Senior Vice President, Central Division, And General Manager
Jeff Buzzelli is the Senior Vice President of Business Services for the Central Division based out of Atlanta, Ga. In this role, Jeff is responsible for Comcast Business operations including Inside Sales, Field Sales, Sales Operations, Marketing, and Customer Care. This is across a 17 state geography, along with teams from the 4 regions that make up the Central Division, including 2000+ Comcast team members. Overall, the Comcast Business team has driven strong aggregate revenue growth north of 10% over the past 3 years, which has led to a growth of 800,000+ customers.
From the start, Jeff was instrumental in the strong market growth of the Comcast Business organization, including as the regional leader of the Greater Chicago Region. He led the successful acquisition and integration of Cimco, a Chicago based CLEC, for the Comcast Business organization.
As an executive with over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Jeff has held key leadership positions within sales, marketing, and operations across large telecom industry firms such as AT&T, GTE/Verizon, and Level 3 Communications. Prior to Comcast, his last several assignments included leading large national/regional organizations focused on serving commercial customers.
He is vice chairman of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), a member of the Board of Governors at the Georgia Chamber, and sits on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association Metro Atlanta. He stays active with other charitable organizations, as well as community youth sports.
Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. and a MBA from the University of Dallas in Texas.
Past Board Chair
Chris Linder is Chief Information Officer, Apptio and is responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of the company’s global IT infrastructure. These services span disciplines including innovation, organizational development, portfolio and project management, software and infrastructure engineering, and operations. Focused on enabling Manhattan’s vision as a technology leader in supply chain and omnichannel commerce, Chris leads an IT organization enabling productivity for clients and employees through an IT platform that provides “What you want; When you want it; Securely, From anywhere.”
Prior to joining Apptio, Chris served as Chief Information Officer for Manhattan Associates. As Manhattan’s CIO Chris modernized IT and enable exceptional business growth. Prior to Manhattan, Chris served as Director for the Enterprise Technology Group at Fiserv, responsible for the operational efficiency of the company’s more than 70 data centers. He joined Fiserv in 2008 from KPMG, where he served three years as an advisor delivering strategy and solutions to clients on topics throughout the technology arena (system implementation, technology strategy, PMO, Portfolio management and more).
A seasoned executive with more than 27+ years of IT experience in the financial services, ecommerce, and supply chain industries, Chris has a successful track record for partnering with business leaders to plan, develop, and implement industry-leading information technology solutions to meet or exceed revenue, cost, and shareholder value objectives.
Board Vice Chair
Board Vice Chair
Senior Vice President & CIO
Bill VanCuren is senior vice president and CIO for NCR Corporation. Bill is a member of both the corporate leadership team, and the leadership council.
His current assignment as the CIO has oversight over the full strategic IT portfolio, global networks and processing services for both internal and external customer managed services, and all workgroup collaborative and mobile computing. His role also includes information security and compliancy as well as SaaS datacenter strategy and rationalization.
Bill has driven world-class levels of efficiency and improved effectiveness via a combined IT/Business governance. As a result of implementing leading practice strategies, his organization is consistently named to the Information Week500, and in CIO magazine’s CIO 100 and Bill was named CIO of the year in Georgia for 2011 and received the Ed Steineke award for top CIO leading philanthropy in 2018.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree, Cum Laude, from The Ohio State University and his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton. He has also received executive training at Stanford University, along with a variety of extended leadership training from the NCR University.
He is the co-chair of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA). Bill also is an advisory board member to the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, and University of Georgia MIS program. Bill is also active in non-profits in the Atlanta area such as TechBridge, and PowerMyLearning, which provides technology to the underprivileged.
Bill lives in Sandy Springs, Georgia with his wife, Jeannie. His hobbies include skiing, boating, and hiking. Bill is a member of both The Ohio State University Buckeye Club and the President’s Club.
Partner & Co-founder
Nigel Zelcer co-founded Jabian Consulting in 2006 with the vision of creating a company that could provide amazing client service, a place for employees to pursue their passions, and a commitment to be an integrated partner in the communities it serves. This is accomplished partly by Jabian’s unique no-travel consulting model, allowing employees the best opportunity to become ingrained in their communities and have more time for their passions and client relationships. Through his leadership, Jabian has grown into one of the most respected management consulting firms in the country and has consistently been recognized as a best place to work and a charitable community leader.
Prior to forming Jabian, Nigel started his career at Accenture where he worked with various U.S. and European companies delivering large scale transformation programs. He is widely considered a pioneer in large scale outsourcing, eCommerce, and wireline/wireless convergence.
Based on his passion for cognitive psychology and how humans interact with technology, Nigel earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, in Information and Decision Systems, and in Industrial Management.
Nigel has held numerous leadership positions within the Atlanta community and currently is on the Board of Directors for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). As an active member of TAG, Nigel is the board Secretary, leads Board Development and is member of the Executive and Strategy committees. Outside of the technology community, Nigel is an active fundraiser with the Winship Cancer Institute, is a member of the Woodward Presidents Circle, and supports Jabian’s employee-led 501(c)3, Jabian Cares, through matching donations.
Nigel and his wife, Randi, reside in Decatur with their two children.
Steve is President of GT Software. Founded in 1982, GT Software enables some of the world’s largest enterprises to innovate faster by easily integrating their mainframe systems with hybrid cloud, mobile, web and other applications using their no code, drag and drop API integration tool.
Steve previously held roles as a corporate development executive with Verint Systems and Sage Group plc, and ran a new ventures group for The Weather Channel. Prior to that he was co-founder and CEO of iTendant, a SaaS and mobile software company he co-founded in 2000. He is the author of the “The Risk Premium Factor: A New Model for Understanding the Volatile Forces that Drive Stock Prices” (Wiley 2011). Steve is also inventor of U.S. Patent 9,378,515, which deals with the availability of mobile content based on a user’s location and the time of transmission.
Earlier roles included corporate finance strategy consulting and M&A advisory with Stern Stewart and corporate development with Oldcastle after starting his career as a software developer.
He holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Steve currently serves on the board of directors and as board treasurer for the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) and the board of directors for FinTech Atlanta.
As President of NPI, Don is responsible for growing the company’s roster of satisfied clients, and for defining and executing growth strategies. He brings more than 35 years of enterprise IT and business leadership to the NPI team as well as a long track record of growing successful companies. Prior to NPI, as President and CEO of Mobile Labs Don was responsible for taking the business from start-up to an established market leader in mobile application testing. He previously served as President, Americas at ORTEC and as President and CEO at Seagull Software where his vision and leadership established both companies as global powerhouses in their respective industries. He was also President and COO of KnowledgeWare, an innovative application development tools provider.
Outside of the office, Don is actively involved in helping grow Georgia’s thriving technology industry and has previously served as Chairman and Vice Chair of the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG) board of directors.
CEO and Founder
Claire Lewis Arnold is CEO and co-founder of Atlanta based Leapfrog Services. Leapfrog provides extraordinary IT services in a remote management model, to small and medium sized businesses and organizations.
