Charles AraujoExperts on leadership will take the stage at leading midmarket CIO conference

The Midsize Enterprise Summit has confirmed three keynote speakers for its upcoming spring conference who will help sharpen the leadership skills of today’s midmarket CIOs. These speakers will also inspire attendees to move their organizations forward.

With a theme focused on helping CIOs transform into business innovators, the following speakers will grace the main stage at the MES Spring 2019 conference: Shannon Huffman Polson, author and U.S. Army Apache helicopter pilot; Charles Araujo, founder of the Institute for Digital Transformation, and Kevin Eastman, author and former NBA coach and executive.

Polson will deliver a talk titled, “Leading from Any Seat: Stories from The Cockpit and Lessons from The Grit Project.” She will share her story and lessons learned as she rose through the ranks of the U.S. Army, eventually earning her captain’s stripes and leading Apache helicopter platoons and a line company. She became the first woman to command an Apache platoon and today writes extensively on leadership as her part of her research for The Grit Project.

Here is her session abstract:

Tenacity, determination, grit and an innate ability to lead has defined Shannon Huffman Polson. An adventurous young woman, she summited Mount McKinley (now Denali) and, at the time, was the youngest woman to complete the attempt. From there, she was commissioned in the U.S. Army and was one of the first women to fly the Apache attack helicopter. Through her leadership and aviation skills she earned the right to lead two flight platoons and was the first woman to command an Apache flight company in the 2d Infantry Division. With real-world stories and insights from in and out of the cockpit, she offers tangible leadership lessons for audience members to seek out their own targets and, where passion and purpose intersect, incorporate them into their own professional lives. By examining everyday leadership and situational challenges, Polson empowers others to effectively lead and thrive in any dynamic environment.

Araujo’s talk titled “Creating Advantage by Unleashing Creativity, Innovation and Ingenuity” will delve into his thinking on how CIOs can lead their teams and organizations through today’s turbulent era of digital transformation.

Araujo’s MES Spring talk is as follows:

In the digital era, anything tech leaders can reduce to an algorithm will be automated. This will shift the nature of how organizations create and sustain business value. As a result, creating competitive advantage in the digital era requires that senior IT leaders embrace and unleash the human characteristics within employees and teams that will set the organization apart. In this interactive keynote, attendees will deconstruct how the human characteristics of creativity, innovation and ingenuity can be used to create competitive advantage within their organizations unleashing growth opportunities. Midmarket CIOs and senior tech leaders will walk away with practical ideas and next steps they can immediately apply to begin the transformation of their organizations as they look to compete and thrive in today’s digital era.

Eastman is a corporate speaker and an internationally known basketball clinician who brings his knowledge and experience in sports to the business world. He speaks on various topics, including championship culture, teamwork, leadership, motivation and individual success.

His talk is titled, “The Power of Us: How Championship Teams Create and Maintain a True Team Environment.”

Eastman will discuss how teams create that feeling of team-ness, including how teams are put together, how teams stay together, and how the understanding of teammate, teamwork, and team are linked. He will take attendees behind the scenes of some of the great championship teams in professional sports and in the corporate world. Eastman will provide an inside look at what truly takes place for champions to form that team bond. He shares his experiences as a coach of the 2008 NBA World Champion Boston Celtics and of the 2010 Boston Celtics that reached the NBA Finals. Both runs taught him valuable lessons about the power of forming the right team and a true team.

Those are just a few of the keynote speakers who will grace the main stage at the MES Spring Summit May 5-7 in Orlando. Leading and emerging vendors along with midmarket experts and CIOs will take the stage to share their insight on the state of the midmarket. Members of the MES team will also share their insight from our extensive surveys on midmarket IT buying behavior.