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SIM Portland: September Meeting: Top Challenges Facing CIOs and IT leader in 2017
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When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
5:30 PM
Where: University Club of Portland
1225 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, Oregon  97204
United States
Contact: Pradeep Kumar

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  Please note that this event is at our new meeting venue at the University Club of Portland.  See below for complementary parking options


Top Challenges Facing CIOs and IT leader in 2017

What is the biggest business technology trend this year? Is it mobile? The Internet of Things? Digital transformation? Big data? Virtual Reality? AI?  These tech changes present both opportunities and challenges. As technology plays an increasingly important role in the business, CIOs and IT leaders can deliver more business value than ever.  In this inaugural meeting for the 2017-18 we will be hosting 4 CIOs in a panel format with interactive Q&A opportunities from the attendees.  The Moderator will be Fred Pond, retired CIO of Columbia sportswear





Ben Berry -Serving as a strategic technology leader, Ben Berry is a professional with performance-based leadership and knowledge of diverse private and public-sector business and technology systems.  He is the Executive Vice President of Information Technology and CIO for the federal government’s Bonneville Power Administration.  The power generated on BPA's grid is sold to public utilities, private utilities, and industry on the grid.


He has led technology for large-scale organizations with diverse missions.  He is the owner of AirShip Technologies Group’s clean tech, long flight endurance unmanned aerial vehicles.He has held various senior leadership technology positions serving the Royal Saudi Air Force, Kingdom of Saudi Arabian International Airports, and Hughes Aircraft Company – Los Angeles.  He is a Board of Director at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.


He is the previous Chief Technology Officer for the City of Portland.  Prior to that, he served as CIO for the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT)  providing overall leadership, planning, development and delivery of information technology services for ODOT and several other non-transportation organizations.  As the CIO for the second largest state agency in Oregon, Mr. Berry was responsible for systems supporting highways, bridges, rail service, right-of-way determinations, DMV and Motor Carrier commercial trucking inspections and licensing throughout the state.


Berry is the former Regional Chief Technology Officer of Providence Health System Oregon, supporting a service area of eight hospitals and 33 clinics.  He has held executive and management positions in sectors such as state and local government, healthcare, telecommunications, aerospace/defense and airport transportation.  Berry received his M.B.A. from UCLA, a B.S. in Life Science--Biotechnology from the University of Portland.




Elisabeth Richard is currently CIO at VP / CIO at Greenbrier Companies. With over 20 years of expertise in IT Strategy and execution, she has led operational improvement and transformational global initiatives to support market expansion and improve operational performance.


Prior to Greenbrier, Ms. Richard worked at Visa leading the reengineering of Sales, Service, and Marketing to support a new go-to market strategy. While at Visa, she led product evaluation, definition of value maps, implementation strategy and execution with a focus on security, mobility, self-service, and customer experience.


While at Gap, Ms. Richard led the IT strategy and execution for the launch of Gap brand into China and expansion of the Franchise business to 26 countries. In this role, she led the selection of the application footprint and the implementation to support stores in Shanghai and Beijing. She established an IT sourcing model to support business operations in International locations: Europe, Japan, China and led teams in these geographies. Ms. Richard served as the London based International CIO and was a member of the Gap Europe Leadership Team. In this role, she created an International Retail center of excellence to support business growth. 


Ms. Richard holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Business.




Jeff Baer is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Director of the Bureau of Technology Services (BTS).  City of Portland.  He has over 25 years of experience in progressively responsible government contracting, management, and senior leadership positions, 13 of those years with the City of Portland. Baer recently served as the manager of the Public Safety Systems Revitalization Program (PSSRP).


He also held the position of the Director of the City’s Bureau of Internal Business Services, where he oversaw Portland’s CityFleet, Facilities Services, Printing & Distribution, Risk Management, and Procurement Services. As CTO, he reports directly to the City’s Chief Administrative Office






Sherry Swackhamer is the Director of the Department of County Assets and Chief Information Officer for Multnomah County, Oregon. She was raised in a ranching community in rural, southeast Oklahoma. After college, Sherry worked in the oil and gas industry, spent 9+ years in management consulting with Deloitte and Touche, 9+ years in government contracting and arrived at Multnomah County in 2003. At the County she led a variety of Information Technology (IT) teams, has been the CIO for over eight years, and in her current department director role, she has responsibility for additional non-IT teams: Facilities and Property Management; Fleet, Records, Distribution and an Administrative Services group. She manages departmental resources of over 340 full time employees.


As you might expect, she is always up for a good challenge. Sherry is on the governing bodies of a number of IT-related events including the CIO Executive Summit (Seattle), the Oregon Digital Government Summit, and the iUrban Teen Tech Summit. She is also on two advisory boards:  the University of Oregon’s Applied Information Management Master’s Program and the University of Portland’s Operations and Technology Management Program and is a member of the Portland CIO Alliance.


In 2011, she was voted InnoTech Public Sector IT Executive of the Year, in 2012 she was awarded the Multnomah County Chair's Excellence Award, and in 2015 she was awarded the first iUrban Teen Inclusionist Award.






Parking Options:

Pac West Center 1211 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97204 – The Entrance is located off of Jefferson in between 5th and 6th. Turn right into Parking Garage and give your ticket to the Front Desk Staff at the University Club to be validated. Turn the ticket into the Parking Garage attendant when you leave.

Unitus Plaza 1301 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97201 – The entrance is located off of 5th and Jefferson. Turn left onto 5th from Jefferson and right into the Parking Garage. Give your ticket to the Front Desk Staff at the University Club to be validated. Turn the ticket into the attendant when you leave.

Ladd Tower Lot 756 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR 97201 – The Entrance is located off of Jefferson in between Broadway and Park Blocks. Turn left into the Garage in between Broadway and the Park Blocks. . Give your ticket to the Front Desk Staff at the University Club to be validated. Turn the ticket into the attendant when you leave.

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