CIO & SVP
Brian Benn is Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of the Atlanta Housing Authority. Brian is responsible for the development and implementation of technology strategies that are aligned with and anchored by the overarching strategy of the agency. Consequently, he ensures the progression and timely completion of all technical projects as well as the agency’s security program and is ultimately responsible for the function and successful execution of the following departments:
- Business Solutions
- Governance, Risk, and Compliance
- Records and Information Management
- Technical Operations
Brian studied Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has a Master of Business Administration degree from Belhaven University. Brian volunteers as an Executive Ambassador for TechBridge, Incorporated, serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Atlanta Technology Professionals, the Advisory Board for the Government Technology Special Districts Program, the Greater Atlanta CIO Governing Body for Evanta and serves as Board Chair for the Technology Association of Georgia’s Southeastern Software Association. Brian is a technology evangelist and has a passion for bridging the digital divide.
TAG Immediate Past Chair
Executive Vice President
Bill VanCuren is Executive Vice President 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.
Chief Commercial Officer
Ron McMurtrie leads marketing across Honeywell Connect Enterprise, inspiring long-term relationships through creativity and innovation. 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 Honeywell Forge.
Before joining Honeywell, McMurtrie was global Chief Marketing and Business Enablement Officer Sage Group. 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.
Natalia Migal is the Chief Risk Officer for LeasePlan USA, a global leader in fleet management services. Natalia has worked in banking and financial services for over 20 year, in the United States and the Netherlands.
She is a corporate risk and governance expert with a strong passion for analytics, change management and leadership.
As true believer in lifelong learning, she holds multiple degrees, including a Masters in Applied Math from DePaul University and a Master’s degree in Risk Management from NYU Stern School of Business.
Natalia moved to the Atlanta area two years ago and is eager to engage with the local community. Natalia believes that community service is the best way to have an impact, give back and make long-lasting connections.
Finally, Natalia is a Polish and United States national who loves to travel around the world, with her husband (of 13 years) and two young children.
When she’s not working or traveling, you can usually find her exploring the outdoors with her family, swinging a tennis racket, or learning to play jazzy tunes on her piano.
TAG Vice Chair
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 35 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.
Michael earned his B. S. Degree in Computer Science from Bradley University. He serves on the Board of TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) as an Executive Officer. He is also a Board member of Per Scholas. He is a member of GeorgiaCIO and serves as an Officer of their Advisory Board. He is the Executive Sponsor for Southern Company Gas’s African American ERG (Employee Resource Group). He is also a member of ITSMF (Information Technology Senior Management Forum) and AABE (American Association of Blacks in Energy Atlanta). In 2018, Michael received the distinguished Atlanta Business League, Men of Influence award. In 2019, he was awarded the Top 50 CIO Award for Diversity and Inclusion by The National Diversity Council and in 2020 he was a finalist for the Georgia CIO of the Year Award and the ATP (Atlanta Technology Professional) Leadership Award.
SVP & GM
Jeff Buzzelli is the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Comcast Business for the Central Division based out of Atlanta, Ga. In this role, Jeff is responsible for developing and implementing strategies aimed at growing and evolving Comcast’s Central Division commercial business across all customer segments from small business to enterprise.
As SVP for Central Division, Jeff oversees all the Comcast team members on various teams including Inside Sales, Field Sales, Sales Operations, Marketing, Order Management, Retention, and Customer Care across a 17-state geography and includes field teams from each of the four regions across the division.
As an executive with more than 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. In his previous role within Comcast, Jeff served as the Senior Vice President of Comcast Business for the Northeast Division, where he was responsible for developing, facilitating and implementing strategies aimed at aggressively growing Comcast Business across the 13 states in Comcast’s Northeast Division. This included direct leadership of the Northeast Division COE Care, Order Management, Retention, Inbound and Outbound Telesales representing over 1,500 team members.
His extensive experience has led the Comcast Business team to drive strong aggregate revenue growth north of _8_% over the past 3 year which has led to strong customer growth. The Central Division currently provides services to more than 1.8 M small, medium and large business customers across the footprint.
