Alex Chausovsky is a highly experienced market researcher and analyst with more than twenty years of expertise across subjects including economics, industrial manufacturing, automation, talent and workforce issues, and advanced technology trends. For the last two decades, he has consulted and advised companies throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and his insights and analysis have been featured on NPR, the BBC, and in the Wall Street Journal.
Alex has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations and webinars to small businesses, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of industries. He is currently overseeing a suite of analytics products focused on talent for the Miller Resource Group. Alex is also consulting with companies to help them become better at attracting, hiring, and retaining the impact players in their industry.
J.P. Dinnell is a former U.S. Navy SEAL and now a Leadership Instructor, Speaker and Strategic Advisor with Echelon Front, where he serves as Chief Training Officer.
J.P. is also a pro team athlete and spokesperson for Origin Maine and Jocko Fuel, an American clothing and supplement company. J.P. has a signature Energy Drink flavor “Sour Apple Sniper” with Jocko Fuel.
Jeremiah spent nearly a decade in the SEAL Teams with three combat deployments. Sent to the violent terrorist stronghold of Ar Ramadi, Iraq in 2006 with SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, J.P. served as point man, machine gunner, and lead sniper for Delta Platoon opposite the American Sniper, Chris Kyle, who was in Charlie Platoon.
For his leadership and courage under fire, JP was awarded a Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars with Valor and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor helping Task Unit Bruiser to become the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War.
He worked closely with SEAL Officers Jocko Willink, his Task Unit Commander, and Leif Babin, and was the driving force on many of the daring combat operations Jocko and Leif wrote about in Extreme Ownership.
Upon his return, J.P. again worked directly for Jocko as a training instructor at Naval Special Warfare Group One Training Detachment, where he orchestrated realistic and challenging training scenarios for Special Operations Urban Combat training and Close Quarters Combat training to better prepare SEAL units for the real-world battlefield. He also served as a Combatives Instructor, Marksmanship Instructor and earned his Master Trainer Specialist qualification while helping Jocko rebuild and enhance these training programs into the highly effective platforms they are today.
J.P. brings exceptional experience and frontline leadership perspective from the winning mindset and culture of Task Unit Bruiser.
Mike Maddock is an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, a best-selling author, and a CEO Coach.
Mike will tell you that his purpose is “To inspire and empower curiosity.” His passion is to make people believe they can change the world and then provide the tools, frameworks and hard-earned wisdom to make positive impact happen.
Mike calls himself an Idea Monkey because he loves to solve problems with disruptive ideas. This passion for problem solving has driven Mike to establish 7 successful businesses, including innovation and strategy consultancy Maddock Douglas which has helped more than 25% of the Fortune 500 create and launch new products, services and business models.
He also co-chairs the Gathering of Titans Entrepreneurial Conclave at MIT, and he is past Chapter president of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Young Presidents’ Organization, both chapters located in Chicago.
A doodler, turned cartoonist, turned author, Mike has been using words and pictures to create smiles and build ideas his entire life. Today, Mike is a contributor to Forbes and author of four bestselling books: Free the Idea Monkey...to focus on what matters most!, Brand New: Solving the Innovation Paradox and Flirting With the Uninterested, Innovating in a Sold, Not Bought Category. And finally, Plan D––his latest book about how Disruptors use their superhero powers to put a dent in the universe.
As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an award-winning speaker, and best-selling author of eleven books, Lisa Ryan works with her clients to develop employee and client engagement initiatives and strategies that keep their top talent and best clients from becoming someone else’s.
Lisa’s expertise includes: strengthening workplace culture, improving employee engagement, increasing customer retention, and initiating gratitude strategies (“Grategies”) for personal and professional benefit.
Lisa costars in two films with other experts, including Jack Canfield of “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” She is the Past- President of the National Speakers Association, Ohio Chapter, and holds an MBA from Cleveland State University. She has been blissfully married to Scott since 1996, and they are the proud parents of two very spoiled cats.