Prior to founding Leapfrog, Ms. Arnold acquired NCC LP, building it into one of Georgia’s five largest privately held companies. She also spent nearly 10 years with Coca-Cola USA, in marketing, sales, sales management and long range planning.
Ms. Arnold served for many years as a Trustee of Mary Baldwin College, most recently as Chair of its Board of Trustees of The Westminster Schools and as a mentor to younger women in the Atlanta business community. She currently serves on the Boards of The Atlanta Rotary Club, currently as its President, EARTH University Foundation, The Shepherd Center Foundation, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, the Technology Association of Georgia, and Spelman College as well as on The Atlanta Committee for Progress. Additionally, she is on The Board of Councilors of The Carter Center, most recently as its Chair, the Board of Visitors of The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and the Board of Directors of two NYSE listed firms. She was named the 2002 Small Business Person of the Year by the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, received the 2004 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evens Award for outstanding performance as a corporate director, is a member of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta Academy of Women of Achievers and received Atlanta Rotary Club’s Armin Maier Community Service Award.
Executive Vice President, Technology, Operations & Security
Bishop joined Synovus in November of 2018 as Executive Vice President of Technology, Operations and Security. Previously, As Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Renasant Bank, Bishop was responsible for all digital operations, including technology, infrastructure, mobile and online banking, information security, and other internet and operating functions. He also had primary responsibility for integrating technology and systems of numerous acquired banks. Before joining Renasant in 2013, he held many senior leadership positions within technology, operations, mergers and acquisitions and digital innovation with Regions Bank. Bishop’s banking career began in 1994, at Union Planters Bank in Memphis TN.
VP Global Technology & Global CIO Chief of Staff
Chris leads global technology strategy, financial planning & investment management, technology supplier performance management, delivery excellence & transformation, change management and communications. Additionally, he serves as Global CIO Chief of Staff responsible for assisting, guiding and mentoring executive and management staff, organizational & role development, and driving a high-performance culture as a direct extension of IHG’s Global CIO.
Before joining IHG, Chris was Group Head of Technology & Innovation and CITO Chief of Staff for Etihad Aviation Group (EAG), headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He was responsible for the global leadership of all technology enabling capabilities across the Group including Program Management Office, Innovation Design and Change, Supplier Performance Management and TBM Offices, Governance and Performance Management, Financial Planning, Strategic Projects and Communications. He also held Chief of Staff responsibilities for EAG’s Chief Information and Technology Officer.
Prior to EAG, Chris led the formation of Taleris (a joint venture company between GE and Accenture) and served as Corporate Officer and Vice President, responsible for all global commercial and technology solution architecture activities. He previously co-founded and served as Managing Partner for Transform, an Atlanta-based CXO-level business transformation and technology integration services provider for global clients. Earlier in his career, Chris held roles of increasing responsibility at GE and Motorola across digitization, acquisition integration, program and project management, strategic programs, global business planning and competitive intelligence.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing from Emory University’s Roberto C. Goizueta Business School. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Change Acceleration Process Facilitator, holds additional certifications in program management and software delivery methods, and has attended executive development programs at both GE and Accenture.
Chris currently serves on the Board of Directors for Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and has actively participated in both the Roberto C. Goizueta Business School and Oxford College mentor programs at Emory University as an Alumni Mentor since 2004. He is also a past Member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s (MACOC) Board of Advisors, MACOC’s Technology Marketing Council and Venture Atlanta.
Senior Vice President, Global Chief Security Officer
Tim Callahan joined Aflac as the Chief Information Security Officer in April 2014. He oversees Aflac’s Global Security Program which includes Technology Risk Management, Physical and Logical Information Asset Protection, Information Security Program, Threat and Vulnerability Management, Cyber Security Operations and Incident Response, Information Technology Compliance and Risk Management, Security Engineering, Crisis Management, Business Resiliency and Disaster Recovery. Tim is responsible for the protection and availability of assets for the world’s leading provider of voluntary insurance. He leads various security and risk committees and structures to help business partners accelerate in a safe and sound manner, while protecting Aflac clients.
Prior to Aflac, Tim was Senior Vice President, Business Continuity and Information Assurance at SunTrust Bank. Tim was responsible for SunTrust’s Corporate Threat and Vulnerability Management, Information Security Monitoring and Investigation, Business Resumption, Disaster Recovery, Incident Response/Crisis Management, Technology Risk Project Office, Records and Information Management programs. He led a team of professional risk managers in ensuring the protection, preservation, and availability of critical corporate information and resources. Tim integrated these functions building a capability that provided a unified approach in determining threats, developing mitigation strategies and solutions, and managing through incidents. He has successfully tested this integrated concept in the management of virus, weather, technology outages, and distributed denial of service attacks.
Prior to SunTrust, Tim served as First Vice President, Technology Risk Management, and Chief Information Security Officer, at Peoples United Bank in Bridgeport Connecticut. He was the executive charged with protecting People’s United Bank’s information, information systems, and technology. During his tenure, Tim built and effective technology risk management organization and led the company through a technology integration and organization program upon acquisition of a bank of near equal size. He also served on the State of Connecticut Judicial Committee on Identity Theft to assist in building requirements for protecting sensitive personal information introduced into the judiciary through legal actions.
Tim was a career military professional serving in leadership positions throughout his 23-year career. In his final assignment, Tim was the program manager for a command risk management function at one of the US Air Forces Major Command Headquarters.
He is a sought after and frequent speaker, panelist, moderator and chair at conferences, seminars, and summits on topics ranging from leadership, technology, information security, information governance, governance risk and compliance, and cyber security. He has chaired the annual IT Governance Risk and Compliance Summit for six years.
Tim has been a recognized industry thought leader; his awards include: SC Awards 2017 in the CSO of the Year category; IDG Enterprise’s CSO50 Awards for 2016 and 2017; 2017 American Business Awards-Silver Stevie honoree in the Tech Innovator of the Year category; The Technology Association of Georgia – 2016 Georgia Game Changers – “Who’s Who in Information Security;” and Evanta’s 2015 CISO Top 10 Breakaway Leader Award.
He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, a Certified Information Security Manger, and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, a Certified Project Manager, and Competent Toastmaster. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from University of the State of New York.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Dallas Clement is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company with $21 billion in annual revenues and more than 55,000 employees worldwide.
He is responsible for the company’s treasury, financial reporting and control, tax, audit, strategy and corporate development, and financial planning and analysis functions. He also oversees supply chain services, sustainability operations, information technology, risk management, public policy and government affairs, and legal.
Previously, Clement served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the company’s Cox Automotive division, the largest automotive marketplace and leading provider of software solutions to auto dealers throughout the U.S. He led all finance, legal, real estate, technology, strategy and corporate development functions across Cox Automotive’s financial services, wholesale auctions, digital media, software-as-a-service and international businesses. In addition, Clement had accountability for Cox Automotive’s financial services unit, NextGear. Prior to the formation of Cox Automotive, Clement served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Autotrader Group for three years.
