Involta Finance Advisory Board

Involta Finance Advisory Board

Involta knows finance and technology go hand in hand – and with the right technology in place, leaders in the financial services industry can improve security, reduce downtime, and drive efficiencies at every level. The Involta Finance Advisory Board is designed to help realize this vision, further identify IT needs for industry-wide business innovation and scale best practices.

About the Board

The Involta Finance Advisory Board includes executives and industry experts from leading financial services companies across the U.S. The Board gathers annually to discuss current information technology industry trends and assess best practices.

By staying at the forefront of technological innovation, financial services companies can leverage IT and accompanying services to improve security, reduce downtime and advance the financial services industry in terms of compliance, productivity and ROI.

Involta asks board members and industry thought leaders to act as strategic advisors for key Involta financial services initiatives. This helps ensure Involta can continue to provide valuable and reliable services to improve financial IT operations. Drawing upon the group’s knowledge, expertise, substantial business experience and insight into the finance industry’s continued evolution is critical to Involta’s vision and overall success.

When the country’s top leaders come together, incredible things happen. Involta looks forward to the continued partnership and camaraderie among our board members and esteemed industry-leading guests for years to come.

Involta Finance Advisory Board Members

Jim Burns

Vice President, Information Technology, GreatAmerica Financial Services

Cedar Rapids, IA

Jim Burns, Vice President of Information Technology at GreatAmerica Financial Services, served as the Vice President and General Manager for Collabrance, a GreatAmerica company from 2009-2015 and he stays involved as a mentor at Collabrance. Prior to joining GreatAmerica in 1996, Jim spent 4 years as head of Information Technology at the FREEDOM Group, a company specializing in insurance software. Before FREEDOM Group, Jim worked in IT for a multinational insurance firm. Jim started his career as an IT Systems Integrator, serving many roles including sales, engineering and application development.

Bill Fortwanger

Chief Information Officer, Dollar Bank

William P. Fortwangler has been the Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Dollar Bank since January of 2017. In 2019, Mr. Fortwangler was named by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as CIO of the Year.

Mr. Fortwangler is responsible for all areas of Dollar Bank’s Information Technology department. 

These areas include:

Cyber Security and Identity Access, Telecommunications, Network, Infrastructure, Application Support and Development, Enterprise Data Warehouse, Enterprise Project Management Office and Requirements management. 

Prior to that Mr. Fortwangler was the CIO for Education Management Corporation a >$1B revenue education consortium including the Art Institutes. Mr. Fortwangler has held many diverse roles within Information Technology over a 30+ year career. From Market Research firms, Chemical Manufacturing, Cloud based Online Financial Services and Outsourced Banking Services Mr. Fortwangler brings a diverse background and approach to IT Leadership. Prior to Dollar Bank and EDMC, Mr. Fortwangler served as the Vice President Technology, of Billing Zone, LLC, an electronic invoice presentment and payment company providing electronic outsourced invoicing, billing, and disbursement solutions to Fortune 500 accounts payable organizations. Mr. Fortwangler was then the Director of Information Technology with Fiserv’s Large Bank Division managing professional services and implementations for on premise and hosted solutions.

Matt Gabel

Senior Vice President, IT Leader, Westfield Bank

Professional History

2015 – Present:  Senior Vice President IT – Westfield Bank

2002 – 2015:  Director Infrastructure Services – Westfield Insurance

1995 – 2002: IT Director, GE Capital Card Services

Affiliations

ISACA, ISC2, SANS, CISA, GCP-CIO Forum, Patriot (Vet) Network

Education

Western Governors University – Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance - MSCIA

Kent State University – Bachelor of Integrative Studies - BIS 

Strengths

  • Executive Leadership
  • Strategic Planning and Budget Optimization
  • Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
  • Business Case Development/Execution
  • Innovation and Operational Efficiency
  • Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Return to Operation 
  • Coaching, Mentoring and Employee Development
  • M&A - People, Process and Technology Integration
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Key Experiences / Achievements

  • Development and Execution of Westfield Bank IT Strategic Plan focused on “cloud first” and “buy vs build” methodologies.
  • Chair of Westfield Bank’s IT Steering Committee in partnership with the Executive Leadership Team and the Board of Directors.
  • As Bank CISO, lead development/execution of Bank’s IT Governance, Risk and Compliance Model to meet regulatory expectations associated with FDICIA, OCC and FFIEC guidance.
  • Centralized budget for IT systems/services/support to allow multi-year forecasting optimization.
  • IT Leadership development at Westfield Insurance and Westfield Bank.
  • University Hospitals Cybersecurity Advisory Board
  • Security Certifications: CISSP, CISM, CRISC, CEH, CCSP, CDPSE, CHFI.
  • Industry Certifications: AIS, AINS, ABA-ORM.
  • US Marine Corps Veteran.