Jeff is serving (2020-2021) as the Executive Board Chair of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the Board of Governors at the Georgia Chamber, and sits on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association Southeast Chapter. He stays active with other charitable and community organizations.
Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and MBA from the University of Dallas in Dallas, Texas.
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.
Highly successful, industrious senior executive with an exemplary record of conceiving and implementing unique strategies to optimize business operations, elevate productivity, and boost revenue. Deliver solutions as a change agent, visionary, and forward thinker, capable of critically evaluating and responding to diverse business transformation initiatives. Thrive in a fast-paced environment of continuous challenges. Proactive leader, coach, and mentor: able to gain employee confidence and utilize their talent and knowledge. Tenacious business strategist who exudes energy and confidence to excel and deliver.
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.
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.
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.
Claire "Yum" Arnold
CEO & 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.
Marc H. Balizer is a Managing Director at BlackRock. He is a senior leader in BlackRock Solutions, which offers the firm’s risk and investment management platform to external clients. Mr. Balizer is the Head of the Aladdin Business in the BlackRock Atlanta Innovation Hub where he is responsible for building out the technology ecosystem and championing the ‘One BlackRock’ culture. Additionally, Mr. Balizer is a member of the BlackRock Solutions COO team focused on employee engagement, culture and talent strategy. Mr. Balizer is a member of the Aladdin Business Operating Committee and the Atlanta iHub Leadership Team.
Prior to moving to his current role, Mr. Balizer was a member of the Aladdin Client Engagement Team and responsible for managing the firm’s relationships with clients of BlackRock Solutions. Mr. Balizer led the Aladdin Provider Team, which is responsible for creating more seamless integration across the investment management lifecycle by streamlining the operating model between asset managers and asset servicers.
Mr. Balizer joined BlackRock in 1998 as an Analyst in the Data Integrity Group. He then joined the Portfolio Analytics Group, where he produced BlackRock’s suite of daily risk reports. In 2000, Mr. Balizer joined the BlackRock Solutions Relationship Management Group, where he worked as part of the team that implemented Aladdin at BlackRock Solutions’ first external client. Since that time, he has successfully led multiple Aladdin client relationships within the banking, asset management and insurance industries. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Balizer worked in the White House where he spent time in the Communications Department as well as the Office of Legislative Affairs.
Mr. Balizer lives in Atlanta with his wife, Heather, and twin sons, Jacob and Sam. Mr. Balizer is an active member of the community and sits on several boards including: Anti-Defamation League, University of Georgia Terry School Advisory Board, FinTech Atlanta and the Technology Association of Georgia.
Mr. Balizer earned a BS degree in Consumer Economics from the University of Delaware in 1997.
Dr. Raheem Beyah
Dean - College of Engineering
Raheem Beyah, a native of Atlanta, GA, serves as Georgia Tech’s Dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. Before this role, Dr. Beyah served as Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research, Executive Director of the Online Masters of Cybersecurity program (OMS Cybersecurity), and the Interim Steve W. Chaddick Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a professor in the School of ECE, where he leads the Communications Assurance and Performance Group (CAP) and is affiliated with the Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP). Dr. Beyah is also Co-Founder of Fortiphyd Logic, Inc., an industrial cybersecurity company.
Prior to returning to Georgia Tech, Raheem was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Georgia State University, a research faculty member with the Georgia Tech CSC, and a consultant in Andersen Consulting’s (now Accenture) Network Solutions Group. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in 1998. He received his Masters and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1999 and 2003, respectively. Raheem has served as a Guest Editor for MONET, IEEE Network Magazine, IEEE Communications Magazine, ACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems, IEEE Access, and as an Associate Editor of several journals.
His research interests include network security and monitoring, cyber-physical systems security, network traffic characterization and performance, additive manufacturing security, and critical infrastructure security. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2009 and was selected for DARPA’s Computer Science Study Panel in 2010. He is a member of AAAS, ASEE, a lifetime member of NSBE, a senior member of IEEE, and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.
EVP - 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.
