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April TLA Meeting

TLA April 20th Meeting Announcement

Technology Leaders Association (TLA) was established to help senior level IT executives develop and manage their careers. As part of this effort, we hold monthly meetings to network, share ideas, and learn from featured guest speakers in the career management field.

This month, Hardik Bhatt, CIO City of Chicago & Co-Chair of Mayor Daley's Council of Technology, and Michael Krauss, President, Market Strategy Group & Co-Chair of Mayor Daley's Council of Technology Advisors will present, “The Digital Environment in Chicago: An Opportunity Update.”

Date: Friday, April 20th
Where: Acxiom, located at 3333 Finley Road in Downers Grove
Cost: No charge

Special thanks to TLA member and Acxiom employee Paul Koziel for hosting us this month.

As a special facilities note, all TLA members must be escorted throughout the Acxiom facility. Please do not leave the conference room without an escort.

For reservations, (1) Please sign up online on the TLA website ( under ‘Events’ – or, if you don’t have access to the website,
(2) Please reply to with your name and telephone number.

For location information: Contact Jim Anfield at

Reservations must be made before noon on Thursday, April 19th with the first 80 reservations accepted. No walk-ins please.

Acxiom is located near the intersection of I-355 and I-88 in Downers Grove. Get off the Butterfield Road exit of I-355 and go east to Finley Road. Go south on Finley Road for about a half-mile and Acxiom is located on the east side of Finley. Go to the main entrance of the eight-story building for check-in. Do not go to the other four-story Acxiom building. Parking is available just west of the eight-story building in the parking lot.

7:00am – 7:15am Check-in and coffee
7:15am – 8:30am Structured networking – two table rounds
8:30am – 8:40am Announcements
8:40am – 9:30am Hardik Bhatt & Michael Krauss - “The Digital Environment in Chicago: An Opportunity Update.”
9:30am Adjourn

Structured Networking
Structured networking is a technique used at most major executive transition groups. It is meant to be a powerful method of generating ideas that might help each of our searches. During this process, we will quickly brainstorm potential job lead ideas, gain networking contacts at desired companies, and generate advice from the members by sharing our backgrounds as well as our career objectives. It is designed to generate ideas, but given the time constraints, not get into immediate detailed discussions. You should plan on following up with anybody who may have had an interesting idea or a good contact.
Please bring business cards, handbills (career overview) or resumes (plain paper is fine) to pass around if you have them. Figure on about 20 copies of the resumes/handbills and 50 business cards.
We will run our networking, dividing the room into small tables of a maximum of 8 people and doing 2 table rotations before our speaker begins. At each rotation, you will have 90 seconds for your pitch and about 90 seconds for Q&A. Spend no more than 1/3 summarizing your past (this is not the time to rehash your resume), then spend about 1/3 on what you are looking for and 1/3 on what we can do to help (such as target contacts) or ask for advice on an issue.

Topic - “The Digital Environment in Chicago: An Opportunity Update.”
Hardi and Michael will present an update of the various tech initiatives that are underway in the City of Chicago and will engage in a dialogue with us to gain our views.
Topics include efforts to close the digital divide, and a discussion of key elements for growing Chicago's digital economy. These include the presence of tech talent, the quality of local tech infrastructure, availability of venture capital, the commercialization of local R&D, the importance of social networks and social capital and the business and policy climate.
As the CIO of a $5 billion governmental entity, Hardi will also share some of his thoughts on the opportunities and challenges facing today's public sector CIO's and the importance of public service.
As the Chicago Sun Times Tech Matters columnist from 2003 to 2006, Michael will offer his thoughts on what's hot in tech in Chicago. It should be a fun and informative session.

Speaker Backgrounds
Mr. Krauss is a veteran strategic marketer, business advisor and organizational coach with over 30 years of professional experience. He brings proven skills in strategic marketing planning, buyer insight analysis, segmentation, pricing strategy, marketing communications, crisis communications, brand building, product and service innovation, marketing organization design and sales effectiveness analysis. He is an advocate of fact-based marketing approaches that focus on delivering effective measurable returns. Clients served include: AT&T, Accenture, Diamond Cluster International, Hostway Corporation, Journal Communications Corporation, Golden Rule Insurance, Motorola, Public Service Co of Colorado, Qwest, Reed Elsevier, Technomic, Inc., Tektronix, Xerox, Young & Rubicam and ZweigWhite. Industries served include professional services, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, media and publishing, public sector and consumer packaged goods.
Mr. Krauss speaks and writes frequently on business issues. He also serves as the technology marketing columnist for Marketing News the publication of the American Marketing Association. Mr. Krauss is an active advocate of public sector economic development efforts and serves as co-chair of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Council of Technology Advisors.
Mr. Krauss holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He earned a CPA certificate in the State of Illinois. Biography

Mr. Hardik Bhatt’s appointment as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) was announced by Mayor Richard M Daley in February 2006. Mr. Bhatt is also the Commissioner of the Department of Business and Information Services, the City's primary technology planning, implementation and maintenance organization. As the Chief Information Officer and the Commissioner of the Department of Business and Information Services (BIS), Mr. Bhatt’s role is to protect City’s existing investment in Information Technology while identifying and implementing new and innovative technology solutions that deliver efficiencies in service to the citizens of the City of Chicago.
Specifically, Mr. Bhatt will strive to implement Mayor Daley's vision of a city government that benefits from an assimilation of best practices from both the public sector and the private industry by raising the level of service provided to citizens, tourists and businesses. As the CIO of the City of Chicago, Mr. Bhatt oversees numerous technology implementations, mobile solutions and information sharing projects. This primarily includes improvements in collection and sharing of information across various City agencies as well as dissemination of information within agencies and to the general public. Also of high priority are streamlining the City's various business processes to attract qualified firms to partner with the City, integration of various enterprise systems in support of departments such as Revenue, Finance, Procurement and Human Resources, and support of initiatives like Inspection and Permitting and Customer Service Requests. He is also responsible for implementing Geographic Information Services (GIS) that provides digital maps, photographs and up-to-date data on all property Citywide. Furthermore, Mr. Bhatt ‘s objective will be to make as many services available as possible to the public via the City's web site, and will continue to evaluate options for citywide broadband connectivity.
In addition, Bhatt oversees the maintenance, upkeep and performance of the City's Information technology assets comprising 10,000+ personal computers, a wide area network and telecom lines that encompass more than 100 City offices and locations.
Prior to taking charge of BIS, Mr. Bhatt was a Deputy Director in City’s newly formed Traffic Management Authority at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, where he was responsible for innovative traffic planning and technological solutions to mitigate traffic congestion in the City of Chicago. Prior to that, Mr. Bhatt managed Software Development at the Chicago Police Department, where he led the development of the ICLEAR (Illinois Citizens and Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) system. Before joining the city government in 2003, Mr. Bhatt has worked for private sector companies for 10 years, including at Oracle Corporation and Tata Consultancy Services (India) as a technology consultant.
Mr. Bhatt received an Executive MBA in 2005 from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. He lives in the South Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago. Biography

Date of Event: 
04/20/2007 - 7:00am - 9:30am