Meet the 2021 CIO of the Year Judges

Robert E. Kress .... (Co-Chair of ECC's Technology Committee)
Managing Director, Accenture Security, co-Chief Operating Officer and Global Quality & Risk officer
Accenture Security

As the Accenture Security co-COO and Global Quality & Risk officer, Bob is responsible for identifying, assessing and managing risk in Accenture's Security business, and managing the quality of Security services delivered to clients.

In his 38 years at Accenture, Bob has served in a variety of senior roles.  He has extensive experience in IT strategy, IT planning, IT governance, technology operations, application development, product and service management, service planning and program management.  He has also developed business strategy and marketing campaigns for Accenture’s software products.

Mark Lafferty .... (Co-Chair of ECC's Technology Committee)
Director, Department of Defense

Mark has been with CDW for the past 24 years and has served in numerous leadership roles including corporate sales, data center solutions and is currently the Director for the Department of Defense.  Mark is also responsible for multiple project teams supporting Navy federal contracts

He leads a 100-plus-member team of dedicated account managers, solution architects and engineers that help customers choose the right technology products and services to best meet their unique needs.   His group also offer customized solutions, implementation and long-term management of those solutions such as virtualization, collaboration, security, mobility, data center optimization and cloud computing. CDW is currently ranked 38th on Forbes list of America's Largest Private Companies.

Paige H. Adams ... .(2020 CISO of the Year)
Global CISO
Zurich Insurance

Paige H. Adams has been a member of the Zurich executive team since 2014 and served as the Global Head of Cyber Response, Regional Chief Information Security Officer for Zurich North America, and VP for Cyber Security before assuming his current role as Global Chief Information Security Officer in February 2018. Prior to joining Zurich, he spent a 26-year career in the United States Navy serving in a variety of operational intelligence and cyber roles. Paige has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems) from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master of Science in Computer Science (Security/Autonomous Systems) from the US Naval Postgraduate School. He is CISSP and CEH certified and is based in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Jonathan Beyer
Chief Information Officer

In his role at the ELCA churchwide organization, Jonathan drives strategies for intelligent and collaborative enterprise technology solutions. These solutions promote efficient and effective operations and communication across the churchwide organization and its ministry partners, as well as leveraging information to help advance fundraising and mission. He is responsible for vision and leadership in positioning technology as an enabler for the mission and business operations of the organizations that his teams support. In partnership with these organizations and his team, he develops and directs the IT strategy and maintains relationships with otherexecutives to ensure that IT is enabling the strategic priorities of the organization in an efficient and effective manner.

Jonathan provides executive management and direction for all service, support, solution and project portfolio management functions at the ELCA churchwide organization. This includes the development and review of systems architectures, policies and guidelines for computer and
information standards, information security, application and website development, enterprise systems and data integrity, management and storage. His teams enable use of information, technology and digital systems for churchwide and related agency staff to support congregations, synods, and related institutions and agencies of the church.

Wayne Bulmahn .... (SIM Chicago President-Elect)
Chief Information Officer/Security Officer

Wayne Bulmahn is an IT business doctor.  He heals IT organizations, transforming them from reactive firefighters into proactive teams that solve business problems and enable dynamic growth. 

Wayne is the CIO and Security Officer at UNITE HERE HEALTH, a $1B labor management trust fund that strives to be the high-value health plan of choice for participants, unions and employers in the hospitality industry.

He is also President-Elect for SIM Chicago, which provides unique opportunities to bring together thought leaders in the technology and business fields through member programs as well as philanthropic events to give back to our community.

Previously, Wayne served as Director, Service Delivery & Strategy for Acxiom IT (now Ensono), a global IT hosting, Cloud, and Advisory Services organization. He led $54M in annual IT services, providing solution strategy, design and delivery for a Fortune 250 client.

Ramnath  Cidambi .... (2 Time Winner of the AITP Chicago Team Award)
Chief Information Officer
Illinois Student Assistant Commission

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is the state’s college access and financial aid agency, providing Illinois students with information and assistance to help make education beyond high school accessible and affordable. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information on education and financial aid for students and their families—giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them.

Ramnath Cidambi has led the Information Technology (IT) Division at ISAC since joining the agency in August 2010. He has spearheaded significant improvements in IT at the agency, including the development of an efficient and highly effective technology platform through which ISAC administers state financial aid programs. Under Cidambi’s leadership, ISAC has also become a go-to agency in developing applications, including mobile apps, for other state agencies and for cross-agency initiatives.  The ISAC IT team and the products it has developed have won numerous awards, including twice winning the Most Effective IT Team of the Year from AITP/SIM and a Digital Government Award.

Julianna Cole, MBA, PMP, CSM
VP, Data Services and Information Systems
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

Julianna “Julie” Cole is an experienced technology, product, and operations executive with more than 25 years of corporate, non-profit, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience.

