More than 500 people attended the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s CIO of the Year Awards ceremony at the Westin Convention Center Hotel on March 21, 2019 to honor the top chief information officers and chief information security officer in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Each year, the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Greater CIO Group solicit nominations for the region’s top tech executives as a means to spotlight local leadership and talent.

“This is our annual opportunity to recognize and honor the hard work of CIOs and CISOs for their accomplishments at the biggest celebratory event of the year honoring these unspoken heroes of the IT world,” said Pittsburgh Technology Council President and CEO Audrey Russo. “Our partnership with the Greater CIO Group ensures we reach every corner of the industry to uncover the most talented professionals.”

For 2019, the CIO of the Year Awards added a new “Rising Star” category to recognize emerging industry talent and innovation. At a silent auction, the event raised $7,000 for RedchairPGH, a network of women and men who are committed to creating gender balance in the Pittsburgh technology professions.

CIO of the Year: Terabyte

Dr. Robert White
Dr. Robert White

Dr. Robert White, Chief Medical Information Officer, Allegheny Health Network

Dr. Robert White is Chief Medical Information Officer at Allegheny Health Network (AHN). He has played a pivotal role in the establishment of AHN as a leading provider of high quality, innovative and patient-centered health services for the people of western PA. White leads the design and implementation of the Network’s clinical information technology strategy.

Under White’s direction, AHN successfully transitioned to a single industry leading Epic electronic record platform at all hospitals and clinics, significantly improving both its clinical and operational success. He directs other technology solutions that support the delivery of well-coordinated, high quality clinical care, enhanced patient engagement, telemedicine and population health management. His work continues to maximize the value of the technology investments and to further innovate and implement emerging technologies aligned to the organization’s unique requirements.

He joined AHN from the Cleveland Clinic where he was responsible for directing multiple system-wide initiatives to improve and expand the use of clinical information technology throughout the Clinic. White helped further establish the Clinic’s recognition as one of the country’s most technologically advanced and integrated patient-centered healthcare organizations.

White is board certified in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.


  1. Mike Keslar, CIO, Clearing, Markets and Issuer Services and President, BNY Mellon Pennsylvania
  2. Richard Liebscher, Sr., VP, Corporate Development & CIO, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group

CIO of the Year Gigabyte

William Fortwangler
William Fortwangler

 William Fortwangler, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Dollar Bank

William Fortwangler is the Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Dollar Bank, where he was recruited as a change agent to lead a superannuated IT department into a new value-driven culture. He took a reactive IT organization and made them a proactive value-added business partner striving for operational excellence.

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, he brings a diverse background and approach to IT Leadership.Before coming to Dollar Bank, Fortwangler was the CIO for Education Management Corporation Prior to that, he served as the Vice President of Technology at Billing Zone, LLC, an electronic invoice presentment and payment company providing electronic outsourced invoicing, billing, and disbursement solutions to Fortune 500 accounts payable organizations.

He was then the Director of Information Technology with Fiserv’s Large Bank Division managing professional services and implementations for on premise and hosted solutions. Fortwangler specializes in transforming IT organizations so that their business value can be emphasized and favorably measured.


  • Mark Miko, Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Duquesne Light Company
  • Walter Muchow, Director of IT, Trident Maritime Systems
  • Joshua Stauffer, Senior Director – Information Technology, Harbison Walker International, Inc.
  • Mark Volovic, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Chief Experience Officer, Indiana Regional Medical Center

CIO of the Year Megabyte

James Bish
James Bish

James Bish, Chief Information Officer, Libertas Copper dba Hussey Copper

Jim Bish is the Chief Information Officer at Libertas Copper, now the world’s largest and most expert producer of electrical copper bar. Libertas Copper has been a dependable link in American manufacturing supply chains for nearly 170 years. Bish has led the Information Technology team there for five years. He has modernized many aspects of IT, transforming the once family run helpdesk IT team culture to a strategic partner within the business. Bish works closely with the firm’s executives to achieve the strategic goals of the business and improve operational productivity.

