Author Archives: pmaher59

February 2018 Meeting – Cyber Security Panel Discussion

Register for the February 8th meeting.

Please join us on Thursday, February 8 for a panel discussion on cyber security facilitated by Adam Hecktman, Microsoft Director of Technology and Civic Innovation for Chicago. Our panelists will be:

  • Niren Shah, Principal at Jemurai – a firm that specializes in secure software development and cyber security
  • David Kinney, Principal Architect at SPR who will look at security from an Internet of Things (IoT) perspective
  • Matt Ramir, Web Developer at HS2 with a passion for cyber security

Consumer data breaches like those at Target, Yahoo! and Equifax have ranged in size and severity, but are not the only kind of cyber security issue. Hackers also try to use compromised IoT devices in order to launch cyber attacks. While there will always be people trying to break into systems, organizations cannot afford to be complacent. Those of us in the IT field, along with anyone using technology, must continually be vigilant, improve security and try to minimize these kinds of events and the damage they can cause. Please join us for what is sure to be an animated discussion of cyber security!

Niren Shah has over 15 years of cybersecurity experience and is currently a Principal at Jemurai – a firm that specializes in secure software development and cybersecurity.  Niren has unparalleled security experience in a wide variety of products: FW, IDS/IPS, WAF, SIEM, NAC, SWG, IVS/EVS, Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Management, Threat Management and more.

David Kinney is a Principal Architect at SPR with decades of experience helping startups and enterprises leverage emerging technology to enter new markets and improve operational efficiency. He has delivered solutions in the IoT, mobile, cloud, and web spaces, and has spoken at numerous conferences.

Matthew Ramir is a Web Developer at HS2 Solutions. A jack-of-all-trades, he employs his skills in back-end development, server management, database management, and front-end development to expertly tackle a wide-range of client projects.

February 8, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601


November 2017 Meeting – Combat Brain Training

Register for the November 9th meeting at Marianjoy.

In 2007 the US Marines contracted John Kennedy to develop a non-digital neuroplastic training program to improve all warfighting skills in order to reduce casualties in combat. By physically changing the brain in areas critical to focus and accelerating cognition all areas of performance are improved. Not only have military personnel seen improvement through Combat Brain Training but athletes, business people, students and people with disabilities have as well.

ITKAN is  engaged with John to apply his model and exercises related to neuroplasticity to the disability community, and we are very excited to have him present to our membership. Join us in an introduction to this unique neuro-training program at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital on November 9th!

John Kennedy, President and Primary Neuroplastician, is a pioneer in the field of Targeted Neuroplastic Training (TNT). After 20 years developing innovative outside the box solutions for businesses in diverse industries he was contracted by the US Marines in 2006 to develop a program to reduce casualties in combat primarily from IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) by improving focus and intuition (“sixth sense”) and accelerating executive function under stress.

November 9, 2017
5-7 p.m.

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital
26W171 Roosevelt Road
Wheaton, IL  60187
Building 2, Conference Room 1

Job Opportunity – Helpdesk Analyst at Obama Foundation

The Obama Foundation, the platform for former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s philanthropic activities and an integral part of their voice for continued civic engagement, has a job opening for a Helpdesk Analyst. The Helpdesk Analyst will ensure that Foundation staff members in Chicago have the technology they need in order to do their jobs. This includes both reactively responding to Help Desk issues as well as proactively identifying and addressing trends in tickets submitted and putting into place training and resources designed to decrease tickets submitted in the future.

If you’d like to apply, please see the this job description in PDF format. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.) In addition if you are submitting for the role, let us know so that we can track and support you.

Good luck.

ITKAN’s Business After-Hours on Disability Inclusion at Microsoft

Register for the October 12th event.

Join us as we celebrate ITKAN’s corporate and civic relationships at our second annual ITKAN Business After-Hours on October 12, 2017 at the Microsoft Technology Center in downtown Chicago!

Kick off the evening with a cocktail hour sponsored by SPR Consulting, and network with colleagues or make new connections in the business and civic community. Jenny Lay-FlurrieMicrosoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, will give our keynote address – Disability Inclusion: Empowering Everyone to Achieve More! Gain insights on disability inclusion at Microsoft and how building the best products for everyone requires a diverse and inclusive workforce across all abilities.

We will be honoring our long-time partners Adam Hecktman and Shelley Stern Grach of Microsoft’s Urban Engagement Team with the Rose Stein Light from Within Award for their ongoing commitment to and support of our mission to create passionate tech leaders with disabilities for the workforce of tomorrow. Finally, Tim Roessler, Director of Outreach & Partnerships at GenesysWorks and ITKAN Advisory Team member, will give the closing remarks.

Thu, October 12, 2017
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

Microsoft Technology Center
200 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

The Microsoft Urban Engagement Team manages Microsoft’s civic engagement in Chicago, engaging with local community and civic leaders to understand and diagnose community needs and bring relevant resources and programs to bear on public challenges. Adam Hecktman is the Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago and Cleveland on this team, and Shelley Stern Grach is the Director of Civic Engagement for Chicago and Detroit.   Collectively, they have over 40 years of tenure at Microsoft, serving the company that they treasure in the city that they love.

September 2017 Meeting – Meet Our Members Night

Update: Our September meeting has been moved to SPR Consulting’s office at the Willis Tower. Register for the September 14th meeting.

At our next meeting we will conduct a panel discussion with several of our members. Each has achieved a successful competitive internship with one of our valued corporate or civic partners and is forging a career in the exciting tech sector!

Advisory Team member and Membership committee co-chair Val Kendrick will be moderating this high-energy discussion with a diverse panel of ITKAN members. This promises to be a valuable evening whether you’re a candidate, HR or talent executive, or C level officer looking to establish a more diverse, inclusive and innovative culture. Please join us and Meet our Members!

September 14, 2017
5-7:00 p.m.

Willis Tower
SPR Consulting
233 S Wacker Dr., Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60606

Summer Vacation

We are beginning to experience more opportunities to place ITKAN members into competitive internships or full-time roles! Our next meeting will be September 14th, Val Kendrick will lead a “Meet the Candidates Night”.

Recently our full Advisory Team met to strategize on moving ITKAN into our next phase with a focus on preparing our members for the shifting technology landscape. Our Membership, Partnerships, and Knowledge Share Committees are kicking off their efforts through the summer, and as a result our next Monthly Members’ Meeting will be September’s. We will send September event invitations three weeks before the meeting.

Future Meetings

  • We are planning our 2nd Annual Business After-Hours for our October meeting at the MTC to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer will give the keynote, and we will present the Rose Stein “Light from Within” Award.
  • Our November meeting will be at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. John Kennedy will introduce us to his unique Neuro-training program, Combat Brain Training. Trust us, you want to be there!

Hope to see you in September.