Corporate Executive Series Breakfast - Planning for a Downturn

CES Breakfast



Planning for a Downturn— Defense or Offense?

All signals on the current economic playing field point to a slowdown in the coming year, if not a full recession. Though downturns themselves are typically short, the implications can be longer lasting if an organization isn’t prepared to play. But it’s not all bad news; economic slowdowns bring opportunities as well as challenges. Should you boost your defense, your offense or both? Join us for a panel discussion that melds past experience with current strategies. Considerations will include retaining employees and managing cash flow while continuing to push strategic objectives.


Chris Carrington headshot

Chris Carrington

Omni Interactions

Chris’ successful career spans more than 35 years leading and growing global corporations that deliver technology-enabled business services. As CEO for Omni Interactions, Chris is focused on developing a Gig Economy CX Platform and go to market strategy for outsourced customer contact services.  Additionally, Chris is Chairman of the Board for IQor, a $700 million, 35,000 person global technology enabled BPO.   

Previous to Omni Interactions, Chris was Chief Executive Officer for ServiceSource (NASDAQ: SERV), the leader in outsourced inside sales, customer success and revenue retention solutions to B2B enterprises around the globe.

Chris also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alpine Access, Inc., the leader in cloud-based virtual contact center solutions. Alpine Access was acquired by SYKES Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYKE), a leading provider of customer contact management and business process outsourcing services where he served as EVP Global Delivery.

Chris graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.

P Elias2 headshot

Patricia Elias

Vantage Data Centers
Chief People Officer

Patricia Elias serves as Vantage Data Centers’ Chief People & Culture Officer. Headquartered in Denver, Vantage powers, cools, protects and connects the technology of the world’s well-known hyperscalers, cloud providers, and large enterprises. Developing and operating across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific, Vantage has evolved data center design in innovative ways to deliver dramatic gains in reliability, efficiency and sustainability in flexible environments that can scale as quickly as the market demands.

Patricia brings more than 20 years of business, legal, and human resources experience to her role at Vantage, including working as a corporate & securities attorney, chief legal officer, professor, and passionate advocate for the advancement of women in business, including as executive sponsor of Vantage’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council. Patricia favors a “whole-person” approach to people engagement, culture, and development, focusing on creating a coaching culture to empower high-performing teams in an environment of transparency and trust. Patricia earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Duke University and her Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Barry Levine

Barry Levine

BJL Advisors

Barry Levine is Principal and Founder of BJL Advisors, a business advisory firm. The firm specializes in providing turnaround and restructuring services. It also advises clients on financial, operational, and organizational improvement; strategic planning and execution; mergers and acquisitions; and exit planning. Barry has over 35 years of success in revitalizing and then growing and/or selling middle and lower middle market public and private companies (including companies owned by private equity and venture capital firms and family offices) in a variety of C-Suite, consulting, legal, and corporate development positions. He was also a co-founder and owner of a middle-market consumer products company. Barry started his career with a leading Wall Street based law firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt financings; and corporate restructurings. Barry is a member of the ACG, Denver, Board. Over the years, he served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations.

John Oechsle

John Oechsle

Derive Systems
Chief Executive Officer

H. John Oechsle joined Derive Systems in March 2020 and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer. John came to Derive with an over 30 year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders.  Prior to joining Derive, John served as the CEO of Swiftpage, a SaaS based CRMS focused on the Small and Medium business market. John grew Swiftpage both organically and through acquisitions and lead it to a successful exit. Prior to Swiftpage, John served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Product for DigitalGlobe. During his tenure, he was instrumental in shaping the future of the company and driving revenue growth through the launch of a number of very successful product lines and acquisitions. Prior to DigitalGlobe, John was the Senior Vice President of Technology and Content as well as Chief Information Officer for IHS Inc. Before that he was the Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Management Worldwide for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson company, where he was responsible for all technology and e-business. Earlier in his career, John served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Land America Financial Group, Inc., and Director of Global Information Management for Kellogg Company. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Tuck Executive Program at the Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

John is an advocate for technology and education in Colorado and has been an active contributor and served as 2007 Chairman of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). John supports Kidstek, an organization dedicated to making technology accessible to youth. John has been recognized several times for his involvement in the industry. In 2006 and in 2009, John was awarded the Technology Executive of the Year, and the Titan of Technology awards by the CTA. John was also awarded the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by the CTA in 2011 and the Nancy J. Sauer Philanthropy award in 2016. In 2015 John was appointed to the Business Experiential Learning Commission (BEL) by the Governor of Colorado and continued to serve on that commission through 2019. John was named on The SaaS Report’s Top 50 CEOs list for both 2018 and 2019 and in the CEO Today USA Awards for 2018.  
While not at Swiftpage, John juggles his time being a husband, father and grandfather, and spends the time he has left playing golf, skiing and boating.

Ryan Lubniewski

Ryan Lubniewski - Moderator


Ryan Lubniewski is a partner in the audit and assurance services group at Crowe.  Ryan has more than 15 years of assurance and advisory services in the manufacturing, distribution, technology and professional service industries. His experience includes companies that are private equity backed, family or ESOP owned.  A significant portion of Ryan’s clients maintain multi-state and international operations, including Mexico, China and various European nations. He has significant experience conducting and supervising assurance service, including financial statement audits and financial reporting under U.S. GAAP.  Many of his clients are also involved in significant restructurings, acquisitions and divestitures and because of this activity, Ryan has extensive experience with transactional/deal accounting and equity-based compensation programs.  


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