Speakers - 2021
Learn from the Experts!
This year’s lineup features industry disrupters, seasoned entrepreneurs, and the best and brightest business talent. New speakers are added weekly!
Senior Vice President, IT Chief Financial Officer and Chief Procurement OfficerNationwide Insurance
Senior Vice President, IT Chief Financial Officer and Chief Procurement Officer
Angie Klett is senior vice president IT CFO and Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). As CFO, Angie is a strategic business partner to CIO Mike Keller, providing financial planning and reporting on the $1B+ IT budget. Since a great deal of technology spend is sourced externally from suppliers, there’s a tight link to Angie’s responsibilities as CPO where she leads $4B of strategic sourcing and procurement for Nationwide.
Previously, Angie served as Vice President CFO for P&C Personal Lines and Standard Commercial lines where she was responsible for developing the 5-year financial plan, forecasting and reporting for both agency and direct.
Angie began her career as an accountant in the financial services side of Nationwide. She held a number of roles in finance before jumping into the property and casualty business where she spent nearly half of her career in leadership positions across sales and service centers, marketing, and product management.
Angie holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Chartered Financial Consultant designation and is a CPA. She currently serves as Treasurer and chair of the finance committee on the Berger Health System board in her local community of Circleville Ohio. Additionally, she and her husband own and operate Burr Oak Nursery on their 70 acres.
Economist, Wells Fargo SecuritiesWells Fargo
Economist, Wells Fargo Securities
Michael Pugliese is an economist with Wells Fargo Securities. Based in New York City, Michael covers the U.S. economy, with a primary focus on fiscal policy. Michael plays a lead role in producing the economics team’s U.S. and international interest rate forecasts. Michael also contributes to macro commentary on some major foreign economies. His work has been published in academic journals and cited by major media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Bloomberg News. Michael’s contributions have been recognized in two books: The New York Times best seller The Kennedy Half-Century and Economic Modeling in the Post Great Recession Era.
Previously, Michael worked as a research analyst under Dr. Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and was a presidential fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.
Michael graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in economics and a second major in American government. He is currently pursuing his M.A. in economics at New York University.
Managing Director; PWM Division Executive IBank of America
Managing Director; PWM Division Executive I
Bank of America
Vice President, San FranciscoA.T. Kearney
Vice President, San Francisco
Hugo Evans is digital procurement futurist and a vice president in A.T. Kearney’s San Francisco office.
He has nearly two decades of experience working with procurement organizations to architect, design, and adopt digital technologies. His work is geared toward disrupting subpar technology adoption and building future strategies through advanced partnerships with startups and emerging technology solution providers.
He is an Inaugural member of ISM’s Thought Leadership Council and frequent writer and presenter about digital procurement.
SVP, Head of Supplier Diversity & Sustainable SourcingBank of America
Vonshe M. Jenkins
SVP, Head of Supplier Diversity & Sustainable Sourcing
Bank of America
Vonshe Jenkins is a Senior Vice President at Bank of America, where she currently serves as the Head of Supplier Diversity and Sustainable Sourcing. In this role, she is responsible for leading a team that develops and delivers business strategies that lead the company’s efforts in increasing opportunities for diverse businesses (minority, women, veteran, LGBT and disabled-owned businesses) to participate in Bank of America’s competitive Sourcing and Procurement processes, as well as, develops and implements the policies that sets the expectations we have for our entire supplier base in the areas of business integrity, labor practices, health and safety and environmental management .
Jenkins joined Bank of America in 1997 in Northern California and over the last 21 years, has held various leadership positions in Global Corporate Real Estate, Enterprise Services, Accounts Payable, Supply Chain Management and Finance Operations in Providence RI, New York City, Charlotte NC and Dallas TX before joining Global Procurement in 2018.
Before joining Global Procurement, she was the Corporate Real Estate Southwest (TX, OK, NM) Region Executive (2015-2018). In this role, she was responsible for approximately 8MM square feet of office space which includes the strategic and leadership oversight of complex third party facility partner management, with particular focus on meeting strategic and operational SLAs and effectively integrating all functional operations (Integrated Facilities management, Transactions Management, Project Management and Market Planning).
