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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 Raleigh 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.

27 Sponsors

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

161 Organizations

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


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

  •  Joe Bastante

    Joe Bastante

    Blue Cross NC


  •  Keith Collins

    Keith Collins


    EVP & CIO

  •  Sam Adams

    Sam Adams

    RTI International

    Sr. Research Scientist, AI

  •  Beatriz Lara Bartholomé

    Beatriz Lara Bartholomé

    Former Chief Innovation Officer & Corporate Transformation, BBVA Bank, Madrid, Spain

    EMEA Advisor Director, Globant, Inc.

  •  Nequella Battle

    Nequella Battle

    Durham County Sheriffs Office

    IT Manager

  •  Guillermo Bodnar

    Guillermo Bodnar

    Globant, Inc.

    CTO, North America

  •  Terry Buchanan

    Terry Buchanan

    Robeson County


  •  Tanya Content

    Tanya Content

    UNC Health Care

    HCS Manager, HR Service Center Operations

  •  Nancy Crouch

    Nancy Crouch

    University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Resources & CIO

  •  Joseph DeKonty

    Joseph DeKonty

    Red Hat

    Sr. IT Manager

  •  Doug Edmunds

    Doug Edmunds

    Summit Design and Engineering Services

    IT Director

  •  Chris Finney

    Chris Finney

    ePlus Technology


  •  Josh Frank

    Josh Frank

    William Peace University


  •  Hari Gopalakrishna

    Hari Gopalakrishna

    Honeywell Connected Plant

    Digital Transformation Leader

  •  Allen Hackman

    Allen Hackman


    Principal Executive Strategist

  •  Trish Halley

    Trish Halley

    SAS Institute

    VP, Global IT Service Delivery and Support

  •  Dina Mainville

    Dina Mainville

    Info-Tech Research Group

    Commercial Director, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation

  •  Maria Vanina Martinez

    Maria Vanina Martinez

    University of Buenos Aires

    Professor, Computer Sciences

  •  Marc Montoro

    Marc Montoro

    NorthState Technology Solutions

    General Manager

  •  Brad Murphy

    Brad Murphy

    Gear Stream, Inc.


  •  David Murray

    David Murray



  •  Joe Perez

    Joe Perez

    NC Department of Health and Human Services

    Sr. Systems Analyst & Team Lead

  •  Matthew Peters

    Matthew Peters

    Computer Aid, Inc.

    Executive Director, Intelligent Automation

  •  Neal Petersen

    Neal Petersen

    No Barriers International

    Motivational Speaker

  •  Bill Pierce

    Bill Pierce

    Parexel International

    Chief of Platform Solutions

  •  Malcolm Postings

    Malcolm Postings


    VP, Global Head of Innovation & Emerging Technologies & Chief Architect

  •  Henry Schaffer

    Henry Schaffer

    North Carolina State University

    Coordinator of Special IT Projects & Faculty Collaboration

  •  Steve Smith

    Steve Smith

    Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group

    Managing Partner

  •  Raven Solomon

    Raven Solomon

    Raven Solomon Enterprises

    Inspirational Keynote Speaker

  •  Haldo Sponton

    Haldo Sponton

    Globant, Inc.

    Artificial Intelligence Tech Director

  •  Michael Thomas

    Michael Thomas

    City of Kinston

    MIS Director

  •  Brian Watson

    Brian Watson

    Co-Author, Confessions of a Successful CIO

    VP, Enterprise Innovation at Traction Technology Partners

  •  Victor Williams

    Victor Williams


    Regional Manager

  •  Dennis York

    Dennis York


    Sr. Solutions Engineer

Introduction from Neal Petersen

In sharing his captivating, uniquely delivered and extraordinary life-story, Neal delivers a powerful message that "There Are No Barriers – Only Solutions!"

"Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing"


December 5-6, 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.

Room 306

Room 306

Matthew Peters, Executive Director, Intelligent Automation, Computer Aid, Inc.

