Michael Baraz, VP, Head of Information Architecture, Gallagher Bassett Services

Michael Baraz is a career data professional who has consulted with many leading financial and insurance institutions. He has bootstrapped data governance programs, led major BI, data warehouse, Master Data Management, data integration architecture efforts, in general, all things data.


Michael is now VP/Head of Information Architecture at Gallagher Bassett Services, a commercial insurance third-party administrator company, creating the new approach to data management he is calling “Data Enablement.” Along with the work in information management, he is leading GB’s charge to the cloud, building a Big Data advanced analytics platform.


Michael earned his MBA at Florida International University and his since achieved certifications, including TOGAF Enterprise Architect and Agile Scrum Master.

Patrick Emmons, CEO DragonSpears

Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes.

When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.


General Grant, Executive Consultant, US Signal

General Grant, an Executive Consultant for US Signal, specializes in multi speed IT models brought about by disruptive change. General’s work centers primarily on strategies that enable cloud ramp and cloud adoption.


As a leading practitioner for IT operating model transformation, he is responsible for consulting to US Signal’s large and strategic account relationships, bringing experience to bear on client transformation programs in areas such as roadmap development, initiative sequencing, capabilities alignment, value stream mapping, compliance and risk, people and culture and multi-source models.


General has been an entrepreneur, technology practitioner and consultant for more than 25 years and has led technology and change programs in banking, insurance, healthcare, sports, casino, and manufacturing industries in North America and Europe.

John Little, EVP Cloud and Enterprise Solutions, Venture Technologies

John Little is Executive VP Cloud and Enterprise Solutions at Venture Technologies with responsibility for the design and operations of Venture’s VTCloud managed service offerings.  He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University and has held some of the highest IT industry certifications throughout his career.  At Venture, he is responsible for the management of commercial data centers providing cloud services to thousands of companies and tens of thousands of users.  He is responsible for ensuring Venture’s capabilities are aligned with current and anticipated customer demand.  While managing the VTCloud service offerings and datacenters, Venture has experienced a 27% CAGR in cloud service revenue over the past 18 years.   With over 30 years of experience in IT, he also assists Venture’s largest customers with their cloud adoption and integration strategies, and other strategic technology consulting needs to help align new and emerging IT solutions to their business goals.  He lives in Mobile, AL with his wife and regularly travels to meet with customers and speak at conferences to help people understand which new technologies could have a positive impact on their business.  He can be reached at john.little@ventech.com.

Suresh Mothikuru, Architecture Leader, Customer & Dealer Services, Caterpillar

Suresh Mothikuru: leads the Customer and Dealer support, Shared Services/Corporate Functions (HR, Finance and Legal) within Enterprise Architecture (EA). Suresh joined CAT in October, 2015. Prior to Caterpillar, Suresh served as a Senior Director for the transformation & strategic consulting practice at Huron Consulting Group, Suresh also served as an Enterprise Applications IT director at HCC for 8 years. Suresh graduated from Madras University with an Engineering Degree and his M.B.A. from Illinois State University (ISU).

Shaye Robeson, Director of Enterprise Architecture , U.S. Cellular

Shaye Robeson is currently the Director of Enterprise Architecture for U.S. Cellular, the fifth-largest wireless carrier in the United States. Here, he leads teams of Enterprise Architects, Solution Architects, and Infrastructure Architects who are responsible for designing and guiding the company’s strategies for enterprise technology investment and implementation. Prior to his time at U.S. Cellular, Shaye held several technology director roles at a number of mid to large sized companies in the wireless and fintech industries between 2002 and 2014. In 2008, Shaye cofounded and served as CTO of aKos Corp – the technology startup who launched the USA’s first successful cash-based mobile money transfer service.

Deanna Shannon, Director of IT Strategy & Planning, Panduit

Deanna Shannon is currently the Principal Enterprise Architect, and Director of Strategy, Planning, and Governance at Panduit. She has established, and evolved, Enterprise Architecture disciplines at large organizations across many industries. She is responsible for creating and executing application portfolios and policies globally that drive organizations to new levels of differentiation and EA practice maturity. Her experience in agile organizational design and emerging technology is helping to drive a new breed of innovative enterprise architecture.

Annur Sumar, Chief Technical Officer, MaeTech,  Microsoft MVP, Former Vice President of IT D&P

Annur Sumar is a Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter MVP and technology consultant in the areas of Infrastructure Design, Enterprise Content Management, CRM, Microsoft Azure, System Center and Cloud Technologies. Annur is an industry recognized leader and independent speaker around strategic service automation, technology driven process improvements, IT service alignment, engineering best practices and operations management. All of which are targeted in his presentations to helping businesses with complex IT environments lower Total Cost of Ownership and raising Return On Investments.


Prior to joining a Microsoft Partner Consulting firm, Annur served as a Vice President of Technology for Duff & Phelps. One of the world’s leading independent financial advisory firms serving client needs in the areas of valuation, investment banking, transaction advice, and dispute consulting. During his tenure at Duff & Phelps, Annur worked closely with Microsoft product teams and case study managers in providing invaluable feedback around how businesses such as his were able to benefit from cloud technologies that were molded into business solutions. As a Microsoft MVP and industry expert, Annur brings 10 years of experience to work actively with other MVPs and Microsoft Partners to provide industry insight and strategic direction.

Chris White, VP, Product Marketing, CAST Software

Chris White is a recognized expert in Enterprise Architecture, Application Portfolio Management and IT Modernization. He has almost 20 years experience overseeing, implementing and advising clients on Enterprise Architecture projects and strategy. As VP of Product Strategy & Marketing for CAST, he is responsible for helping CIO’s around the globe understand the game changing significance of Software Intelligence. CAST is empowering data-driven IT Organizations to thrive in today’s software driven world by providing visibility into the otherwise invisible world of software health, complexity, dependency & risk. With software intelligence, CIO’s make better investment decisions, avoid catastrophic failures, and become business leaders in the digital age.