Personal

  • Current Role:  Senior Vice President, Information Technology
  • Tenure:  5 years at Westfield Bank; 19 years with Westfield Companies 
  • Residence:  Canton, OH   Spouse: Lori Gabel
  • Interests:  Weight training, woodworking, home improvement, science fiction, history

Lance Poole

Chief Executive Officer, Juniper Labs

Lance is the founder and CEO of Juniper Labs, a fintech startup that is transforming the way the financial services industry views data and underwriting. Prior to Juniper Labs, Lance founded and scaled Maxwell, a leading digital mortgage platform. Lance also has spent a decade on the carrier side of the business as a product actuary. He has a deep understanding of strategy and innovation process and has coached executives at Stanford’s Institute of Design.

Juniper Labs provides SMB risk transparency for insurance companies, lenders and other financial services companies. We have a suite of APIs that answer questions like, “Who are you?”, “What do you do?” and “Has anything in your business changed?” by unlocking risk-laden data hidden in unstructured text.

Ken Thomalla, CPA, CLU, CFP

Chief Operating Officer, Treloar & Heisel

Mr. Thomalla followed his father’s footsteps into the business, Treloar & Heisel, Inc. in 1991, after earning his degree in Accounting and completing a stint as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche. Since 2005, Mr. Thomalla has co-led as the Chief Operating Office (COO) of Treloar & Heisel, Inc. a widely recognized provider of comprehensive financial services to dental and medical professionals. The firm represents more than 16,000 dental and medical specialists.

 

As the COO of Treloar & Heisel, Mr. Thomalla engages his affinity for numbers and problem solving to address the day-to-day opportunities and challenges of running a dynamic, growing, nationwide enterprise. Mr. Thomalla’s exceptional performance has been recognized by the insurance industry through membership in MetLife’s President’s Club, MassMutual’s Chairman’s Club and Top of the Council, and the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).

 

Mr. Thomalla is motivated by the goals and responsibilities to his family and to the employees of the company.

 

*Registered in IL to perform accounting activities except attestation services

Ken Wagers

Vice President, Client Experience, Kelmar

Ken Wagers serves as Vice President of Client Information Services in Kelmar’s Colorado office. Ken holds a Master of Taxation from the University of Denver (1985) and a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Accounting from the College of Idaho (1984). His experience in the field dates from 1987, when he began developing unclaimed property management systems. Ken has spent his career working collaboratively with nearly every state, focusing on system implementations, integrations, and best practices. Mr. Wagers has successfully overseen ninety system implementations in unclaimed property departments, including twenty-five KAPS® implementations during his tenure at Kelmar.

Ken joined Kelmar in 2012 as Director and has since held the position of Managing Director prior to his role as Vice President. Collaborating extensively with Kelmar’s reporting and processing teams, he is responsible for Client Information Services, including management, development, and delivery of KAPS®, the next generation unclaimed property management system for state governments. In addition, Ken manages Kelmar's relationships with its client states. As a Client Relationship Manager, he serves as the primary contact and resource for designated clients. In this capacity, he ensures the highest level of client service.

Ken serves on the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) committee that developed the both the “NAUPA II” standard, and the current modernization project for the “NAUPA III” reporting standard. Ken serves on the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) Corporate Affiliate Board and is a regular speaker at NAST and NAUPA conferences. He has attended the National Institute of Public Finance at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Businss School as both an attendee and speaker several times and earned his Certificate in Public Treasury Management from the Institute. Ken was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from NAUPA in 2017.

Prior to joining Kelmar, Ken was a Senior Vice President at Xerox Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse (formerly ACS). For eight years, he was responsible for the development and delivery of unclaimed property systems offerings, including UPS2000, UPMS, HRS Pro and MissingMoney.com. Previously, Ken founded Wagers & Associates, Inc. where he was President and Owner for fifteen years, building the first commercial system responsible for managing unclaimed property reports for unclaimed property departments. During this time, Ken created and implemented the unclaimed property reporting systems utilized by forty-three unclaimed property departments in the United States and Canada. While at ACS, Ken was awarded the 2005 ACS Hustle award for his team’s work on MissingMoney.com.

Earlier in his career, Ken served as the Chief Financial Officer at Erbtec Engineering, Inc. from 1989-1995. He managed all financial and information technology aspects of the national leader of RF amplifiers for MRI medical imaging systems and assisted with negotiating the sale of the company to a leading medical devices company. As Senior Consultant CPA (now inactive) at Deloitte Haskins & Sells from 1985-1989, Mr. Wagers worked in various departments in the Denver office, including several years in the tax practice, and led the small business information systems consulting group. He was responsible for the installation of accounting solutions and network systems for small business clients, and the implementation and development of government reporting compliance systems.

Phil Wilson, CPA

Principal, Hill Barth and King

Phil is a Principal in the Youngstown, Ohio office of HBK CPAs & Consultants. Phil began his public accounting career in 1985 with Seidman and Seidman, now BDO USA LLP and joined HBK in 1987. In 2004, Phil was selected as HBK CPAs & Consultants’ first Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of HBK and to ensure the firm continues to meet the exacting standards of today’s professional services firms. Phil also serves clients as one of the firm’s second review Principals, providing research and expert counsel on complex accounting and auditing issues. His industry experience includes manufacturing, nonprofits, healthcare, real estate, construction contractors and employee benefit plans.

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