About MacTech Pro Events?

MacTech Pro Events are the next incarnation of MacTech’s successful one-day, single-track, regional hotel-based seminars with a specific focus on the needs of professional Apple IT Pros, techs and consultants. These events are specifically designed for those that support others using Apple technologies ... including small-to-medium sized business, organization support staff, and specialized Apple consultants.

With an all new curriculum built from the ground up, the event benefits both return attendees and those that have never attended a MacTech event. Best yet, this in person event maximizes attendees chance to meet with peers, find critical vendor contacts, and foster the type of collaborative networking that the Apple community is famous for.

Included: Packed schedule. All sessions. Expert speakers. Lunch and breaks. Vendor interaction. More about MacTech Pro…

More info about...

City and Event Details



About the Event

Date: August 30, 2017
Time: All Day. See Detailed Schedule.
   Registration at 8:30am
   Sessions start at 9am. Day ends by 6pm.

Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown/Lakefront
511 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago IL 60611

Sessions Chair: Ben Greiner

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Sessions Chairs

Ben Greiner, Forget Computers

Ben Greiner, President of Forget Computers, is insanely focused on elevating the power of teams using Apple technology, and has been since 1998. At Forget Computers, Ben leads a team of Apple experts on a mission to transform IT delivery worldwide, using the most intelligent tools, clear communication, compelling thought leadership and a positively fun attitude!

Neil Ticktin, MacTech Magazine

Neil not only plays host for all MacTech events, but aids the session chairs for all MacTech events (over 100 events since 2010). Neil has been the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of MacTech Magazine since 1992. With both a technical and business background, Neil has authored hundreds of articles including most of MacTech's well known benchmarking articles on productivity applications, virtualization, and performance products.


Jack-Daniyel Strong, Strong Solutions

Jack is the President of J-D Strong Consulting, Inc. and Strong Solutions. As a member of the Apple Consultants Network, grew from a one-man consultancy into an Apple Authorized Reseller and Service Provider for the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho area. Most recently, JD joined the team of Watchman Monitoring to help with documentation and support.

Allen Hancock, Watchman Monitoring

Allen Hancock received his Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri - Columbia. In 2000, Allen started the Mac Consulting Group, Inc: an Apple Specialist, Service Provider, and Authorized Training Center. There, he found his thrill in helping clients make the most of their computing experiences. In 2010 Allen founded Watchman Monitoring to focus on finding problems before they become disasters, filling the gap between full on management and waiting for computers to fail.

Neil Ticktin, MacTech Magazine

Neil not only plays host for all MacTech events, but aids the session chairs for all MacTech events (over 100 events since 2010). Neil has been the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of MacTech Magazine since 1992. With both a technical and business background, Neil has authored hundreds of articles including most of MacTech's well known benchmarking articles on productivity applications, virtualization, and performance products.

Karen Sanders, Sanders IT Consulting

Karen is the Executive Director of IT Services at Sanders IT Consulting. Sanders IT Consulting specializes in providing network and IT solutions for small businesses in Chicago and nearby suburbs. We listen carefully to your needs, make recommendations and target solutions to maximize your productivity and minimize your network security risks. We ensure that your computer systems and network are secure, stable and available when your business needs them.

Chad Calease, WIMZKL

Chad's experience and fluency in technology spans over 15 years, crosses sectors and contexts, including regulated industries like healthcare (Apervita) and financial services (Wells Fargo), to marketing and advertising (Omnicom Group), education (Northwestern University), IIoT (Deloitte), non-profit (Habitat for Humanity) and transportation (United Airlines).

Matthew Woestehoff, The Foundation

Matt is the Director of Business Development and Marketing at The Foundation. During his tenure, Foundation has grown exponentially, including ranking #2 in MSPBJ's Fast 50, and #1309 on the Inc 5000. My team and I have launched new products and services, and expanded from local to a national service provider for IT support and services.

Ryan Grimes, My IT Indy

Ryan Grimes started HoosierMac Consulting 11 years ago this June. Two years ago he transformed HoosierMac from a 'Break Fix' company to a Managed Services provider on the Apple platform. In 2015 HoosierMac Consulting became My IT Indy with a focus on business consultancy and integrating technology. My IT Indy has been able to better serve business/education customers by shifting focus and now tells customers when they're having problems instead of the other way around. When Ryan isn't working with his amazing staff at My IT Indy, he's probably watching his kids play a sport somewhere.

