The team that launched THE Go-To Event in the DFW metroplex in 2012, is pleased to bring you the Technology Ball series of technology community networking events. After coordinating Founding Members to introduce the concept in 2011, we successfully launched the Gala in Dallas in 2012 and doubled the event’s success and participation in 2013. In 2014, we began operating under our own entity, DIGITAL CONDUIT, to preserve the experience in Dallas. Under the leadership of Karen Krygowski Bruno, we continue to leverage relationships in the technology community to attract the participation of CIOs, CTOs, VPs of ITs, etc. in the event, and anticipate growing our business to include events in other cities across the US.
Karen Krygowski Bruno
President & Founder
With more than two decades of client relations and event planning experience, Karen is ideally suited for her role leading Technology Ball efforts. As President and Founder of Digital Conduit, Karen oversees Technology Ball relationships with IT Executive Hosts, Sponsor Liaisons, Planning Committee Members, Volunteers and the Event-Planning Team. She also manages the sponsor experience and benefits, and orchestrates the vision for Technology Ball Galas and Lead-In Events.
Prior to launching Digital Conduit in 2014, Karen spent 8 years at Aidmatrix, a nonprofit global supply-chain provider. In her role as Vice President of Development, Karen coordinated corporate fundraising engagement for the organization and initiated a grand-scale fundraising initiative: the Digital Ball Technology Community fundraising event. As part of her Digital Ball responsibilities, Karen served as the liaison to global CIOs and other Key Executives from the technology community on their engagement with the event. With the 2nd annual Digital Ball, Karen successfully grew the event to include participation from dozens of global CIOs, nearly 100 technology companies, and generated powerful financial support on behalf of Aidmatrix. Prior to joining Aidmatrix, Karen worked for seven years in The American Funds Distributors arm of the Capital Group Companies in Los Angeles, CA as Multimedia Team Project Manager. Karen began her career in Nashville, TN where she worked as Insurance Team Manager and Financial Analyst for HCA Healthcare and as Corporate Actions Transactions Manager and Client Services Liaison for Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche Bank).
Karen received her BA in East Asian Studies, with a concentration in Business and Economics, from Vanderbilt University. She enjoys cooking, traveling, foreign languages and wine tasting. Karen resides in Dallas with her husband Ron, and their two Pomeranians Sky and Shadow.
Lauren Nannette Pirek
Nannette brings over 25 years of expertise in the wholesale marketing field to the Technology Ball team. She works alongside Karen to manage sponsorship relationships, provide support for our season of events, and oversee special projects essential to the success of Technology Ball for our Executive Hosts, Sponsors and Planning Committee Members. She also acts as a UTD liaison where she is Program Manager for the Technology Ball/UTD Mentor Program.
Nannette was part of the Technology Ball team in its early years, working with Karen to introduce Technology Ball to the Dallas technology community. She is pleased to return to the team, and has helped Technology Ball continue to grow and drive value for the technology representatives who participate. Prior to returning to Technology Ball, Nannette worked as District Brand Manager for Leon Max//Maxstudio, Regional Brand Manager for Bernard Chaus Inc., Program Manager Brand Development for DAVACO Inc., and Marketing/Merchandising Coordinator for Levi Strauss Inc.
Nannette takes great pride in serving the local community and is involved with several non-profit causes. She serves on the Women’s Auxiliary Board of Directors for Children’s Medical Center Plano and the Gala Committee for Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County. She is Past President of The Turing Point Rape Crisis Center of Collin County and Past Vice President of Journey of Hope Grief Support Center. As well, Nannette continues to share with her community the value she brings as a graduate of Leadership Plano Class XVIII.
Nannette graduated from Texas State University with a BA degree in Merchandising and Business, with a concentration in Art History. She and her husband Mike enjoy scuba diving, fencing, the arts, and wine adventures. They live in the North Dallas area with their two dogs Tanqueray and Sir Bentley.
Communications and Marketing Manager
Zac is enjoying his post-college career in his new role with DIGITAL CONDUIT as the Communications and Marketing Manager for Technology Ball. Zac is responsible for Technology Ball marketing initiatives including social media, newsletters, marketing collateral, and other communication elements for the Technology Ball community. He is passionate about Brand Marketing and finding the perfect target audience to help companies thrive.