Automation will quickly affect all jobs and all people in some way. Even small businesses that previously saw no opportunity to automate are now deploying robotic process automation to grow and compete. While we’ve been at automation for some time now, Cognitive Services and Artificial Intelligence are at the cusp of completely upending automation as we currently know it. More progress in practical, applicable AI has been made in the last 5 years than was made in the prior 50 years of work, and all industries are now at the verge of their employees and customers seamlessly working with machines.

In this talk, Matt Peters, CAI’s Executive Director of Intelligent Automation, will talk about the path forward for AI for all of us, navigating the organizational change management and pitfalls that come with the journey. We’ll share some successful deployments of early AI adopters and digital workforces, as well as some horror stories of what can go (terribly) wrong when companies leap before they look into AI.

Room 306

Room 306

Marc Di Francisco, Founder, Premier Connects, Inc.

Program Intro
Bill Pierce, Chief of Platform Solutions, Parexel International

Room 306

Keith Collins, EVP & CIO, SAS

Brian Watson, VP, Enterprise Innovation at Traction Technology Partners, Co-Author, Confessions of a Successful CIO

Before becoming CIO of SAS, Keith Collins spent years as head of the company's research and development. In that experience, he developed priceless perspectives on why IT leaders need to become tenaciously focused on both customers and products.   

In this fireside chat with author and CIO advisor Brian Watson, Collins will share his unique insights on the realities of IT leadership today, and he will share his perspectives on hot-button tech topics like AI, cloud and Big Data. 

Room 306

Hari Gopalakrishna, Digital Transformation Leader, Honeywell Connected Plant

You have been asked to participate (or lead) in developing your company’s Digital Transformation Plan – so where to start ?  
You could : Do platform selection / Pick technology / Hire a consultant / Do value mapping / Focus on OT / Focus on IT / open your firewall to multiple different vendors, each with their own cloud applications / go deep on a single site  / deploy small Applications spread evenly across the enterprise – so many choices. 
Whatever you do, you have to get many different interest groups in the company aligned with the plan, enact change management and show tangible results in a short time. 
This session talks about the Honeywell Connected Plant approach to Digital Transformation and includes some discussion of IIoT maturity modeling, value mapping and execution strategy.  

Room 306

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

Excitement around blockchain technology has largely been monopolized by cryptocurrency. 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 but evidence suggests that the impact of blockchain will extend far beyond finance, from voting systems, to manufacturing, to healthcare and more. Join us for a discussion on blockchain case studies to understand where blockchain applications are coming to life.

Room 305a

Victor Williams, Regional Manager, Darktrace

Doug Edmunds, IT Director, Summit Design and Engineering Services

This fireside chat will focus on why this IT Director believes autonomous response and machine learning is the future of defense and how the ‘immune system’ approach to cyber security provides his company with complete network visibility and the ability to prioritize threats in order to better allocate time and resources. 

Room 305b

Allen Hackman, Principal Executive Strategist, ServiceNow

Tanya Content, HCS Manager, HR Service Center Operations, UNC Health Care

Joseph DeKonty, Sr. IT Manager, Red Hat

Study after study has linked positive employee experiences lead to improved customer experiences and significantly improved business outcomes. How do you best determine where to focus your employee experience investments to yield impactful and sustainable business results? Come hear how Red Hat and UNC Health Care are transforming their employee experiences and realizing measurable business outcomes in an engaging panel discussion.

Room 306

Marc Montoro, General Manager, NorthState Technology Solutions

David Murray, CISO, Genworth

It is an unfortunate reality that all businesses are susceptible to a cyber-security breach. And while organizations are pushing their IT departments to beef up their security and mitigate the risk, the true measure will be how an organization responds in the face of a breach. This requires a playbook that engages the entire executive leadership team, from marketing to IT, that gives specific direction on how to communicate to their customers, internal employees and the general public on how they are recovering from the incident. This panel will include a group of IT Security Leaders, discussing what they are doing to develop their organization’s incident response strategy.

