The SIM Executive Leadership Retreat

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Birdies in the Sand
Mark Taylor, SIM CEO, invites you to join him for a round golf on the Dunes Course at La Quinta Resort & Club. This will be a casual golf outing with a consecutive tee time starting at 10:30 am. Cost to participate is $139 per person and will be paid onsite to the golf course. 


9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Alternative Activity - Pickleball Tournament
For those who are not interested in golf, we invite you to join us for a Pickleball Tournament. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States! Come out and play and enjoy the beautiful Palm Springs weather, some fresh air, exercise, and a little friendly competition with your peers!

Two tennis pros will instruct & provide a clinic with basic knowledge, how to play pickleball & practice for the first 30 minutes. The last 1.5 hours will be a round robin mixer type format. The cost to play is $40/person to play. You will need to pay onsite. This can be charged to your hotel room or you can pay with a CC that morning. 

Equipment is included. Just be sure to pack some tennis shoes and appropriate attire.


3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

SIM Registration Open - Registration & Hospitality
After a long day of travel, swing by the registration desk to check-in and grab your name badge, conference materials, and a welcome beverage. Take a deep breath, you’ve arrived!

Sponsored by:

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Welcome to SIM Executive Leadership Retreat: Reception
Let the networking begin! Join us as we kick-off the conference by catching up with old friends and maybe make some new friends too. Enjoy light refreshments and a beverage or two while taking in the picturesque views of this desert oasis!

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Friends of SIM Foundation Reception
Donate $100 to the SIM Foundation and join us after the Welcome Reception for a guided wine and dessert pairing with our favorite SIM Sommelier, Rylee Kirkpatrick! If you have joined one of our virtual CIO Roundtables and wine tastings over the last two years with Rylee, you know it's a great time and will not want to miss this chance to meet Rylee in person, forge connections with other attendees, and support the SIM Foundation. Be sure to select this session on your registration form to be included in this event.


9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Nightcap Reception
The night is young, and the conference has just begun! Join us at the lobby bar to keep those conversations going with your friends and peers in a relaxed environment. 

The SIM Executive Leadership Retreat

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Morning Recharge: Walk trails, yoga, tennis

7:30 am - 3:00 pm

Conference Registration Desk Open

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Attendee Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:30 am

SIM Welcome

Mark Taylor, CEO, SIM National

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Framing the Future: Leadership for a Time of Discontinuity
John Kao - Leading authority on innovation, business creativity, organizational transformation and emerging technologies, and author, Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity 

Disruption has become an all-to-familiar term in the management lexicon, but it is even more accurate to describe ours as an era of discontinuity, one in which old maps no longer suffice and we are challenged to create new ones in order to successfully navigate towards an uncertain future.

To read more about this presentation, click here


10:30 am - 10:45 am

Networking Break

10:45 am - 11:45 am

Leadership Arc: Beyond the CIO
Moderator: Esther Aguilera - President & CEO, Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA)

Julie Cullivan - Board Director & Advisor, Axon Enterprise, HeartFlow, Cobalt, OPSWAT, SADA Systems and AaDya Security
Stuart McClure - Entrepreneur, CEO, ShiftLeft; Founder & Former CEO/Chairman, Cylance
Sheila Talton - President & CEO, Gray Matter Analytics; Board Director, John Deere, Sysco Foods, OGE

IT Leaders Advancing to CEO & Board Roles: More Than an Opportunity, an Imperative
The challenges of today’s economy and business environment call for leaders that have been at the forefront of transformation. Business IT executives, including CIOs, CDOs, CISOs, and related fields, are strongly positioned to advance towards leadership roles. Tech leaders are trained to look around the corner to anticipate what is next. This talent and lens at the helm is not simply about the opportunity, it is an imperative. Why? According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, the business sector is the world’s most trusted institution at 61% – above government, media, and NGOs. This drives the imperative for forward-looking business leaders who will have an outsized role in business and society. 

We'll hear from technology leaders who answered this call and became board members of Fortune 500 companies, investors in promising start-ups, and technology leaders who have become CEOs of thriving companies. Please join our esteemed panel as they share their leadership journeys and discuss how their careers transitioned beyond the role of the CIO, the opportunities and challenges of the transition, and the keys to their success. 