Clement also spent 20 years at Cox Communications, where he held a variety of roles, including executive vice president and chief strategy and product management officer.
In 2004, he received the National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership. He serves on the boards of SunTrust Banks, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Technology Association of Georgia and Junior Achievement of Georgia.
Clement received a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard College and a master’s degree in engineering economic systems from Stanford University.
VP, Enterprise Technology Services
Jonathan Cox is the Vice President of IT at Manhattan Associates were he leads all IT infrastructure and operations activates. Prior to Manhattan he was the VP & CIO of Treadmaxx Tire Distributors, formerly Kauffman Tire, where he led all IT activities for the wholesale and retail operations. He spent some time at KPMG in the IT Strategy practice, where he gained great insight into different industries.
Jonathan is very active in the IT community and enjoys mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Jonathan is a husband, dad, army veteran, and Georgia Bulldog who resides in Atlanta, GA.
Senior Vice President, Intelligent Automation
Christina is the Senior Vice President, Head of Change Office for SunTrust Banks, Inc. Christina leads and inspires a team in the transformation of a waterfall delivery culture to an agile culture and delivery approach to include Enterprise Agile Coaches, DevSecOps, and Software Delivery Lifecycle to enable the business to more rapidly better serve our clients.
Christina’s outcome based, customer driven experience in the technology industry focuses on relationships, change, program & project management, operations and process re-engineering. Christina has a B.S. in Management Science from Virginia Tech an M.B.A. from Regis University and holds certifications as a SAFe Agilist, PMP and ITIL Service Manager.
Prior to joining SunTrust, Christina worked for The Home Depot providing innovation and deployment of store technology, process efficiencies, quality and testing. While at The Home Depot, Christina was a founding member of the I.T. Women’s Leadership Forum. Christina also held the position of Information Systems Business Manager at the entrepreneurial, Virgin Atlantic Airways.
In her free time, Christina serves as Vice President and Board of Directors for Women in Technology (WIT), a non-profit organization passionately advocating for women of all ages in Georgia’s STEAM community as well as Board of Directors for Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). She also serves as an Executive Advisor for WIT on Campus, President of the Homeowner’s Association and Financial Coach for Operation Hope.
Member, Board of Directors
David Dabbiere is a member of the Board of Directors of OneTrust LLC, the most widely used privacy, security and third-party risk technology software platform trusted by more than 3,000 companies to comply with the CCPA, GDPR, ISO27001 and hundreds of the world’s privacy and security laws. OneTrust’s three primary offerings include OneTrust Privacy Management Software, OneTrust PreferenceChoice™ consent and preference management software and OneTrust Vendorpedia™ third-party risk management software and vendor risk exchange. Before that, Dabbiere was the president and chief operating officer of Aware Software, a leading Internet, mobility and Internet of Things managed service provider. Previously, he was the chief operating officer at AirWatch by VMware, the largest enterprise mobility management provider. Dabbiere was instrumental in helping AirWatch scale its operations and expand its global presence. AirWatch was acquired by VMware in one of the largest private software transactions in Georgia history. Prior to AirWatch, he was senior vice president and chief legal officer for Manhattan Associates, where he played a pivotal role in the company’s successful initial public offering. He helped oversee the company’s fastpaced growth. Dabbiere began his career with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), rising to the position of associate general counsel in his 14 years with the firm.
He is an active member of the Atlanta community, having served in a number of academic and philanthropic organizations over the course of his career. In 1998, the Dabbiere family endowed the Dabbiere/Manhattan Associates Chair of Supply Chain Management at Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Dabbiere received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Indiana University Bloomington and a JD from the Indiana University School of Law.
Global Vice President, Financial Services Sector
With more than 29 years of industry experience, Scott Eason is the global vice president of sales for Verizon Enterprise Solutions Finance Vertical. In this capacity, he is responsible for maintaining and growing a base of more than 200 customers and revenue in excess of $2.5B annually. Eason’s organization, led by 7 managing directors and more than 150 professionals, is focused on delivering global solutions including managed and professional services, security, collaboration services and outsourcing. In addition to the financial services, he has been deeply involved in Verizon’s outsourcing efforts with customers in the transportation, supply chain management, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail and hospitality sectors.
Previously, Eason was the group vice president of sales for Verizon Business’ Eastern region. He was responsible for maintaining and growing a base of more than 1,000 enterprise, state government, and education customers and revenue in excess of $3.9B annually. Eason was vice president of Premier Accounts responsible for the Eastern US in Verizon Business’ Premier Accounts organization. In this capacity, he had P&L responsibility for approximately $1.9B in annual revenue and served the global needs of fortune 500 customers in this region. In the early 1990’s, he has held management positions in product marketing, where he led product launch teams on industry leading solutions MCI Vision and Preferred services. He has also held leadership positions in business operations and strategic enterprise development.
Eason began his career in 1985 in sales with MCI in Atlanta, GA.
General Manager, Fleet Services Technology
Justin Eggart is General Manager of Fleet Services Technology for GE Power in Atlanta, Georgia. Justin and his team are responsible for monitoring the health of the GE Thermal Power Generation fleet around the world and providing technical support across the GE fleet The Fleet Services team is the “front line” for operational and maintenance support of the GE Power Generation fleet. Justin has over 28 years of experience in providing technical solutions to customers. Justin has held Engineering, Product Line, Six Sigma, and Sourcing leadership roles within GE. Justin is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Justin holds a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University.
Chief Information Officer
Ryan Esparza is Chief Information Officer for Jackson Healthcare headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. As head of the technology group, Esparza is tasked with leading a shared services team that supports 18 companies in the Jackson Healthcare portfolio. He oversees the strategic vision, direction, and delivery of technology initiatives.
Prior to his leadership role with Jackson Healthcare, Esparza worked with some of the leading brands in Atlanta including The Weather Channel, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Cox and The Home Depot. Most recently he was a Vice President of Software Engineering at The Weather Company, an IBM Business, where he managed engineering teams in Atlanta and Israel to build the company’s advertising, video, and content delivery platforms servicing web, mobile, and all digital platforms. As a Global Innovation Manager at IHG, Ryan launched the world’s first mobile key platform.
Ryan holds a bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin and studied at Tecnológico de Monterrery. He stays involved with a number of technology organizations in the Atlanta area and sits on the boards of The Brittany Club, a local non-profit, and the Alpharetta Technology Commission. Ryan is a licensed pilot, scuba diver, avid traveler and resides with his wife, Brittany, and two kids in Brookhaven, GA.
Dave Excell co-founded Featurespace in 2005. He invented Adaptive Behavioral Analytics, a unique technology at the core of Featurespace’s enterprise solutions. Educated at the Australian National University and the University of Cambridge. Under his leadership, Featurespace has grown from a concept into a commercial machine-learning business relied on by the world’s largest financial institutions, payment processors and financial technology companies. More recently, Dave relocated to Atlanta, USA, expanding Featurespace’s capability to delivery our Adaptive Behavioral Analytics protecting consumers and businesses from fraud and risk in real-time.
