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Event Details


Sandra Hofmann will be facilitating a timely panel discussion around the importance of IT and HR executives partnering to deliver value and drive innovation within the organization. Panelists include Jay Ferro of Chartis Aerospace, Hank Johnson of Ceridian, Chris Kenyon of Elavon, Bryson Koehler of IHG, Nancy Vepraskas of P2Excellence and Liz Wysong of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  

About the Facilitator                           


Sandra Hofmann serves as CIO-in-Residence for the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech, a nationally recognized science and technology incubator helping launch and build successful Georgia companies through strategic business advice and connections.  Previously, after 14 years at IBM’ application development center, Hofmann served as the VP of Global Customer Support at Marcam, VP Technical Services at Simplex, CIO and Chief People Officer at MAPICS, COO for Turknett Leadership Group, and COO for Closets and More.  Her leadership has resulted in recognition including Georgia CIO of the Year 2003 from Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA) and in October 2010 Sandy was selected as the first recipient of the GCLA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She was 2003 & 2004 finalist for WIT’s Woman of the Year in Technology Award.  PathBuilders, Inc also named her Achieva Mentor of the Year.  She currently serves as President and Board Director for Women in Technology, and as a member of the TechBridge and the TAG Board of Directors.  Previously Sandy served on the Board of Directors for AAA Auto Club South, as chairman for the Board of Directors for Society for Human Resource Management-Atlanta, and Compensation Committee Chair for AkroMetrix Board of Directors.  Sandy currently participates on numerous advisory boards including AAA Auto Club Georgia, Virima, Turknett Leadership Group, and UGA Terry College of Business Atlanta Leadership Symposium. She serves as Honorary Chair of TechExecs.  Sandy has a BS in Secondary Education from Georgia State and has completed executive certification programs at Stanford and UGA Terry School of Business. 


About the Panelists                


Jay Ferro is a proven Senior Information Technology Executive with expertise in revitalizing organizations, building high performing teams, and enabling business strategies through successful delivery of technology. As a respected leader with a clear, focused vision, he has seen notable results throughout his career. He has been instrumental in IT reorganization efforts and has restored business confidence by consistently delivering products, services, and programs to maximize profits. Jay is currently Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Chartis Aerospace (formerly AIG Aviation), a leading global aerospace insurer. He is responsible for the IT strategy, operations, processes and people of the worldwide IT organization and is responsible for supporting the growth of Chartis Aerospace’s business through collaboration with the business units on all IT related programs.  Under his leadership, the IT organization has shown tremendous growth in its ability to successfully deliver revenue generating and expense saving projects.  Starting in Information Technology in technical support, project management and datacenter management roles, his career escalated rapidly. He gained invaluable experience as Director of Information Technology at Mariner Health Care; one of the largest providers of short-term and long-term health care services in the United States.  Over the last 6+ years with AIG/Chartis Insurance, Jay has implemented numerous improvements that have delivered tremendous value to his organization while managing significant organizational change in a turbulent market environment. In addition to his role as AVP of Information Technology with AIG Personal Lines, Jay was selected as CFO for Operations and Systems in 2006 and led multiple global IT Finance and Governance Standards initiatives that resulted in millions of dollars in savings for the organization. Jay continues to be a thought leader in the Information Technology arena, specifically in the areas of Program Management, Governance, IT Finance, and Strategic Planning and is a frequent guest speaker and panelist in the Metro Atlanta area.  In recognition of his accomplishments, Jay was selected as a finalist for Georgia CIO of the Year in 2010. His commitment and dedication to community involvement is evidenced by the time and energy he contributes. He has founded the non-profit group, Priscilla’s Promise, which raises funds for cervical cancer education and research, and currently serves as its Executive Director. He is also actively involved with TechBridge, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization which helps other nonprofits use technology to improve their capability to serve others. Jay earned both his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and his Master’s of Business Administration from The University of Georgia. Jay continues to be involved with his alma mater, serving in leadership roles with the UGA Alumni Association and the Terry College of Business. Jay resides in the Metro Atlanta Area with his 3 amazing sons, Trey, Connor and Alex. 


Hank Johnson brings more than 26 years of leadership experience in sales, P&L, HR and operations. His leadership roles include service as the Director of Compensation and Organizational Development at Darden Restaurants; the Vice President of Retirement Operations at NationsBank Trust (Bank of America); the Manager of Compensation at Tiffany & Co.; and the head of operations for payroll and HRIT at KeyCorp. His current responsibilities include leading the HRO Solutions Consulting team at Ceridian and he is a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  Since 1998, Hank has held various HRO operations, transformation, sales, and advisory leadership positions with PwC, Accenture, EDS and EquaTerra. Hank has helped several global clients evaluate, set, and implement HR transformation strategies including outsourcing, internal shared services, and phased internal HR transformation efforts. In addition, he has led engagements that involved provider selection , contract negotiation and remediation.  Hank’s experience directing teams spans the areas of strategy, process and performance improvement; Human Resource Information Technology, payroll, project management; talent management, organizational development, employee relations; compensation and benefits; account operations, account transition and transformation, shared services and outsourcing. Speaking engagements have included SHRM, APA, HROA,  HRO World, The Conference Board, and the National Diversity Council.  Representative clients include Best Buy, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Colgate, Corning, Delphi, Delta Airlines, Eaton, Phillips, Entergy, Georgia-Pacific, Hewlett Packard, Hospira, JCPenney/Eckerd, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Nestle, PepsiCo, Synovus, Veyance, Luxottica, United Healthcare, Equifax, and Xerox.  Hank has a BA in psychology from Westfield State College, Westfield, MA and an MBA from the State University of New York at Albany. 