11:45 am - 12:00 pm

Sponsor Spotlight 
Ron Abisi - CRO, Lightyear
Mark Taylor - CEO, SIM National


12:00 pm - 1:15 pm


1:25 pm - 1:55 pm

Leadership Story Spotlight
Sheila Talton -
President & CEO, Gray Matter Analytics; Board Director, John Deere, Sysco Foods, OGE

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

View from the Top
Akin C. Ceylan - COO Home Entertainment & Global Content Delivery, Lionsgate Entertainment
Theresa Miller - Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Information Technology, Lionsgate Entertainment

We’ll enjoy a “fireside chat” with the COO and CIO of a major entertainment industry player on the front lines of digital disruption.  They will share with us how COOs and other C-suite executives view the intersection of business strategy, technology, and leadership in the midst of sweeping industry wide disruption.


2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

SIM Leadership Moment
Mark Griesbaum - SIM Leadership Institute Director
Mark Taylor, CEO, SIM National


2:50 pm - 3:15 pm

Networking Break

3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

SIM Foundation Spotlight - NPower & FIRST
Bertina Ceccarelli - CEO, NPower
Chris Moore - CEO, FIRST
Cynthia "Cindy" McKenzie - CIO, Curaleaf, SIM Foundation Vice Chair
Nanci Schimizzi - Principal & Owner, Fair Oaks Strategies, LLC, SIM Foundation Chair

Celebrate SIM's ongoing legacy of philanthropy in STEM with our SIM Foundation Leadership and the CEOs of our National Partners, FIRST and NPower. The SIM Foundation has established formal alliances with FIRST and NPower to support their programs across the country. It is our intent to engage SIM members across the nation as Mentors, Coaches, Volunteers, Fundraisers or other roles in FIRST and NPower programs for the combined benefit of all organizations. Kickoff a night of giving with us as we celebrate the great work of our SIM Chapters in partnership with the SIM Foundation, FIRST and NPower and learn more about how we can continue to giveback to these great organizations. Don't miss the SIM Foundation Silent Auction, kicking off on October 31 and closing on November 8:


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Working Visually to Move from Intent to Impact
Nick Duchesne - Program Manager, Throughline
Mark Korsak - Graphic Recorder, Throughline
Julia Tylor - Creative Director, Throughline

By visually capturing the ideation process, leaders can rapidly iterate on innovative concepts and turn them into useful solutions. Join us for an interactive workshop, where we will apply this approach to create visual frameworks that address current challenges facing information-management leaders.


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Transition Break

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

TechChella Where Technology Leaders Gather 

Wear your best festival attire!

SIM & TechServe Celebration & Opening Reception 

SIM & TechServe come together to celebrate (and contribute) to the SIM Foundation programs that support the development of technology workers – a valued and shared interest by all of us.  

You will enjoy a night of exceptional networking, fine food and drink and wonderful entertainment under the stars of the California desert. 



9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Nightcap Reception
If you're not quite ready to call it a night, join us at the bar after dinner for informal networking. 

TechServe Alliance and SIM Forum
The SIM & TechServe Forum is included in your registration to the SIM Retreat—No Separate Registration Required 

Recruiting and Retaining Technical Talent Today and Beyond

An Interactive Forum Jointly Hosted by TechServe Alliance  and the Society for Information Management (SIM)  

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Networking Breakfast with SIM & TechServe Alliance
Continental breakfast provided.


8:00 am - 9:00 am

SIM Chapter Leader's Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Executive Summit & Talent Forum Opening  
The New Normal: Recruiting and Retaining Technical Talent in an Age of Disruption 

Mark Roberts, CEO, TechServe Alliance
Mark Taylor, CEO, Society of Information Management (SIM)

The pandemic has wrought tremendous disruption to the business landscape and the world of work.  Against the backdrop of the perennial shortage of technical talent, the expectations of IT and engineering professionals have changed dramatically.  Mark Roberts of TechServe Alliance and Mark Taylor of SIM will kick-off the discussion of the key trends impacting the recruiting and retention of technical talent: 

  • Increased expectations of IT and engineering professionals to dictate how, when, and where they will work     

  • The challenge of maintaining company culture in remote and hybrid work environments 

  • Expectations of greater workforce diversity and social responsibility    


9:30 am - 10:45 am

Keynote: Prospering Through Change in 2023

Alan Beaulieu, Economist, CEO & Founder, ITR

With a reputation for the amazing accuracy of his predictions delivered with a wry sense of humor, economist Alan Beaulieu, will share his insights on the state of the economy during these turbulent times.  Most importantly, he will offer suggestions on how to use these insights on preparing for the future.  

