools will provide for the immutable trust and transparency required to build the foundation of Web 3.0. The collection of all this data will provide startling context to how we behave and make decisions through Better Data Analytics. Advances in Artificial Intelligence through machine learning will change the way we interact with machines, our environment and each other forever. What does this mean to your business? What are the technology risks? We have now entered the Transformative Age – are you ready to do business in the future?

Room 21/22

Dina Mainville, Commercial Director, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation, Info-Tech Research Group

Excitement around blockchain technology is rooted in financial services. Opportunities exist for lowered transaction costs and complexity, increased transparency, immutability and the potential to welcome billions of unbanked people into the global economy.

Disruption in this space is undeniable and evidence suggests that the impact of blockchain will extend far beyond finance, from voting systems, to manufacturing, to healthcare and more.

A new dawn is upon us and your choice is to exploit the technology now or wait for others to innovate before you.  Join us for a discussion on how blockchain will change the world, from a social, global, financial and organizational standpoint, and be inspired to lead the transformation in your organization.

Room 24

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

Ballroom C

Dana Campbell, CEO, Leadership Coach & Change Expert, Optimize Corps

Renee Ghent, VP, Digital Program Delivery & Enterprise Integrations, Aetna

Beth Mercier, CIO of Small Commercial, The Hartford

Cheryl Morgan, RLF Facilitator, Executive Coach, Former VP, The Travelers Companies

The #Metoo movement has ignited a national debate on the topic of sexual harassment. Both women and men are speaking out. As leaders we have an opportunity to re-frame the discussions occurring in the media and on the national stage to drive positive, constructive change within our workplace.

While the #MeToo movement may be current, the topics associated with it have been around for a long time. How do we untangle the complexities and context to drive accountability, transformation, growth and healing within our companies, social circles and society?

Given the statistics it is likely you or your work colleagues have experienced abuse or harassment in the workplace.  As leaders how do we ensure a safe and supportive work environment.

Panel discussion will focus on what is the call to action as leaders and individuals as we mentor, counsel and deal with day-to-day challenges of a workforce grappling with these social issues.

Room 21/22

Stacie Watson, Executive Coaching & Leadership Development, Transformative Leadership Strategies, LLC

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore the idea of 'confidence' - where it comes from and how to increase it in the face of ever-changing environments.  Information from the field of neuroscience will be shared with a focus on how our brain impacts our level of confidence and response to change.  Discussion will  include ways that managers can reinforce and support the confidence of their team members, including women and other diverse populations.  Throughout the workshop, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and actively participate in the conversation.

Room 24

Christine Rapillo, Chief Public Defender, Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services

Being successful in your career is often dependent on flexibility and a little bit of courage.  As a woman, you often have to weave in family responsibilities with work, which makes advancement in the traditional manner challenging.  Jobs that are geared towards a mother’s schedule don’t always offer the same opportunities as more traditionally male positions.

You can create a path for advancement by seizing on unexpected chances and always being ready to be first to speak.  Jobs that are geared towards female gender roles can be exploited to show your talents and put you on a path to your goals. Attorney Rapillo will speak about having courage to tackle intimidating tasks, turning a less attractive positon into an opportunity and how to become an executive out of the least respected arm of your organization.  

Room 21/22

Michelle Drolet, CEO & Co-Founder, Towerwall

Sofia Bayne, Director of Security & Provisioning Engineering, Aetna

Rafi Khan, CIO, Edible Arrangements

The bad guys just keep getting “badder”. We will discuss different ways we approach IT Security based on Risk as well as Compliance. No one looks the same but everyone needs a solid road map using with people, deploying the right policies as well as technology and building repeatable processes. Join us for a lively discussion on Data/IT Security.

Room 24

Sandy Silk, Director, Education and Consulting, Harvard University IT (HUIT) Information Security Group

From lengthy vacancies in unfilled positions to a choice of strong candidates within weeks of job listings. Hear how Harvard Information Security and Harvard WIT (Women in Technology) are leading a culture shift in our IT community from recruiting through promotion. Participants will explore useful resources and techniques to remove inadvertent biases in your processes so you can better attract, retain, and develop strong talent and inclusive teams in your organizations.
  • Resist assumptions about degrees and certifications
  • Choose your words carefully
  • Network, network, network
  • Question everything
  • Prioritize your pain points and potentials
  • Support ongoing professional development 

Ballroom C

Jane Wiltshire, Senior Director in Business Technology, Pfizer, Facilitator, Regional Leadership Forum

Alyssa Gilhooly, Senior Project Manager, Aetna

Caitlyn May, IT Business Analyst, The Hartford

Brandy Williams, Product Manager, Farm Credit Financial Partners

Technology is rapidly changing our world and our next generation of workers is here. Digital natives are well-educated and tech savvy. They are shaping our workforce and influencing corporate culture. They are also no different than generations who have come before them - highly-driven to succeed while searching for the holy grail in work-life balance in a hyper-connected world. In this session, three young leaders share their perspective on leadership, their role models, their aspirations for their future selves and debunking the perception of millennials.

Ballroom C

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Applicants are evaluated on their interest, motivation and experience in computing; their leadership; and their interest in pursuing a career in technology.

Welcome to the Hartford Tech 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. Stay, chat, and enjoy yourself! 

Admittance by Conference Badge Only.

The Connecticut Convention Center

The Connecticut Convention Center is an award-winning venue owned by the State of Connecticut. Its operations are overseen by the Capital Region Development Authority. It is professionally managed by Waterford Venue Services, a subsidiary of Waterford Group, a leader in the hospitality and gaming industries.


100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 249-6000

more information


Advisory Council

  •  Candice Benson

    Candice Benson


    EVP Corporate Relationships and Strategy

  •  Zakira Bhura

    Zakira Bhura


    Senior Director, IT Program Manager

  •  Tara Bucchi

    Tara Bucchi


    Executive Director, Infrastructure Support Services

  •  Marianne Caridi

    Marianne Caridi

    Director of Sales, Talus Partners

    Executive Member Chair, WITI

  •  Thu-Thuy Dinh

    Thu-Thuy Dinh


    IT Project Manager

  •  James Kidd

    James Kidd


    VP Enterprise IT Services

  •  Darwin Kovacs

    Darwin Kovacs

    Cognizant Technology Solutions

    Senior Manager

  •  Angelo Morello

    Angelo Morello

    Pfizer, Inc.

    Director Business Technology

  •  Cheryl Morgan

    Cheryl Morgan

    Former VP, The Travelers Companies

    RLF Facilitator, Executive Coach

  •  Preksha Palmer

    Preksha Palmer


    Web Engineering Manager

  •  Leo Pellerin

    Leo Pellerin

    United Way of Connecticut


  •  Sabina Sitaru

    Sabina Sitaru

    Central CT SIM Chapter

    Board Member

  •  Theresa Torres

    Theresa Torres


    Director, IT Program Manager

  •  Sharon Wells

    Sharon Wells


    Senior Director, IT Program Manager

  •  James West

    James West


    Director - IT Program Management


Join us this year in Hartford, CT 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.


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