Past Events

December 19, 2019 - Holiday Gala

Annual F/W SIM Members Only Holiday Gala at the Stamford Yacht Club.  

Entertainment by the Mark Richards Musical Ensemble

From Alice Tully Hall to Juilliard to Yale and European Tours, Mark has balanced his music with his Technology career. Once again this year, Mark and his fellow musicians will help us celebrate the season with their wonderful talent. The ensemble consists of:

Maria Tiscia - Vocal

Joe McWilliams - Keyboard

Mark Richards - Trumpet

Frank Sisson – Double Bass

November 21, 2019 - Fireside Chat with Susan Certoma

“A somewhat random, but purposeful career walk down Wall Street” 

An informal dialogue with Board member, Susan Certoma and Host Board Member, Beverly Lieberman.

Candid answers to questions about Susan’s career, key influencers, leadership challenges and, life-changing decisions. 

She talked about the skills and experiences that prepared her to navigate a highly diversified career spanning executive leadership roles and top tier firms: Head of Sales / Trading Technology – Goldman Sachs, CIO - Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo), President- Broadridge and most recently, President - EEI. We will also hear how Susan acquired a Board position at Southwest Power Pool, a major Energy Organization responsible for the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States.

October 30, 2019 - CIO Executive Leadership Summit

Enterprise 2025: Accelerating the Digital Roadmap to Survive and Thrive

The mantra in today’s fast-changing business environment is disrupt or be disrupted. CIOs and technology executives play a critical role in partnering with the CEO and the Board to identify how digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, the Internet of Things and robotic process automation (RPA) can be leveraged to create competitive differentiation in the global digital economy.

The innovative mindset and cultural transformation skills needed to usher a successful digital roadmap for the business will be the focal point of the 2019 Stamford CIO Executive Leadership Summit.

September 19, 2019 - RPA - The State of the Art and The Coming Future

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been hailed as one of the great technological revolutions of our time. RPA has become a powerful tool for IT executives, but the implementation has been far from smooth for some. The ability to automate repetitive, rules-based tasks and create efficiency in meeting customer needs has been lauded for its potential to free employees to focus on higher value work and reduce enterprise costs. To some employees, the implementation of RPA is seen as a threat, and a ’job killer’ in traditional white collar fields like accounting and law. Please join us for a fascinating discussion by two of the leading practitioners in the area interviewed by SIM Board member Sigal Zarmi

    Sigal Zarmi 
- Managing Director, Head of Transformation, Morgan Stanley; FWSIM Board Member

    Daniel Barchi
 - Chief Information Officer, New York Presbyterian
    Justin Greenberger - Vice President, Customer Success, UIPath
    Peter Cumello - CIO, WorkFusion

July 18, 2019 - Annual FWSIM Members-Only Clambake Social

Our annual Members-Only Clambake Social at the Jacky Durrell Pavilion at Fairfield Beach.  You and your guest get to enjoy a wonderful evening dining on your favorite meal of lobster, chicken or a vegetarian entree overlooking Fairfield Beach, in the company of your friends and colleagues, and it's all purely social time. Kick off your shoes and take a walk on the beach, if you like!

In addition to a great meal, good company and the ocean air, you'll get to enjoy wonderful musical entertainment, provided again this year, by Liz McNicholl of Musical Folk. Liz did such a great job last year, that we just had to ask her back.

June 20, 2019 - Cybersecurity in the Boardroom

Learn why Cyber Risk is more frequently on the Board's agenda and why Board & Leadership together need to support a cyber-minded culture with YOUR help!


As Digital, Data and Cloud are now key business imperatives to driving success in strategic growth and operational efficiency, they do in turn significantly increase business cyber security exposures. Cyber is therefore no longer merely a technology issue. Cyber is now a strategic business risk that will continue to impact every facet of every organization unless it's better understood and gets the combined support of Board and C-Suite to instill a Cyber-minded culture across all constituents. 

