Session Information


Keynote Presentation: Driving Technology Innovation
10:00 – 11:15 am, Ballroom

Andy McCool

All organizations strive to produce high-quality innovative products and services for their customers in a rapid, cost-effective way.  However, many organizations are not achieving that goal for a variety of reasons, one of which is they are not effectively DRIVING innovation in their organizations.  Many times they are saddled with an older legacy systems architecture and technical debt that consumes their resources. Other times they believe they have more pressing business in front of them and can’t afford to retool or rethink things –  the “we can’t stop for gas, we are already late!” argument. Over the last 30 years, Andy have been in many technical organizations as a team member, a manager and then an executive.  All of these organizations wanted to innovate and rapidly deliver.  Not surprisingly, some did and some didn’t.  Andy has seen firsthand the good, the bad and the ugly – what has worked and what hasn’t. In this presentation, attendees will take a deep dive into: what does it take to create an innovative organization? How can you adopt and utilize new technology to advance your mission? What does it take to create a team that creates industry disruption versus reacts to it?  

Andy McCool is a seasoned technology executive with over 30 years of experience, and a passion for driving business transformations through the use of technology. He brings a wealth of technical and executive expertise in Cloud, IP Networks, Enterprise Systems, Hosting, Data Centers, Service Delivery and Operations. Currently, Andy is the Executive Vice President of Cyber Security Analytics at a large cybersecurity firm. He is also the Founder and President of McCool Technology Partners, an IT consultancy he founded that helps businesses understand, adopt and use technology to automate and transform. Prior to founding McCool Technology Partners, Andy held numerous key executive positions at AT&T. As Vice President of Cloud Realization, he delivered an industry first cloud platform that automatically and seamlessly integrated enterprise VPNS. He was Vice President, Managed Services Development and developed Hosting Technology and Services enabling a 300% growth in the business and a nearly doubling of Data Centers. He also developed AT&T’s Content Delivery Network, Natural Language Contact Management Solutions and Managed Security Services. As Vice President, Enterprise Billing, Sales, Contracting Systems Andy realized significant cost savings and delivered improved customer transaction times that greatly improved the customer order experience. Andy also led the AT&T IP Network Engineering team through technology upgrades and a network expansion that saw a great improvement in reliability (10x), significant growth (2.5x), and an industry first OC192 backbone. Additionally, Andy was the VP of Platforms and OSS at Sungard Availability Services where he architected and developed a new systems stack to automate customer and operational processes. Andy holds a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from Rennsalear Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Boston College.

DHS Cybersecurity Update
8:30 – 9:30 am, Lecture Suite

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Women in Technology
8:30 – 9:30 am, Salon 1

Susan A. Arpa, CGCIO
IT Director, Cape May County Municipal Utility Authority

Bernadette Kucharczuk, CGCIO
CIO, City of Jersey City

Sandra Paul
Director of IT, Township of Union Public Schools

It has been recognized that most people in IT are males. How can we diversify this field? How do we not only encourage our female students to choose IT fields for careers but also provide them opportunities to become leaders in the IT field? Once they get to the table, how can women best succeed? In this presentation, the presenters will be sharing their personal journeys as women in technology and discussing the unique challenges and opportunities that face women in this field.

Bernadette is a Certified Government Chief Information Officer currently serving the City of Jersey City as Director of Information Technology.  She is a long-time Rotarian, an Adjunct Professor for the Masters of Public Administration Program at Saint Peter’s University, and the Chapter President of NJ GMIS, an association of Government IT Leaders. She previously served as IT director in Atlantic City and in East Orange, New Jersey as well as Sutter County, California. Prior to her role managing local government technology departments, she served as Deputy County Administrator in Sutter County and Assistant Director of Public Works in Tehama County, California.  Before her career in local government, she served as a decorated officer and navigator aboard KC-135 airplanes in the United States Air Force. Bernadette holds a BS in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle University. 

Sandra is a Director of IT with twenty 20 years of experience in the field. Prior to assuming her Director of IT role, Sandra served as a Computer Science/Business Education teacher for 5 years in USVI and NJ. She has also served as a keynote speaker, presenter, conference organizer and ed-tech advocate, and has earned many awards for the work done in education technology over the years.