Julianna is currently Vice President, Data Services and Information Technology for the American Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), a regulatory body that accredits organizations in the US and around the world offering physicians and healthcare teams an array of educational resources to promote quality, safety, and the evolution of healthcare. In this role she provides strategic leadership for the development and implementation of data products and infrastructure that support the information needs of ACCME staff and volunteers. Prior to her role at ACCME, Julianna held a series of CTO, CIO and COO roles at Farm Journal, the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Black Heritage Network TV (BHNTV), the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Johnson Publishing, and Tribune Interactive.

Julianna was an early and active participant in the Internet ecosystem via her role as the primary software developer for ResearchTV – the first B2B internet product sold by Tribune Media Services to national network affiliates in the 90s. Her passion for technology and its promise evolved over the years to include the growth and oversight of software engineering teams responsible for media websites including,, and, and recognition as a Computerworld Honors Laureate for the innovative use of geographic information systems technology (GIS) to benefit society.

Danielle DuMerer .... (2019 CIO of the Year)
Vice President of Technology
John G. Shedd Aquarium

Danielle DuMerer is Vice President of Technology at the John G. Shedd Aquarium and a Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Danielle brings nearly twenty years of experience leading non-profit, education, and government technology teams--including serving as Chief Information Officer of the City of Chicago and as a technology product development leader at the McGraw-Hill Companies. In 2019, the Executives Club of Chicago, the Society of Information Management (SIM) Chicago Chapter and the AITP Chicago Chapter named Danielle CIO of the Year, and Government Technology recognized Danielle as a Top Doer, Dreamer, and Driver. Danielle holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  

John Fisher .... (2002 CIO of the Year)
Chief Executive Officer
rethinking IT, Inc.

A multi-time CIO and nationally recognized IT Executive with global experience, John has successfully led IT functions in Fortune 500 and SMB organizations.  He uses his experience in applying technology solutions to critical business problems to help organizations make more informed decisions regarding technology.   He has served on the Boards of both SIM Chicago and AITP Chicago and has been on the Adjunct Faculty of DePaul University for over 20 years.

Specialties: Financial Services (Banking and Insurance), Outsourcing, Selection of IT Solutions (Software, Hardware, and Services), Strategic Planning, Outsourcing, Non-Profit, Executive Management, Team Development, Culture Change, Business-Technology Relationships, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Negotiation, Vendor Lifecycle Management.

Kevin Glynn .... (2019 CIO Innovator of the Year)
Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Supply Chain Executive

Mr. Kevin Glynn is a three-time public and private company Chief Information Officer (CIO), including being recognized as the 2019 CIO Innovator of the Year in Chicago. Currently, Mr. Glynn is an adjunct professor in Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and leads a boutique consulting firm focusing on technology strategy and data, especially in the area of supply chain and logistics. He is frequently cited in publications and has authored a variety of supply chain, distribution, ethics and technology articles.

As CIO, Mr. Glynn worked at DSC Logistics, AM. Castle and Case New Holland. While at AM Castle, in addition to his CIO responsibilities, he was acting VP of Operations. Prior to being CIO, Kevin was COO of Iron Solutions, a startup company using data analytics in agriculture machinery. Previously, he had been a Vice President for Oracle Corporation, leading its consulting practices in Europe. Early in his career, Mr. Glynn held positions in manufacturing and field engineering for Qualcomm’s transportation division. Kevin started his career as an engineer and production supervisor, working at Carlise Memory Tapes.

Dean Haacker ... (2 Time CIO of the Year Finalist)
Founder & President, Highland Grove Partners

Dean Haacker is a global technology executive and visionary leader that delivered more than $3 billion in business value for top companies in the high tech, consumer goods and financial services sectors. An expert strategist, catalyst, and team builder who successfully executed large-scale programs, transformations, turnarounds, mergers, and operations excellence using Agile, ITIL and Lean Six Sigma. He managed $300 million budgets, led global teams of 500 people, and negotiated strategic deals with global technology partners.

Dean serves on the board of SIM Chicago, is a founding member of the ChicagoCIO Leadership Association, and a member of AITP Chicago. He won an ORBIE award in 2017 as CTO of The PrivateBank and was a finalist for the Chicago CIO of the Year Award in both 2018 and 2019.  Dean is a strategic advisor to both established and emerging technology companies and previously served in global technology leadership roles at CIBC Bank, Nielsen, Motorola, and the Hewlett-Packard Company.  Dean is a distinguished graduate of Arizona State University. 

Patrick Moroney .... (2004 CIO of the Year)
Chief Information Officer
Central States Funds

Currently Pat is serving as the CIO at Central States Funds, a $9B Taft Hartley Multi-Employer pension fund and managed care health insurance fund.

