Joe Topinka

Joe Topinka

Chief Information Officer at SnapAV

Charlotte, North Carolina (Charlotte, North Carolina Area)
Information Technology and Services

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Joe Topinka's Overview


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Joe Topinka's Summary

Recognized as a game-changing career CIO, my IT Business Partner Program™ has driven exponential business results consistently across industries by bridging the chasm between business stakeholders and IT organizations.

I believe that when you create a trusting environment and empower people they deliver the best possible results.That philosophy has helped the companies that I've led achieve great results and has enabled career growth for my colleagues.

My proprietary Business Partner Program demystifies IT for the C-Suite and achieves business growth through:

► CONVERGED IT – business stakeholders and IT leaders are intertwined and inseparable

► MOVING BEYOND ALIGNMENT – C-Suite and IT leadership: thinking + acting + achieving together

► OUTSIDE IN THINKING – Getting immersed in the customer's environment to make it easy for them to love what your company does

My revolutionary IT Business Partner Program program has successfully delivered results in multiple industries, including banking, brokerage, accounting, manufacturing, retail and digital commerce.

As the CIO and VP of Multichannel Commerce for Red Wing Shoe Company, I lead the company’s first ever global, multichannel commerce go-to-market-strategy which has revitalized the organization and created new distribution channels for the company’s products and services.

In addition, as the founder of CIO Mentor, LLC, I am focused on leveraging the power of technology to achieve profit-driven business results.

In 2013, I was honored as CIO of the year by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. My approach has been featured in, the Heller Report, Profile Magazine, the Forum on World Class IT, and numerous other publications.

As an author and sought after speaker, I present to IT and business industry groups about the power of IT Business Partnerships.

Follow me: @ciomentors
Join the CIO Mentor Group on LinkedIn

Joe Topinka's Experience

Chief Information Officer


Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Consumer Electronics industry

September 2014Present (1 month) Charlotte, North Carolina Area

Reporting to the CEO, I am responsible for business technology and IT functions enterprise-wide for the company. SnapAV is a manufacturer and exclusive distributor of high-quality products designed for and by audio / video installation professionals. The company has distribution centers in North Carolina, Texas, and California and directly serves the continental US, with international distribution partners in Canada, Latin America, Australia, Russia, Ireland, and China. SnapAV has been named to the prestigious INC 500/5000 List, which ranks the fastest growing privately-held companies in the US, for four years running

CEO and Founder

CIO Mentor

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Information Technology and Services industry

January 2001Present (13 years 9 months)

Joe's passion for coaching and mentoring led him to the creation of CIO Mentor, a consultancy focused on helping companies leverage the power of technology to achieve profit-driven business results. For more than a decade, we have helped IT leaders and C-suite leaders leverage the power of IT to drive bottom-line results. At CIO Mentor, we specialize in bridging the chasm between business stakeholders and IT organizations. Visit for more information.

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Information Technology and Services industry

January 2014Present (9 months)

Author of the ground-breaking new book IT Business Partnerships: A Field Guide. Foreword by John Sculley. Endorsed by Martha Heller, Peter High, Faisal Hoque, Tom Gomoll, Belinda Rodman, Bob Concannon

Nonprofit; 501-1000 employees; Professional Training & Coaching industry

April 2014Present (6 months)

BRM Institute Executive Council Member.

VP Multichannel Commerce & Chief Information Officer

Red Wing Shoe Co.

Privately Held; 1001-5000 employees; Apparel & Fashion industry

May 2008August 2014 (6 years 4 months)

Reporting to the President, recruited to improve reporting & decision support solutions, and increase the effectiveness of IT . Accountable for Multichannel Commerce global businesses, Oversee all IT functions world-wide including the Project Management Office, IT Business Partners, Retail Help Desk, Datacenter & Related Staff, Developers, and Administrators. Red Wing has multiple manufacturing, tanneries and warehouse operations in the U.S, and numerous global partners. Red Wing has 2,000 employees world-wide.

Challenged to align business and IT, establish business intelligence capabilities, and build a business driven IT roadmap. Launched a comprehensive company-wide go-to-market program that included CRM, B2B, B2C, B2B2C ecommerce, and new retail POS solutions for 400 brick & mortar locations. Implemented global collaboration tools, video conferencing, unified messaging, speech access to Microsoft Outlook and a company intranet.

