Meet the 2020 CIOY Candidates

Jill Albin-Hill
VP for Operations & Technology, Chief Information Officer
Dominican University

Jill joined Dominican University in 2003 as Associate Director of IT, becoming Director of IT in 2006, CIO in 2009 and VP in 2013 before assuming her current role that brings together information technology, facilities, and security.

In her sixteen years at Dominican University, she has had the opportunity to grow and learn about many aspects of university administration. Her work has been driven by a keen interest in customer service and a strong desire to exceed expectations. She is passionate about helping others utilize and leverage technology in effective ways and is proud of the pervasiveness and usefulness of IT today. No longer begging for a seat at the table, there is hardly an initiative on campus in which the technology division is not involved.

Jill has also served as an Adjunct Professor for the past 13 years..

Prior to joining Dominican University, Jill served as the Manager of Technical Services at Consolidated Communications.

 

Ramnath Cidambi
Chief Information Officer
Illinois Student Assistant Commission

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is the state's college access and financial aid agency, providing Illinois students with information and assistance to help make education beyond high school accessible and affordable. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families' giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them.

Ramnath Cidambi has led the Information Technology (IT) Division at ISAC since joining the agency in August 2010. He has spearheaded significant improvements in IT at the agency, including the development of an efficient and highly effective technology platform through which ISAC administers state financial aid programs. Under Cidambi's leadership, ISAC has also become a go-to agency in developing applications, including mobile apps, for other state agencies and for cross-agency initiatives. The ISAC IT team and the products it has developed have won numerous awards, including twice winning the Most Effective IT Team of the Year from AITP/SIM and a Digital Government Award.

 

Heather Nelson
SVP & Chief Information Officer
University of Chicago Medicine

Heather Nelson is currently in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Information Technology division at UChicago Medicine. In the role of SVP/CIO, she has responsibilities for supporting all the information management systems (clinical & business/administrative), infrastructure, clinical engineering, IT support services, IT Project Management Office, integration, reporting, and analytics capabilities & technologies, as well as the privacy & IT security functions for UChicago Medicine. Her teams are comprised of talented IT professionals that are dedicated to supporting patient care and care teams throughout the health system and in our communities through a shared services operating model. With that, the teams have been recognized for their contributions to UChicago Medicine by receiving the Most Wired Award (level 8) in 2019 from CHIME's annual survey.

Heather joined UChicago Medicine in 2014 as the Executive Director of Applications Systems with oversight of all the clinical and revenue cycle management applications, clinical engineering team, population health strategies and systems, and support of the UCM Care Network strategies and systems. She was named Interim VP/CIO in August of 2017, named the VP/CIO in April of 2018, and promoted to SVP/CIO in 2019.

Prior to joining UChicago Medicine, Heather spent time at Baystate Health in Springfield, MA as a Senior Director of Applications and IT Operations, including an Interim CIO assignment and 10-years at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI with roles in Laboratory Services, Case Management, and increasing leadership responsibilities within the Information Technology division. Heather holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Alma College in Alma, MI as well as a Master's in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University. She is a Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) through the CHiME organization.

 

Praseed Thapparambil
Chief Information Officer
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is a non-profit association that protects public health by assisting its member boards of pharmacy and offers programs that promote safe pharmacy practices for the benefit of consumers. Founded in 1904, NABP's member boards of pharmacy are grouped into eight districts that include all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and all 10 Canadian provinces. The Association is governed by its Executive Committee, whose officers and members are elected during the Association's Annual Meeting.

Praseed Thapparambil has a Masters in Computer Science from Hyderabad Central University. He has about 30 years of industry experience in various technologies. He has been the CIO of NABP for the last 5 years. Prior to that he held the CIO position for ArgoTurboServe Corporation. He also held Chief Architect positions in Nielsen Media Research, GE Healthcare and various other consulting firms prior to that. He has also engaged in product development for the Transportation and Logistics industry associating with multiple startups. He specializes in Organizational transformation inculcating Agile development, Culture shifts and Technology adoption. He is also a frequent contributor to Pharma technology magazines and speaks at Pharmacy regulation Symposiums.