Gary Brantley is an innovative technology strategist renowned for cultivating productive collaboration through
organizational transformation, delegating resources toward the increase of digital inclusion, and the implementation of a
completely remote workforce infrastructure. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector, as well
as 17 years of leadership, to the City of Atlanta as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Department of Atlanta Information Management (AIM). In this role, Gary is accountable for providing information technology services to all 25 departments, including Public Safety, Justice, Operations, Administration, and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
As a CIO, Gary has focused on organizational transformation by altering the department culture to achieve a competitive advantage and to address the challenges of future technology. He has developed and implemented a strategy centered on how impact and influence can peacefully collide to empower leaders to build effective teams, healthy workplace cultures and thriving business ecosystems with organizational transformation. In this regard, he was able to move from present planning to future business continuity in order to refocus and reenergize the entire workforce; and from talent acquisition and retention to repurposing staff into more vital roles to meet the City’s technology needs. Gary also created an Atlanta CIO Advisory Board to continue pushing the envelope with input from other CIOs, experts within the technology sector.
Gary has also led initiatives surrounding partnerships with companies and organizations such as AT&T, Sprint and the Atlanta Police Foundation to upgrade and replace over 1,000 laptops and PCs, arrange over 250 mobile hotspots and provide funding for training in STEM-based education for the Centers of Hope in Atlanta.
Before joining AIM, Gary was the CIO of one of the largest school districts in the United States. In that capacity, Gary spearheaded the district’s largest technology overhaul, Digital Dreamers, which included the distribution of
over 70,000 end user devices to teachers as well as students.
Gary began his career with IBM before becoming the Regional Operations Director for MCIWorldCom. There, he continued to have an impact on technology and took that expertise to the Ohio State Department as the Director of Technology. He went on to become the CIO for the one of the largest urban school districts in Ohio.
Gary’s admirable professionalism and unyielding dedication have earned him numerous awards and accolades and has led him to write his first book, The Art of Organizational Transformation: 7 steps to Impact & Influence. Gary was featured in the list of Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education in 2015, ComputerWorld’s Premier Top 100 Technology Leaders for 2017. In addition, he was facilitated with the Making IT Happen award from the International Society for Technology in Education. Gary was also a finalist for the 2017-2018 Georgia CIO Leadership Association’s CIO of the Year Award. Most recently, he was recognized as one of Government Tech Magazines 2020 Top Doers and Dreamers.
Sr. VP of Technology
Angie Brown is Vice President of Technology at The Home Depot. She and her team lead the Merchandising Development Organization, Technology Enablement functions and Enterprise User Experience.
Prior to her current position, Angie served as Vice President of Technology – Stores, where she led the company’s in-store technology systems. During this time Angie and her team reimagined several experiences such as self-checkout and implemented the order management system which powers The Home Depot’s interconnected retail offerings.
Angie began her career at The Home Depot in 1998 as an entry-level software developer and has held roles of increasing responsibility since that time. She earned a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia.
Angie has completed Harvard University’s Authentic Leadership Development program and Carnegie Mellon Heinz College’s CIO Certificate program. Angie serves as the VP Advisor for Women’s Link, Home Depot’s internal resource group dedicated to supporting female associates grow their careers. Angie also serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Georgia
Outside of work, Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.
SVP, 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.
Chief People Officer
Caroline Cochran is the Vice President & Chief People Officer for Atlanta-based Secureworks, a Dell Technologies company. Secureworks (Nasdaq: SCWX) is a cyber security software provider located in Atlanta that went public in early 2016. Caroline joined Secureworks in 2015 to assist in the pre-IPO efforts as their Chief Audit Executive. In 2020, Caroline accepted the Chief People Officer role to assist in the company’s transition to become a leading cyber software provider. She is currently responsible for their global Human Resources function, which includes the Learning team, as well as the implementation of a culture initiative aimed at promoting the employee experience in a rapidly evolving remote and mobile workforce post Covid. Prior to Secureworks, Caroline held positions at BlueLinx, Cbeyond and Travelport. She began her career in the Big Four at KPMG where she was a member of the Risk & Advisory Services practice with a focus on IT Audit. Caroline recently joined the board of the Technology Association of Georgia. She graduated in 2002 from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management Information Systems.