Notable Accomplishments:

Developed and secured $20M in funding for a comprehensive go-to-market program that comprised CRM, Retail POS, and full eCommerce capabilities.

Delivered a comprehensive business intelligence platform which provided reliable and insightful business insights and improved decision making.

Delivered enterprise-wide collaboration and communication tools that improved teamwork and reduced travel costs between locations.

Implemented an IT Business Partner program that integrated strategic business and technology plans. This substantially enhanced the reputation of IT within the organization and improved the way we work with our customers.

Implemented a business-to-business e-commerce portal that enabled sales teams and independent sales reps to view reports, check inventories, and place orders 24x7.

Implemented the companies first Project Management Office which improved project delivery success and business unit satisfaction.



Partnership; 5001-10,000 employees; Accounting industry

May 2004April 2008 (4 years)

Reporting to the President, recruited as the company’s first CIO. Oversaw all IT functions for over 8,000 employees in 120 cities in the U.S. Functions included the Project Management Office, IT Business Partners, Datacenter & Related Staff, Developers, and Administrators. Recruited to strategically leverage technology and upgrade all major audit and tax platforms nationwide.

Notable Accomplishments:

Aligned technology and business investments and introduced product management as a planning and accountability framework.

Introduced new IT platforms for the firm’s largest lines of business which resulted in greater productivity and increased staff leverage across the firm.

Co-led with the head of Human Resources key initiatives for firm-wide cultural transformation.

Led the technology integration effort relating to the acquisition of American Express Tax & Business Services (which included systems and tool integration for over 3,000 employees in 30 cities across the U.S.).

Launched the firm’s first intranet, introduced world-wide access to company resources, and created support for handheld mobile devices.

Managed PeopleSoft HR and PeopleSoft Financials for McGladrey and McGladrey and Pullen and led the implementation of major vendor releases and upgrades across the enterprise.

CIO BNY Clearing

Bank of New York

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; BK; Financial Services industry

February 19992004 (5 years)

Reporting to the CEO & President, recruited as CIO to establish the company’s IT function in Milwaukee and New York, form IT governance processes, and implement B2B ecommerce capabilities. Oversaw all IT functions including the Project Management Office, Product Managers, Correspondent Brokerage Workstation Help Desk, Datacenter & Related Staff, Developers, and Administrators. Quickly promoted and took on responsibility for new client conversions and investment product operations (that included trade order management, balancing functions, and customer service functions).

Notable Accomplishments:

Established the IT function for BNY Clearing, including a company-wide Project Management Office.

Established IT career path and achieved Project Management Institute (PMI) certification for all company project managers. Also developed and implemented a Product Management career path that focused on product concept incubation, and planning processes.

Developed the firm’s e-business strategy and implemented the first web-based brokerage desktop for BNY Clearing’s customers.

Drove due diligence for key BNY Clearing acquisitions. Migrated data center operations to a co-location outsourcer, resulting in $5 million facilities cost savings.

Led BNY Clearing due diligence effort relating to the acquisition of Lockwood Financial, the largest independent provider of managed account solutions in the U.S.

Established Straight-Through-Processing between CheckFree Security APL and BETA Systems. Established a link between Metavante’s Trust Accounting System and BNY Clearing that facilitated a link to money managers for separately managed accounts.

Drove the conversion process for BNY Clearing’s acquisition growth initiative, resulting in the addition of 200+ correspondents between 1999 and 2003.

Senior Manager


Public Company; 5001-10,000 employees; MV; Financial Services industry

June 1983February 1999 (15 years 9 months)

General management responsibilities for the Relationship Management System (RMS) product line for Metavante’s Outsourcing and Licensed Software Business Groups. This product line consists of six major product components and annually generated over $15 million in revenue. Product team consisted of approximately sixty developers and managers. Management accountabilities included product management, product development, budget and financial management, and product distribution.

Joe Topinka's Publications

  • Check Out My New Book!