Learn more about NorthState Technology Solutions below:

Room 305a

Chris Finney, SVP, ePlus Technology

Trish Halley, VP, Global IT Service Delivery and Support, SAS Institute

This open Forum will address some key issues for practitioners including:
  • Shortage of IT Talent – Acute in Security and Analytics, DevOps
  • Cloud Sprawl/Waste-Cost management
  • Security More Important, CEO and Board Interest
  • Navigating Multi-Cloud

Room 305b

Dennis York, Sr. Solutions Engineer, RingCentral

Henry Schaffer, Coordinator of Special IT Projects & Faculty Collaboration, North Carolina State University

Businesses are now moving faster than ever before, with workforces collaborating at a pace of incredible productivity. Today’s mobile and global workforce requires a modern enterprise cloud platform which empowers them to collaborate anytime, anywhere, on any device through voice, video, and team messaging. Join us for an open discussion on how to transform your business by modernizing workforce communications in the cloud.

Room 306

Room 306

Guillermo Bodnar, CTO, North America, Globant, Inc.

Beatriz Lara Bartholomé, EMEA Advisor Director, Globant, Inc., Former Chief Innovation Officer & Corporate Transformation, BBVA Bank, Madrid, Spain

Maria Vanina Martinez, Professor, Computer Sciences, University of Buenos Aires

Haldo Sponton, Artificial Intelligence Tech Director, Globant, Inc.

From efficiency driven (cost reduction) to business driven (value based decision on data). The Presenters will tell us: what are the leading banks around the world doing today in A.I. How, today, Globant works with BBVA, what were the beginnings, how A.I. has evolved and what the future holds for us.

Room 306

Steve Smith, Managing Partner, Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group

Terry Buchanan, CIO, Robeson County

Nancy Crouch, Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Resources & CIO, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Josh Frank, CIO, William Peace University

Devastating natural disasters have become all too common. Hearing from CIOs who have recent experiences is one way to learn how to prepare for and recover from such disasters. The panel consists of three CIOs who have worked through the challenges first-hand. These CIOs will discuss similarities and differences in planning and response to the disasters.  Each will be sharing experiences including pre-disaster planning and post-disaster recovery processes. They will provide insight into any long term impact from the disaster, discuss if the disaster has had an influence on their: service offerings, strategic planning or resource allocation. They will share lessons learned.

Room 305a

Michael Thomas, MIS Director, City of Kinston

Nequella Battle, IT Manager, Durham County Sheriffs Office

Raven Solomon, Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Raven Solomon Enterprises

For this panel debate, industry leaders include the following: Nequella Battle, Information Technology Manager of Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Raven Soloman President and Founder of Center for Next Generation L&P Development and Michael Thomas, MIS Director for City of Kinston. The panelist will be speaking on managing and leading Generation Y and Z individuals in a technology driven economy that share a difference in workface values. Topic of discussion will decode myths of the Millennial and Gen Z generation group and review leadership strategies adopted by panelist on managing personnel in a multigenerational environment who may not be accustomed to the world of social media.

Room 305b

Brad Murphy, CEO, Gear Stream, Inc.

Most companies today have prioritized scaled agility and digital transformation believing that speed and digital economies of scale will lead to breakthrough performance.   While the clock-speed of digital innovation has raced ahead, it is no longer technology that constrains the future, but instead the very nature of work-life itself. 

In this talk Brad Murphy, serial software entrepreneur, author, life-long Agilist, and organizational disrupter will share insights into this future.  Learn from the journey of early trail blazers powering innovation and disruption through the emerging lens of human experience.

Room 306

Malcolm Postings, VP, Global Head of Innovation & Emerging Technologies & Chief Architect, IQVIA

Today blockchain is about a data workflow using general ledger type sharing of information. Here it is important to understand the role of a governing body to engage the stakeholders and own the smart contract rules of working. The future is moving more broadly into trusted distributed data sharing. This will start with enablement of distributed queries and then move into the ability to construct virtual data stacks.

