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itSMF LA Q2 15 eNewsletter
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    itSMF Los Angeles

     Quarterly NewsFlash



April 20, 2015 - Q2 Edition ............................................................... Editor: Paul M. Dooley


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In this Edition:

  • Message from the President's Desk 
  • Complimentary ITIL Training for Members
  • Our Upcoming Meetings for Q2 - Register Now!!
  • Special Upcoming Events - SoTEC, and our Holiday Event!
  • Now Earn PDU Credits for Attending Meetings and Events!
  • Plan to attend Fusion 15 in the Fall!
  • itSMF LA Board Contact Info
  • prISM News


A Message from the President's Desk

Hello LIG members,


Wow!  What a fantastic start we have had to 2015!  If you have not heard all the exciting news, please let me update …


In January, we appointed our new President Elect for 2016, Stephanie Telander.  Many of you may remember Stephanie as the Los Angeles area VP for 2011/2012.  Stephanie has been in the IT industry for over 20 years and has performed multiple service management roles in her career; including, Manager of the Service Management Office for the Internal Services Department of Los Angeles County.  Stephanie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and we are excited to have her as part of the LA itSMF board moving forward.  Please join me in welcoming Stephanie in her new role!


In February, we had one of the all-time great LIG meetings in my tenure, as LA County, winners of the national itSMF 2014 Project of the Year, presented their amazing journey of how they transformed their IT organization.  They shared invaluable experience, tips and lessons learned to a packed house of LIG members.  If you have not seen their presentation, it is fantastic.  Check our Group Pages, "past presentations" section on this web site. 


And in March, we raised the bar for all the other LIGs in the nation, by being the first itSMF user group to offer complimentary education for its members.  On March 21, we officially launched the complimentary education with a no-cost-to-members one-day ITSM simulation.  The simulation gave everyone a chance to not just hear about the benefits of service management, but to experience its value first hand.  Lots of good fun, great synergy, and invaluable learning. 


And we are just getting started!  In Q2 we plan to continue the momentum with new partnership meetings with PMI and IIBA, an incredible Service Management Symposium breakfast meeting featuring well known industry experts discussing the important service management issues, and our second complimentary training course for itSMF LIG members:   ITIL Foundation course.  Please see the calendar of events in this newsletter for exact dates and locations of the Q2 events.  And if you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me at:


Have a GREAT second quarter, and I look forward to seeing you around the LIG!



Roc Paez



714.404.9786 cell


Earn PDU Credits for Attending itSMF Los Angeles Meetings!

ItSMF USA Members will earn Professional Development Unit (PDU) continuing education credits when they attend an itSMF Los Angles LIG Meeting. To claim your PDU credit, report your attendance at one of our sessions under “Category B – Continuing Education”.


Pickup up a “certificate of attendance“ before you leave our meeting, along with any handouts from the presentation delivered at the meeting. When reporting, supply:

  • Date and title of itSMF LA LIG even
  • Hours spent attending the meeting (typically 2)
  • Number of PDUs being claimed: 2

Complimentary ITIL Certification Training for LA LIG Members Only!


We will be delivering complimentary ITIL Training this year for itSMF Los Angeles Voting Members! If you are not a member of itSMF USA, and the Los Angeles LIG, you need to join NOW to take advantage of this great benefit to LA LIG Members. To learn more and join, go to


ITIL Classes to be offered to itSMF LA LIG Voting Members will include:

  • ITIL “Formula One” Race Car Simulation – learn the real mechanics of ITIL in a 1 day ITIL best-practices simulation, using a Formula One scenario – Completed March 21, 2015
  • Upcoming:  ITIL Foundation course – “basic training” in the ITIL framework of best-practices, to be given on Jun 13, and June 20, 2015, at the HP Cerritos office. See below for more info. 
  • Upcoming:  ITIL Service Operation course– an Intermediate course, to be held later in the year (dates to be announced)

These courses are a tremendous value for Members. Seats are limited, so if you are interested in registering, and are an itSMF LA LIG Member, send mail to Or click on our Events page, and register directly for an upcoming class!


Plan to Attend Our Upcoming Meetings in Q2!

