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[Virtual] Insights Series Part 3: Turning Small Insights Into Big Wins – A Pragmatic Approach to Innovation in Uncertain Times

May 27, 2020 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM (MDT)


Innovation and uncertainty go hand in hand. This three-part series will explore how to take a pragmatic approach to innovation and the adoption of emerging and modern technologies, such as IoT, AI and machine learning, in uncertain times. There are many critical aspects to consider in your decision making to ensure these disruptive technologies don't disrupt your success.

Emerging and modern technologies offer the promise to help solve many of the challenges companies currently face. But should your organization incorporate them into your business? And where should you begin? This third session will provide insights from a cross-section of technology leaders on how to take a pragmatic approach to innovation and the adoption of emerging and modern technologies, such as IoT, AI and machine learning, in uncertain times. There are many critical aspects to consider in your decision making to ensure these disruptive technologies don't disrupt your success.

 Session Objective:

  • Provide participants with the opportunity to hear from industry leaders regarding pragmatic approaches to successful innovation in challenging times.

Participants Will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the rapidly evolving Data & Analytics technology landscape.
  • Learn methods to assess the potential value of emerging and modern technologies.
  • Hear from technology leaders about the pragmatic approaches they have taken relative to emerging and modern technologies and the lessons they have learned along the way.


Tim April, SVP & CIO, Vail Resorts 

Tim was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer in October 2018, having previously served as Vice President of Information Technology and Guest Experience. He has held numerous positions with the company since he joined in 2002, including IT Senior Director for the Mountain Division and IT Director of Enterprise Applications. Prior to joining Vail Resorts, Tim specialized on large scale PeopleSoft implementations for Government and Education clients as an IT Consultant at Accenture.

Tom Estella, Managing Director - Machine Learning / Advanced Analytics, CapTech

Tom Estella is an organizational leader with 20 years of data science consulting experience with primary strengths in the statistical, digital, and marketing analytics areas. He has proven expertise in strategic and tactical planning in traditional marketing spaces and can apply complex analytical theories in new and exciting ways.

Prior to CapTech, Tom worked as the Chief Data Scientist at a top professional services organization, creating and overseeing the implementation of logical analytical solution architecture, business cases, and measurement plans.

Earlier in his career, Tom led the North American Advanced Analytics Services practice area for the largest global analytics firm. In this role, he designed two signature solutions upon which a global branded Artificial Intelligence platform was built. He also collaborated and integrated with software, hardware, and research teams to bring an end-to-end solution together, including Hadoop, STREAMS, Big Insights, Netezza, and DB2 BLU. 

Tom has significant experience across many industry verticals, including financial services, marketing, government, retail, wholesale, and telecommunications.

Esther Friend, SVP, Enterprise Solutions, HomeAdvisor

Esther Friend is the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at ANGI Homeservices. She joined ANGI Homeservices in October 2017 and is focused primarily on the HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List brands. At HomeAdvisor, Esther and her team are responsible for product management for the technology solutions utilized by internal end users such as Sales, Marketing and Operations including both internally developed technology and vendor solutions.  In 2020, the team is focused on efficiency initiatives and scaling to support ANGI Homeservices’ tremendous growth. 

Prior to joining ANGI Homeservices, Esther was VP of Sales Operations and Transformation at Angie’s List. and served as SVP of Client Success at, a healthcare CRM platform, and was responsible for customer implementations, enablement, adoption and growth. Earlier in her career, as Chief Service Officer at ChaCha Search Inc. (242 242), Esther built one of the largest and earliest gig economy teams of 120K “Guides” across the US and UK, supporting the launch and then viral growth of the service to 25 million unique users on mobile and the web. 

Esther holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Spanish from Hanover College and also studied at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. She is married to superhero stay-at-home dad and private chef, Keith, and has a 13 yr old daughter, Ella and a 15 yr old son, Alan.  She has two dogs (a golden and great pyrenees), and her hobbies include doing crafts with her daughter, hiking and skiing with her family, running, biking, traveling, being a foodie and making ice cream. 

Vinnie Schoenfelder,  Chief Technology Officer, CapTech

Vinnie Schoenfelder serves as CapTech's Chief Technology Officer. In this externally-facing role, Vinnie helps the organization define services, forge partnerships, and design solutions for clients. As a thought leader, Vinnie meets with current and prospective clients, vendors, and industry analysts to discuss current business challenges, as well as approaches to solving these challenges. He also participates on key engagements either as an engagement director or solutions architect. Vinnie has been a frequent speaker at Fortune 500 companies and technology conferences across North America. He has also worked with clients in more than a dozen industry verticals across North America, Europe, and Canada.

Vinnie is passionate about exposing all students to STEM based classes and careers. He serves as president of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Computer Science Industrial Advisory Board (CS IAB), serves as a board member for the University of Virginia’s CS IAB, and is a board member for CodeVA. 

Scott Raymond,  Associate CIO, Centura Health 

Developing new and innovative solutions. Providing big-picture plans and strategies. Implementing complex clinical, business, and technical initiatives. These are just some of my core strengths. With two decades of healthcare experience ranging from hands-on clinical to strategic operations, I possess the unique ability to understand how healthcare leadership impacts patient care and vice versa. Areas of expertise include thinking strategically, planning with vision, leading and managing staff, spearheading creative and unexpected solutions, and tirelessly working to build buy-in and alignment. I am results-focused, with expertise in cyber security, clinical informatics, and contract negotiations that generate significant operational savings. Having implemented Epic at 6 hospitals and multiple ambulatory clinics, I’ve also consulted on a variety of healthcare start-up companies. I currently hold board seats at multiple healthcare and technology companies. In order to stay close to the business, and to remain focused on healthcare's mission to provide quality patient care, I maintain an active nursing license.

Sponsored by:




United States


Free for CTA members; Non-member $25

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Colorado Technology Association
Name: Kaiti Jacobson

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