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I have been planning conferences for many years and have come to believe that end user companies often make the best speakers. This is especially true for Cloud Connect because Cloud customers (our attendees) not only need to understand how the Cloud works but also how it aligns with their business objectives.

We are entering a new era in cloud computing where a customer’s success will no longer be measured by cloud adoption alone, but also by how they take advantage of  the Cloud to drive business forward. Simply put, Cloud has become the platform of innovation and that innovation will impact every aspect of the modern enterprise.

What better way to drive your business forward than to hear from top business leaders and practitioners on what they have been able to acheive?  Here are just a few of the customer speakers we have lined up for Cloud Connect Chicago:

David Nelson, Chief Strategist, Cloud Computing, Boeing

David Nelson is an associate technical fellow at The Boeing Company and is currently the chief strategist for Cloud Computing. In this role, David is responsible for the long-term direction and short-term implementation of the internal and external cloud strategy. A 28-year veteran of Boeing, David’s primary work has been around emerging technologies. He has co-authored several books and speaks at industry forums and regional groups.

Andrew Watts, IT Director, Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.  Morningstar provides data on approximately 433,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on nearly 10 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services and has approximately $166 billion in assets under advisement or management as of June 30, 2013.

Robin Chase, Founder of ZipCar and GoLoco

Robin Chase is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car-sharing company in the world, which uses the Internet and wireless technology to enable rental cars to emulate personal cars. Zipcar’s disruptive technology gives its members on-demand access to cars by-the-hour, revolutionizing people’s relationship to their cars and improving the quality of urban life for all.

Paul Walsh, Vice President of Weather Analytics and Meteorologist, The Weather Company

For 15+ years, Paul Walsh has helped businesses, investors and analysts to leverage weather and climate intelligence to increase sales and maximize profits, including Walmart, The Home Depot, Citibank and numerous hedge funds. Previously, Walsh held senior strategy roles at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Storm Exchange, and Planalytics. As U.S. Air Force meteorologist, Walsh provided intelligence support for missions and served as chief of weather operations for the Army’s elite 101st Airborne during Desert Storm.

Ted Rudman, VP of Pricing, Marketing/Loyalty, Supply Chain & Corporate Systems – Sears

Ted is an Acting Vice President with Sears Holdings Corporation and is responsible for all Marketing, Pricing, Supply Chain, Loyalty, Finance and HR systems within the company. Ted has been a leader in the adoption of Hadoop within the SHC enterprise and has extensive experience in evaluating, designing and integrating existing applications into the “Big Data” ecosystem. He and his team have been key in identifying the best methods for integration as well as evaluating the Hadoop toolset in determining the best approach for different applications of the technology. Ted has been with Sears Holdings for more than 10 years. Prior to Sears he spent 16 years in IT Consulting with firms such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Booz Allen.

Brian Barnes, VP, Growth & Innovation – Vanguard Health

As VP, Growth & Innovation, Brian is responsible for the introduction of innovative technologies that drive revenue growth. This includes solutions for digital marketing, mobility, and telemedicine. Over the past year Vanguard, a 28 hospital national health system, has introduced a new marketing growth engine that helps patients Find Us, Want Us, Get In, and Get Better (cont).

Dave McCrory, SVP of DSP (Platform) Engineering at Warner Music Group

Dave McCrory is the Senior Vice President of Engineering for Warner Music Group, where he is building a next generation enterprise PaaS. Dave has coined the term “Data Gravity”, which he recognized through extensive research over the past several years. He has presented at many conferences, including DeployCon, Gluecon, Interop Big Data, VMworld US/Europe, RubyConf, and RailsConf to name a few. Dave is also co-author of the book titled “Advanced Server Virtualization”, and holds 9 granted Patents. He also co-founded 2 startups, Surgient Inc. and Hyper9, where he was Chief Scientist/CTO.

Jim Wyatt, Architect, Pearson Learning Technologies

Jim Wyatt is currently a developer on the Learning Intelligence R&D team at Pearson Learning Technologies. His current focus is on applying machine learning and graph theory to learning efficacy and big data analytics problems. In a previous life he was a Systems Architect that led his organization’s transition to the cloud including all phases of design, engineering, and deployment. He has bachelor and master degrees in CIS and has been in the industry for over 15 years. In his spare time Jim enjoys participating in local technology meet-ups and anything outdoors.

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