Iowa Technology Summit 2024 — Leadership Track — Session 4
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Why Tech Sales Pros Fail: Lessons on How To Best Engage Tech Buyers to Solve Real Problems
About this session

Join our panel of leaders as they delve into practical strategies for bridging the gap between solution providers and the real-world problems tech buyers face. Discover actionable tactics and best practices to enhance your approach and drive successful sales outcomes in the dynamic tech industry.

Cyndi Chizek
Chief Information Officer
Stellar Industries

Cyndi Chizek is a forward-thinking technology leader driven by a passion for delivering solutions that drive business success. With a diverse background spanning manufacturing, software, and agricultural industries, she has successfully led through changes by developing relationships with business partners, aligning technology roadmaps to business strategies, and optimizing IT teams to improve delivery results. Cyndi Chizek brings a unique perspective on bridging the gap between technology and business goals, driving alignment, and fostering collaboration across departments. Currently serving as the Chief Information Officer at Stellar Industries, she oversees the strategic implementation of technology initiatives to drive innovation, enhance operational efficiency, and deliver superior customer experiences. Headquartered in Garner, Iowa, Stellar is a 100% employee-owned and operated manufacturer of high-quality work trucks and trailers as well as service truck accessories.

Jeff Franklin
VCISO & Senior Information Security Consultant
Heartland Business Systems

Heartland Business Systems (HBS) Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) Jeff Franklin previously served as Chief Cybersecurity Officer for the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, leading cybersecurity for statewide elections. Prior to that role, Franklin served ten years as the State of Iowa’s Chief Information Security Officer. Franklin’s Roadmap to Election Cybersecurity program was recognized with the 2019 IDEAS Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and an award from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. In 2017, Franklin (along with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds) received the Difference Makers award from the SANS Institute. During his government career, Franklin led the initiative on behalf of the Governor’s Office to create and implement the State of Iowa’s formal cybersecurity strategy, including creating the state’s cybersecurity emergency response plan and a Security Operations Center. Franklin holds an M.S. in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University and a B.A in Business Administration and Management from the University of Northern Iowa.

Shane Maas
Chief Information Officer
The Mutual Group

Shane Mass is a collaborative, trusted leader with 25 years of experience in the property casualty insurance industry. He leads the shared Information Technology Services team at GuideOne Insurance. Shane supports the company’s evolving organizational needs with a renewed focus on simplifying processes, meeting commitments, and focusing resources on value-added work, processes and tools. In Shane’s tenure at GuideOne, he has helped to modernize their Commercial Underwriting Systems and virtualize their server/desktop resources. Forrester has featured his teams in an economic study after successfully migrating all of GuideOne’s server infrastructure to the Cloud in less than 60 days.

Steve Heston
Senior Solutions Consultant
Heartland Business Systems

Steve Heston is a career “growth guy,” having led businesses and divisions of companies large and small, public and private, to maximum growth in revenue, profits, talent and market share. With experience across multiple vertical markets, Steve specializes in crystalizing messages through compelling storytelling and asking hard, fair questions of experts in various fields. He believes that making a difference is the only thing that makes a difference, and he is committed to maximizing growth.

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