CDM Media Turns Eight: Joe Macdonald

As we gear up to celebrate CDM Media’s eighth anniversary, we’re sharing interviews with our longest tenured employees about their fondest and funniest memories and what CDM Media means to them (with classic photos, of course). Hope you enjoy.

Joe Macdonald

Tell us about your role at CDM Media. 

My role is very complex but rarely understood. I am a storyteller and the first audience for CDM’s video strategy. I sculpt, slice, shave, and trim. I decide when to reorder, when to add time, when to take it away, when to tighten and when to let it breathe. I try to impose form, structure and logic to enhance the performance of others whilst also correcting their mistakes. What I choose to take away is just as important as what I choose to keep. Through hundreds of creative, selective, structural decisions and from hours of raw material, I create excitement for the CDM brand. The less you notice the intricacies of my work, the more successful I have been!

Why did you join CDM Media? How many years have you been on board? 

I have been with CDM for 7 years. I have always preferred to work in a small startup environment where you get to know everyone personally and also you get to see how your work ultimately effects the business. Compared to a typical large corporate environment where you just become a number.

How has CDM Media impacted your career?

Simply put, CDM has really made me more confident when tackling new projects and dealing with really high up executives.

Do you have a most memorable experience?

I believe this took place in either 2009 or 2010, I was living in Hawaii and we were coming up on the holiday break and I was getting a lot of pressure from my family to fly back to Virginia for the holidays. During that time, gas prices were getting out of control and unfortunately airline tickets at that time were 2-3x the normal cost to fly, which was no bueno for me. Long story short, CDM picked up the cost for my ticket and I got to spend the holidays with my family.

What is your favorite thing about working at CDM Media?

The people!

If CDM Media were a person, what would you buy as an anniversary present? 

Not of an actual item, but whatever it is, it would have to be a really really loud florescent color

CDM Media Turns Eight: Ben Sochacki Interview

As we gear up to celebrate CDM Media’s eighth anniversary, we’re sharing interviews with our longest tenured employees about their fondest and funniest memories and what CDM Media means to them (with classic photos, of course). Hope you enjoy.

Ben Sochacki

Tell us about your role at CDM Media. 

My role at CDM is to work closely with the BDM & RM teams to ensure they are achieving their personal and professional goals. Obviously a large part of that is working with the teams so that we hit not only our summit goals but also the office targets

Why did you join CDM Media? How many years have you been on board? 

I joined CDM Media nearly 5.5 years ago to start my career in sales. I just happened to be pitching CDM Media on services I was selling at my previous company, in the dead of winter in Chicago, and after a few discussions I asked for the opportunity to join the company. My understanding of CDM at the time was that the company was a young, scrappy organization that was looking to change the way that events were produced. The culture sounded great and at the time CDM was based out of Hawaii so that didn’t hurt either J

How has CDM Media impacted your career?

CDM has provided me with a lot of opportunities over the years, not only from a professional perspective, but personal as well. Moving from Chicago to Hawaii in 2010, back to Chicago in 2011, and a few flights for events in between I have truly enjoyed the traveling. I also have had the opportunity to learn from some great people; some on the sales side and others on CSEM/operation areas. My time at CDM has allowed me to grow as a sales professional and I look forward to what comes in the future with the continued expansion.

Do you have a most memorable experience?

There are quite a few memorable experiences which come to mind, probably too many to list. There are definitely a couple which make me chuckle when thinking about them, especially outside of the office with the company days out, but I’ll never forget my first deal:

  • My First Deal – It had been a long 3 months, to the day I believe, and I didn’t have a clue that the contract went out let alone it actually coming back. Mark pulled me into the conference room and I thought I had done something wrong…until he said that I had a contract in. He told me how much it was and given I had just started and didn’t really understand most of what mark said with his accent, I thought he said $90,000! Turned out it was $19,000 instead L

What is your favorite thing about working at CDM Media?

It has to be the people! I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people over the past 5 years, many of which have become good friends, whether they are still with the company, or have left. In my opinion, people are the most important thing about any company, as if you don’t have the right ones with the right attitude then it’s tough to grow as an organization. I’m very happy to say that we have a great group across the board in all offices!

If CDM Media were a person, what would you buy as an anniversary present?

Working on it…..

CDM Media Turns Eight: Heather Reed Interview

As we gear up to celebrate CDM Media’s eighth anniversary, we’re sharing interviews with our longest tenured employees about their fondest and funniest memories and what CDM Media means to them (with classic photos, of course). Hope you enjoy.

Heather Reed

Tell us about your role at CDM Media.

