BIG University  - Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
BIG University 

By Maura McGowen – A feature piece from our Fall-Winter 2023 issue of the Lancaster Thriving Publication!

BIG University is Central PA’s premier IT and cybersecurity conference. The one-day event is designed to provide forward-thinking businesses and IT professionals with a collaborative space to educate themselves and each other on current and future technologies.  

The fifth annual BIG University, hosted at The Ware Center in downtown Lancaster on September 14th, focused on harnessing the power of teamwork to secure a safer digital future. Alongside industry experts, prominent Lancaster business leaders, and keynote speaker Brian Dawkins, over 130 attendees engaged in an afternoon of expert-level discussions on cutting edge security approaches, industry insights and top IT priorities for businesses. The conference featured a diverse lineup of sessions tailored to the cybersecurity pro, non-technical individuals, and business executives. Topics ranged from CMMC, cyber law and AI to security awareness training and SIEM. Attendees had a choice of 10 sessions to choose from, plus a panel discussion on how technology has impacted local Lancaster businesses and an inspiring keynote from Eagles legend Brian Dawkins. 

Sessions were presented not only by the Business Information Group team, but local experts as well. Don Geiter of Barley Snyder dove into cyber law and equipped attendees with essential strategies to help prepare them for the legal challenges of the modern business landscape. Rich Everts, Co-Founder and CEO of Bestie Bot took us on an insightful journey, examining the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of AI. Attendee Peter Ribaudo said this session “was the high point of [his] day.” Nathan Shea of SecureStrux joined Devin Chwastyk of McNees Wallace and Mandy Maher of McConkey for a comprehensive discussion on the state of cybersecurity and looking ahead to 2024 from an insurance, legal and cyber perspective. We were then joined by Nate Scott of Cargas Systems, Steve Zuckerman of Oaktree Development, Peter Barber of Two Dudes, and Claire Mooney of Penn State Health- Lancaster Medical Center for an engaging panel discussion on how technology has revolutionized their different industries from their perspectives. 

The day concluded with a heartfelt and meaningful keynote speech from Brian Dawkins, Hall-of-Fame NFL Safety known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. The key lesson learned was to choose your core values and live by them. He lives by A.R.E.A of Control – Actions, Response, Effort, Attitude. These four pillars help guide Brian to live intentionally and with passion. The discussions continued at happy hour where Brian joined the audience for networking and connections.  

For the past 30 years, Business Information Group has helped hundreds of companies upgrade their technology to improve productivity, minimize downtime, and increase collaboration. BIG’s mission? To serve as an extension of their clients’ businesses as their most trusted technology advisor. The purpose of BIG University is to bring business and technology together – to prove that IT and cybersecurity aren’t limited to technical individuals. By educating our community, we can build a more secure digital future together. 

To lean more about BIG University and sign up to receive BIG U 2024 updates, visit  

Maura McGowen

Marketing Manager – Business Information Group

Contact Maura Here

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