Track and Workshop Speakers:
As Director of the Automation Business Unit at ESCO Group, Mike Azevedo brings more than 35 years of experience in the electrical and automation space, with an extensive background in Engineering, System Integration, Electrical Construction, Project Management, Technical Sales, and Executive Leadership.
In his 5-year tenure at ESCO Group, Mike has been a key driver in the development and implementation of the Employee Experience, Learning and Development, and Operational Excellence Programs, while setting the strategic direction and growth plan for ESCO Automation towards the ESCO 2030 vision.
Mike's profound commitment to advancing the System Integration and Digital Transformation industry is demonstrated through his active participation in several industry peer groups and associations. His expertise and strategic vision have played a vital role in driving ESCO Group's success and growth in the industry.
Cody P. Bann serves as Director of Engineering for WIN-911 Software, having 15 years of software development experience with the Austin-based company. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Computer Science from Boston University.
Ray is the CEO of ESCO Group, a 100% employee owned company specializing in AEI (Automation, Electrical, and Instrumentation) professional services. With over 400 professionals, and offices in eight states, ESCO Group builds, supports, and maintains the mission critical manufacturing processes for electrical construction, plant services, systems integration, arc-flash hazard analysis, IT testing, safety consulting and Industry 4.0 automation companies. ESCO works with organizations from the “field-to-the-table” within the seed and food manufacturing markets.
As CEO of ESCO Group since 2014, Ray focuses on building a culture of ownership for their 400+ professionals within ESCO Group. Ray and fellow shareholders successfully transitioned to 100% employee ownership in early 2022, accomplishing a long-term goal for the organization.
Ray’s journey with ESCO Group began in 1992, shortly after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from University of Northern Iowa, and earning his Certified Public Accountant certification from the state. He was the CFO for ESCO Group for several years prior to taking on the CEO role, and celebrated his 30th anniversary with ESCO in August 2022. In addition, Ray holds a Certificate for Leading in an Employee-Owned Environment from UPENN – 2018.
Ray is passionate about employee experience and works diligently to keep ESCO Group as the BEST/MOST VALUED service provider within its markets. He feels strongly in giving back to the communities where ESCO offices are located. Because of his philanthropic ambition, Ray has served as board chair and/or board member for several organizations in his community. Currently, Ray is a Board Member and Board Chair of United Way of East Central Iowa.
Ray also serves as a Board Member for CSIA (“Controls Systems Integration Association”) where ESCO’s System Integration business unit, ESCO Automation, has been a member for over 20 years, and CSIA Certified since 2001.
Clint is a Managing Director with Bundy Group, an investment bank that specializes in representing business owners and management teams in business sales, capital raises and acquisitions. Clint has over 12 years of experience in the automation and cybersecurity sectors, and he has advised numerous companies and has a long track record of closed transactions in those industries.
Brian is the co-leader of the industrial automation, system integration and robotics practice at the law firm of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. He frequently presents at the CSIA Executive Conference and contributes to the CSIA Newsletter on legal issues confronting control system integrators. Faegre Drinker is the provider of the CSIA Legal Plan.
Danielle Crough is the Vice President of People & Culture at Interstates where she helps drive the talent management strategy for the organization.
Prior to joining Interstates, Dr. Crough consulted for 10 years where she helped organizations with their selection as well as leadership and organizational challenges.
Dr. Crough is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she teaches organizational behavior & leadership courses in their MBA & EMIT programs. Additionally, she serves her community through non-profit board memberships.
When not pursuing or speaking her passion for human capital strategy, Danielle spends time on her acreage with her husband and three children.
Patricia Davis is a digital marketing specialist and account lead at Rivergate Marketing. Patty is a marketing and social media expert with experience in campaign management, lead generation, and content creation. She enjoys all things marketing, including content and social media management, graphic design, and writing. Patty brings a diverse background of experience with special expertise in LinkedIn, taking executive profiles to the next level and managing advertising strategies and execution.