I am the VP of Sales Operations & Enablement which translates into a little bit of almost everything. I support all offices in many aspects from deal approvals, to strategic reporting, to sales presentations, to you name it. I work with all of our staff members directly in various capacities so, odds are, most of you have a pretty good idea of what I do, or rather what my role does for you.

 Why did you join CDM Media? How many years have you been on board?

I joined CDM Media officially on March 25, 2008 as our first female salesperson and worked on our ITO America project out of the Honolulu, HI office. I have always worked in some sort of sales and/or marketing role and had spent the previous 5 years in retail and just couldn’t take it anymore. CDM lured me in by offering an opportunity to get in on the ground level with company that would also provide potential to travel (something I’d always wanted) so I went for it. I’m especially thankful I made the switch every year around the holidays since it keeps me from having to listen to Christmas carols on repeat for weeks on end.

How has CDM Media impacted your career?

It’s essentially allowed me to design my career around all of my favorite pieces of the business. I’ve always loved selling and have enhanced my sales skill set tremendously during the 5 years I worked as a BDM, but I missed the operations piece I had in previous jobs. After returning from a stint in our Cardiff office, CDM gave me the opportunity to take on a new role to the company, which utilizes my varied skills and past experience, which continues to evolve with each passing day.

Do you have a most memorable experience?

Oh my goodness, there are soooooo many!! Here are a few in no particular order:

•             Mark telling me he hated me within about the first 30 seconds of my phone interview and directly following that by asking me if I wanted to come in for a face to face interview. I promise, it was actually quite funny given the context of the conversation, but it definitely made a lasting impression.

•             Glenn randomly asking me to grab a fax off of the machine for him only to find out that it was the SOW for my first deal.

•             My first 6-figure deal, signed with SAP. But more importantly, the first 6-figure deal I pitched and closed all on my own, signed with Plantronics.

•             Our 80’s themed scavenger hunt in Hawaii which included a male member of my team putting on my bathing suit and jumping off the rock at Waimea.

•             Leaving Hawaii to go work in our Cardiff office  for 6 months during its first year. The team welcomed me with open arms and made that whole experience, both personally and professionally, amazing! I still proudly don my Welsh rugby kit when I can find any of the matches playing on TV here in the US.

•             Having had the opportunity to work in all of the CDM offices and all of the entertaining memories that go along with that.

What is your favorite thing about working at CDM Media?

Working with people that like to work hard and play hard which is always good for a grin or a laugh, especially on the tough days. I’ve also made a few life-long friends along the way which is a pretty awesome benefit!

If CDM Media were a person, what would you buy as an anniversary present?

Oh geez, there’s a question I’ve never thought about before! A little black, or rather a little green book filled with all of the mobile phone numbers for every CEO, VP of Sales and CMO at every IT service/software provider and a little orange book filled with the mobile numbers for every CIO, CISO & CMO from all of the Forbes global 2000 companies – now that would be a heck of a sales enabler! 😉

A note on the photo: This was Team ITO, and what a team it was! These guys are unfortunately no longer with us as they both moved away from Hawaii but they are two of the life-long friends that I’ve made and responsible for a good portion of the success, laughs and fond memories I have from the last 7+ years.

CDM Media is Turning Eight!

Eight years ago in July 2007, CDM Media was founded by our CEO & Founder, Glenn Willis. From the days in the original Hawaii office (which came with the classic “we can see whales from our office” moment) to building out an expansive creative space in Chicago as our HQ, the mission has stayed the same of creating meaningful, lasting business connections through engagement and interaction.


In 2007, a budding CDM Media ran one event, the CIO Finance Summit. The next year, one became three. Now in July 2015, we’ve already run 30+ events and will more than double that by the end of Q4. Let’s take a look at some other milestones from this year alone: 

  • Tripling staff: We are on track to add 55 new Chicago-based positions before the end of the year to support our growing product portfolio. Read about our aggressive growth plan here.
  • HQ expansion: Our Chicago headquarters is moving to a lofty and creative River North space this summer to accommodate our growing team. Like us on Facebook to follow the move!
  • New York, New York!: A modern new NYC office in the heart of the Flatiron District was opened in April and the Big Apple team has doubled in size since.
  • Giving back: Community outreach continues to increase by company-wide support for organizations like Lurie Children’s Hospital at the Run for Kids 5K in Chicago and the World Wildlife Fund in our UK office – who knew we’d make the news by dressing up as wild animals for a good cause?
  • Power clients: We draw participation from brands like Facebook, CapitalOne, Dunkin Brands, SAP, Google, Salesforce, HP, UPS and Lockheed Martin, and this roster continues to grow on a daily basis.
  • Meet Dovetail: Who better to build an event app than an event company? Dovetail is being developed by and for CDM Media, and will soon to be available for event organizers around the world.
  • Business is good: 14 products added to our Q1 portfolio, 20 custom events in 2015, expansion of our CISO and CMO Summit Series, and revenue growth is on pace to surpass our goal of $50M in revenue by 2020. Help us get there!

