Houston CIO Executive Summit

December 10, 2019 | JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria

December 10, 2019
JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria

Collaborate with your peers

Get together with your peers to tackle top business challenges through peer-driven content and discussions at the Houston CIO Executive Summit.

Join your peers to discuss the most critical issues impacting CIOs today:

Investing in your people and the right technologies

Innovating with advanced technologies and new delivery models

Influencing business stakeholders and enterprise outcomes

Houston CIO Governing Body

The Governing Body Co-Chairs shape the summit agenda, ensuring that all content is driven by CIOs, for CIOs.

Governing Body Co-Chairs

Yanni Charalambous

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Twila Day

Huntsman Corporation

James Green

Chevron Corporation
GM of IT Service Delivery

Jennifer Hartsock

Baker Hughes

Lori Kittle

Landry's Restaurants, Inc.
Chief Loyalty Officer

Al Lindseth

Plains All American Pipeline
SVP Tech. & Risk Mgmt.

Laura Tibodeau

Americas Styrenics

John Varkey

Waste Management
VP, Enterprise Digital Services


December 9, 2019

December 10, 2019

6:00pm - 8:30pm  Governing Body Welcome Reception

Let’s Get Ready to Gamble! Governing Body Welcome Reception Features Casino Night

As Governing Body members and invited guests, come and enjoy a fun, casual and interactive Casino Night at the JW Marriott Houston by the Galleria. The evening – a celebration of the work you all put into building a great summit agenda the next day – features table games, prizes, drinks and a fabulous dinner to kick off the fall “by CIOs, for CIOs” executive gathering. Gambling not your thing? There will still be plenty of entertainment, peer networking and desserts to be had.

Governing Body members host this reception and dinner to launch the event with an evening of peer networking.

11:20am - 11:45am  Networking Break

11:45am - 12:30pm  Lunch & Comments

Lunch & Interactive Discussions

In this networking lunch, take the opportunity to have relevant and topical conversations with your peers. The below questions are a guideline for you to start your table conversations.

Developing IT leaders

  • What are human capital strategies for building and developing the specialized talent required for IT and business innovation?
  • How are IT leaders tackling challenges related to new ways of working and trying to manage multi-generational teams?
  • How do you integrate an overall leadership strategy into the IT side of the business?

Leveraging AI

  • How have you deployed AI initiatives; what has worked and what needs improvement? Share lessons learned.
  • How do you measure the return on investment from AI projects?
  • How do you drive employee engagement and overcome barriers to realizing AI’s true potential?

Customer-centric Strategies

  • What data management strategies generate the most actionable insights into the digital needs and behaviors of your customers?
  • What have been your most successful tactics for increasing the speed with which your technology organization responds to customer demand and delivers value?
  • What is the role of the CIO in ensuring a seamless customer experience?

Executing While Modernizing

  • How are you helping the business to articulate “value” so that effort and energy are spent on the right things?
  • How can you liberate more of your human capital/talent to focus on transformative, value-added work, and less on “keeping the trains running on time?”
  • What can CIOs do to increase the change appetite of their organizations and foster a culture of continual evolution?

Improving the Pace of IT

  • What are the greatest “friction” areas in your organization, and what has been successful in reducing that friction?
  • What frameworks or operational models (e.g. agile, DevOps, reorganization) have been most successful in creating more efficient, effective technology organization? 
  • What can CIOs do to ensure that speed is a value of the entire organization, not just the technology org?

12:30pm - 1:00pm  Keynote

Using 5G to Fuel Innovation and a Culture of Invention

Ulf Ewaldsson headshot

Ulf Ewaldsson

SVP Technology Transformation

T-Mobile for Business

10 years ago, the world couldn’t have envisioned everything 4G now supports. And today, we’re at that same point with 5G. Understanding ways 5G can and will impact the enterprise is one example of how CIOs are mastering their expanding roles as embedded key partners for accelerating innovation beyond IT. This discussion will help set the record straight by correcting some of the most pervasive misperceptions around 5G connectivity while also offering a clear, commonsense vision for adoption.