Joe DeJong joined Bankers Trust as Vice President, Commercial Lending Officer in December 2008. Prior to joining Bankers Trust, Joe spent four years in the Business Banking division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Beginning in 2013, Joe began serving as the Managing Director of ESOP Finance, working with middle market companies in the structuring and financing of ESOP plans throughout the Midwest. Joe was promoted to his current role in 2022 and serves on the bank’s Management Committee.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa with a minor in real estate finance. Joe is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and holds a Certificate of Executive Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. He is a current member of the ESOP Association and the National Center For Employee Ownership (NCEO) of which he is a speaker on the topic of ESOP finance.
Joe is the active Past-President of the Board for Orchard Place Foundation and is a certified youth soccer coach for Vision Soccer Academy. Outside the Bank, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife and two young boys and attending University of Northern Iowa and Iowa Hawkeye athletic events.
Cathy is a Principal of Capital Valuation Group, a firm that has specialized in valuing businesses for more than 45 years. Cathy has worked with business owners and advisors over her 28 year career to determine the value of an equity interest in a business, identify ways to increase value, prepare for transitioning out of ownership, resolve owner disputes (family and non-family) and define valuation provisions of buy/sell agreements that are unambiguous. Cathy earned her MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has earned the Accredited Senior Analyst designation from the American Society of Appraisers. Cathy has testified in state and federal courts and writes and teaches nationally on topics relating to business value and serves, or has served, as a director on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards of directors.
Jeff joined ECBM in 2015 working primarily in marketing and business development. Today he is an Account Executive assisting clients of the brokerage’s Control System Integrators Association program. As Account Executive, Jeff assists clients with their coverage and service needs. In addition to coordinating all aspects of their insurance he assists with contract review and analysis.
Prior to joining ECBM, Jeff worked in various aspects of the legal and insurance industries. He spent eight years as a civil litigator in the Denver metro area and maintains and active law license in the state of Colorado. He also has experience in the claims department of an insurance agency.
Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Maryland before earning his Juris Doctor from the American University Washington College of Law. He is in the process of completing a Master’s of Business Administration with a specialization in risk management and insurance from the University of Colorado - Denver.
A graduate in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University, Karen Griffin, PE serves as Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Vice President and Managing Member Representative of Tormod, an asset lifecycle company.
Hargrove Controls & Automation, a 100% employee-owned company and a subsidiary of our full-service EPC firm, provides clients with multi-discipline automation services, providing turnkey solutions for digital transformation, DCS/PLC process controls, robotics, industrial IT/OT system integration, cybersecurity, panel fabrication, and safety- instrumented systems. Hargrove’s ESOP – or TSOP (Teammate Stock Ownership Plan) as
it is called within the company – was started in 2012. Hargrove Teammates become owners automatically after six months of service with the company.
Karen joined Hargrove in 2021 and has served in various automation roles such as Engineering Leader, Main Automation Contractor Program Sponsor, Senior Project Manager, and Controls & Automation Engineer for the refining, oil & gas, chemicals, and pulp & paper industry. She also served on the owner’s side as a senior process control engineer for a major pulp & paper manufacturer. She leads a Team of 150 professionals, including automation engineers and specialists.
Karen is active in her community and imbues the values of Hargrove in her everyday life. She serves on the Board of Directors for CSIA, the Hargrove Foundation, the International Society of Automation (ISA) – Emerald Coast, the Red Cross South Alabama Chapter, and the executive advisory committee for Engineering and Construction Contracting (ECC). She lives in the Mobile, Alabama area with her husband and three children.
30 years’ experience in the engineering design, sales, service, and installation of process controls and instrumentation as well as electrical systems for Life Sciences, industrial and food beverage clients. President of the ISA Eastern Chapter for 3 years.
Sam Hoff is the Founder and President/CEO of Patti Engineering, Inc. Patti Engineering, founded in 1991 is a leader in practical applications of digital strategies for manufacturing. Patti Engineering has offices in Auburn Hills, MI, Indianapolis, IN and Austin TX. Sam has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from GMI Engineering and Management Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, MI, and currently serves on several boards and committees.