Tom McCurley - CIO, The Chefs' Warehouse

Sean Cross - CEO & Managing Partner, Silicon Alley Advisors
Ariel Evans - CEO of Cyber Innovative Technologies and Cyber Intelligence 4U,            Faculty Chairperson, Rutgers Executive Cybersecurity Program.
Matt Lagana - IT Director & CISO, MBIA, Inc.
Robert Zandoli - CISO & CTO, Bunge

April 18, 2019 - Personal and Professional Networking Beneath The Surface

It is common knowledge that building rich, deep networks is critical to your career success. Underlying good networking skills are a set of foundational skills, which include observing non-verbal cues, seeing the other person’s point of view, listening with intense focus, and seeking out diverse perspectives.

The evening’s fun and educational session will involve a set of simple, optional exercises that will provide you with an awareness of techniques which, if practiced and internalized, can be applied in a variety of business situations, such as tonight’s networking event.

The Speaker
Jim Tosone Managing
Director, Tosone Associates LLC

March 21, 2019 - Beyond the Hype: Why Blockchain Matters

According to Gartner, ‘Blockchain’ has been the number one search term on their Web site since 2017. Blockchain may have been discounted because of the early hype and the collapse in the value of cryptocurrencies. However, the game changing potential of Blockchain technologies, including smart contracts, Cybersecurity, and decentralized finance mean that CIO’s and senior technology managers need to be up to speed and prepared to make good decisions on how Blockchain technologies can help their business. Westchester Fairfield SIM is pleased to welcome Solomon Lederer, CEO of Blockchain training startup Blockmatics who will talk about the latest technical, business and legal reasons why you should be getting ready for Blockchain now.

The Speaker
Solomon Lederer
Co-Founder, Blockmatics

February 21, 2019 - The Future of Work

Despite the economic upheaval of the last twenty years, the world has been forging the foundations of a long-lasting period of global economic expansion. The digital disruption taking place within enterprises and across industries is transforming markets and setting the stage for dramatic increases in productivity, profitability, employment, and income.
The adoption of advanced capabilities like cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) will enhance and accelerate this economic growth. Machines that learn have the potential to substantially augment human capability in nearly every profession, and profoundly affect the nature of work.
AI will redefine the specific tasks that comprise most occupations. While the vast majority of them will persist, employers will need to reorganize tasks within those occupations, and redefine the skills needed to successfully complete those tasks. 
While we are still in the early stages of this transformation and the full economic potential of AI won't be realized for decades to come, IBM is optimistic about this potential for progress and prosperity and are working closely with economists, academics, and policymakers to understand the economic effects to to guide them in a way that benefits all humankind.

The Speaker
Martin Fleming
Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist for IBM

January 17, 2019 -Meeting The Challenges for Technology Executives in the 2020’s

Effective Management and Work Relationships for Technology Managers

One of the great challenges for technology managers in the emerging work world is finding effective ways to recruit, retain, manage and motivate a tech workforce that is distributed geographically and demographically. Human-Centered Management practices allow today’s technology executives to develop individuals who will be effective in a team environment that can lead to both personal satisfaction and professional accomplishment.

The Speaker: Whitney Hess

December 13, 2018 - FWSIM Holiday Gala

Members Only Annual Holiday Gala on December 13th at the Stamford Yacht Club! Come and enjoy a wonderful social evening with friends and colleagues that will feature great food, great conversation, live music in a great venue. Each member may bring one guest free of charge. Cocktails and live entertainment will start at 5:45 with a delicious dinner and festivities to follow. The event will run to 10:00 pm.

Featured Entertainment
   Jodi Keogan - Singer
   Chris Coogan - Jazz Musician
   Mark Richards - Trumpet

November 15, 2018 - A Fireside Chat with Susan Certoma

Come listen to an informal dialogue with SIM Board members, Susan Certoma and Beverly Lieberman, who will host this program.  We will get a candid insider view of a career on Wall Street  – What really happens when extreme wealth, politics and ego collide. What it takes to survive and succeed. What decisions are the tipping point of crossing the line. Susan has been a mentor and sponsor to many at the beginning and later on in their careers. We are inviting our members to bring their high school and older children to hear this revealing talk and ask career questions. She will talk about key influencers, leadership and management style.  She will help us understand the skills and experience that prepared her to navigate a highly diversified career spanning leadership roles in corporate IT – from CIO of Wachovia (Wells Fargo) Bank through current day as President of a Fintech company.