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.
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.
Steven Ferguson is a 25-year veteran of the IT industry. As the Chief Information Officer for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), he leads a talented team of IT professionals in support of TCSG’s technical education, adult education, economic development, and workforce divisions across the 88 campuses of Georgia’s 22 technical colleges. He is currently driving innovation in higher education as the architect of TCSG’s eCampus platform.
Ferguson holds an M.S. in Information Technology from Southern Polytechnic State
University, a B.S. in Business Administration, Information Technology from Columbia
Southern University, an A.S. in Engineering from Gainesville State College, and is a proud graduate of TCSG’s Executive Leadership Academy.
Beyond his service to the State of Georgia, Ferguson is very active in his local community, currently serving as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, Chair of Lumpkin County School System Governance Team, Advisory Board Member for numerous IT events and organizations, and as a volunteer for various non-profit and educational organizations.
Cherie Fuzzell is senior director of business development and partnerships for Apple Wallet, Payments & Commerce, which includes Apple Pay. In this role, Ms. Fuzzell oversees business development and manages ongoing relationships with issuers, networks, processors and other participants in the Apple payments ecosystem. Prior to joining Apple in 2015, Ms. Fuzzell served as chief executive officer of Parkmobile, a leading provider of mobile payment solutions to the parking industry. Ms Fuzzell also served as chief administrative officer and general counsel at Elavon, where she had global responsibility for the legal, mergers & acquisitions, human resources, compliance and training functions. Ms. Fuzzell earned an Bachelor of Science in Commerce & Business Administration (major in Accounting) from the University of Alabama and a Juris Doctor from the Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review.
Managing Director – US East Enterprise Sales, Pro Sports
Brian is senior sales leader for Verizon Business Group based in Atlanta, GA, responsible for approximately 2000 enterprise clients and prospects across the Eastern U.S. footprint. Additionally, Brian is responsible for a practice area focused on enabling fan experience and operational outcomes for Pro Sports Leagues, Teams, and Venues. Prior to his current role, Brian worked as the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Verizon Advanced Solutions, leading teams focused on growth and retention of our strategic services customers. This included the creation of the Advanced Solutions Customer Success organization, a new function focused on helping customers achieve business outcomes through increased adoption of Verizon platforms and services. Brian began his career in IT as a developer and systems engineer with MCI in Greenville, SC.
Brian holds a BS degree in business administration/computer science from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, along with an MBA from The University of Georgia with a concentration in finance. While not at work he can be found coaching and watching his two children play sports, and also enjoys running, playing golf, and boating with family and friends on Lake Hartwell.
VP - Field Engineering
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 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.
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.
Head of IT - U.S. Operations
Dustin Johnson is currently the Head of Information Technologies – U.S. Operations for UCB. UCB is a Belgium pharmaceutical company with its U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, GA. Dustin leads the U.S. go-to-market information technology activities including omnichannel CRM, data & analytics, market access & pricing, patient & platform Solutions and Digital web technologies.
In the last ten years, Dustin served in various IT leadership roles in healthcare technology related companies. Prior to that, he began his career in sales, sales management, and sales operations leadership roles.
He earned his Bachelor’s Business Administration degree in Marketing from Ohio University and a Masters in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University’s, International EMBA program.
Dustin lives in Johns Creek, Georgia with his wife and two kids. His hobbies include triathlons, hiking, golfing and international travel.
SVP, Digital Operations
Krandall Jones is senior vice president, digital operations for WarnerMedia, Inc. (WM). and oversees operations & support, ITSM processes, application portfolio governance, the service now platform, a global software testing center of excellence and customer support teams for WM. Jones and his team provide tiered support services for third party and custom-built software solutions in support of operational needs of all WM businesses, including studios, linear & digital networks, network sales, network operations, research, film acquisition, finance management and more. Jones is based in Atlanta and reports directly to Patty Hirsch, executive vice president, consumer digital & platforms for WM.