Before joining Corporate Real Estate, she was the Director of Supplier Diversity and Development (2011-2015). In this role, Vonshe led a team of Supplier Diversity professionals with primary responsibility for leading the company’s efforts in increasing opportunities for diverse businesses to participate in competitive Sourcing and Procurement processes, as well as senior level responsibility for enhancing and implementing innovative supplier development programs. Notably, while serving in this leadership position, she implemented key strategies that led to Bank of America’s induction into the Billion Dollar Roundtable.
Before her role in Supplier Diversity and Development, she led the bank’s Corporate Food Services Program. Corporate Food Services includes the management of Cafes, Conference Centers, Catering, Vending and the Office Beverage Program for North America and Canada. This portfolio of commodities represented an annual spend of $86MM and served approximately 100K bank employees.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pfeiffer University and currently resides in Plano TX.
Former - Vice President and Chief Procurement OfficerCaesars Entertainment
Former - Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer
Mike Fath has recently retired as Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer for Caesars Entertainment Corporation where he lead a team responsible for negotiations, contracting and all components of the supply chain for the nearly $3.0 billion in goods and services required to support Caeasers owned and managed hotels and casinos in North America and around the world.
Mike’s team of 350 people were responsible to contract and buy everything from food, beverage and hospitality products, to Gaming Equipment and supplies, to Media, advertising, promotional products and print, to professional services, (including legal services), information technology, facilities equipment and maintenance services and construction.
Mike lead Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to the diverse communities where it does business by procuring goods, products and services from a diversified pool of suppliers, contractors and professional service providers, and working with small local businesses to help them grow.
Prior to Caesars, Mike served as SVP of Procurement at First Group America, the largest transport operator in North America, operating 50,000 school buses under the brand First Student as well as owning Greyhound. While at FGA, Mike led the integration of sourcing and supply chain operations after the 2007 acquisition of Laidlaw doubled the size of the North American business.
Before joining First Group, Mike was a consulting partner with KPMG. Elected to the partnership in 1994, he was a leader in the firm’s Supply Chain consulting practice in North America.
Mike has a Master of Business Administration, from Michigan State University and earned his undergraduate degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Senior Vice President & Chief Information OfficerCenterPoint Energy
Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Gary is Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer for CenterPoint Energy. He is responsible for technology operations solutions and infrastructure across CenterPoint Energy’s electric transmission and distribution and power generation, natural gas distribution and competitive energy business, which serves more than 7 million customers in eight states.
With 40 years of utility experience, Gary previously worked for TXU Energy where he led the delivery & operations of customer solutions for the retail, operating and marketing technologies. Prior to that, he was at Deloitte Consulting in the energy practice. Gary delivered consulting services on strategy, operations and large-scale implementation of customer, field services and enterprise solutions for regulated and deregulated companies providing electric, gas and competitive services. His energy career started at Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a regional regulated utility providing services to customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. At OGE, he was involved in the construction of three 550 megawatt power plants as well as the expansion of service and electric facilities across OGE’s service territory. He led the transmission engineering and land management departments. In 1996, he also led the SAP implementation for transmission and distribution operations, field services, facilities and transportation management.
Gary received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University and is a registered professional engineer and land surveyor.
Director, Enterprise Analytics and Market SolutionsCenterPoint Energy
Director, Enterprise Analytics and Market Solutions
Dominick Huang is Director of Data and Analytics at CenterPoint Energy. His responsibilities include Enterprise Analytics, technology governance, strategy and implementation. He has 25+ year experience in enterprise architecture, IT management, SAP implementation & consulting.
Dominick holds Bachelor and Master degree in Computer Science; Master degree of Business Administration. He is a member of Microsoft Customer Advisory Board, SAP Customer Advisory Council for Utility Industry, and Utility Analytics Institute Executive Board.