    • IT Business Partnerships: A Field Guide
    • January 17, 2014
    Authors: Joe Topinka

    Business leaders who want to move their companies toward true business and technology convergence—that sweet spot where IT and business units are so strategically intertwined that they operate almost interchangeably—voice the cry “IT must partner with the business!”. Check out the groundbreaking new book to see how to achieve this elusive goal!

  • The CIO Takes Over Multichannel Commerce

    • November 18, 2013

    Forbes series on CIO-Plus profiles CIOs with roles that span beyond the traditional IT organization.

  • Heller Report: IT Business Partnerships Job Description

    • The Heller Report
    • February 12, 2014

    This article contains a sample job description developed by Joe Topinka as part of his game-changing IT Business Partner program. The job description is available on the Heller Report.

  • The Technology Point of View

    • Profile Magazine
    • January 1, 2014

    Joe Topinka believes that business and technology need to partner in order to be successful. It’s an idea that drives his work at Red Wing Shoes and also one he’s driving home with his new book, IT Business Partnerships: A Field Guide (with an intro by John Sculley).

Joe Topinka's Skills & Expertise

  1. Chief Information Officer
  2. Software Development
  3. Enterprise Software
  4. Team Leadership
  5. Strategic Planning
  6. Building relationships
  7. E-commerce
  8. Cross-Functional Team Leadership
  9. Executive Management
  10. Product Life Cycle Management
  11. User-centered design
  12. Building Relationships
  13. Cross-functional Team Leadership
  14. Product Lifecycle Management
  15. Business Intelligence
  16. Program Management
  17. IT Strategy
  18. User-centered Design
  19. Product Management
  20. B2B
  21. Team Building
  22. Leadership
  23. Mobile Devices
  24. Product Development
  25. Project Planning
  26. Vendor Management
  27. Governance
  28. Strategy
  29. CRM
  30. SDLC
  31. Business Process Improvement
  32. Software Project Management
  33. Cloud Computing
  34. IT Management
  35. SaaS
  36. Project Management
  37. Outsourcing
  38. Integration
  39. Process Improvement
  40. Business Analysis
  41. Project Portfolio Management
  42. Business Strategy
  43. Data Center
  44. Management
  45. Mergers & Acquisitions
  46. Change Management
  47. PMO
  48. Information Technology
  49. Consulting
  50. Business Process

View All (50) Skills View Fewer Skills

Joe Topinka's Projects

  • Joe Topinka Keynote at MWUG Conference

    • 2014 to Present
    Team Members: Joe Topinka

    IT leaders often acknowledge the importance of driving value by partnering with the business; few however talk about how to make that happen. In his presentation, Joe will share his “day in the life” story that illustrates the positive outcomes that occur when IT is proactively engaged with the business. In addition, Joe will share ideas regarding how IT can successfully implement an IT Business Partner function that can sustainably drive business value.

Joe Topinka's Education

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

BS, Computer Science

Activities and Societies: Minnesota IT Executive Networking Group, CIO Leadership Network - Governing Body Member

Joe Topinka's Additional Information


CIO Mentor, IT Business Partnerships, Strategic Business Planning, Integrating Business & IT Strategies, Systems Architectures, Relationship Building, Systems Design & Development, Change Management, Organizational Development, Large Scale Deployments, Product Management, Contract Negotiation & Management, Continuous Improvement, Mentor & Coach, Budget Development & Management, User Experience Design, Cost Containment, IT Management, Digital Commerce, Mobile Commerce, Customer Experience Journeys, Strategy, Strategic Execution, Demystifying IT, Bridging the Chasm, Peter High, Martha Heller, John Sculley, basketball, golf, arts and craftsman homes, books

Groups and Associations:

Gartner, CIO Executive Council, Think IT Board of Advisors

Joe Topinka's Honors and Awards

  • CIO Of the Year

    Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
    • September 2013

    Honroed as CIO of the year by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Topinka is a vocal advocate for CIOs everywhere, constantly exploring the value people like him can add, publishing thought leadership on the subject and speaking at conferences and seminars.

Contact Joe for:

  • career opportunities
  • consulting offers
  • new ventures
  • job inquiries
  • expertise requests
  • business deals
  • reference requests
  • getting back in touch

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