2024 Keynote Speakers

Heather McGowan
Heather McGowanStrategic Consultant, Amazon Best-Selling Author, Speaker, LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Influencer on Lifelong Learning & The Future of Work

Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the Post Pandemic world of work. The last few years have forever changed where we work, who works, how we work and measure work, what we do for work, and, most importantly, why we work. McGowan is a sense maker, a dot connector, a deep thinker, and a pattern matcher who sees things that others miss. Heather gives people the courage and insight that illuminates their path forward. She’s transforming mindsets and entire organizations around the globe with her message about how the next phase of work will focus on continuous learning, rather than simply learning once in order to work. Pulitzer Prize–winning NYT columnist Thomas Friedman frequently quotes Heather in his books and columns and describes her as “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work. In 2020 Heather was recognized as one of the top 50 female futurists in the world by Forbes. Heather’s sessions help employees and leaders alike prepare for and adapt to jobs that do not yet exist.

McGowan has provided keynote addresses for audiences from start-ups to government organizations to universities to publicly traded Fortune 100 companies, including AMP Financial, SAP, Abbvie, Biogen, Fidelity, FIS, Mastercard, AT&T, Financial Times, Siemens, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Kaiser
Permanente, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, MassMutual, MetLife, Best Buy, Raytheon, The US Army, Accor Hotels, Paramount, Chevron, AARP, Zendesk, Tableau, Fidelity, de Beers, Professional Beauty Association, and The World Bank among hundreds of others. Heather addresses audiences in person from small summits for C suite executives to large events in the tens of thousands. Her virtual talks have reached hundreds of thousands. Often quoted in the media, notably in the New York Times, McGowan serves on the advisory board for Sparks & Honey, a New York–based culture-focused agency looking to the future for brands. McGowan’s academic work has included roles at Rhode Island School of Design, and Jefferson University, where she was the strategic architect of the first undergraduate college focused exclusively on innovation. In 2019 Heather was appointed as a faculty member of the Swinburne University Centre For the New Workforce in Melbourne, Australia. In 2022, McGowan was awarded an honorary doctorate from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in addition to earning her MBA from Babson College and her BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design. McGowan is the co-editor and author of the book  Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate and a Forbes contributor. McGowan’s first book on the future of work, published in 2020: The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work, reached number three in business management books on Amazon and was named one of the best business books of 2021 by Soundview. McGowan’s most recent book The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce published in March 2023 and is a finalist for the Next Big Idea Book Club and identified as a top ten business book to read in 2023 by Business Chief.

Stephanie O'Connor
Stephanie O'ConnorSenior Vice President - Chief Technology & People Officer, City Utilities of Springfield, MO; Creator of Strong Women Achieving Goals (SWAG) Program

Stephanie has the unique ability to bring people and technology together! Her career began at City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri in 1992 as an intern in Information Technology. Now, she is the Senior Vice President – Chief Technology and People Officer and is responsible for Information Technology, Human Resources, and SpringNet Broadband Fiber, a division of City Utilities. In addition, she serves as a liaison to City Utilities’ Board of Public Utilities. She holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University and is active in the community, serving on the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Leadership Springfield Board of Directors, Springfield Tech Council, Human Capital Council of Southwest Missouri, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Board of Directors, Women United as part of United Way of the Ozarks, and Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Cyber Mutual Assistance Committee. Stephanie has a passion for helping others, and this is reflected in her establishment of the Strong Women Achieving Goals (SWAG) program. In 2021, Stephanie was named one of BIZ417’s Women Who Mean Business, Springfield Business Journal’s 20 Most Influential Women, and received the Missouri Public Utility Alliance Honor Award which recognizes employees who have significant contributions towards meeting their municipal utilities’ objectives. In 2018, she was the first woman selected as Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) IT Executive of the Year. She is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Signature Class 34, a member of Sunrise Rotary, and a 2001 Springfield Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient. It’s evident that Stephanie is making a positive difference in the Springfield community and is excited to share how women can leverage technology to enhance their ability to be SWAG!

2024 Panelists

Matt Berseth
Co-Founder and CIO of NLP Logix

Matt Berseth is the co-founder and CIO of NLP Logix, a leading AI services company. Matt is an AI and data science subject matter expert, who is a member of the Forbes Technology Council; he also led a TEDx talk in 2022, by the title of “Why Artificial Intelligence is More Human Than You Think.” Matt holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science, from North Dakota State University. Matt holds adjunct faculty positions at both the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University, where he teaches data science and computer programming. He serves on the advisory board for the Florida Data Science for Social Good non-profit and is also on the computing advisory board for the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.

Thomas E. Harvey
Vice President, Information Technology & CIO
The Energy Authority

As The Energy Authority’s (TEA) Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Tom Harvey oversees TEA’s enterprise-wide information systems and infrastructure. He also ensures that his team meets current and upcoming business objectives and positions TEA as a digital innovator in the utility arena.

Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, primarily in the design and implementation of complex computer systems and applications. He is highly skilled in developing and executing operating strategies and has been instrumental in identifying new and emerging business opportunities.

In 2000, Tom orchestrated the development of the power scheduling and resource management system used by Seattle firm, Power Resource Managers, Inc., for managing client utilities’ complex power contracts in the Pacific Northwest. When Power Resource Managers merged with TEA in 2006, Tom continued as the lead for West Coast systems and the integration effort into TEA’s corporate technology infrastructure.

Prior to joining TEA, Tom spent several years as a consultant with Navigant Consulting and Scope International, performing engineering and feasibility studies, project management, and cost/benefit analysis. He began his career as a civil engineer at East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil-Environmental Engineering from Purdue University.

Rachel Levanger
Director of Data Science, Fidelity National Financial

Rachel Levanger has served as the Director of Data Science for Fidelity National Financial (FNF) since 2018. Originally, she got her start at the company in 2005 as a business systems analyst and decided to leave her position to pursue graduate studies in 2012. She received her PhD in mathematics from Rutgers University in 2017 and spent a year as a postdoc in the engineering department at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to the corporate world. Rachel‘s focus is modernization of data and analytics practices at FNF, and she promotes a culture of data-driven insight and innovation through the development of a corporate research practice, peer-review, and a supportive atmosphere for learning.

Sandra Madigan
Executive Vice President – Servicing Product Innovation
InterContinental Exchange (ICE)

Sandra Madigan is the Executive Vice President of Servicing Product Innovation for the mortgage technology business of InterContinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE). She is responsible for overseeing the servicing product strategy, including the delivery of ICE’s digital and mobile solutions to enhance the consumer mortgage experience and improve lender and servicer operational efficiency.

Prior to assuming this position, Sandra served as Black Knight’s Chief Digital Officer where she was responsible for driving digital strategies and solutions for the mortgage market. In this role, she led an enterprise UX team to optimize the digital experience by leveraging design thinking and design sprints and managed the company’s digital roadmap to ensure its alignment with overall company strategy. She also led Black Knight and our clients to adopt SAFe Agile, the world’s leading framework for enterprise agility, to significantly increase efficiency and collaboration for more intuitive, user-friendly products and faster speed-to-market.

In 2023, Sandra was named by HousingWire Magazine as one of their “Women of Influence” for her work in shaping and propelling the housing economy forward. In 2022, she received the HousingWire “Vanguard Award,” for her leadership within the housing and mortgage finance industry.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.