Interim Vice President, Enterprise Innovation Institute
As interim vice president, Fite leads a 12-program organization and 160-member staff who operate a statewide network of assistance to Georgia. As a group, EI² is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development.
Fite, who was previously EI²’s associate vice president, also is director of its Business & Industry Services group of programs. She has more than 26 years of economic development experience at Tech.
The Business & Industry Services group includes the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), EI²’s largest economic development offering. It also includes:
- Safety, Health, and Environmental Services(SHES)
- Atlanta MBDA Centers
- Contracting Education Academy
- Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center(GTPAC)
- Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center(SETAAC)
Previously, Fite was director of the GaMEP.
Her earlier experience includes the application of industrial and management engineering, employee involvement, and business principles.
She has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami and a bachelor’s in health systems from Georgia Tech. In 2018, she achieved the faculty rank of principal extension professional, the Georgia Tech’s highest professional extension faculty rank.
Chief Financial Officer
Gold is an experienced finance executive with a proven track record of growth in the cloud and software industry. At SAP Ariba, Gold held multiple roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, he served as CFO and led its global finance organization, consisting of 32 professionals based on five continents. A major component of Ariba’s business is drawn from SaaS, or software as a service, and Gold oversaw growth that resulted in cloud subscription revenue more than doubling since SAP’s acquisition in 2012. Gold’s previous experience includes finance roles at The Home Depot and Ernst & Young.
VP Field Engineering - EUC
As a senior level executive, Ben Grimes brings extensive experience in the IT industry in the areas of engineering, technical and corporate strategy, operations, and customer relations. Currently, Ben is the VP of Field Engineering, End User Computing, for VMware, the leader for Unified Endpoint Management. In this role, his primary responsibilities are leading a global engineering team that focuses on driving customer adoption and as a change agent for shaping the future of business operations in support of a SaaS platform.
During Ben’s 30-year career, he has served in executive roles in companies from start-ups, to mid-cap public companies, and Fortune 20 companies. Ben began his career with IBM, where he was appointed to the position of Distinguished Engineer. In that role, he served as lead architect for software development for IBM xSeries and blades. Ben’s earlier years with IBM included serving as the global lead engineer and manager for embedded systems management for xSeries after serving as a programmer in embedded firmware. While at IBM, he was awarded nine patents for his innovations in systems software.
After his IBM career, Ben served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Chief Technical Officer of Avocent Corporation until its acquisition by Emerson. During his tenure, Ben was responsible for leading the product and business development of Avocent, including the worldwide engineering team. It was during his tenure that he was recognized as an industry thought leader in infrastructure management and spoke at numerous global industry events and was sought out by industry analysts for his market insights.
Additionally, Ben has run his own consulting firm servicing numerous companies from startups to Fortune 50 companies in the areas of business strategies, M&A, as well as engineering and executive development. This led to his entrance into the startup world where he was President and Board Member of Innovolt, an Atlanta area startup in the power protection industry.
Ben has broad experience with non-profit and for-profit boards and currently sits on the board of Medical Tracking Solutions, a supply chain management software company. Additionally, Ben has participated in numerous technical advisory boards for privately held companies.
Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the College of William and Mary.
Chief People Officer
Stacie Hagan is Chief People Officer for Secureworks, a global leader in intelligent cyber-security solutions with clients spanning North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. Ms. Hagan is responsible for all aspects of the company’s people strategy, including attracting, equipping and retaining talent in an industry challenged by scarcity of qualified cyber-security talent. As a member of the executive team, her work aligns critical talent investments with the business strategy and drives organization design and culture to optimize the contributions of every te am member.
During Stacie’s nearly 30-year career, she has served as a leader of business transformation in technology enterprises where she has served as Chief People Officer, EVP of Operations, Chief of Staff to the CEO and consultant to executive teams and boards of directors.
Prior to joining SecureWorks in 2015, Ms. Hagan was an officer of EarthLink, Inc., an IT services, network and communications provider, where she served as EVP of Customer Operations for the company’s 150,000 business customers since 2013. From 2007 to 2013, Ms. Hagan served as EarthLink’s Chief People Officer while also leading enterprise process improvement during a period of significant restructuring and acquisitive growth for the company. In addition, she served in a variety of human resources roles for EarthLink from 2002 until 2007.
Ms. Hagan was co-founder and President of SynerChange, Intl., an executive coaching and organization development consulting firm, from 1993 to 2002. Ms. Hagan grew the company’s consulting operations to include multiple strategic partnerships in the U.S and Europe, and co-authored a book on eliminating organizational barriers to high performance entitled The Chicken Conspiracy: Breaking the Cycle of Personal Stress and Organizational Mediocrity (1999).
Ms. Hagan is a past chair and member of the Board of Directors for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), and is a past president and board member of the Human Resources Leadership Forum (HRLF). She is a graduate of Yale University.
David is the President of Abel Solutions. David is responsible for cross-industry portal, collaboration and process automation technology practice, including solution/service definition, business development and solutions delivery with specific focus in Microsoft solutions (SharePoint, Office 365 and .Net custom development).
He is an accomplished business leader with business development, services delivery and operations management expertise in Information Technology and Consulting Services. Specialties: IT consulting, business solution implementations, business analysis, project management, business development, SharePoint.
Chief Economic Development Officer
As chief economic development officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, David leads the team
focused on the recruitment, retention, and expansion of existing companies, from start-up’s to headquarters. The key clusters they focus on are: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, FinTech, Creative Industries (Film, Music, eSports, AR/VR), Supply chain, Advanced Manufacturing, Bioscience (Biotech, HealthTech, MedTech, Pharmaceutical).
Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as the president and CEO of Maco Pharma (formerly United Pharma™) a privately held medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, GA, HQ in Lille France. Prior to Maco Pharma, Hartnett was president and CEO of SteriFx™, a specialty chemical company, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Before SteriFx, he was the executive vice president of the NA HQ of Given Imaging (GIVN-NASDAQ, now Medtronic). Under his leadership, the company commercialized the “PillCam™” video capsule.
- Carter Center, Board of Councilors
- ScienceATL/Atlanta Science Festival™, Chairman of the Board
- Georgia Global Health Alliance, Board of Trustees
- Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership, Chairman
- Southeastern Medical Device Association, President Emeritus
- Venture Atlanta™ Coalition Director/Co-Founder
- Georgia Bio (statewide trade association), Director
- Institute for Healthcare Information Technology, Director/Co-Founder
- Quick Start, statewide advanced training program, Board of Advisors
- Kennesaw State University, President’s Community Board
- Leadership Atlanta Alumni – Class of 2013
Hartnett is married with four sons, was raised on Coronado Island, California and is an active member of the Atlanta business community.
Robert Hendricks, Jr.
President, Technology Solutions
Robert Hendricks is the President Technology Solutions of Integra Connect. Previously Robert lead Navicure’s technology team and was responsible for supporting and enhancing Navicure’s current portfolio of revenue cycle solutions while continuing to develop new, industry-leading products.
