Our 2016 speakers
Susan Au Allen
National President & CEO
Susan Au Allen came to the United States from Hong Kong on an invitation from the White House in recognition of her volunteer work for people with disabilities. She received her Juris Doctor from the Antioch School of Law and LL.M. in International Law from Georgetown University. During her 17 years with Paul Shearman Allen & Associates of Washington, DC and Hong Kong, she became nationally recognized for her work on immigration, international trade and investment.
In 1984, Susan founded the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Education Foundation (USPAACC) with a group of business and civic leaders in Washington, DC and California, to bring the diverse Pan Asian American business and professional people together as one unified voice in business, commerce and trade. In 2001, she won two Federal cases for her clients, took sabbatical leave from her law practice, and became USPAACC National President & CEO.
Long an effective advocate for small businesses on Capitol Hill, the White House, government, corporate America and the media, Susan achieved a new level of influence when President George H.W. Bush appointed her to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States where she served from 1991 to 1996.
Susan is a frequent guest at the White House and Congressional events that address issues affecting America’s small, minority and women business communities. Her participation in these forums plays an important role in shaping the national agenda on the economy.
She is frequently approached by the media to comment on small and Asian American businesses, US-Asia commerce and trade, and Asian American women executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
Susan analogizes USPAACC as the acorn that has grown into an Oak Tree since its founding 28 years ago, with strong roots and wide branches extending to thousands of small and Asian American businesses and professionals across the country. She is proud of USPAACC’s ability to connect business to business, open doors to contract, educational and professional opportunities for Asian Americans which is the fastest-growing group with the highest business growth in the United States, and substantial social and economic connections to the dynamic Asian Pacific region, the world’s fastest-growing economic bloc.
Once an immigrant, she knows the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve the American Dream, and she has dedicated her life to help entrepreneurs to pursue their Dream - develop, grow and build a successful business.
Susan is a member of Pfizer’s Small Business Advisory Council; Diversity Council of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, International Franchise Association and American Red Cross; National Association of Women Business Owners National Advisory Council; and the Kennedy Center Community Board.
She has served on the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce Committee on the Future of the Workplace; the Small Business Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. General Services Administration; U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council; U.S. Small Business Administration National Women’s Business Council; NASA’s Minority Business Resource Advisory Committee; Women Small Business Summits National Advisory Board; Washington Board of Trade Board of Trustees for The Washington Initiative; Diversity Council of Time Warner, Wyndham International, Premier Automotive Group (Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo and Landrover); Board of Directors of the Virginia Small Business Finance Authority; Diversity Boards of AMTRAK and the U.S. Marine Corps; Commissioner of the Minority Business Opportunity Commission of the District of Columbia; and the Board of Trustees of Excelsior College in New York.
She has contributed op-ed articles to USA Today, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, Asian Week, and Asian Fortune, and appeared as a commentator on C-Span, CNN, CNBC, ABC, Fox News, The News Hour, To the Contrary, This is America, and The Editor.
Susan was named Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2013; America’s Top Diversity Advocates together with President Clinton, President Carter, and Oprah Winfrey by DiversityBusiness.com in 2007; and one of 50 Most Influential Asian Americans by
A-Magazine in 1994.
Among Susan’s awards are the Urban Wheels Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), DiversityBusiness.com Top Diversity Advocates (2007), Minority Business Hall of Fame (2005), National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers’ Diversity Advocacy Award (2006), NASA Special Recognition Award for Extraordinary Efforts in Promoting Small Business Programs Nationally and Internationally (2002), AT&T Spectrum Award for Advocacy for Minority Business Opportunity (2001), and Skirt in Power Award from the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce (1992).
Susan speaks (Cantonese and Mandarin) and writes Chinese fluently. Married with two sons, she lives in McLean, Virginia.
A native of Mississippi, David became our company’s 11th chief executive officer on September 1, 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University. David began his UPS career in 1974 as a part-time employee loading and unloading packages. Upon graduation from college, he became a package car driver.
David has held various positions throughout his UPS career, including division manager in New Jersey and district manager in Utah. He also served as president of SonicAir, UPS’s same-day delivery service. While president of SonicAir, David was honored with the Professionalism in Services/Support Management Award by the International Association of Services Management for demonstrating exemplary managerial characteristics.
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) for UPS from 2007-2014, David directed all operations worldwide and a sophisticated global transportation network.
Prior to serving as COO, David led UPS’s logistical and freight operations in Canada, Latin America and the United States. He later headed up the global operations of UPS’s freight forwarding and customs brokerage operations. During his tenure, David oversaw one of UPS’s largest acquisitions in recent history - the Fritz Companies. He later served as president, UPS International. He joined the Management Committee in 2002.
David is a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, UPS’s charitable arm. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Air Courier Conference of America and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. Currently, David serves on the Board of Directors of the Delta State University Alumni Foundation, the Airlines for America, Coalition of Service Industries, and Johnson Controls, Inc. He also is chairman of the World Affairs Council in Atlanta.
Asian American Business / Corporate Co-Chairs
Anjali “Ann” Ramakumaran
Ann Ramakumaran, Founder and CEO of Ampcus Inc. (Ampcus), is a technology savvy entrepreneur with more than 15 years of contribution towards the design, development and delivery of leading edge Technology Solutions across the globe. Under her leadership she has cultivated Ampcus into a fast growing Consulting and Professional Services firm. For seven consecutive years (2009-2015), she has been recognized as a top Asian American owned business by the USPAACC. In addition for the past six consecutive years (2010-2015) she has been honored as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned Businesses in the CONUS by the Women Presidents Organization. Under Ann’s leadership, Ampcus has made the Inc 500/5000 list and has been recognized as a Top Diversity Business for the past 6 years (2010-2015). She was recently awarded Women in Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by WIT. Ann works closely with her Advisory Board on strategy and direction whose advice/input helps her drive the company to attain its vision of being one of the largest and most successful high performing Professional Services companies globally. She has been involved in executing a consultative methodology to define, qualify and quantify the clients’ targeted and strategic IT and business objectives and from this developed solutions to proactively address current and evolving demands and needs.
Ann serves on the CRMSDC Board of Directors and the USPAACC Scholarship Committee. She holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business and Commercial Management from India and has completed an Executive Management Program from the Robins School of Business, University of Richmond.
Sushumna Roy Jalajam
Sushumna Roy began her career in HR over 20 years ago, her ability to quickly understand the needs of a customer along with her dedication and commitment to excellence in her profession led her to Co-Found Softpath System in 1999 with Ravi Chander. Softpath System is a certified Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprise. Softpath is a Workforce and Solutions provider to businesses of all sizes including some of the Fortune 500 companies across the United States.
As Softpath System’s President, Sushumna Roy Jalajam is responsible for Company’s day-to-day operations, as well as leading the company’s Staffing and Technology strategy. Today the company has about 500 employees with a team that represents the industry’s best and brightest talent. Recently Softpath was awarded the Investment Partner of the Year-2014 by Informatica for its contribution to Informatica and MDM Technology. Sushumna has nearly 20 years of experience in management in the IT industry including 3 years in the educational industry. Sushumna and her team are committed to providing unparalleled service and value to their customers.
Sushumna holds a Master’s Degree in Literature with honors from Osmania University, India and has earned a Master’s in Business Management from the prestigious IMS, India.
VP, Ingredients and Agricultural Commodities
The Coca-Cola Company
Haruo Abe currently holds the position of Vice President, Ingredients and Agricultural Commodities of The Coca-Cola Company and is responsible for sourcing sweetener (nutritive and non/low nutritive), coffee, tea, dairy, palm oil, beverage gases, and other ingredient materials for the Coca-Cola System.
Prior to his current role Haruo held the positions of Vice President, Agricultural Commodities and Products, at the Coca-Cola Company, and Vice President, Strategic Commodity Procurement and Logistics, for the Coca-Cola Japan Company, one of the important business units of the Coca-Cola Company. He has led groups of professionals in Atlanta and Tokyo and has delivered many contributions to the business, focusing on ingredient sourcing and supply chain improvement around the world.
Mr. Abe also held the position of Sr. Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer of Coca-Cola National Beverages, a supply chain company of the Japanese Coca-Cola System. Haruo led a team of 25 procurement professionals to procure packaging materials, indirect spend items, and sweetener ingredients for the bottlers in Japan. Haruo brought the CEPG program to Japan and initiated the Japanese bottler community to become a critical member of the global procurement program of the Coca-Cola System.
Before starting his career with the Coca-Cola system, he was employed by Mars Inc. and IBP (part of Tyson) in various supply chain, procurement, trading and sales capacities.
Mr. Abe left his native country Japan when he was 18 years old to come to the United States to study. He received a Bachelor of Art in Economics from University of San Francisco and a Master of Business Administration from California State University East Bay. Haruo resides in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife, Lynne, and their three children. His two daughters are now at University of Miami in Miami, Florida and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and his son is about to graduate from high school.
EVP, Head of Strategic Sourcing Management, Insurance Risk & Corporate Real Estate
Timothy S. Mueller is Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise Core Services. In this role Tim is responsible for the Strategic Sourcing Management, Corporate Real Estate & Workplace, and Aviation businesses. This includes stewardship and support for over $2 billion of sourceable third-party spend and occupancy expense.
Prior to his current role, Tim was Executive Vice President and Head of the Wholesale Business Information Office (BIO) at SunTrust. In this role Tim was responsible for information management, including information strategy, analytics, reporting and data governance, along with technology strategy, investment planning, prioritization and execution for the Wholesale Banking Division.
Prior to becoming the Wholesale BIO in 2012, Tim was Head of Business Consulting and Operations for Diversified Commercial Banking where he was responsible for business strategy, financial analysis, client insights, change management, project execution and reward and recognition programs. From 2008 to 2010 Tim was the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (STRH) and Head of STRH Services. He was responsible for middle and back office operations, quality assurance and technology strategy, execution and support for the investment banking lines of business within STRH. Prior to becoming COO in 2008, Tim was Co-Head of STRH’s Asset Securitization Group, where he led a team responsible for originating, structuring and closing securitization transactions financed through both the asset-backed term and commercial paper markets for SunTrust clients. Tim joined SunTrust in 1999 from the U.S. Air Force where he spent the previous seven years. While in the Air Force, Tim was an instructor of Mathematical Sciences at the U.S. Air Force Academy and also spent time as a Scientific Analyst working on infrared counter measures and computer-based air battle simulation.
Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He also earned a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix (Colorado Springs campus).
Tim enjoys most outdoor sports and spending time with his family. He and his wife Tricia have three children (two boys and a girl).
Chief Information Officer
Juan Perez is the Chief Information Officer for UPS and a member of the UPS Management Committee, which is responsible for the company’s long-range vision and strategy.
Juan was promoted to CIO in 2016, after serving as Vice President of Technology. Through different rotations in that role, he was responsible for technology systems supporting the company’s billing, financial, accounting, human resources, package operations, driver dispatch and operational planning, scanning, logistics, customer service, and sales.
