Collective Knowledge is Power, with Deepak Bansal, Kristin Gallagher, and Linda Tuck Chapman

Posted: 09/20/2018 - 09:36

At SIG's Fall Global Executive Summit in 2018, SIG held its first annual Future of Sourcing Awards. Join Sourcing Industry Group CEO and President, Dawn Tiura, as she interviews the finalists nominated for the Sourcing Star Award. The Sourcing Star Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated inspiring, insightful and innovative work in the sourcing field over the course of their career in the space.

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Dawn Tiura: Now, today with me is Deepak Bansal. He is nominated as a Sourcing Star, but if you just hear his title, and some of the things he did, you're gonna have no doubt that he is a star. Deepak is the head of IT Sourcing and Vendor Management for Envision Healthcare. Envision Healthcare, EVHC, is undergoing a divestiture of 20% of its business, and Deepak has led the effort in disentangling over 200 IT contracts between two entities while maintaining costs consistency. So Deepak, I wanna welcome you. Wow, 200 IT contracts. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Deepak Bansal: Yes. First of all, thank you for allowing me to be here. I think the biggest challenges that we're facing in the sourcing industry is being in an environment with mergers and acquisitions and what role sourcing vendor management plays within the ecosystem. What I've discovered, or what I've contributed, is developing a repeatable, a new methodology to disentangle a numerous amount of It contracts, especially during the divestiture, to maintain a leverage of economies at scale, but also less than the exposure risk of the retained entity; as because the retained entity is responsible to up stand or to, how do I say, like-for-like the divested entities. There's a lot of exposures and risks that both entities are faced with in. The sourcing of vendor manager plays that role is to lessen the risk and to ensure that there's maintained cost savings throughout the process.
Dawn Tiura: Wow. When you did this, this methodology, is it something that you might be able to share or write about later on?
Deepak Bansal: Yes, I will. I do plan to write more about this, and it will be published in Forbes magazine in the coming weeks. It's really relating to the methodology of getting leadership to identify the applications that are gonna be retained or divested, who are gonna maintain those instances, and also to really work with offenders as we lessen the account for the level services. In splitting the entities or the usage of those applications, how do we still maintain that relationship whilst continue to be that strategic partner? We would go through the disposition where those applications are gonna be followed or allocated to. We would look at the accounts, and how many are maybe going to each one. There's a methodology that we've created that can be repeated and used anywhere else in the same type of environment.
Dawn Tiura: Right, I'd love to hear you present on that because I think this is something that every organization could learn and learn from you. I think that's fantastic. So, Deepak, tell me a little bit about how you got to where you are today. Tell me a little bit about your background.
Deepak Bansal: Well, I think my first exposure to sourcing and vendor management was working for a small boutique firm out in Los Angeles. I had relationship with the CEO there. It's called Avasant. The CEO took me under his wing. He got me into the right places, with the right clients to get exposed to sourcing, on the IT sourcing side. Then I got an opportunity with working with the high-profile clients in the Fortune 500 with that same company, that same consulting company, to get exposed to vendor management. By having sourcing and vendor management experience together, I was able to let them lead one into each other. While I came to envision, I got heavy exposure to procurement itself. That completed the entire sourcing vendor management lifecycle for me. I got into by, you know, being lucky enough to get—start at the boutique consulting firm. I worked my way to another company called Willis Towers Watson. Now, I'm part of sourcing vendor management at Envision.
Dawn Tiura: That's fantastic. Your passion, is it around IT? Is it the vendor management space? Where would you say your passion sits?
Deepak Bansal: It's sits in IT and in vendor, maybe IT-vendor management to be specific. IT represents a huge amount of spend within enterprises. Fortune 500 company will spend about 4% of their revenue in IT, and half of that [is] spent on vendor managers. I mean on vendors itself, external. By being in this space, identified a gap where a lot of these entities are just not managing their vendors as effectively as they should. I fell into the IT vendor management specialty, and I think it's not as being as appreciated as it now until there's a fire drill. Don't say that. Until leadership finally identifies, "Oh my gosh. We're spending $250 million and there's no governance oversight on these suppliers."
Dawn Tiura: Well, and especially today with the risk being so high with vendors, especially in the software space for cyber security and on third-party risk management. I mean, I think your role is probably just skyrocketing to the top of being seen as strategic these days.