Pat has 26 Years of large and mid-cap CIO Experience leading organizations with staffs from 20 to 2,200 and budgets up to $600MM at Monsanto, ServiceMaster, Health Care Service Corp (Five BCBS Plans), PE firm New Mountain Capital Portfolio companies and Kantar Market Research. His is the President of Technology Leaders Association (TLA) a collegial networking organization for senior IT execs and serves with honor as Vice-Chair on the board of

Executive Judges - for Finalist Interviews

Heather Nelson .... (2020 CIO of the Year)
SVP & Chief Information Officer
University of Chicago Medicine

Heather Nelson is currently in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Information Technology division at UChicago Medicine.  In the role of SVP/CIO, she has responsibilities for supporting all the information management systems (clinical & business/administrative), infrastructure, clinical engineering, IT support services, IT Project Management Office, integration, reporting, and analytics capabilities & technologies, as well as the privacy & IT security functions for UChicago Medicine.  Her teams are comprised of talented IT professionals that are dedicated to supporting patient care and care teams throughout the health system and in our communities through a shared services operating model. With that, the teams have been recognized for their contributions to UChicago Medicine by receiving the Most Wired Award (level 8) in 2020 from CHIME’s annual survey. 

Heather joined UChicago Medicine in 2014 as the Executive Director of Applications Systems with oversight of all the clinical and revenue cycle management applications, clinical engineering team, population health strategies and systems, and support of the UCM Care Network strategies and systems.  She was named Interim VP/CIO in August of 2017, named the VP/CIO in April of 2018, and promoted to SVP/CIO in 2019. She is a Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) through the CHiME organization.

Heather is active in community organizations including the American Heart Association Go Red/Go Women & Go STEM committees within the Chicagoland area since 2016.  She has been the Chair of the AHA Go Red for Women Committee as well as the Chair for the AHA Go STEM Committee for 2020 & 2021. She also is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, including the Chicago Chapter, CHEF.  Heather is a member of the Society for Information Management (SIM) and is a graduate of their Regional Leadership Program as well as a member of HIMSS. She also provides IT consultative services whenever needed to the Misericordia leadership team in Chicago. The mission of Misericordia is to support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities that choose the Misericordia community by providing the highest quality residential, training, and employment services. Heather was named the 2020 CIO of the Year by SIM/AITP/The Executives Club of Chicago last year. This is an award that brings CIOs from across industries and showcases their commitment to their teams and the organizations they serve. Lastly, Heather is a member of the International Women’s Foundation.

Sean Katz .... (2020 CIO Innovator of the Year)
Chief Information Officer
Vitality Group USA

Sean Katz, Chief Information Officer for Vitality Group USA, has extensive experience in Health IT technology, specifically in the payor and wellness space. He has spent the past 25 years working in this field—both locally and abroad—providing advanced technology solutions to solve complex business problems.

Sean rejoined Vitality Group at the beginning of 2013 and is responsible for the technology that helps people drive engagement in their health. This includes using IOT to get device data into real time journeys that incentivize people to complete healthy activities. Recently, Sean has worked with leading life insurance companies, including John Hancock and Manulife, to attach the Vitality program to their insurance products.

During his tenure, Sean has been responsible for re-architecting and building a new claims system and introducing new technology stacks and systems to better service clients and internal company operations.

Sean received his Master of Science degree in Computational and Applied Mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa.

Jill Albin-Hill .... (2020 CIO+ of the Year)
Executive Director for Technology Operations & Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO)
Auburn University

Joining Auburn University in March 2021 as the Deputy CIO, Jill Albin-Hill is responsible for daily central Information Technology (IT) operations which include leading teams and managing processes associated with the organization’s information technology resources (including computer hardware, operating systems, communications, software applications, data processing and security), telecommunication systems, and software/database products. Activities include developing operational information technology polices and plans; managing the acquisition, implementation, maintenance and use of technology enterprise-wide, training and supporting technology users; and assuring voice, data, and video connectivity of Auburn’s intranet and internet services.

In 2020, Albin-Hill was named CIO+ of the Year by the Society of Information Management (SIM) Chicago chapter, AITP Chicago and The Executives' Club of Chicago.

Prior to joining Auburn, Albin-Hill was the VP for Technology and Operations at Dominican University in River Forest, IL, which brought together information technology, facilities, campus security and risk management. In her seventeen years at Dominican University, she had the opportunity to grow and learn about the many aspects of university administration. Her work was driven by a keen interest in customer service and a strong desire to exceed expectations.  She is passionate about helping others utilize and leverage technology in effective ways and is proud of the pervasiveness and usefulness of IT today.

Jill has also served as an Adjunct Professor for the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University for the past 13 years.

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