We are in an age of digital disruption that creates turmoil that is swifter, deadlier, and more inevitable than any we have seen before. It is imperative that we understand how important it is to have policies and business practices in place that will enable us to adapt to the change that digital disruption can bring. A critical factor in the preparation for digital disruption is how well our quality assurance practices adapt to the need of customer experience demands. Customers are becoming more dependent on having a product sooner and being able to participate in the direction setting of the product or service. These customer expectations drive more frequent releases. The QA challenge resides in the shortened delivery cycle and the customer’s zero tolerance for error as it relates to release functionality. The functionality of the release must work and work well every time. How prepared are we? What must our QA policies look like to live up to the pace of digital disruption based on customer expectations? Join us and gain insight provided by our panel of game changer CIO’s. They will let us know how they access quality assurance in the age of Digital Disruption.


Kathie Topel, IMPACTInsights

Business strategist and author of the successful leadership book POWERSHIP®, Kathie Topel, is Managing Partner of IMPACTinsights, part of SPR Companies. She has first-hand experience managing, building and implementing corporate organizational change strategies to provide financial balance, strategic growth and company-wide motivation within the IT, consulting, manufacturing, logistics and supply chain industries. Kathie possesses a unique understanding of what it takes to run a large number of businesses in today’s world and has helped numerous organizations including United Airlines, Kraft Foods, Johnson Controls, Horace Mann and Cabot Microelectronics achieve maximum operational efficiency. As an innovative leader and recognized international speaker, Kathie has presented on a variety of topics surrounding employee growth, leadership, innovation, strategy and motivation. She has truly made aligning IT projects, tools and teams with business strategy her life’s work.

Panelists: ; ;

Debra S. Kosty, AVP, IT Marketing Business Solutions, The Horace Mann CompaniesKim Schunke, CIO, Rogers Enterprises Inc.Timothy D. Walter, CIO, RMG Networks

Debra joined The Horace Mann Companies as IT Assistant Vice President, Marketing/Corporate Business Solutions in early 2011. In this role, she leads a $9 million IT strategy and operations organization comprised of 40 resources and four directors. Debra Manages IT & business relationships, develops business/IT strategy, facilitates solution discovery and developments, manages risks associated with project delivery, and maintains service levels. She works directly with the Marketing, Sales, HR, Finance and Legal Divisions as a “trusted advisor” to develop processes and solutions to assist with the delivery of products and services. Prior to joining Horace Mann, Debra served as a Senior Manager at Allstate Insurance Company and was promoted from Application Developer to a variety of technology leadership roles in Property and Casualty, Claims, Marketing and Project Management Organization Offices. She also has experience in the IT consulting industry and vendor management. Debra is a graduate of Roosevelt University. She is a member of the Society of Information Management and the Menttium100 Female Executive Mentoring Program.

Kim is an experienced IT leader with the Rogers and Hollands Jewelry chain. Kim leads the core teams responsible for Development, Infrastructure, and System support for over 80 retail store locations. In addition to the IT department’s day to day operations, Kim is also responsible for aligning IT strategy with the over-all strategy of the business. She calls on her vast IT experience to ensure that the company is using the best, most efficient technology while maintaining strict control over compliance. Kim is also a part of the team that is responsible for rebranding the company. In this role she ensures that the company’s technology is prepared to meet the needs of tomorrow’s consumer. Prior to joining the Rogers and Hollands Jewelry chain, Kim was in the IT consulting industry where she worked on a variety of supply chain, manufacturing, and warehousing projects. Kim is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and a member of the National Retail Federation.

Tim Walter is the Chief Information Officer of RMG Networks’ Mall Media Division. He leads the core team responsible for continued development, implementation, and operations. Tim works to align the company’s informational infrastructure with its data-based client approach and is also responsible for expansion and commercialization strategies for his division’s intellectual property and patent portfolio. Prior to RMG Networks, Tim served as Chief Information Officer for CrossCom National and as Director of Web Programming and Infrastructure for Uline Shipping Supplies, where he was instrumental in managing and scaling the technology responsible for the company’s explosive growth. During his career, Tim has held a number of key leadership positions in companies including Ameritech, Arthur Anderson, ServiceMaster, and Zurich American Insurance. His experience includes consumer and business websites, global Internet infrastructure, IT security, data center operations, and enterprise business applications. A recipient of the CIO magazine 2010 Award for Innovation, Tim holds a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Software Engineering and Project Management from DePaul University.

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