Nigel James is currently over strategy for Triad Controls Systems. He is a Chemical Engineering from the UT in Austin. He went into the Automation business in 1995. He has founded his own firm to running other automation companies such as Mangan and Burrow Global Automation , both of which received the integrator of the year award under his helm. Nigel has been married 31 years to Molly.
Working with Industrial Automation since 2005, Renato Leal is the founder and CEO of GreyLogix Brasil, a leading system integrator in digital transformation with over 200 employees and several projects delivered in Latin and North America, Europe and Asia.
Renato has a Bachelor of Science in Automation Engineering (UFSC) and MBA in marketing (FGV) and finances (INPG), all in Brazil. He also has courses in corporate finance (Ohio University) and innovation (UC-Berkeley) in the USA.
Keith Mandachit serves on Huffman Engineering’s Leadership Team in the role of Engineering Manager. He has worked on projects for customers ranging from pharmaceutical production & packaging to food handling, upgrade on both industrial and utility production facilities. He has extensive training in Rockwell, Schneider and Siemens products and their application integrating full industrial and utility production facilities and synchronizing plant intelligence and data analytics. His expertise is in designing and creating operator interface screens for several different platforms, designing and programming PLCs, and his ability to train customer personnel on complicated systems is second to none.
As the Engineering Manager at Huffman Engineering, Inc. Mandachit leads the entire engineering team, managing project oversight, training and development, internal IT oversight and coordination of technical resources. He has developed and implemented intranet tools allowing enhanced sharing opportunities for project management, human resources, and engineering information. His exceptional mind for Making Ideas Work, the more challenging the better, make him a sought-after resource to some of the biggest global names in the industrial pharmaceutical and life science world.
Mandachit lead the development of a state-of-the-art training and testing room at Huffman Engineering’s facility, which supports customer demonstrations, new engineer and student co-op training, and project team testing and checkout capabilities. His volunteer work extends to his church as a youth leader, and he serves as a high school women’s JV soccer coach.
Dan is the leader of the firm’s ESOP practice. He specializes in audit and other financial reporting engagements for public, private and ESOP- owned clients in a variety of industries including retail, engineering, professional services, real estate, and manufacturing and distribution. Dan analyzes business operations to provide recommendations for enhancing overall business performance, and he provides financial and consulting services to ESOP companies, including ESOP feasibility studies, ESOP
sustainability projects, repurchase obligation studies, and managing annual ESOP administration. Dan also leads the due diligence team in evaluating the financial and operational reporting system of acquisition target companies, and he assists clients with merger and acquisition activities, including deal structuring, tax impact of transaction, and quality of earnings reports.
Christine McQuilkin is the Vice President of Account Services at Rivergate Marketing. Christine helps guide agency strategy and champions building a great marketing team. She enjoys using her engineering background to create memorable brands for industrial business-to-business clients. She thrives on collaboration and the challenges of helping clients build and implement a data-driven digital marketing strategy to achieve their corporate goals. Prior to joining Rivergate Marketing, Christine served as Director of Marketing for a $50M system integrator. Christine has served on the CSIA Marketing Committee since 2018.
Natalie Meeker has been with DMC since 2015 and is currently the Internal Operations Manager. Natalie leads many aspects of employee engagement and development at DMC, including leading recruiting and onboarding efforts. Natalie graduated from Bradley University with a degree in English Literature.
Marc is the Director of Business Development -IT4OT at Automated Control Concepts LLC with fifteen years in automation and the last several focused on services and cybersecurity for OT environments.
Tim studied engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Bioengineering as part of the first class of Bioengineers to graduate from the new program at Pitt. His scholastic achievements include being a Pitt Honors College Scholar and presenting his graduate research at the ASAIO conference in New York City. His focus on systems, data, and control led to his current position at Data Science Automation
As Vice President, Engineering & Innovation, Tim guides new & established engineering discipline throughout the organization, delivering technical excellence to automation project outcomes, and providing mentorship to our diverse engineering teams. Tim also leads all DSA and client initiatives in new technology adoption, digital transformation & standardization, as well as new product & courseware development. Tim was recognized as a Control Systems Integrator Association Rising Star at the 2017 conference.