Working with his experienced IT team, Bish has planned, managed, and executed numerous successful projects on-time and within budget. He has implemented: team structure, IT policies and procedures, infrastructure improvements, ERP manufacturing systems throughout all plants, storefront site for the antimicrobial business, SharePoint environment, CRM system, labor/data collection system, physical count capabilities, security systems, among numerous other successful projects. Bish also provides a rewarding environment by mentoring the team and users at all levels.

Bish has more than 20 years of experience leading successful information technology initiatives over his career.


  • Brian Abercrombie, Chief Technology Officer, Tristate Capital Bank
  • Matthew Beck, CTO, SingleSource
  • David Disciascio, VP of Software, Bossa Nova
  • Jamie Headley, Director of IT, Allegheny Financial Group

CIO of the Year Nonprofit

Joanne Peca
Joanne Peca

Joanne Peca, Chief Information Officer, Penn State Altoona

Dr. Joanne C. Peca, Chief Information Officer for Penn State Altoona, has worked in the field of information technology for more than 22 years in both hands-on and leadership roles. Most of her career has been spent in the realm of higher education, focusing on strategic organizational leadership and technology in education. Since 2015, Peca has taught for Penn State University, sharing her industry experience with undergraduate and graduate students in both on-campus and online settings.

Peca understands implicitly the principles and practices of effective organizational leadership and the value of empowering and supporting others. She provides strong IT leadership to the University and uses her expertise to continually refine and develop her teams. The leadership and IT teams she created have facilitated the successful completion of several major projects to enhance the IT operations of the University.

Peca holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership Studies from Northeastern University, a Master of Science in Information Systems from Drexel University, a Master of Business Administration from Rider University, a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Penn State University, and a Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University. She is also a CISSP, a certified ITIL Expert, and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.


  • Jon Amelio, Chief Technology Officer, Allegheny Intermediate Unit
  • Melissa Alsing, CIO, Seton Hill University
  • Charles Bartel, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, Duquesne University
  • Tim Wilson, AVP of Information Technology, Point Park University

CISO of the Year

Thomas Dugas
Thomas Dugas

Thomas Dugas, Assistant Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer, Duquesne University

Tom Dugas serves as AVP and CISO for Duquesne University, where he runs the Information Security program. In two years, he was able to launch the program from scratch and now manages protection of the electronic assets of the University. Through close collaboration and partnership with the other IT leaders and business units, Dugas established information security policy and procedures, an incident response plan, third party risk assessment process, vulnerability management program, security operations center (SOC), event management effort, data governance and an identity and access management program.

He is devoted to building a community around information security locally and nationally by helping to co-lead the Greater Pittsburgh CISO Group, KINBER Cyber Security Working Group, and the C-CUE Consortium on Information Security. Dugas is also part of the 2019 EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference Committee and is on the Advisory Board for the Pittsburgh CIO Forum and the Governing Body for the Evanta CXO Executive Summit.

Dugas is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a Master’s degree in Communication and Information Systems and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with majors in Accounting and Management Information Systems.


  • Paul Grieggs, Executive Director, IT Security, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Omar Khawaja, CISO, HM Health Solutions
  • Michael Tallent, Director, Chief Information Security Officer, Duquesne Light Company

CIO of the Year Rising Star

Justin Denham
Justin Denham

Justin Denham, Vice President, Information Security Governance, Dollar Bank

Justin Denham is a Security Governance Leader with more than 15 years of experience across a broad range of IT functions including infrastructure, IT audit, project management, and security. He provides oversight on IT operations and projects to ensure alignment with strategic goals while managing IT risk and security.

In a VP position newly created to align with and expand his diverse skill set, Denham is charged by the Chief Information Security Officer to provide challenge, intellectual debate and act as a sounding board. He consistently and proactively challenges IT teams in a constructive and supportive interaction that elicits the best architecture designs, process improvements, strong controls and solid security. He rounds these activities out by being an active partner with and liaison between IT and Internal Audit.

Denham’s leadership skills continue to mature, supported by his being accepted into the first inaugural cohort of the Pittsburgh IT Leader Program.


  • Justin Graham, Director of IT Operations, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Mark Guy, MD, VP of Clinical Informatics, Allegheny Health Network
  • Dolores “Dee” Kranick, Director Enterprise Infrastructure, Arconic, Inc.
  • Rahul Singh, IT Director – Enterprise EBusiness & Infrastructure, Black Box Corporation