10:45 am - 11:30 am

SIM & TechServe Sponsors Suppliers Showcase
SIM & TechServe’s valued suppliers showcase their services, products and technology that meet the needs of IT organizations. There will be opportunities to schedule private meetings with Suppliers and Sponsors

11:30 am - 11:45 am

Transition Break

11:45 am - 12:45 pm

General Session
The IT Talent Challenge:
IT Leaders and Staffing Executives Speak

Panel of CIO (Chief Information Officer) and Staffing Leaders


  • Mark Roberts - CEO, TechServe Alliance  
  • Mark Taylor - CEO, SIM  


  • Sunny Ackerman - President/Americas, SThree  
  • Erica Hausheer - CIO, Teradata1  
  • Joel Leege - EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Randstad   
  • Lance Ralls - Chief Technology Officer, ThreeSixty Group   

While many of the fundamental drivers of success in business remain constant, the environment in which technology leaders and staffing and solutions firms operate has changed dramatically.     

In this candid discussion moderated by the leaders of Society for Information Management and TechServe Alliance, CIOs and IT staffing executives will focus on how best to respond to and leverage the seismic shift in the business and employment landscape including the ‘Great Reassessment.’ employee demands for remote work, and the unprecedented difficulty in hiring and retaining internal teams and technical talent.      

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Executive Women's Lunch 
A must attend networking event that brings together executive women leaders. Hear personal and professional stories of triumph and participate in roundtable hot topic discussions. TechServe will be inviting women executives from the SIM community to join us for this important networking opportunity. 

Sponsored by: 

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Networking Roundtable Lunch 

Networking lunch with SIM attendees and subject matter experts that can give you clear takeaways and actionable ideas.

Explore Tuesday's Topic

1 Are you struggling to reach the right number of qualified and diverse candidates?
Daniel Fellows, CEO,

2 Could Outsourcing Be A Game-Changer For Your Staffing Business?
Bryan Tweed, Sr. VP - Sales and Key Accounts (US), IMS Group

3 Dealing with Fake and Suspect Candidates
John Bemis, President, Benchmark IT, LLC

4 Enhancing the Candidate and Client Journey for Tangible Results
Larry Hemley, President, S.J.Hemley Marketing

5 Give the Workers What They Want: Leveraging the Contract Work Revolution without Expanding Liability
Frank Marsh, Business Development Manager, People2.0

6 Growing your Staffing Firm in the Age of Disruption

7 How to Build Leaders in a the Work From Home Model
Jerry Grady, Partner & National Staffing Industry Practice Leader, UHY

8 How to Get More Referrals: Best Practices & Industry Benchmarks
David Folwell, President, Staffing Referrals

9 How Will Machine Learning and Automation Revolutionize Recruiting?
Jeremy Schiff, CEO, RecruitBot

10 How to maximize your IT Investments with software-based procurement
Rod Rodier, Co-Founder & VP Sales and Ron Abisi, Chief Revenue Officer, Lightyear

11 Identifying & Hiring the Best Sales Candidates
Rick Carlson, Harvyst Consulting Partners

12 Improve Your Cashflow: Best Practices for Collecting Timely VMS/MSP Payments
Debbie Scott, Vice President of Operations, Round Table Resource Group

13 Innovative Tech Disruptors in the Staffing Space
Cassidy Stewart, Sales Manager, North America, JobAdder

14 M&A:  Prepping your IT Staffing Firm for Sale
Martin Borosko, M&A:  Prepping your IT Staffing Firm for Sale, Becker LLC

