Business IT Events

Upcoming Events

2023 Fall Symposium

Date and Time TBD

October 20, 2022, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

View the 2022 Business IT Annual Symposium page for presentation and proposal information, and a video of the keynote.

The University has been challenged to work toward Operational Excellence as a part of the Next 150 Strategic Plan. How the University manages the effort and what it can look like in our daily work is the next important step for Business IT. You are invited to be part of the conversation as we shape that future.

October 19, 2021. 9-11:30 a.m.


The University has been challenged to work toward Operational Excellence as a part of the Next 150 Strategic Plan. How the University manages the effort and what it can look like in our daily work is a next important step for Business IT. You are invited to be part of the conversation as we shape that future.

The morning will begin with a keynote highlighting the work being done by Huron consulting. You’ll then join breakout rooms with colleagues to brainstorm ways to begin putting ideas into practice. Breakouts will cover one of three themes:
  • Achieving business process consistency
  • Discovering and/or using campus data
  • Sharing best practices/learning opportunities
Each small group will come away with an idea to share with the larger group. Recommendations and suggestions from the event are likely to become critical elements of the Operational Excellence agenda.  


Keynote (15 mins) 
Discussion groups in breakout rooms
Report on themes
Suggested next steps 
Closing remarks

Presentation Slides (Powerpoint)

  • Business IT Collaboration_Demo Day_Data Visualization Download
  • Business IT Collaboration_Demo Day_Adobe Sign Download
  • Business IT Collaboration_Demo Day_MS Teams Project Management Download
  • Business IT Collaboration_Demo Day_MS Teams Foundations Download

Event Details

On September 23, from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m., We encourage you to join us for an afternoon of demonstrations and learning opportunities. As campus envisions the many ways we can better work within and across teams, please spend some time learning with and from your colleagues. Each breakout session will include a demonstration followed by time for active learning. You will come away with ideas for using the tools in your own arenas.

Welcome and Opening Remarks | 1:30 – 1:35 p.m.

Breakout Session One | 1:35 – 2:45 p.m.
  • MS Teams, Part 1: Teams for collaboration and community building
  • Data Visualization
Breakout Session Two | 2:45 – 3:55 p.m.
  • MS Teams, Part 2: Teams for project management
  • Adobe Sign
Closing Remarks | 3:55 – 4:00 p.m.
Session Details

Learn how to securely sign, initial, and enter other information on an electronic document rather than a physical copy with Adobe Sign. Adobe Sign also offers advanced document routing and workflow options that are highly customizable. This service is available free to all staff and faculty. Join this session to learn how to get started with improving your office’s workflows.


The University collects and maintains a tremendous amount of data including financials, student records, employee data, and everything in between. Managing this information and using the information to make timely and informed decisions has always been a challenge. Data visualization tools are designed to provide elegant visual representations of large sets of data with a goal of helping visualize vast amounts of information so that viewers can digest the data more clearly and quickly. These tools provide more easily understood information that results in an opportunity for better decision making.

In this demo panel, campus experts will share several data visualization solutions available to the campus community. The demo will focus on Power BI, Tableau, and advanced Excel techniques for creating data visualizations. The presenters will focus on best practices as well as provide information about the advantages of each tool. The panel will help participants understand how to share information, set up templates, and automate reporting. Additionally, the panel will discuss data sources available on campus and how to follow up on putting these tools to use for you.

Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Office 365 designed to help organizations achieve more together. Experience ways your organization can collaborate when all the conversations, meetings, files, and apps you need live together in one digital hub.

In this two-part demo, you’ll first get a guided tour of Teams to understand the app and learn about key features. Demo session 1 will focus on how University teams are collaborating, building community, and fostering better engagement in a hybrid environment on the Microsoft Teams platform. Demo session 2 will focus on a specific use case and its wide-variety of associated applications to manage projects, direct from the Technology Services and AITS project management teams.

We’ll cover managing files and content, integration with Outlook to reduce point-email communications, other communications tools including conversation channels, chat and video conferencing, task management, planning boards, real-time collaboration, and how to access Microsoft Teams across all your devices to ensure you are always connected.



Ryan Ladd is a Senior Project Manager with Technology Services on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Ryan specializes in portfolio and project management as well as business process improvement. He is responsible for the Business IT project portfolio and uses MS Teams and its associated applications in working with project teams and executive stakeholders. Ryan has a BA in History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Ginger Hundgen is a Project Manager with Technology Services. She is co-project manager for the Business IT Collaboration effort with Ryan Ladd. Ginger joined Technology Services in May 2021. Before this, she spent two years working as an Interim Site Manager in the Research Park and Special Event Coordinator for the Tech Entrepreneur Center in Grainger School of Engineering. Ginger has a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University with a focus in finance and operations.

AJ Lavender is the Assistant Director, Portfolio and Project Management Office and has over 10 years of professional experience in Project and Portfolio Management. She has worked for the last 7 years at the University of Illinois. She has managed large implementations of varying types of projects. She currently leads a team of project managers who manage enterprise level projects for the University of Illinois System. The PMO group is also in charge of the identifying and developing project management methodology, best practices, and standards for the University of Illinois System. AJ has a BS in Organizational Development from Eastern Illinois University.


Sonya Chambers is the Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OVCDEI) where she serves as an integral part of the executive leadership team, reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She supports the entire OVCDEI by providing organizational leadership for critical initiatives and projects.  Over the past 19 years, she has held various leadership roles at UIUC in administrative, research, and academic units. Sonya received her MBA from The Ohio State University and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Management & Finance.