Today, thousands of professionals around the world are engaged in CDM Media to discuss enterprise issues and challenges that impact their office, and this unique collaboration would not be possible without all of the CDM Media team who have poured their passion into helping to build this company.

We look forward to accomplishing much, more more in the years to come, but since the journey has been such an adventure, let’s first take a trip down memory lane. Over the next two weeks as we gear up to celebrate our eight great years, we’ll share interviews with our longest tenured employees about their fondest and funniest memories and what CDM Media means to them (with classic photos, of course). Hope you enjoy.


CDM Media Announces Q3 Regional Summit Series Call for Speakers

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Industry-Leading CIO/CISO Summits Seek Thought Leaders for Panel Discussions and Expert Knowledge Sharing

Chicago, IL, June 30, 2015 – CDM Media, the leading B2B technology marketing and media firm, today announced that it is looking to add additional thought leaders to its upcoming regional CIO/ CISO Summits taking place in Atlanta, GA; Whippany, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL;Amsterdam, Netherlands; Calgary, AB, Canada; Toronto, ON, Canada; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; and San Francisco, CA. With uniquely designed, laser-focused sessions that tackle some of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today, the CDM Media C-Suite Summits empower attendees to meet IT-related demands head-on.

Speaker qualifications include holding a position as a senior level decision maker of a major organization (SVP, C-Suite, EVP) and/or executive level experience within a major institution with a direct and relevant focus. To submit speaker proposals, visit:

CIO Atlanta Summit, August 12, 2015-

CISO Atlanta Summit, August 12, 2015-

CIO New Jersey Summit, August 17, 2015-

CISO New Jersey Summit, August 17, 2015-

CIO Philadelphia Summit, August 19, 2015-

CIO Chicago Summit, August 20, 2015 –

CISO Chicago Summit, August 20, 2015-

CIO Calgary Summit, September 22, 2015-

CIO Toronto Summit, September 24, 2015-

CISO Toronto Summit, September 24, 2015-

CIO Benelux Summit, October 1, 2015-

CIO Dallas Summit, October 27, 2015-

CIO Austin Summit, October 29, 2015-

CIO San Francisco Summit, November 4, 2015-

To see the full event calendar, visit:

The Media is Talking About: “Dynamic ID”

CDM Media is regularly cited in various media stories across a variety of industries. But leading up to these article inclusions are many conversations and insightful commentaries which don’t always make the publication. In this weekly (or more!) new section, we share responses to a myriad of tech topics discussed with journalists.


The IRS breach earlier this month has caused some reflection on what really goes into security, and what tools and steps should be used. In particular, James Quin weighed in on some questions surrounding the effectiveness of dynamic ID:

How Effective is Dynamic ID?: How do dynamic ID, or out-of-wallet, processes work? Are they expensive to implement? Would its use have prevented some recent government breaches?

JQ: Dynamic ID or out-of-wallet authentication process work by requiring additional authentication criteria beyond things like user names and passwords. When it comes to authentication there are three accepted factors: something you know (i.e. a password), something you have (i.e. a bankcard) and something you are (i.e. a fingerprint). Enhanced authentication processes seek to use multiple authentication factors for each authentication instance. This can be multiple first factor authenticators (such as a password and a secret question, both of which are something you know) or a combination of different authentication factors (such as a bank card and a PIN at an ATM). Depending on the type of authentication factors used, additional cost can be minimal (asking someone two passwords requires very little additional infrastructure) but can scale to very expensive (equipping every user with and iris scanner and fingerprint reader for example).

In theory, enhanced authentication reduces the likelihood that access credentials can be suborned and therefore also reduces the likelihood of breaches so, yes, enhanced authentication could have prevented some recent breaches, though that’s not the same thing as saying they would have.

See our event calendar to learn more about attending a CDM Media Summit.

Yelpification: Reviews in the Technology Buying Process

The following guest post comes courtesy from one of CDM Media’s trusted partners. Whether it be an industry association or a news outlet, our partners provide a fresh perspective on trending topics in innovation. IT Central Station is primarily a crowdsourced review site that provides user generated reviews of products for the enterprise tech community. It has been referred to as the “Yelp for enterprise technology” by the Wall Street Journal.