Social Media Best Practices: An Interactive Session
8:30 – 9:30 am, Salon 2

Walt Hansen, CGCIO

Justin Heyman, CGCIO
CIO, Township of Franklin

Depending on who you ask, social media can be either a magnificent communication tool or a management nightmare. Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, one thing is certain: social media is forever a part of the communication landscape. How public organizations and their elected officials, employees and stakeholders utilize social media often raises more questions than it does answers. Policy, archiving, OPRA requests, managing followers and comments, employee posts, elected officials’ accounts – how do we manage this while providing the information and platforms our stakeholders have grown to expect? Join us for this interactive session to discuss the link between our IT world and social media management. 

For the past 27 years, Walt served as President of ATON Computing, an IT consulting company that provides comprehensive IT consulting services to the public sector. Walt has experience in the areas of computer networking, disaster recovery, cyber security and training. Walt holds a BS in Accounting from Kean College, has completed Post-graduate Information Technology programs at NYU, and holds his Certified Government Chief Information Officer from UNC.

Justin Heyman is the Director of Information Technology for the Township of Franklin in Somerset, NJ. Justin has served as a public official for over 15 years with the Township. He has his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from The College of NJ and is a Certified Government Chief Information Officer from the University of North Carolina. Justin currently serves as Past President of GMIS International. Justin has a personal and professional interest in information security and IT Trends affecting municipalities. Justin has spoken at various events regarding topics from website design and process to information security and strategic planning.

Smart Cities & IOT
8:30 – 9:30 am, Salon 3

Thomas Motyka
Sr. Executive Director, New Jersey Innovation Institute


11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Lecture Suite

Jack Flood
Vice President of Operations, Spatial Data Logic

John (Jack) Flood is the Vice President of Operations and a co-founder of Spatial Data Logic (SDL).  A lifetime New Jerseyan, Jack has over 20 years of experience in project management and consulting in the areas of Government (specifically on municipalities and counties in New Jersey), Utilities, Geographical Information Systems & ESRI Technologies, Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Software. Jack graduated from Villanova University with a BA in business.”


Start Secure, Stay Secure
11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Salon 2

David Beidelman
Senior Solutions Architect, SHI

Join this track to learn about the latest best practices to secure your data and IP, wherever it sits.

Cloud Managed Networks Made Easy with Cisco Meraki & CDI
11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Salon 1

Matthew Schaner
Product Sales Specialist, CDI

Cisco Meraki has changed the way we think about networking. Meraki’s Cloud Managed Networks is one of the industry’s fastest growing product lines – offering Video Surveillance Cameras, Wireless Access Points, Switches, Security Appliances, Application Performance Monitoring, and Endpoint Device Management. No more back end server equipment or complicated software. Meraki provides a single pane of glass experience for your entire network – including automated topology diagrams, detailed information about client activity, and full command and control over your environment – from any device, anywhere, anytime. In this interactive session, Meraki and CDI will be showcasing our customer’s favorite features from each product line, including our New Security Cameras and Wifi6 Access Points.

Matthew Schaner, Product Sales Specialist, Cisco Meraki, is a proven performer with excellent leadership ability, strong communication / public speaking skills, and comprehensive knowledge of networking and cutting-edge technologies. With expertise in education and government development, public sector procurement, solution and architectural selling – he has been described as a dynamic, engaging presenter and a trusted advisor. Matthew is currently a product sales specialist, covering the Meraki product line in New Jersey and is a graduate of Lehigh University.


Why Hyperconvergence for the Public Sector?
1:30 – 1:55 pm, Salon 1

Dominic Devore
Regional Sales Associate, Scale Computing

Join Scale Computing to learn how organizations are doing more IT with less infrastructure and less complexity using hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). The hyperconverged experts will discuss why virtualization doesn’t need to be complex, inefficient, or costly when you adopt a modern, innovative architecture. The simplicity, scalability, and high availability of a turn-key infrastructure doesn’t just lower costs, it frees up your own IT experts to work on new projects they haven’t had time for in the past.

