Annual Conference IT

2024 Annual Conference: Information Technology

Chris Przybysz

Mastering Transformation: Three Key Strategies for Thriving in Times of Change

Chris Przybysz, CIO, Ideal Industries

Transformation is inevitable in today’s fast-paced business environment. As economic turbulence and technological advancements accelerate, IT leaders often find themselves focused on mere survival. However, with a deliberate and mindful approach, transformations can become powerful opportunities for growth and success.

Drawing from a rich 25-year journey of business deals, digital transformations, and professional reinvention, Chris Przybysz uncovers three guiding principles that consistently lead to thriving amidst change. Join us to discover how to leverage these timeless tenets to not just navigate but excel in the ever-evolving landscape of modern business. Prepare to look beyond the horizon and turn transformation into a strategic advantage.

John Thompson

AI – What’s next? – GenAI and Beyond

John Thompson, Bestselling Author, Speaker, Global Head of Artificial Intelligence, EY

AI has been used in commercial settings with great success for at least 20 years. GenAI exploded onto the scene about 2 years ago and shows no signs of slowing in innovation, adoption, and value realization. What does the next few years hold for us in relation to GenAI? What is next after GenAI? What does Causal AI look like and bring? And, finally what will composite AI applications composed of Traditional AI, GenAI, and Causal AI look like and bring to us? Come to this session, bring your questions and we will discuss these ideas and more. Your views and ideas are welcome. Let’s talk!

What will you learn:

  • What is next in GenAI from the perspectives applications and technology.
  • What is Causal AI.
  • What happens when you build composite applications containing all 3 Pillars of AI.

Gina Yacone

Boardroom Briefings: Effective Engagement through Cybersecurity Communications

Gina Yacone, CISO, Trace3

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the role of chief information security officers (CISOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) extends beyond managing digital threats; it encompasses the critical task of communicating complex security matters to the board of directors. This talk dives into the art and science of presenting cybersecurity issues to the board, transforming what could be a daunting task into a golden opportunity for leadership demonstration, risk understanding enhancement, and advocacy for vital resources.

We’ll explore the best practices for preparing and delivering compelling cybersecurity reports to the board. The presentation aims to provide practical strategies for CISOs and CIOs to convey the significance of cybersecurity in a manner that not only resonates with board members but also mobilizes their support for key initiatives, including the adoption of robust security policies and the promotion of a culture prioritizing cyber hygiene.

Jody and Sara

Transforming IT from Back Office to Strategic Partner: A Journey of Innovation and Collaboration

Jody McDonough, CIO, and Sara Gilbertson Ley, Customer Service Manager, Sub-Zero Group

Join Jody McDonough and Sara Gilbertson Ley as they share the compelling story of Sub-Zero’s IT transformation. This session will delve into how the IT department evolved from a traditional back-office function to a strategic partner driving business value. Discover how Jody and Sara fostered a shared vision that aligned IT initiatives with business goals. They will discuss the development of a department-sponsored cost model, a value delivery system, and a comprehensive success measurement framework. Attendees will gain insights into the practical steps and strategies they employed to achieve this transformation.

Learn about the challenges they faced on their journey, the milestones they achieved, and their plans for future innovation. This presentation is a testament to the power of collaboration, strategic vision, and relentless pursuit of excellence in IT and customer service. Whether you are an IT professional, business leader, or interested in digital transformation, this session will provide valuable lessons and actionable insights to help you drive similar change within your organization.

IT Track Sponsor

Interested in sponsoring our IT track? Contact us to learn more.

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Steering Committee

Steering Committee members provide guidance on track content, topic suggestions, and speaker selection. Thank you to the 2024 IT Track Steering Committee:

Sean Asp
Sean Asp
Director of IT, Foremost Farms

John Kruel
John Kruel
CIO, Jeweler’s Mutual

Kris Cherukuri
Kris Cherukuri
VP of IT, Sargento

Lisa McDonough
Lisa McDonough
Director of Client Solutions, FarWell

Practice Director

Heidi Rozmiarek

Position title: Information Technology Practice Director


As the IT Practice Director, Heidi Rozmiarek leads the technology practice of the UWEBC. She works with member companies to ensure education, research, and advisory service offerings are aligned with the needs of the membership. Heidi brings over 20 years of experience helping companies achieve operational success by leveraging technology and data through her work in consulting and senior leadership positions in software development, data management, and enterprise applications. Heidi’s diverse background includes extensive experience in the healthcare industry, where she spent over a decade leading technology and analytics initiatives for healthcare providers, insurers, and life sciences companies.

Heidi holds an MBA from the University of South Dakota, a BS in Computer Science, Marketing, and Finance from Morningside University, and a Master’s Certificate in Accounting from Edgewood College.