15 Maintaining Culture in a Hybrid Environment
Andrew Jackson, President, BravoTECH

16 Solution for moonlighting issues
Shiva Naidu, Moonlighting, BonaHire

17 Staffing Industry Legal Update
Bill Josey, Principal, William S. Josey, LLC

18 Strategic Solutions to Scale Workforce Amidst Talent Shortages
Akhilesh Pandey, Chief Customer Officer, QX Global Group

19 The Enterprise Tech Stack: To build or not to build.
Chris Kendrick, Founder & CEO, Mercury

20 Unbiased hiring and role of AI
Ravi Daparthi, President and CTO, Oorwin

21 Utilizing the talent of international students by hiring students on OPT and STEM OPT 
Anthony Zarate, Attorney, Hammond Neal Moore

22 What tech talent engagement really looks like in the modern recruiting workflow
Pankaj Jindal, Co-Founder, sense

23 Who are you? How branding and thought leadership feeds your tech stack
Brian Jameson, Partner, echogravity

24 Winning At The Edge: Leveraging Modern VMS Technology for Game-Changing Growth Opportunities in 2023
James Lucier, EVP, CEIPAL

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Transition Break

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

TechTalent IMPACT! Talks 

Fast paced, IMPACT! Talks feature three compelling speakers sharing powerful ideas in the space of 60 minutes. These brief high impact talks are designed to disrupt ordinary thinking and inspire you to reimagine what is possible.

"She'll be Ready. Will you?"

  • Sandy Marshall - Founder/CEO, Project Scientist  

Diversity of thought drives innovation. Achieving gender equality is important for workplaces not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is fundamental to our nation’s economic performance. Organizations such as Project Scientist are preparing a powerful new generation of young women to be STEM leaders. Are you positioned to attract and retain the next generation of female STEM innovators? 

The Journey of the Athlete

  • Ryan Drummond - VP of Employer Partnerships, Game Plan 

The scarcity of tech talent has pushed the concept of hiring for skills and potential rather than just educational background or degree to the forefront. There’s no doubt that athletes possess highly desirable workplace skills, honed on and off the field, like critical thinking and strong communication. But with all that time spent training and competing, it is challenging to reach and recruit them when they are ready to transition to the workforce.    

Ryan Drummond, VP of Employer Partnerships at Game Plan, focuses on life after athletics for about 150,000 athletes and works with employers who want to establish a talent pipeline from college and professional athletics. In this session, Ryan will share his personal story to illustrate the mutual value both companies and athletes receive when they engage with one another.    

Minus The Illusion

  • Torin Ellis – Corporate Diversity Strategist 

Minus The Illusion is a mashup of all things corporate from EEOC statements and press releases to employee engagement and vanity metrics that some refer to as people analytics.  Truth is far too many have fallen short and this comes back to leadership.  This conversation is about high expectations and trust - neither of which are nebulous. Minus The Illusion is the one talk that will change your relationship with power.


3:30 pm - 3:40 pm

Transition Break

3:40 pm - 4:35 pm

Breakout Sessions: What Matters to CIOs & Technology Staffing Firms 

These breakout sessions address important issues of both IT leaders and tech staffing executives. Smaller by design, these educational sessions allow an opportunity to engage in candid conversations and to connect with speakers and attendees in both communities.   

Breakout 1: Combating Candidate and Credentials Fraud in Tech Hiring 

Moderator: Mike Hammond - Attorney, HMN - Hammond Neal Moore 


  • Karen Moore – Senior Vice President, Veremark 

  • Sean Slater - VP, Client Service and Delivery, Brixton Group 

  • Matthew Ripaldi, CEO, Talent Group 

With IT talent in short supply and the explosion of remote work, the incidence of candidate and credentials fraud has increased dramatically.  From exaggerated credentials and candidate impersonation to a hostile state actor intent on cyber intrusion and IP theft, the consequences range from the merely disruptive to the catastrophic. 

During this session, the panel will outline the scope of a problem that plagues both internal IT organizations and technology staffing firms alike. The discussion will then turn to successful strategies being employed to combat candidate fraud including new technologies that hold the promise of leveling the playing field with those intent on deception.   

Breakout 2: Transcending the Transactional Relationship: Cultivating Partnerships 


Moderator: Mark Taylor – CEO, Society for Information Management (SIM) 


  • Mark Griesbaum - Managing Partner, Affinity4U, LLC

  • Eugene Holtzman – CEO, Mitchel Martin Inc. 