Jones previously served as senior vice president, media software & services for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) and oversaw strategic development and implementation of applications technology for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.). Jones collaborated with key business partners throughout Turner to leverage and deliver applications technology in support of business goals. Jones began his career at Inuit Inc. As an IT professional, Jones has gained experience in the areas of technical support, quality assurance, software development, information security, IT compliance and support & operations. He also held roles in software implementation at Peachtree Software and Alltel & Synchrologic before joining TBS, Inc. in 1997 as manager of quality assurance.
Jones earned a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems at Grambling State University and an MBA in information technology from the University of Phoenix. He also completed an IT management partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology and completion of NAMIC’s executive leadership development program at UCLA. Jones has also earned special recognition from US Black Engineering and IT.
In addition to his interest in corporate IT, Jones’s passion lies in leadership modeling, mentoring and paying it forward. For many years running, Jones has served as a mentor for members of Black Professional @ Turner, Turner Women Today, NAMIC’s L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program and countless other mentoring outlets. Jones is a spirited and compassionate leader that does not shy away from expressing the importance of effective leadership.
In his spare time, Jones loves to golf and loves to travel to where the golf is good.
WarnerMedia, Inc., an AT&T company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Chief Product, Data, Analytics & Technology
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.
Partner, Chair of Emerging Companies & Growth Equity Practice
Chris is a Partner in the Corporate Practice at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. He is the Chair of the Emerging Companies and Growth Equity Practice focusing on representing emerging companies and the funds that invest in them. His practice focuses primarily on representing clients in middle-market corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and venture capital and growth equity financings. He regularly represents private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies, angel investor networks, as well as venture capital-backed founder and family-owned businesses in a wide range of corporate matters and industries but with a particular focus on technology and technology enabled business services companies. He also works regularly with many early stage companies. For many of his clients, he also serves as outside general counsel, acting as a trusted advisor and providing legal support across the organization and coordinating legal advice from other skilled attorneys within the firm.
Chief Information & Experience Officer - Consumer Technology, Experience & Innovation
Ken Meyer is a Senior Vice President and the Divisional Chief Information Officer for Digital Channels & Innovation at Truist Financial Corporation. In this role, Meyer is responsible for digital applications and integration, enterprise CRM, intelligent automation, mobile and online banking, open banking, MarTech, emerging channels and innovation.
Prior to the merger of BB&T and SunTrust, Banks, Inc. in December 2019, Meyer was the Consumer Chief Technology Officer for SunTrust, responsible for the technology strategy, delivery, and support of SunTrust Mortgage, Retail Banking, and Private Wealth Management. Meyer also had responsibility for Marketing technology and enterprise-wide digital assets. Meyer was previously the Enterprise Solutions Chief Technology Officer for the bank, overseeing enterprise architecture, shared services delivery, governance and execution methodology, investment planning, strategy, and the financial oversight of SunTrust’s Enterprise Information Services (EIS) organization.
Meyer also held multiple positions in SunTrust’s Wholesale segment, most recently as Head of Wholesale Lending Operations, where he was responsible for supporting Small Business Banking, Commercial and Business Banking, Private Wealth Management, Equipment Finance, and Commercial Real Estate, Letters of Credit and Trade Services, Syndicated Loan Servicing, and the Lending Operations Back Office. Prior to that position, Meyer led the Wholesale Administration team, overseeing Wholesale Operations strategy and execution, mobilization of outsourcing initiatives and operational excellence. He worked closely with the Wholesale leadership team on strategic initiatives inclusive of process and technology enablement, location consolidation and targeted outsourcing.
Meyer joined SunTrust in December 2013 from Accenture, where he gained experience working with leading financial institutions, including four years supporting SunTrust. Other clients included Santander, Farmers Insurance, BB&T, Toyota Financial Services, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. His industry experience has centered on retail and commercial banking clients, leading large transformation and business process design programs, and large system implementations.
Meyer is a graduate of the University of Georgia and lives in Atlanta with his wife, Bridgette, and their four children, Oliver, Olivia, Nora and Stella.
