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I am deeply gratified and impressed by the superlative quality and energy of our HMG Strategy 2019 Stamford CIO Executive Leadership Summit at the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, CT, last week. In addition to record-breaking attendance, we experienced levels of engagement and enthusiasm that are truly amazing. Now is genuinely the best time to be a technology executive, and the summit genuinely reflected a collective feeling of pride and achievement in the current state of our industry.

As a technology leader and executive, I am convinced that we are driving essential business growth and pioneering a new global economy based on customer centricity, digital transformation and continuing improvement of critical processes across the enterprise. That’s why summits such as ours are so important: They give us opportunities to share knowledge, acquire new ideas and leverage the power of the world’s largest network of technology leaders. And they enable us to hear from speakers who inspire our creativity and challenge our thinking with riveting, timely and relevant presentations.

The summit began with Jim Carroll, World Renowned Futurist, Trends and Innovation Expert, showcasing the astonishing potential of newer forms of tech such as robotics, AI, augmented reality and autonomous drones to completely transform industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and education.

Marcus Weldon, Corporate Chief Technology Officer and President Nokia Bell Labs, delivered an insightful keynote, covering nearly a century of communications and networking technologies, bringing us from the earliest days of the telephone and offering us a tantalizing vision of the near future.

John E. Silvia, Former Wells Fargo Chief Economist, CEO and Founder, Dynamic Economic Strategy shared an absolutely fascinating executive briefing on the state of the tech economy, and David Pogue, Technology Columnist, TV Correspondent and Author, closed the session with a high-energy talk on the future of driverless cars and robotic vehicles.

Additional speakers, panelists and presenters included Matthew Beasley, Head of Learning, Diversity and Coaching, NatWest Markets, US; Christopher Bernard, VP, Information Technology, Gama Aviation; Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO, NPower; Peta-Gay Clarke, Diversity Manager, Google; Lynn Clarke, CEO, Board Chair & Director; Harriet Edelman, Vice Chairman, Emigrant Bank; Greg Fell, Chief Operating Officer, Gama Aviation; Cindy Finkelman, Chief Information Officer, FactSet Research Systems; Ursuline Foley, Board Member & Strategic Advisor; Hugo Fueglein, Managing Director, CIO/IT Practice, Diversified Search; Michelle Garvey, Chief Information Officer, J. Crew; Rocco Grillo, Managing Director - Global Cyber Risk Services, Alvarez & Marsal;  Kevin Hooper, President and General Manager, DCG NA Sales, Lenovo; Steve Kaplan, VP of Customer Success Finance, Nutanix; Prachi Kasodhan, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley; Matthew Lagana, Chief Information Security Officer, MBIA; Vinny Licht, CIO, Tauck; Beverly Lieberman, President, Halbrecht Lieberman Associates; Michael Lorelli, Operating Partner, Falconhead Capital; Craig Mackereth, GVP Global Support, Rimini Street, George Maddaloni, Global CTO, AIG; Tom McCurley, CIO, The Chefs Warehouse; Shamla Naidoo, Managing Partner of IBM Global Security Services, IBM Corporation; Michael O'Hara, Information Security Principal, New Avon Company; Sarah Parker, Customer Success Director, Northeast Region, UiPath; Anna Ransley, Vice President, Global Information Services, Heineken; Bernadette Rotolo, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Systems, Warner Music Group; Colette Rubio, SVP, Enterprise Technology, WWE; Brook Shuford, CISO, Datavail Corporation; and Hugo Vliegen, VP, Product Management, Aryaka.

I want to personally thank everyone who attended and participated in this phenomenal summit, and I especially want to thank our sponsors and vendor partners who made it all possible. Successful summits are collaborative efforts, and last week’s summit delivered the highest quality experience on every level, reminding all of us of the unparalleled opportunities we face in our roles as 21st century technology leaders.