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Managing an IT Organization in a Chaotic Situtation
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When: 1/7/2009
Where: Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West
2303 North Mayfair Road
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 
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Richard L. Kolbe
Vice President of Information Technology, Briggs & Stratton

Rich Kolbe has been the Vice President of Information Technology at Briggs & Stratton since 2001. During this time, the company has changed its business strategy from being a component supplier to becoming both a consumer product and component supplier in the outdoor power equipment industry. During this same period, annual revenue rose from $1.5 to $2.6 billion. Mr. Kolbe has focused IT resources on assimilating four business acquisitions, developing a greater international IT presence, and aligning IT more closely with the business.

 Previously, Mr. Kolbe was the Vice President of IT for four years at Giddings & Lewis, LLC, served as a senior IT leader at Harley-Davidson for ten years, and held various management leadership positions for ten years within the IT group at Square D Company. Mr. Kolbe began his career in Information Technology by learning the basics of applications design and programming with CNA Insurance in Chicago.

As part of his community involvement, Mr. Kolbe chairs the Ability Connection, a group of IT executives from greater Milwaukee, that helps people with disabilities begin careers in Information Technology.
Rich Kolbe received his B.S. degree in Computer Sciences and Mathematics from UW-Madison, and his MBA in Systems Management from DePaul University in Chicago.

Michael L. Jones
CIO, Children’s Hospital and Health System

Michael Jones has over 40 years I.S. experience with 25 years in healthcare. As CIO at Children’s Hospital and Health System for the past 13 years, he is responsible for all clinical and administrative applications, technical support for all servers and workstations as well as voice and data communications for fourteen entities including the hospitals and physician practices.
Mike has a BS in Commerce from DePaul University-Chicago and a MBA from Cleveland State University.

He is a member of SIM (Society for Information Management) and has been on the SIM International Board for the past seven years. He is also a member of CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) and HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) healthcare organizations.

Mike has been active in the Ability Connection Program to get individuals with disabilities back in school, and the opportunity to get back in the workforce. Organization made up of Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Goodwill Industries and various local businesses. He is on the Board of Clement Manor.

Sam Valanju
CIO & VP of Johson Controls

Career: Mr. Valanju began his career with Federal-Mogul Corporation, where he served for 18 years in a number of different roles, including production planning, warehouse facility management and manufacturing/distribution information systems. He later joined Rockwell International, where he served as director, Information Systems for the company’s automotive businesses. During his tenure with Rockwell, he developed and executed information technology strategic plans on a global basis. Mr. Valanju joined Johnson Controls as CIO in 1996.

Awards, Recognition and Service: Mr. Valanju participates on boards of advisors of several major technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard. He is active in fundraising activities for public television in the southeast Wisconsin area, where he has served as chairman and maintains board membership. Mr. Valanju has been active in Society for Information Management International at the local and national levels in board member capacities. He shares experiences with future IT leaders through the Regional Leadership Forum.

Education: Mr. Valanju received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Bombay, India; a Master of Science in internet engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Detroit. He is also certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM) from the American Production and Inventory Control Society.

Summary: Panel Discussion Moderated by Phil Zwieg, Z-Sharp LLC



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