  • Surej KP – President, Intelliswift Software, Inc. 

  • Lance Ralls - Chief Technology Officer, ThreeSixty Group 

A good supplier meets a client’s needs with good service in a cost-effective manner.  But what does it take to transcend being merely a good supplier to becoming a truly valued partner?  What qualities and behaviors are sought by clients? Similarly, what can clients do to enable their staffing firms to be more effective and deliver greater value?  In this candid conversation, IT leaders and staffing firm executives will explore what each party can do to move beyond transactional relationships to cultivate true partnerships.     

Breakout 3: The Role of DEI and ESG in Recruiting 

Moderator: Dan Fellows – CEO, Get Optimal 


  • Torin Ellis – Diversity Strategist 

  • Bertina Ceccarelli - CEO, NPower  

  • Marina Perla – CEO, Mojo Trek  

  • Caren Shiozaki  - CIO, Fortium Partners 

While a discussion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) are part of most corporate mission statements, what it means in practice varies widely.  From how compliance and progress within IT organizations and among their suppliers are measured, to the relative emphasis of DEI and ESG among other corporate priorities, expectations can often be murky and sometimes lack measurable accountability.   

In this candid discussion, we will hear from both IT leaders and staffing firm executives on how they have engaged on these issues internally and within the context of the client-supplier relationship.  Going beyond catchphrases, the panel will explore the expectations by various stakeholders, including their workforce, to adopt socially conscious policies and practices. The session will also delve into the potential impact of DEI and ESG policies on the pool of qualified candidates in the face of the perennial shortage of technical talent.  

Breakout 4: Introducing the Most In-demand IT & Engineering Job Skills for 2023: Building a Pipeline to Meet Today's Talent Need  

Presenter: Peter Velikin – CMO, CEIPAL 

Today’s talent shortage spans every industry, but it has hit the technology and engineering sectors especially hard. This shortage, particularly in the tech industries, is better understood as a skills shortage, rather than just lack of candidates, resulting from rapid digital transformation in the wake of a pandemic, which has changed the way we work. So, what are these highly desirable skills that employers are searching for in the Engineering and IT industries and which are the most in-demand skills for 2023? CEIPAL, an AI-powered total talent acquisition platform, analyzed data from over 10,000 candidates to answer that question. In this session, learn the top skills, most coveted job roles, and hottest locations, as well as the latest salary information and other hiring insights to ensure your recruiting efforts lead to more successful placements in the year ahead.   

4:35 pm - 4:45 pm

Transition Break 

4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

Connectable: How Leaders Can Move Teams from Isolated to All In

Ryan JenkinsGenerations Keynote Speaker, Millennial and Gen Z Author, Workplace Loneliness Expert 

Connectable: How Leaders at Any Level Can Move Teams from Isolated to All In 

Remote work, advancing technology, and an always-on work culture are fracturing our relationships resulting in deep disconnection. A colossal 72% of global workers feel lonely at least monthly; with 55% saying at least weekly. Feelings of isolation and loneliness among employees are on the rise, and contribute to a real and growing mental health problem that affects both individuals and organizations. You’ll learn how addressing the issues―and finding practical, effective solutions―can transform an isolated workforce to one that’s happier, more engaged, and more productive in their efforts. 

Combining a decade of leadership consulting and firsthand workplace loneliness research, Ryan Jenkins distills everything you need, showing you what’s causing today’s loneliness, the role inclusion plays in solving it, and how you can decrease loneliness and increase belonging, engagement, retention, and performance with employees at every level―including yourself.  

Audiences Gain: 

  • An awareness of loneliness, the modern causes, and its impact on business. 

  • Ability to identify workers in need of belonging and how to deliver it for them. 

  • The 4-step Less Loneliness Framework™ to create connected, driven, and high-performing teams.   


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Poolside party! – Let’s Pink Flamingle! 
Poolside Happy Hour Reception

Time to network and discuss the great take aways from the Tech Talent Forum. Cocktails and a tasting menu of appetizers presented by the great chefs of the La Quinta Resort – highlighting the wonderful food of Southern California.  

8:00 pm

Dinner On Own