It’s apt that Partner Summit 2018 fell during Scottsdale’s first 100-degree day because the event was figuratively on fire. Eighty partners from around the country joined us at Andaz Resort from April 10 to 12 for three days of learning, networking, and getting a behind-the-scenes peek at InfoArmor. The tl;dr versions come from our attendees: “Absolutely worth the time!” "The conference was amazing!" "Probably the best event that I go to all year."
Tuesday kicked off with lunch on the patio before Emily Snell welcomed everyone and kicked off the event. Ammon Curtis, SVP of product and marketing, was the first keynote speaker of the event. He headed straight into an inspirational presentation about learning, staying customer-centered, and underlining InfoArmor’s mission to transform the security of humankind. A number of partners pointed to Curtis’ presentation as the highlight of the event.
Though he was a tough act to follow, guest keynote speaker Vinny Sakore, CTO of NetDiligence, did so with aplomb. In an hour filled with dad jokes and personal stories, Sakore kept the crowd rapt as he spoke about how technology is transforming culture. The last session of the day was a fireside chat (or as Founder and Executive Chairman Drew Smith called it, a “cactus-side chat”) with Smith, Snell, Sakore, and Curtis.
After an afternoon break (our partners say they loved having "plenty of networking time"), everyone reconvened at Andaz’s spectacular Turquoise Pool for drinks (including a signature InfoArmor cocktail) and an informal dinner. Everyone mingled by the pool and reclined on cabanas as the sun set. As one attendee said, the cocktail hour was “lovely, relaxing, and great to network.” The party definitely went late.
A few cavalier (or jet-lagged?) early birds started Wednesday out with some yoga on Andaz’s Cholla Lawn, then joined everyone for breakfast on the patio before getting down to business.
The sessions started with the panel “Inspiring Collaboration Between Security and Benefits,” moderated by Mike Kirschner, InfoArmor’s SVP of sales, advanced threat intelligence. It was quite a qualified and knowledgeable panel: Jason Zirpoli, SVP and CTO, Federal Reserve System Office of Employee Benefits; Jim Trainor, SVP of cyber solutions group, Aon; and Ted Theisen, senior managing director at Ankura Consulting. It was so informative and enlightening that a few of our attending partners confirmed that the panel was their favorite part of the week.
After a short break, the next panel convened: “Igniting the Future of Benefits.” Meghann Carroll, InfoArmor’s SVP of sales, employee protection solutions, led the panel of Anne Docimo, senior advisor of benefits and employee services at Dell; John Hammond, systems director of benefits, compensation, and HRIS/payroll at Norton Healthcare; and Tom Burton, director of health and welfare programs at The Walt Disney Company. Many attendees named this panel the thing they would definitely keep for next year's summit.
Then it was field trip time! We brought all our partners over to InfoArmor’s headquarters for an office tour, quick presentations from each department, and of course, lunch. The gourmet macaroni and cheese station was a huge hit, and according to one employee, “Meeting the whole InfoArmor team and seeing the Scottsdale office was perfect.” Said another: “People need to see your culture in person. It’s outstanding.”
Next, to help our partners get a burst of inspiration and creativity, we all went on an afternoon visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West for a tour and cocktails. After returning to Andaz, it was time for the awards dinner!
After a hot day, the evening cooled and partners and InfoArmor employees joined together for cocktails and a gorgeous sit-down dinner on the Cholla Lawn. Lights were strung above the tables, flowers and glitzy modern settings adorned the tables, and everyone came together to enjoy dinner, live music from top local band Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and of course, enjoy the awards ceremony.
The awards and the winners were:
Our Securing Humankind Award went to Mercer Voluntary Benefits for making the greatest impact on our mission through most lives covered.
The Influencer Award winner was Willis Towers Watson for having unmatched growth momentum and the highest client count in 2017.
“Rookie” of the Year, by no means a rookie, was Marsh & McLennan, for emerging as the latest InfoArmor powerhouse.
Finally, the Founders Award winner was Aon, for matching InfoArmor’s vision and championing it in their own clients.
The summit closed out on Thursday morning with a presentation from InfoArmor Product Manager Michael Desouza and Senior Product Designer Scott Sanders, who talked about upcoming goals and updates for InfoArmor's PrivacyArmor portal. Next, SVP of Employee Protection Solutions Dustin Hofstein showcased InfoArmor’s commitment to providing the best in customer service and treating every caller like a CEO.
Data Scientist Philip Tully took the stage as a powerhouse closing keynote, discussing data-driven social media security, how account takeovers happen, and how to protect yourself. Anila Arthanari, InfoArmor’s SVP of technology, gathered the morning’s speakers back on the couch for the event’s final fireside chat. One attendee summed up our sessions perfectly: “I think [they give] a better understanding into why your products are so valuable to employees.”
Thank you to all our partners who attended! It was a true pleasure not just to see you, but to spend so much time with you. We hope you’ll come back next year. And if you weren’t able to make it this year, we’ll close with this quote from a partner who attended: “Just an overall positive experience. Met a lot of people from different aspects of this industry that I normally don’t get to meet. The social times were also very fun and just a beautiful venue overall.”