Dominic Devore is the Regional Sales Associate in the North East region for Scale Computing. Dominic is responsible for business development, sales, customer service and channel management for New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. He holds a degree from Indiana State University in Accounting and Business

Secure SD-WAN and Cloud
1:30 – 1:55 pm, Salon 2

Adam Eckhard
Manager Sales Engineering, Fortinet

Fortinet – Secure SD-WAN and Cloud Overview Distributed environments/branch locations transitioning to a digital business model are having a significant impact on network WAN. The adoption of cloud services and increasingly mobile work force are accelerating advancements in WAN technologies. With enterprises directly accessing the internet, it’s becoming critical to deploy next-generation security strategies along with enabling multi-path WAN to improve application performance. Fortinet is the only NGFW vendor to provide native SD-WAN along with integrated advanced threat protection. Fortinet, has received the “Recommended” rating for the first ever test conducted by NSS Labs for Software-Defined Wide Area Networking. Fortinet delivered excellent quality of experience for voice and video, high VPN throughput and best price/performance. FortiGate SD-WAN replaces separate WAN routers, WAN optimization, and security devices with a single solution that is application-aware, offers automatic WAN path control and multi-broadband support. It improves application performance, reduces WAN Operating expenses and minimizes management complexity.

Adam Eckhard is a Manager of Systems Engineering with Fortinet responsible for accounts in the North East. He has provided strategic solutions and in depth technical knowledge in order to design, implement and secure enterprise environments across all market segments. Adam joined Fortinet in 2004 and has 20 years of IT experience.

Helping Public Service Staff Do More, FASTER with Technology
2:00 – 2:25 pm, Salon 1

Julia Notar-Francesco
Partnership Executive, SeeClickFix

Delivering public services is hard. There are so many moving parts from receiving and routing requests, to keeping residents in the loop, to creating work orders, to tracking performance, to integrating with existing systems, to collecting the data needed for better decision making. Simply put, sticky notes and one-off emails won’t cut it anymore. This presentation offers a framework of how to enable public service staff with technology. We’ll also explore real-world examples to see how other municipalities have succeeded. Staff wants to work with you – to do more, faster – they just need you to lead the way.

Julia Notar-Francesco is a Partnership Executive at SeeClickFix and loves helping public service staff do more, faster. She has spent the majority of her career in civic tech, gaining experiences in areas such as workflow management, resident communications, and citizen engagement. While helping local governments is her primary job function by day, Julia also enjoys her French Bulldog, Roman, and kickboxing.

How YOU Can leverage Threat Intelligence to Identify & Combat Targeted Attacks to YOUR network. (Case in Point: DNS tampering per the DHS Emergency Directive 19-01)
2:00 – 2:25 pm, Salon 3

Justin Pennock
Cloud Security Sales Specialist, Cisco

Your security is only as good as the intelligence informing it. But traditional threat intelligence is reactive, basing security on information gathered only after an attack is successfully carried out. With threats increasing in sophistication and speed, you need intelligence that can learn from internet activity patterns, automatically identify attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat, and block those threats before they have the chance to attack your organization. This presentation will discuss the evolving threat landscape that applies to state and local governments as they consider and/or shift to cloud-based infrastructures and direct-to-internet architectures. We will look at how security solutions and intelligence must adapt to this by changing the enforcement points and providing ubiquitous control and visibility. In addition, we will review the January Emergency Directive 19-01 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In January they were tracking a series of incidents involving Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure tampering. We will discuss one of the ways to tell if your agency/organization has been targeted.

Justin has worked with a number of Customers on improving their security posture and accomplishing their security objectives with different solutions ranging from endpoint security to DNS security. He’s had the opportunity to work with incredible teams and great technologies. Exposure to these teams/technologies has allowed him to experience a multitude of strategic initiatives and take part in security design/implementation in almost every sized company/vertical. He currently is a Cybersecurity Sales Specialist with a Cloud Security focus at Cisco.

The Cyber Risk Paradox
2:00 – 2:25 pm, Salon 4

Jeff Schwartz, CISSP
VP, North American Engineering, Check Point Software

Technology’s primary purpose is to enhance the human experience: optimizing performance, increasing efficiency, solving problems more quickly. At the same time, “winter is coming”, the next cyber-pearl harbor is on the horizon. These conflicting hard trends demonstrate a clear and present challenge for organizations. Inching us closer to instability, we have some that have accepted “breach fatigue” while at the same time there is pressure for greater regulation (GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act). If we accept the idea that regulatory compliance is the lowest common denominator for true security control, how can organizations truly reduce risk while enhancing the human experience?

