Keynote Speakers

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George S. Paras  Managing Director EAdirections

Mr. Paras is a widely recognized mentor/coach, speaker, and thought leader in Enterprise Architecture, Strategy, Business Architecture, Transformation, Portfolio Management, Organization and Governance. He has guided hundreds of companies, offering practical advice on introducing, refining and sustaining these core disciplines. Mr. Paras and his co-founder Tim Westbrock created EAdirections in 2006 to bring their unique mix of experience, creativity, insights, and pragmatism to the market. Their mission is to improve the skills and success of senior leaders and their teams. Previously, he led EA research and provided guidance to IT leaders in his position as Director of Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies at META Group. He has also served as Vice President of Strategy at Troux Technologies, as the Senior Enterprise Architect at United Airlines, and held multiple leadership roles at several IT vendors. He served as Chairman of the Enterprise Architectures Conferences (EAC) for 12 years and has co-authored sections of two EA compilations, the “SIM Guide to Enterprise Architecture” and “Coherency Management”. Dedicated to the advancement of the EA discipline, he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Architecture and Governance Magazine.

Topic: EA and the “Transformation of the Day”.  Digital disruption is the current “big thing” in today’s business.  There are success stories everywhere you look, and business and IT will never be the same again.  And while that may be true, it isn’t the first paradigm-changing transformation we have faced and it won’t be the last.  Often misunderstood and poorly executed, enterprise architecture thinking plays an important role in guiding an organization through transformations and then preparing for the next. Though legacy/traditional EA is labelled as “bad” and new/improved EA is considered “good”, they are all still EA.  It is all in the execution.  In this session we’ll talk about the variations, and why EA matters in a rapidly changing world.

Joel Crabb VP, Architecture, Chief Architect Target

Joel spent most of his working life coding large scale software systems for enterprises.  Architecture crept into his life as he worked on larger and more complex systems that needed a holistic view of the system and thoughtful planning to function and scale.  At the same time, Joel embraced the Agile development movement and learned both the Agile and Architecture trades concurrently.  He has worked in multiple industries and companies from startup medical devices, power utilities, health insurance, online banking, call center work force management, rail car commodity trading, online education, long haul trucking logistics, and finally, retail.  Retail is a space facing massive digital disruption and Joel has served as Chief Architect for Minnesota’s two largest consumer goods retailers, Target and Best Buy.  Joel brings a strong Agile and Engineering-focused bent to the practice of Enterprise Architecture.  Joel has a BSEE from Washington University in St. Louis, a MSNE from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Topic: Architecting for Digital Disruption. Big Box retail has been in the crosshairs of Digital Disruption since the advent of ecommerce.  As the Chief Architect of Target and formerly Best Buy, I have lead the efforts to combat digital encroachment and innovate to lead in omnichannel efforts.  We are leading the digital resistance through architecture.  However, it’s not legacy Enterprise Architecture that is successful, it’s a new form of architecture that works at the enterprise level, and allows the enterprise to ride the edge of controlled chaos to digital success.  This talk outlines the new “new Enterprise Architecture practice”.

Len Fehskens  Chief Editor, Journal of Enterprise Architecture

Len Fehskens is responsible for the Association of Enterprise Architects’ (AEA) activities relating to the professionalization of the discipline of enterprise architecture. He is currently the Chief Editor of the AEA publication, the Journal of Enterprise Architecture (JEA). He is also the VP of Skills and Capabilities for The Open Group.

Prior to joining The Open Group, Len led the Worldwide Architecture Profession Office for HP Services at Hewlett-Packard. He majored in Computer Science at MIT, and has almost 50 years of experience as both an individual contributor and a manager, within both product engineering and services business units.

Len has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General Corporation, Prime Computer, Compaq and Hewlett Packard. He is the lead inventor on six software patents on the object oriented management of distributed systems.

In memory of Len Fehskens

The board of Midwest Architecture Community Collaboration (MACC) is saddened to hear of the passing of our esteemed colleague Len Fehskens.

Len was scheduled to be one of the keynote speakers at the Midwest Architecture Community Collaboration that is taking place in Minneapolis Doubletree Hotel on November 8th and 9th.

When we last communicated with him, he was very excited to come and visit Minneapolis. He was brave in saying — “Minnesota is cold in November, but I want to go there as I have heard so many good things about the Architecture community there and the many good things coming out of it.”

The architecture community of Minnesota and the Midwest, will miss him dearly, and we send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues all over the world specially his AEA family.

David Lounsbury Chief Technical Officer for The Open Group (CTO)

David is Chief Technical Officer for The Open Group. As CTO he ensures that The Open Group’s people and IT resources are effectively used to implement the organization’s strategy and mission, including The Open Group’s proven processes for collaboration and certification both within the organization and in support of third-party consortia.

David’s previous executive assignments at The Open Group and the Open Software Foundation (OSF) include VP Advanced Research and Innovation which fostered open systems technology through collaborative funding and development, including LDAP, ActiveX Core Technology, DCE 1.2, CDE-Next, and Complex Text Layout.

David holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is holder of three U.S. patents.

Topic: Panel Decision. The panel will discuss questions around digital transformation and the role of architects in guiding transformation, including:

• What is Digital Transformation, and why is it different? Isn’t this just the next step in the continuum of business exploiting emerging technology? Have we crossed some “tipping point” causing a fundamental shift in how we manage such transformation?
• What are the key changes an organization needs to initiate to prepare for or initiate such a transformation – what are the organizational “levers” that need to be pulled?
• Digital transformation can occur in organizations of all scales. What are some of the challenges organizations at different  scales – large and small – have in transforming, and how can architecture help them prepare?
• Digital transformation requires not only technical change, but cultural and workforce change as well. What advice would you give to people at the beginnings of their careers to prepare for a role in a digital transformation? What advice would you give the CEO?