Deepak Bansal: Correct. That's a great point because there's this thing that we call system of record. System of record is managing that information chaos. As we see that consumers, they actually create data points but what we're finding is that the enterprises and entities are responsible for securing those data points as we see some of the breaches at Target or any of these companies. Consumers create the data points, but Target's responsible for maintaining the security of those data points. Target or any of the Fortune 500 companies don't really have that expertise or depth of knowledge to implement their own security department, to ensure that there is proper controls on that data. They would have to source that responsibility out. That effort takes consideration of the expertise of that new sourcing, security sourcing provider.
Deepak Bansal: Security has become a strategic sourcing area. One has to know the components of how to evaluate a security provider and what are the things they look for, because they are transferring the responsibilities of that data, or securing that data, but also it's transferring the management of it and also the liability or hopefully the liability.
Dawn Tiura: Yeah, that's fantastic. Technology is changing all the time. Obviously, in your space, it's gonna be a constant upheaval. What do you see as the next disruptive force? What do you see as the next huge area of risk? Do you see-
Deepak Bansal: I do, I see it in three areas. As I mentioned earlier, one is a system of record. It's the managing the information chaos. As we know that data is now becoming digitized or now it's transforming into digitalization, where we take that data information, and we start to extract value from it in a sense of reducing costs, but also opportunities for revenue. I look at it. The first thing is system of record. The next one would be probably the system of engagement. As we're migrating more towards the cloud, business owners and business users are becoming more empowered to leverage off cloud software but it's the less relied on the It. If there are functional changes the business owner can make, they have more leverage to do it themselves. That puts the CIO in a difficult position because now CIOs are coming to me and saying that CIO stands for career is over.
Deepak Bansal: In my opinion, really it's not. Before, it's more of an operational aspect. Now, they should be taking a bimodal approach, where they take the operations to, but they also look for areas where they can improve or bring innovation to the organization. The third thing I think would be system of automation. Robotics process automation is now the thing in creating some automation of mundane tasks and bringing some value and more accuracy, more compliance to these tasks that will be able to extract more value to the organization. I look at it as these three things: system of record, system of engagement, and system of automation are the three major things that are impacting the sourcing environment.
Dawn Tiura: Wow. I am so glad that I had a chance to chat with you today. I can see now while you were nominated for Sourcing Star, and I'm very impressed. I'm gonna have to quote you on your CIO.
Deepak Bansal: Don't tell my CIO, but yes-
Dawn Tiura: I won't mention it, no. It'd be our secret and the podcast and all our listeners. With that, Deepak, I wanna wish you the best of luck in going forward in the awards process. Hopefully, I'll get to meet you in person in the fall at the Future of Sourcing Awards. I hope to hear from you a lot in the future.
Deepak Bansal: Thank you. Looking forward to it.
Dawn Tiura: Thank you. Everybody, that was Deepak Bansal, Sourcing Star. He's the head of IT Sourcing and Vendor Management for Envision Healthcare. With that, please listen to another podcast very soon. Thank you. That was Deepak Bansal of Envision Healthcare. Up next is Kristen Gallagher with Russell Investments as a Sourcing Star finalist. Now, I'm here today to introduce you to Kristin Gallagher. Kristen was nominated as a Sourcing Star. Her title is Director of Global Sourcing and Procurement at Russell Investments. Kristin, welcome to the podcast.
Kristin Gallagher: Dawn, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it and I'm absolutely shocked and honored to be nominated.
Dawn Tiura: Well, you shouldn't be. I read your write up, and it's very, very impressive. Do you wanna give us a few examples of the successes you've had at Russell and what got you where you are today?
Kristin Gallagher: I would love to. Thanks for the opportunity. One of the things that I'd like to share is the market data category. This is a category that asset managers such as Russell Investments cannot get away from. It's effectively licensing third-party data and research that we need to do our daily jobs as asset managers. What had happened is our internal audit team had identified a number of findings in terms of how Russell Investments was managing this category about six years ago. They had identified things like we weren't licensed properly in the right locations; we didn't have a good handle on what we were licensed for; we were paying different prices for the same thing across the globe; we didn't have a solid record of what was in place; we had users that had left the firm that we were still paying licenses for, which is kind of insane, but it's just pretty common in this category, apparently.