Finding the optimal technology solution for your company can be an unnecessarily difficult process. With vendors running biased marketing campaigns and potentially affecting analyst reviews, it is hard to determine which product best fits your needs. In the past, business-to-business technology buyers have relied heavily on market research companies like Forrester, Gartner and IDC; however, according to data from LinkedIn, product reviews and social media allow for roughly two-thirds of the buying process to be finished before even meeting with a sales representative. As social buying takes on a greater importance, crowd-sourced review sites have worked to create an easier way to get trustworthy research.

The model for providing this research is similar to Yelp: companies collect reviews of B2B technology products to present to IT buyers in order to allow them a more informed decision based on real reviews from their peers, instead of whitepapers with vendor bias. This trend of offering reviews alongside research has been generally referred to as the “yelpification” of enterprise technology.  Sites such as IT Central Station put a heavy emphasis on promoting trust, a key issue with Yelp, by verifying reviewers through methods including interviews and connecting with LinkedIn.

While buying was previously done by individuals such as the head of IT, today, technology is widespread and can be bought both for big operations and at an individual scale. For inexpensive technologies, some companies will allow departments to skip the protocol, meaning less experienced buyers who might not have a connection to a vendor will be looking for information. The technology itself has also changed from bulky applications whose implementation could be costly in time and money, to smaller solutions often in SaaS models or with easy setups that can be done in a day. These radical changes in both user and product mean consumers have new expectations for research companies that call for a remodel of the existing analyst-based system.

Crowd-sourced reviews have a variety of benefits that typical research companies like Forrester, Gartner and IDC can’t offer. Primarily, reviews allow consumers to look to their peers for reliable, objective analyses. In addition, these sites can focus on a greater number of vendors including small companies and startups, as the review process is less expensive and strenuous to the site providers. The number of reviewers themselves is much larger as well, which eliminates personal biases that may affect an analyst’s report. This allows potential buyers to deeply analyze all available options to truly find the one that best fits with their company. Additionally, the personal recommendations of peers can provide a deeper understanding of the technology solution and its applications in specific settings. For example, while most people tout the depth of customization available in SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor, one IT Central Station user, a senior network administrator, notes that some knowledge of SQL query is needed to take full command of the customization options. While an analyst’s opinion is still a powerful tool, “yelpified” organizations often include these reports and whitepapers alongside consumer reviews in order to provide the maximum amount of information to the buyer. Ultimately, individuals such as Dan Lyons, author and previous senior editor at Forbes magazine covering enterprise computing and consumer electronics, find that the “opinions of actual customers might be more meaningful and more valuable than the opinion of a credentialed expert.” Lyons goes on to compare looking at Yelp instead of a New York Times food critic’s article to reading peer reviews instead of using an analyst report.

When seven-two percent of surveyed B2B buyers already seek out information from their peers in making B2B purchasing decisions according to the 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, it only makes sense that the buying process is undergoing a “yelpification.” By providing access to the peer opinions that professionals want to see, crowd-sourced review sites go beyond analyst reports to facilitate a more complete picture of enterprise technology solutions. In the end, this process allows users to make better and more informed buying decisions than previously possible.

The Media is Talking About: “Digital and Mobile Adoption”

CDM Media is regularly cited in various media stories across a variety of industries. But leading up to these article inclusions are many conversations and insightful commentaries which don’t always make the publication. In this weekly (or more!) new section, we share responses to a myriad of tech topics discussed with journalists.


Adoption of digital and mobile initiatives are a major undertaking for enterprises in every industry. Part of the process is determining the competitive advantages that these initiatives would bring into organizations. James Quin shared an in-depth look at how digital transformation works and what it looks like:

Digital transformation is sweeping pretty much every industry sector right now, and it’s setting out to be one of the most influential changes that we’ve seen in many years. Many will argue that digital transformation is nothing more than the same “Social/Cloud/Analytics/Mobile” technology trend that we’ve been experiencing for the last few years. In a certain way they are right, but it’s so much more than just baseline technology adoption.

Digital transformation is about changing the way enterprises do business, about how they interact with their customers and potential customers, how they develop their products and services, and indeed about how they determine which products and services to offer. It begins with mobile, because mobile puts the requisite technology for pervasive interaction into everyone’s hands. Of course, the way in which they are interacting is through social channels that break down old-school hierarchical interaction models allowing for a more efficient exchange and even creation of information. That information can be now analyzed in ways that were inconceivable before because not only are we looking at more information, we’re looking at different information, and we’re looking at it with a speed that we never have before. To make use of these new insights, enterprises need to be agile, to be responsive and more and more the cloud is becoming the computing platform that allows for this level of dynamism because it is accessible, on-demand, and scalable.

