Juan Cortes

Juan Cortes

IT leader with a proven track record of effectively merging business needs with innovative IT solutions.
IT leader with a proven track record of effectively merging business needs with innovative IT solutions.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • October 23, 2023

I excel in adapting management styles, incorporating emerging technologies, and implementing operational best practices to align IT solutions with business needs. Known as a transformative change agent, I prioritize business objectives while driving technology performance to new heights. As a hands-on servant leader, I am passionate about seizing challenges as opportunities, working closely with stakeholders, and leveraging the power of people, processes, and technology.

Currently serving as the Senior Director of Digital Transformation at Skidmore Sales and Distributing, I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with business partners across all organizational levels. Together, we design and implement initiatives that create sustainable impact. Before joining Skidmore, I held leadership positions at three Fortune 100 companies, namely Kroger, Proctor & Gamble, and HP. These roles provided me with extensive experience in developing and executing IT strategies, managing PMOs, fostering positive relationships, driving cost reductions, and optimizing operations through automation.

My leadership philosophy combines strategic vision, business acumen, tactical execution, and close collaboration with executives to ensure organizational success. I am particularly passionate about leveraging process improvements and automation to enhance team capacity and efficiency. My 22 years of military experience have instilled in me a commitment to fostering teams with a strong sense of camaraderie and understanding that engaged teams deliver high-impact value to an organization..

My specialties lie in managing teams of IT managers, project managers, and operational system administrators. I prioritize innovation, automation, process improvement, project delivery, customer focus, and teamwork.

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Master of Business Administration (MBA) @ Indiana Wesleyan University
Sep 2010 — Nov 2023

Master of Business Administration, is a graduate-level degree that provides advanced education and training in various aspects of business and management. It is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to excel in leadership roles within the business world.

Bachelor of Arts, Information Technology @ University of Cincinnati
Sep 1997 — Jun 2001

A Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology, is an undergraduate degree program that combines a liberal arts education with a focus on information technology. This degree program is designed to provide students with a well-rounded education while also equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary for the world of IT.


Senior Director of Digital Transformation @ Skidmore Sales & Distributing
Apr 2019 — Current

My primary focus is to propel our digital strategies and enhance our capabilities. I find great satisfaction in collaborating with business partners at various levels to comprehensively comprehend, analyze, design, devise, and execute initiatives aimed at enhancing processes that generate lasting, positive outcomes. Alongside this, I am entrusted with the management of Service Desk, Change Management, and Asset Management services. Furthermore, I am an active member of the senior IT leadership team, contributing to IT governance for enterprise applications. Key accomplishments include:

• Established a corporate-wide IT Governance Committee to manage strategic IT projects, resulting in accelerated innovation and process improvement efforts, and enhanced customer experience.

• Implemented Salesforce Sales and Experience Cloud solution and supported the adoptions by 80 remote salespeople across 4 companies by employing a "bottom-up" approach that broke down resistance and improved communication, resulting in a successful project outcome.

• Initiated an agile/scrum software development life cycle (SDLC) that reduced a 3-year backlog and enabled on-time completion, leading to a 20% increase in customer satisfaction.

• Built a cloud IT model, moved to a right-sourcing model, and established strategic vendor partnerships to expand the IT organization’s capacity to keep up with evolving business demand.

IT Relationship Director @ Cengage Learning
Apr 2016 — Apr 2019

As the inaugural IT Relationship Director, I played a pivotal role in shaping this newly established position, which involved close collaboration with business partners and executive management to cultivate customer-centric solutions and foster positive relationships between technical and business teams. My key accomplishments include:
• Through effective persuasion, I successfully influenced executives with conflicting priorities to eliminate redundancies and embrace new technology. As a result of this endeavor, we were able to eliminate over 30 redundant applications, leading to reduced annual licensing expenses.
• Orchestrated and coordinated activities related to the design, development, and implementation of information systems and software applications within Finance, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain departments.

• Ensured the availability of IT services and applications aligned with business requirements, while also facilitating the evaluation and timely implementation of new information needs in a cost-effective manner.

• Led the transition of the team to agile project management methodologies, providing mentoring, coaching, and training to Project Managers to facilitate on-time and on-budget project delivery. Additionally, I assisted in making necessary project adjustments to achieve objectives.

• Initiated the annual Technology Investment Portfolio process, which aimed to secure funding for strategic digital transformation initiatives. Managed the discovery process, including conducting Risk, Issues, and Opportunities (RIO) analysis, facilitating business case development, and coordinating the project selection process.

VP of IT @ Community First Solutions
Aug 2012 — Nov 2015

I was brought on board to transform IT operations across five non-profit organizations that delivered healthcare, behavioral health, pharmacy, and community-based services.

• Successfully led a large-scale cultural and process transformation within just four months, transitioning IT departments to a shared service model after securing buy-in to a 3-year IT plan with service level agreements and centralized project management.
• Shaped security policies and practices to prevent unauthorized access, misuse, or modification of digital/electronic systems and computer networks.
• Advanced IT architecture improvements within core systems, including electronic health records (EHR), network infrastructure, and end-user applications.
• Repaired fractured relationships with business executives, earned trust by developing solution concepts, presenting cost-benefit analysis, and delivering results.
• Turned a siloed IT organization into a cohesive entity with a shared vision, eliminating inefficiencies and pioneering new approaches resulting in improved customer satisfaction and transforming the business perception of the IT department.
• Produced savings of $150K annually, by creating strategic third-party partnerships, eliminating non-value services, and implementing vendor service quality metrics that increased accountability and service delivery.

IT Director @ Kroger
Sep 2006 — Aug 2012

As an IT Director, I was responsible for driving efficiencies and savings that support Kroger's continued investment in price and the overall customer experience. Held several roles including managing data center operations, project/program management, and customer relationship management.
• Collaborated with senior executives to develop strategic IT plans for Finance, HR, Facilities, and Supply Chain departments. Delivered seamless and transparent IT services, resolving issues to improve customer satisfaction.
• Course-corrected mission-critical project and earned Leadership Award, steering a cross-functional team to successfully deliver a centralized pharmacy solution (Easy Fill PRN) for 2700 locations across 18 divisions.
• Shaped design and implementation of software development and application support processes, making the most of a $70M operations budget.
• Unlocked $6.5M in savings through a data center infrastructure strategy that consolidated 4 stand-alone locations into a high-availability dual data center model while maintaining 99.99% of uptime.
• During data center migration took ownership of moving critical production and contingency servers, updating disaster recovery plans, and introducing business continuity planning.
• Triggered productivity gains, reduced business risks, and produced an immediate annual saving of $70K by right sourcing the facility management of data centers after consolidation efforts were completed.

Naval Intelligence Officer (LCDR) @ United States Navy
Sep 1989 — Apr 2012

Responsible for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence to support naval operations. Manage teams that receive, analyze and disseminate highly classified information from a variety of sources, that's critical to the success of missions and operations.

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