The Future of IT & Cybersecurity

CIO & CISO Think Tank

October 17, 2023 - Dallas, TX

Visionaries & Speakers

Robert Pace Invitation Homes
Robert Pace


Invitation Homes

Think Tank Speaker

Robert is the Vice President, Information Security and CISO for Invitation Homes. He is responsible for leading the Information Security program for Invitation Homes. Responsibilities include establishing a sound security strategy, governance, operations, service delivery, business integration and end-user awareness training. Robert’s career spans over 20 years in leading global teams in the delivery of IT Security operations. Robert has been influential in the leadership, design of security operations and delivery at First American Payment Systems, Dell Services, Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co., Bell Helicopter, Textron and Ameritech. Robert also has significant consulting experience obtained while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Robert has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree from Walsh College of Business and Accountancy. Robert has completed the Executive Leadership Program at Thunderbird - Gavin School of International Management. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO), ITILv3 and a Certified Six-Sigma Green Belt.

Patrick Benoit Brink's inc
Patrick Benoit

Global CISO

Brink's inc

Think Tank Speaker

Patrick is the Global Head of Cyber Governance, Risk, and Compliance / Business Information Security Officer for CBRE. He was formerly the Deputy CISO for Cheetah Digital. He has been an Executive Business Partner at Experian; a Customer Delivery Executive and Service Delivery Leader at Dell; and owned a technology consulting company. He is a highly effective Business Leader with a mastery of Technology and Security. He is also a Writer, Speaker, and a continuous Mentor/Advisor and Learner. Patrick works across all technology and security domains and is experienced at building technology and security programs from the ground up. Patrick has owned his own technology consulting company, led software development and infrastructure organizations, and worked with all levels of executive leadership in technology, operations, and security. He holds certifications as C/CISO, CISM, CRISC, CISSP, CCP, PMP, ITIL Expert, and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Patrick earned a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology from Cameron University after serving as an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer for nearly 6 years in the Army. In his spare time, he is a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He studies and teaches Aikido, rides motorcycles, and is an avid reader of Chinese Philosophy. His favorite teaching is “From Chaos Comes Greatness,” from the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching). He has two grown sons, four granddaughters, and a grandson. He lives and works in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

John Tryon Health Care Service Corporation
John Tryon

Deputy CISO

Health Care Service Corporation

Think Tank Speaker

Joined Health Care Service Corporation, the nation’s largest customer owned health insurer offering Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, in September of 2017 as DVP Information Security Architecture and Design. In this role, John was responsible for driving the future state Cyber Security Architecture with a focus on securely enabling HCSC’s use of the public cloud for sensitive workloads, overall modernization of HCSC’s Member facing and Enterprise Identity & Access Management products and enhancements to Cyber Defense capabilities. Promoted to Deputy CISO / Head of Information Security for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) in Fall of 2021. John is responsible for delivering a fiscally responsible and pragmatic Information Security program that securely enables the HCSC enterprise, systems development entities, and strategic initiatives. He is an Information Services Security thought leader with over twenty-five years combined experience with Fortune 500 firms in life sciences, healthcare and consumer products industries. Actively participates on Executive Customer Advisory Boards and Healthcare Industry Executive Leadership forums. John has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Temple University and holds CISSP certification.

Eric Poon PepsiCo
Eric Poon

CTO Portfolio Manager


Think Tank Speaker

Eric Poon is currently in the Office of the CTO at a Fortune 500 company, where he leads the strategic analysis, planning, and project execution for global IT. Prior to that, Eric was the Director of IT Supply Chain and Manufacturing Systems at Peloton and Global IT Manufacturing Infrastructure leader at Tesla. During his tenure with these firms, Eric assisted with the greenfield build of several factories and transformed the global supply chain to deliver the technology needed to support the construction of new manufacturing lines in record time. Eric has a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Santa Clara University.

Michael Gross Cleveland Clinic
Michael Gross

Manager, Cybersecurity Intelligence

Cleveland Clinic

Think Tank Speaker

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry, including more than two decades specializing in cybersecurity, I am a seasoned professional known for visionary leadership and comprehensive expertise in safeguarding organizations from evolving cyber threats. Key Highlights: * Cybersecurity Visionary: Throughout my career, I have consistently developed and executed robust cybersecurity strategies that align seamlessly with organizational objectives. I excel at protecting critical assets, data, and systems while proactively identifying and mitigating risks. My specialties encompass advanced threat analysis, cyber risk management, incident response, security architecture design, and regulatory compliance. As a cybersecurity visionary, I have pioneered solutions that fortify organizations against emerging threats. * Agility and Problem-Solving: My career has been marked by my ability to tackle complex challenges with agility and innovation. I leverage my expertise in cybersecurity methodologies, industry best practices, and compliance standards to provide effective solutions. * Mentorship and Leadership: I take pride in guiding and mentoring cybersecurity teams to excel in vulnerability assessment, threat detection, incident response, and recovery. I am deeply committed to fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional growth. * Communication and Work Ethic: My strong work ethic, exceptional interpersonal skills, and adept relationship-building capabilities are complemented by my proficiency in multitasking and effective communication. I thrive on embracing challenging tasks and delivering results. I am passionate about the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity and committed to contributing my expertise to secure and protect businesses in the digital age. Let's connect and explore opportunities to collaborate or share insights in this dynamic industry.