Dynamic, creative and results-driven executive with over 20 years of demonstrated success in the design, development and deployment of highly reliable, innovative technology solutions that provide measurable return on investment and strategic value. Excel at strategic planning, development of high performance teams, program management and continuous improvement programs.
-Results oriented senior executive with a extensive experience in Strategy, Planning, Program Management/Execution, Process Management, Vendor Management, and the Software Development Lifecycle.
-Self-motivated, innovated thinker; continuously pursues new opportunities to bring technology benefits to an organization.
-Excellent organizational, leadership and team building skills; Highly developed communication skills able to deliver a mission, strategic vision and goals at any organizational level.
Specialties: Cybersecurity, Application Development, Agile Methodology, Program Management, Portfolio Management, Quality Assurance, Software Testing, M&A Activities, Outsourcing, Transformational Leadership, Brokerage, Financial Services and Hospitality and Retail Industries.
VP-Digital & Commercial Technology
Soumit Nandi leads digital and commercial technology at UPS. He is responsible for strategic planning & delivery of technology platforms that support the end-to-end customer digital experience. This includes UPS.com, mobile, and APIs, as well as shipping, visibility, billing, and customer service technology.
Prior to joining UPS, Soumit led customer technology platforms at United Airlines and served as the chair of the Architecture & Technology Strategy Board at International Air Transport Association, where he influenced digital innovation and industry integration standards for the airline industry.
Soumit holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Presidency College, University of Calcutta, and is a graduate of the Executive Challenge Course from Gap International.
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.
SVP - Product
Toni Pashley is senior vice president of product at Sharecare, the digital health company founded to help each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – build a longer, better life by enabling health transformation at the individual, organizational and community level. Pashley leads Sharecare’s robust product strategy with a human-centered approach.
Pashley has always worked at the intersection of design and technology, leading many high-profile consumer projects for CNN, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCR, AT&T and a number of startup ventures. Her work has won several product design awards, and she was instrumental in leading the product team for Sharecare’s award-winning AskMD mobile app, which won the 2014 and 2015 Appy Award for Best Medical App and was a Webby Award honoree in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for Best Health App.
Pashley currently sits on the boards of several technology startups as a strategic advisor and served on the executive board for CHI Atlanta, a special interest group on computer-human interaction. She has a master’s degree in human computer interaction from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing.
Jason Sankey is a strategic change agent with nearly two decades of progressive leadership and experience in operations and technology. He is known for his ability to effectively collaborate across business lines while continuously driving innovation.
Jason brings his immense experience as a technology leader to the City of Atlanta as the chief information officer (CIO) of the Department of Atlanta Information Management (AIM). In this role, he is accountable for delivering information technology services to all 25 departments, including Public Safety, Justice, Operations, Administration and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Jason is widely known for his executive leadership, technology foresight, and thought-provoking strategies in transforming organizations. He strives to balance innovation with a realistic approach to advancing technology while integrating the City’s goals with efficient services.
Previous to joining AIM, Jason served as the CIO of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). While working at ODJFS, he used his exemplary budget and operation management skills to oversee technology solutions for the department’s $3.5 billion budget while also developing and supervising the States’ public assistance services.
Jason has a track record of building talented, highly accomplished teams that demonstrate excellence and consistently produce impactful results. Prior to joining ODJFS, he spent 13 years as vice president at Citigroup in New York City and Columbus, Ohio.
Recognized as a consummate professional and determined leader who perseveres through challenging times, Jason prides himself on the impact he makes within communities through his work serving as a public service executive. Jason serves on various community boards where he stresses collaboration and seeks enterprise solutions while focusing on maximizing technology through customer experience.
Nandan Sheth, Head of Carat and Global Digital Commerce at Fiserv, is a seasoned financial technology executive with 20+ years of experience in the industry. Mr. Sheth has started multiple financial technology companies that have successfully driven product innovation in the payments and digital commerce marketplace. Most recently Nandan served as President & Co-Founder of Acculynk, a digital debit routing and alternative payment provider.