Juan’s career has included numerous contributions that have led to greater efficiencies in operations, enhancements to customer service, and reductions in environmental impact. His career has covered assignments in Operations, Industrial Engineering, Process Management, and Technology in corporate, US, and international business units.
One of most significant impacts made within the Technology function has been his work with the IT team that developed ORION, the On-road Integrated Optimization and Navigation system that optimizes delivery routes to improve service and efficiencies. The efforts of the IT and business teams in developing this technology will yield, when fully deployed in 2017 to over 55,000 drivers, a reduction of approximately 100 million miles and 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions while providing significant savings and service improvements to the company.
Juan has also been a driving force in UPS’s evolution into advanced analytics, moving the company from descriptive analytics and a reliance on historical data to predictive analytics with customer data as the foundation. The development of UPS’s Package Flow Technologies is a demonstration of the benefits to UPS’s customers and operations through the linkage between data, analytics, technology, and operational know-how. Juan also supported the development of the UPS Access Point™ Network technology. UPS Access Point locations allow customers to choose when, where, and how they want their packages delivered. Through efforts like these Juan has secured several patents that support UPS’s intellectual property.
In 2013 he was recognized by Computerworld as a Premier 100 IT Leader. In 2015 Juan was also recognized as one of the top 100 Hispanic IT leaders by the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) and by the Atlanta Telecom Professionals (ATP) with the 2015 Leadership Award demonstrating UPS’s leadership in technology.
Juan holds a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an MS in Computer and Manufacturing Engineering, from the University of Southern California. He is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society for Quality and holds several certificates in project management, business administration, and IT management. He also serves as a program evaluator for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Juan is the executive advisor for the UPS Latino Business Resource Group which supports diversity across the enterprise and is a board member of the Atlanta Latin American Association.
VP & Market Supply Officer
Frito-Lay North America
Michael Hourihan is Vice President and Market Supply Officer for Frito-Lay North America where he leads the strategic sourcing agenda across a diverse portfolio of ingredients, packaging, goods and services.
Michael joined PepsiCo in 1996 and has held a variety of strategic sourcing leadership roles across Foods and Beverages in both direct and indirect sourcing categories.
As he built his career, Michael has operated in UK, Switzerland, Ireland and North America. Before his current role, Michael led the Global Procurement Center of Excellence for Beverage Packaging based in New York.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree from the University College Dublin, Ireland, and a post graduate from Kingston University Business School, London, UK.
SVP, Head of Supply Chain Management
Greg Schmid is Senior Vice President and Head of Supply Chain Management at Wells Fargo & Company. In this role, Greg is responsible for enterprise expense reduction strategies, overseeing supplier negotiations, mitigating third party risk, and leading the company’s global source-to-settle procurement strategy. In support of social responsibility initiatives, Greg leads Wells Fargo’s commitment to supplier diversity by integrating certified diverse suppliers into strategic sourcing activities, connecting with communities through outreach programs, and supporting environmental sustainability initiatives.
Joining Wells Fargo in 2000, Greg became involved in the company’s initial strategic sourcing effort and has been instrumental in building Wells Fargo’s current supply chain capabilities. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Greg held various supply chain and engineering positions in aerospace, industrial automation, and automotive industries.
Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Michigan State University and his master’s degree from Keller Graduate School of Management in Phoenix, Arizona.
Senior Supplier Diversity Manager
Nissan North America
Marcella McCullough is Sr. Manager of Supplier Diversity, Purchasing Strategy for Nissan North America, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for developing supplier diversity strategies and processes of performance key indicators internally and externally as well as assuring appropriate Company presence at the national and regional diverse business association meetings and conferences.
An experienced professional, Marcella developed her business acumen through a diverse array of purchasing and product sales assignments in the automotive and telecommunications industries. Her career path was marked by positions of increasing responsibility at Nortel, GM’s Saturn division, Delphi and Ford Motor Company.
Among her professional attributes are: a pressing drive to get the job done, maintaining a strong network of supplier relationships and building confidence by promoting trust. Marcella’s motto is “keep your commitment.”
Marcella holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and a Masters of Arts Degree in Organization Management from Trevecca Nazarene University. Her favorite pastime is spending quality time with her family in Nashville, TN and Dallas, TX.
SVP, Global Supply Chain & Fleet Mgt.
Dave Wheeler is Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Fleet Management at the Cintas Corporation. Dave joined Cintas in 2001 as a leader within the Distribution Division. Since then, he has served in progressively broader leadership roles at Cintas.
In his role as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Fleet Management, Dave oversees Cintas’s company-owned and contracted manufacturing plants, procurement of raw materials, strategic sourcing, and nine (9) distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada. He is also responsible for supplier diversity, environmental sustainability, production planning and replenishment, textile research and development, transportation, import/export, inventory management, global supply chain Six Sigma initiatives, fleet management, SAP enterprise development and global supply chain accounts payable.
With a direct spend of $1.3 billion annually, the company’s global supply chain employs 2,100 direct employees and more than 9,000 employees within contractor-owned locations.
Wheeler, 52, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Merrimack College and an MBA in Operations Management and Finance from Miami University.
Vice President, Sourcing & Logistics and CPO
Shelley Stewart, Jr. is Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at DuPont, where he leads global procurement and logistics. His role is to improve efficiency and deliver cost savings across the enterprise. In January 2016, he assumed the responsibility for Facilities Services and Real Estate. Before joining DuPont, Shelley was Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer at Tyco, where he led Procurement, Information Technology, Lean Six Sigma and Real Estate, and where he delivered $1B in cost savings in his first three years. Prior positions include SVP of Supply Chain at Invensys, VP of Supply Chain at Raytheon, and 18 years at United Technologies, where he led various senior level operations and supply chain roles.
Currently, Shelley is on the board of directors of Cleco Corporation, a Louisiana regulated utility, where he serves on the audit committee and is chair of the nominating and governance committee. He is chair of the Board of Visitors at Howard University’s School of Business and is a member of Northeastern University’s Corporation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Drexel University Center for Corporate Governance. Shelley is Vice Chair of the Board for the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
A former chair of the Institute for Supply Management, he has been consistently recognized as a leader within and external to the supply chain profession. He has been identified as one of the 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America by Black Enterprise, and recognized by Savoy. In 2013 he was named a Bartels Fellow by the University of New Haven. In 2011 Shelley was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve on the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business.
Shelley holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Haven and both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He is co-author of Straight To The Bottom Line™: An Executive’s Roadmap to World Class Supply Management, (J.Ross Publishing).
SVP & CIO
Craig Kennedy is Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Enterprise Holdings, the most comprehensive service provider and only investment-grade company in the U.S car rental industry. In his position, Kennedy is responsible for maintaining and expanding the information technology platform to support company growth, as well as introducing innovative technology to improve the customer experience.
Enterprise Holdings operates Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental as well as its flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand. The company and its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management together offer a total transportation solution. Combined, these businesses – which include extensive car rental and car-sharing services, commercial truck rental, corporate fleet management and retail car sales – accounted for $17.8 billion in revenue and operated more than 1.5 million vehicles throughout the world in fiscal 2014.
Ranked by Forbes as one of America’s Largest Private Companies, Enterprise Holdings is the world’s largest car rental company as measured by revenue, fleet and employees. It also operates a network of approximately 8,600 neighborhood and airport locations in nearly 70 countries. Enterprise’s revenues place the company near the top of the travel industry, exceeding many airlines and most cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and online travel agencies. The company is owned by the Taylor family and headquartered in St. Louis.
After more than seven years of working in IT in the retail and telecommunications sectors, Kennedy began his career with Enterprise in 1989 as a Programmer/Analyst and was quickly promoted to Programming Supervisor in 1990. In 1991, he was selected to start the company’s Advanced Technology group and oversee research into new technologies.
In 1992, Kennedy was promoted to Director of Software Development and took on the responsibility of running all of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s application development functions. He was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 1993 and to Vice President of Information Systems in 1996, a title he held until 2002, when he was promoted to Chief Information Officer. Kennedy was named Senior Vice President in 2003.
During Kennedy’s tenure, the company’s number of locations has increased more than tenfold, and he has played a key role in expanding information technologies to support the rapid growth. In recent years, he has overseen the modernization of the company’s IT infrastructure, moving from proprietary technologies to open systems and Web-based technology, and continues to drive innovation through the use of mobile, in-car and consumer technologies.
SVP, Supply Management
William F. Kornegay, Jr. is senior vice president of Hilton supply management (HSM). He directs the formulation and implementation of Hilton Worldwide’s corporate procurement policies and procedures and oversees the global HSM team, which negotiates and implements agreements with product and service providers in more than 90 countries. Mr. Kornegay serves as the executive sponsor for Hilton Worldwide’s African-American Team Member Resource Group, an affinity network that fosters an inclusive corporate culture and promotes professional growth and development for all team members.
Prior to Hilton, Mr. Kornegay has more than 20 years of domestic and international operational leadership experience with Fortune 500 consumer goods companies; he most recently served as senior vice president, global supply chain, at Godiva Chocolatier Inc.
Mr. Kornegay is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and has been recognized as a top supplier diversity executive by Black Enterprise, Savoy and Black EOE Journal magazines. Under his leadership, Hilton Worldwide’s supplier diversity program has won recognition and awards from several networks and magazines including DiversityInc, Hispanic Network Magazine, and DiversityBusiness.com.
Kornegay earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. He is based at Hilton Worldwide’s global headquarters in McLean, VA.
SVP, CTO and CIO
McKesson Technology Solutions
Robert Hendricks is senior vice president and the Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer for McKesson Technology Solutions. He helps the business accelerate its promise of the Better Health 2020™ strategy of making the healthcare business run better by developing an integrated, solution-oriented approach to product development and by defining the supporting technology architecture. He is responsible for infrastructure, architectures and technologies yielding platform services across the businesses, as well as the developing solutions based on the opportunities of big data. Mr. Hendricks also leads the rationalization of business applications, such as sales force automation, ERP functions and mobile solutions, supporting cross-MTS collaboration and strategic technology planning.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Hendricks served as senior vice president, planning and portfolio management for the McKesson Office of the CTO. In this role, he was responsible for strategic collaboration with McKesson’s technology strategy and architecture, oversight for product release management and international software distribution operations, and technologist rewards and recognition programs. Before joining the McKesson Office of the CTO, Mr. Hendricks was vice president and CIO, responsible for defining and executing the technology strategy and managing technology operations for McKesson Technology Solutions. He originally joined McKesson in 2004 as vice president and general manager for managed services and IT outsourcing.
As a board member of the Technology Association of Georgia, Mr. Hendricks is passionately involved in promoting, influencing and uniting Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace to stimulate Georgia’s technology-based economy. Mr. Hendricks is also a committee member of the Alpharetta Technology Commission, which focuses on developing a strategic infrastructure and incentive plan to attract and retain technology companies in the area. Mr. Hendricks is a board member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber that focuses on growing jobs and building a region where the next generation will thrive. He also chairs the Chamber’s Bioscience-Health Leadership Council that focuses on branding Atlanta as a global center for health and clinical trials. This Council also markets Georgia as the nation’s “Health IT Capital” to attract companies and high-tech jobs.
