Executive Chair’s Message

It is an honor to step into the Executive Chair position for Innovate@UCLA, which has been serving the Southern California technology community for 45 years. I would like to thank Thomas Phelps (Executive Chair, 2021-2023) for his leadership and the entire board for the continued success of Innovate@UCLA. I have been associated with Innovate@UCLA for more than a decade. I started with attending events and learning from thought leaders at UCLA and in the technology community. The initial meetings confirmed my belief and commitment to the organization. The content was one of the highest quality in the region. Moreover, the networking was unique as it felt more of a close-knit community that is willing to share ideas, and help each other. I became an avid supporter of the organization, and have volunteered my time as a Program Chair and board member to create content focused on the most relevant topics for our companies and to provide different practical perspectives or solutions.

Jack Welch, prior CEO of General Electric, said that “an organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” The statement is highly pertinent in today’s rapidly changing technology landscape. And the ability to harness value with technology is also becoming more complicated. We are constantly challenged with stakeholders that desire faster value but may not completely grasp the complexity, speed, and maturity of the technology to drive the required outcomes. At Innovate@UCLA, we provide a venue to learn, discuss those challenges, and generate ideas or solutions that create unique value for enterprises. These components are key differentiators for Innovate@UCLA.

As the incoming Executive Chair, I look forward to executing our strategy with our board members. We will continue to expand on what we do best, such as creating rich programs, tapping into the UCLA academic community, and developing meeting venues that cater to the geographic spread of a large city. Our vibrant community of practitioners, vendors and sponsors have actively participated and contributed to the ongoing success of the organization. I look forward to continuing the engagement with our diverse stakeholders, and creating another successful and innovative year for the community!


Bhupesh Arora
Innovate@UCLA Executive Chair
CIO/Vice President Information Technology at Magellan Midstream Partners