 

Matt Hartzman
Chief Information Officer & Healthcare Leader
RedMane Technology

Matt has spent over 35 years helping organizations achieve business goals through leveraging technology. He has held executive leadership roles in 6 consulting organizations spanning over 20 years, led an internet start-up, and spent 9 years as Chief Information Officer for the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and TriCore Reference Laboratories. Matt also served as VP of Innovation while at the College of American Pathologists.

Matt is a thought leader for not only his organization and his clients, but also the community at large balancing strong strategy, operations, business development and technology acumen. For the last 15 years, Matt has focused on helping healthcare businesses get healthy by applying technology appropriately.

Matt has built and currently leads a 3-year-old business within RedMane Technology, a 20-year-old technology systems integrator and custom software developer: the healthcare IT commercial solutions business.

Unlike most other role expansions where CIOs take on additional responsibilities, Matt's responsibilities at RedMane expanded to include CIO responsibilities. For example, more traditionally after his appointment as CIO of CAP, Matt also took on the additional role of VP of Innovation. At RedMane, Matt took on the CIO role in addition to the other roles he already held. The CIO assignment at RedMane was based on his CIO experience prior to joining RedMane and the demands of a growing business that has doubled in size in the last 12 months.

 

George Wang
CMO, Peterson Technology Partners
Interim COO/Chief Information Officer, Arx Nimbus

George Wang is a business technology leader, innovator and translator, having held senior roles in both technology and business areas. He implemented multiple technology “firsts” in wireless telecom, insurance, financial services, healthcare and education. His 25+ year journey through startup, mid-cap and Fortune 500 firms has given him a broad industry perspective of the common as well as unique business and people challenges in enabling technology transformation and innovation. During the second half of his career, George has been passionate about implementing change in the social good areas of education and healthcare, something that every human is entitled to regardless of socio-economic class.

George is currently Chief Marketing Officer for Peterson Technology Partners and interim COO and CIO at Arx Nimbus, a Cybersecurity software startup that mathematically quantifies risk, using regulatory frameworks, into financial terms. Previously he was Cluster CIO for the State of Illinois, focused on our Students (K-12, Community Colleges and Universities). Prior to that, he was Technical Director, New Business Development at Stericycle, where he launched a new Healthcare IT startup investment fund SteriVentures LLC, identified new business service lines and led the technical M&A assessment of two major acquisitions out of the 300+ that Stericycle has completed.

George has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a MS in Engineering Management from National Technological University (the very first graduate-level accredited satellite distance learning institution in America). He is a Board Member of SIM Chicago, former PMI Chicago Executive Council Vice-Chair and former AITP Governance Co-Chair. He has also been a volunteer mentor for various healthcare startup accelerators including Chicago's MATTER and HealthBox and is a strategic advisor for MondoPoint LLC which is part of the MATTER incubator.

Interesting Fact: George was one of four software engineers selected to implement America's first digital (IS-54 TDMA) cellular phone for Motorola. The very first American digital cellular call was actually transmitted in Illinois in 1992 and 24 years later we have over 7 billion digital cellular handsets in use globally.

 

Jonathan Beyer
Chief Information Officer
ELCA

In his role at the ELCA churchwide organization, Jonathan drives strategies for intelligent and collaborative enterprise technology solutions. These solutions promote efficient and effective operations and communication across the churchwide organization and its ministry partners, as well as leveraging information to help advance fundraising and mission. He is responsible for vision and leadership in positioning technology as an enabler for the mission and business operations of the organizations that his teams support. In partnership with these organizations and his team, he develops and directs the IT strategy and maintains relationships with other executives to ensure that IT is enabling the strategic priorities of the organization in an efficient and effective manner.

Jonathan provides executive management and direction for all service, support, solution and project portfolio management functions at the ELCA churchwide organization. This includes the development and review of systems architectures, policies and guidelines for computer and information standards, information security, application and website development, enterprise systems and data integrity, management and storage. His teams enable use of information, technology and digital systems for churchwide and related agency staff to support congregations, synods, and related institutions and agencies of the church.