Prior to joining the Technology Ball team, Zac worked as a Marketing Manager for a start-up advertising agency. As a student at the University of North Texas, Zac found his stride in their Advertising program and immediately began looking for internships and other opportunities to broaden his skillset. He successfully engaged audiences while working at Bloomfield Knoble, SSquared Creative, EMResources, and Vuefire Creative Agency. These opportunities gave Zac a wide variety of experiences, ranging from in-house marketing to a full-service creative agency approach.
Zac enjoys gaming and competing in tournaments in his free time. He also enjoys socializing with friends and spending quality time with his family and their 5 cats and small dog.
Kathy Mast, President & CEO
Kathy Mast is the President and CEO of NeuvoNow, LLC, a Dallas-based management consulting firm. NeuvoNow collaborates with CEO’s and leaders of global Fortune 1000 companies who know they need the optimal blend of strategy, technology, and talent to achieve sustained growth and innovation amidst significant change. Kathy is also a professional speaker and author.
Managing strategic initiatives in more than 300 global companies, Mast has witnessed, firsthand, the transitions that occur as innovation and technology become an integrated part of everyday business. She’s learned what great leaders and exemplary employees do differently in times of change. Her global consulting work led her to launch NeuvoNow with a focus on: advisory and consulting services, leadership workshops, and delivery of innovation and technology products through strategic partners.
NeuvoNow clients are innovators in multiple industries including Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Design, Aerospace and Technology. NeuvoNow partners with leading technology companies to provide products to ensure clients have the right digital infrastructure for delivering excellent products and services. They include: Masergy (cybersecurity, global network and unified communications); SoftLayer, Vazata and OnRamp (cloud infrastructure); Mimecast (secure email); and Taylor Protocols (Core Values Index Assessments).
A graduate of their Executive MBA program, Kathy is an active member of the Associate Board at the Cox School of Business, SMU. She also serves as a committee member for the DFW Technology Ball that recognizes the area’s technology community and benefits STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) education. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and friends, participation in choral leadership through her church, travel, antique collecting and sports.
Mary Elizabeth McNeely, President
McNeely Technology Solutions, Inc.
Mary Elizabeth McNeely is the owner of McNeely Technology Solutions, a 12 year old Dallas-area consulting firm specializing in database administration services. She has spent most of her career in information technology consulting, previously consulting at Cap Gemini America, Trinity Technical Services, and ThinkSpark.
She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a double major in Management and Management Information Systems.
McNeely is an Oracle Certified Database Administrator (OCP) with 22 years of Oracle DBA experience.
McNeely served as the 2009-2012 president of the Dallas Oracle Users Group (DOUG), and then continued on the Board of Directors for two additional years. She has continuously led DOUG’s largest program committee, the Oracle Database Forum, since 2007, arranging 11 Oracle database-related training sessions each year.
Volunteering her DBA skills, she was named Aidmatrix Volunteer of the Year for 2008. She also participates in events and speaking engagements focusing on leading young women to pursue STEM careers.
Outside of her technical career, McNeely is a standby first-level civic disaster responder.
Trent Humphries, Author
“In Pursuit Of The Headless Chicken” – Networking In Any Economy
With a lifetime passion for connecting people to relationships and resources that will help them achieve their personal or business goals, Mr. Humphries has impacted the lives of hundreds of people over the last forty years doing business in Dallas, Texas and beyond.
From building, growing and selling Benchmark, a successful manufacturer’s representative business, to creating Strategic Introductions in 2004, the goal has always been to make deposits in people’s lives and build levels of trust that would provide a platform for helping people and businesses grow and thrive. His latest book, “In Pursuit Of The Headless Chicken” outlines the strategies used to get the “right people in the room” to make things happen.
Mr. Humphries has been a Director with Catapult Partners, a Private Equity Group in Dallas, for the past eight years with the primary responsibility of connecting their portfolio companies with prospective investors, clients and strategic partnerships that will accelerate their growth. He now brings that same energy, network and expertise to 3CR-Riverbend. As an author, speaker, teacher and artist Trent is in constant pursuit of creative ways to connect people and businesses to relationships and resources that will enable them to achieve their goals.
Born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, a graduate of Texas Tech and a Vietnam combat zone veteran, Highland Village, Texas is home for Trent and his wife, Pam. A former Board Member of Aidmatrix and currently Board Chair of Mina Chang’s Linking The World, he has been a member of the SMU COX School of Business MBA Advisory Board for the last fifteen years.