Initially we referred to these technologies as “disruptive” because they changed the way we worked. We’ve come to see them instead as “transformative” because they changed the way we worked. he so-called CAMS (Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social) technologies have been with us for a few years now. They were introduced to us as ‘disruptive technologies’ and that title has certainly been valid because they’ve really transformed the way that businesses operate. While cloud has primarily had an impact on how enterprises operate internally, the other three have very definitely had an impact in terms of how businesses relate to and interact with the world at large, particularly when it comes to clients and partners.

I think it’s fair to say that there isn’t a single organization that hasn’t invested in at least one of these technologies to some degree, and realistically a significant subset that have invested in all of them to a great degree. The two that are really driving change of course are analytics (to allow for greater understanding of, and ultimately engagement with, clients and partners) and mobility (to be the channel through which data is captured for analytics and engagement is created afterwards). These two technologies, technologies that really didn’t exist just a few years ago, have rapidly become table stakes for successful businesses. That doesn’t mean that everyone is where they need to be, but everyone certainly is somewhere on the journey.

See our event calendar to learn more about attending a CDM Media Summit.

Cardiff Goes Wild for WWF’s #WearItWild

CDM Media loves banding together for philanthropic efforts, and today our Cardiff, UK office is exemplifying just that. Everyone in the office is taking part and putting their full head-to-toe effort into supporting the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for #WearItWild, a fundraising campaign on World Environment Day that will help the WWF protect species and wild places around the world.


Wildlife populations have declined by 52% since 1970.

The WWF asked people, schools, businesses and communities across the country to dress tough like a tiger, flashy like a flamingo and strut their stuff like a snow leopard to help support WWF’s vital work.

The team went wild for the planet by dressing to express their wild side, and has raised £155 through a bake sale and raffle as well as donations through a justgiving page.

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The awareness continues to grow as Made in Cardiff TV has been in the office and filmed the team for their news piece, which airs tonight at 7pm and 9:30pm BST. The channel is also available online at

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Steph roars for Made in Cardiff TV. Tune in tonight!

Show your support by checking out @CDMmedia on Twitter and Facebook for photos, or by donating to CDM Media’s justgiving page. Money raised will help support WWF’s work to tackle growing threats to the natural world and our precious wildlife.

Way to show your wild side for a great cause, Team Cardiff!

The Media is Talking About: “Multicultural Marketing”

CDM Media’s Senior Director of Content & C-Suite Communities, James Quin is regularly cited in various media stories across a variety of industries. But leading up to these article inclusions are many conversations and insightful commentaries which don’t always make the publication. In this weekly (or more!) new section, James shares his responses to a myriad of tech topics he discusses with journalists. 


The Media is Talking About: “Multicultural Marketing”

Retailers have found that multicultural marketing has really evolved in recent times and continues to do so. James Quin weighed in on what factors have played a role:

“One of the emerging market trends we’re seeing right now is something called “Glocalization”, which if you can’t figure out the questionable English is the combination of Globalization and Localization. The global piece of the equation is breadth. It’s brand recognition and market place acceptance that supersedes local players. It’s people buying a product because of who makes the product and that purchasing it enters you into a global “club”. The local piece of the equation is depth. It’s nuanced understanding of the wants and desires of a specific market that supersedes global players. It’s people buying a product because its uniquely develop for their specific needs and that purchasing it demonstrates how unique you are. Glocalization posits that if we can combine the breadth of a global business with the depth of a local one, we get all of the benefits and none of the detriments. In a way, it’s the ultimate expression of the department store/boutique store conflict and the recognition that there are pros and cons to each approach.

From an “appealing to multi-cultural audiences” perspective, we’re really looking at the “Global going Local” version of glocalization rather than the “Local going Global” side. In some ways, is the easier way to go because, the bigger the business the greater the resources, and the higher the likelihood that they can execute on a plan. In regards to building that plan a lot of it comes back to our old friend Big Data because global organizations need to find a way to capture local insights that local organizations gather inherently. Big Data principles mean that if the business can capture the right information, and if they can analyze it in the right way, then can divine the differentiating characteristics of a particular market and adjust their pitch to suit. So when a global business can leverage its brand to enter a market, it’s financial stability to weather any rocky period while it adjusts to the market, and it’s analytical wherewithal to ultimately differentiate itself in the market, it can ultimately succeed.”