Mr. Hendricks holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from Columbus State University, and a Master of Business Administration, with a focus on international business, from Auburn University.
VP, Global Procurement
John Evans is vice president, Global Procurement for Ingersoll Rand. He was appointed to the position in October 2015.
John is a growth-oriented leader with two central beliefs: winning requires us to fully understand the needs of end-user customers, and serving end-user customers successfully stems from operational excellence, business transformation and employee engagement.
John has been with Ingersoll Rand since 2000 in a variety of roles of increasing importance. Prior to his appointment as leader of Global Procurement, John was the President of the Power Tools Strategic Business Unit (SBU) for Ingersoll Rand. Power Tools offers a robust portfolio of assembly, industrial, cordless, construction and vehicle service tools and accessories, and has a long-standing reputation for being powerful, ergonomically designed, reliable and efficient.
Prior to his role in Power Tools, John was the President of Residential Security Solutions at Ingersoll Rand where he had full profit and loss responsibility for the business including product and business development; sales and service; and accountability for operational excellence across global manufacturing and distribution.
Previously, John served as vice president of marketing and product management for Residential Solutions as well as vice president of operations for the company’s Climate Control Technologies sector; and vice president of enterprise services, helping to lead the integration of Trane into Ingersoll Rand. John has championed innovative product and solutions launches and executed and integrated acquisitions that expanded technologies and product portfolios. He has a passion for product and category management, and the creation of highly strategic marketing, channel and e-commerce programs that drive end user loyalty.
Before joining Ingersoll Rand in 2000, John was vice president of North American operations at Leoni Wiring Systems; worked as an operations manager at Marley Cooling Tower; and held a variety of positions at Electro-Wire Products. John began his career as a supplier quality assurance engineer in electronics at Cummins Engine Company.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in business administration from St. Bonaventure University.
SVO & CPO
MGM Resorts International
Stacey Taylor joined MGM Resorts International in October 2015 as SVP & Chief Procurement Officer. She provides leadership and strategic vision to Global Procurement and is implementing a Companywide procurement program inclusive of sourcing, purchasing, program management and supplier management to optimize financial savings impact and improve associated processes to drive efficiency.
Stacey has nearly 30 years of experience in procurement, purchasing and sourcing. She has served in leadership positions with ConAgra Foods from 2006-2015, most recently as Vice President of Integration, where she handled the design and implementation of a procurement integration plan following the company’s acquisition of Ralcorp. Prior to that, Stacey served as ConAgra’s Vice President of Ingredients and Vice President of Indirect & Capital Services. Stacey’s previous experience also includes nearly a decade of work with Tyco International, including as Director of Global Sourcing and Director of Global Travel.
Stacey received her Master of Business Administration Degree from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass., and her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY.
She previously served as the Director of YWCA Omaha, President of The Nebraska High School Lacrosse Association, and member of the Great Plains Minority Supplier Diversity Council, and the New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council.
Chief Purchasing Officer
DK has 28 years of leadership experience in industrial/energy management, consumer product, technology, auto, and power equipment manufacturing environment with direct experience in engineering and supply chain including procurement (direct and indirect), logistics, supply-demand, inventory management, and operations.
DK is currently a Chief Purchasing Officer for the Schneider Electric with a global procurement responsibility of $15B spend. He has been with Schneider Electric since August 2014.
Prior to his current position at Schneider Electric, DK spent eight years at ConAgra Foods as a CPO and had the responsibility of enterprise procurement with $10B global spend. Prior to this, he spent three years at Motorola where he held the roles of senior executive in Procurement. He was the Vice President of Procurement for the Motorola’s Mobile Devices Group and had the responsibility of $12B Sourcing for the cell phone business. DK was also the Vice President with Motorola’s Global Procurement function with the responsibilities of Indirect Global Sourcing with $6.0B+ spend.
Before joining Motorola in 2003, DK spent 15 years with IBM Corp in many different leadership roles including product development, engineering, logistics, supply/demand, inventory management, and Global Procurement. His last responsibilities at IBM included managing Global Services Procurement with significant responsibilities.
DK has a Master’s in Industrial Engineering, a BS in Mechanical Engineering and has been a registered Professional Engineer (PE). He has published many articles related to manufacturing and supply-chain in external and internal journals. He is on the Board for NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council) and on their Executive Committee.
VP, Supply Chain Management
Jeff Franklin is vice president of supply chain management for Southern Company. In that role, he is responsible for Southern Company’s supply chain strategy, including strategic sourcing, contract management, logistics, inventory optimization, asset disposition and supplier diversity initiatives.
A native of Alabama, Jeff received both an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama. He later earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama - Birmingham. Jeff attended Harvard’s Executive MBA program in the fall of 2008.
Jeff began his Southern Company career in 1986 as a utility man at Alabama Power’s Plant Miller. He later worked as a student engineer in Alabama Power’s Western division and as a district engineer in the company’s Birmingham division.
Jeff subsequently transferred into Alabama Power’s corporate marketing energy services and enhanced power quality organizations. While participating in the Southern Company Services (SCS) pipeline program, he gained experience with Southern Wholesale Energy, SCS system planning and SCS finance. He then served as project manager for Southern Company Generation strategy and development, where he was responsible for constructing Plant Stanton, a combined-cycle project in Orlando, Florida.
In 2003, Jeff became assistant to the executive vice president of external affairs for Alabama Power. In 2005, he joined Georgia Power as vice president of the company’s Northwest region, and in 2008, he became vice president of sales. In 2009, he was named Georgia Power’s vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs.
Jeff joined Mississippi Power in 2011 as vice president of the customer services organization, where he was responsible for all customer-related activities, including customer accounting, customer call centers, transmission, distribution, engineering, division operations, economic development and marketing.
Jeff serves on the EPRI-Power Delivery & Utilization Sector Council; the Southeastern Electric Exchange Engineering & Operations Executive Committee; the Mississippi Energy Policy Institute Board; the board of the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation; and the Boy Scouts of America Pine Burr Area Council. He was also a participant in the 2012 Leadership Mississippi class. He has previously served on the boards of the Greater Rome (Ga.) Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, Coosa Valley Technical College and the Boy Scouts of America of Northwest Georgia and the Atlanta area, and as a member of the Rome Rotary Club.
VP, Enterprise Planning & Strategic Support
Bart Wood is vice president of enterprise planning and strategic support for information technology at Southern Company. In this role, Wood leads an organization that includes risk management and compliance, enterprise strategic technology planning, financial management, vendor management, ITIL processes, end-user information and technology, and the IT Service Center. This organization unites the planning and implementation functions of IT governance and addresses growing compliance needs.
Prior to this role, Wood served as the chief information officer for Georgia Power and the other subsidiaries within Georgia. He was also responsible for IT functions within customer service, marketing and human resources throughout Southern Company. In this role he led the implementation of Southern Company’s customer information system, online customer care, electronic billing and first-of-its-kind access to employee information on the Internet.
Wood began his career with Georgia Power’s customer accounting organization in 1981. He also worked in cost accounting, region operations, distribution and customer operations within Georgia Power.
Wood received a bachelor’s degree in business from Louisiana State University. He also graduated from the executive development program at Northwestern University and the advanced management program at Harvard University.
As the Chief Procurement Officer for UPS, Gary Kallenbach and his team manage all indirect and enterprise-wide complex commodities, including system technologies (hardware and software), professional services, energy and fuel purchases (diesel, air, LNG, propane). In addition, he is responsible for the UPS procure-to-pay process redesign and strategy. Gary also leads the company’s supplier diversity initiatives.
Prior to his current role, Gary served in a variety of executive level procurement positions at UPS. Before that, he was a Region Controller in the Midwest, District Controller for Long Island and New York, and an Accounting Manager in Chicago. He began his career with UPS as a loader, unloader and driver before beginning his management career as an Accounting Supervisor in Wisconsin. He has been with UPS for more than 37 years. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
In addition to his Procurement responsibilities, Gary currently serves on the board of the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC). He actively supports organization like the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and National Urban League, to name a few. Previously he served on the board of directors for Ramapo College of New Jersey. Internally, Gary serves on UPS’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
Under his supplier diversity leadership, UPS has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Best Corporations for Veteran-Owned Businesses, America’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities (2014), and America’s Top Corporation for Women Business Enterprises (2014) from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. UPS is one of only three companies to have received this honor for 15 consecutive years.
SVP & CPO
Tom D. Lutz joined U.S. Bancorp as Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer in April, 2008. He is responsible for the corporate procurement organization involved with strategic sourcing, vendor management, and supplier diversity. Since joining U.S. Bancorp eight years ago, Tom has focused on delivering significantly greater value across the enterprise through more effective internal alignment, improved vendor relationships, strategic talent management, and a shareholder-centric view of operating costs and business practices.
Tom has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of procurement, supply chain management, and information systems. Prior to joining U.S. Bank, Tom spent twenty years with General Mills in a variety of roles, and three years with Pulte Homes as National Vice President of Procurement.
Tom is a native of Minnesota, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Systems Analysis from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
Managing Director, Global Head of Supplier Diversity
JP Morgan Chase
Jacqueline Rosa is Managing Director and Global Head of Supplier Diversity at JPMorgan Chase. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, she spent 12 years at Morgan Stanley, first as head of their Supplier Diversity Program and later expanding her responsibilities to include Global Diversity and Work-Life initiatives.
Before her experience in the financial services industry, Ms. Rosa was a marketing manager for Creative Games International (CGI), an affiliate of GTECH – a global gaming company in 1999. During her eight years at CGI, Ms. Rosa negotiated gaming contracts for international governments and traveled the world, living in a number of countries, including Mexico, Japan and Russia.
Ms. Rosa was featured in Hispanic Executive Magazine for her efforts in the Supplier Diversity industry and made their “Top 10 Lideres” list. Ms. Rosa currently sits on the boards of the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA).
Ms. Rosa attended the Taft School, a college preparatory boarding school in Watertown, Connecticut, where she was A Better Chance Scholar and earned her degrees in Communications and Journalism from Fordham University in New York City.
Regina O. Heyward
Senior Vice President, Head of Supplier Diversity
Regina O. Heyward is Senior Vice President and head of Supplier Diversity for Wells Fargo. With more than 16 years of multi-industry global supply chain and supplier diversity strategy experience, she leads a team that is responsible for developing and engaging certified diverse suppliers to integrate them into the company’s sourcing and procurement processes. Ms. Heyward joined Wells Fargo in 2014.
Throughout her career, Ms. Heyward has developed high impact supplier diversity programs and led strategic supply chain initiatives globally in regions including Asia, Latin America and Europe. Prior to her current role, she served as the director of enterprise supplier management for Capital One, a role in which she led the supplier diversity team and was responsible for corporate real estate category sourcing. Prior to that role, she served as the director of global supply chain compliance at MeadWestvaco, where she implemented a supplier diversity program and was responsible for global supplier risk management.