How does a systems analyst move her career to CIO and then President?  Did she have a career plan? What obstacles did she overcome? Are there things she would have done differently?  How does she manage the demands of an all-consuming career vs. her family and friends. We will talk about how she “de-stresses” and “re-energizes”.  We will also find out her favorite role models and her vision of the next 5 years of her career.

Fireside chats have been among our best attended programs.  This will be our fourth in a row and Susan is following a distinguished series that included Jeanette Horan, Sigal Zarmi and Michelle Garvey.

The Speakers:
   Susan Certoma  President, Enterprise Engineering, Inc.
   Beverly Lieberman  President of Halbrecht Lieberman Associates

October 11, 2018 - CIO Executive Leadership Summit

Reimagine, Reinvent: Building a Customer-Centric Organization In Highly Disruptive Times

In today’s fast-changing business landscape, it’s not your competitors that threaten your company’s survival. It’s your organization’s willingness and capacity to disrupt its existing business model or be disrupted. Because the CIO is at the center of the digital transformation journey she or he is uniquely positioned to deliver fearless leadership, fuse emerging technologies with process redesign and people skills, partner with the C-suite and board of directors, and successfully navigate the business into the future.

The courageous leadership traits needed to foster a culture of innovation and transformation on the path to genius will be the focal point of the 2018 Greenwich CIO Executive Leadership Summit.

September 20, 2018 - World Cafe on Digital Transformation

Industry experts Jon Eisenstein of IronStone Advisors, Sigal Zarmi of PwC, Johnny Dranchak of OneWorld Management, David O’Malley of GE Digital on a World Cafe style discussion of Digital Transformation and its many aspects. The format allows for audience participation and everyone will leave better informed.

Strategy & Planning for Digital Transformation
Johnny Dranchak will discuss how to evaluate the current situation, the need for digital transformation, leadership alignment, planning and successful execution. Participants will have a chance to interact with the speaker to learn the unique challenges, tricks, and techniques to gain constant alignment with the executive and key stakeholders during the digital transformation journey.

The key to a successful digital transformation lies in core cultural and behavioral changes at all levels. Product management, agile delivery, technology enablement – the three pillars of a successful digital organization – are supported by a culture of customer focus, transparency and constant innovation. In this World Cafe talk, David O’Malley will discuss GE’s transformation on a global scale.

The Digital Workforce
A digital workforce is one that integrates technology to connect all elements of the supply chain. Sigal Zarmi will share her practical approach to:

  • Align your workforce and HR strategy with the business
  • Start experimenting with more flexible and agile ways of working using proven digital technologies and tools
  • Define the digital skill gap within the workforce
  • Develop required digital competencies
  • Foster leadership behaviors that fuel a digital culture

AI in Digital Transformation
Jon Eisenstein will discuss the key role of AI in Digital Transformation

  • AI and Staffing – Key Learnings, best practices and real-world payback
  • What can be done with current AI approaches to transform companies
  • The role of the Technology Leaders in a democratized adoption of AI and Digital Transformation platforms

 The Speakers:

  • Johnny Dranchak is VP of Innovation and Digital at oneworld, the global airline alliance.
  • As an Innovation Coach at GE Digital, David O’Malley is empowered to accelerate GE business adoption of Technology. 
  • Sigal Zarmi is PwC’s Global and US Chief Information Officer.
  • Jon Eisenstein has a 25-year history of creating and delivering cutting-edge, technology-backed companies and products. 

July 19, 2018 - Annual SIM MEMBERS ONLY CLAMBAKE

June 21, 2018 - Panel Discussion on Cybersecurity

This program brings together the top minds from government and industry to discuss the Cybersecurity challenges currently facing the IT industry as well as what the future may bring in terms of new developments in cyber defense, privacy and information assurance.

