The conference runs from 7:30 am to 4:40 pm.

After the Opening Keynote, Networking Break and Strategic Briefings, the Information Technology Track, which takes place in Ballroom BC, offers an exceptional group of speakers:

10:20–10:25 am
Cavinda Caldera

Track Introduction

Cavinda Caldera

10:25–11:00 am
Scott Vifquain

Driving Enterprise Transformation with Technology

Scott Vifquain, Senior Vice President,
Technology, Kohl's Department Stores

Technology's growing influence in all market segments makes it a powerful transformation engine. No longer responsible for just "keeping the trains on time," today's IT departments must exploit the power of technology to keep their enterprise competitive. Hear how Kohl's is transforming itself through technology to capture market share in the hyper-competitive retail world. Empowered by an aggressive move to the Cloud, Kohl's is leveraging this journey to modernize its tech portfolio to be more agile, automated and open.

About Scott »

Scott Vifquain is a Senior Vice President at Kohl's Department Stores, responsible for leading application development across a number of application domains. Scott has over 20 years of retail experience, specializing at the intersection of supply chain, technology, and the customer experience. He began his career at Kurt Salmon Associates, where he consulted leading retailers and global brands on realizing the value of connected supply chains.

At Kohl's, Scott's team has been responsible for building the physical and digital assets that power Kohl's Omni-Fulfillment engine.

11:05–11:40 am
Eric LeVin

The Customer-Focused Digital Transformation Journey

Eric LeVin, Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer of AdvantEdge Analytics, CUNA Mutual Group

In a world full of fast-moving competitors, disruptive technology and changing consumer demands, companies are being faced with a need to be digital and reexamine how they do business. But what does being digital mean and how do you transform? Eric will walk you through one of CUNA Mutual Group’s key digital transformation efforts, encompassing 18 different initiatives, that focuses on their largest credit union customers. In this session, you will learn about some of the instigators for the digital transformation, along with some of the key enablers like user-centered design, lean startup principles and modern technology architecture that allowed CUNA Mutual Group to move from a legacy insurance company to holding a competitive position in the market as an indispensable partner to credit unions across the US.

About Eric »

Eric LeVin is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for AdvantEdge Analytics at CUNA Mutual Group. In this role, he leads the technology for AdvantEdge Analytics providing end-to-end solutions to help credit unions gain stronger member intelligence and insights. In addition, he leads 18 initiatives across the enterprise large account transformation program which focuses on the ease of doing business, generating new business value, and an updated engagement model for strategic large account management (more than $500 million in assets). He previously held positions at CUNA Mutual Group of Director of Transformation, Enterprise Large Account Technology Lead and Director of Innovation.

Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group in 2015, Eric held various positions with Life Time Fitness, Awakened Innovations LLC, TEAM Informatics and Trade Wizard LLC. Additionally, Eric has been founder and co-founder of multiple startup endeavors ranging from retail-based algorithmic financial trading software to health-oriented social engagement platforms.

Eric graduated from the University of Minnesota–Carlson School of Management with a bachelor’s degree in business management of information systems.

Eric is sponsored by AHEAD.

11:45 am–12:20 pm
Karl Richards Lands' End

Driving Infrastructure Innovation
at Lands' End

Karl Richards, Senior Director of Infrastructure
and Information Security, Lands' End

Architecting an infrastructure strategy that empowers and enables enterprise-wide innovation and technology integration is no small feat. Lands’ End developed a vision that better aligns its IT purchases, technology solutions and end-to-end architecture to simplify, optimize and more effectively and efficiently provide IT services to all of its global business units. This end state architecture will provide the foundational platform to support disaster recovery, dynamically and flexibly support business strategies and requests, and provide a gateway to consume cloud services. Consolidation and optimization of infrastructure components is a key tenet of Lands’ End’s vision and provides cost savings and simplification. Karl will share Lands’ End’s strategic vision to modernize its infrastructure and discuss how Lands' End IT is focused on delivering innovative and transformational solutions to the business.

About Karl »

Karl Richards serves as the Senior Director of Infrastructure and Information Security for Lands' End, a leading multi-channel retailer of casual clothing, accessories, footwear and home products offering products through catalogs, online at and affiliated specialty and international websites, and through retail locations worldwide.