Ms. Heyward, a native of Thomasville, Georgia, is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central School of Law. She serves as a national board member for the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the US Business Leadership Network National Council, the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, as well as an Advisory Board Member for the Clark Atlanta University School of Supply Chain Management and a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors. She is a member of the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Conference Board and, from 2010 to 2013, was Chair of ISM’s Diversity Committee, where she implemented a diversity undergraduate student mentoring program focused on increasing diversity within the supply chain management profession.
Ms. Heyward has been featured twice by DiversityPlus magazine as one of the “Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity,” and has received numerous other awards for her leadership in supplier diversity, including honors from Minority Business News and DiversityInc. Magazine.
FVP, Supplier Diversity
Sun Trust Bank
Lissa joined SunTrust in July, 2013 to provide oversight and management of SunTrust’s Supplier Diversity initiative. She is the interface between SunTrust and the diverse supplier community and is responsible for working with its lines of business and functions to expand the company’s utilization of qualified minority, women, veteran, disabled, LGBT-owned and small businesses and ensure that the bank is in compliance with federal guidelines concerning diverse supplier inclusion in procurement activities. She brings with her over 10 years of specialized experience in Supplier Diversity, Procurement, Sales and Logistics in at Georgia-Pacific, Scientific Games International and Kennesaw State University. Lissa is currently the Treasurer of the Financial Services Roundtable for Supplier Diversity, board member of the US Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce- SE and former board chair of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council. She’s been recognized for advancing diverse businesses by the Greater Women’s Business Council and Atlanta Women Magazine. Lissa has a BBA in Marketing from The University of Georgia and MBA in International Business from Mercer University and is a licensed associate real estate broker and certified Zumba instructor. She resides in Stockbridge, GA with her dog Miah and cat Freddie.
William R. Kapfer, PhD
Executive Director, Global Supplier Diversity
Dr. William Kapfer is Executive Director of Global Supplier Diversity at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Prior to joining the firm, he was Vice President of Marketing for the Walton Isaacson agency, ranked as the top African American advertising agency in the country, started by Earvin “Magic” Johnson. In his role, he provided unique strategy for reaching diverse market segments.
He is a communications professional with more than 25 years of media and marketing experience for leading print, television and entertainment companies. His career includes strategic roles at Travel + Leisure and Harper’s Bazaar magazines, as well as at PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Kapfer also ran his own consultancy group, providing marketing and business development services across publishing, travel, fashion, entertainment and lifestyle sectors.
He also understands the importance of giving back and being involved in community service. He has been recognized by a number of organizations for his contributions, including being appointed by the Governor of Arizona to the Arizona Commission on the Arts; receiving the Key to the City by the Mayor of Tucson for his efforts on human rights issues in the community, and being named Alumnus of the year by his undergraduate alma matter the University of Arizona. Kapfer holds both a Masters in Educational Administration and a Doctorate in Media Studies and Leadership.
VP, Investment Management Division
Sandra is a Vice President in the Investment Management Division, where she leads a team responsible for advising high net worth families and institutions. Sandra joined the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co as an Investment Adviser in 1999 after receiving her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, Sandra was a media and telecom strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. She also spent several years in Seoul, Korea and in Paris, France heading the ELLE Merchandise operations of Hachette Filipacchi Presse in Korea. Sandra received her undergraduate degree in Political Science magna cum laude from Middlebury College. Sandra serves as a Trustee and Investment Committee Chair of the Brooklyn Public Library, the 4th largest library system in the country, and she sits on the Advisory Board of the Concordia Conservatory of Music in Westchester County. She is also Co-Chair of the Asian Professionals Network for the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs.
Global VP, Diversity & Inclusion
Mr. Tyronne Stoudemire, Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Hyatt Worldwide, has more than 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, and human resource management. At Hyatt Worldwide, Mr. Stoudemire works with the senior leadership team to implement culture, talent, and marketplace strategies that leverage diversity to grow the business across the company’s portfolio of brands. As such, his team and internal corporate partners have implemented diversity-training initiatives including Diversity Business Resource Groups, mentoring programs for high potential women and people of color, a communications and public relations strategy to drive internal engagement and external brand recognition, and enhanced brand marketing effort to further focus on multicultural and LGBT audiences.
A globally recognized executive and highly sought-after speaker he routinely consults with Fortune 100 clients on diversity strategies, with particular insight around how organizational leaders can understand and harness the shifts evident in national and global demographic trends. Tyronne employs a unique talent that results in extraordinary benefits for individuals and organizations and has a proven ability to advance socially responsible corporate initiatives by fostering strategic relationships to promote international grassroots movements.
AVP, Category Management / Programs and Supplier Diversity
Bob is the Assistant Vice President of Category Management / Programs and Supplier Diversity at The Hartford. Bob started his career at The Hartford in 1999 as a print buyer and now manages a team of nine that oversee various categories with spend in excess of $100 million annually and he currently leads the companies Supplier Diversity Program. He resides in Connecticut with his wife and two children and enjoys coaching youth hockey and has been a USA Hockey official for the past 25 years.
Senior Director, Supplier Diversity
Fred Lona is the Senior Director Supplier Diversity and Performance Management for Hilton Worldwide which is based in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Lona directs the development, administration and execution of the Hilton Supplier Diversity Program and supplier performance processes. In his current capacity he is also responsible for the oversight of the Global Travel and Expense Services Program and the Marketing and Communications department for Hilton Supply Management. While ensuring compliance with the corporate-wide diversity strategy, he also seeks to incorporate innovative best practice programs in supplier processes and supplier diversity.
Exemplifying his commitment to supplier diversity, Mr. Lona serves on numerous prestigious and diverse organizations that impact the hospitality industry, including: Chair of the Capital Region MSDC; Chair of the NMSDC Hospitality Industry Group; Chair of the ISM Supplier Diversity Group; Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board member of the United Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Lona has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including: “Corporate Champion of the Year” (United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce), “Advocate of the Year” (Asian Business Association), “Volunteer of the Year” (National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development). Under his leadership Hilton’s supplier diversity program has earned numerous awards and recognition.
Mr. Lona holds a BS in Marketing from California State University Long Beach and has completed two years of studies at the University of San Francisco Law School. Mr. Lona is also certified by the Institute for Supply Management as a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD).
Senior Director, Global Supplier Diversity
Ricardo Barrientos is the Global Procurement Sr. Director of Supplier Diversity for PepsiCo North America. PepsiCo is the second largest food and beverage company in the world, and the largest in North America, with total revenue of around $64 billion and over 285,000 employees. PepsiCo owns some of the world’s most popular brands, including Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Lay’s, Doritos, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker, and it’s brands are available worldwide through a variety of go-to-market systems, including direct store delivery (DSD), broker-warehouse, and food service and vending.
Ricardo is an eighteen year veteran with PepsiCo and has held various strategic sourcing roles both in the United States, Mexico, and internationally. He has joined the Supplier Diversity arena with vast procurement experience in Capital, MRO, Flexible Packaging and Cartons. In addition, he previously was the Value Engineering Director for Frito-Lay North America responsible for enabling productivity initiatives to deliver over $25 million of savings per year, and Procurement Director for Direct Materials for Frito Lay’s Latin America Region. He also was the Vice President Procurement for Danone Waters North America.
Prior to being transferred to the US, Ricardo was the National Procurement Director for Gamesa in Monterrey, Mexico. Before joining PepsiCo, Ricardo worked for Vitro Envases as a Raw Materials Procurement Director in Monterrey Mexico, and as a management consultant for Booz Allen and Hamilton in Mexico City.
Ricardo has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He resides in Plano Texas with his wife Tessa, and has three daughters Tessa, Luisa, and Fernanda.
Corporate Director, Marketing Strategy & Support
Amy Moudy Comeau has more than 20 years of progressive experience in multiple industries; including health care, higher education and the performing arts. As Corporate Director of Market Strategy & Support for Emory Healthcare, she leads strategic marketing efforts for Emory Healthcare’s broad network of 2,000 physicians, 6 hospitals and more than 200 care locations.
Her accomplishments at Emory Healthcare include co-leading the organization’s recent re-branding effort, which resulted in a 40% increase in web volumes, and launching an integrated marketing campaign to introduce the Emory Healthcare Network to the Atlanta market that resulted in a 23% increase in primary care call volume. More recently, her team’s Ebola social media and digital communications work has earned multiple awards. Amy began her Emory career as Associate Director, News and Information, for Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
Before joining Emory, Amy spent more than a decade in the opera and performing arts industry, leading marketing and communications for The Atlanta Opera and Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Performing Arts. Her arts experience also includes work with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, The Kennedy Center and Lake George Opera Festival. Shortly after beginning her career, she was selected as one of only four national fellows for the prestigious Opera America Fellowship, a program to develop the next generation of leaders in the arts.
Amy is a graduate of Northwestern University and received her master’s in Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, graduating with honors as a Beta Gamma Sigma.
Director, Supplier Diversity
After spending multiple years in the public sector in a procurement setting, Burris-Austin moved to the healthcare sector with BJC to learn the analytical side of procurement. During her time with BJC she dabbled in Supplier Diversity. Her next move was to ‘Corporate America’ where she has spent the balance of her time. At Anheuser-Busch, Burris-Austin quickly moved from a buyer to a procurement agent. After a short stent handling international bottles and caps, she transitioned back to the US market and dealt with MRO parts and services. Burris-Austin honed her procurement skills and caught the eye of Ameren, where she began her career in supplier diversity. While at Ameren, she grew the business and corporate services departments through relationship building, bringing a fresh outlook to an existing structure while also contributing to the programming side of the business. A year and a half ago, Express Scripts found her from her LinkedIn profile and hired her to build out their nascent diversity program. Burris-Austin has been using her experience to build the case to make supplier diversity a corporate initiative. She is making steady progress in this initiative through community participation and national partnerships. She was just voted to sit on the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council. She was also selected to Chair the St. Louis Minority Development Council. While only being at Express Scripts for a little she has re-focused the program to cater to our clients and the communities in which Express Scripts employees live and work.
Director, Procurement, IT Services
Director of Indirect Procurement since 2011 with responsibility for IT Hardware, Software, Telecom, Maintenance and Services; Marketing, Advertising and On Line; Business Services, Tax, Finance, Legal and Human Resources that includes $3B in spend. Prior to leading Procurement was Director, IT Program Management from 2009 – 2011 with responsibility for The Home Depot Program Management Office for the IT Enterprise.
Prior to working at The Home Depot held various leadership positions at eBay including Senior Director, Program Management with responsibility for eBay’s Program Management organization for planning, execution and delivery of eBay’s new feature development programs and new site mergers/acquisitions. Previous work experience includes Software Implementation Consulting of JD Edwards ERP systems, Manager of Railroad Accounting and Federal Reserve Bank Supervision and Regulation. Education includes MBA from Barry University and BA in Political Science from St. Leo University.