Fiserv acquired Acculynk in 2017. At Fiserv Nandan is responsible for the omnichannel commerce business for the enterprise merchant segment. Nandan and his team help global clients leverage Fiserv’s next generation digital commerce solutions, helping them to drive more commerce and optimize payments flows.
Prior to Acculynk, Nandan was co-founded of Harbor Payments where he served as Chief Operating Officer. Harbor Payments was sold to American Express in December 2006. Nandan has also worked for professional service firms and Fortune 1000 corporations across North America and Europe. Nandan also serves on the South East board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America where he is a National Trustee, Mentor at Creative Destructive Labs and Charter Member at TiE Atlanta and Fast Company Impact Council Member & Board Member Technology Association of Georgia.
Nandan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Business Computing Systems from City University (London, UK), as well as an MBA from Cass Business School (London, UK).
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.
Most recently, she served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity and Director of the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Division.
A native of Macon, Georgia, Ms. Thomas received her undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of West Georgia. She is a Commissioner on the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity Advisory Board and member of the Hospitality Ministry at Chapelhill Church in Atlanta.
Ms. Thomas was named to the Atlanta Business League’s list of Top 100 Women of Influence for 2021 and received the 2022 Golden Gov: State Executive of the Year award from StateScoop.
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 Customer Officer
Namita Tirath is the co-founder, co-owner and Chief Customer Officer of Pyramid Consulting, Inc., a company specializing in technology and professional staffing, technology solutions, and IT training across North America, Europe and Asia. Namita’s leadership has grown Pyramid from 3 people working in an Atlanta basement to a $300M business in 20+ countries.
In response to growing IT talent shortages, in 2019 Namita drove the creation of GenSpark, giving recent college grads and those looking to grow in their careers the opportunity to re-skill, upskill or get their foot in the door with intensive IT training and a career-path while providing talent for clients. The Academy has graduated 100+ people and counting.
In addition to her experience and longevity in the marketspace, Namita brings her passion to increase diversity in the technology space, and the tenacity, perseverance, persuasiveness and ability to connect with people on both a personal and professional level that it takes to drive collaboration and change.
Namita was named a Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) 2021 DE&I Influencer and was listed in the SIA Global Power 150 Women in Staffing for 2019 and 2020.
Senior Vice President, Product
As America’s #1 Sportsbook, every employee at FanDuel is ‘absurdly fan-focused’ however few are as dedicated to championing the customer experience as Billy Turchin who leads core product strategy for the company.
Billy is a senior commercial executive with a rich background in digital, customer experience, loyalty, marketing, technology and product management. Based at FanDuel’s new Atlanta technology campus, Billy leads product strategy for the company’s core product capability including account, wallet, payments, loyalty, promotions, responsible gaming and compliance.
Prior to joining FanDuel, Billy’s work experience included domestic and international leadership roles at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Honeywell, Oracle and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.
SVP - Head of Technology Services
Scott Waid joined the Atlanta Braves in late 2020 after almost 12 years at Equifax where he held senior leadership positions delivering innovative solutions, analytics, and technology to drive growth, deliver operational excellence and scale, and improve the customer experience. Previously, Scott worked at BellSouth and at&t where he focused on identifying, developing, and scaling new businesses including data services, the launch of BellSouth.net and e-commerce business, and wireless. Scott has an undergraduate engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Georgia State.
Scott and his wife Sandy have three children and live in Peachtree Corners where they have been active in the community supporting school programs, youth sports, and Boy Scouts. Scott enjoys golf, hiking, and travel to beautiful destinations.
Global Lead, Business Services Projects
Justin Ward is Global Lead of Cyber Services for The Coca-Cola Company. Serving as second in command to the Chief Information Security Officer, Justin leads the company’s global information security services for the operating units, bottlers and subsidiary partners. Justin also manages the cyber component for the global insider risk program, the information security policy and standards, the vendor governance program and the Bridge innovation program.
Having served over 20 years in the IT/infosec industry, Justin joined The Coca-Cola Company in 2012 on the risk assessment team responsible for mitigating cyber risk for both internally-deployed and externally-hosted solutions. After serving as Manager for that team, his scope was expanded to Director to also lead the regional security managers responsible for delivering security services to global business units and bottlers.