Dustin Landgraf, MacHero

Dustin has been providing support to Mac users for 15 years. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Art from Illinois State University before making the leap to systems administration and IT consulting. Dustin is part of the team at MacHero, where he designs deployment solutions and manages over 500 Apple systems at more than 40 organizations in Chicago.

Rachel Ondejko, Sanders IT Consulting

Rachel heads up our Smart Technology division. She specializes in consultation, installation and training of smart home devices. She gets her kicks out of exploring the newest devices on the market and loves creating smart applets that can really personalize your smart items.

Invest in yourself. Don't wait.

Sessions and Topics

  • Creating a Storage Strategy: Integrating solutions for Cloud, Local, Network with Access, Archive and Backup in Mind
    Today we have a ton of options for storage -- local, network and cloud. What are the best ways to form a strategy that integrates solutions of these technologies for access on the desktop and mobile, as well as archiving and backups in an appropriate, secure way. Today’s combination of products and services can dovetail quite well through off-the-shelf solutions, or scripts to create the ultimate storage strategy.

  • Deployment Methods: Files, Configurations and Directory Services
    Deployment can happen in so very many ways. Everything from manual configuration to Apple Configurator to mass deployment methodologies. Without everything looking like a nail for the hammer you have, is there a better way for you? For example, did you know that there are easy to use cloud based directory services that not only give you security, but allow you to deploy configurations? Or that there are file based methodologies, which are incredibly bandwidth efficient in deployment? Or that there are cross platform solutions? We’ll cover these and other approaches in this session so that you can best match them to your overall or subset needs.

  • Scripting Python: Solo and Playing with the Other Kids
    Despite the fact that Python is a “programming language,” its precisely designed for to integrate systems -- in other words, it’s the language that every sysadmin, netadmin, and support professional should have in their arsenal. Python is the multi-tool of scripting languages, and is used in everything from web development to database access to networking and more. Even better, it plays nicely with other tools that you may also be using. Come learn about Python on macOS, and how to use it in some real world examples. Walk away with an understanding of creating a Python script, and where to go next in expanding your Pythonic world.

  • Group Discussion: Limited time, limited resources. Best practices to optimize you.
    Despite trying, we’ve not created a way to create more time in the day. Whether you are a consultant or a IT Pro, there are common ways that we all use to simply do more, with less. This group discussion will first lay out some of the common ideas talked about, and we’ll spend most of the session in a moderated group discussion to share knowledge and ideas on best practices to make us all more efficient.

  • IoT and Home Automation
    Hey Siri, Ok Google, Alexa - What are the differences? Which should you use? What can you do today with them? Can you use multiple platforms? And, how do you (the tech) benefit from this? How do you monetize or get cost savings?

  • Security. Don’t be the low hanging fruit for a hacker.
    Hackers are going to go after the path of least resistance. If your organization, or your client, is “low hanging fruit” you stand a much better chance of a hacker coming after you. What are things that you should be checking for on routers, firewalls, wifi, switches, IoT, email and on macOS itself? See the types of checklists that you should be developing to protect those that you are supporting. After all, they are relying on you to not be the easiest target in view.

  • macOS Troubleshooting. Console is your friend.
    One of the most underutilized tools in the Apple ecosystem is the Console utility that Apple has shipped since day one of OS X. There’s always so much more than meets the eye when you start to poke around your system with this ultimate watchdog interpreter. How do you use it? What are the log types? How can you interpret the logs? What is the most organized way to find issues on a system? This session will help you to peel back the layers of your friend, the Console.

  • The Tools You Should Know
    The reason people come to you is not just for your knowledge of how things work, but your knowledge of tools to figure out when things are not. Every tech has their “bag of tricks” and this session is designed to put more in that bag. What are the tools used regularly by the best techs in the business? What are they used for? This session will also include a group discussion where you can share some of your knowledge and favorite tools.

Invest in yourself. Don't wait.


MacTech Pro events have carefully selected sponsors to interact with you with the most useful products and services for you, the professional Apple tech and consultant.

National Sponsors

Watchman Monitoring


Event Sponsors

Landing Zone
Future Media Concepts
BMS Law Practice
TidBITS Content Network