The Optimizing Digital Innovation Conference is an annual gathering hosted by the DePaul Innovation Development Lab. Each year, nearly 200 industry professionals from a number of Fortune 500 Companies come together to discuss new ways that their organizations can approach innovation. The event features discussions with speakers ranging from Executives and Sr. Directors to Academics and Award-Winning Authors. ODI is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network and learn groundbreaking innovation strategies that can be applied at any level.
Our ODI Conference is organized and executed by a small group of students. We value the opportunity to exchange ideas and network, and our conference provides a unique space for professionals to do just that. We sincerely appreciate any sponsorship as it is integral to our ability to continue to hold this important event. We have several different tiers of sponsorship, including general, gold, silver and platinum sponsorships. Donations of any level are greatly appreciated by our team. We thank you for your generosity.
During the uncertainty of the current Covid-19 situation, we ensure that ODI will proceed. In order to prioritize the health of both our attendees and our speakers, we have decided to move the majority of the conference into the digital realm. Through a hybrid of in-person speeches, as well as online video meetings, we will ensure that the conference maintains its original comfortable and personal feel.
With innovation as our key concept this year, we view this change as a welcomed challenge. We will innovate our format in order to adapt to the current state of the world. Though the format of ODI will be revolutionized, the content will remain equally as compelling and groundbreaking.
As the Executive-in-Residence, Roman Dumiak acts as the liaison between the DePaul faculty and corporate enterprises that are currently engaged with DePaul's iDLab. Working to bridge the gap between the business and academic communities around innovation
Executive Director - DePaul Innovation Development Laboratory
Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner
Don Scheibenreif is a Distinguished Vice President, Analyst with Gartner's Customer Experience
research group. He works with CIOs and IT leaders on how emerging trends and digital business
will impact customer experience.
Lead - Digital Transformation
Rahul leads digital transformation and experience practice at Abbott, a global healthcare company that helps
people live fully at all stages of life. He’s particularly interested in irreversible process transformation,
reducing org-wide design/development waste, and breakthrough digital marketing
innovations.Accomplishments include 20+ industry awards in Digital domain, Abbott Division's highest honor
- President's Award 3 years in a row, recommendations from The Coca-Cola Company & Police Special Task
Force (STF) for his contributions and work and is acknowledged for creating many first in industry healthcare
Principal Product Designer - Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Innovation Executive - State Farm
He spent 20 years leading a variety of teams in our property & casualty line of business. For the past several years, Jay has led the formation and growth of a startup within State Farm called Blue Owl – a company that offers usage-based-insurance
through a product called Hi-Road in the state of Rhode Island.
VP Global IT - Baxter
James Pacella is Baxter International’s Vice President of IT Strategy and Analytics. In that role, Mr. Pacella defines the IT strategic direction for the global organization
to support technology innovations and the enablement of the business.
Divisional Vice President - Abbott
Terry is responsible for many of the digital technologies used throughout Abbott with a specific focus on
new and differentiating capabilities in Big Data/Internet of things(IOT), Digital Commerce and Salesforce
effectiveness. Terry earned his software engineering degree from the University of Portsmouth and was
elected to the British Computer Society in 2005 as a Chartered Engineer.
Enterprise Architect - Medline
Ben has spent the last 15 years delivering IT software solutions for Pharmacy and Healthcare Products and Services companies. He has worked primarily in Data Warehouse, CRM, Supply Chain, B2B E-Commerce, and Organizational Change Management as an IT Business Analyst. He is currently a Business Facing Enterprise Architect for Medline Industries, Inc; focused
on the E-Commerce, Sales Innovation, and Managed Care domains.
Sr. VP Distributed Infrastructure Services - Black Knight Financial Inc
Chief Information Officer - Sammons Financial Group Member Companies
Kelly has set herself apart as a successful leader with a proven track record of facilitating large-
scale consumer facing technology initiatives,” said Teri Ross, president, Sammons Financial
Group’s Shared Services Division. “Her focus on organizational culture and values is as
impressive as her accomplishments, which is foundational to our company’s success and was
crucial in our search for a new chief information officer.” Coomer’s IT career spans 20 years of
leading technology initiatives
Innovation Partner - Office of Innovation - Salesforce
Dean, College of Computing and Digital Media, DePaul University
David Miller joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science at its founding in 1981. He served as
Associate Dean for the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems (CTI) since
the School's inception in 1995 and began serving as Dean of what is now the College of Computing and Digital
Media in 2005. Miller served as DePaul’s Interim Provost for the 2014-2015 academic year. Miller received
his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He still satisfies his programming bug by
contributing to open-source software development.
