Executive Connections

Join a highly engaged and exclusive group of IT Service Management peers through the FUSION Executive Connections program.

Share stories alongside IT executives, hear from two thought-compelling keynote speakers and gain new leadership concepts from those achieving service success outside of your company.

Widen your circle of contacts with Executive Connections; meet with your peers and invited industry experts who can help you make the most of your time at the FUSION conference.

The Executive Connections program is sponsored by the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA).

Learn how the Executive Connections program at FUSION 18 can enhance your educational experience through exposure to industry leaders and experts.

Executive Connections Agenda

Visit the Agenda-at-a-Glance and the Education tab for more detailed information on conference activities and education sessions.

  • 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Executive Connections Exclusive Break Room Open
    A place for EC attendees to take a break, make calls and network.
  • 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Executive Connections Breakfast
  • 8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Executive Connections attendees are escorted to reserved seating for opening general session and keynote speaker
  • 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Executive Connections Lunch with keynote speaker
  • 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Executive Connections attendees are escorted to reserved seating for general session and keynote speaker
  • 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Executive Connections Exclusive Break Room Open
  • 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Executive Connections Breakfast
  • 8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Executive Connections attendees are escorted to reserved seating for opening general session and keynote speaker
  • 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Executive Connections Lunch with keynote speaker
  • 6:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Executive Connections Exclusive Break Room Open
  • 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Executive Connections Breakfast

Presenters Include:

Carmen DeArdo, DevOps Author, Consultant and Speaker

Carmen DeArdo is considered a DevOps industry leader and served on the team that initially implemented DevOps practices and technologies at Nationwide Insurance. He currently helps guide large enterprises on creating sustainable DevOps transformations and frequently shares his knowledge as a presenter at several industry events and conferences including Gene Kim’s DevOps Enterprise Summit, IBM Innovate, InterConnect, itSMF USA FUSION and DevOpsDays. Carmen co-authored “DevOps Case Studies” and “Expanding Pockets of Greatness,” published by IT Revolution. He also holds three patents in software engineering.

Cathy Kirch, FUSION Conference Chair & itSMF USA Past President

As a seasoned IT Service Management (ITSM) professional, Cathy Kirch serves as a process consultant at Allstate Insurance Corporation, where she has been a member of the ITSM group since its formation. Cathy also acts as the delivery lead for the Allstate ITSM Governance team. She is a sought-after speaker and educator and has presented on ITSM implementations since 2005 on a number of stages spanning the globe. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the ITIL Practitioner of the Year Award (2006, 2007) and the Pink Elephant Case Study of the Year Award (2012). Cathy serves as the Conference Chair for the FUSION conference and is a past president of itSMF USA and the Chicago itSMF Local Interest Group (LIG).

Deborah Burton, Managing Director, DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA)

Deborah is the Managing Director of the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) which provides DevOps training and certification for IT professionals and teams that want to acquire the skills and knowledge required to work on a high-performing IT team. The DASA Training Portfolio based on the DASA DevOps Competence and Maturity models identify (8) knowledge areas and (4) skill areas required for IT professionals to work as active contributors on a DevOps team. Deborah travels the world working in cooperation with DASA’s global member’s driven organization that includes Forerunners, Ambassadors, Courseware, Training, and Consulting Partners that are passionate about the new IT way of working which is DevOps.

She has more than 30+ years of experience in the IT industry with positions that include product development, product management, sales, marketing, business development in the areas of computer hardware, ITSM software and IT training and channel management. She has in-depth knowledge and understanding of ITSM, DevOps, Lean IT, Cloud Computing, and other leading IT Best Practices.