Manager, Supplier Diversity/Local ContentChevron
Manager, Supplier Diversity/Local Content
The Chevron Supplier Diversity/Local Content Program, headed by Dave Feldman, leads the company’s commitment in supplier diversity by promoting an inclusive business environment in a supply chain that is reflective of the communities in which the company operates. This program focuses on the utilization, training and education, certification, tracking, and outreach to diverse-owned businesses to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions to fuel the growth of both parties involved. Chevron’s Supplier Diversity/Small Business Program is an important part of the corporation’s procurement function and ensures that all businesses are considered on the basis of merit, not just size and strength. These value-added small, minority- and woman-owned businesses provide innovative solutions that fuel growth both for their firms and for our company.
Chief Digital Officer and Head of TechnologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Chief Digital Officer and Head of Technology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Claus is the Chief Digital Officer and Head of Technology for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He oversees the integration of data and technology resources and develops the data and digital platforms that will enable MSK to meet critical patient care and research objectives.
Claus also directs the operations of Information Systems, Health Informatics, and Data Products, as well as other core components of MSK’s information technology ecosystem. He works closely with leaders across MSK to design, create, and optimize solutions that benefit patients, researchers, clinicians, and administrators.
Claus is a transformational change agent with a track record of driving multi-year transitional agendas in large organizations, bringing together ideas, people and technology.
His background prior to MSK spans 20 years of transformational leadership roles at Danske Bank, IBM and as Chief Technology Officer of CVS Health/Aetna. During his time at IBM he was a trusted advisor on business and IT transformation journeys for many of the Fortune 100 companies.
Claus enjoys learning about world history and spends his vacations exploring different parts of the United States with his wife and two daughters.
Claus has a PhD in Computer Science from Aarhus University, Denmark. He is a thought leader in business and IT integration, holds 14 patents, and is a published author of six books and numerous articles.
News ReporterFOX 26 Houston
FOX 26 Houston
Natalie Hee is a news reporter and fill-in host for "The Break" on FOX 26 Houston.
She has covered a number of breaking news and weather stories including the aftermath and recovery of Hurricane Harvey, the deadly mass shootings at Santa Fe High School and Sutherland Springs, and the reunification of an immigrant family separated at the US-Mexico border.
On occasion, Natalie also dabbles in entertainment and sports, filling in as a host on FOX 26's newest digital show called "The Break." She also covered the Astros's 2018 playoff run in the ALDS (American League Division Series) against the Cleveland Indians and the ALCS (American League Championship Series) against the Boston Red Sox.
Natalie was born in Malaysia and moved around to several cities growing up before her family decided to call Houston home in 2003.
Before working in Houston, Natalie also worked in Austin and New Orleans. She is a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin-- Hook Em Horns!
Natalie currently serves as the President of the Texas Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and is a member of the Texas Exes Houston Chapter.
SVP Hilton Supply ManagementHilton
SVP Hilton Supply Management
Anu Saxena, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Hilton’s procurement organization, Hilton Supply Management, is on the Washington Business Journal’s 2018 “40 Under 40” list. Saxena joins other business professionals under the age of 40 who have shown a strong record of innovation in their fields, outstanding performance in business and a clear track record of meaningful community involvement.
Saxena is recognized for her experience leading and transforming the world’s largest global procurement organization focused on the hospitality industry. Her team sources $4 billion worth of goods and services across 103 countries for more than 5,000 hotels around the world.
Saxena serves on the Board of Directors for D.C. Safe, a nonprofit organization that assists survivors of domestic violence in the Washington, D.C. area.
Saxena is also the leadership advocate for Hilton's Asian & Pacific Islander Team Member Resource Group, an affinity network that fosters an inclusive corporate culture and promotes professional growth and development. “We know our people are our greatest asset and Anu is an example with her strong leadership, sharp business acumen and the tremendous positive impact that comes with her commitment to giving back to the community,” said Matthew W. Schuyler, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton.
Prior to her current role, Saxena was Vice President, Product Management for Hilton Global Brand Services & Innovation. She established the Product Advisory Council with top ownership, management, and real estate companies, and led the design, development, and commercialization of products for all Hilton brands globally.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Washington Business Journal and to share the stage with distinguished business leaders from across the region,” Saxena said.
