GenAI in Focus — Takeaways from CDO Magazine's Louisville Boardroom Dinner

GenAI in Focus — Takeaways from CDO Magazine's Louisville Boardroom Dinner

CDO Magazine's Louisville Executive Boardroom Dinner on June 18 brought together top data, technology, and security leaders from across industries to exchange strategies around generative AI (GenAI) adoption. The event featured a panel discussion focused on the "Challenges and Opportunities in the Era of GenAI," providing a platform for executives to share their experiences in navigating the fast evolving AI landscape.

The panel of expert speakers were:

  • Shellie Dreistadt, Papa Johns VP, Information Security and Compliance

  • Adam Jones, GE Appliances Sr. Director, Software Engineering & IoT

  • Mike Menke, AHEAD Field CTO

The session was moderated by Taylor Gorning, AHEAD Managing Director.

“AI holds immense potential for organizations to improve innovation, efficiency and strategic insights,” says speaker Dreistadt. She recommends that organizations double down on AI education for leaders, technical staff, and end users so that they understand how it works, how to harness its power, and how to do so securely.

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Speaker Jones describes GenAI as the “nitrous oxide (NOS) of innovation,” as it lets data leaders rapidly push the boundaries of what is possible. “But just like a race car, we need guardrails. Robust security and privacy measures are essential to ensure this explosion of creativity doesn't come at the expense of safety. By striking this balance, we can unlock the true potential of Generative AI to transform industries and improve lives," Jones adds.

Drew Perry, Serta Simmons Bedding VP and CISO, thanks CDO Magazine and sponsor AHEAD for putting the event together. “It is always so exciting to talk about technology opportunities with a diverse peer group of different industries and technology roles, knowing that we all are facing similar challenges.”

Perry further highlights his takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Adam Jones shared how GE had worked to validate the output of their Flavorly AI platform to ensure the recipes it creates for GE customers are tasty and safe to eat.

  • Shellie Dreistadt added how her organization was working to use AI to enhance efficiency in manufacturing, logistics, and costs.

  • Mike Menke brought his deep knowledge of the breadth of the AI space to talk about some of the more unique models being developed and how businesses can determine if they should invest in an expansive large language model for their AI needs or if a more specific-use AI could be more efficient and ensure the output matches the organization's goals.

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"CDO Magazine Executive Boardroom Dinners provide a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from them on various intriguing and interesting projects everyone is involved in over a sumptuous meal,” says Alok Chaudhary, Ballad Health Chief Data and Analytics Officer. He mentions how GenAI is a hot discussion topic especially among technologists, but emphasizes that leaders share real-world application and use cases in gatherings like the CDO Magazine dinner that help separate hype from reality.

“I appreciate CDO Magazine for bringing this brainpower together in my city, enabling exchange of ideas and nurturing professional relationships," Chaudhary adds.

Sharing his “biggest takeaway,” Trey Hyberger, University of Louisville Health AVP, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics says: “It was refreshing to see the different approaches that organizations are taking when it comes to evaluating the utilization of GenAI, in particular, Buy-vs-Build. I think a mixture of both, particularly early on, is ideal if the resources and use cases allow for it. Delivering the solution is obviously paramount, but it is also important for our data scientists and developers to stay current on emerging technologies and trends.”

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“I'm proud to see such a diverse group of leaders come together to exchange ideas and strategies around GenAI. These discussions are vital for navigating the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by this transformative technology. Our goal is to provide a platform where executives can share their experiences and learn from each other, ultimately driving the industry forward," says CDO Magazine Founder and Publisher Steve Wanamaker.

Reflecting on his experience at the Louisville event, speaker Menke shares: “It is amazing to see the highest organizations have taken the practical application of GenAI. While we would expect this innovation from the West Coast, to see it happening in real time in the Midwest and Louisville specifically is breathtaking.”

Taylor Gorning, AHEAD Managing Director, sums up his experience of partnering with CDO Magazine: “As always, CDO Magazine delivered a fantastic event in Louisville. We had technology leaders in the community from a variety of roles and industries that shared insight and best practices. The talent in Louisville and the innovation its companies are driving is LEGIT!” He adds, “You know it’s a great evening when the panel discussion was still going after the food was being served! This is our third event at AHEAD that we’ve partnered with CDO Magazine in Louisville, and I look forward to more in the future.”.

Special thanks goes to AHEAD for their partnership in making the event a success.

Alok Chaudhary is a member of the CDO Magazine Global Editorial Board. Drew Perry is a member of the CDO Magazine Global Security Board

Executives attending the Louisville Executive Boardroom Dinner Event included:

Alok Chaudhary, Ballad Health Chief Data and Analytics Officer; Brian Coleman, Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions, LLC - A Yum! Brands Co-op Vice President, Business Technology, Data and Process Governance; Keith Delande, Baptist Health System KY & IN Corporate IT Director - Infrastructure; Shellie Dreistadt, Papa John's International VP, Information Security and Compliance; Matt Fontaine, Twin Spires Vice President, Engineering; Josh Freeman, Dell Field CTO; Joe Harrington, Churchill Downs Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer (formerly); Trey Hyberger, UofL Health AVP, Business Intelligence & Data Analytics; Tom Jenkins, Churchill Downs Inc. Vice President; Adam Jones, GE Appliances, a Haier Company Sr. Director, Software Engineering & IOT; Praveen Katta, Baptist Health Corporate IT Director, Enterprise Systems; Herb Lane, Farm Credit Mid-America Enterprise Data Architect; Aaron Lind, Google Customer (Sales) Engineer; Chris Mattingly, Google, Enterprise Account Manager; Chris Nall, Atria Management Company Chief Technology Officer; Taylor Payne, Baptist Health System KY & IN Director of Cybersecurity Operations; Jonathan Pena, Humana Associate Vice President, Data Science, Consumer Growth; Drew Perry, Serta Simmons Bedding VP, CISO; Michael C Redmond, Louisville Metro Government Deputy Chief Information Security Officer (formerly); Laura Rittmuller, Google Enterprise Account Executive - Cloud; Shane Rodabaugh, Baptist Health System KY & IN System VP, IT Infrastructure; Eric Satterly, Jefferson County Public Schools Chief Information Officer; Steve Schoen, Humana Director, Cloud Architecture; KP Singh, Norton Healthcare System Director, Data Governance; Louie Stephens, Google Account Executive; Eddie Tinsley, Google Sr. Customer Engineer - GenAI Ambassador; Bryan Willett, Lexmark International CISO, Sr. Director; Pio Amalraj, AHEAD Principal Technical Consultant; Stephen Carr, AHEAD Client Director; Taylor Gorning, AHEAD Managing Director; Tyler Harned, AHEAD Client Director; Amber Hedges, AHEAD Client Director; Mike Menke, AHEAD Field CTO; Mahesh Seshadri, AHEAD Transformation Advisor; Nayla Sidhoum, AHEAD Client Director; Michelle Ziegler, CDO Magazine Global VP, Partner Development and Events; Lisa Runkle. CDO Magazine Global Event Manager.

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