Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

(Hybrid Conference) Summerfest Tech

In its fourth year, Summerfest Tech will continue to support the growing tech initiative in the region and the state with an event convening technologists, business leaders, and innovators. Programming will range from keynotes and breakouts focused on creating a tech town and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Programming will appeal to all audiences in the corporate business, startup, investment, and nonprofit tech communities. All programming accessible virtually, but with an in-person component in the afternoon at Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at Henry Maier Festival Park.


8:00 am
Virtual Event Opens – Welcome
8:10 am – 9:00 am
Lessons learned in helping make Milwaukee a Tech Town – Tim Dickson, Chief Information Officer of Generac

Tim Dickson, Chief Information Officer of Generac, will moderate an opening roundtable discussion where fellow chief information officers and digital transformation leaders from around the country will discuss lessons that Milwaukee can learn from other markets as the city develops into a popular tech hub.

Moderator: Tim Dickson, Chief Information Officer, Generac

Justin Mennen, Rite Aid, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Angela Yochem, Novant Health, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation and Digital Officer
Alvina Antar, OKTA, Chief Information Officer
Darrin Vohs, Molson Coors Chief Information Officer

9:00 am
9:15 am – 9:45 am
Breakout Sessions: Making a Tech Town

(1) Making a Smart City Successful
A smart city is a framework, principally composed of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that are developed and deployed to promote sustainable development practices for addressing the growing urbanization challenges communities are facing. This panel of experts will discuss how environment, social and economic sustainability using emerging wireless connectivity, data management and public/private partnerships is key to keeping pace as cities rapidly expand and grow.

Moderator: George Vukotich Ph.D., UW – Parkside, Founding Director of Center for Research and Innovation and Smart Cities

David Allen, UScellular, Director of Emerging Technologies and Business Development
Mary-Suzanne Powell, Johnson Controls, Vice President
Dr. Mark J. Cotteleer, Deloitte Consulting, Managing Director

(2) A Tale of Two Cities: How Diversity and Culture Affect a Tech Hub
When it comes to transforming a city into a tech hub, diversity and culture play a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent, and developing a strong startup ecosystem. Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Teddy Nykiel and Atlanta Business Chronicle reporter Erin Schilling will discuss the role that culture and diversity play in their respective cities’ tech sectors. They’ll also be joined by special guests from each tech ecosystem to discuss how Milwaukee and Atlanta can learn from each city’s experiences. Hosted by 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s Tarik Moody.

Moderator: Tarik Moody, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation, On-Air Host

Teddy Nykiel, Milwaukee Business Journal, Technology Reporter
Erin Schilling, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Technology Reporter
Shane Arnold, GE Healthcare, Senior Staff Cloud Architect
Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub (OHUB), CEO

(3) Mobilizing international action to prevent children’s exposure to lead – UNICEF, Pure Earth, and Milwaukee-based Clarios Foundation
A groundbreaking report from Pure Earth and UNICEF in 2020 revealed that a staggering 800 million children globally have elevated blood lead levels. 90% of these children are in developing countries and half are in South Asia alone. In a response to this crisis, Pure Earth, UNICEF, and Clarios Foundation joined forces to launch the Protecting Every Child’s Potential initiative.
This unique public/private partnership draws on the three organizations’ complementary expertise in cleaning up contaminated sites, responsible lead recycling practices, and the promotion of children’s health and rights. Work is underway in Bangladesh, Ghana, Georgia, Indonesia and Mexico to implement solutions to stop lead exposure and protect future generations.
In this panel discussion, leaders from the three organizations will discuss how this previously unrecognized global health threat brought them together; their plan to address childhood lead exposure and expand the partnership; and how you (/others) can join the movement to solve this problem and positively affect millions of young lives in low- and middle-income countries around the world.

Elizabeth Tate, Clarios, Director of Public Policy & Global Sustainability
Desiree Montecillo- Narvaez, MD, MPH, UNICEF HQ, Environmental Health Specialist
Andrew McCartor, Pure Earth, Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships

(4) Crossing the Chasm – hear from local startups and Wipfli on how to scale, become a market leader, and why doing so from Milwaukee works

Moderator – Ron Bote, Wipfli, Director

Girish Ramachandra, Wipfli, National Tech Industry Practice Leader
Amanda DoAmaral, Fiveable, Co-Founder and CEO
Sherry Zhang, GenoPalate, Founder and CEO

10:00 am – 10:30 am
A (r)Evolution of Equity in Technology Talent Trends

Art Hopkins will provide an overview of the current state of diversity and inclusion in tech, the challenges that stand in the way of achieving aspirations, and how specific equity-focused initiatives are making an impact