Jonathan's career began in Information Security at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), and continued at Arthur Andersen as an architecture lead. He then served as the Vice President of Infrastructure & Technology Operations at two different startups in the Chicago area. His educational background is in Actuarial Science and he received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

 

Keith Onchuck
Chief Information Officer
Ozinga

Keith is an executive who is comfortable in the Boardroom and in the Data Center. He is a skilled communicator and team builder who orchestrates complex projects and assembles teams to fulfill continuous improvements and provide increased business value. He is a strategist who aligns information technology with business process and a pragmatist who migrates people, process and tools at a sustainable pace.

Keith's strengths lie in his ability to understand the business first and then determine where technology can be utilized. The business first approach it essential to any technology driven transformation project. He creates excitement amongst the business to see the benefits when combining Business Process Improvement and Technology Transformation.

Keith is a leader who can provide vision, empower teams, and provide the support required to achieve exceptional results. As a leader he challenges teams to go where they never thought possible and achieve what they thought was unattainable. He views failures as opportunities to improve. This creates a culture where teams are comfortable going into unknown territory and achieving extraordinary results.

The first part of his career was spent in the consulting space. This provided the foundation of a Business Focused approach to all projects. In his current role, he is leading technology advancements in an industry with limited standards, disparate systems, isolated vendors and outdated processes and technology. This creates a unique opportunity for rapid improvements. He leverages his experience to improve business visibility for data driven decisions.

 

Bill Blount
Chief Information Officer
benefitexpress

Bill Blount is Chief Information Officer of benefitexpress, a cloud-based technology firm specializing in benefits administration for enterprise organizations. He is known for a people-first mindset which allows him to build collaborative, high-functioning teams. Across IT disciplines, his organization consistently delivers business value through technology solutions for large employers.

Prior to joining benefitexpress, Bill held a similar role at PayFlex, where he led the post-acquisition integration of PayFlex into Aetna. In earlier roles, he built and managed highly scalable solutions while at e-commerce leaders FTD.com and Restaurant.com, and consulted for clients as diverse as such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Oracle Corporation.

His experiences have inspired him to serve as a mentor to university students taking their first steps, as well as those already progressing on their career path.  Bill holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.

 

Olivia Friedman
Chief Information Officer
Institute of Higher Global Studies

Olivia “Grace” Friedman – known as the “$33M IT Girl.” after finding an overlooked technical error. Also Institute CIO, Award Winning Business Woman, PR Liaison, and Technical Trainer to countless grassroots humanitarian organizations, United Nations affiliated NGO’s, NFL players, and celebrities around the world requiring multiple languages, she increased revenue of start- up’s by nearly 300% in record time, with strategic sales/marketing, implementing techniques learned from high caliber professionals in the field, while filling in gaps with strategy, execution and implementation. Driving online safety through best practices, educating/training all staff, as well as outreach to military and dependents, hardening home and mobile computers.With years of United States Navy service prior to being hired on at Northrop Grumman, she was a  Navy “Doc”, Aerospace Medicine Technician, and Information Systems Security Officer with wisdom in medical, sales/marketing, public relations, big data, and bio-informatics. She’s also a JD Candidate with a BSc Information Systems Security from American Military University.

Her legacy of helpfulness is volunteerism – assisting judges with lessening their Civil Caseload, closing cases through dispute resolution, mediation, and negotiation. The CEO of Legal Booking Pro software, solving common issues with law booking and billing, a Thrive (Global) on Campus Graduate Editor-at-Large from Pepperdine University where she is a Law Major, also writing on workplace mindfulness. Olivia is an active member in good standing at Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International. Washington, D.C. mock trials complete – her Law Fraternity houses over 300,000 members with hundreds of prominent's that include; U.S. Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Congresswomen, Governors, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, namely Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and many others. 

 

Alejandro Martinez-Galindo
CIO-Walgreens and SVP, Global IT Transformation – WBA
Walgreens Boots Alliance

Alejandro is an executive with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare, life sciences, retail, supply chain, manufacturing, and automotive sectors.

