Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
2017 SOS Speakers
Share |

Keynote Address - Technology and the Texas Legislature

John Zerwas photoRepresentative John Zerwas, M.D. • Texas House of Representatives
Representative John Zerwas, M.D. is serving his sixth legislative term in the Texas House of Representatives. He proudly serves the citizens of Texas House District 28, which encompasses northwestern Fort Bend County and is currently one of the fastest growing regions in the State of Texas.

In 2017, Representative Zerwas was named Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee by Speaker Joe Straus. Previously, Representative Zerwas served eight years on the House Appropriations Committee, four of which he served as chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services. Zerwas is a member of the Legislative Budget Board, is past chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education, and a past member of the House Committee on Public Health.

In the 84th Legislative Session, Representative Zerwas served as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education. This was his first term to serve as the chair of this committee. Chairman Zerwas is an advocate for increasing access to higher education and growing opportunities for graduate medical education. Since 2009, Zerwas has also served on the Committee on Public Health, where he brings firsthand experience and knowledge of health care systems and policy to the committee.

Disaster Recovery Planning – Are You Ready?

Session Overview
Hear from a panel of experts about planning and successful execution of disaster recovery strategies. Discover the level of effort it takes to protect the state when mother nature comes calling, keep communications open for citizen emergency dialing and learn how FirstNet will enable first responder communications. We will also hear about an agency’s adoption of best practice in successful application of disaster recovery and business continuity.
Todd Kimbriel - Deputy Executive Director, State Chief Information Officer • Department of Information Resources
Todd Kimbriel serves as the Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Department of Information Resources and State Chief Information Officer. He previously held the position of Deputy Executive Director at the agency.

Mr. Kimbriel joined the agency in 2008 to serve as the Program Manager for the internal Information Technology division and was promoted to Director eGovernment and Information Resource Manager (IRM) in 2010. As the Director of eGovernment, he absorbed added responsibility for leadership of, the Official Website for the State of Texas. In 2012, he was given the additional responsibility to lead the Data Center Services transformation and program. Through hard work and a dedicated focus on customers, staff and bottom line results, Mr. Kimbriel was promoted to Interim Chief Operations Officer in 2013, and confirmed as Chief Operations Officer in 2014. As Chief Operations Officer, in addition to existing areas of responsibility, he provided leadership to critical programs including the state's voice and data network, technology cooperative contracts program, and technology policy and planning. Mr. Kimbriel was promoted again in 2014 to Deputy Executive Director. On January 1, 2015, he was named Interim Executive Director and Interim Chief Information Officer for the state, and currently oversees all operational aspects of the agency.

Kelli Merriweather - Executive Director • Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications
Appointed by the Commission as the CEO of this state agency. Responsible for carrying out the management, administrative, and operational responsibilities of the 9-1-1 , NG9-1-1 and Poison Control programs.

Chuck Phinney - State Coordinator for Preparedness - ‎Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety
Bio to Come

Todd Early - Deputy Assistant Director • Texas Department of Public Safety
Todd Early is Deputy Assistant Director of the Public Safety Communications Service for TxDPS. He has oversight of 27 Communications Facilities, 10 wireless communications radio shops and the State’s Strategic Technology Reserve. Mr. Early is Statewide Communications Interoperability Coordinator and Texas’ single point of contact for First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). He is Chair of the Early Builders Advisory Council for the 700 MHz public safety mobile broadband waivers/network, and Chair of the State Agency Interoperability Committee.

Rudy Montoya - Chief Information Officer • Texas Attorney General’s Office
Rudy Montoya became the Office of the Attorney General’s Chief Information Officer in 2012, after holding IT positions of increasing responsibility over his 25 year career with the agency. He focuses his teams on delivering technology solutions that enhance the OAG’s ability to execute business strategies. As CIO, he oversees the IT systems for both the Child Support and Admin & Legal divisions supporting over 4,200 staff.

Higher Education in Texas: Serving Texas Through Transformational Learning, Research, Discovery & Impact

Session Overview

Although our mission statements may be quite unique, the technical challenges and opportunities facing higher education and state agencies are really more similar than different. In addition to highlighting the distinctive, research, scholarship, and student success initiatives at Texas A&M, our shared goals for positive impact on the state will be addressed from the perspective of IT shared governance, compliance, cybersecurity, and networking, among other topics. 

Dee Childs photoM. Dee Childs – Vice President and Chief Information Officer • Texas A&M University

M. Dee Childs serves as the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Texas A&M University. Dee leads Texas A&M's enterprise IT strategy in alignment with the university's Vision 2020 strategic plan.

Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dee served as Associate Provost and CIO at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she facilitated Alabama's first 100G Science DMZ, was Principal Investigator on several NSF grants, and accelerated the growth of numerous new online degree programs. Serving as Deputy CIO at Louisiana State University, Dee led the acquisition of LSU's supercomputer SuperMike-II and LSU's Disaster Recovery / Continuity of Operations efforts in the aftermath of hurricane Gustav.

Initially a software developer, prior to LSU Dee held a variety of technical positions in a privately held biomedical firm, and at Indiana University, where she was also adjunct faculty in the Department of Kinesiology.

Dee holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and is co-author of several trade computing books.

Value Engines and Innovation Systems: Game-Changing Business Strategy

Session Overview

15 years in Tech industry building Customer Experience Frameworks. Now more than ever CIOs navigate a rapid fast paced world of change, how can they partner and get more from technology vendors? What is Digital Transformation? What does it mean for the CIO, Organization Head and the business units. Currently Leading Across the 8 Dell Tech SABs, building a common language of customer value and models of digital transformation. Dell Brand Ambassador – Interim Speaker/Teacher in UT Mccomb’s – Executive Sponsor to TARMAC TX -Scientific Advisory Board to Costa Rica Public Sector - STEM Advocate 

Alberto Arias photoAlberto Arias - Strategy Lead, Experience Design & Transformation Solutions • Dell/EMC
Alberto Arias is a Value Strategy Consultant with 14 years of experience planning, designing transformation solutions, and providing insights to businesses. He is scheduled to deliver a TedexTalk in 2017 and currently coaches entrepreneurs in the Austin tech startup scene. Additionally, Alberto has been a speaker at various events on Value Design, MaroTrends, Education, and Entrepreneurship. Currently leads Solutions Strategy across Dells 8 companies, working directly with the CMOS and CTOS and believes that adversity introduces a man to himself. Alberto’s winning history of strategy and vision, using best in class industry methodology, provides a wide angle and long-term view of the business that harmonizes and scales strategy. He is a successful pioneer of product and brand leadership, building major global product frameworks, and yielding wins in share and loyalty. Alberto has proven pragmatic frameworks, managing and designing insights engines, KPIs, and excellence centers, with 9+ years identifying opportunity and prioritizing efforts for maximum gain.

State of the State: Where We Are and Where We're Going

Evan Smith photoEvan Smith - CEO and Editor-in-Chief • The Texas Tribune
Evan SmithEvan Smith is CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization recently called “one of the nonprofit news sector’s runaway success stories.” The Tribune's deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website,, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including nine national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and six awards from the Online News Association. Previously Evan spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as Editor and a year as President and Editor-in-Chief.

Patrick Svitek photoPatrick Svitek - Primary Political Correspondent • The Texas Tribune
Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune, and editor of The Blast, the Tribune's subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders. Patrick logged countless miles on the 2016 campaign trail, covering the many Texas angles of the momentous presidential race. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Thank You 2018 Annual Conference Diamond Sponsors