Kristin Gallagher: One of the things that my boss, Viet Ho, the Chief Procurement Officer at Russell Investments was willing to step in and say, "You know what? We've identified a major problem child—can sourcing and procurement help here? Instead of just letting internal audit go through and work with the different business units, we're managing the category. Viet raised his hand, volunteered and said, "You know what? Source and procurement has something to offer here." What we were able to put together is an offering that does the following. Not only do we do the traditional sourcing and procurement activities, in terms of strategic sourcing, negotiations, contracting, invoice reconciliation payments; but we're able to build a centralized inventory that we still managed today. We actually plan the entire budget for the entire company.
Kristin Gallagher: This was something down the business units fought tooth and nail when we introduced it, but now they rely on us five years later to do all of that for us. They're very hands off. They look for us to push out what they're gonna spend. They are completely comfortable with this managing. One of the other key areas about the category is for us. Another asset managers as well. We were spending or we had increases of more than 20% per year on this category. By putting together this new program for the firm, globally, we're able to mitigate that, actually demonstrate cost savings and continue to manage that effectively over the last five years.
Dawn Tiura: Wow.
Kristin Gallagher: One of the trends that we've seen... Oh, thank you. One of the trends that we've seen is we've had a number of providers that have, in the last two years, tried to double price us year over year. Because of our strong handle on inventory usage or strong relationships with the business units, we're actually able to mitigate that quickly. In talking with my peers, they didn't have the same experience. I think that speaks to the strength of the program that we put together, and the trust that the business has in us and working with us on situations like that to have a good outcome for Russell Investments.
Dawn Tiura: Oh, that is amazing, because I know that you guys were benchmark with 10 pure financial organizations and names such as like JP Morgan, and Bank of New York, Mellon, et cetera. You were told that your management is best in class, over 10 of your peers. That is fantastic to talk about this category in that regard.
Kristin Gallagher: Thank you. I think that was a testament to the work that we've done. I think one of the challenges and where we go above and beyond is, yes, other firms do have groups dedicated to the source and procurement activities. They do validate and reconcile invoices as they come in, but the centralized planning, the budget planning globally, that's where we're different, I think other firms had not had the same success because business units simply didn't want to give up control of their budget, so we're able to move past that. We also have a global policy specific to market data where all the source and procurement has to come through our team. We have very strict approval policies with any additions, changes, or even terminations to make sure we don't interrupt critical business processes. That's where we've been able to set ourselves apart.
Dawn Tiura: Yeah, the ownership of the budget is absolutely amazing. For all the years I've been in sourcing, I've not heard that before, where they've given over the budget control to the sourcing team. That says a lot about the trust that you've been able to instill in the business units for sure. Let me just ask you a little bit about, you've done such amazing things here at Russell Investments. What was your inspiration? What do you love about sourcing and just tell me a little bit about you?
Kristin Gallagher: I actually graduated as an engineer, as an undergrad, and I worked at several internships as an engineer. One of the things I loved about engineering was the problem-solving aspect of it. You're given an issue or potentially an opportunity that you have to fix. I think where sourcing and procurement is headed with the advent of technology; things like artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and blockchain. Where sourcing and procurement is now, but where it's gonna have to head is we're gonna have to be more of that problem-solver mentality. The future is helping the business identify issues they have. Sometimes they don't realize or aren't able to articulate what these issues are, but they know maybe things aren't going as well as they wanted. Getting very creative with the third-party market to bring to them solutions that they perhaps didn't even know existed. That's what I love about sourcing and procurement now is there's a huge problem-solving aspect, but it's also where it's gonna continue to evolve. That's where sourcing and procurement is gonna continue to be an exciting field to be in.
Dawn Tiura: People with an engineering background or hard science background tend to not be as much people-oriented. You have as many people skills as you do problem-solving skills. How did you balance the left brain and right brain and the ability to create these relationships?
Kristin Gallagher: One of the things that I think is inherent to my personality is being able to sit down with a client. I'd actually worked in pre-sales before I got into sourcing and procurement, software pre-sales—so little interesting fact about me that I probably don't share with too many people.
Dawn Tiura: No.