Topic:“Breakfast Symposium on Service Management for Highly Regulated Industries


Date: May 13th – San Gabriel

Time: 7:15 11:00 AM Breakfast Meeting

Location: Fullerton Marriott Hotel

Cost: $20.00 Non-members /Members are free
Dinner: Provided by our sponsor.
Parking: Free
Attire: Business Casual
For info contact: Ray Ybarra email:  mobile:626.437.5259
Registration: Please visit the events secion of our web site to register. 


A panel of industry leaders share their expertise on how your team can provide exceptional service center experiences while staying profitable and compliant in a highly-regulated industry.



Lafe Ball

A senior service leader, Lafe Ball has a 30-year track record of effective customer-focused delivery in the medical device, telecom and manufacturing industries. He has worked with organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, ASP and AT&T. Lafe’s bailiwick lies in identifying business opportunities that move service activities from cost centers to revenue generator centers. Lafe Ball’s favorite mantra is “the customer is the one focus you cannot lose focus of”.


Michael Goldsby, Ph.D.

Michael is a visionary technology thought-leader with a 25-year historyof delivering commercial technology & software solutions. He has successfully co-founded four startups, and held leadership and executive positions at Disney, Qualcomm, and Veritas Scientific. A multiple product innovation award winner, Michael is recognized by many as a leader in crafting game-changing solutions.  As a Principal Consultant at Solugenix, he is currently leading a project to deliver low-cost technology and predictive/prescriptive analytics to retail clinics and wellness programs in the workplace.

Peter J. McGarahan

Currently a Senior Director with First American Title, Peter possesses over 27 years of IT and Business management experience, optimizing and aligning service organizations. His thought leadership has influenced the maturity and image of the service and support industry. Named one of the “Top 25 Professionals in the Service and Support Industry” by IT Support News, Peter has earned multiple awards for his endless efforts in mentoring, leading and coaching.  


Kal Subramanian

Kal is a financial industry executive with expertise in business and technology. He is a certified ITIL EXPERTTM with a successful track record of delivering strategic, global, and complex initiatives for American Express. In his current role as Director, he focuses on delivering competitive advantage in the market place, through state-of-the art capabilities such as delivering merchant offers on Mobile phones, creating the new Merchant Information Data Warehouse for advanced analytics and reporting, creating and managing the Global Strategy for the IT Infrastructure and ITIL/ITSM processes.

Sanjay Rao


Sanjay’s leadership history in technology development spans almost two decades. A serial entrepreneur since 2005, Sanjay helped create numerous startups in technology and legal analytics. He has won multiple entrepreneurship awards, and held leadership positions in publicly-traded software companies in the US. He joined Solugenix in 2014 where he builds solutions that address real-world business problems using predictive analytics.

About Our Sponsor:  


SOLUGENIX- Providing technology solutions since 1969.  SOLUGENIX provides PEOPLE, PROCESS and

Los Angeles LIG | San Gabriel Valley Region Breakfast Meeting

TECHNOLOGY to improve customers’ experiences. For over 45 years, we have been building relationships and delighting customers.  Our niche:  CUSTOMER-FOCUSEDHIGHLY REGULATED INDUSTRIES.  To learn more about our service offerings, visit us at or call us at 1.866.749.7658 to discuss your needs with one of our professional consultants. 


Topic: Attend Our “CTO Roundtable” and Learn From the Experts!

Date: May 28th – Los Angeles Area

Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: North Highland Consulting Services, 523 West 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA  90014

For more info, contact: John Ambris, Email, or call 626-437- 5259 
To Register:  Please visit the events section of our web site to register. 


Ben Gerst, Senior Vice President of Platform Development, FOX Sports.   Ben Gerst is Senior Vice President of Platform Development at FOX Sports.  He leads the 70+ employee digital engineering team at FOX Sports including Mobile, Web and TV Everywhere Engineering, Content Management, Quality and Operations.  His teams launched the responsive and aired the first ever Super Bowl on a mobile app last year.  Prior to his role with FOX Sports, Ben spent eight years at The New York Times where he led the Platform Technologies group responsible for Search, API’s, Advertising and Developer Outreach among other things.

