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. See more (in general) about MacTech Pro, or below for this specific city's event.

City and Event Details



About the Event

Date: Postponed to TBD
Time: All Day. See Detailed Schedule.
   Registration at 8:30am
   Sessions start at 9am. Day ends by 6pm.

Location: To be announced closer to the event.

Greater Chicago Area IL

Sessions Chair:

The earlier you register, the more you save! if you register now. (How pricing works.)

Sessions Chairs

Ben Greiner, Forget Computers

Ben is the Founder and President of Forget Computers where he leads a brilliant team using intelligent tools, clear communication, and a positive attitude to help people accomplish more -- more securely -- with Apple technology.

Neil Ticktin, MacTech

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. JD joined the team of Watchman Monitoring two years ago to help with documentation and support. JD continues to run a small MSP in his free time.

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Brian Best, SolarWinds MSP

Brian Best is the founder/CEO at BestMacs, Kansas City's only managed services provider focused on Apple products, now it its 19th year. He also founded Mac-MSP - known for Gruntwork and BlueSky - now part of SolarWinds MSP, the global market leader in the delivery of IT Service Management solutions. In that role, Brian is working on Apple support throughout the MSP product line. Brian is an ACTC, a long time Apple Consultants Network member, and ACN Advisory Council emeritus. He enjoys time with his wife and sons, judging BBQ competitions, watching Chiefs football, and driving his Tesla Model 3.

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Neil Ticktin, MacTech

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.

Dustin Landgraf, MacHero

Dustin has been providing support to Mac users for over 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.

Chris Tarnowieckyi, Encore Technologies

Chris 'Tarny' Tarnowieckyi is the manager of 7x24 technical support and repair services at Encore Technologies in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of eight Apple video training tutorials available from O'Reilly. For over 17 years he was the CEO, principle instructor, and janitor for Tarny, Inc an Apple Authorized Training Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also a member of the Apple Consultants Network and holds many Apple certifications and competencies. In addition to his Apple interest, Chris is a volunteer leader with a Boy Scout Troop. When not working on iOS devices, Mac servers, computers or networks he can be often found camping or hiking.

Joshua Gray, True Group

Joshua is the Lead Network Engineer and Engagement Manager of the infrastructure team at True Group. His experience in large scale to small scale network design is all about getting packets moved, as efficiently and securely as possible for the environment.

Invest in yourself. Don't wait.

Sessions and Topics

  • Settings and Preferences: Reduce Headaches by doing it your way.
    As a seasoned tech, you know the setup that helps your users. There are specific settings and preferences that you may want to make sure that a specific user, or the users you support in general, are using for their systems and applications. What’s best practices for manipulating plists and launch daemons? How do you push these configurations out to your users’ computers? What are some of the most common settings to address? What are some of the options you have that can make it easier to user-proof systems?

  • Imaging is dead. No more cloning. Now what?
    The days of getting that perfect image in place, and cloning it are gone. New systems will not be able to be cloned in the way you’ve done for decades. There’s no choice moving forward but to use some type of deployment mechanism -- whether MDM, EMM, RMM, MDE or any one of the many TLAs (three-letter acronyms) that come down to solutions for managing and deploying devices. Bottom line, if you don’t get on understanding the new landscape now, you’ll be in a world of hurt as new systems are released. The good news is that Apple is finally unifying deployment schemes. Come find out why DEP is critical, your options, and what kernel extensions are all about?

  • Infrastructure and Design: IoT for Small Business and Home.
    Many people think of IoT as home automation, or appliances of the future. The reality is that IoT is so much more than that, and as the technologist responsible for supporting your users, there’s opportunity, not to mention, responsibility for you in supporting users. Best yet, as you define plans, there are incredible opportunities for not just having IoT smarten the details of our lives, but money that can be saved for your users. And, whether that’s adding to your job responsibilities as an IT Pro, or an expanded opportunity for your consultancy to profit, it’s something for you to pay attention to.

  • Group Discussion: Preparing Users for Security, Breaches.
    The people you support rely on you to keep them functioning. They don’t necessarily care about the specific technologies, they instead want to focus on what they do. What are the best ways to “have the talk” about security, and help users and decision makers to understand why security needs to be important to them? What are the things that they, the users, need to do to be a part of the solution? What training tools and security tests should you have in place? How do you get people to understand being resilient, because breaches will happen.

  • APFS: It’s here. It’s now. It’s different. What you need to know.
    Apple doesn’t do it often, but about once every 15 years, completely changes the underpinnings of its operating systems … the file system. Apple File System (APFS) is the new file system for macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS. How is it different? What are the benefits? What is “snapshotting”? How has encryption changed? How does this impact the ways you maintain and monitor the disks and storage that users have on their systems? There’s a whole lot that you know from HFS+ that no longer applies or has changed -- here’s your chance to make sure you are on top of what APFS is about, and what it means for your users.

  • Providing Managed Services for your organization and clients.
    Keeping all your users’ computers and devices up to date and on a level playing field is just one of many goals for providing managed services for those you support. It is always a win if you are seeing problems before they become a disaster, scheduling downtime and upgrades, and being proactive. We will not only explore ways to manage computers, but other services that could help ease your burden of supporting users, providing that routine maintenance for users, and keep you from calling the tow truck to haul the computer in for repair.

  • Getting the Mail Through.
    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night … well that’s the goal at least. These days email continues to be the holy grail of communication, but it’s harder and harder to get the mail through. We’ll talk about SPF, DKIM, DMARC - what are they, and how do you use and monitor them. There are several common pitfalls to mail service configuration that even the most seasoned tech will run into, and we’ll cover them in this session as well as how to troubleshoot email delivery. Inherent in this discussion is how to secure an email server, and keep it from being used in nefarious ways.

  • The Tools You Should Use for Troubleshooting and Security.
    This year is more different for Apple techs than any year in recent history. Changes to the file system, deployment, massive security concerns, IoT, and more. “Different” and “Changes” means that you need to be ready to support users -- figuring out if the tools you already know will still work, or finding new tools needs to be done before you need them, not at the time you need them. This session will help you update your toolbox for both troubleshooting and security needs. And, we’ll hear from the group if there’s additional favorites in the community, and the pros/cons of the tools available.

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

FLEXdesk – Rooted Consulting
Landing Zone
Tech Minded
Watchman Monitoring

Event Sponsors

BMS Law Practice