Drawing on his years of experience as a board member and CTO, T-Mobile for Business' Ulf Ewaldsson will cover:

  • What 5G technology means to the future of the enterprise
  • A roadmap for moving past the hype cycle and into reality

1:00pm - 1:20pm  Networking Break

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Breakout Session

Establishing and Executing an M&A Playbook

Paul Krueger headshot

Paul Krueger


J. B. Poindexter & Co

JB Poindexter has established a mergers and acquisitions playbook that, quite frankly, makes the stress of that growth strategy a lot less painful than it can be. The book is packed with due diligence and integration strategies that have earned IT credibility with the business. CIO Paul Krueger shares tips for:

  • Industrializing your M&A approach
  • Leveraging new technologies and standing up applications to drive cycle times and costs down
  • Building new capabilities and aligning disparate systems with a lift-and-shift approach to standardization

1:20pm - 2:10pm  Breakout Session

Returning to Common Sense Outcomes in Your Cyber Strategy

Peter Oelschlaeger headshot

Peter Oelschlaeger

VP, Customer Success


Attempting to understand where our organizational and information risk lies has become increasingly challenging and complex. As a community, it seems we might even be getting worse. Is this true, and can we reverse the trend? In this session, Pete Oelschlaeger explores and discusses:

  • The significant challenges most commonly affecting our business environments today
  • Real-world examples illustrating how “good ideas” can lead to bad outcomes
  • Common sense principles that large organizations apply for the greatest impact

7:30am - 8:15am  Registration & Breakfast

8:15am - 8:30am  Opening Comments

8:30am - 9:00am  Keynote

The Art of Innovation — Creativity at Work

Noah Scalin headshot

Noah Scalin

Artist, Innovation Consultant

Another Limited Rebellion

Hear from artist/author Noah Scalin on how to sustain innovation in both work and life. During this session, participants will have the opportunity to practice key concepts immediately with a high-energy, hands-on workshop and a facilitated discussion to cull insights and applications. Come ready to:

  • Explore personal leadership practices that foster a culture of innovation
  • Discover “The Big 7” practices that you can use to continually learn and grow in your work
  • Participate in a Creative Sprint® challenge that will keep participants creating and connecting after the workshop ends

9:00am - 9:20am  Networking Break

9:20am - 10:10am  Breakout Session

Innovation in Houston – What’s Next?

Vagesh Dave headshot

Vagesh Dave


McDermott International

Klara Jelinkova headshot

Klara Jelinkova


Rice University

Noah Scalin headshot

Noah Scalin

Artist, Innovation Consultant

Another Limited Rebellion

As a follow-up to last fall’s successful panel and workshop discussion on innovation efforts in Houston, we’ve assembled a panel of peers to talk about what has happened since then, what is happening now and what the future holds. Listen in and join the conversation as panelists discuss:

  • What is next for the city’s Ion innovation district and other innovation initiatives
  • What hurdles the region faces to becoming a leader in the tech scene
  • What innovation means for the profitability of Houston’s enterprises

9:20am - 10:10am  Breakout Session

From the Intelligent Edge to Business Impact

Rajiv Mirani headshot

Rajiv Mirani

CTO, Cloud Platforms


Jeremy Ross headshot

Jeremy Ross

Cloud Architect


It is expected that the data-driven insights derived from the next frontier in computing, AI at the Edge, will usher in a new era of business results. Enterprises must move past early use cases to more sophisticated and impactful examples that focus on business impact. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • The pain-points and hurdles holding enterprises back
  • Three cross-industry design patterns that have emerged
  • Four critical lessons from real-world project experience

9:20am - 10:10am  Executive Boardroom

Next-Level Data Management – Finding Meaning and Value

Charles Li headshot

Charles Li

IT Chief Data Officer for Trading & Supply

Royal Dutch Shell

Sameer Purao headshot

Sameer Purao


Austin Industries, Inc.

With massive amounts of data at their organization’s disposal, organizations continually look for ways to find true meaning – and value – in all the data. It requires a sense of urgency for CIOs to implement a holistic approach to mass data management and a data-first mindset. Come ready to learn and share:

  • Tips for implementing solid data strategies, and how CIOs can help the business exploit and safeguard the data
  • Methods for creating a culture of clear data ownership, including meeting internal compliance and external regulatory compliance requirements
  • Approaches for creating a shared cross-functional vision and systematic approach to next-level data management

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to C-level executives). To reserve your seat, please contact Pierre Ngung at 503-808-9818 or; or Rich Keating at 971-978-5040 or

10:10am - 10:30am  Networking Break

10:30am - 11:20am  Breakout Session

Digital Transformation – What Does It Really Mean?