His forte is leading digital transformations on a broad scale. He has set the core vision and strategy behind diverse teams' creation of powerful new digital capacities in competitive markets. He also takes pride in having survived the General Motors bankruptcy, and emerged from it a stronger leader who knows how to do more with less. A focus of his work has been international change leadership, as I have overseen complex IT organizations spanning the Americas, Africa, Middle East, and Europe. Through this global perspective he has appreciated gaining deep knowledge of both mature and emerging markets.

Advisory board participant.

Specialties: Innovation, IT transformation, digital transformation. Entrepreneurship.
CIO as a driver of revenue , working capital optimization , customer centric strategies, supply chain, Lead to cash , Strong SAP background, Telematics & mobility, cloud native applications at scale.

 

Helen Sun
CTO
StatsPerform

Helen Sun is a technology strategist and thought leader. She is known as an expert in transforming businesses through innovative solutions applying artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics, and architecture.

Prior to her current role Stats Perform, Helen was the CTO at JP Morgan Chase, held the VP position for Cloud Compute, and for Information, and Architecture at Motorola Solutions. Helen also held senior leadership positions at some of the most innovative companies including Oracle, and Salesforce.

Helen is a published author of highly rated titles in big data and analytics including "The Big Data Handbook," and “Master Competitive Analytics with Oracle Endeca Information Discovery”. Her 3rd title named "Pro Salesforce Analytics Cloud" was published in January 2016.

Helen is a frequent speaker at major conferences, including Oracle Open World, Hadoop Summit, and The Open Group events. Helen was also keynote speaker The Open Group Big Data Conference. She was the featured speaker at the 2015 University of Chicago "Women in Analytics" symposium.

Helen serves as co-chair at BGSU Computer Science Business Advisory Board. She was recognized as Chicago Business Woman of the Year in 2016.

 

Sean Katz
Chief Information Officer
Vitality Group

Sean Katz, Chief Information Officer for Vitality, has extensive experience in Health IT technology, specifically in the payor and wellness space. He has spent the past 24 years working in this field - both locally and abroad - providing advanced technology solutions to solve complex business problems.

Sean rejoined Vitality Group at the beginning of 2013 and is responsible for the technology that helps people drive engagement in their health. This includes using IOT to get device data into real time journeys that incentivize people to complete healthy activities. Recently, Sean has worked with leading life insurance companies, including John Hancock and Manulife, to attach the Vitality program to their insurance products.

During his tenure, Sean has been responsible for re-architecting and building a new claims system and introducing new technology stacks and systems to better service clients and internal company operations.

Sean received his Master of Science degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.

Guided by a core purpose of making people healthier, Vitality is the leader in improving health to unlock outcomes that matter. By blending technology, data, incentives, and behavioral science, we inspire healthy changes in individuals and organizations. Vitality brings a global perspective through successful partnerships with the smartest insurers and most forward-thinking employers around the world. More than 16 million people in 24 markets engage in the Vitality program.

 

John Sudduth
Director of IT
MWRD

John H. Sudduth has more than 25 years of information technology experience and is skilled in defining organizational structure, resource requirements, and mission/vision alignment. John's industry information technology experience includes professional services, legal, retail, government, and healthcare. As an IT leader, John has used his CIO roles to make IT a value adding partner rather than a cost center.

As a true IT visionary, John was able to assume the CIO role at organizations with misaligned IT Departments and transform those departments into value adding partners for the business. John understands that people are the core of any IT department, to that end he ensures that the right people are in the proper roles based on their core competencies and skillsets. Using this approach, John has transformed the culture of multiple organizations. John also has a talent for discovering how a business operates and uses the knowledge of business operations to ensure that the IT department is in direct alignment with the business.

John's knowledge of audit and internal controls has served his current organization very well. Since taking over the CIO role at MWRD John has completely revamped internal controls and has implemented a standardized IT governance framework resulting in drastic reduction of IT audit findings in four years.

Created in 1889 as the Sanitary District of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) today is an award-winning, special-purpose district responsible for treating wastewater and providing stormwater management for residents and businesses in its service area, which encompasses 882.1 square miles and includes Chicago and 128 suburban communities throughout Cook County.