Kristin Gallagher: Effectively, I was trained by sales guys who came out and they said, "Look, Kristin, you come with a lot of facts and numbers, this was the first time I did this, our first client that they put me in front of, “You come with a lot of facts and numbers and what can and can't work, but you don't really… You haven’t really figured out how to tell a story or how to listen to the client.” I was actually trained by sales guys in order to become a more effective pre-sales consultant. My job was to keep those sales guys from going too crazy in selling something we couldn't commit. It was also kind of being able to listen to the client, look for opportunities or issues or challenges and then work to develop a solution. I think that has actually absolutely served me well. It's a skill set that I would actually recommend that a lot of people new to sourcing and procurement invest heavily in because it's going to be critical now.
Kristin Gallagher: Sorry, it is critical now, but it's going to be more critical going forward is, be able to listen to your business, develop solutions for them, and make sure that you're following up, and they're getting what they thought they were getting on the solution. If not, learn to pivot and adjust.
Dawn Tiura: No, I think that's fantastic. Most sourcing people wanna tell you rather than help you.
Kristin Gallagher: Correct.
Dawn Tiura: I think that's wonderful trait that you're talking about. The soft skills that people just don't tend to come into the business with as often.
Kristin Gallagher: That's correct. It's one of the things that at Russell Investments we're investing in so that we have a program called integrity selling. It makes individuals feel a little more comfortable about, "Look, I'm not asking you to go in and be what you have as the stereotypical sales individual. I'm asking you to sit down and create solutions and sell in that regard to the business.” Because if they're happy customer, then guess what? They're gonna come back to you next time they have a business problem. They won't even have to necessarily think source and procurement is the solution. But the minute they have an opportunity or a business problem that they're thinking of, they come to you and you then become an excellent resource for them to help solve that even if traditional source in procurement isn't the answer.
Dawn Tiura: That's great. Oh, you have been nominated with some very incredible people. Now I hear your story, I understand why you made through the nomination just flew past the judges. You were quickly put into the finalist. I'm excited to hear more about your story and your future. What can I expect from you next, Kristin.
Kristin Gallagher: I think at Russell Investments we're still focusing on moving from a reactive sourcing and procurement organization to a proactive organization. Viet Ho has this talked about this in SIG presentations in the past, and we’ve definitely moved the needle there, but we're gonna continue to have to do so. It's a bit of a lofty example, but I like to think of Steve Jobs, and his innovation in terms of the iPod and the iPhone. I mean, if you think about it, these are things that no one really sat down and thought that they needed. They didn't even think of it in concept. As soon as he put in our hands for like, "This is a no-brainer, how could I not have thought of this? How could I live without it? You can't. Well, that's what many people would say. In a way, I think we have to start thinking about becoming partners like that, with the business units and helping them think of, "Okay, what are your challenges? What's your wish list?"
Kristin Gallagher: If you could have things the way you wanted to them, what would that look like? Then really partnering hard with third parties to help develop some of these solutions and put things in front of them that they didn't know they exist. I mean I think Viet Ho is starting to do that with our organization, with some of the artificial intelligence work that he's doing. That's where it's gonna have to head, and that's where I need to invest. The other aspect is continuing... We have an amazing team here at Russell Investments. Fantastic set of individuals where the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We need to continue to invest in those guys. I mentioned integrity selling is something that we're continuing to focus on. Cost; being able to present cost in an accounting-friendly way. There's a number of skill sets we're working on. Like anything else, the only reason that I nominated is simply because of Viet and the team being successful. It doesn't happen without those individuals being who they are.
Dawn Tiura: Oh, that's very humble for you to say that because you've stood apart from the team. Granted the team might be stronger as a whole, but you certainly are a great example of a Sourcing Star. Thank you so much for your time today, Kristin, and I wish you best of luck in the final voting.
Kristin Gallagher: Dawn, thank you. I look forward to seeing you guys in October.
Dawn Tiura: Me too. Thank you, Kristen. That was Kristen Gallagher from Russell Investments. Please join us again for our podcast series. Thank you, Kristen.
Kristin Gallagher: Thank you.
Dawn Tiura: Folks, that was Kristen Gallagher from Russell Investments. Up next, as Sourcing Star finalist, is Linda Tuck Chapman from Ontala Business Solutions. Hello, everybody. This is Dawn Tiura once again with Linda Tuck Chapman, who was nominated as a Sourcing Star. You probably all have heard this name. She is truly one of the Wonder Women of sourcing and a celebrity in her own right. Linda, I just wanna welcome you. No kidding, you were nominated. I would have been shocked if you weren't.
