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Forum on World Class IT - 319 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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February 11, 2013: Joe Topinka, Chief Information Officer of Red Wing Shoe Company

Among other topics, Joe discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:
  • Joe’s role as the organization’s first ever CIO, and how he demonstrates the capabilities IT can bring to the table to the organization
  • The importance of field research in not only understanding the pain points of the organization, but also how IT can be appropriately leveraged in addressing them
  • How Joe conveys IT strategies in a unique, story-telling fashion that allows individuals in the business to fully grasp how IT can change the way they function
  • Red Wing’s ongoing eCommerce initiative, and the implications it has for the business
  • The importance of R&D, and how Joe seeks to learn from other companies and leverage ideas in a pragmatic and practical fashion at Red Wing
  • Eye on Trends: Cloud computing and the plethora of available cloud-based solutions, as well as Big Data and the implications it has for Red Wing’s evolving eCommerce initiative

Joe Topinka’s Biography

Joe is the CIO of Red Wing Shoe Company, a privately held U.S. based global manufacturer of performance footwear and garments.  Joe is also the founder of CIO Mentor, LLC, a consultancy focused on helping companies leverage the power of technology to achieve profit-driven business results.

Prior to joining Red Wing Joe was Chief Information Officer of RSM McGladrey, the 5th largest accounting firm in the U.S.  Joe was responsible for the firm’s IT strategy and operations.

Joe also served as Chief Information Officer for BNY Clearing Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of New York.

Joe began his IT career at Metavante, Inc, a major financial services and software provider.  As a Business Unit Manager, Joe was responsible for developing software solutions for commercial banks.

Joe has bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and completed the Management Development Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview