ION Venture Forum Home

2007 ION Venture Forum Schedule of Events

Tuesday, September 25
2:00pm-4:00pm Georgia Tech Innovation Experience
75 Fifth Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

VC Event - Invitation Only

Wednesday, September 26
CXO Networking Breakfast / Conference Keynote
Company Presentations - Session #1
Lunch and CIO Panel

Presentations by ATDC and VentureLab
Company Presentations - Session #2

Note: All ION Venture Forum events will be taking place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Buckhead.

Keynote Speaker:


Scott McNealy
Chairman and Co-Founder, Sun Microsystems
Chairman of Sun Federal, Inc.
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Scott McNealy, 52, is chairman of the board of directors of Sun Microsystems, a company he co-founded in 1982 and chairman of Sun Federal Inc. From 1984 to 2006, McNealy served as chief executive officer and chairman at Sun, steering the Company to constant innovation in open, network computing. In his 22 years at the helm, McNealy grew Sun from a Silicon Valley start-up to a leading provider of network computing infrastructure with 37,900 employees worldwide, all while positioning the Company as the model of corporate integrity. In 1986, he took Sun public, creating one of the most notable publicly traded technology companies. McNealy has overseen the Company's deployment of world-class products. Today, Java powers over 3.5 billion devices; Sun's Solaris is one of only three remaining operating systems in the marketplace; the Niagara chip is a leading, high performance, low power, sustainable technology; and the world's most advanced multi-core system, SPARC, is taking market share.

Seeing the impact of the network on security and privacy long ago, McNealy responded by building security into every Sun product. McNealy's vision and business acumen have made him one of the most influential and widely quoted leaders in the complex, fluid and fast-moving IT industry. His leadership and determination have enabled Sun to outpace its peers, to grow while others have collapsed, to leverage market opportunities in good economies and bad, and to claim the leadership mantle as one of the world's great technology companies. McNealy has helped set the industry agenda through his vision of network computing which has served as a guide and barometer for the direction and pace of technology innovation. And, for more than a decade, he has been advancing Sun's slogan, The Network Is The Computer -- a succinct statement of the company's vision of seamless connectivity that is now driving the Participation Age. McNealy never shies away from controversial issues in the industry. His tenacity and willingness to address tough issues head on has earned him respect and admiration. In 1999, McNealy predicted that "software will all go free," and the market is now moving in that direction. He also foresaw the service provider movement, predicted the rise of business models based upon free software, evangelized thin client architectures and predicted grid computing. And, McNealy's belief in innovation and commitment to R&D, even in a tough economic climate, helped Sun weather the storm of the collapse, leaving the Company well positioned to compete in today's marketplace. A champion of Sun's 24-year old strategy to share, McNealy is always fighting for openness and choice: "Without choice, you have no innovation. Without innovation, you have nothing." In his ongoing role as Chairman of the Board and his role as Chairman of Sun Federal, Inc., McNealy continues to put his leadership and vision to work for Sun. He is a strong advocate for open and competitive business practices and is furthering his commitment to education, working with Curriki, a global education and learning community dedicated to delivering global access to knowledge. McNealy graduated from Harvard in 1976 with a BA in Economics and received an MBA from Stanford in 1980. He is an avid hockey player and a single digit handicap golfer. He is married and is the father of four boys.


CIO Bios:

Robin Bienfait
Research In Motion

Robin Bienfait is the CIO of Research In Motion. Robin oversees BlackBerry Operations and Corporate IT.

Prior to joining RIM, Robin held senior leadership positions within AT&T Labs and Global Network Services.

A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a master's degree in Management of Technology, Robin also holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Central Missouri State University and an associate in business degree from Maryland University - European Division.

Brian Shield
The Weather Channel, Inc.

Brian P. Shield is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of The Weather Channel, Inc., a position he has held since joining the company in 1998.

As head of the Information Technology (IT) organization, Shield oversees all technology infrastructure, internal systems, weather forecasting, IT and broadcast operations, and implementation of industry leading technology products and services. He is also responsible for setting the strategic vision, technical direction, and financial planning on behalf of the IT organization.

Prior to joining The Weather Channel in 1998, Brian served as CTO of FTD Chicago, Illinois. Preceding his tenure at FTD, Brian had been CTO and head of software development at the investment firm of Scudder Kemper, in Boston, and formerly with Wang Laboratories.

Shield is a member of SMPTE, SCTE, CIO Executive Council, Georgia CIO Leadership Association Advisory Council, and a number of industry organizations. Shield was named Georgia CIO of year in 2004.

A native of Boston, Shield completed his education at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts where he majored in Computer Science while minoring in Management and Accounting. He is married with three young children and is a resident of Marietta, Georgia.

Karen Painter
SVP, Information Technology
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

As Senior Vice President, Information Technology, of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Karen Painter leads an applications development team, which supports The Entertainment Networks, (TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, TCM, CNN News Networks, Turner's Corporate Group, as well as, the Sports Division). The Enterprise Applications Department focuses on technology solutions that are primarily internal facing. These IT solutions are comprised of database administration, system architecture, software development, software quality assurance, business analysis, research and development, project management, and security and process improvement.

Ms. Painter has been with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., since 1995. Karen has over 20 years of application development experience. In addition to her experience at Turner, she has worked on the vendor side of application development. Karen began her career as a developer for McDonald Douglas Aircraft Company writing assembly language for the F15E.

Ms. Painter holds a BS Degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University.

Sue Powers

As chief information officer and senior vice president - Worldwide Product Solutions for Worldspan, Sue Powers has overall responsibility for guiding the Company's product and applications technical strategy and for product and project delivery for Worldspan's worldwide customers including airlines, industry suppliers, travel agencies and e-commerce customers. She is also responsible for quality engineering and internal business systems. Powers' position includes identifying customer requirements, managing integration projects, developing and delivering products that support the Company's business units and capitalizing on emerging market opportunities.

Previously, as senior vice president - Worldwide e-Commerce, Powers was responsible for developing Worldspan's leadership role in the emerging e-commerce travel distribution business. Prior to that, she was vice president - Sales and Marketing, responsible for all sales and marketing functions for Worldspan travel agencies in the Americas, as well as worldwide marketing relationships with airline, hotel, car rental and travel supplier customer groups.

The Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA) awarded its top honor to Powers in 2006, the Global CIO of the Year Award, which recognizes executives with oversight at organizations with more than 2,500 IT users and multinational operations. Powers is a member of the Technology Association of Georgia Advisory Board, the CIO Advisory Board and the Travel Commerce Advisory Board. She is also vice president of programs for the Georgia CIO Leadership Association and serves on their advisory board. In 2003, Powers was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Travel Agent Magazine, the seventh time she has received the honor. The magazine also named her to its Winner's Circle for "People of the Year" in 1994 and 2000.

Powers received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.

Robert Anderson
Research VP, SMB SW & Applications
Gartner, Inc.

Robert Anderson is a vice president in Gartner's Research organization responsible for enterprise business applications and infrastructure software for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs). Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Anderson held various senior product marketing and management positions related to enterprise software during a 17-year tenure with Digital Equipment. The greatest thing about being an analyst is the challenge of keeping one's finger on the pulse of many fast moving targets, trends and issues, and then communicating what, when and how they will impact our clients. That, together with contributing alongside (as well as conferring and consulting with) the brightest minds in the industry are the most rewarding parts of this job. Years of Experience 9 years with Gartner; 27 years in IT industry. Professional Background Digital Equipment Corporation, Regional Manager, Application Software Products. Education: B.A., Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts Post-graduate coursework, Georgetown University Languages: Portuguese

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