Business Innovation – One Hack at a Time
Josh Klein is a passionate hacker of all things. He examines systems, he takes them apart, and he puts different pieces together to produce something new and more effective. He hacks. Everything. His list includes social systems, computer networks, institutions, consumer hardware, animal behavior, and many more. Klein knows that the greatest innovations come from rethinking ordinary situations or hacking a do-it-yourself movement with roots inside the engineering community.
A hacker is someone who is willing to take a system apart to create new opportunities. A "hack" in the traditional engineering sense is a clever reuse of technology or systems to achieve a superior result. It's also increasingly the most common means of innovation available to any organization or individual. Join Joshua Klein as he explains how hacking allows success anywhere, for anyone - from the tooth fairy to the publishing industry - and how we as hackers can herald global improvements by being exactly who we are.
Klein is host of The Link on National Geographic Channel, which explores the history of human innovation by tracing the connections between the world's greatest inventions in art, science, medicine, finance and more, from ancient times up to the present day.
Kirk Laughlin is a Contributing Editor with InformationWeek and an award-winning writer, moderator and subject-matter expert in information technology and business strategies. He has served in a variety of editorial leadership roles during his 18-year career in journalism. Prior to working with InformationWeek and TechWeb, he was Editorial Director at Ziff Davis Media/Enterprise Events which included developing programming content for leading Ziff brands - EWeek and CIO Insight. At Ziff Davis, Laughlin built content programs in the areas of CIO strategies, Web 2.0, enterprise mobility, financial industry solutions, storage, security, unified communications, risk management, IT governance, virtualization, cloud, and business intelligence. He has worked with many leading technology suppliers in developing strategic content solutions for a variety of media platforms.
Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Laughlin served as Editor-in-Chief of several media organizations including America’s Network Magazine, a weekly business magazine; Telecom Planet, a website devoted to networking and wireless issues; and Applied Mobility. He has also directed the launch of several tech industry custom publications. He has won three awards for editorial excellence from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and two awards from the Western Publications Association.
Director of Sales
Peter Witham has worked in a business development capacity his entire career and has over 25 years of working in the information and technology field. He started with manufacturing process control and monitoring, and then moved into providing ERP software and solutions for the Northeast region. He came to UNIT4 CODA in December, 2009 as the Vice President of Sales managing the North American sales team. Peter helped UNIT4 Coda grow from just one Business Development Manager to four. In January of 2013 Unit4 Coda merged with Unit4 Business software and Peter now manages the entire US sales force selling Coda and ABW into the commercial sector. His practical and straightforward approach, accompanied by a good sense of humor, makes Peter well respected by clients, prospects and staff.
Gerald D. Cohen
President and CEO
Gerald D. Cohen is president and CEO of Information Builders, the leader in Web-based business intelligence (BI) and the largest software manufacturer in New York City. He also serves as CEO of iWay Software, an Information Builders company and leader in enterprise integra-tion. iWay Software was formed by Information Builders in 2001 to provide enterprise data access middleware and application integration software that is used to link e-commerce to existing corporate systems.
Mr. Cohen co-founded Information Builders in 1975 with the mission to develop a software product that would allow non-programmers to create their own information systems. The resulting product, known as FOCUS, was the industry’s first fourth-generation language, thus delivering an innovative way for people without formal computer programming skills to work with information systems.
Building on this foundation for the past 33 years, Information Builders’ solutions have been used to construct business intelligence systems for thousands of leading companies, universities, and government agencies around the world. The company’s business intelligence software, WebFOCUS, is the category leader in Web-based reporting.
Through his dedication, Information Builders’ customers include most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal government agencies. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,450 people and has more than 350 business partners.
A native of Manhattan and a lifelong supporter of New York City, Mr. Cohen serves as chairman of the New York Software Industry Association, a trade organization of more than 200 software and information technology companies in the New York metropolitan area. In 2001, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani recognized Mr. Cohen for his contributions to the city’s economic and professional development.
Mr. Cohen is a frequent speaker and published writer on the topic of information technology. He spoke at the inauguration of the City University of New York Institute for Software Design and Development, which is dedicated to attracting, training, and retaining the brightest development talent for New York’s software companies.
Mr. Cohen was also recently honored with the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences Mayor’s Award for excellence in technology. Additionally, Mr. Cohen and Information Builders were recently honored by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce for growth and efforts in supporting international commerce.
Senior Enterprise Technology Architect
Peter Knodt is a Senior Enterprise Technical Architect for JDA. As a senior member of JDA Global Technical Services, Peter provides technical expertise in implementing, supporting, maintaining and upgrading JDA Supply Chain Planning and Optimizing software, Integration and Business Intelligence products to customers and partners world-wide. Peter has over 20 years of technical leadership, systems architecture, technical implementation and development experience specializing in Supply Chain Planning and Optimization implementations and software engineering. For the last few years Peter has been focusing on high-volume Supply Chain solutions, Business Intelligence implementations and Cloud integration strategies.