Linda Tuck Chap: Well, thank you very much, Dawn. I am very delighted to be nominated. It's a real honor because your membership and the number of people who are expert in this field are pretty unlimited there. There's a huge number of people. It's just delightful to be nominated, so thank you.
Dawn Tiura: Well, obviously. I mean, you're an expert lecturer at Wharton. You're [an] expert in third-party risk like Lifecycle Management, sourcing optimization, outsourcing governance; you've written a book that has already been sold out once, and it's in a second print already in just a few short months. I mean you've done so much, and you continue to inspire other people in the industry. But tell me a little bit about yourself, what was your inspiration to become this person that you are today?
Linda Tuck Chap: Well, I think we're all driven by certain things, Dawn. One of the things that drives me is actually did become an expert. When I encountered the world of sourcing back in 1996, quite some time ago, it just all made so much sense to me. I was looking at how financial services companies acquire third-party relationships. At that time, it was really focused on the vendor population. Given that banks are so good at managing budgets and money, it didn't really seem to make any sense to me whatsoever that they've never spent any time or energy investing in professional sourcing and procurement for billions of dollars of spend. So, I was one of the lucky ones. I entered the profession in 1996 and was one of the first CPOs in the financial services sector. I had the help from A.T. Kearney, who were the experts at that time.
Linda Tuck Chap: I had a chance to learn from the beginning and to start… but I became passionate about it immediately. It had that perfect combination of highly strategic, at the same time as being able to deliver very, very tangible outcomes. Savings were always a key measure for strategic sourcing and procurement people, but I really never stopped there. For me, it was all about the relationships, what business was up to and how you could improve business with better third-party relationships. That really started… I mean, I've had a passion for this since the beginning because it makes such a difference.
Dawn Tiura: That's amazing. But then you were CPO of several large organizations, and then you became a CEO of your own consulting firm. Then you really got into the governance aspect and became an expert and then evolved that into risk. Why is your passion now in that area?
Linda Tuck Chap: To me, it squares the circle. I was frustrating, as a chief procurement officer, to spend all this time and energy, looking at the business strategy, trying to make sure that you had the best relationship possible, that you negotiated those terms and conditions hard, and looked at good ways to put in place service agreements, operating-level agreements, et cetera. There's a lot of work that goes into a complex strategic relationship. Then it would leave my department, and never to be seen again, unless it was a real problem or when the contract came up for renewal. Having the opportunity that was presented by the financial services regulators, who said that you really needed to manage relationships throughout the whole life cycle, for me, was a breath of fresh air. It gave me a chance to take all of the things that I had learned as a sourcing and procurement professional and start looking at how those apply throughout the lifecycle.
Linda Tuck Chap: Now, because I grew up in the financial services sector, I have an MBA in financial services. I've also been keenly interested in risk management. At the time that I started investing my energy in third-party risk management, the entire profession of operational risk management, sort of the overarching umbrella itself, was very, very new. That gave me an opportunity to provide some leadership, not just to third-party risk management, but also in the world of operational risk management, because that actually affects every company everywhere. What I've learned in financial services about operational risk management really is very much market leading, leading because financial services companies are all about risk management. Then being able to translate that into third-party risk management.
Linda Tuck Chap: It's a huge, huge spectrum of risk. It gave me a chance to provide some leadership there, but also to learn, because I have a very curious mind. It never made sense to me that you never saw these things again unless there was a problem, or until they come up for renewal. Then the relationship comes back to you in the procurement organization. They’re saying, "Well, hey, what happened, why is this so far off track?" It's because the lifecycle was not consistently managed, and nor with the rest. Then you also have to admit that the risk landscape out there has changed substantially since you and I got into the world of sourcing many years ago.
Dawn Tiura: Absolutely.
Linda Tuck Chap: So the threat landscape has changed and also the business expectations and sophistication of business. Everything has changed so much. Being able to marry these two disciplines together is really... I find it very enjoyable, actually.