A native of India, Saxena came to the U.S. to pursue her undergraduate degree, earning her bachelor's degree from Ohio State University.
Director of the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain ManagementHoward University
Director of the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management
James Haddow is Director of the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (CESUM) and a professor in the School of Business at Howard University in Washington DC. Currently, Mr. Haddow teaches a range of supply chain management courses to both undergraduate and graduate level students. He also supports students as faculty advisor during supply chain case competitions and participates in various CESCM activities (e.g., SCM Think Tanks, Corporate Advisory Board, Site Visits, Workshops, etc.). Mr. Haddow has made supply chain presentations at ISM, IMC, APICS, PMAC and other Global industry conferences. Mr. Haddow has previously held positions as Director of Global Procurement (Chief Procurement Officer) and a Supply Chain consultant for A.T. Kearney a global consulting firm, Cost and Financial Analyst at the Interstate Commerce Commission and Safeway Stores, Inc. His 30 years of consulting and industry experience encompass global procurement, supply chain management, business planning and commercial business development which provides hands-on teaching examples for his students.
Vice President, Strategy and ModernizationICF International
Vice President, Strategy and Modernization
Evan Lee is currently the Vice President, Strategy and Modernization for ICF International, a global consulting and technology services company. Prior to joining ICF, Evan served as the Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Evan was responsible for helping HHS-OIG adopt proven industry IT practices and modern technologies to enhance mission capabilities in fighting fraud, waste and abuse in the $1.2 Trillion HHS portfolio. Evan’s focus was to establish Digital Service, implement federal mandates for IT Modernization, Data Accountability and Transparency, and Developing a Modern Workforce. In less than two years, Evan’s team rapidly and successfully deployed a secure and compliant multi-cloud hybrid infrastructure, enabling modern descriptive analytics, and high-performance computing, machine learning based predictive analytics. Previously, Evan served as the Chief Architect for the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts, where he led efforts in modernizing legacy systems, implementing Agile transformation, and adopting cloud computing.
Evan has also led multiple cloud, DevOps, and Digital Services related efforts throughout the Department of Homeland Security. Evan’s team deployed the first fully functional continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment platform in Amazon Web Services for the award-winning myUSCIS program at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program was featured with President Obama at SXSW 2016, and TED Talks 2016 as the model for delivering modern digital government services. Before joining the government in 2012, Evan was the Vice President of Technology for a successful startup that focused on developing personality, cognitive and attitude assessments for hiring, training, and employee development. Evan is a graduate of George Mason University, with a B.S. in Computer Science.
Chief Procurement OfficerIngersoll Rand
Chief Procurement Officer
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.
Supplier Diversity ManagerIngersoll Rand
Supplier Diversity Manager
Vice President, Global Supplier DiversityJPMorgan Chase
Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity
Punita Patel is Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity at JPMorgan Chase where she directs the development and implementation of best practices and strategies for diversity in an international, inclusive supply chain. In this role, she facilitates strategic alliances with business leaders, suppliers, customers and community stakeholders, and is responsible for developing partnerships that promote the use of minority, women, veteran, disabled and LGBT owned businesses company-wide. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Patel’s experience includes managing domestic and international operations in the financial, technology, service, and manufacturing sectors.
Anchor, MSJ & ReporterKHOU 11 News
Anchor, MSJ & Reporter
KHOU 11 News
Shern-Min Chow is an Anchor, MSJ & Reporter at KHOU 11 News in Houston, Texas filing General Assignment and Feature stories.
Shern-Min has worked in Houston at KHOU, KPRC and KTRK as well as in San Antonio at KENS. She is an Emmy and Texas AP award winning reporter and producer. She is a board member of SpringSpirit Baseball and advisory board member for the Asia Society and the Chinese Community Center.
She has previously served on other boards, including the Bo & Stacey Porter Foundation, Houston Ballet and 12 Oaks Hospital (Tenet).
