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Work experience


Chief Information Officer, North America

At the time, a NYSE traded (NYSE: IMA) $2billion/7,000 employee healthcare management company and international manufacturer of medical devices, women's healthcare products, and nutritional supplements.

Most senior technical role in North America. Co-responsibility with CIO, Rest Of World for strategic IT decisions for the company and individual business units.  Ensured availability and performance of computing platforms, applications, and service providers while identifying cost savings and opportunities for synergy and efficiencies across the globe. Co-led development of the Global IT strategic plan and then led development of region specific strategy. Managed subsequent annual operating plans valued at $50 million. Global leadership of the Business Program Management Office, global applications (SAP,, Hyperion, Cognos, Workday, Ensur, Netregulus), global application development (HL-7 and 21CFRPart 11 compliant), and IT Governance Council. Responsible for staffing, training and developing a high performing team of 60 employees scattered across 13 plants.  

Other key North American technologies under my leadership: Great Plains/Dynamics, JDEdwards, PointMan, Fourth Shift, Sage,, SalesLogix, Pivotal, Sugar, Workday, Oracle, Avaya ACD, SIP, Blackberry, MPLS, WINTEL, AS400, UNIX, VMware, .Net,  SharePoint,  SOX, Agile development.

Safeguarded company revenue stream.  Exercised fiduciary responsibility to investors by initiating a Business Continuity Plan initiative and bolstering existing IT disaster recovery capability.  Engaged SunGard to aid in formal development of business and technology plans as well as implementing appropriate testing.

Reduced operational overhead and improved service level.  Transformed team into a cohesive business-focused unit.  Then, led them to establish platform standards, new network topography, consolidated purchasing, best practices, and subsequent migration plans.  Developed strategy and plans to execute integration of future mergers and acquisitions. Initiated vendor selection to migrate network and in-house hosted SAPv6 to managed services. Developed and then monitored performance through a structured scorecard.

Saved $900k while providing executives with insight into the business, the market, and the external customer. Created Business Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and Master Data Management functions to extract business value from the plethora of databases. Executive Dashboard implemented within eight weeks.

Improved sales efficiencies, competitiveness, customer experience, and market intelligence. Led consolidation of multiple sales processes and six systems (e.g., Pivotal, SalesLogix) into a new single sales process and new system integrated with SAP. Completed on schedule (15 weeks) while under budget by$195k, and attained a documented high adoption rate of 95% by the 400 field users.

Saved $350k/year. Implemented new Sales Tracings and Commission Reporting process and system.

Positioned company for future market expansion. Initiated incubation of an organic software engineering discipline to manage embedded software and strategize a product architecture roadmap.

As Management Consultant to Inverness VP of Corporate Finance via Robert Half Management Resources:

Saved minimum of $10.3 million annually while providing a scalable platform necessary to continue client's aggressive growth through acquisition strategy and dramatically increase customer satisfaction.   Drove "Greenfield" start-up of a new distribution subsidiary that consolidated Order-to-Cash, technical support, and global distribution operations of temperature sensitive, regulated products from eight disparate companies with disparate and conflicting processes, systems, and policies. Included transition of legacy SAPv4, JDEdwards, Pivotal, PRMS, and Fourth Shift operations into new SAP v6 and implementation of a new Avaya call center management system with SIP/POTS routing. Project took seven months from blank sheet to opening day; processing over $800 million/yr in domestic & international orders.

President and Chairman


Founded a new advertising agency and custom signage manufacturer. Provided business image and advertising consulting as well as manufactured all types and sizes of signage and printed media; e.g. billboards, neon, drive-up menus, TV spots, etc....

Grew business from a blank sheet into a 3,000 sq ft facility with several staff and a stable of steady repeat clients; e.g., Lennar, SS White, Meridian Healthcare, and K. Hovnanian. Sole responsibility for finance, P&L, marketing, and production management. Performed cold call sales as well as managed in-house and field sales staff.  Managed designers as well as did extensive graphics design.  Drew blueprints and performed structural and electrical calculations. Architected, implemented, and supported distributed network of CNC machinery. Achieved a near paperless business; spent less than $20/yr on postage while servicing over 900 customers and using 30 custom suppliers. 



