Chris Dixon, senior manager, State and Local Industry Analysis, conducts targeted research aimed at shedding light on the state and local IT markets, and ways for vendors to capitalize on procurement opportunities. In addition to investigating, evaluating, and tracking existing state and local trends, Dixon provides strategic research, analysis, market forecasting, and opportunity analysis.
Todd Kimbriel, Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Department of Information Resources and the State of Texas Chief Information Officer, came to public service in 2008 after serving over 25 years in the private sector. He is a lifelong information technology professional, having spent time in all aspects of technology including planning, design, operations, and management. His industry experience outside of public service includes telecommunications, aviation, retail, and import/export. As the CIO of the state of Texas, Kimbriel represents Texas nationally and collaborates with other states in advancing the role of technology in the public sector. Kimbriel graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor of science degree in finance.
Chris Laping has been engaging audiences with disruptive ideas on innovation and roller coaster storytelling. Now, he is hitting the stage as author of his debut book, People Before Things, to take audiences on a journey that focuses on how great organizations take care of people and inspire a culture of change. Prior to founding People Before Things, LLC, Chris served as SVP, Business Transformation and CIO at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. In these roles, he was a highly contributing member of a management team that completed a successful turnaround, taking the company from an $8 stock price to $89 in just a few years. Chris has 25 years of technology and change leadership experience across multiple brands and industries and has been widely recognized for his innovative thought leadership. He was named a Top 5 Social Business Leader by The Economist, Social Business Technology Leader by InformationWeek and Premier 100 IT Leader by Computerworld. The work of the teams he led has been spotlighted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company and CIO Magazine, among others.
Glenn O'Donnell, who serves infrastructure & operations professionals, is widely regarded as a top thought leader in IT service management, operations and the broader social implications of technology evolution. O'Donnell's specialties are in data center automation and operational excellence. He is the co-author of "The CMDB Imperative," which explores best practices in configuration management databases. Prior to joining Forrester, O'Donnell was a major force in transforming EMC's resource management software business as a marketing lead and strategic contributor. He also served as an IT operations analyst at the Meta Group. Most of his career encompassed 21 years in various companies within the Bell System including Western Electric, Bell Labs, AT&T, and, finally, Lucent Technologies, where he held increasingly influential roles in technology development, IT operations, and enterprise architecture. O'Donnell studied electrical engineering at Lincoln Technical Institute and computer science at Moravian College.
Jeff Jennings has more than 24 years of experience in the K-20 sector, as well as 21 years of experience in the FCC E-rate program. He has served as an E-rate consultant to more than 200 schools and multiple manufacturers partnering in the E-rate program. Jennings has a strong background in the following areas: state, multi-state and federal contracts and compliance; E-rate consulting/compliance and strategic planning; federal and state funding; federal RFP creation and response for schools, libraries, consortia and LEA’s.
Vennard Wright (PMP, ITIL Practitioner) is currently the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). As CIO, he provides the requisite leadership to transform the management of information technology (IT) capabilities and services to support WSSC’s mission of providing world class service to more than 1.8 million residents. In this role he is responsible for leading a client-focused and process-based organization that is fiscally responsible, consisting of WSSC staff, consultants, and implementation support organizations.
Prior to joining WSSC, his professional IT experience included serving as CIO for Prince George’s County Government (MD), Director of Technology for Hillary Clinton during her successful US Senate re-election campaign and subsequent 2008 Presidential Campaign. He was also Chief Technology Officer and Technical Organization Delivery Manager for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which was subsequently acquired by Hewlett Packard (HP).
Deborah Giles is the founder and Executive Director of TTC, responsible for aligning key governmental relationships and shaping policy on behalf of its membership. She also serves as a business development and strategic consultant, advising numerous Fortune 500 technology companies. Deborah brings to TTC more than 20 years of public and private leadership experience, including serving as Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Deputy Inspector General for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), a Texas State agency of 53,000 employees. Her prior positions include National Manager for a global energy company, US Congressional Legislative Director, and Texas Legislature Chief of Staff. She has successfully managed the areas of operations, budgets, technology, public relations, government relations, business development, and sales.
Deborah has been a featured speaker and presenter with corporations and associations including Pitney Bowes, Oracle, Eaton, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Texas K-12 CTO Council, Executive Women in Texas Government, Texas Public Purchasing Association (TPPA), and Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE). She is very active with NASCIO, NASTD, e-Republic, TASSCC, NACO, NLC, ALEC, and NCSL.
Deborah is a graduate of the Governor’s Executive Development Program at The University of Texas at Austin, a Certified Public Manager (CPM) through Texas State University, and a Certified Inspector General (CIG) through the Association of Inspectors General. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She and her family live in Austin.
Craig Hopkins is the Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technology Services for the City of San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is the seventh largest municipal corporation in the U.S. with over 13,000 employees, an annual operating and capital budget of $2.8 billion, assets of $24 billion, and a city population of more than 1.6 million residents. Craig is responsible for all information technology operations, applications support, service delivery, cyber security, project management, and business relationship functions for 40 diverse departments across over 500 city facilities. He also has enterprise leadership roles in customer experience design, employee workplace of the future, smart cities strategy and implementation, technology research and innovation, and workforce leadership and development.
Prior to his current role with the City of San Antonio, Craig spent 20 years at United Services Automobile Association (USAA) in a variety of functional and key leadership roles including Vice President positions in IT portfolio management, customer service, digital transformation, and then Senior Vice President positions in corporate strategy, corporate development, information technology shared services, global sourcing, corporate procurement, and technology innovation.
Craig is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran with both shipboard and small boat experience as a Machinery Technician, Federal Law Enforcement Officer, Small Boat Engineer, Emergency Medical Technician, and Heavy Weather Coxswain. After the Coast Guard, Craig followed Trish as a military spouse as she served 11 years in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps.
Craig earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.