The Speakers:
   Christopher Hetner is the Senior Advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman on Cybersecurity. 
   John Summers VP & Chief Technology Officer oversees the security and technology strategy for Akamai’s web security and web performance solutions.
   Matthew Lagana, CISSP Chief Information Security Officer at MBIA Inc.

May 17, 2018 - Field Trip to startups incubator Stack Overflow – Explore and understand Tech Sta

Join Us As We explore Tech Startups and Understand How They Work! We will have several presentations from tech startups, followed by a panel discussion.

Stack Overflow is the largest online community for programmers to learn, share their knowledge and build their careers. Stack Overflow partners with businesses to help them understand, hire, engage, and enable the world’s developers. Their products and services are focused on developer marketing, technical recruiting,  market research, and enterprise knowledge sharing

Welcome from Stack Overflow
Introduction by Jonathan Hill on Accelerators and the NYC Tech Scene
– Presentation one: John Lynn and the Accelerator movement.
– Presentation two: Bharat Krish, CEO, and former VP of Innovation, HBO
– Presentation three: Matthew Hooper, Founder & Host, Live From Tomorrow and former VP, Barclays Bank
– Panel Discussion to follow

April 25, 2018 - Agile SIG Meetup: Output to Outcome

Many organizations think of Agility as mainly a technology concern. They focus on increasing the efficiency with which teams are able to deliver on projects, with DevOps now emerging as a primary focus to ensure smooth, rapid flow from development to customer. Integration with the business may be weak to nonexistent.

What these efforts miss is that the biggest source of waste in modern software is failing to ‘build the right thing.’ There are numerous tools to bring rigor to this area and major organizational changes to align to value. Dan will discuss what it means to shift focus from output to outcome and the sweeping implications for this seemingly simple but monumental shift.

Dan Leeds is the Agile Transformation lead at BNY Mellon Bank

April 19, 2018 - Blockchain for Business

Blockchain is being hailed as a technological advancement not seen since the internet was brought to the public. Despite many consumers not having a full understanding of what blockchain is, they have heard that it will be immensely impactful on the world and they want in on it. Join us for this important dinner event, where Richard Gordon of IBM and Ken Zimmerman of Chateaux will discuss the basics of blockchain and, courtesy of True Tickets, Matt Zarracina will demonstrate a real-world example of a concert ticket blockchain solution in action.

The Speakers:

Richard Gordon IBM North America, Blockchain Solution Leader
Matt Zarracina True Tickets, Co-Founder
Ken Zimmerman Chateaux, Principal

April 11-13, 2018 - SIM Connect Live

SIM Connect Live took place at the Sheraton Dallas in downtown Dallas, TX from Wednesday April 11 to Friday April 13. Formerly called SIMposium, the conference attracts IT leaders from around the globe. This isn’t your typical IT conference. Join us for a truly collaborative and interactive experience!

The Conference features five tracks:

  • Security, Privacy, and Risk Management
  • Embracing Disruption and Innovation
  • SIM Resources for IT Leaders
  • Enhancing Enterprise Technologies
  • Advancing Leadership


March 15, 2018 - THE CLOUD – RISK OR OPPORTUNITY? Staying Relevant in a Changing World

Cloud computing has emerged as one of the most important strategic tools to grow a business.  However, the cloud comes with both opportunities and risks.

The Cloud allows businesses to concentrate on core competencies while outsourcing commodity IT services. It provides organizations with the ability to access the services it needs, when it needs them, scaling as required and leaving maintenance to the provider. On the flip side, legal and regulatory compliance, loss of control, potential security breaches, and effective partnerships with cloud providers are key risks that have to be managed.

In an environment where speed is the new currency, the old models that were used in the past are simply not working in today’s landscape.  Businesses need to continuously evolve to stay competitive and IT must become the growth engine or become irrelevant. While IT has made significant investments over the past several years, they are not addressing the current challenges including effective reduction of tech debt. Technology needs to adapt and enable new business models to maintain competitive advantages for the business.

