Justin Lahullier 

Chief Information Officer at Delta Dental of NJ/CT

Can you please provide a little introduction about yourself
Currently Based in Northern New Jersey I am the Chief Information Officer at Delta Dental of NJ and CT. We are a Dental Insurance and Vision Insurance company. In my current role, I oversee all aspects of Information Technology, Cyber Security, Data and Analytics, and Quality Assurance Testing.
What has your journey to your position been like? What path have you taken?
My Journey to CIO started as an Intern at Delta Dental while working on my Master in Healthcare Administration in 2000. From there I spent time as a Business Analyst, Compliance Administrator, Manager of Product Development, Director of Informatics, AVP of Strategic Decisions Support and then took the CIO role.
Has it always been your vision to reach the position you’re at? Was your current role part of your vision to become a tech leader?
I always had the goal of Chief Analytics Officer and then on to COO or even CEO. MY current role as CIO includes oversight of our analytics area, so it is aligned with where I had hoped to be.
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Have you had a role model or mentor that has helped you on your journey?
I have always had a mentor indirectly in my first manager Vince Farinella. Vince always provided guidance and a sounding board during my career even when I stopped directly reporting to him. Vince is currently our head of Strategic Planning and Product Development.
How do you see the role of the technology leader evolving over the next 5 years?
I believe we are continuing to see the lines blur between IT and business. Technology leaders will continue to be fused or even moved into traditional business leader positions like COO and CEO. Much of the business is now dependent on technology in order to maintain competitive advantages and meet customer demands.
What skills do you think leaders of the future will need in order to thrive?
Empathy (EI), Communication (Traditional/Digital), Time Management (Work/Life), Collaboration, CX Orientation
How do you keep current with new skills, technologies and personal development?
Dedicated blocks of time to devote towards crucial skill development, networking and industry journals, and online content. For skills development, I have been focused on utilizing LinkedIn Learning. For networking, I think industry trade events or conferences and virtual events are suitable investments of time. I read MIT Journals, Harvard Review, and other business-focused journals daily.
What do you see as the next leap in technology that will impact your business or industry in particular?
Continued decentralization of services in the healthcare industry and the digitalization of everyday people's lives will make the digital experience for providers and patients front and center. I believe the application of AI/ML will help drive differentiation through actionable insight for payers, providers, and patients.
"Listen more than you talk and build key relationships early." 
If you were mentoring a leader of the future, what advice or guidance would you give to help them on their way?
Listen more than you talk and build key relationships early.
Is there anything in particular that you would still like to achieve in your career or what is the next step on your journey?
I want to move into other leadership roles, like COO, and try applying my leadership and understanding of technology across the organization.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
That is a heavy question.. I think it would be the education system to ensure our children and future workers are focused on STEM-related material and are better prepared for real-world experiences.

A big thank you to Justin Lahullier from Delta Dental of NJ/CT for sharing his journey to date.

If you would like to gain more perspective from Tech Leaders and CIOs you can read some of our other interviews here.

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The CIO Circle Editor
Post by The CIO Circle Editor
November 16, 2022