Features Region: Midwest

Steve Ratliff – Butzel Long

It’s not as though Steve Ratliff wasn’t making inroads at one of Detroit’s oldest law firms. In the year since he’d become chief information officer at Butzel Long, he’d re-energized its IT structure and department, tweaking here and overhauling there, while bringing outsourced operations back in-house and adding some key personnel. “Those changes were timely. […]

Feng Hou – Maryville University

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated industries across the country and the world. It has shut down professional and collegiate sports, movies and television productions. Unemployment is at a record high. If there’s one silver lining, says Feng Hou, it’s that the outbreak has accelerated the digital transformation in higher education. “What’s happening now isn’t anything […]

Will Cooper – Samaritan Ministries International

While Job faced harsher trials in the Old Testament, without losing his faith, there’s no doubt Will Cooper was put to the test when he joined Samaritan Ministries International in March 2020. Not that he didn’t want a challenge. Becoming CIO at the faith-based nonprofit was just the career move he sought because it gave […]

Mick Nealeigh – Milton-Union Exempted Village School District

When it opened in 2012, the new campus for the Milton-Union Exempted Village School District in Ohio not only brought the elementary, middle and high schools together in one building, it also set new standards for sustainability and energy efficiency. There’s a 75,000-gallon reclamation system that filters and prepares rainwater to be used for flushing […]

Brad Hagg – Warsaw Community Schools

If you turn back the calendar to January 2020, Brad Hagg’s plans to improve the technology at Warsaw Community Schools in Indiana seem pretty mundane now. Topping the list: replacing the aging classroom projectors, followed by upgrading the elementary school computer labs. While that was occurring, Hagg, the district’s chief technology officer, planned to continue […]

Dustin Esselman – Scrip Companies

In the Internet Age, it can be easy to think you’ll set up a website, do some site optimization and marketing, and the dollars will come flooding in. Dustin Esselman knows better than that. As CIO for Scrip Companies, Esselman rebuilt his team in the first 90 days on the job, sending them “knee-deep into […]

John Armstrong – Joliet Public Schools District 86

It’s not uncommon for teachers to keep learning themselves. In fact, it’s typically encouraged. But how often does it lead to someone shifting to instruct in an entirely new topic? For almost 20 years, John Armstrong taught music to primary and middle school students in concert, jazz and marching bands. He coaxed the right notes […]

Greg Flanik – Baldwin Wallace University

Run, grow and transform. It’s the mantra for Baldwin Wallace University’s Chief Information Officer Greg Flanik. It must be, because the university’s typical client is 18 to 22 years old and expects a practical, world-class education aided by cutting-edge tech. So every three years, Flanik is given the reins to reassess and plan for IT […]

Audrius Polikaitis – UI Health

For most healthcare organizations, a full-on technology upgrade of a 20-year-old records system would be a daunting task. There’s infrastructure to modernize and new best practices and protocols to establish. Sometimes the best solution is breaking everything down and rebuilding.  It’s exactly that type of massive undertaking now underway at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System [UI Health], but one worth the […]

Blair Anderson – Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450

The data center is no place to be siloed. Not if technology directors want to gauge the impact of their initiatives in the overall scheme of things. For that reason and more, you’ll likely find Blair Anderson and his team regularly visiting the classrooms of Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450 in northeast Kansas. The […]

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