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Hear from some of the brightest industry thought leaders as they discuss the latest trends & challenges in IT.


Michael Biltz | Managing Director

Accenture Technology Vision

Michael Biltz leads Accenture's Vision R&D group and the enterprise's annual technology visioning process. Through Accenture's Technology Vision Michael defines Accenture's perspective on the future of technology beyond the current conversations about the social, cloud, mobility, and big data to focus on how technology will impact the way we work and live. From a new generation of technology from augmented reality and blockchain to artificial intelligence, this year's report—Technology Vision 2019 ( )—outlines the new technology trends that forward-thinking C level executives will use to position their organizations to shape the next generations of their markets, rather than focusing on cost-cutting and efficiency improvements. Michael holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Stacey Halota | Vice President, Information Security and Privacy

Graham Holdings Company

Stacey Halota, Vice President–Information Security and Privacy, joined Graham Holdings Company (then The Washington Post Company) in 2003. Graham Holdings is a diversified education and media company whose operations include educational services, television broadcasting, online, print and local TV news, home health and hospice care, manufacturing, and automobile dealerships. She leads the development and implementation of information security and privacy programs, including GDPR, Sarbanes Oxley, privacy law, Payment Card Industry compliance and other data protection efforts. Stacey has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology, security and privacy field. Before joining Graham Holdings, she served as the federal government and southeast region leader of Guardent (now part of Verisign), a security and privacy consulting and managed security services company. Prior to Guardent, she worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Technology Risk Services consulting practice working with federal government and Fortune 500 clients.

Stacey is a past recipient of Secure Computing Magazine’s Chief Security Officer of the Year award and was also named Mid-Atlantic Information Security Executive of the Year (Commercial Category) by the Executive Alliance. She is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Stacey is a frequent speaker on information security and privacy topics and is on the strategic advisory boards of CyberVista and Y/L Ventures.

Kathy Kountze | Senior VP and CIO

Eversource Energy

Kathy Kountze serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Eversource Energy which operates New England’s largest utility system, serving approximately 4 million electric, natural gas and water customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Kathy has held her current position at Eversource Energy since April, 2012 and is a member of the executive team. In her role, Kathy provides the organization with the vision and leadership to assure the timely, innovative, and cost-effective use of technology to achieve corporate objectives and improve productivity and effectiveness in serving customers in a constantly changing regulated utility marketplace. She sets strategy for all IT areas, including cyber security, compliance and risk mitigation, enterprise business applications, Project Management Office and management of on premise and cloud infrastructure and operations.

Ms. Kountze is an advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). She is the recipient of the 2017 CIO of the Year Orbie Award and the Girls Scouts Women’s Leadership in STEM Award.

Ms. Kountze earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Actuarial Math from the University of Connecticut and an MS in Computer Science at the University of New Haven.

Renée Lahti | CIO

Hitachi Vantara

Renée Lahti is responsible for developing and implementing information technology initiatives at Hitachi Vantara. She supervises the information systems and communications network of the company and directs the planning, implementation and continuous improvement of technology solutions in order to improve cost effectiveness, service quality and mission development. McKaskle was CIO of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and prior to that, she was CIO and vice president of business process and technology at SC Johnson & Sons. She previously served as CIO and VP of IT governance services at Symantec Corporation. She also held senior IT leadership roles at Oracle and PeopleSoft. McKaskle holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master's degree in information systems from the University of Texas. Renée was named to the 2018 Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence. She is a strong advocate of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs and careers for girls and women to give them the confidence to do what inspires them.

Beth Niblock | CIO

City of Detroit

Spend enough time with Beth Niblock, and you will understand two things clearly. One, she is earnest in her belief that transparency is the lifeblood of a healthy government. The other, she loves big challenges. Before coming to Detroit, Niblock was the first CIO appointed to a merged Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government in 2003. She was challenged with unifying IT systems and infrastructure, while implementing systems. During her 11 years at the helm, her teams won numerous awards.

Niblock was tapped by the Obama Administration to serve as part of a team of technology officials to support the City of Detroit. It was her first introduction to Detroit, and the opportunity to come back was too enticing to walk away from. As the CIO for the City of Detroit, she is managing significant upgrades to infrastructure, making city business transparent, and making Detroit online an easy place to do business with.

Beth Niblock City of Detroit, CIO | Interop 2019 Keynote


Interop's highest rated keynote EVER is back in 2019. Watch highlights from her 2018 keynote and be sure to get your 2019 pass to hear her brand new IT war story. Check out the pass options here.

Brian McCarson | VP & Senior Principal Engineer, Industrial Solutions Division Internet of Things Group

Intel Corporation

Brian leads the Industrial Systems Engineering and Architecture Team within IOTG’s Industrial Solutions Division (ISD) and is responsible for the architecture definition and engineering execution for all of ISD’s platforms, systems and solutions. He is also a Senior Principal Engineer with 2 decades of experience in industrial automation and control systems, data visualization, multi-variate and predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies. Over his career he has delivered >$2B in incremental revenue or cost savings for Intel in addition to >$1.1B in forecast incremental committed revenue for IOTG. In 2018, Brian and the Intel China Team built upon years of previous edge compute initiatives to deliver an Industrial Edge Computing Platform design win with Alibaba.  Previously, Brian was the CTO of IoT Strategy and he led the Technology, Standards and Pathfinding Strategy team.

Judd Williams | CIO


Judd Williams is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and has served in this role since June 2012. Judd’s responsibilities at the NCAA include all aspects of strategic planning, budgeting, implementation and support of technology initiatives across the national office, membership, and events. Within his first two years at the NCAA, he has increased the “Overall Quality of IT” results over 20 percentage points, while reducing IT costs by over 10% and improving information security at the NCAA. According to the last two bi-annual culture surveys, the IT Department has had the highest department scores across the entire NCAA.

Prior to joining the NCAA, Judd was recruited into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Leadership Development Program in 2007. He was named Acting Deputy Senior Executive of IT Business Operations in 2009 and was then promoted to Senior IT Manager and Unit Chief in 2010, where he oversaw three different operational IT groups and was the youngest Unit Chief in the FBI’s IT Branch. Prior to the FBI, he worked for SAIC, Northrop Grumman, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.