Art Hopkins, Russell Reynolds Associates, Consultant and co-lead of Technology Officers Practice

10:30 am
10:45 am – 11:15 am
Breakout Sessions: Session Two – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Tech


(1) Strategies for Growing Your Tech Talent Diversity
According to the 2021 CompTIA Cyberstates Report, there’s a shortage of tech talent nationally, and the majority of talent employed doesn’t reflect the diversity of the nation’s demographics. If these trends continue, organizations will limit their innovation potential. So how can organizations reverse these two trends – ideally at the same time? Discover how several organizations are working to solve both capacity and diversity issues by leveraging the power of non-traditional talent sources.

Moderator: Kathy Henrich, MKE Tech Hub Coalition, CEO

Chelsea Woodring, SoftwareONE, Market Leader and Women in Technology Board Chair
Kelly Roufus, Johnson Controls, Digital Category Manager
Nick Curry, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Head of Military Initiatives, Technical Apprenticeships, and Diversity Internships

(2) Perspectives on Tech Careers and the Tools to Pursue Them
This panel will focus on diversity and inclusion by hosting a conversation with tech leaders who can share first-hand perspectives on careers and opportunities in the industry alongside an academic leader who can share examples of pathways into tech careers.

Moderator: Denise Malloy, Johnson Controls, VIP of Diversity & Inclusion

John M M Anderson, Ph.D., Howard University, Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture
Diane Schwartz, Johnson Controls, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Jeremy Welland, Ph.D., Google, Global Head of Data Science and Analytics

(3) Techquity and the Digital Divide: Fostering Digital Equity and Inclusion in Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
Techquity is United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s new initiative to address the digital divide in our region. As a collective impact initiative, Techquity advocates for digital equity and inclusion by developing strategic partnerships to support access to affordable broadband, reliable devices, and digital skills and literacy trainings.
This panel draws together Techquity partners and supporters from the corporate, social service, and public sectors. They will discuss some of Milwaukee’s most pressing issues related to the digital divide, and also how and why they and/or their organizations have joined Techquity in the fight for digital equity and inclusion.

Moderator: David Berka, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Project Manager: Data, Evaluation, & Resource Equity

Tammie Brings, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Information Technology Program Manager
William Fleming, EY, Managing Director, Assurance Services
Lynn Fyhrlund, Milwaukee County, Chief Information Officer
Nicole Gulatz, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Vice President of Development
Shane Arnold, GE Healthcare, Senior Staff Cloud Architect

(4) Equity in Tech; It’s Time To Do Better
Rapidly developing technologies can be an unprecedented force for good, but too often codify and amplify existing forms of racial inequality, discrimination and bias. We believe that equity and inclusion are absolutely essential to ensure that the advancement of the tech industry benefits all of us. Join us for an in-depth and open conversation about equity, where we aim to learn from our experiences and convert them into concrete steps to make sustainable change.

Kiki Mwiti, DYVVYD, Founder and CEO
Nadiyah Johnson, Milky Way Tech Hub, Founder

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Break – Visit the Summerfest Tech virtual Exhibit Hall
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Pitch Competition – produced by Young Enterprising Society

The following 6 pitches will compete for their chance to win a portion of $25,000!

3:30 pm
3:45 pm – 4:20 pm
The Expanding VC Lens
An enlightening panel discussion with accomplished fund managers and investors Rashaun L. Williams, Candice Matthews-Brackeen and Karen Kerr, will focus on their unique experiences and successes in the venture capital space, as well as their perspectives on how to achieve more diverse representation and participation from women/people of color. Sponsored and moderated by American Family Insurance.

Nyra Jordan, American Family Insurance Institute, Community and Social Impact Director

Rashaun Williams, Manhattan Venture Partners, Venture Capitalist
Candice Matthews Brackeen, Lightship Capital, General Partner
Karen Kerr, Exposition Ventures, Founder and Managing Director

4:25 pm
SoftwareONE Toast
4:30 pm 5:15 pm
Building High-performing Technology Teams


Technology drives value and innovation in every organization. At Google Cloud, we have learned a lot about what it takes to build and scale high-performing technology teams. During this session Elaine Stephens and Nathen Harvey will share some insights into what we’ve learned and how you can use these lessons to drive improvements in your own team.

Nathen Harvey, Google Cloud, Cloud Developer Advocate
Elaine Stephens, Google Cloud, Head of Customer Engineering, Wisconsin

5:15 pm – 7:00 pm
7:00 pm
Event Concludes
Event Details
09. 08. 2021
8:00 am - 7:00 pm