Mr. Hendricks has over 26 years of Healthcare Technology experience. He most recently served as SVP, Technology and Operations, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer for McKesson Technology Solutions. He also served in technology and information leadership roles at several other companies, including Atlantic Health System, KPMG Consulting and Aflac.
Mr. Hendricks earned an M.B.A. degree from Auburn University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University.
Executive Chairman & Co-founder
Patrick Hiller is CEO and co-founder of Cumberland Group. He previously served as CEO of Abacus Solutions, a company he co-founded with Cumberland Group President Ken Snuggs. Hiller comes to this role with IT experience that extends the breadth of the industry’s evolution. He began his career selling IBM solutions then moved on to serve as vice president of VSS before co-founding Abacus Solutions in 2000. Hiller earned his bachelor of science degree in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Industry expert with over 13 years of experience in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) space. Jesse has served as a trusted adviser to executives at Fortune 500 companies, Members of Congress, senior officials at the FAA and White House, leading Silicon Valley Venture Capital groups, among others. Jesse has been featured in a variety of print and broadcast media outlets such as CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and has spoken at a large number of trade shows and events as an expert in both the regulatory and commercial aspects of the industry.
Jesse has spent his career in various parts of the industry and is now focused on leading an innovative business within Airbus, called Airbus Aerial. He is leading Airbus Aerial to bring a new services capability to the United States and around the world, focused on delivering actionable data to commercial customers via satellites, drones, high altitude aircraft and other means.
Jesse joins Airbus from Airware where he led work with global drone manufacturers, service providers and major corporations looking to use UAS technology. He also led the companies work with the FAA and other regulatory agencies domestically and abroad to advance commercial drone regulations around the world. He was also the President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the leading trade organization for unmanned systems, and was also the CEO of the Small UAV Coalition.
Jesse received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology where his research focused on aerodynamic design of drones along with air traffic management and optimization. After his graduate work, he spent many years working at the FAA and other federal agencies helping to develop the framework for integrating drones into the U.S. National Airspace System. His work focused evaluating the wide range of NextGen systems and how drones could potentially tie in, as well as looking at what technologies would be required for safe and efficient integration.
Bryson Koehler is leading the technology transformation of Equifax, a global data, analytics and technology company. As a vision-driven, no-nonsense leader, he inspires his global technology teams to build products and services that create data insights – empowering customers and partners to make more informed decisions. Koehler is recognized for creating positive change within an organization through innovative technology and relentless relationship building.
Previously, Koehler drove efforts to bring IBM Watson together with a full suite of cloud native capabilities as a common platform aimed at providing world-class, developer-friendly cognitive tools. These efforts culminated in the relaunch of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform. Additionally, he was chief technology and information officer at The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) before it was acquired in 2015 by IBM.
Koehler is an active member of his community. He helps shape Georgia’s technology community by serving on the boards of directors for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the Atlanta Chief Information Officer (CIO) Advisory Board. Koehler also sits on the board of directors for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, which is now one of the largest affordable, single-family housing developers in Atlanta, and the board of Technology and Data Committee of Realogy, a leading provider of residential real estate services.
Koehler holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief Marketing Officer
Ron McMurtrie leads marketing across the Sage, inspiring long-term relationships through creativity and innovation. In addition, he leads ‘Business Enablement’ comprising Business Services and IT in order to support the evolution of the Sage operating model. McMurtrie aligns the strategic direction of brand, digital marketing and communications, public affairs, business operations and oversees key functional areas for new customer acquisition, ensuring customer success, and advancing Sage’s cloud strategy.
Before joining Sage, McMurtrie was global Chief Marketing Officer at Recall, an information management company, leading worldwide marketing strategy and operations. Previously, McMurtrie has over 20 years’ experience in similar roles for brands including VCE – the joint venture between Cisco, EMC and VMware – First Data, Verizon and MCI.
Sage is the global market leader for technology that helps small and medium sized businesses manage everything from money to people. This is done through Sage Business Cloud – a business management solution comprising Accounting, Financials, Sage Intacct, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.
Financial Services Professional
John Minutaglio is Chief Technology Officer of Strategic Link, a multinational fintech pioneer that has continuously delivered above-market ROI to lenders and investors in the consumer specialty finance sector since 2005. Previously John was the Chief Technology Officer for Linq3, a technology company focused on the creation of new market channels for lottery distribution.
Prior to joining Linq3, John served in various CTO roles at Fiserv. John led teams responsible for architecture, IT operations, and core application development for Fiserv’s electronic payments, biller solutions and enterprise technology divisions. John began his career with IBM and has held technology management positions at AFLAC, State Street Global Advisors, and Barnett Banks (now Bank of America). John also served as Chief Information Officer for Ceridian Benefits Services where he was responsible for technology strategy and application development and he served as Chief Technology Officer with TSYS Acquiring Solutions where he was responsible for the company’s technology delivery, operations and governance functions. John served as Chief Technology Officer for Columbus, GA based Synovus where he was responsible for system performance, delivery of solutions, and overall technical leadership.
John holds a BSBA degree in Management from the University of Florida.
Owner, Principal & CMO
Mike Neumeier, APR, is CEO of Arketi Group, a public relations and digital marketing agency serving a wide range of B2B technology clients that include well-known brands as well as up-and-coming tech challengers. Under Mike’s leadership, Atlanta-based Arketi, which he co-founded, helps these companies apply intelligent strategy, messaging, PR and digital marketing to generate revenue and accelerate growth. The firm’s track record prompted the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) to name Arketi Group its Digital Marketing Agency of the Year. The agency has also been repeatedly recognized by Chief Marketer magazine as one of the nation’s “B2B Top Shops” and is a fixture on the “Chief Marketer 200” list.
For the past 25 years, Mike has pushed the limits of B2B marketing – inciting clients and colleagues to challenge, innovate, and drive for measurable results. Named PRSA’s Technology PR Professional of the Year in 2013, Mike counsels clients on smart strategies that get their message across to markets and media influencers. He has an enviable track record of creating and executing communication plans that help clients build the bottom line.
Mike serves on several boards, including FinTech Atlanta, TAG, TAG’s executive committee and the Advisory Council of the College of Charleston Department of Communication. He is past chair of PRSA’s Counselors Academy, past president of the Georgia PRSA chapter, past chair of the University of Florida’s Public Relations Advisory Board, a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Kennesaw State University’s Department of Communication, a founding member of the Atlanta PR Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, and executive committee member of HealthMPowers’ Board of Directors. A 2010 inductee of the National PRSSA Hall of Fame, Mike graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations.
Phyllis Newhouse is an entrepreneur, retired military senior non-commissioned officer, mentor, Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp. A pioneer in cybersecurity, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness.
From growing up as the youngest child in a family of modest means, to her days as a U.S. Army officer and her time in the US Army. Newhouse, a service-disabled veteran, has constantly relied on hard work, ethics, her love of technology and a desire to make a difference to become recognized as one of the top leaders in technology.