Peggy Colsman headshot

Peggy Colsman


Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

Brad Rector headshot

Brad Rector


Phillips 66

Boyan Vukichevich headshot

Boyan Vukichevich

Director of Application Development

J. B. Poindexter & Co

Depending on the industry, age of an organization and stage of modernization of IT systems, CIOs likely define digital transformation in varying ways. Our panelists share varying points of view on:

  • What “digital transformation” means to them and their organization
  • What’s unique about each of their transformation journeys, and what strategies they are implementing
  • What they see as key components of going digital
  • How they differentiate between internal and external (customer-facing) messaging around enhancing digital capabilities

10:30am - 11:20am  Breakout Session

Aligning and Implementing Cloud Strategies to Power Digital Transformation

Ravi Saraswathi headshot

Ravi Saraswathi

Chief Architect, NA GTS CTO Office


Organizations today have migrated only about 20 percent of their workloads to the cloud. CIOs are charged with aligning mission-critical tasks to the right types of cloud environments and determining how to clear cloud-adoption hurdles, including meeting compliance and resiliency requirements and achieving cultural buy-in. Come to this session to learn:

  • How to successfully design, implement and manage a multiple-cloud operating environment
  • How to foster digital transformation and create a competitive advantage through cloud migration of legacy systems
  • How to adopt and accelerate a culture of agile innovation that leverages AI and cloud

10:30am - 11:20am  Executive Boardroom

RPA — Automation’s Golden Age

Murshid Khan headshot

Murshid Khan


TDECU-Your Credit Union

Sudhakar Virupakshi headshot

Sudhakar Virupakshi


Par Pacific Holdings

Toss out the manual on redundancies in the business process; RPA is automating its way to greater efficiencies and a brighter bottom line. This CIO session is a mix of RPA advocates, early adopters and outside observers — joining forces to learn from each other and explore:

  • How peers have deployed Robotic Process Automation— what has worked and what needs work
  • How to measure the return on investment for automated processes
  • How to overcome human barriers — such as employee engagement ­and leadership buy-in — to realize the full potential of RPA

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to C-level executives). To reserve your seat, please contact Pierre Ngung at 503-808-9818 or; or Rich Keating at 971-978-5040 or

2:10pm - 2:30pm  Networking Break

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Breakout Session

A Problems and Solutions Workshop

John Varkey headshot

John Varkey

VP, Enterprise Digital Services

Waste Management

Got a problem you need solved? Got a solution you can provide? This session encourages interaction between attendees to share problems and solutions to pressing needs – from small to big. Leave this session knowing you received or offered a viable solution or resource.

2:30pm - 3:20pm  Executive Boardroom

New Ways to Tackle the Talent Crunch

Manish Kapoor headshot

Manish Kapoor

CIO & SVP Information Systems

NuStar Energy L.P.

Any digital strategy cannot be absent of a plan for IT talent. Whether it’s retooling the skillsets of existing staff or attracting new talent with the right stuff, IT is at the heart of any organization’s ability to keep pace in a fast-moving digital era. This interactive session explores:

  • Human capital strategies for finding the specialized talent required of innovation
  • Fresh approaches to talent attraction, development and retention
  • The impacts from new ways of working – think flexible scheduling or at-home work arrangements – and managing multi-generational teams

Executive boardrooms are intimate and interactive sessions designed to foster dynamic dialogue around a specific, strategic topic. These private, closed-door discussions encourage attendee participation and are limited to 15 attendees (seating priority is given to C-level executives). To reserve your seat, please contact Pierre Ngung at 503-808-9818 or; or Rich Keating at 971-978-5040 or

3:20pm - 3:40pm  Networking Break

3:40pm - 3:50pm  Closing Comments

3:50pm - 4:20pm  Keynote

A Customer-Focused 2020 Global Vision

Gregory Ericson headshot

Gregory Ericson


Essilor of America

Seeing his way clear through a complex world of digital integrations, Greg Ericson views his CIO mission through a simple lens: How do we make it easier for our customers to do business with us? This session explores how an industry leader is leveraging data insights, RPA and AI to digitally enhance the entire consumer experience. Ericson will discuss:

  • Horizontal and vertical integration focused on the consumer journey
  • Successful case studies and the partnerships that magnify execution
  • Digitization and business integration efforts that can be scaled globally

4:20pm - 5:00pm  Closing Reception & Prize Drawing

December 9, 2019

December 10, 2019


Your Community Partners

National Thought Leaders
Keynote Sponsor
National Sponsors
Local Sponsors

Community Program Managers

For inquiries related to this community, please reach out to your dedicated contacts.

Rich Keating

Program Manager

971 978 5040

Pierre Ngung

Former Program Director