Jeff Schwartz, CISSP, is Vice President of North America Engineering at Check Point, where he manages all aspects of technical operations and resources for the company in the region. Jeff manages a team of over 200 engineers across multi-disciplinary fields and is responsible for all security engineering resources across a $1 billion business. Over his 20-year career in cybersecurity, Jeff has consulted, designed and overseen the implementation of the largest network security deployments within every major vertical throughout both the Fortune 500 and major government agencies.

Open Data vs. Privacy
3:00 – 4:00 pm, Lecture Suite

Brian Platt
Business Administrator,
City of Jersey City

Randy Solomon
Executive Director, Sustainable Jersey

Randall Solomon has 20 years of experience working in government, academia, and the non-profit sector. He is one of the principals that founded and directs the Sustainable Jersey Certification program. Prior to his current position he was the founder and Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers where he worked to expand the capacity of public decision making to address sustainability. Mr. Solomon’s experience includes positions as a policy advisor on sustainable development for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities integrating land use and energy policy, director of the States Campaign for the Resource Renewal Institute in San Francisco, and policy director for the non-profit New Jersey Future. Other jobs include a stint as a national Park Ranger and serving in the inaugural class of AmeriCorps volunteers. He has participated on advisory boards for federal and state government, civic organizations, and has advised major corporations. He writes and speaks frequently on sustainable development, energy, land use policy, using indicators in public decision making, and governance issues. Randy holds a B.S. in Biology from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Public Policy from Rutgers University. 

AG Directive on Criminal Justice Information
3:00 – 4:00 pm, Salon 1

Captain Denman Powers
IT Bureau Chief, NJ State Police

Best Practices for Municipal Websites
3:00 – 4:00 pm, Salon 2

Jeff Grosser
Health Officer, Municipality of Princeton

Bob McQueen
Systems Analyst – Special Projects, Municipality of Princeton

How many hits does your website get per day?  Is it time to get a fresh, new user-friendly website?  Today, with the proliferation of mobile devices, visiting websites is even easier to do, not to mention how it opens a whole new issue of how a site is viewed on a mobile device. So no matter the purpose of your site, assuming its public and you have a goal of getting others to visit it, it’s critical to have a well-designed, fully functional website that provides a positive user experience and accomplishes your goals. Content Matters. What information are your visitors looking for?  This session will be presented by a town that has recently undertaken this process, and what they learned along the way.  What worked and what didn’t work.

Jeff Grosser is the Assistant Administrator and New Jersey licensed Health Officer for the Municipality of Princeton. After spending nearly a decade working exclusively in public health for a county health agency and municipal department, Jeff has expanded his professional attention to the field of public administration. During his tenure in Princeton, Jeff has spearheaded the successful achievement of national public health national accreditation for the Princeton Health Department and the overhaul of the municipal website. He provides daily oversight of Health Department, Information Technology and Access Princeton. Prior to his work in local and county government, Jeff served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and as Assistant Coach for the Johns Hopkins University men’s soccer team. Jeff utilizes his coaching experience to push government services into a friendly competitive atmosphere and by using performance management and quality improvement to improve customer service. Jeff holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Bob began working for the Municipality of Princeton in 1998 and has worked in different capacities, starting as a 911 Operator, then taking over as Chief Information Officer, and most recently Systems Analyst – Special Projects. He oversaw the consolidation of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township in 2013 into one town known as Princeton.  Bob serves on the NJ GMIS Tec Foundation as President, and participate on the NJ GMIS Board.  He is also President Elect for GMIS International, where he has served as treasurer, Conference Chair, and now President Elect. Bob earned his Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) designation through the University of North Carolina School of Government in 2009.   

Re-imagining the Librarian In the Digital Age
3:00 – 4:00 pm, Salon 3

Erica Bess
Assistant Director, Princeton Public Library

Kim Dorman
Community Outreach Coordinator, Princeton Public Library

Learn how today’s public libraries are helping people to explore high-quality information, build literacy skills, enjoy a variety of cultural experiences, discover new technologies, and participate in civic discussions in order to promote a more engaged and connected community.

Erica Bess is Assistant Director at Princeton Public Library, where she oversees public services, collection management, staff development, and special projects. Prior to joining PPL in 2011, Erica was Head of Adult Programming and the Louise Parker Berry Fellow at Darien Library in Darien, CT. She received a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University in 2007.

Kim Dorman is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Princeton Public Library, Associate Festival Director of the Princeton Environmental Film Festival and is certified as a Consumer Health Information Specialist through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.


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