While serving in the United States Army on various assignments she has always focused on our National Security. She stablished the Cyber Espionage Task Force. Although offered a senior level position, she decided to shift her focus to entrepreneurship and founded Xtreme Solutions, Inc. (XSI) in 2002. Today, XSI offers a wide range of IT expertise and provides industry leading, state-of-the-art information technology and cybersecurity services and solutions. XSI has employees in 42 states, with 40% of its workforce made up of veterans.
Newhouse doesn’t just advocate for her cybersecurity clients, she is also an avid supporter of women in business. In 2019 she founded ShoulderUp alongside Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys. Through ShoulderUp, Newhouse encourages women to speak up, stand up and shoulder up, allowing them to see themselves in a different context, teaching them to grow their influence, encouraging them to increase their economic power and create their own, powerful legacy. Newhouse hosts Leadership Inspirational Talks (LITalks), addressing the ShoulderUp audience directly to develop leaders through their spiritual and inspirational journeys.
In 2017 and Newhouse became the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. She was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and in 2019 was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame. Additionally, XSI received inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014, and has been recognized as one of Women’s Presidents’ Organization’s (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S. consecutively for the past seven years.
Newhouse was elected to the board of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) in 2019. She is currently a member of the Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and she is a member of the WPO where she proudly serves on the Executive Board. Newhouse also serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be “Strong, Smart, and Bold.”
Newhouse has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., Atlanta Business Journal, Tallahassee Democrat and more. She received her degree from John F. Kennedy University and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Worldwide CIO & CIO Europe
Mike Reidenbach is the Executive Vice President and Worldwide Chief Information Officer of EVO Payments International, an international financial services organization licensed to operate in over fifty countries around the world. In this capacity, Mike is responsible for all System, Application Development, Networking, Data Security, Operations and Telecommunications functions for the organization. In addition, Mike is a key member of the company’s corporate development, acquisition and integration efforts.
Prior to his role at EVO Payments International, Mike spent seventeen years with Global Payments, an international financial services organization, most recently as an Executive Vice President and the Worldwide Chief Information Officer for the company. During his tenure, he was responsible for the Application Development, Systems, Network, Data Security, Computer Operations and Telecommunications areas for the company, as well as the Project Management Office, Quality Assurance and Product divisions. As such, he was responsible for the company’s overall systems and applications architectures, major project initiatives and all product offerings.
Mike is a member of the Chadwick Martin Bailey Technology Panel, as well as the Project Management Institute. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Technology Association of Georgia and on the Board of Advisors to the Association of Telecommunication Professionals. Mike is also on the Board of Directors of the FinTech Society of TAG, and he serves as a Board Member of Global Knowledge, an IT Training company based in Cary, NC. Finally, Mike was also a member of the PCI Council Board of Advisors and the Payments Processors Information Sharing Council (PPISC), an organization that is part of the FS-ISAC.
Prior to Global Payments, Mike spent nine years as an Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot for the U.S. Air Force upon his graduation from the United States Air Force Academy. He flew several aircraft types during numerous operational missions throughout the world, including Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Mike received his Bachelors in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy, and he has earned two Masters Degrees (in Management Information Systems and Business Administration/Finance) from the University System of Georgia.
Romeen Sheth is President at Metasys Technologies. He leads strategic initiatives across recruitment and delivery, sales and marketing, and inorganic growth. Prior to joining MTI Group, Romeen was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company. At McKinsey he specialized in customer value creation, strategic transformation, merger integration, organizational design and capability building development. Romeen was an integral member of the McKinsey Academy team during his tenure and led talent transformation engagements for large scale, global organizations.
Romeen has been featured consistently by national organizations for his thought leadership. He has been featured by the Financial Times, BBC, Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession and Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He has also been appointed as a Board Member for several organizations; most notably he is an Affiliated Fellow at the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession and is an appointed member of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Emerging Leader’s Council. The LSC is the nation’s largest publicly funded non-profit established by the US Congress. Appointees are nominated by the LSC Board, all of whom are directly appointed by the President of the United States.
Romeen has a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA (magna cum laude) from Duke University.
Head of Product & Innovation
Ian is a senior executive with a track record of driving growth across the full spectrum of business and consumer financial services and financial technology markets.
With over 30 years experience of operating in banking and payments, Ian has particular functional expertise in the product lifecycle, from ideation to development, implementation and optimization. His particular focus is on how product combines with pricing, distribution, customer experience and marketing, to deliver customer and commercial value.
Currently Head of Product for Elavon’s North America business, Ian is responsible for ensuring Elavon’s small, medium & large customers, across its priority verticals, have all the payment and commerce tools, to help them run, grow and control their business.
Vice President & CIO
Michael Sullivan is vice president and chief information officer at Southern Company Gas, one of America’s most respected companies and a leading producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy. In his role, Sullivan leads all aspects of the strategic delivery of technologies that support Southern’s gas utilities and related businesses. A highly collaborative business partner, Sullivan focuses on delivering an IT strategy that enables the company to achieve its goals and objectives while aligning with the overall enterprise IT strategy across the Southern Company System.
Sullivan has 33 years of experience in driving transformative technology strategies across complex organizations, including the transmission and distribution businesses of a major regional electric utility. He is highly skilled at strengthening the business through innovation and is deeply experienced in integrating new technologies to streamline processes and improve productivity.
Prior to joining Southern Company, Sullivan served as American Electric Power’s (AEP) director of IT demand management. In this role, he was responsible for the full breadth of IT solutions and drove enterprise planning and the strategic roadmap for the utility’s transmission business. He also established a mobile center of excellence. He previously served as director of AEP’s portfolio management office for the transmission and distribution businesses across multiple geographies.
Before AEP, Sullivan held a number of senior enterprise technology leadership roles at major insurance companies, including Allstate Insurance, Nationwide Insurance and Century Insurance Group. Earlier in his career, he was director of e-business and solution delivery at interactive agency Proxicom Inc.
Sullivan has a deep technical background, having managed $1.9 billion in portfolios, with extensive expertise in IT strategy and project management, solution delivery, application development and technology implementation and operations.
Education and Affiliations
Michael earned his B. S. Degree in Computer Science from Bradley University.
He serves on the Board of TAG (Technology Association of Georgia), TAG D&I, Per Scholas. He is the Executive Sponsor for Southern Company Gas’s African American ERG (Employee Resource Group), Technology EAC (Employee Action Council) as well as the leadership team mentor for the Georgia Power African American ERG. He is a member of GeorgiaCIO, ITSMF (Information Technology Senior Management Forum) and AABE (American Association of Blacks in Energy Atlanta).
- Integrity & Honesty
Martin Tilson is Chairman of the Southeast Investor Group (SEIG), which is a collaborative membership composed of partners from 32 of the Venture Capital Funds in the Southeast, 7 corporate venture funds, and 25 individual Investors and family offices. Members are capable of investing in the range of $2M to $15M. The 60 members reside in nine southeast states plus D.C., Texas, and Boston.