Timisha Luster is the Executive Director of Advancement serving as the chief operating officer for the Gies College of Business Advancement Office assisting the Chief Advancement Officer with daily operations and strategic management. In this role, Timisha also provides vision and leadership for the College’s advancement infrastructure including the supervision of stewardship and donor relations, alumni engagement, communications, and operations.  Over the past 16 years, she has held various accounting and business administrative roles at UIUC in administrative and academic units. Timisha is a two-time alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receiving her bachelor’s degree in Agri-Accounting and master’s degree in Educational Organization and Leadership

Amanda Brown is the Executive Assistant Dean for Administration in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She leads the College of Education administrative teams for budgeting and finance, human resources, marketing and communication, information technology partners, facilities and the dean’s office. For the last 20+ years, Amanda has had the privilege of working for a variety of units across campus including college and campus administrations, academic department, and a research institute.


Brent West is an assistant director for Records and Information Management Services, and service manager for Adobe Sign Enterprise at the University. Brent specializes in policy development, process improvement, and customer service. He works closely with partners on a variety of projects, including a project with the Illinois State Archives to archive email of senior state officials. Brent has a BA in Economics and MS in Management Information Systems from the University of Illinois.

Julie Wagner is the Records and Information Management Coordinator. Julie joined the Records and Information Management Services Team at the University of Illinois in 2017. Previously, she has worked as records manager and archivist at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Texas Vital Statistics Unit. She has her Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from the University of North Texas.

Gloria Keeley is the AVP for Business Services in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. She has 27 years of business and finance experience at the University of Illinois and works regularly with business and finance staff to improve processes and provide liaison services to the entire U of I System.  In her role, Gloria is excited that Adobe Sign offers some exciting new opportunities for streamlining the way we do business and looks forward to working together to remove unnecessary barriers to getting the work of the University accomplished.


Chris Tidrick is the Senior Director of Information Technology Partners for Gies Business.  In his five years with Gies, he has focused on innovative workflow solutions, systems integration, data management, reporting, and visualization, team-building, service delivery, campus collaboration and leadership, stakeholder communications, and technology policy development. Prior to joining Gies, he was the IT Director for Illinois Extension for four years following 15 years as an application and web developer. Chris has a masters in urban planning from University of Illinois and BA in political science from Notre Dame.

Travis Ashmore is the Data Analytics Manager for Engineering IT Shared Services. Travis specializes in project management, process improvement, and business analysis. He works with Engineering partners on projects including Research Expenditures, Student Demographics, and simplifying the ASEE process. Travis has a BA and MS from Eastern Illinois University.

Michelle Rome is an Assistant Director in the College of LAS and oversees the Data Services and Application Development teams for the College. Michelle participates on a variety of college and university committees and enjoys helping individuals and units use technology to help improve and streamline work. While Michelle has degrees in computer science, she helps LAS students gain internship experience in positions that leverage technology in non-profit, business, and research.

Tara Sadler is a Business Intelligence Coordinator for the department of Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS) at the University of Illinois System. She leads a team of developers who create, maintain, and support various types of reporting tools that make it possible for users to utilize university data stored in our warehouse for their reporting needs. Standard batch reports, ad-hoc reporting environments, and data visualization are some of the tools used to accomplish those goals. Tara created a university wide Tableau user group in 2015, with the goal to share knowledge and strengthen collaboration across university departments regarding data visualization. Tara has a BA in Speech Communication, a BS in Computer Science and a MS in Management Information Systems.

Eddie Lee is the functional lead of student and academic data in the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) at AITS. He also serves the President’s Office and Executive Vice President & Vice President for Academic Affairs Office on various strategic initiatives. Eddie has over 10 years of experience in data warehousing, reporting, data visualization, data storytelling, product management and communication to diverse audiences.

Emily Stuby is a Senior Data Analyst in the Division of Management Information (DMI). Emily is the Codebook data steward for the Urbana-Champaign Campus and works on a variety of projects and reports within DMI. Emily has a BS in Accounting and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University.

Thursday, October 15

9:30 a.m.–noon
Via Zoom


  • Welcome and Introduction (9:30 – 9:35)
  • Keynote Address – Provost Cangellaris (9:35 – 9:50)
  • Facilitated Discussions (9:50 – 10:50)
  • Break (10:50 – 11:00)
  • Showcases – Participants will Select 1 per Round
    • Round 1 (11:00 – 11:25)
      • Online Service In Excess/Lump Sum – Tanya Wood
      • OVCR Commitments – Jason Butler and Mike Brosco
    • Round 2 (11:30 – 11:55)
      • Data Services Center – Michelle Rome
      • ENGR Time Tracker – Brad Butler and Brandi Pulleyblank
  • Closing Remarks (11:55 – 12:10)


DSC:  The Data Services Center (DSC) was developed in LAS by ATLAS to locate and gain access to data. Features include a discovery component plus the ability to favorite frequently used reports and suggest reports based on set preferences. The tool allows for individuals across the institution to register data so that it can be found in the Discovery portion of the application regardless of format or delivery method. (presenter: Michelle Rome)

Online Service In Excess:  FormBuilder application developed by AITS that accommodates the Service In-Excess process in an online format with electronic routing and approvals. The tool allows units to submit SIE requests and have the request route appropriately depending on the campus and employee group of the employee performing the service. (presenter: Tanya Wood)

ENGR Time Tracker:  Time reporting application developed in ENGR that allows employees to document working hours, and for supervisors to confirm or return for correction these hours submitted by employees. TimeTracker provides an easy and convenient way for employees to document their working hours. (presenters: Brad Butler/Brandi Pulleyblank)

OVCR Commitments:  Web-based application developed by OVCR that helps track agreed upon financial commitments between organizations. The application fosters transparency, accountability, and process improvement surrounding monetary promises. (presenters: Jason Butler/Mike Brosco)

We are excited both about progress already made and the next steps that come about as a result of the discussion. We look forward to seeing you on October 15.
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