Francis Nickels, Director of Operations, Riot Games.  Francis Nickels joined Riot Games in 2010 as the Director of Operations and has helped build teams and the global compute and network infrastructure for the company’s flagship online game, League of Legends.  Over the past ten years his focus has been on global, high availability technology infrastructure and applications in a variety of business domains.  Some of the companies he has previously worked at include Blizzard Entertainment, Roll Global, and Experian. 

Eugene Kovnatsky, Vice President, Software Engineering, NBC Universal.  Eugene Kovnatsky is Vice President, Software Engineering in NBCU Technology, Digital Products and Interactive Media. He oversees all aspects of Software Engineering including application architecture, technology selection, coding standards, and software reliability, as well as staffing policies and budgeting & forecasting of the Software Engineering organization. Eugene joined NBCUniversal in July of 2013.  Prior to NBCUniversal Eugene served as VP, Software Engineering at Dex Media, the leading provider of marketing solutions for local businesses, where he led the Software Engineering and Agile Project Management organizations in charge of supporting a $500M Digital Product Development business. 

Tony Karrer, Founder & CEO of TechEmpower, Founder & CTO of Aggregage.  Tony Karrer is a founder and consulting CTO at TechEmpower a leading web/mobile/software development company and founder/CTO of Aggregage, a B2B media startup.  Tony has worked with numerous startups as a part-time CTO including as the acting CTO for eHarmony for its first four years.  In addition to working with startups, Tony has consulted on technology implementations for large companies including Credit Suisse, Citibank, Lexus, Universal Music, IBM and HP.  Tony is very active in the Los Angeles technology and startup ecosystem running the LA CTO Forum, the largest CTO group in the country, and Mentor Night, a peer founder mentoring group.

Topic:  "Why Should I Partner With You?" 

Date:  June 4th– Orange County Area  

Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Location: Optum - 2300 Main Street, Irvine, CA
For more info, contact:  Jim Thomas
To register:  Please visit the events section of our web site to register.   

Join us for our next itSMF Orange County (OC) area meeting on Thursday, June 4th at Optum in Irvine, CA. We have a knowledgeable speaker and a thought provoking (borderline contentious) topic lined up with a presentation entitled Why Should I Partner with You? (description below).

During this engaging presentation, you will have an opportunity to participate in an interactive discussion with our speaker and other members of the LA LIG Board of Directors on a topic that spans the Service Lifecycle.  This is your opportunity to ask questions or seek advice on real world issues to aid in your own operational, improvement or transformation initiatives. 

Session Overview:

IT leadership has long sought opportunity to partner with the business. In the traditional provider/customer relationship IT often operates in a diminutive role and one limited to support/break fix, helpdesk and other sometimes reactive services. Without mature operational processes to move away from the tactical and reactive, the business is not incentivized to discuss the benefits of a service focused organization.  In some cases, IT has over engineered their processes making them more consumable to IT and less meaningful or valuable to the business.

This presentation will focus on creating, developing and fostering meaningful relationships with our partners.  More importantly, we will discuss how to mature a service delivery and support organizations can provide the opportunity and answer the question, Why Should I Partner with You?  We have to structure our organizations to be in a position of leverage, one that consistently delivers reliable services and more importantly opens the door to meaningful engagement and partnership.

Come join us to hear how we are solving for this at a Fortune 100 Healthcare Company and how to make strides in your own organization.

Speaker:  James “Jim” D. Thomas, IT Service Management Leadership

Jim is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in leading IT in the delivery of solutions and services.  Jim is currently serving in a leadership role with Optum Services focused on Pharmacy Benefits Operations engaging the business and IT stakeholders in the delivery and ongoing improvement of business services. 


Prior to his current position, Jim served as Director of PMO & IT Service Management with Pacific Life Insurance responsible for leading the corporate IT project portfolio in determining priority, budget and initiation of enterprise initiatives aligned to corporate strategy.  Jim has also served as Area VP for the Orange County Chapter of itSMF USA for the past four years and has been an active member since 2008. Jim has presented on numerous occasions to include itSMF, SoTec, Fusion and CIO panels.  Jim is ITIL certified an earned his degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.