Director, Indirect Sourcing & Procurement Operations Global Procurement
Gene Hahnenberg, an Ingersoll Rand employee since 2012, is the director of indirect sourcing and procurement operations. He leads the organization’s global indirect sourcing team in the development and execution of supplier strategies to meet service, delivery, cost and quality requirements covering multiple categories of indirect spend. Gene also leads the procurement operations team who in developing, implementing and managing sourcing standard work and processes. Prior to his current role, he served as the global director of electronics for Ingersoll Rand.
Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), a $13 billion global business, advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments; its family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Thermo King® and Trane®—work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency.
Gene came to Ingersoll Rand from a successful nine-year career with Whirlpool Corporation, culminating in the role of global sourcing director, electro-mechanical and wire harness. During his tenure with Whirlpool, he spent four years living in Shanghai, China, leading their international procurement office. Prior to Whirlpool, Gene was with Intel Incorporation.
Gene has a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University, Tempe, and a bachelor’s of science in construction management from Michigan State University, East Lansing. He is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) from the Institute for Supply Management.
Director, Supplier Diversity
Dominica Groom is the Director, Global Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, Inc. She is responsible for leading the company’s continental and corporate Supplier Diversity platforms. Specifically, Dominica is focused on the development and implementation of effective strategies and resources to support and promote continued integration of diverse suppliers across Marriott’s global supply chain. She actively engages leaders and colleagues throughout the organization to drive continued success with and expansion of Marriott’s commitment to providing opportunities to diverse suppliers globally. To further support global supplier diversity growth, Dominica is an active participant in numerous Non-Governmental Organizations, including, serving in various volunteer leadership capacities for USPAACC, WBENC and WEConnect International.
During her 7 year Marriott tenure, Dominica has also worked in a variety of capacities within the Sales & Marketing disciplines. Her various roles have included overseeing the change management and communication efforts for global company initiatives to developing and executing marketing strategies for the company’s 35 global airline partnerships. Prior to joining Marriott, Dominica worked within the non-profit sector in a program management capacity. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.
Director, Information Technology
PGA of America
Lou Manz is the Director of Information Technology for the PGA of America in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is responsible for the design, delivery and management of enterprise technology solutions for one of the world’s largest sports Associations, comprised of 28,000 men and women golf Professionals.
As the PGA of America celebrates its Centennial in 2016, Manz is also accountable for ensuring the availability and stability of critical technology platforms for the PGA and its 41 Sections nationwide. In recent years, his IT team spearheaded the implementation of mobile technology for the real-time delivery of data at the PGA’s events and Championships, an innovative system that has served as a model for the golf industry.
Specializing in the human engineering of computer applications, Manz is the former Chief Information Officer of Atlantic Marine Holding Company and the Florida East Coast Railway.
During his career, he has developed projects for Fortune 500 companies, such as Planters-Nabisco, Dole, Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, Alcoa and Corning. Over the years, his teams have won industry awards for quality application development.
A native of Pittsburgh, Manz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University in State College; and an MBA in Operations & Supply Chain Management from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton.
Director, Enterprise Architecture/Innovation
The Coca-Cola Company
Bill Maynard leads Innovation and Architecture for The Coca-Cola Company’s global IT organization. He is responsible for partnerships and projects with start-ups as well as academic institutions, and for spearheading the innovation process across systems company-wide.
Bill is currently working with the Chief Innovation Officer to develop the company’s technology innovation strategy, leading with initiatives such as The Bridge by Coca Cola to create value across the entire Coca-Cola ecosystem, and building a community of technology innovators across the company.
Prior to joining Coca-Cola Bill was a Principal Architect in Deloitte Consulting’s Emerging Solutions practice where he focused on designing and delivering leading-edge digital marketing solutions for some of the world’s largest brands.
Director, Corporate Strategy Group
Srikanth Mallya, Director of Corporate Strategy at UPS, is part of the team that coordinates the development of UPS’ strategy and the tactics to achieve long-term financial objectives.
Srikanth started his career at UPS Capital in Atlanta in1999 and contributed to the growth of the company’s international business. During his 16 years at UPS Capital, he worked and lived in the US, UK and Hong Kong spanning multiple functions and roles in both the lending and insurance businesses.
After 12 years overseas and prior to returning to Atlanta in Jan 2014, he was managing the Asia P&L for UPS Capital. While in Asia he led projects to better align the business with corporate goals and introduced supply chain risk mitigation services in the region.
He moved to Atlanta as the Product Director for the insurance and lending products where he led a team responsible for analyzing product P&Ls and developing tactics to align product strategies with corporate objectives. Subsequently, he was the Director of Global Operations Support responsible for developing operating plans to effectively onboard customers and process transactions within acceptable service level agreements.
Sr. Manager, Regional Sales and Marketing, Southeast Region
Nissan North America
During her 14 years at Nissan North America, Trisha Jung has developed expertise in marketing, sales, manufacturing, and program management. In her current role as Sr. Manager, Regional Sales and Marketing, she is responsible for all retail marketing and advertising activities for Nissan Sales in the Southeast Region. Previously, as Director of Vehicle Connected Services, Trisha oversaw the integration and operation of telematics and smartphone connected services into Nissan and Infiniti vehicles for North America. Trisha coordinated the launch of Nissan’s 100% electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, as Director for Electric Vehicle Marketing and Sales Strategy. She was the Director and Chief Marketing Manager, responsible for the sales and profit of Altima, Sentra, Versa, and Maxima and also worked directly for Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault.
Trisha was recognized in 2010 by Automotive News as one of the 100 leading women in the North American auto industry. She holds two degrees, Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Applied Science, from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
As a champion for STEM education, Trisha chartered the annual Nashville Digigirlz program and supports the annual Atlanta Summer Engineering Enrichment program. Trisha currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and children. She credits her Chinese-Irish father with giving her the confidence and fortitude to address and overcome challenges.
National Partnerships Manager
Rodney Hood is Corporate Responsibility Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He works in the Office of Nonprofit Engagement where he is responsible for managing relationships with national organizations that assist the bank in strengthening communities, spurring small business development, and providing community development & affordable housing.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Hood was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as Vice Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the regulatory body for America’s credit union system. While at NCUA, he served on the Board of Directors of NeighborWorks America along with counterparts from the FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve, and HUD. Prior to NCUA, Mr. Hood served as a Presidential-Appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he was the Deputy Administrator of the Rural Housing Service. Before public service, Mr. Hood held management positions in commercial banking, affordable housing, and community development lending at G.E. Capital, NationsBank (now Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, Mr. Hood is a delegate to the group’s Annual Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland. In addition, he was also named a Young Leader by the American Council on Germany and serves as a delegate on many of the organization’s cultural & business exchange programs in Berlin and Munich.
The North Carolina Legislature recently elected him to serve as a member of the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina College System. In this role, Mr. Hood provides policy oversight, financial stewardship, and corporate governance for the state’s 17 public universities; 225,000 college students; and 45,000 system-wide faculty and staff. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Audit, Risk Management & Compliance Committee and the Educational Planning Committee.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mr. Hood holds a BA degree with Distinction in Business, Communications, and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is very active in the Episcopal Church where he currently serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Lector. His hobbies include fly-fishing, tennis, wine-collecting, and writing his soon-to-be-released book on opera.
VP, Business Banking Relationship Manager
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I am of Colombian and Japanese descent and am bilingual (English/Spanish). I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2004 and my Masters in Business Administration degree with concentrations in Finance and International Business in 2006 from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. I recently received my Juris Doctor degree in 2015 from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. I have over 12 years of experience in banking. I have worked as a credit analyst, portfolio manager, and relationship manager for banks in Florida and Georgia. I am currently a business banking relationship manager for JPMorgan Chase in Atlanta, Georgia.
Supplier Diversity Manager
Adrianna Samaniego leads Googles Supplier Diversity Initiative on the Diversity Markets Team. In that capacity, she is focused on building programs that help bridge the digital divide by connecting Google to communities that are underrepresented across Googles business and the tech industry, creating a model for diversity and inclusion in Google’s business globally.
She joined Google five years ago as a Account Manager consulting large B2B corporations on their marketing strategies. Prior to joining Google, Adrianna worked at Goldman Sachs in the Finance division. Adrianna serves on the Board of the Hispanic Googler Network, Google’s Employee resource group. Adrianna also Co-founded Google’s Hispanic Business Development and Multicultural Marketing team that focuses on programs to engage the Hispanic community and businesses with Google’s products and services. With this she was project lead for Get Americas Business Online con Google. Outside of Google, she serves on the board for San Francisco Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) and is an avid traveler.
Adrianna’s excellence in the workplace and community has been recognized on numerous occasions, most recently, Top Latinas at Tech Giants by Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology Magazine. Adrianna graduated with a B.A. in Business Finance from The University of Georgia. She is of Mexican descent and was born and raised in Douglas, Arizona.
Global Strategic Partnerships Manager
Mona Weng is the Global Strategic Partnerships Manager for Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app owned by Google Inc. In her 20% time, Mona spearheads Google’s business diversity efforts in the Asian American community, with the mission to accelerate Asian small businesses nationally with Google’s tools. Prior to Waze, Mona worked in SMB Sales & Marketing at Google, managed a retail department at Macy’s Inc. & did finance in China. Mona graduated from UC Berkeley with exchange experience at the University of Hong Kong & National Taiwan University.
Jackie La Joie
Manager, Supplier Diversity
Jackie LaJoie has overall leadership responsibility for Supplier Diversity at Ingersoll Rand. In this role, she is responsible for building a world class program, driving results and incorporating supplier diversity into the corporate strategy throughout the enterprise.
Prior to joining the Council, Jackie served as Vice President of the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council, Director of Supplier Diversity at Merck and Manager of Supplier Diversity at legacy AT&T. She has more than 24 years’ experience in successful program development and implementation, 2nd tier, goal setting and reporting, and program sustainability planning.
Jackie has been recognized nationally for her leadership and service in the Supplier Diversity field. She has a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from High Point University and an MBA from Wake Forest University.
Manager, Strategic Partnerships
Denise Miles is a Senior Vice President with Wells Fargo’s Diversity and Inclusion on the Government and Community Relations team. She serves as Manager for Strategic Partnerships where she is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with a select portfolio of national nonprofit organizations. Denise has been with Wells Fargo since 2004 and assumed her current role in 2010.
Previously she worked as a Community Development Officer in the San Francisco/Bay Area, responsible for economic development and affordable housing efforts. She began her career in the company in Corporate Communications supporting the Community Bank for the SF-Bay Region.
Prior to working at Wells Fargo, Mrs. Miles worked for the City and County of San Francisco in Mayor Willie L. Brown’s Office of Neighborhood Services where she served as the Community Liaison for several city districts and the Filipino community.
Before working with Mayor Brown, Denise was an Assignment Editor at KTVU-TV, a FOX affiliate in the San Francisco-Bay Area. During her time at KTVU, she freelanced for Fox News Network and Fox Sports Network.
Mrs. Miles holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Journalism from San Jose State University in California. She was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. and was awarded the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition Emerging Leaders Award.