Shern-Min has studied French, German, Spanish & Mandarin. She grew up speaking Shanghainese and learned English at school. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale University.
Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer Prog & App ServicesNationwide Insurance
Guru (Guruprasad) Vasudeva
Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer Prog & App Services
Guru Vasudeva is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Program & Application Services at Nationwide Mutual Insurance, a $27 billion revenue financial services and insurance company. In this role, Guru manages a shared services organization that provides program and project management, application development, and requirements and testing for the enterprise. He is also responsible for the delivery of large and complex programs, Lean and Agile transformation of application development and maintenance functions across Nationwide.
Prior to this role, Guru held several senior leadership positions at Nationwide including Enterprise Chief Technology Officer, Business Unit CIO, and Chief Architect.
Vice President of ProcurementNationwide
Vice President of Procurement
Charles White leads the Procurement group at Nationwide covering all source to pay functions, corporate travel, supplier diversity and risk management. Charles has over two decades of experience in diverse sectors including, financial services, high tech, and consumer electronics manufacturing. He has covered a wide range of direct and indirect categories while working for some of the largest companies in the Technology and Financial Services. He recently joined Nationwide in December 2018 from Charles Schwab and prior to that was with Fidelity, Deutsche Bank and Microsoft. He is a US Navy Veteran and former aircraft carrier based jet pilot. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Senior Consultant Strategic Sourcing, SMSNationwide
Senior Consultant Strategic Sourcing, SMS
Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology & EntrepreneurshipRice University
Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship
Brad is Managing Director of the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship at Rice University, and is responsible for leading the internationally recognized Rice Alliance in its mission to support entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, and the launch of early stage technology companies in the Houston and Texas region.
Under his watch, the Jones Graduate School of Business has become recognized as one of the top MBA entrepreneurship programs in the country, having been by the Princeton Review among the top ten gradate U.S. entrepreneurship program for 11 straight years (2009 - 2019), and among the top 3 for the past three years. The Jones School is only one of three universities in the U.S. to be consistently ranked among the top ten for that period.
The Rice Alliance hosts the Rice Business Plan Competition, the largest and richest intercollegiate business plan competition in the world, offering more than $1.5 million in prizes each year. The competition has served as the launch pad for more than 225 successful start-ups that have raised more than $2.3 billion in funding.
In total, more than 2,450 tech startups have participated in Rice Alliance programs and raised more than $8.0 billion in funding.
Dean and Professor of Strategic ManagementJesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University
Dean and Professor of Strategic Management
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University
Peter Rodriguez is dean of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. He is also an economist and professor of strategic management and teaches classes on global macroeconomics and economic growth and development. He comes to Rice from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where he was a professor, senior associate dean for MBA Programs and chief diversity officer.
Academics are an intellectually curious breed, but Peter’s goes well beyond his research interests of corruption, globalization, economic development, and social institutions. To start with, he has a self-described tinkerer’s mindset and would’ve been an engineer if he hadn’t been an economist. His fascination with social media is evident in his twitter, Instagram and snapchat accounts. He loves photography, both technically and artistically, and lately, drone photography. He is also a native Texan, hailing from Kilgore. With his family, Peter has enjoyed taking Houston by storm – sports teams, food and culture.
A recipient of numerous teaching awards from Princeton, Texas A&M and the University of Virginia, Peter taught short courses on global economics to the Canadian Heads of Ministries and as part of executive education teaching teams to the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy and to multinationals such as Rolls Royce, Harris Corporation, Lockton and AES. He has developed video and audio courses on globalization and growth for The Great Courses and served on the faculty of Semester at Sea.
Peter holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in economics from Texas A&M University. He worked for several years as an associate in the Global Energy Group at JP Morgan Chase, here in Houston and in New York.
Director, Cybersecurity and IT ComplianceSouthern California Edison (SCE)
Director, Cybersecurity and IT Compliance
Southern California Edison (SCE)
Glenn Haddox is director of Cybersecurity and IT Compliance in Information Technology at Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for directing SCE's information security activities to ensure the protection of information and technology assets.