Bryson Koehler leads a global team of 350 technologists who are responsible for IHG’s technology architecture, strategy, test engineering, and revenue & distribution systems. His group is responsible for the company’s Central Reservations System, Yield/Revenue Management platform, all web sites, contact centers, 3rd party distribution partnerships, property management systems and guest facing in hotel technology platforms. The revenue & distribution systems allow IHG to manage all inventory, pricing, yielding, and selling of hotel rooms around the world through the Internet, hundreds of 3rd party distribution technology partners, and the company’s 13 global contact centers. By reporting directly to IHG’s Chief Information Officer and indirectly to IHG’s Chief Marketing Officer, he sits at the strategy table for both business and technology divisions and uses his 15 years of experience to help drive over $25 billion in revenue, and support hundreds of millions of guests at over 4,800 hotels around the world. For the past 8 years Mr. Koehler has been leading the transformation of IHG’s technology platform into a recognized leader in the hospitality industry. IHG’s Internet distribution platform now supports over 13 languages, across 7 brands in almost 100 countries, and their global contact centers handle nearly 100,000 calls every day. IHG has become a leader in direct connectivity options for third party travel providers with millions of direct connection transactions occurring every day.  Mr. Koehler is a member of many customer advisory boards, including Verizon Business, AT&T, Genesys, Microsoft and Akamai. He was selected by the Executive Alliance as the Quality Leadership Executive of the Year in 2007, and in 2010 Bryon was recognized by CIO magazine as One to Watch with an additional standout award for innovation. In September of this year Bryson helped IHG become recognized as #2 on InformationWeek’s Top 500 Innovative technology companies for the development a patent pending inventory management systems his team developed.  Mr. Koehler previously served as Director of Global Technology Sales for and held various technical leadership positions for USWeb, where he managed the technical relationships for a broad array of clients. While at Arthur Anderson as a technology strategy consultant, he implemented knowledge sharing platforms on emerging Internet technologies for a diverse group of clients.  Mr. Koehler’s is active in his community and has served as the IHG co-captain for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), executive sponsor of the Women In Technology (WIT) program in Atlanta and within IHG, he is active in fundraising for the Duke Cancer Research Hospital, sponsors events for Red Cross disaster relief, Atlanta Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanent, the Empty Stocking fund and enjoys being the chief of his son’s Indian Guides program.  Mr. Koehler earned his bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. He has lived in the Atlanta area for 13 years, is married and has two children. 


Nancy Vepraskas is a highly respected thought leader recognized for creating sustainable success by focusing people on results.  She began her business career in operations, showing a talent and a passion for improving operational efficiencies.  She moved to Human Resources leadership to better leverage the competitive advantage individuals and teams bring to business. “Many businesses develop strong strategies and exacting project plans, but neglect the need to modify structures and change behaviors.”  Vepraskas’ work and writing focuses on creating strategic alignment in every aspect of work, moving business plans from paper to executable reality.  Vepraskas has served as a senior executive in Fortune 500 organizations as well as smaller companies.  She has experience in healthcare, manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. Her ability to maximize executive team skills to create business strategies that ensure long-term growth has her actively sought out by company leaders.  With business experience in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. she has repeatedly developed and implemented successful strategies through the alignment, engagement, and growth of people to achieve outstanding results.  Vepraskas is a trusted advisor and coach to senior management, bringing focus to strategy, organizational structure, talent, and process. In addition, her skills include creating compensation and benefits programs that allow an organization to attract and retain talent, building bench strength through management development, and the ability to create the capacity for change in organizations.  She has delivered numerous presentations on practical and effective human resource solutions to key business problems for both small and large audiences.  As the chair of the SHRM-Atlanta board, she has helped this 2600 member association develop and implement a strategy focused on building a better Atlanta through the development of highly skilled HR leaders and better partnerships between business, government, and professional associations. Her long term membership in the Society of Human Resources demonstrates her belief that sustainable business success is the result of continuously improving workforces and workplaces.  Vepraskas holds a MBA in Finance from Mercer University, and an MS in Education Administration from Florida State University.  She has her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification and is a Certified Compensation Professional.  


Liz Wysong’s career as an HR leader spans over 20-years in 3 industries with a wide range of responsibilities.   She currently serves on the HR leadership team at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as Director of HR Technology, where she leads the design, development, implementation and optimization of Human Resources technology systems in support of HR and organizational people strategies.  Children's has been nationally recognized as a premier employer by Fortune and Working Mother magazines, as a top learning organization by Training Magazine, while ranking among the nation's best pediatric hospitals by Child magazine and U.S. News & World Report.  In her first HR leadership role, she served as Director of Human Resources for St. Thomas University in Miami.  During her 7-year tenure, she developed the HR function and managed a small team of professionals who delivered the full spectrum of HR services.  She then joined SunTrust Bank, where she managed Training and Development then the Employment/Employee Relations functions in Miami.  She relocated to Atlanta in 2000, joining the SunTrust Corporate HR team. She led the implementation of centralized, streamlined processes and systems for a newly created corporate staffing function and then the HR Operations & Technology team, delivering greater efficiency through automation and improved processes and finally leading the implementation of strategic HR projects that broadly impacted employees, managers and the HR team.   She earned her BA in Computer and Information Science and her MS in Management Information Systems from St. Thomas University, and is SPHR certified.  In 2010, she served as President of SHRM-Atlanta, SHRM’s largest city chapter. 


I look forward to seeing you there. 


Tim Smith


Tim Smith
President & COO
Thompson Technologies, Inc.
Atlanta's Best Places to Work & Inc500- Two Time Winner
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