Tim Ogden the Director of the Solution Provider program, at GE Digital focusing on the Systems Integrator community. He is Based out of Milwaukee, WI. and has spent over 25 years developing channel and partner programs that align with manufacturing trends, Hardware/software technology and business demand at companies including ICOM, Rockwell Automation, Briggs & Stratton and GE Digital. Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University.
Scott is an entrepreneur, professor, professional speaker, and Advisory Chief Security Officer. He is a professional speaker and instructor for the FBI, NYU, NBC, private corporate events, and industry-specific
Scott has over fifteen years in organizational leadership roles and proven experience in strategizing and developing enterprise security programs for highly regulated organizations in Healthcare, Financial Services, Education, Insurance, and the Armed Forces.
Brad is the CRO of Technical Systems, Inc., a 100% employee owned company specializing in Integrated Water/Wastewater Solutions for the Public Infrastructure market. Founded in 1970, Technical Systems, Inc. (TSI) is a leading provider of integrated solutions for the Water and Wastewater Industry. TSI is a full service Systems Integrator and I&C Contractor. Customer satisfaction, client service, and post project support are core values at TSI. Engineering services provided by TSI include the design and programming of remote telemetry, SCADA, power monitoring, programmable logic controllers, pc-based control, networking, communications, human machine interface (HMI), distributed control systems (DCS), instrumentation, variable speed drives, motor control, and process information management. Approximately 95% of TSI's business is in the municipal water and wastewater industry and about 5% in the transportation market (Light Rail, etc). TSI is proud to be a 100% Employee owned Company and CSIA Certified. TSI is a licensed Contractor in 8 states and has several professional engineers on staff. TSI maintains field offices in Sacramento, Irvine, Denver, and Guam.
Brad started at TSI in 2001. Brad earned his BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle. With his construction background, Brad was hired on to help TSI grow their construction business. TSI has since tripled their size size 2001.
Brad also serves as a Committee Member for the CSIA Emerging Leaders group, and leads TSI's certification efforts for CSIA. TSI has been a CSIA member since 2001 and certified since 2014.
Sandrine Perino is a senior Business Development leader with strong track record to enter new markets, develop strategic alliances with OEMs or start-ups, mastering eco-system engagement for an optimal joint value proposition. She brings expertise in business growth and sales leadership as she held various European or Global positions in complex and challenging environments for Intel, Cisco and GE. With 20 years of passion in the IT and Telco industry and 10 years in the Energy market identifying Digital opportunities to support the energy transition she is now focusing on building and partnering with the right ecosystem to support the same transition in Manufacturing & Industrial markets for AWS.
Mr. Rick Pierro was president and cofounder of Superior Controls for 30 years while growing it into a global, automation company with 135 employees providing custom, validated, automation and IT systems to the biotech industry. He successfully sold the company twice and is now president of the Life Science Division of E Tech Group, comprised of over 450 employees in 15 offices throughout North America.
Rick also serves on the board of 5 private medical device and power supply companies, serves as the Chairman of the Board of MindChild Medical, the UNH and UMass Lowell, Chemical Engineering Advisory Boards, and is a past President of the Boston chapter of ISPE. He has also been a founding investor in three separate biotech OEMs that successfully sold to publicly listed manufacturers for the biotech industry. Rick is also a frequent guest speaker on automation, cybersecurity, validation and future trends in automation.
Mr. Pierro received an MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lowell-Mass in 1983, a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Boston University in 1981 and took multiple management and finance courses at Harvard Business School.
Bryan Powrozek is the leader of Clayton & McKervey’s industrial automation group. He joined Clayton & McKervey after a dozen years working as a mechanical engineer for an automotive supplier. As a CPA, he has had the opportunity to use his background in systems and processes on a regular basis to help growth-driven manufacturing and system integration companies grow the value of their businesses.