He also leads SCE’s information security governance activities, including regulatory watch, risk assessment, policy development and compliance, security strategy and programs, and incident response and forensics.
Haddox has served in a variety of management and leadership roles in the Defense industry. Prior to joining SCE, he was director of cybersecurity for Honeywell, and vice president for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) at Ultra Prologic where he was responsible for overall guidance and direction of cybersecurity.
Haddox has extensive experience in cryptology, technical and product offerings, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control, team composition, training and mentoring programs, CMMI 3 & ISO 9001, Profit and Loss, and Mergers and Acquisitions.
Haddox earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia. He also attended a number of technical schools as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
Supplier Diversity ManagerT-Mobile
Supplier Diversity Manager
Former - Chief Procurement OfficerUPS
Gary (Emeritas) Kallenbach
Former - Chief Procurement Officer
After graduating University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a major in comprehensive public accounting, Gary joined the United Parcel Service (UPS) and continued to advance his career until retiring as Chief Procurement Officer. Gary oversaw the entire Source-to-Process and implemented UPS's first Recovery Audit services. Currently Gary serves as PRGX's CPO in Residence.
As the Chief Procurement Officer for UPS, Gary Kallenbach and his team managed 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 was responsible for the UPS procure-to-pay process redesign and strategy. Gary also lead the company’s supplier diversity initiatives.
Prior to this 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 39 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 Best Corporations for Veteran-Owned Businesses, America’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities, and America’s Top Corporation for Women Business Enterprises from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. UPS is one of only three companies to have received this honor for 17 consecutive years.
Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement OfficerUS Bank
Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer
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 nine 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.
Global Chief Information Officer & Head of OperationsVeeva Systems
Global Chief Information Officer & Head of Operations
Catherine is an industry-leading technology executive with extensive experience in roles spanning the commercial and industrial software business, from strategy through delivery. Her experience includes large and small enterprises in both the commercial and non-profit sectors, and she has led both technology and business operations. She has additional expertise in contract and intellectual property law and has served as liaison with counsel in several leadership positions.
In her current role, Catherine serves as Global Chief Information Officer and Head of Operations at Veeva Systems, a fast-growing enterprise cloud software provider headquartered in Silicon Valley with 2,800 employees and offices around the world (NYSE: VEEV). Catherine also serves as the site leader of Veeva’s second U.S. corporate hub office in Columbus, OH.
Catherine serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, a consortium of Cincinnati Fortune 100 executives, civic leaders, and secondary educators focused on STEM education and technology career readiness for high school students. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University and the School of Information Technology at the University of Cincinnati.
Previously, Catherine served as both Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer at KnowledgeWorks, a social enterprise focused on reinventing secondary education in America. Catherine’s IT team developed and supported a large SaaS LMS and technologies that enable the analysis of national education and community data. Catherine also lead the Foundation’s strategy, Board of Directors, HR, and Legal departments.
Catherine was responsible for the Software Engineering Division at The Kroger Company, the $180B national leader in grocery retail. Her team of 200 developed solutions for Kroger’s stores, customers, distribution centers, logistics, employee base, and manufacturing facilities, utilizing a broad base of technologies, from J2EE to .NET to SOA.
Prior to Kroger, Catherine served as President and CTO of a SaaS business that provided internet search, shopping, and advertising solutions to media companies throughout the US. She also served as VP & GM of the software division of The Standard Register Company, where her team designed and produced digital graphics and print software, digital asset management, and eProcurement solutions. Catherine’s early career was spent in Silicon Valley at PeopleSoft, Inc., where she spent 12 years in various executive roles including as a Vice President in the Tools & Technology products organization. She was responsible for product development teams, maintenance development, the global support center, security, and maintaining executive level relationships with PeopleSoft's C-level customer base.
Catherine is a Level 1 Sommelier and a concert pianist that performs regularly with high school instrumentalists.