James Lapalme Entrust
James Lapalme

VP & GM Identity Business Unit


Think Tank Speaker

James Lapalme is the VP/GM of the Identity business unit at Entrust for past five year. With over 25 years global IT security experience having managed teams in China, France, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Brazil, UK & Singapore. A highly experienced individual in SaaS, cybersecurity, blockchain/Decentralized, Cryptography & Identity. Prior to Entrust, James was at a variety of tier 1 vendors and start-ups, including Irdeto, Leonovus, Nortel & CloudLink.

Paul Meharg Sonatype
Paul Meharg

Solution Architect


Think Tank Speaker

Paul is a Senior Solution Architect specializing in DevOps and Software Delivery Automation for the past 10 years. Prior to Sonatype, he was with IBM working with the UrbanCode (DevOps) family of products, and prior to IBM Paul worked with Red Hat, Hewlett Packard, and Texas Instruments. He seeks to understand clients’ requirements and to craft solutions meeting those needs. Paul has worked closely with customers across a variety of industries in the United States and Canada. He brings over 25 years of experience in the software industry as a developer, software tester, sales engineer, consultant, and business development manager. Paul has a Computer Science degree from Texas State University. He’s married with two grown daughters who have started their own families! His hobbies include camping and hiking, photography, and playing with Raspberry Pi computers.

James Binford Humana
James Binford

Director Offensive Security


Think Tank Speaker

Humana Inc. is committed to putting health first for our teammates, our customers, and our company. Through our Humana insurance services, and our CenterWell health care services, we make it easier for the millions of people we serve to achieve their best health delivering the care and service they need, when they need it. These efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

Upcoming events


All times Central Time

9:30 AM-10:00 AM


10:00 AM-10:30 AM

Morning Networking

10:30 AM-10:40 AM

Opening Remarks

10:40 AM-11:25 AM
Vision Keynote Panel

Bridging the Gap Between IS/IT and the Business

Bridging the gap between business and technology is not easy and requires discipline and balance between technology, people, and the business. For so many organizations today, technology is the business. Technology needs to be understood as a critical enabler in every part of the organization from the front line to the back office. It creates new value by crunching data to deliver new insights, it spurs innovation, and it disrupts traditional business models.

For business and technology leaders alike, new actions and behavioral changes can help their organizations make this shift. CIOs must take responsibility for problems, they should convey that when technology fails, many people typically share responsibility.

11:30 AM-11:45 AM

Transforming Human Processes to Mature Your Enterprise Automation (aka making AI, Zero Trust, and all the other cool toys work better)

Intelligent automation is a key component of digital transformation, which can help companies increase productivity levels by deploying automation into their key business areas. Intelligent automation includes core technologies that integrate with existing business processes, such as robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, AI, and cognitive automation.  Let's discuss

  • Why can’t I just automate as is?
  • Why can’t I just buy an app for that?
  • Isn’t AI supposed to be “Intelligent”?

11:50 AM-12:05 PM

Threat Intelligence

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, affecting businesses and individuals in all sectors. In 2023, these attacks are expected to continue to grow, resulting in significant financial losses, data theft, and reputational damage. Businesses should implement comprehensive security measures, including regular backups, employee training, and endpoint security, to minimize the risk of a ransomware attack. Additionally, it's important to have a response plan in place to minimize the impact of an attack if it does occur.

12:05 PM-1:05 PM

Lunch & Networking

1:05 PM-1:20 PM

The Road to an Optimal Zero Trust Strategy

Disappearing perimeter, expanding attack surface, inevitable breaches, and the acceleration of digital transformation pose an increasingly complex challenge for organizations of all sizes. The Zero Trust framework provides a blueprint to secure data and networks in today’s multi-cloud environment, but the path to get there remains fragmented and challenging. 

Join us to discuss

  • Why establishing trusted Phishing Resistant identities across users, devices, apps, and workloads is critical to a strong foundation for an optimal Zero Trust strategy 
  • Use Case Strategies against a Zero Trust Framework
  • How you can build a roadmap to implement an optimal Zero Trust framework for your organization, to protect against threats today and in a Post Quantum (PQ) future 
In partnership with:

1:25 PM-2:00 PM

The Promising Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

The potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is vast, as it is now being utilized across all industries. With the combination of machine learning, AI has made significant improvements in the field of cybersecurity. Automated security systems, natural language processing, face detection, and automatic threat detection are some examples of how AI is revolutionizing cybersecurity. However, AI is also being used to create intelligent malware and attacks, which can bypass the most up-to-date security protocols, making it a double-edged sword. On the positive side, AI-enabled threat detection systems have the ability to predict new attacks and immediately notify administrators in case of a data breach.

2:20 PM-2:40 PM

Networking Break

2:40 PM-2:55 PM

Data-Centric Security: Safeguarding the Cloud Era

In the cloud era, data-centric security is paramount to safeguarding sensitive information. Traditional security measures are inadequate in protecting dispersed data. In this session, we will discuss the principles of data-centric security, such as data discovery, access controls, and data classification. Prioritizing data protection optimizes resource allocation, improves incident response, and builds trust with stakeholders in today's data-driven world.

In partnership with:
Sentra Inc.

3:00 PM-3:45 PM

Digital Transformation

CIOs & CISOs play a crucial role in driving their organization's digital transformation efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, and CIOs & CISOs must continue to lead the way to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of customers and employees. This requires a deep understanding of the organization's goals, processes, and IT infrastructure, as well as collaboration with other business leaders. By successfully leading digital transformation, CIOs & CISOs can position their company for long-term success in a digital world.

3:45 PM-3:50 PM

Closing Remarks & Raffle Giveaway

3:50 PM-4:30 PM

Cocktail Hour

In Partnership With