Denise is a past graduate of the national organization Emerge: Women Leaders for a Democratic Future and the Leadership California program. Denise and her husband currently reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Asian Segment Manager, Enterprise Marketing
Shuyi Wang is vice president and Asian segment marketing manager for Enterprise Marketing Strategy and Segments at Wells Fargo. She is responsible for leading the company’s efforts in delivering products and services that meet the needs of the rapidly growing Asian market. Shuyi oversees segment-specific strategies, the development of business and marketing plans, and defines the company’s priorities and community investments to maximize service to Asian communities nationwide.
A 16-year financial services veteran, Shuyi assumed her current position in 2015. Previously, she served as marketing program manager with the Enterprise Marketing Strategy and Segments team. Prior to that, Shuyi was Consumer Lending marketing program manager where she led a number of business and marketing initiatives serving the Asian community including developing marketing strategies for Wells Fargo ExpressSend® and expanding the company’s remittance network with financial institutions across four Asian countries. Previously, she was product manager with Wells Fargo Advisors and served as a marketing manager for Charles Schwab’s Asian Pacific Services division where she launched Schwab’s first day-trading platform in the U.S. for the Asian market. Prior to that, she was product manager for U.S. Bancorp’s Consumer Deposits and Credit Cards division where she was responsible for customer relationship and retention initiatives.
A native of Taiwan and San Francisco resident, Shuyi is devoted to the communities she serves and is active with several nonprofits. For nearly a decade, Shuyi has volunteered with various schools with the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools as a Mandarin speech coach and mentor. She also volunteers with the Fremont Unified School District where she works to reinforce Asian cultural heritage through local activities with school-aged children.
Shuyi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and international trade from Fu-Jen Catholic University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Shuyi is fluent in Mandarin.
Alan R. Blackburn
Distinguished Engineer, AT&T Architecture and Planning
Al Blackburn is an accomplished, highly innovative thought leader currently responsible for AT&T’s end-to-end next generation network architecture and technology migration across access, metro, core for wireless and wireline. Al has a demonstrated track record of applied enthusiastic leadership, broad technology savvy, proactive stakeholder engagement, and application of business/technical insight. In a highly dynamic environment, Al provides the leadership essential for identifying and effecting broad transformational shifts needed for AT&T to remain competitive. Al is passionate about the future of AT&T, its people, its customers, and the technology that will power positive changes.
Al is currently working AT&T technology architecture strategy to advance the company’s access networks. Prior to this role, Al held the position of VP Domain 2.0 architecture and planning and was responsible for bringing SDN, NFV, and advanced operational capabilities to AT&T’s network.
Al has 32 years of experience at AT&T, starting his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Naperville. Throughout his career, Al has held positions in Hardware and Software development, systems engineering, field support, system test, software engineering, real-time systems, exploratory development, and network architecture.
Al and his wife Sarah live in Atlanta. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. They have three grown children, “AJ”, Brittany, and Ben. They have two grandchildren, Jack and Shelby.
John C. Frazer
Director of Procurement
Global Payments Inc.
John C. Frazer is the Director of Procurement of Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN), one of the largest worldwide providers of payment solutions. In this role, he is responsible for all of the company’s procure-to-pay activities, focusing on the purchase of IT solutions and business process outsourcing services.
Prior to joining Global Payments in 2014, Mr. Frazer was a Procurement Process and Strategic Sourcing Consultant for IBM, where he managed projects designing strategic sourcing and procure-to-pay programs for leading companies in the oil and gas and consumer products industry. Mr. Frazer joined IBM in June 2008 after obtaining an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Frazer has over fifteen years of experience managing procurement and supply chain activities across various organizations and industries.
Government & NGOs
The CPO for AARP, Mark Reed has over 15 years of experience as a supply chain and procurement executive. During his tenure with Accenture and Capgemini, Mark specialized in procurement transformation and strategic sourcing, helping companies such as Time Warner and 7-11 implement centralized procurement organizations, e-procurement technologies, sourcing processes, and cost management programs. As the Director of Strategic Sourcing for C&S Wholesale Grocers, a $20 billion privately-held company, he built the company’s non-merchandise procurement capability from the ground up. As the VP of Procurement and Business Services for L Brands, owners of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, he managed a global procurement team with responsibility for over $1 billion in annual expenditures, and led major initiatives to implement category management strategies and processes. Mark has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Prior to graduate school, he served on active duty as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Mark resides in northern Virginia, and has six year old twins, Sam and Sophia.
VP & Controller
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Anita Brown is vice president and controller in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Financial Management and Planning (FM&P) department. She is also the Bank’s accounting and procurement officer.
Brown is responsible for FM&P’s general ledger, financial statements, accrual accounting, asset management, supplier diversity and procurement. She also oversees expense, travel, and discretionary expenditures as well as other duties associated with the Bank’s financial reporting. She represents the financial management function at the System level.
Prior to assuming responsibilities in financial management, Brown was director of projects and financial oversight in the Bank’s Operations and Administrative Services division. In this role, she oversaw the building projects in the Sixth Federal Reserve District and all financial transactions related to facilities management and planning and construction at the Atlanta office.
Since joining the Bank is 1973, Brown has held positions of increasing responsibility in accounting, checks, business development, financial services support, and, most recently, facilities. She began her career with the Bank in the former Fiscal Agency/Securities Services Department and was later promoted to director in financial services support. In that role she was responsible for cost monitoring, expense control, strategic planning, and budgeting for various financial and corporate services.
Brown represents the Sixth District on a number of System-level projects and work groups, including the Advisory Group on Financial Management, the System Procurement Group, the Corporate Accounting and Risk Management Business Steering Group, and the Financial Information and Reporting Standards Group. She also serves as co-sponsor of the System Supplier Diversity Workgroup.
Brown attended Georgia State University and has completed executive education programs at Emory University and the University of Tennessee.
VP, Corporate Relations
As a minority female, Mimi brings a valuable diverse perspective to the NaVOBA corporate relationship team. Mimi began with NaVOBA in 2007 as a veteran business advocate and has been advanced numerous times to her new role spearheading NaVOBA’s growing corporate membership.
A staunch patriot, Mimi breathes great passion into her work, advocating the value of using veteran-owned businesses as suppliers to corporate America. Her high degree of advocacy for veteran-owned businesses accelerates the veteran business movement. This “third party” endorsement on the value of using vetrepreneur suppliers is powerful.
Mimi brings more than 17 years of sales and marketing experience in corporate sales, management and real estate. Prior to joining NaVOBA, she served as Director of Recruiting for RE/MAX Pittsburgh. She currently sits on the board of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Mimi also serves on NaVOBA’s Vetrepreneur of the Year Selection Committee and also on the newly formed Veteran Business Certification Advisory Committee.
Mimi earned a BS in Social Work from California University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Juliana Cyril
Director of Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTI)
Centers for Disease Control
Juliana Cyril, MPH, Ph.D., is the Director of the Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. She is responsible for managing programs that foster innovative science and support the transition of results into practice by the most effective means. Specifically, she oversees CDC’s Technology Transfer Office which works to enable direct use of CDC’s scientific efforts through collaboration with partners in industry and elsewhere. Juliana also oversees OTI’s Innovation Lab which promotes the testing and implementation of innovative ideas across the agency through a variety of programs and initiatives including an internal innovation seed fund and CDC’s Small Business Innovation Research Program.
Director, Office of Small Business Programs
Defense Health Agency
Cassandra Martin is the Director of the Office of Small Business Programs at the Defense Health Agency. In this role, she is responsible for the overall implementation of the agency’s small business procurement program to include establishing goals, promulgating policy, and developing programs to encourage small business participation in procurement opportunities.
Ms. Martin advocates for small businesses in all socio-economic categories and is committed to increasing contracting opportunities awarded to small businesses, including small disadvantaged, 8(a), women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone businesses. Ms. Martin also specializes in guiding small businesses through the process of contracting with the Defense Health Agency.
Ms. Martin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the procurement field, having served for over 31 years in various procurement positions prior to her duties with the Defense Health Agency.
Ms. Martin holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and is DAWIA Level III Certified in Contracting as well as Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting, Level III.
Co-Founder & President
Justin Nelson is the Co-Founder and President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community and the largest LGBT economic advocacy and business development organization in the world.
In addition to over 45 LGBT affiliate chambers in the United States representing America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners, NGLCC leads economic development opportunities at over a dozen international affiliates. NGLCC is responsible for major victories for the LGBT business community, among them the first-in-the-nation inclusion of LGBT suppliers in statewide contracting opportunities with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Justin regularly advises senior leaders at the White House, in Congress, and corporations throughout the world to build business opportunities through commitments to LGBT-inclusive supplier diversity programs. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences and meetings around the globe promoting the business case for LGBT inclusion and creating equity for the LGBT business community.
Justin and Team NGLCC are also responsible for the creation of the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), advocating the business interests of a diverse range of people, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, ethnic minority, disability, and women-owned business communities, representing a total of over $9 trillion in annual consumer spending power and significant contributions to the marketplace and workplace.
For his efforts in establishing the NGLCC, Justin was named to OUT Magazine’s Top 100 Greatest Gay Success Stories. Justin was also named to the 25 Leading Men of 2006 list by Instinct Magazine, SmartCEO Magazine’s 2012 Top 20 Leaders We Admire, and the 2012 Global LGBT Power 100 from the Guardian Newspaper in Great Britain. In 2010 Justin received the Outstanding Collaborative Partner Award from the U.S. Business Leadership Network for his partnership work on disability issues and is the recipient of the 2014 Vanguard Award from the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to launching the NGLCC, Justin was the Director of Federal Affairs and External Relations for the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Washington, DC. During his tenure, the organization was named one of the top 100 lobbying organizations in Washington, DC by Forbes Magazine. Prior to lobbying Congress and the White House, Justin spent five years as an aide in the United States Senate. He has served as a past volunteer coordinator for the Wyoming Special Olympics, a Capitol Hill Chair for the March of Dimes Walk America and on the advisory board for the First Wyoming Race for the Cure. Justin holds a BA in political science from the University of Wyoming.
Ms. Joset Wright-Lacy is President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the nation’s premier corporate membership organization focused exclusively on advancing opportunities for Asian, African-American, Hispanic and Native American owned business enterprises. As a seasoned business leader and strategist, Ms. Wright-Lacy is leading NMSDC on a significant redesign to provide innovative and customer driven services to over 1,750 corporate members, 12,000 MBEs, 24 regional affiliates, and five international affiliates. An in-demand speaker, Ms. Wright-Lacy is a key player and advocate in the inclusion and diversity space.
Prior to being named President of NMSDC, Wright-Lacy served as Executive Director of Orchard Village, a social service agency providing residential and community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Ms. Wright-Lacy has served as Vice President and General Counsel at Ameritech, and as Vice President of Procurement and Property Services. She oversaw the operation of all corporate support services including procurement, warehousing and logistics, fleet operations, food services, real estate operation and security. She led a team of 1,600 employees and under her leadership, her team managed the acquisition of $4 Billion dollars annually in goods and services. Following Ameritech’s merger with SBC in 1999, she was promoted and named the first post-merger President of SBC Illinois, responsible for the company’s governance, regulatory and external relations in the state of Illinois.