Technology is no longer the sole domain of IT. The world is interconnected and technology is a core component of everything we do.  We can no longer maintain command and control over our business environments. How do we operate in this new environment? Cloud services are an important component. Larry will share his insights in making the shift from a simple environment to a complex one while still managing risks, ensuring security and supporting growth.  Please join Larry as we explore the changing paradigm of cloud computing.

The Speaker: Larry Biagini , Chief Technology Evangelist at Zscaler.

March 14, 2018 - Agile SIG Meetup: Innovation Funding through Agile Economics

Innovation presents the greatest opportunity for growth in today’s economy. However, balancing financial prudence against funding innovation programs will remain our imperative. How do we ensure our innovation investments will pay off? How do we measure tangible outcomes in our innovation programs? These are the questions every C-Level executive should be asking themselves right now. Companies currently lack transparency on where to place limited financial resources and need a way to explore potential opportunities and validate business concepts quickly. Agile and Lean frameworks have, for years, provided a way to prioritize and deliver the greatest value in software development.

In this presentation, David will present a new way to view innovation funding through agile economics. David will detail how we can reduce risk by applying lean practices to our innovation programs. Most importantly, he will give you the knowledge and vocabulary to engage with technology leaders to achieve balance between the need to innovate and demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

Who to bring?
Bring your CFO!

February 15, 2018 - From RPA To IPA: How To Embed New Automation Tools And AI In Your Processes

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is a hot topic in the market and is getting a lot of attention and an increased number of companies have started RPA initiatives. At the same time, there is an evolution of RPA business functions over time towards a state of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) where the future state of RPA will be autonomous RPA that acts on its own, choosing its actions based on business goals. RPA is the beginning of AI in the enterprise and there are some early success stories that highlights its potential.

IT plays a critical role in starting and driving RPA/IPA transformations given that at the core is enterprise automation. Analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester predict that, by 2020, 40% of organizations have adopted RPA/IPA and that is only the tip of the iceberg considering that AI brings an even more fundamental and pervasive change. This presentation will cover the definition and continuum from RPA to IPA, what is currently happening in the market, what constitutes an RPA/IPA project, how do you start and approach RPA/IPA and we will discuss several examples of RPA/IPA initiatives. Attendees will get practical insights and lessons learned as well as a view of the benefits that can be realized through RPA/IPA.

January 18, 2018 - Negotiating Your Cloud Deals Successfully

Large enterprises and even the global 100 are becoming increasingly comfortable with cloud solutions. However, cloud deals raise many complex legal issues that need to be thoroughly negotiated and documented in agreements. In this session, lawyer, negotiator and frequent speaker on negotiating cloud deals, Mark D. Grossman will give you the benefit of what he learned in his 30 plus years as a negotiator.  Mark will speak to the unique customs, usages and norms of cloud deals, and the particular provisions that are critical to agreements in this area. The discussion will include issues common to cloud agreements including SLA’s, warranties and limits of liability.

Your key takeaways will be:

  • The contract provisions you need for cybersecurity and to protect your PII
  • Norms in the industry for cloud deals
  • How to protect your data in the cloud
  • Strategies to keep your cloud agreements out of court
  • Understanding how a bad limitation of liability clause can emasculate your cloud agreement
  • How to properly negotiate your limitation of liability provision
  • The provisions you need in every cloud contract
  • How to negotiate cloud agreements that communicate your deal in clear, simple and unambiguous terms, thus reducing risk to your enterprise and your career
  • How to avoid agreeing to a cloud deal that puts YOU at risk of having to refresh YOUR resume

Mark will leave the audience with:

An enhanced ability to spot and intelligently resolve the hot button issues in cloud deals.

About Mark Grossman:

What makes Mark Grossman different than most professional speakers who speak on negotiations is that Mark had done it for real as a practicing deal making lawyer and business person.

Check out Mark in action