• Orchestrating Success for Organizations & Individuals

    CHRIS KOHL

  • WHERE I'M CONTRIBUTING NOW

    You'll Find Me Here

    Vertex, Inc.

    Vice President & CIO

     

     

    Aligning Technology Investments & Services for Company Success

     

     

    Transforming the Organization to Accelerate Performance

     

    Envisioning Workspaces for 2020 and Beyond

     

    (and more)

    CIO Executive Council

    Member & Advisor

     

     

    Leading the Profession through Thought and Practice

     

     

    Mentoring tomorrow's CIOs & Business Technology Leaders

     

    Advising the Council for Increased Industry Leadership & Influence

     

     TechImpact

    Mentor & Classroom Speaker

     

     

    Mentoring at-risk youth towards productive careers in IT

     

     

    Supporting the Mission of affordable IT services for Non-Profits

     

    Sharing experiences & advice to enhance the learning process

    Emerging Companies

    Advisor

     

     

    Offering experienced perspective to emerging technology companies

     

     

    Finding promising innovations to apply in my work

     

    Watching the next waves of the technology industry emerge

     

  • NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

    "When He's Around, Things Work"

     

    "He takes Dreams to Designs that Doers can make Happen"

  • WHAT I'VE DONE & WHERE I'VE BEEN

    Professional Experience

    Vertex, Inc.

    Vice President & Chief Information Officer

    2003 - Present

     

    Enterprise-wide Contribution.  Executive Leadership.   Successful Transformations across the Organization.

     

     

    Transformed IT from back-office function to strategic contributor. Installed Oracle eBusiness Suite to consolidate financial and transactional activities, transforming business operations along the way.  Added Salesforce to the mix to accelerate pre-sales activities. Streamlined delivery and support of systems to support commercial software development and testing. Integrated an acquisition for a greater IT whole. Established robust hosting capability to speed time-to-value and optimize cost of ownership for Vertex customers. Through comprehensive Systems Strategy, staged systems investments for maximum return. The Intelligent Workspace, a combination of leading technologies to create a rich collaborative working experience across Vertex is being designed now.

     

    Outside IT, served as a lead architect and key communicator for Vertex’s organization redesign. This progressive design is transforming the way the company strategically plans, operationally executes, and meaningfully engages its rich pool of talent against the company’s Vision Values and Mission to deliver sustainable value to shareholders and customers.

     

    Currently leading an enterprise-wide process to envision and deliver the headquarters, facilities, and spaces that Vertex will need, on both domestic and global levels, to execute its business functions, attract and retain talent, and engage and support its partners and customers. A combination of past headquarters design experience with new innovative visioning and planning approaches is making this a dynamic and energizing project to support Vertex's future success.

    TecKnowPro, Inc.

    Principal

    2001 - 2003

     

    Boutique consulting practice that guided and executed strategic and technical IT transformations in Healthcare, Technology, and Financial Services clients.   

     

    Reliance Insurance Company

    Assistant Vice President - IT Infrastructure

    1988 - 2001

     

    IT came into the mainstream over these years.   At first it was still mainframes and some PCs, but soon Local Area Networks and Client Server dominated, followed by multiprotocol networks and interconnected everything.   Successfully transformed Reliance's field office network from aged mainframe leased lines to router-based multiprotocol network and per-office local area networks to support new commercial insurance rating system.  Over a two-year period, led the IT process to design, build, and finally activate and move 1000 people in to a new Head Office in Center City.   Integrated networks and systems across all Reliance companies.  As the company faced wind-down, led the transition of infrastructure management to an outsourcer.    Somewhere along the way, wrote a network analysis and packet diagnostic tool to expose the source of issues that were plaguing Reliance's network that no commercial offering could identify.  Open Source and some crafty coding made it happen.

     

    Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.

    Network Analyst, End-User Consultant

    1982 - 1988

     

    It was the early days of IT (er, MIS).   End-User Computing was the rage.   PCs made their entre to corporations.  Mainframes dominated.  DEC was a mainstay in the labs.  Client-Server was news.   Mobile?   Oh, you must mean a 9.6 modem or the Compaq Luggable!  Contributions ranged from helping professionals apply computing power to their tasks, making the obscure fourth-generation languages usable, to installing the first LANs and foundational fiber optic network.  Tenure included four Co-op assignments and full-time employment following graduation.

     

  • FORMAL FOUNDATIONS

    Education

    Master of Business Administration (MBA)

    Villanova University, Executive MBA Program

    Villanova, PA

     

    A 21-month cohorted Executive MBA Program with a concentration in Systems Thinking and Entrepreneurship. Team-driven Capstone projects:

     

     

    • "Crossing Death Valley: A Crowdfunded Approach to Drug Development": applied systems thinking principles to develop a solution that offered promising early-stage drugs a path to later-stage trials through shared academic and corporate sponsorship.

    • UniVertitas: a start-up venture project to create a vibrant information marketplace to support students and parents through the college selection process.

    Bachelor of Science, Computer Science

    Drexel University

    Philadelphia, PA

     

    Solid engineering and science foundation with business electives to round out the educational experience. Co-op assignments integrated into the 5-year program.

     

  • PROFESSIONAL BIO

  • Everything Happens With and Through People

    PURPOSE & STRENGTHS

  • MY PURPOSE DRIVERS

    Imperative offers a comprehensive diagnostic.

    Here's how it diagnosed me!

     

    team, institution, community, organizational performance, administration, management

     

     

    market-driven, incentives, freedom, remove barriers, empower, human potential, market forces, competitive, choice, consequences, entrepreneurial, rewards, fair

     

     

    organizing, creating ownership, promote, team, evangelize, engagement, resilience, collective, empower, delegate, community, shared goals, collective impact, synergy, advocate, rally

     

  • STRENGTHS

    According to Strengths Finders, You can Expect These from Me

    Learner

     

    A great desire to learn and want to continuously improve.   The process of learning, rather than the outcome, is exciting.  Never know where it will lead!

     

    Input

     

    A craving to know more.  Collecting and archiving information for use and application

     

    Significance

     

    A desire to be important in the eyes of others.  Independent.   Want to be recognized for contributions

     

    Restorative

     

    An adeptness at dealing with problems.   Very good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it

     

    Responsibility

     

    A psychological ownership of following through on commitments.  Stable values such as honestly and loyalty

     

  • MORE ABOUT ME

    Miscellaneous

    Casual

     

    Under the appropriate influences I can look like this

     

    Relaxed

     

    I've been known to relax and vacation like this

     

    Professional

     

    For company headshots, weddings, presentations and formal engagements I can look like this

     

    Places

     

    We've been known to go here 

     

    Influences

     

    When my wife brought her home I was mad.  Now if she wasn't around I'd be sad. 

     

    (yes, at times I rhyme)

    A 15-pound furball of energy and love can change you!

  • I TWEET, TOO

    If you like what I say, follow me!

  • WAYS TO FOLLOW & CONNECT

    Social Media and Good Old Email