Wright-Lacy has received recognition for achievement in corporate leadership from the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, UNCF Millennium Award and many others. In 2012 she was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise.
She believes in giving back and is involved in a number of service activities. She has served as a Member of the Board of Directors for United Way of Chicago, the Illinois Business Roundtable, Illinois Math and Science Academy, The Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois, McGaw YMCA, The Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Ms. Wright-Lacy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Denison University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Her legal experience includes contract and real estate law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, criminal law and litigation. She is married and has two adult sons.
President & CEO
Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
Tino Mantella joined TAG in September 2004 as the organization’s new President.
Mantella, prior to joining TAG, had amassed over 20 years of related experience leading two of the nations more prestigious volunteer-driven organizations - National Arthritis Foundation and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
As President and CEO of two multifaceted and complex charities, he spearheaded agendas that led to the development of innovative new services, resulting in the facilitation of significant membership growth. In addition, Mantella’s track record reflects impressive results in fund raising, advocacy, and economic development.
Since coming to TAG, Mantella has worked with a team of dedicated volunteers and staff to: build a prestigious board made up of 60 technology stakeholders; grown membership by more than 500%; and added a series of programs and services that support TAG’s vision of educating, informing and uniting the technology community.
Mantella is a member of the boards of Venture Atlanta Coalition Inc., TAG Education Collaborative, the Tech College Foundation Board, the Chambers of Commerce in North Fulton and Georgia, and on the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Changing lives in Atlanta & around the world by mentoring, educating & living the Thakur family core values: 1) Selflessness 2) Positivity 3) Humility. Professionally: Recovering banker & high growth non-profit entrepreneur. Currently Executive Director @ TiE Atlanta, a global nonprofit fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking & education. Raised $2,500,000 during my tenure & elevated TiE Atlanta to rank #4 from #40. Before TiE Atlanta, I spent 15 profitable years in sales & management roles at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Invesco & Bank of America. Learned so much through creating advisory boards for 9 private, profitable companies in Atlanta. Selflessness is executed through volunteering time mentoring youth @ Usher’s New Look Foundation, The Nicholas House & Georgia Pacific YEATL. An Oglethorpe University Young Alumni Award winner (2008) & OU Alumni Board VP for 6 years having mentored 600 students. Hobbies include running, yoga, basketball and over 2000 public speaking appearances. 2015 TiE Executive Director of the Year out of 65 chapters in 18 countries!
President & CEO
U.S. Black Chambers
As President/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), Ron Busby, Sr. brings business management skills as well as a lifetime of community development experience to the organization. Mr. Busby is a former successful business owner himself, and he has been recognized as one of the nation’s best CEOs. Ron grew his first company, USA Superclean, from $150,000 annualized revenue, to over $15 million in only 10 years. Early on in his career, USA Superclean was recognized as the largest Black-owned janitorial firm in the country. Mr. Busby has also started and grown two other janitorial firms, both resulting in over $4 million in annualized revenue. Currently, Ron serves on the Pfizer Small Business Council, National Newspapers Publishers Association Foundation Board of Directors, and White House African American Leadership Council. He has also formerly served on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Council on Underserved Communities.
Trained by some of the country’s leading corporate executives, Ron developed his skills at some of the nation’s largest corporations including; Exxon, Xerox, IBM, and Coca-Cola USA. While in corporate America, he was recognized as National Sales Person of the Year.
Ron also has chamber experience as he was previously the President of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce for five years.
A native of Oakland, CA; and graduate with honors from both Florida A&M and Clark Atlanta University, Ron has dedicated himself to the empowerment of the African-American community. Ron is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Ron has two sons and currently lives in the Washington, DC area.
Asian American, other minority & small businesses
Professional Billiard Player
The Black Widow
Birthdate: 07/09/71 | Hometown: Brooklyn, NY | Height: 5’8” | Hair Color: Black | Eye Color: Brown | Passions: children, gourmet cooking, art, fitness, fashion, reading | www.blackwidowbilliards.com | facebook.com/jeanetteleetheblackwidow (over 80,000 likes) | twitter: @jeanetteleeTBW (3,800 followers)
2015 Asian Hall of Fame inductee | 2013 BCA Hall of Fame inductee | 2012 WPBA Hall of Fame inductee | Consistently ranked as one of the Most Powerful People in the sport by Billiards Digest | Currently ranked 3rd in the world by the WPBA, and the top American | Formerly ranked #1 in the world | Winner of more than 30 national and international titles | 2008, 2009 Empress Cup Champion | 2007 Skins Billiard Champion | 2004 International Trick Shot Champion | 2004 WPBA Florida Classic Hard Rock Casino Winner | 2003 Tournament of Champions Winner | 2001 World Games Gold Medalist | WPBA Sportsperson of the Year | Player of the Year by Billiards Digest and Pool & Billiards Magazine
Lee and her husband George are the definition of raising a modern blended family | They recently celebrated the birth of their sixth child, Savannah (4), the first natural born child for the couple | They are also the parents of Chloe (5), who was born to a surrogate mother, their adopted daughter, Cheyenne (10), a foster child, John Kang (22), and Breedlove’s two daughters from a previous marriage, Olivia (25) and Morgan (26) | The couple still maintains strong relationships with the surrogate mother and foster child’s real parents
Jeanette was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 13 | To alleviate the pain, doctors implanted a steel rod in her spine | From the age of 13 until August of 2005, Lee underwent nine additional surgeries to further strengthen her back | She continues to be a national spokesperson for The Scoliosis Association, Inc. | Because of severe scoliosis, many thought Jeanette would not be able to carry her own child but she defied the odds with the birth of Savannah
She’s Got the Look
Featured in ESPN The Magazine’s 2nd Annual “Body Issue” | Named one of the Sexiest Female Athletes in the World by ESPN, Ten Women We Love by Esquire and Dozen Most Attractive Women Athletes by Aloette Cosmetics |
Contestant on Korea’s Dancing with the Stars in 2013 | Featured in an ESPN SportsCenter commercial | Has appeared on American Chopper, Arli$$, Best Damn Sports Show Period, Entertainment Tonight, Extra!, Hard Copy, HBO Real Sports, Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Today, The Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis & Kelly | Made a cameo appearance in the Walt Disney Picture The Other Sister
Bass ProShops | APA | Predator Cues | Pool Mate
Senior VP, Commercial Practice
Ajit Walker is a proven business leader and a dynamic strategist having copious amounts of energy and passion for building world-class products, solutions and service offerings in the technology space. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Commercial Practice within Ampcus Inc., a leading Business & Technology Consulting firm headquartered in Chantilly, VA, providing end-to-end solutions to several Fortune500 companies and to various Federal agencies as a prime contractor. Ajit has close to two decades of experience in Technology Transformation, Strategic Planning, Contracts Management, Global Operations, Mergers & Acquisitions , Business Development, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, Branding, PR and Strategic Partnership & Alliances. He has been instrumental in building highly profitable business practices and has had demonstrable success with several Fortune 500 customers within the Telecommunications, Media, BFSI, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Energy, Utilities, MRD, and Hi-Tech space. Ajit’s energy, passion and strong business acumen have made him an invaluable asset to the organizations he has served and to their customers. Ajit holds an MBA in Information Technology Management and Finance.
Co-Founder & President
As Co-founder and President of Akraya Inc., a multiple award-winning solutions staffing firm, Sonu Ratra is a strong believer that with success comes with responsibility. An entrepreneur with a charitable heart and a never-say-die spirit, Ratra is passionate about giving back to the community. Over the years, she has been an avid supporter for women’s empowerment and is currently spearheading an initiative called “Women Back to Work,” a workforce re-entry program for women.
In the staffing industry, Ratra has been recognized as a highly motivated and focused thought-leader. Besides leading Akraya’s aggressive growth strategies, Ratra serves on the Board of Directors at the Institute of Economic Empowerment for Women to support their Peace through Business program. She is also part of the Northern California Astra Women’s Business Alliance leadership group.
A past winner of the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, Ratra has received several accolades including the Woman of Influence Award, the Stevie Award for Women Helping Women and the Soroptimist Ruby Award, amongst others.
Akraya, Inc. is a multinational IT staffing and managed servicesfirm headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Akraya specializes in contingent staffing, permanent placement, managed services and managed projects in the areas of IT, Engineering, Creative and Marketing. This year Akraya celebrates 15 years of providing preferred staffing solutions to Fortune 500 enterprises and innovative start-ups. Named Best Places to Work for three consecutive years, Akraya’s other accolades include being namedBest Staffing Company to Work For, Best Staffing Company to Temp For and Healthiest Employer.
American Film Institute
Michael Chan was born and raised in New York City. Upon graduating from the streets of New York City, at 18, he enlisted into the United States Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008 and served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq. After the Corps, he wanted to pursue a career in film. Michael attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and graduated with a B.A. in Film Production. In the past year, he worked at Marvel Studios as a visual effects post-production assistant on Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. He lives in Los Angeles, California and is pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts in Directing at the American Film Institute. On his free time, he enjoys hiking and hanging out with his corgi, Scarlett.
Mr. Manoj Wadhwani is the President of Caris Health, a Shelton, CT headquartered rapidly growing health services company that focuses on streamlining health management systems to reduce costs and improve care outcomes for patients. Caris Health combines data and analytics with technology and expertise to deliver innovative solutions for modern healthcare. Caris Health is the solution for new, transparent and productive relationships between providers and patients, redefining healthcare standards through a suite of products, services and solutions.
Mr. Wadhwani’s focus for Caris Health is overseeing Operations, Technology Direction and Executive Customer Relationship Management. He plays an active role in providing management consulting expertise to Caris Heath’s clients including Providers, ACOs and Payers.
Mr. Wadhwani is also the Senior Vice President of Operations & Technology for SAI Systems International, Inc. an IT consulting, software and systems engineering company that specializes in cost effective delivery of information technology products and services. Financial services clients include commercial banks, and property & casualty insurance companies who work with SAI Systems for application development and maintenance, product implementations, and technology staff augmentation. Global manufacturing companies leverage SAI Systems ERP services, and quality control application development solutions. Utilities agencies and government agencies like the GSA utilize SAI Systems technology applications for energy usage management, natural gas contracting, and application modernization services.
Mr. Wadhwani has over 20 years of experience in the Health and Technology Industries.
Before joining the SAI Systems family, Mr. Wadhwani worked for Sapient Corporation as a Project Manager. Prior to that Mr. Wadhwani worked with Goldman Sachs in an IT capacity that included systems support and development for the firm. Mr. Wadhwani has also consulted independently with Capital One for their Global IT Training Management and Operations.
Mr. Wadhwani is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the top 25 engineering universities in the United States. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with honors along with a minor in Management.
CEO & Managing Partner
Tahir is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, inventor and a technologist. As a founder and managing partner of Collide Village, a milestone driven technology accelerator, Tahir has a deep passion to change the local technology startup landscape by investing and coaching entrepreneurs on how to build a successful, repeatable and scalable business model through data-driven entrepreneurial models.