Hosted by UGovernIT:  "Run the IT Department like a Business – Run the Business with IT"

You have earned the seat at the table, but you will not be able to keep it if you do not run IT as a Business. Introducing uGovernIT -  our low cost, mobile friendly, cloud based SaaS offering is designed to help you manage your IT department securely and efficiently.  uGovernIT is easy to configure and quick to deploy and includes service desk, project management, resource management, asset management, and the Governance (compliance, security, portfolio management and budgeting) all on a common integrated platform giving you the analytics and 360 degree view to run IT as a business.

uGovernIT facilitates implementing shared services not just for IT but across the enterprise.  This helps IT leadership use the same tool within the department and extend its use to other functions in the business.   uGovernIT's solution is modular, integrated and quick to deploy.


Session:  "Complimentary ITIL Foundation Course for Members" 

Date:  June 13th and 20th – HP Offices, Cerritos, California 

Time: 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Location: Optum - 2300 Main Street, Irvine, CA
For more info, contact:  Roc Paez
To register:  Please visit the events section of our web site.  

This is a special Complimentary ITIL Foundation Course for itSMF Members.  Do NOT pass up this opportunity! 

This course introduces the fundamentals of IT Service Management (ITSM) based on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®). It describes the key concepts, processes, functions and roles of the ITIL® service lifecycle. The course is made up of lectures and practical assignments, which provide an interactive learning experience. This results in good awareness and comprehension of the main aspects of ITIL®. The course prepares attendees for the ITIL® Foundation Certificate examination.  

Candidates can expect to gain knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • Service management as a practice (comprehension)
  • The ITIL® service lifecycle (comprehension)
  • Generic concepts and definitions (awareness)
  • Key principles and models (comprehension)
  • Selected processes (awareness)
  • Selected functions (awareness)
  • Selected roles (awareness)
  • Technology and architecture (awareness)
  • Competence and training (awareness)


Special Upcoming Events


Southland Technology Conference (SoTEC)

Date:  Oct 23-24th, 2015

Time: Various over two days

Location:  Long Beach (specific location to be announced)
For more info, contact:  Roc Paez
To register:  Stay tuned for details


Your itSMF Los Angeles LIG is again participating in the largest technology conference in the Southland.  We will be hosting 4 sessions.  Please mark these dates in your calendar, and plan to attend! 

2016 Kicoff Event!

Date:  TBD, but In Jan of 2016

Time: Evening affair

Location:  To be announced
For more info:  Stay tuned for details


Your itSMF Los Angeles LIG is again hosting a holiday event, with a great speaker, refreshing networking, and fun activities.  We had a great time last year, and we are planning an even bigger and better event this year!  Watch for details!

Plan Now to Attend Fusion 2015!

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Fusion 2015 in New Orleans.  An email inviting people to speak will be going out in a week or two.  Watch for it and plan to speak, or at least attend!


Connect with Our Board Members for 2015

President - Roc Paez, HP -

President Elect – Stephanie Telander

Area VP Orange County - James "Jim" D. Thomas, UHG -

Area VP Los Angeles - John Ambris -

Area VP San Gabriel Valley - Ray Ybarra, -

Area VP Conejo Valley - Carolyn Trocino -

Area VP San Fernando Valley – Irma Shirvanian –

VP Vendor Relations - Jim Flores, MiTECH -

Secretary - Shelly Wright -

Member-at-Large - Dave Howard, MiTECH -

Membership Chair – Barbara Rotondo -

Communication Chair - Paul M. Dooley –

Past President - Donna Holt -  

Consider Applying for a prISM Certification to Boost Your Career!

Ever thought about moving your career forward by leveraging the benefits of an industry recognized credential program?  Why not check into prISM?  prISM is owned by itSMF, and promotes professional recognition of Service Management professionals based on their experience, educational achievements and professional activities.  For more information, visit:

Visit the itSMF LA LIG Web Site for more information on events, upcoming meetings, and free downloads!  Point your browser to itSMF - Los Angeles LIG

The itSMF USA LA LIG eNewsletter is published on a quarterly basis by the itSMF USA LA LIG.  You are receiving this email either because you have a continuing relationship with the itSMF as a Member, or have opted in to receive this periodic email newsletter. 

Please email comments and suggestions to Paul M. Dooley, Membership Chair, itSMF LA,

Paul M. Dooley - itSMF LA Communications Chair.