Director, Data Science at National Association of REALTORS® & Distinguished iD-Lab Faculty Member
Lawrence leads Morningstar’s global financial technology outreach initiatives. He is working to strengthen the firm’s leadership role with world-class emerging growth companies and organizations fostering innovation in software, data management, business intelligence and user experience in the financial services sector. Lawrence is a member of the Fintech Advisory Board of the Fubon Center for Technology, Business, and Innovation - NYU
Stern School of Business, and the Board of Directors of iD-Lab.
Robert A. Nendorf
Robert Nendorf is the Director of Data Science within the Analytics Practice at Arity, a mobility data and analytics company founded by The Allstate Corporation. There he leads a team of data scientists, data analytics engineers, and analysts that work on cross-functional product teams to discover, develop, deploy, and manage analytics insights. He plays a key role in leading and building a world-class analytics organization at Arity and delivering solutions to
Arity customers in the insurance, shared mobility, mobile app, and data services markets.
Data & Analytics Innovation | Author of "Infonomics", West Monroe
Doug Laney is a best-selling author and recognized authority on data and analytics strategy. He advises
senior IT, business and data leaders on data monetization and valuation, data management and
governance, alternative data, analytics best practices, and information innovation.
Chief Data Officer, EL AL Israel Airlines
Ido Biger is a Data & Analytics Leader with a proven ability to make large organizations become Data
Driven.Held 2 successful Chief Data Officer Roles for 2 of the biggest brands in Israel, yes Television and EL AL
Israel Airlines.Responsible for Leading Big Data Teams, BI Departments, Advanced Analytics Units (Data
Science) and Data Literacy programs. A Data Geek with a business state of mind.
NYC Data Science Academy and the co-founder of SupStat
Vivian Zhang is the founder of the NYC Data Science Academy and the co-founder of SupStat. In August
2016, Forbes ranked her among the nine women leading the pack in data analytics.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (HCSC)
VP Treasury Management Product Innovation Lead, PNC Bank
John Leach has almost two decades of experience developing innovation strategies for start-ups to Fortune 500 enterprises. John is a pioneer in the practice of innovation strategy and consulting having been with Doblin for over 12 years, helping to craft
new products and services in a variety of industries and non-profits.
Anthony Termini leads the global framework for fintech partnerships Morningstar.
Dana has one of the best jobs in the company, currently serving as a Scouting Manager in Labs @ State
Farm. In this role, she meets with entrepreneurs from across the globe to learn about their businesses,
to evaluate alignment to State Farm’s innovation work, and to identify investment targets for State Farm
Kate is the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Uptake, an Industrial AI software company headquartered in Chicago. In her current role, she focuses on business growth through go-to-market partnerships for advanced analytics across industrial
markets including transportation and logistics, energy, mining, and manufacturing.
Shobhit Jain is the Head of Product Innovation at HERE Technologies. He leads a global team of highly
passionate innovators and dreamers who engage customers and partners to identify market
opportunities and next generation location-based solutions that bring long term value to HERE and its
Brenna Berman is CEO of City Tech, an IoT urban infrastructure lab that transforms cities into testbeds for
new ideas. Prior to joining City Tech, Brenna served in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, which
she joined in 2011. She served as the Chief Information Officer for the City and Commissioner for the
Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) from 2012 to spring of 2017.
Nick Ionita is the CEO & Co-Founder of Flux, an internal mobility platform that
helps employees grow by matching them to projects, rotations, and full-time jobs their company needs delivered. Nick has 18+ years experience in Product and Engineering roles, and has spent his last 12 years in San Francisco building, growing, and losing his hair at start-ups. Prior to Flux, Nick was Chief Product Officer (CPO) turned CEO of Joyus (acquired by Stack Commerce), and SVP of Product Management at FreeWheel (acquired by Comcast). Nick has an MBA from U.C. Berkeley, an MS in Information Systems and a BBA in Information Technology & Operations Management.
Davie Sweis is the Business Chief Digital Officer and Vice President of Technology & Enabling of the Global Business Services at Bosch.
After having held various positions within the corporate sector of IT and prior to his latest role, Davie became the head of Bosch's global Digital Business unit in summer of 2013. This unit has allowed Bosch to continue being at the forefront of development and the IT landscape by advancing topics such as IoT, Mobility, Cloud and API Management to create solutions for a connected life. In 2017, he took over as the Head of Information Technology, responsible for representing as the global CIO in the Americas. In addition to his current role, he also serves as the champion for driving Digital Transformation within Bosch North America.
Dean College of Communication, DePaul University
Vice President, Nuveen
VP & CIO, YMCA of the USA
Divisional Vice President, Business & Technology Services
Chief Design Officer at USAA
Associate Professor of College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) at DePaul University