Don is founder and CEO of Rain Corporation, and serves as the CCO of Rain Engineering, a consulting, integration, and support firm for manufacturing businesses. Don founded the Rain businesses with the mission to help people build the tools and know-how to improve themselves and the way they work, because everyone deserves to do better. Prior to founding Rain Corporation, Don worked at GE Digital as an Enterprise Sales Manager where he sold award winning Proficy MES software.
Frank Riordan is the founder and CEO of DMC, Inc., a CSIA Certified Integrator based in Chicago and with offices throughout the United States. Frank received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Massachusetts and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Illinois Chicago. Frank has served on the board of CSIA since 2019.
Mr. Rivera has been the CEO of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) since March 2015. In this position he has worked to advance the system integration industry by expanding the adoption of the CSIA Best Practices and by helping members recognize emerging trends and pursue associated business development opportunities. Prior to this he led a successful global career in the automation industry working for Siemens, Emerson Electric and Schneider Electric in six countries, most often in a regional or global role.
Brian Romano, currently the Director of Technology Development at The Arthur G. Russell Co., has been in the process and automation control systems industry for more than 40 years, starting as a bench technician. After serving as president of a division for an automated machine builder, Romano owned a systems integration company, growing and positioning it as one with expertise in connecting the factory floor to the front office. To keep current with the ever-evolving automation industry, Romano holds an AS, BS, MS, and MBA and is working on his Ph.D. in Technology and Innovation. Romano has been designing and implementing Industry 4.0 solutions for his company and for AGR as far back as 2007. He also serves as an industrial advisory board member for two technology and engineering universities and as chair of the ISA’s Industry Readiness and Maturity committee, where he was awarded the 2022 ISA SM/IIoT Division Leader of the Year Award.
As a shareholder and leader of the firm's Consulting practice, Ben provides advisory services to middle-market, closely held clients in a variety of sectors including industrial automation, manufacturing & distribution, and architecture & engineering. he keeps up with the latest technology advancements and digital tools while helping businesses implement digital transformation strategies to improve their processes and profitability. Ben also specializes in financial reporting and analysis, financial and tax due diligence, and quality of earnings studies.
John Sullivan is a Senior Director with DMC, Inc. He started at DMC after graduating from Rose-Hulman 13 years ago when the company was only 23 people. John has worked on a wide variety of industries and customers, successfully completing projects for over 350 customers in his tenure. In 2014, John relocated to Denver to open and lead DMC's second regional office.
John has been influential in company growth, recruiting, and company improvements as DMC grew from 23 to over 220 employees. This includes being a key part of DMC's recently launched Leadership Development Program.
Additionally, John is chair of the CSIA Emerging Leaders Committee, where he and many other CSIA members are focused on creating and growing the next generation of Leaders.
Tony Valasek is the Director of Engineering at The EOSYS Group, headquartered near Nashville, TN where he provides organizational and engineering leadership. Tony’s primary areas of focus are organizational development, leadership development and process development. In addition to his time with EOSYS, Tony has over 30 years of experience in diverse, international industries with various industry leaders such as Tyco Electronics, and Triumph Aerospace. Tony holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University, an MBA from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in International Business from Northcentral University. Tony is also a certified project management professional and a U.S. Patent holder. You can reach Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/tonyvalasek
Mark is the co-leader of the industrial automation, system integration and robotics practice at the law firm of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. He frequently presents at the CSIA Executive Conference on legal issues confronting control system integrators. Faegre Drinker is the provider of the CSIA Legal Plan.
Georgia Whalen is the founder and owner of Rivergate Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency helping CSIA member system integration firms build strategic, data-driven marketing and PR programs. Georgia and her team are passionate about helping clients compete and be found in a crowded digital space. Rivergate Marketing’s team has a consistent track record of success in gaining industry recognition for clients, driving website traffic, increasing sales opportunities, and strengthening brand awareness. Georgia has served as co-chair of the CSIA Marketing Committee since 2016.
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