Room 305a

Sam Adams, Sr. Research Scientist, AI, RTI International

With all the hype around AI and Data Science these days, most non-practitioners and managers have a growing perception that these are golden bullets for nearly every problem on earth.  The problem with golden bullets is that they are useless without the gun that fires them and the hand that aims them.  And that gun wouldn’t exist without the steel mill and the iron mine and the railroad that carries the ore.  Much of AI and Data Science are about discovering insights and improving understanding about situations to better inform decisions and actions.  Without supporting the full knowledge lifecycle from data to information to knowledge to insight to application, organizations do just about as well with lead.  After tracing the mega trend of computing from the 1950s-2020s, I will demonstrate the amazing power of contextual information and how to exploit its value across the enterprise using the most practical and yet overlooked aspect of modern AI: knowledge graphs.   Then I will overview the knowledge lifecycle and how to enhance our support for it as we look to reap the benefits of AI and Data Science in the modern era. 

Room 305b

Joe Perez, Sr. Systems Analyst & Team Lead, NC Department of Health and Human Services

The Gartner and Forrester groups have estimated that more than half of all major IT projects do not succeed, and unfortunately, CIO's most often bear the brunt of the blame for it.  When they take it personally, they may end up failing as well.  With the inability to either adapt to change or push it at the right pace being listed as one of the major reasons for these failures (according to a Harvard Business Review study), blindly sticking with the status quo can kill your IT growth with stagnation.  Renaissance philosopher and writer Machiavelli once said, “I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”

So how does a CIO follow this advice and avoid stagnation without sacrificing quality and security in the process?  In "Cultivating a Climate for Paradigm Shift," I will expound on what I see are the three key words to strike this delicate balance: Recognize, Resolve, and Respond.  This presentation will encourage CIOs to shift their paradigm and be a catalyst for change rather than resisting it.  Where is your organization now?  Where do you want it to be in five years?  Do you intend to get it there by using the same methods that have not worked? It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.  Is that how you want your legacy as a CIO to be remembered?  Regarding change, are you a catalyst or an antagonist?  Let me say that in a different way: do you project an image of being part of the problem or part of the solution?  Come and find out!

Room 306

Joe Bastante, CTO, Blue Cross NC

AI Pragmatism and Passion, a hype-free strategy for practical yet impactful AI solutions – The technology industry has been inundated with information about AI, yet much of it gives little practical insight into exactly how it work and how to successfully deploy it within an organization. This presentation moves beyond the fluff and hype providing a clear picture of what it is and exactly how it works, offers proven examples of AI particularly in healthcare, and importantly, gives practical guidance for deploying an AI strategy within an organization.

Room 306

Neal Petersen, Motivational Speaker, No Barriers International

Introduction from Neal:

South African-born, Neal Petersen is a history-making extreme adventurer, global investor, and award-winning author. Neal has faced many challenges in life – a childhood physical disability, economic hardship, prejudice during the harsh Apartheid era, and other insurmountable barriers and he always turned them into opportunities. In these challenging times of uncertainty, fear and insecurity rise, many CIOs feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision, followed by detailed planning, on how better to navigate the uncharted waters ahead using his remarkable personal story.

Neal completed the "Around Alone", a 27,000 mile yacht race, 9 months at sea, around Cape Horn and its notorious storms – solo, and in the smallest boat he designed and built himself.

In sharing his captivating, uniquely delivered and extraordinary life-story, Neal delivers a powerful message that "There Are No Barriers – Only Solutions!"

"Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing"
Welcome to the Raleigh 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. Stay, chat, and enjoy yourself! 

Admittance by Conference Badge Only.

Raleigh Convention Center

The Raleigh Convention Center is a bustling hub for the culture, commerce and technologies that make the Triangle one of the most admired and sought after regions in the United States.