Dawn Tiura: That's wonderful. I'm really excited too, because our third-party risk management certification is gonna be launched in next month. It's completely built around your risk management book itself. I'm really excited about that, and especially that you'll be faculty and helping us out with the certification. But folks, if you wanna hear more from Linda, she will be speaking almost every single lesson in the third-party risk management certification that will launch in fall of 2018 with the SIG University. Linda, I wanna thank you for that. It's really it's been a huge endeavor that you undertook. I think the industry itself is just so ready for you and your knowledge to come forth in such a collaborative way. Thank you for that.
Linda Tuck Chap: Well, and thank you, Dawn. I'm really delighted with the partnership with SIG University. Being able to leverage the content of my book, my book is written at a fairly-high level to help communicate or/and educate in the world of third-party risk management, what it's all about, what the key risks are, and how all this hangs together with different business practices to make a company run well. Being able to work with SIG University and take it to the next level, there's a lot more detail around how it works, what you need to know as a professional, and how it ties back into the world of procurement in a way that does not exist in the world at large. We are the first to market, Dawn, and I'm delighted to be in a partnership arrangement with you in SIG University.
Dawn Tiura: We're delighted to have you. They said… One of the quotes, and I have to just embarrass you for a minute, “If I were to look up sourcing celebrity in the dictionary, Linda's picture would come up. There's no other person more qualified of winning the Sourcing Star award. She is one of the most brilliant people I know and has earned mine and countless others respect with our endless contributions of sourcing world.” So, I just have to tell you, your nominations have been just glowing with things and wonderful things to say about you. I think on top of everything that we know and respect about you, it's also your willingness and ability to give back to sourcing as a whole into the younger professionals coming up. It's just amazing how you've never gotten a big head and walk around like, "I'm an author, I'm so cool. Look at me." You've just said you're just really approachable. Linda, your humbleness is just fantastic. I love how you present yourself in public.
Linda Tuck Chap: Well, thank you. I have to say when you sent me the outline of what people had said, I was usually flattered. I mean, that's very, very kind. The truth of the matter is that this is... I love SIG because it is a member organization; it's a sharing organization, and the people that I have met through SIG, that I've shared my expertise with have come back 100-fold. That pocketful of peers… Excuse me, pocketful of peers concept, plays loud and clear. I actually really think it's important that we help each other. You're quite right. I've always had an open kimono in terms of what we're doing, what's been successful. I'm certainly quite aware of what hasn't been successful in our approach in different organizations that I worked with or work for. I would encourage everybody to do the same thing. Knowledge is only power if, in fact, you share it.
Dawn Tiura: I agree.
Linda Tuck Chap: I do see people who are very controlling about what they know and about the relationships that they hold. That, I would suggest is not a winning strategy. You won't be able to learn from others if you're not willing to share what you learn. I would have to say that the vast, vast, vast majority of people that I have connected with, and I've helped over the years, they're more than willing to give back. And I reach out to them with some regularity. Those of you out there, I know that I probably have touched many, many people in the organization in the SIG membership because I'm not afraid to ask for help, either.
Dawn Tiura: That's great. I love that. Linda, I wanna wish you the best of luck. I can't wait for the final awards to come forth and for us to know who's going to be winning. I wish you luck.
Linda Tuck Chap: Well, thank you, Dawn, and thanks for the interview. Thanks for the nomination. I'm really, really delighted, so thanks.
Dawn Tiura: Well, I would have been shocked if you weren't nominated. I'm just really pleased to be able to spend a few more minutes with you today. Thank you, Linda. Folks, I'm gonna sign off from this podcast. I hope you listen in very soon. Thank you. Thank you, Linda.
Linda Tuck Chap: Thanks, Dawn.

About The Author

Dawn Tiura's picture

Dawn Tiura, CEO and President of SIG, SIG University and Future of Sourcing Digital Publication, has over 26 years leadership experience, with the past 22 years focused on the sourcing and outsourcing industry. In 2007, Dawn joined SIG as CEO, but has been active in SIG as a speaker and trusted advisor since 1999, bringing the latest developments in sourcing and outsourcing to SIG members. Prior to joining SIG, Dawn held leadership positions as CEO of Denali Group and before that as a partner in a CPA firm. Dawn is actively involved on a number of boards promoting civic, health and children's issues in the Jacksonville, Florida area. Dawn is a licensed CPA and has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University. Dawn brings to SIG a culture of brainstorming and internal innovation.