Since founding in 1995, the Group has invested in more than 250 companies, reviewed more than 10,000 plans and has had more than 1000 companies present to members. Annually SEIG members invest in an average of 30% of companies presented.
Martin is an investor and also provides strategic business and financial advice to management of select companies. He served in management and chaired the technology practices at two AmLaw 100 law firms: McKenna, Long, Aldridge LLP, (now Dentons); and Kilpatrick Stockton LLP (now Kilpatrick Townsend). He served as Atlanta Managing Partner/Firm Executive Committee for Burr & Forman, a 350-member regional firm.
Martin is considered by several publications as one of the top leaders in Technology in the Southeast having founded several regional venture forums, and supported hundreds of growth technology companies. He has managed over 500 venture or private equity transactions.
He serves on the Board of Advisors of the Emory Goizueta Business School, the Board of Advisors of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, the Board of Directors of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).
Martin is past Vice-Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, past member of the Atlanta United Way Tocqueville Society Cabinet, past Board member of the Atlanta International School, past member of the Board of Trustees of the University of the South (Sewanee). He is also a past Board member of the Ga. Tech College of Computing, and currently serves on the Ga. Tech T:GER program Board of Advisors.
Chief Executive Officer
Sanjeev’s insights and day-to-day involvement enable Pyramid Consulting to provide value-added IT solutions to numerous Global 1000 companies, as well as many growing, mid-tier firms. Sanjeev co-founded Pyramid in 1996 after garnering more than 16 years of software development and marketing experience, serving in senior management roles for several leading software consulting firms, including Wipro, TCS, and Unisys. While managing large software development and integration projects for clients operating in a number of vertical markets, he honed his technology expertise and consistently delivered to his clients targeted, cost-effective IT solutions. Sanjeev earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science in Pilani, India. He currently serves on the board of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and GMSDC.
CIO and SVP of Digital Product
John Trainor is CIO and SVP of Digital Product at Aaron’s, Inc. Since 1999, he has helped lead technology and innovation efforts at the Atlanta-based specialty retailer. He has an Electrical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and worked at The Southern Company and the United States Senate before Aaron’s.
John leads a team that is creating the future for Aaron’s by connecting our products and services with the modern, digitally-focused consumer. He has one of the most engaged teams in the enterprise. This team is injecting digital innovation practices into the way we all work to help accelerate our transformation.
John is active in the Atlanta technology community and spends time volunteering with the Technology Association of Georgia, ATP, and GeorgiaCIOs. He is the Chairman of the CIO Advisory Board for GeorgiaCIO’s and past Chairman of the Board for the Technology Association of Georgia. In 2014, he was recognized as the Georgia CIO of Year Award in the Global category.
He believes strongly in closing the digital opportunity divide, so he actively supports organizations with that mission including PowerMyLearning, Year Up, Women Who Code, and TechBridge.
John and his wife, Heather, live in Roswell, GA and have 3 grown sons. He likes to run, cycle, and swim long distances with family and friends.
Chief Information Officer
Kim Trevisan is the Chief Information Officer for Oldcastle APG, North America’s leading manufacturer of concrete building and hardscape products headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Kim is responsible for all aspects of the company’s IT strategy across APGs 27 companies in North America & Europe. As a member of the executive team, her work aligns business strategy with fit for purpose technology investments. Kim is also responsible for driving transformative change in the areas of BI / Master Data, supply chain optimization and M&A integration.
Prior to her role with Oldcastle APG, Kim served on the IT leadership team for some of the worlds leading brands including Travelport, The Coca-Cola Company, & GE. Most recently she was the Vice President of Global Technology at Travelport where she worked alongside the TLT to redefine lean portfolio management and drive overall IT strategy.
Kim holds a Master’s degree in IT from RMIT University, Melbourne Australia. As the mother of two teenage daughters she is a strong ambassador for Women in STEM and sits on the ATP Advisory Board and the TAG Board of Directors. Kim is scuba diver and avid traveler and resides on a horse farm in Canton, GA with her family.
Managing Partner, Atlanta Practice
As Market Leader, Michael oversees the execution of growth in Atlanta and Augusta, ensuring a coordinated and seamless client experience in these markets. An accounting professional since 2002, Michael has extensive experience providing audit and business advisory services to clients largely in the technology industry. He leads the office’s THInc group, which is a specialty practice focused on serving innovative companies in the technology, health and life sciences and industrial sectors.
Michael’s clients primarily represent the emerging technology, SaaS, biotechnology and business service industries, and include development enterprises, venture capital-backed companies and multinational companies ranging from pre-revenue up to $500 million. Clients depend on him for assistance with diverse accounting matters, including revenue recognition, complex equity transactions, business combinations, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
In addition to traditional audit and consulting services, Michael works with clients on various special projects, including assistance with raising capital, internal control documentation, and merger and acquisition transactions.
Nancy Williams is a Technology Industry Executive with years of progressive experience in business development and large-scale account management with organizations such as IBM, Unisys and Comforce. Skilled in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Project Management Office (PMO), Recruiting, Technical Recruiting, and Change Management. She is also a strong educated professional with a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) focused in BBA, CIS from Georgia State University.
With a passion for entrepreneurship, Nancy leveraged her previous IT experience to partner with Roz Alford in 1995 as a Principal with ASAP Solutions Group, LLC. Under Nancy’s leadership, ASAP experienced significant growth, expansion and diversification. She was very instrumental in launching branch offices in New Jersey/New York, Chicago, Dallas and Hyderabad, India and enabling ASAP to provide comprehensive Talent Management Solutions across 46 states and beyond.
As the current CEO, Nancy provides active hands-on leadership and direction to the company’s four business units of Staffing, Consulting, Workforce Compliance and Managed Services. Nancy and her team work hard to ensure ASAP’s continued and sustained growth by developing and implementing business strategies that are customer-centric and addressing our clients’ most common and complex contingent workforce challenges.
Nancy has recently been named in the Staffing Industry Analysts 2018 Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing, a list of the 150 most influential women in North America, Europe and around the globe. Nancy was also named to the Staffing Industry Analysts 2018 Americas 100 list.
Nancy has also been recently become a member of the prominent International Women’s Forum. The International Women’s Forum builds better global leadership across careers, continents and cultures by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement.
Nancy has been inducted into the prestigious group of Women of Distinction. This honorable group is comprised of WBE’s (Women Business Enterprises) that have given countless hours, held distinguished positions within the organization and support to the WBENC organization. She is known as a thought leader and advisor within WBENC and the 14 Regional Partnership Organizations.
In addition to her leadership at ASAP, Nancy reaches out to the community through various avenues of professional and non-profit organizations. She has been a Board Member with the C5 Youth Foundation of Georgia as well as an Executive Committee Officer for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (GCAPP). Nancy played a pivotal role in the establishment of a jobs program for youth supporting Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV). She actively participates in the promotion and growth of women-owned businesses. She is a founding member of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), a founding member of WeConnect (Certification of Women Business Across Many Countries Worldwide) and champions the cause of several organizations including: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Technology Associations of Georgia (TAG), TechBridge and the Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC). Nancy graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Computer Systems.