Senior Director Global Office of Culture, Diversity & InclusionWalmart
Senior Director Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion
Donald Fan serves as a senior director of the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion in Walmart Inc. In that role, Donald has been responsible for leading various functional areas, including strategy development, marketing & communications, analytics, business insights, program design & implementation, and stakeholder relations. Prior to it, Donald worked in Walmart Information System Division with technical and analytical positions.
Donald is also serving as a board director of Confucius Institute of the University of Central Arkansas and board director of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP). He is also a member of Catalyst Expert Community, the Leadership Board of Diversity MBA Magazine, and the Business Intelligence Board of the Chief Learning Officer Magazine.
Donald taught college in China before coming to the United States for graduate studies.
Managing Director, Business Sale & Advisory GroupWells Fargo
John Y. Kim
Managing Director, Business Sale & Advisory Group
John serves as the Managing Director of M&A Advisory Services covering the Southwest region, and he is responsible for advising companies in connection with a possible sale, merger or acquisition.
He provides advice through the lifecycle of the process which may entail developing an initial strategy for transition and/or business succession, advising on possible deal structure and price, identifying potential buyers, preparing/reviewing marketing materials, facilitating exchanges between buyers and sellers, and negotiating deal valuation and terms.
John has over 15 years of advisory and banking experience having worked in the investment banking groups for Wells Fargo Securities, J.P. Morgan Securities and Mesirow Financial. He has a track record of executing mergers and acquisitions, as well as capital raising transactions, across multiple industries including energy, manufacturing, media and technology. Prior to his career in banking, John was a development engineer for Lexmark International.
Senior Wealth Manager, SW REgionWells Fargo
Senior Wealth Manager, SW REgion
Russell T. Romriell is a Senior Wealth Planner for the Southwest Region of Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Mr. Romriell works with clients to help develop custom wealth plans and implement solutions based on a thorough understanding of their personal values, asset growth and wealth transfer goals, and vision for their legacy.
Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mr. Romriell worked at Ewing & Jones, PLLC, for three years, where he was an estate planning and probate attorney. He practiced law in the estate planning and probate field for more than eight years.
Mr. Romriell earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Brigham Young University and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law (not currently practicing).
Mr. Romriell is a member of the estates and trusts sections of both the Texas Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association, and he is a member of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum. He lives in Katy, Texas, with his family.
SVP, Asian Segment Strategy LeaderWells Fargo
SVP, Asian Segment Strategy Leader
Joanna Zhong is Senior Vice President, Asian Segment Strategy Leader at Wells Fargo. In this role, Joanna leads the development of the Asian segment strategy as well as drives cross-segment business strategies that deliver on Wells Fargo Diverse Segments enterprise strategy.
Joanna joined Well Fargo in 2018, bringing more than 14 years of marketing
experience in financial services industry. Prior to joining Wells Faro, Joanna was with Bank of America, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President, Acquisition Marketing
Manager, leading the development of multi-channel acquisition marketing strategies for mass affluent and affluent segments to drive new client growth. Prior to that, Joanna led the national acquisition marketing strategy for Business Banking, where she was responsible for managing the end to end marketing strategies and programs targeting mid-sized businesses with prior experience leading portfolio marketing for small business credit card at Bank of America.
Joanna's background includes extensive domestic and international B2B and B2C experience in strategic planning and activation of integrated marketing programs. Joanna has previously lived and worked in China and Australia, where she held a variety of leadership roles in product management and marketing for various companies.
Joanna has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and her BA from Guangzhou University, China. She is tri-lingual and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English.
Region Bank President, Houston SouthWells Fargo
Region Bank President, Houston South
Darryl Montgomery, a 36-year veteran, moved to Houston in July 2015 to lead Wells Fargo’s Consumer Banking organization for the Greater Houston region.
In his current role, Montgomery is responsible for 85 Community Banking branches with $7.5 billion in assets. He leads an engaged team of more than 950 team members in the Houston South region. Montgomery reports to David Miree, Texas Lead Regional President.
In a consumer lending and banking career that has spanned more than three decades, Montgomery has served in many capacities. He joined Wells Fargo Financial in Alabama as a credit manager in 1982. Over the years, Darryl assumed a variety of roles with increasing levels of responsibility, while keeping a keen eye on helping customers achieve their financial goals and mentoring team members to realize their potential.