In 2019, Justin served as the Executive Assistant/Chief of Staff to the SVP and Chief Information and Integrated Services Officer where he was responsible for facilitating the strategy and execution of IT services for the company’s functions and business units worldwide.
Before joining The Coca-Cola Company, Justin served in various technical and leadership roles at Microsoft, Avanade, KPMG, Florida Power & Light and United States Gypsum, based in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL from 2000-2012.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University.
Dwain Wilcox is the EVP and CIO of the Americas for Thyssenkrupp Elevator. Since joining the organization in 2017, he has been responsible for IT strategy and execution while leading transformation and digitalization programs in the Manufacturing, Field Service, and Spare Parts business units.
Mr. Wilcox possesses over 25 years of senior executive experience spanning multiple industries, including Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Supply Chain and Professional Services. Prior to joining Thyssenkrupp, he served as EVP and CIO of Axiall Corporation, a multi-billion-dollar Chemicals and Building Products manufacturing company. His past global executive and CIO roles also include CHEP, Serologicals-Millipore, and Lanier Worldwide. Dwain is a graduate of Florida State University and enjoys his outdoor time preferably on the water, playing golf or spending time with his family.
Gloal Head of Prepaid Services
Demonstrated success in executive leadership roles, with hands-on experience leading and managing teams, operations, and major projects/programs for organizations ranging from $2M start-up to $170+ billion dollar corporation. Expertise built on 18+ years of solid experience and knowledge across a variety of industries including: FinTech, Automotive, Media, Banking, and Software. Extraordinary cross-functional management background and documented achievements including: increased operational efficiencies,improved transparency and delivery execution, improved ROI, optimized enterprise knowledge and and innovative strategies to increase productivity.
Specialties: High Performing Teams, Leadership, Business Optimization, Go-to-Market Strategies, Operational Readiness, Product Launch Readiness, Operations Management, Change Management, Transformations, Business Integration, Project/Program/Portfolio Management, Technology, Vendor Management, Resource Management and Software Technical Sales.
John B. Wilson
CIO & VP - Technology Services
John B. Wilson is the Vice-President of Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Spelman College. John joined Spelman in August of 2019 and brought over 23 years of higher education IT experience with him. Prior to joining Spelman, John was a senior manager of information technology at Emory University where he oversaw the business systems team that provided IT services to Emory University and Emory Healthcare. After Emory, John directed the enterprise information systems group at Georgia Institute of Technology where he was responsible for strategic planning and operational oversight for a staff of 50 developers, analysts and administrators.
Prior to his move into the higher education IT space, John held technical sales and marketing positions with Xerox, Johnson & Johnson, and Polaroid Corporations.
A native of Los Angeles, California John received a bachelor’s degree in information systems from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. John is currently pursuing a Masters of Cybersecurity at Georgia Tech.
John and his wife, Sharon, have 3 daughters and live in Fayetteville, GA
CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF ZUZU, INC. AND MANAGING PARTNER OF ZAKAS & LEONARD LLP
Dennis Zakas is a technology lawyer and entrepreneur. After practicing law as a partner with three AmLaw 100 law firms, Zakas founded Zakas & Leonard, LLP, a boutique law firm focused on the tech sector. He has represented technology companies and investors in a wide variety of 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., an Atlanta technology company. Their Trusted Sources platform enables a network of invited members to share recommendations of local services providers. The platform also facilitates member-to-member communications and member-to-provider communications. Previously Zakas was the founder and CEO of Group Office Buys, LLC (GOB), an e-commerce office products company, which was sold to a competitor in 2016.
Zakas applies his experience as a “tech lawyer” and as a tech company founder in counseling startup, early-stage and venture-backed technology companies, as well as investors in tech companies. He has served as a mentor for companies in The Farm (powered by Boomtown) accelerator and the Global Good Fund.
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 chairs the Top 40/10 Committee. Zakas has served as Counsel and Georgia Co-chair 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.