500 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 996-8500

more information


Advisory Council

  •  Terry Buchanan

    Terry Buchanan

    Robeson County


  •  Jim  Baxley

    Jim Baxley

    nCino, Inc.

    SVP Enterprise Banking

  •  Bob Brinson

    Bob Brinson

    NC Department of Public Safety


  •  Nick Brooks

    Nick Brooks

    US Army JFK Special Warfare Center & School


  •  Gray Cassell

    Gray Cassell

    Town of Kernersville

    Director of Information Systems

  •  Steve Crawford

    Steve Crawford

    Amarr - Entrematic, Inc.

    CIO & VP IT

  •  Karen Davis

    Karen Davis

    RTI’s Research Computing Division (RCD)

    VP & Business Group CIO

  •  Hemant Desai

    Hemant Desai

    Guilford County


  •  Tracy Doaks

    Tracy Doaks

    State of North Carolina

    Chief Deputy State CIO & Chief Services Officer

  •  Barbara Duck

    Barbara Duck

    BB&T, Inc.

    EVP & CIO

  •  Jerry Fralick

    Jerry Fralick

    Lenovo USA

    Chief Security Officer

  •  Raju Gadiraju

    Raju Gadiraju

    NC Department of Commerce, Division of Employment Security


  •  Trish Halley

    Trish Halley

    SAS Institute

    VP, Global IT Service Delivery and Support

  •  Paul Hetzel

    Paul Hetzel

    Carolina Donor Services

    Director of Information Systems

  •  John Hoffler

    John Hoffler

    BB&T Corporation

    AIX Enterprise Services Manager

  •  Mike Jensen

    Mike Jensen

    Dova Pharmaceuticals

    Executive Director IT

  •  Chris Kielt

    Chris Kielt

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    CIO & Vice Chancellor for IT

  •  Chris Koltyk

    Chris Koltyk

    City of Jacksonville, NC


  •  Leah Kraus

    Leah Kraus

    North Carolina Central University


  •  Stephan LeMoine Jr.

    Stephan LeMoine Jr.



  •  John Leydon

    John Leydon

    University of North Carolina

    VP & CIO

  •  Michael Lubak

    Michael Lubak

    LORD Corporation

    Director Business & IT

  •  Bill Pierce

    Bill Pierce

    Parexel International

    Chief of Platform Solutions

  •  Malcolm Postings

    Malcolm Postings


    VP, Global Head of Innovation & Emerging Technologies & Chief Architect

  •  Jane Price

    Jane Price

    NC Department of Agriculture


  •  Tracy Purvis

    Tracy Purvis

    Alliance One International

    VP Chief Application Officer

  •  Nicole Raimundo

    Nicole Raimundo

    Town of Cary


  •  Dede Ramoneda

    Dede Ramoneda

    First Citizens Bank

    EVP & CIO

  •  George Reichert

    George Reichert

    Genworth Financial


  •  Don Riley

    Don Riley


    Director of IT, Americas

  •  Henry Schaffer

    Henry Schaffer

    North Carolina State University

    Coordinator of Special IT Projects & Faculty Collaboration

  •  D. Darnell Smith

    D. Darnell Smith

    City of Raleigh


  •  Mike Taylor

    Mike Taylor

    Pitt County Government

    Deputy County Manager & CIO

  •  Shannon Tufts

    Shannon Tufts

    University of North Carolina - School of Government

    Associate Professor & Director, Center for Public Technology

  •  Keith Werner

    Keith Werner

    University of North Carolina

    VP of IT & CIO

  •  Jim West

    Jim West

    Cummins, Inc.

    Director, Global ERP IT PMO Leader

  •  Rex Wilder

    Rex Wilder

    City of Greenville

    IT Director

  •  Billy Willis

    Billy Willis

    Duke University Health System



Join us this year in Durham, 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.


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