The overall mission of The CIO Initiative is to produce a forum that coordinates CIO-related research and activities, to serve as the integration mechanism for the CIO-related work of other committees, and to provide advice and recommendations on CIO matters.

Who We Are

Mark S. Blanke

Chairman, The CIO Initiative

Mark writes and speaks about on top-of-mind CIO issues based on his in-depth and ongoing conversations with senior technology executives. His interactive and proactive listening style includes collaborative problem solving and an approach that allows a true understanding of issues and problems at hand.

Mark also is a relationship builder that assists associations and organizations in connecting with subject matter experts, designing workshops, creating CIO agenda topics for educational conferences.

As founder and CEO at OwlPoint, Mark’s goal is to promote a better understanding of how technology leaders, teams and organizations think and become more effective so they can get better individual and business results. His passion for driving better CIO engagement with the business has helped technology leaders to think bigger and do more than they ever imagined.

In his spare time, Mark is a columnist at IDG with a focus on the evolving role of the CIO and teaches a weekly Advanced MIS course as an Adjunct Professor at Kean University.

Erin Bailey

Executive Director, The CIO Initiative

Erin Bailey has over 15 years’ experience in the IT industry, 12 of which have been focused in service management.  Working with both tool vendors and consulting partners, Erin’s roles have included enterprise sales, operations, and customer success leadership. 

Prior to jumping into the IT world, Erin worked for a think-tank focused on diversity and women’s initiatives.  In this role, she worked with executives amongst some of the largest global corporations to facilitate a best practice sharing community, which helped organizations achieve their goals relative to diversity initiatives. 

Erin has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (marketing), and a double minor in MIS and CIS from High Point University.  She is also credentialed in ITIL V3 Foundations. 

Erin is most proud to serve on the Host Committee of Tribute21, a component fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, dedicated to raising funds (and awareness) to support those with Down syndrome. 

Erin resides outside of Annapolis, MD with her two young children. 

Laura Ayres

Event Coordinator, The CIO Initiative

Laura Ayres has over 12 years’ experience across multiple areas including sales, operations, IT and communications.

This diverse background has allowed Laura to work with all levels of management in an organization. She is grateful for this experience as it has given her the privilege of having discussions with thought leaders about their business and fields of expertise.

Prior to joining The CIO Initiative, Laura coordinated multiple conferences for MetLife Insurance Company.

Laura resides in NJ with her family.