Tahir serves as General Partner of an investment firm where he focuses on Angle Investing in startup companies in a variety of industries. Tahir has a passion for taking start-up ideas and converting them to businesses. Tahir enjoys helping entrepreneurs through a structured process of mentorship.
Prior to this, Tahir founded Fusion Solutions in 2002 to serve the specialized technical consulting, mobile solution development and staffing needs of large telecom companies. Under his leadership and management, the company has experienced unprecedented growth on a national level. During his tenure, Fusion has received various awards and recognition including 2nd fastest growing company in Dallas-100 by SMU’s Cox School of Business and Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship as well as the 5th fastest growing company in America in the 2007 Inc. magazine Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies. Fusion Solutions was sold to a publicly traded company in 2010.
Prior to founding Fusion Solutions, Tahir served in a number of technical and management positions with Ericsson. For eight years he focused on wireless products and led a number of new development projects. He also served as interim Chief Technology Officer of an internal new technology venture. Tahir was selected by Ericsson’s leadership for an award as an inventor of “wireless storage network”. He also holds 14 patents in wireless technologies, is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
President & Founder
Alefiya believes that involved communities result in higher academic and social outcomes, stronger values, and increased future success for students. Her degree in psychology and education from Emory University, along with her training and experience as a Montessori teacher, power her passion for wide-scale education improvement. It is this passion that led her to star Crescerance (cris-seer-unce) in 2011 to enable schools to better communicate with and engage their communities through mobile. She is now focusing on bringing the concepts and tolls of app development to students as young as the 3rd grade by enabling them to build mobile apps of apps with the newly launched MAD-learn program. In her spare time, she enjoys touring the world, meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing new cultures. She is also a closet adrenaline junkie who loves the occasional sky or sea dive expedition.
CEO & Founder
Namit Bhatia earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Georgia Tech and his MBA from Georgia State University with an emphasis in computer information systems and technology business management. He has over 12 years of experience in the startup world, having been a part of multiple stellar teams that have successfully launched three separate businesses in the marketing analytics and financial services domains with some of the largest investment banks in the world. Namit is passionate about his role as co-founder and CEO of Crescerance. After having spent many years in financial services and early stage investments, he is really enjoying being around people in the education and non-profit sector who are driven more by their passion to change the world than by their drive to grow an enterprise.
Founder & CEO
Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and apps. This innovative approach to mobile marketing creates meaningful engagements between users, developers and advertisers. Backed by Hummer Winblad, Relay Ventures, True Ventures, Digital Garage and others, the company has raised over $24 million in funding to date.
Kiip has been recognized by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List,” named on the Dow Jones “FasTech50” and listed on Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies.” Once the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding, Brian received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia at age 18, after skipping four K12 grades.
Brian has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including:
● One of Canada’s “Top 20 Under 20”
● Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” “30 Under 30 in Advertising” and “18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”
● Forbes’ “30 under 30” for three years
● Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch”
● iMedia “25”
● AdAge “Creativity Top 50”
Before starting Kiip, Brian led key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com, where he accelerated the company’s mobile presence by launching the Digg Android
CEO & Chairman
iTech Global Group
Kishore Khandavalli founded SevenTablets in 2012 as a part of the iTech group of companies. He started iTech in 2003 and he remains the group’s CEO & Chairman today. Under Mr. Khandavalli’s leadership, the company has evolved into a global group, established key partnerships and acquired numerous clients, many of which are Fortune 100 organizations. Currently managing over 1,200 employees, three offices outside the U.S., and five within the United States and Canada, he steered iTech to be the fastest growing technology company in New England. Over the last few years, he made strategic acquisitions to make iTech into a consortium of companies with global delivery centers offering solutions in IT services (www.iTechUS.com, www.SmtWorks.com) mobile technologies (www.SevenTablets.com), software solutions and data management (www.iTechDataServices.com). Before founding iTech, Mr. Khandavalli founded Primesoft in 1997, which was later merged with another software company. He spearheaded the merger and subsequently led the combined organization until 2002. Prior to venturing into the IT industry, Mr. Khandavalli worked as a chemical engineer at Enerfex, a technology think tank in Vermont where he developed a unique patented technology to capture greenhouse gases and reuse them as byproducts. He was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year finalist for two years in a row in 2009 & 2010. He was also a Wells Fargo Asian Business leader finalist in 2010. He is an avid flying enthusiast and a private pilot and holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron in Ohio.
Sig Mosley is the Managing Partner of Mosley Ventures, a venture fund investing in early stage technology startups in the Southeast. Widely regarded as “The Godfather of Angel Investing”, a title Sig Mosley earned as president of Imlay Investments, Inc.
From 1968 to 1969 Mr. Mosley was employed by Peat Marwick & Mitchell as a staff accountant. He joined Management Science America, Inc. in 1969 as a staff accountant and served as secretarytreasurer from 1972 to 1990 and was a vice president from 1982 to 1991.
Mr. Mosley serves on the board of directors of several private companies.
In addition, Mr. Mosley is a director of The Imlay Foundation, Inc. and serves as Vice Chairman of Imlay Investments, Inc. Mr. Mosley is also a director of GATV, the CEO Council and TAG. He also serves on the investment committee of Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Coöper and on the GRA Venture Fund Board. Mr. Mosley is managing member of Flashpoint Investors, LLC.
Sig was inducted into Georgia Technology Hall of Fame in 2007.
Sig received the Lifetime Achievement award from TiE is 2011.
Sig is the 2012 Speaker of the Year award recipient from Emory Pelham Education Foundation.
He is a member of the Invest Georgia Roundtable, a joint venture capital initiative by the House, Senate and private industry leaders.
Mr. Mosley received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University in 1968. Hobbies include golf, coin collecting and reading.
President & CEO
Kurt Nguyen has a long and successful track record in marketing, management and corporate strategy with early-stage and Fortune 1000 companies. As a result, he has developed a strong understanding of what it takes to succeed in both. Kurt is President and CEO of Qnexis, an award-winning digital communication, information and management firm based in Reston, Va. For more than 14 years, Qnexis has partnered with federal government agencies and private sector corporations to enhance strategic communication, technology and business management delivery to better inform, educate and build positive change.
Prior to founding Qnexis, Kurt held management and executive-level assignments with several leading technology companies. He is a regular speaker at business conferences and has published numerous marketing white papers and business articles. In addition, Kurt is a co-founder of the Asian American CEO Organization (AACO), a D.C.-area business networking group with the goal of promoting business excellence and opportunities among CEOs to advance the Asian American community at large.
Jacob Hsu is the CEO of Symbio, a global software engineering and R&D services company. Symbio helps companies build innovative software products and transformative digital services that connect, engage, and amaze their customers. Together with VXI, Symbio is headquartered in Silicon Valley with over 23,000 colleagues across the United States, China, Europe, and the Philippines.
Mr. Hsu joined Symbio in 1998 and has been CEO since 2007. He has also cofounded or been a founding investor in thirty other companies in the United States and China, including QFPay, a mobile payments company, and Qifang, a social lending platform that was selected as a WEF Tech Pioneer in 2009. Before joining Symbio, he was the founding CEO of Trilogica, a data aggregation software company, and founding CEO of Epitome, a banking applications company. Mr. Hsu began his career in investment banking focused on mergers & acquisitions.
Mr. Hsu received his bachelors from Wharton and was named by Chief Executive Magazine as one of the world’s Top 12 Young Global Leaders of Tomorrow and as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
The Business Psychology Company
Terry “Doc” Dockery, Ph.D. (yes, Dr. Doc Dockery) is a licensed Business Psychologist, speaker, and writer who is President of the The Business Psychology Company in Atlanta, GA. Since 1993 he has helped business leaders double their revenues and happiness at a minimum 10:1 Return on Investment.
His clients have won numerous national “Best Places to Work” awards, and his recent book, Leadership, Happiness, &Profit : 12 Steps to a High-Performance Business, was an Amazon #1 Bestseller.
In his spare time he plays in a blues/rock band, and is widely known as a man who puts the “harm” in harmonica. He is a former professional musician who received the Lucille Award from B.B.King.
Genevieve Bos has started and sold multiple venture-backed and privately held corporations in the technology and media sectors. Today, she is the Managing Partner of Thought Capital, a full-service global consultancy assisting clients with real world strategies to maximize their value. Thought Capital’s team are strategy and execution athletes that have a unique combination of top-tier consulting and senior-level operating experience.
Prior to Thought Capital, over a three year period, she co-founded, operated then sold IdeaString, a SaaS (software-as-a-service) mass curation platform that harnesses employee ideas for some of the globe’s largest companies to accelerate business process optimization. IdeaString’s customers included some of the globe’s largest companies like GE, Focus Brands, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Manheim (a division of Cox Enterprises), Computer Associates and more. Further, she also co-founded, built and then successfully sold the media property PINK magazine (now www.LittlePinkBook.com)– think “Fortune meets Oprah.” Under her leadership, readership of the print publication grew to over 650,000 and won many national industry awards and now the website continues to positively impact millions of professional women. Earlier in her career, she co-founded multiple technology companies (InfoGraphix and ZapMedia) and specialized in developing international sales, distribution and marketing teams in Europe, Asia and the Middle East while based in the USA and Switzerland. Ms. Bos has created profitable partnerships with hundreds of influential decision-makers with over 100 of the world’s top companies. Also a sought after expert and speaker on professional success and entrepreneurship she is featured by numerous media outlets, including Forbes, CBS NBC, CNBC and more. She sits on multiple company boards as an advisor, board member and/or investor. You can find more about Genevieve Bos at www.ThoughtCapital.net
Schoenthaler Law Group
Ajay Jindia leads the Corporate Practice Team with Schoenthaler Law Group. In his practice, Mr. Jindia serves as outside counsel to startup and emerging growth businesses, micro-VCs and angel investors, advising on matters ranging from formation to exit including venture capital financing, debt financing, employment, equity compensation, intellectual property and complex contract negotiations.
Prior to joining Schoenthaler Law Group, Ajay Jindia was Co-Founder, Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer of InteJur, a provider of outsourced legal process services, from 2011 to 2014. From 2009 to 2011, Ajay was Corporate Counsel for Simmons Bedding Company, General Counsel for Simmons Canada, and co-managing counsel for Serta International. From 2004 to 2009, Ajay served as Assistant General Counsel for CompuCredit and General Counsel for its new products and UK divisions. Prior to this, Ajay was in private practice for seven years, most recently with Gambrell & Stolz (n/k/a Baker Donelson).
Ajay founded SABA-Georgia; and co-founded the North American South Asian Bar Association, Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Network of Indian Professionals – Atlanta and the Jindia Foundation. Ajay also is a charter member of TiE-Atlanta and serves as its General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
Ajay was named as one of the “top attorneys under 40 in Georgia” by the Fulton County Daily Report (2004) and a “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine (2005, 2006 and 2009). Ajay received a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas - Austin and a JD from Georgia State University.