Fortifying the Future: Strategic IT Leadership for CIOs
CIO Roundtable

VIP Theater

Starts: April 9, 2024 11:00 am
Ends: 12:00 pm
Sponsored by
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Fortifying the Future: Strategic IT Leadership for CIOs

In an era defined by technological acceleration and evolving cyber threats, the role of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) stands pivotal in steering organizations towards resilience and success. The panel discussion, “Fortifying the Future: Strategic IT Leadership for CIOs,” at the ElevateIT: Tampa Technology Summit, congregates eminent CIOs, industry leaders, and cybersecurity experts to dissect the imperative strategies and transformative approaches in navigating today’s dynamic digital landscape.

The discourse will delve into the multifaceted responsibilities of modern CIOs, emphasizing their crucial role in fortifying organizations against emerging cyber risks while concurrently driving innovation and digital transformation initiatives. This session aims to uncover the strategic imperatives that CIOs must prioritize to champion cybersecurity resilience, harness the power of emerging technologies, and align IT strategies with overarching business goals.

Esteemed panelists will share practical insights, success stories, and lessons learned from their experiences in steering organizations through digital disruptions and security challenges. Discussions will encompass topics such as proactive cybersecurity measures, effective risk management frameworks, fostering a cybersecurity-centric culture, and leveraging emerging technologies to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Moreover, the conversation will spotlight the evolving landscape of IT leadership, focusing on the symbiotic relationship between strategic vision, technological innovation, and cybersecurity preparedness. Attendees can expect an engaging dialogue that uncovers actionable strategies, enabling CIOs to fortify their organizations’ digital frontiers and lead confidently in an ever-evolving technological landscape.

The “Fortifying the Future: Strategic IT Leadership for CIOs” panel promises an insightful exploration of the pivotal role CIOs play in safeguarding organizational interests, driving innovation, and charting a course toward a secure, resilient, and technology-empowered future.


Thomas Barberio

Chief Information Officer - Thinc Forward

Thomas Barberio is the CIO at Thinc Forward and has over 20 years of experience in delivering Technology Security Solutions across dental, medical, financial, and pharmaceutical industries including several Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies. Tom holds his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science and Information Security in addition to numerous security certifications, including HIPAA, HITECH, SAS 17, SOC II, and Sox compliance. Tom’s involvement in multiple aspects of the IT and network security arenas has made him instrumental in designing Thinc Forward’s MSP offerings. As a key part of Thinc Forward’s executive leadership team, Tom focuses on continued strategic partnerships and growth to drive Thinc Forward’s rapid expansion throughout North America. Additionally, Tom currently holds several Virtual CIO, consultant, advisory board, and executive board positions throughout many different industry verticals. He serves as a consultant to private equity firms in the medical and dental space and you can find him as an invited speaker on information security process technology and mitigation at various national and international events each year.


Ramin Kouzehkanani

Chief Information & Innovation Administration - Hillsborough County Government

A senior executive with significant years of experience in leading large organizations in both public and private sectors. Extensive experience in management and technology consulting, transformation of service delivery systems, statistical analysis, Lean Sigma, and the delivery of solutions that have impacted the growth of vibrant and evolving organizations. A strategic Chief Information Officer with demonstrated success in aligning technology departments, platforms, and budgets with overall organizational goals and objectives. Principal advisor to Health & Human Services agencies on the implementation of Federal rules through the establishment of strategic roadmaps for interoperability of data systems and processes, data exchanges, and predictive modeling in Child Welfare and Human Services. Served in Florida Governor Crist’s Administration until 2011 and continued service in Florida Governor Scott’s Administration until September of 2011. Also served as senior advisor to Assistant Secretary George Sheldon at the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families, the State of Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, and the State of Florida Department of Children and Families and its Community-Based Care agencies.

Rishiraj Mukherjee

Chief Information Officer - Hit Promotional Products

I am a dynamic technology executive with over ten years of experience driving digital transformations, defining organizational strategies, and modernizing processes and solutions. My expertise encompasses machine learning, ERP implementations, IT management, business Intelligence, manufacturing, and supply chain management. In addition, my background in software development provides me with the knowledge of end-to-end application development, from concept to delivery, and proficiency in data science, core programming, building user stories, and making data-driven decisions. Recognized as a trusted advisor with resilient and empathetic communication skills, I am uniquely able to gain buy-in and align diverse corporate functions under large-scale priorities. I am known for my ability to combine operations and technology to execute an organization's vision and strategy, creating differential experiences that resonate with clients and consumers. My leadership style is marked by my talent for intersecting product, technology, and IT, as well as my capacity to cultivate cross-functional strategic partnerships with long-term impact. An active thought leader in my industry, I have been a Standards Committee Member for PromoStandards since 2016. Through collaborative efforts, we have defined data and API standards for the industry, creating an open industry standard for data services that has been widely adopted, resulting in significant cost savings and streamlined order creation processes. My contributions were recognized when I was awarded Supplier Person of the Year by PromoStandards for 2023. Notable Accomplishments: ► In the past five years, successfully implemented four ERP migrations with a combined revenue of over $50 million for these entities. ► Under my leadership, 35% of orders in Hit have been integrated, covering over $100 million in orders entered and resulting in several millions of dollars in saved costs through associated efficiencies. Reduced the order creation time while maintaining the custom nature of our products. establishing us as a leader in our industry. ► Partnered with suppliers to modernize processes to handle the significant load of serving over a billion requests annually for order status, product data, inventory, and invoice queries, establishing us as leaders in the industry for the number of webservice calls made for a supplier despite being a private company and not at the scale of a Google or Amazon.

Jason Carney

Chief Information Officer - Certified Collectibles Group

An IT executive with extensive technology and operations leadership experience across multiple global industries including retail, transportation services, consumer goods manufacturing & distribution, and software technology. Strategic partner focused on building and delivering IT strategies and solutions aligned with business goals. Leverages global leadership, process improvement, project management, technology roadmaps, enterprise solutions delivery, and M&A experience to deliver a positive impact to the bottom line. A recognized leader in executing several transformational IT and business initiatives and corresponding organizational change management. Expertise in all aspects of technology, including application development, global infrastructure management, cloud computing, enterprise architecture, cyber security, operations, and strategic planning. Transformation, turnaround, and startup proficiency serving as Chief Information Officer.

Rick Rampersad

Chief Information Officer - Early Learn Coalition of Hillsborough County

Rick Rampersad currently works as the Chief Information Officer at the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County. Rick has over 20 years’ experience driving organizational efficiencies and leading digital transformation teams across verticals such as healthcare, education and global manufacturing and hospitality organizations. Rick has completed advanced coursework in Business Management and Information Systems/Decision Sciences from the University of South Florida. In addition, Rick is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Six Sigma Green Belt.