Karl has more than 20 years of leadership experience directing complex, international IT and business projects for organizations including Total Administrative Services, Dean Health Plan, Liberty Mutual Insurance and General Electric. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

1:35–2:10 pm
Antony D'Cruz

Managing IT in a Multi-Speed Environment:
The New Reality

Antony D'Cruz
Execution Focused Senior IT Leader

IT teams today are challenged to respond to the increasing variety of needs of their businesses — from the need for stability, predictability and efficiency on one end of the spectrum to the need for agility, speed and innovation on the other. All of this while also being tasked with leading transformation change across the organization. How do they respond? What are the opportunities for an IT team which can step up to this challenge?

About Antony »

Antony D’Cruz is an executive IT leader with over 20 years of global experience in managing business transformations and IT teams in complex corporate environments.

Antony started his career as a programmer and analyst at Covansys Corp, and worked on client engagements in Michigan and the United Kingdom.

Most recently, Antony was Vice President, Information Technology at Johnson Controls, in the IT Separation Management Office for the spin-off of Johnson Controls’ Automotive Experience business unit into Adient plc, a separate publically traded company.

Prior to that, Antony held a variety of positions in information technology supporting engineering, program management, manufacturing and finance in North America and Asia, and across all of Johnson Controls’ business divisions.

Antony is currently focused on giving back to this community, working at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, assisting them with their annual campaign.

Antony is a native of Malaysia and currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife and their two children.

2:15–2:50 pm
Chris Cashell WPS

A New Approach to Delivering Technology Solutions at WPS Health Solutions

Chris Cashell, Senior Vice President Business
Unit Services, WPS Health Solutions

WPS Health Solutions has embarked on a journey to create support teams for major enterprise-wide applications that are utilized by multiple lines of business. This enables WPS Health Solutions to be less reliant and dependent on the strategic vendors in their day-to-day support and operational needs, further allowing WPS to reduce costs and address issues quicker.

The WorkForce Optimization Team pioneered this new model, which has now been adopted by the enterprise shared services team, supporting such varied applications as OnBase, CRM and RPA. The new model delivers significant efficiencies by creating a truly enterprise-wide shared services model that caters to multiple lines of business, develop internal competencies and expertise on systems that are widely utilized across the enterprise, and reducing the risk of relying on vendors and solutions providers. The model further encourages business partners to identify problems, diagnose them and develop solutions utilizing the correct technology and talent with faster delivery times.

About Chris »

Chris Cashell is the Senior Vice President of Business Unit Services, a collective group of shared services at WPS Health Solutions, including corporate services, integrated shared services, operational training, project and portfolio management, and workforce optimization.

Before joining WPS Health Solutions, Chris ran the project management office at Ministry Health Care. He was responsible for all the information technology and business-related projects. Chris’ career spans multiple industries, including insurance, manufacturing, service, health care, finance, local government and utilities.

Born in England, he finished his education in the United Kingdom and acquired a diploma in Management Studies through Nottingham Trent University. Chris has lived and worked in the United States since 2000. He is a member of the Executive Advisory Board for the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The Information Technology Track is sponsored by:



Steering Committee members provide guidance on track content, topic suggestions and speaker selection. Thank you to the 2017 Information Technology Track Steering Committee:

Steve GearhartSteve Gearhart
Chief Information Officer

Davor GrgicDavor Grgic
Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Sustainability
Kohler Co.

Cavinda CalderaCavinda Caldera
Information Technology Practice Director

The Day At a Glance

Your day at the Business Best Practices & Emerging Technologies Conference is packed with content:

7:30-8:30 am Registration and Networking
8:30-9:30 am Opening Keynote featuring T.K.Rengarajan
9:30-10:20 am Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 9:45 to 10:10 am)
10:20 am -12:20 pm Track Sessions in Ballroom BC
12:20-1:30 pm Lunch & Table Topics
1:30-2:50 pm Track Sessions in Ballroom BC
2:50-3:40 pm Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 3:05 to 3:30 pm)
3:40-4:40 pm Closing Keynote featuring Carey Lohrenz
4:40-4:45 pm Raffle and Conference closes

Sponsors Banner
SAP Logo

American Family Insurance logo
CUNA Mutual Group
EDCi  logo
Mediasite by Sonic Foundry

Video On Demand Partner

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arts Institute

Center for Professional
and Executive Development

Engineering Professional Development

Kohl's Center for Retailing

Office of Corporate Relations

Interested in sponsoring?

Contact Lori Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager | 608-890-2449
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