In 2003, a publically-traded (DOW 20) $16billion/79,000 employee international pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Promoted and transferred to Clinical Operations:

Improved on-time delivery of Clinical Research data from 25% to 81% (exceeding goal). Launched a global business project management department (PMO); completed within one year and without impeding R&D pipeline's work in progress. [Phase Forward, Fraser Williams, OPX2]

While in Clinical Information Services group:

Substantially improved customer satisfaction while increasing productivity 120%, reducing cost, and passing two FDA audits. Led turnaround of a new 104 person department. In the call center, with same headcount, reduced call abandon rate to be consistently under 3% from an inherited 20%. Satisfied 100% increase in work volume while headcount was reduced. Aligned USA, Costa Rica, Belgium, and Singapore staff to provide a seamless and consistent client experience. [Oracle, PERL, UNIX, WINTEL]

Achieved year-end annual expense accuracy of 99.5% or higher throughout tenure as Chief of Staff (chief operating officer) for 400 person ($40 million operating expense) Clinical Information Services group.

Saved $3 to $6 million annually and restored business confidence in IT which enabled further use and recoupment of its $100 million investment in home-grown 21 CFR Part 11 compliant clinical systems. Established new PMO and a new IT project manager role. Built new enterprise project portfolio management group and tools from scratch. Developed budgeting and control methods to oversee annual portfolio of 150 programs consisting of 1,100 projects and $40 million annual expense budget. Trail blazed simultaneous worldwide Oracle/UNIX upgrade affecting 1,000 internal users and external customers in 54 countries.


Program Manager/Supervisory Aerospace Engineer

US Department of Defense, Naval Air Systems Command

Marketed and grew in-house prototyping and manufacturing portfolio from zero to $11 million annually. Ensured that Presidential Helicopter and H-60 Helicopter could operate safely and effectively from aircraft carriers, air-capable ships, and expeditionary airfields worldwide. Directed efforts of forty engineers, logisticians, and acquisition professionals from twenty-nine functions in nine agencies across USA, Europe, and Asia to design, build, deploy, and support 5,000 unique end items (inventory of 55,000 assets). Planned, justified, and oversaw $120 million acquisition portfolio. Inducted into the Defense Acquisition Corps.

Successfully led completion of special project in record time (concept to completed sea trials within three months) for Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in preparation for Operation Desert Storm.



Master of Science


Change Management
Organization Transformation
Org/operations start-up
Org/dept Turnaround
International Operations
Sales Force Automation
LEAN thinking
International Logistics
In-service Engineering
Profit & Loss (P&L)
Project Portfolio Management
Validated, Regulated Systems
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Post M&A Integration
Program Management
Order-to-Cash Management
Customer Relationship Mgmt, CRM
System Development Lifecycle (SDLC)
Not jut IT but product development too.
Make/buy, Repair/replace
Continuous Process Improvement
IT Demand Management
Business Start-up and Closure



Association of Professionals in Business Management


Project Mangement Institute

My Formatted CV


Business technology leader with a passion for enabling company growth and excellence by ensuring all technology endeavors yield business value; are in alignment with the company's strategy and resource capability; and provide transparency in oversight and for insight.  Resolute that technology be a competitive weapon, rather than just an internal utility.  Sees interoperability as critical; so, is relentless in providing seamless flow of information across organizational, department, geo-political, system, and process boundaries.

Adamant in pursuit of continuous improvement, good customer partnerships, and accountability for honoring commitments. Subject matter guru on Lean Project Delivery, program management, and enterprise project portfolio management.


  • Acquisition Strategy, Planning, and Sourcing
  • Company/Operation Start-up or Divestiture
  • Embedded Systems
  • Merger & Acquisition Integration
  • PMO Startup, Turnaround, and Operation
  • Product Development and Logistics
  • Strategy Development and Delivery
  • System Development Lifecycle (SDLC)
  • Systems Thinking and Engineering
  • Toyota Production System and Lean Methodology
  • Validated Regulated Systems-21CFR11 & HL-7
  • Vendor Management - outsourcing, inshoring, etc...


My name is Joe Kolakowski and I'm a senior technology executive with practical business experience who can deep dive on engineering and IT issues when appropriate. I specialize in turnarounds, start-ups, and integrations. I have a long track record of going into new and difficult environments and being able to deliver results. I bring order to chaos. Do you need someone who can triage a situation, take prudent risks, and deliver results?

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