Director | Head of Community Strategy & Operations - Atlanta
Peter M. Williams, Director, is Head of Community Strategy & Operations for BlackRock Atlanta. He oversees BlackRock’s strategy for community engagement and brand-building efforts across the Metro-Atlanta region. In addition, he is responsible for corporate relations, university engagement and BlackRock’s local social impact efforts.
Prior to joining the Atlanta Innovation Hub build team, he was responsible for site selection and location strategy for BlackRock’s newest innovation hub and was a Business Strategist within BlackRock’s software engineering function serving as the chief of staff to the head of software engineering. He was responsible for strategic project management, internal and external communications and firm wide coordination with key partners.
Before joining BlackRock’s technology business, he was responsible for maintaining relationships with financial advisors for the Retirement & Digital Wealth Solutions effort. His responsibilities included business development, project management and relationship management. From 2011-2014 he was a member of the US & Canada Defined Contribution Group, BlackRock’s 401(k) business. Peter was responsible enhancing the client experience through his institutional client servicing efforts. From 2007-2010 he was a member of BlackRock’s Global Consultant Relations Group. He was responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with US investment consultants, as well as preparing new business proposals and external communications. He began his career with BlackRock through the Merrill Lynch Investment Managers’ Analyst Program in 2006.
Mr. Williams earned a BA degree in Public Policy Studies and a Certificate in Markets and Management Studies from Duke University in 2007.
Attorney, Corporate Technology Group
John C. Yates is the partner-in-charge of the Technology Practice. Mr. Yates is one of the pioneers of the technology law field and has been practicing exclusively in this area for over 35 years. The firm’s technology practice has represented hundreds of technology companies and provides legal services in IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, patent prosecution, Internet law, biotech and medical devices, ecommerce/distribution, corporate finance and venture capital, international law and dispute resolution.
Mr. Yates is internationally recognized in the technology law field. He has founded and been a member of the Board of Directors of leading technology organizations for over three decades. Mr. Yates co-founded the Southeastern Software Association (SSA), Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) and Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). He serves on the editorial board of leading technology publications, and his articles/blogs have been cited in the technology law area, including citation by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kodak vs. Image Technical Services. He is a co-author of articles published in The Law and Business of Computer Software and The Handbook of Business Management. Mr. Yates is frequently quoted in business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Mr. Yates has also been recognized in a Harvard Business School case study (“Ockham Technologies: Living on the Razor’s Edge”) as a leading lawyer representing fast growth companies.
Mr. Yates is a frequent speaker at national and international business and technology law organizations. He has delivered more than 250 speeches during his career. He has also spoken at annual technology law seminars sponsored by the Georgia Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Foundation, Minnesota Computer Law Institute, ITechLaw Association and American Bar Association’s Section of Science and Technology.
In 2001, the Technology Association of Georgia honored Mr. Yates by making him the first recipient of the “Leader of Influence Award” for his outstanding service to the region’s technology community. He has also been selected by eCompanies as one of the “Technology Leaders in Atlanta” and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the “Most Influential Leaders in Atlanta.”
In 2002, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta created the John Yates Award for Community Leadership honoring his work on behalf of the community as co-chair of the United Way’s Atlanta Technology Initiative for 2001-02. The award is presented to the United Way campaign member who surpasses expectations and inspires others to use their unique gifts in ways that impact the community.
In 2003, Mr. Yates was Chairman of the Georgia Technology Celebration, the largest gathering of technology executives in Georgia’s history. He also received the 2003 Community Builder Award from the Technology Association of Georgia for his service on behalf of the technology community in the state.
Mr. Yates is currently co-authoring a book, entitled “The Art of Business Friendship,” and is a columnist for various online computer and legal publications. He was selected as a “Georgia Super Lawyer” in the fields of Business/Corporate (Technology) in 2004 – 2017 and is among the top five percent of the state’s attorneys to be so honored.
Duke University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1978
Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar
Duke University, J.D., 1981
Dennis Zakas is a technology lawyer and entrepreneur. Zakas practiced with Winthrop Stimson in New York City and was a partner in the Atlanta offices of Kilpatrick Stockton, Hunton & Williams and McKenna Long & Aldridge. He founded Zakas & Leonard, LLP, a boutique corporate law firm focused on the tech sector. He has represen-ted numerous technology companies and investors in a variety of transactions, including venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, public and private securities offerings, corporate governance, technology licenses, and other complex commercial transactions. On many occasions, Zakas has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and as a Mergers & Acquisitions Super Lawyer.
In addition to practicing law, Zakas is the Chairman and CEO of Zuzu Inc., a technology company that provides a consumer-to-enterprise search-messaging platform. Zuzu enables consumers to initiate communications with multiple businesses, with a single text. Previously Zakas was the founder and CEO of Group Office Buys, LLC (GOB), an online office products company. In 2016, assets of GOB were sold to another office products company.
Zakas applies his legal experience as a “tech lawyer” and his business experience as a tech company founder and executive (described below) in counseling startup, early-staged and venture-backed technology companies. Zakas has served as a mentor for companies in The Farm (powered by Boomtown) accelerator.
Zakas has been a member of the Board of Directors of TAG since 1999. He was named a 2005 TAG Volunteer of the Year for his role as the founder and initial chair of the Georgia Technology Summit. At several subsequent Summits, TAG recognized Zakas for his contributions. He also founded TAG’s Top 40/10 Innovative Companies Competition and continues to chair the Top 40/10 Committee. Zakas has served as Georgia Co-chair and Counsel of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF). He is also a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). Zakas represented Heritage Growth Partners in its investment in East West MFG, a transaction selected by ACG in November of 2017 as a Deal of the Year.
Dennis has three degrees from the University of Virginia: B.A. (High Honors, Economics), M.A. (Economics) and J.D.
Vice President, Advanced Solutions
Michael previously served as a Director of Strategy in AT&T’s Mobile & Business Solutions organization, focusing on M&A and emerging growth opportunities in the areas of IoT, Big Data, Consumer Engagement and Cloud technologies.
Prior to joining AT&T, Michael was the co-founder and CEO of Proximus Mobility, a location-based consumer engagement software company. Throughout his career, he has successfully served in various general management, corporate development and enterprise sales roles with various technology companies.
Michael is an Industry Fellow with the Georgia Research Alliance, an organization that makes investments in University professor-led research projects that generate IP that can be commercialized. He is also an active participant in the Atlanta-based technology startup community, serving as a mentor and advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs. To this end, Michael regularly speaks at events throughout the country to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship. Michael is also a Corporate Advisor for Forte Ventures LP.
Currently, Michael Chairs the IOT.ATL Executive Leadership Committee for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. He also is very active in supporting local and national charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Boys and Girls Club of America, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society.