Prior to his most recent position, Montgomery was the area president of the Eastern Gateway Division in the Greater Los Angeles Region of Wells Fargo’s Consumer Bank where he was responsible for business results, partner relationships, community relations, team member development and brand appreciation. He was responsible for 746 team members across 49 branches.
Prior to that, Darryl served as a division manager for Wells Fargo Financial where he managed 950 team members at 210 branches across 12 states plus Guam and Saipan.
Montgomery attended the University of Alabama—Birmingham and Southern Business College, where he earned a degree in computer science. He also completed the African American Leadership program at the UCLA Anderson School of Business.
Darryl serves on the board for Central Houston, Collaborative for Children, Houston Food Bank, as well as the advisory board for Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.
Government & NGO Speakers
Vice President, Procurement and Contract ManagementAARP
Robert L. Khan
Vice President, Procurement and Contract Management
Robert Khan is the Vice President of Procurement and Contract Management for AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping people ages 50 and older to improve their quality of life as they age. Robert is responsible for leading the procurement efforts to efficiently and effectively enable business units and functional partners to maximize the value they receive from suppliers to achieve their objectives. This includes working with the stakeholder(s) to assess business requirements and acquire goods or services that meet their needs.
Prior to joining AARP, Robert was the Vice President of Shared Financial Services for the National Geographic Society where he oversaw Accounting Operations such as P2P process, Credit and Collections, Customer Payment Processing, Billing, Payroll, as well as Credit Risk and Analysis.
Before joining National Geographic Robert was the Vice President of Accounting Operations at Discovery Communications Inc.; where, he was responsible for the Domestic Shared Services Center that included Account Payable, Credit and Collections, Billing, Payroll, Procurement, and the Travel & Procurement Credit Card Program.
Robert has a B.S. degree in accounting and business management from the University of Maryland. He lives in Bowie, Maryland with his wife, Patricia and daughters, Melissa and Morgan.
Public Information Officer/External Affairs ManagerCity of Houston Office of Business Opportunity
Public Information Officer/External Affairs Manager
City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity
Jose Luis Jiménez joined the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) in February 2018 as the Public Information Office/External Affairs Manager. As leader of the External Affairs Division, he supervises three employees charged with managing relationships with the Mayor, City Council & external stakeholders. He also developed & implemented a multi-faceted marketing plan to promote brand and increase engagement with target audiences. Other duties include writing speeches for top City staff, producing a TV show and responding to media requests.
Jose previously worked as a journalist, starting his career at media outlets in Florida before moving to California and finally settling in Houston.
Jose was born and raised on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands and graduated from Florida International University with a double major in journalism and political science. When not working, he enjoys helping his wife cook and create art alongside their pet poodle Gabby.
Deputy Chief TechnologistNASA Johnson Space Center
Deputy Chief Technologist
NASA Johnson Space Center
Ronnie Clayton is the Deputy Chief Technologist at the NASA Johnson Space Center, serving as a principal advisor to the Center Director for technology, and assisting the JSC Chief Technologist as the Center points of contact for the Agency Chief Technologist and the Space Technology Mission Directorate. He helps guide JSC’s technology investment strategy and integrating and managing the comprehensive technology portfolio.
Ronnie’s previous assignments were in the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Office at JSC. He worked in both the SSP Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) Office and the SSP Cargo Integration Office. In the SE&I Office he provided systems engineering for the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System and Avionics Electrical Systems. He also coordinated Electromagnetic Environmental Effects analyses and testing for the Shuttle Program. In the Cargo Integration Office he provided electrical integration of Space Shuttle payloads and other Orbiter and crew electrical support equipment. The payload electrical integration included negotiating and defining the payload electrical interfaces with the Space Shuttle Orbiters and analyzing and integrating those requirements for each specific mission. Electrical interfaces were provided for both cargo bay payloads and pressurized crew compartment payloads and experiments. He negotiated interfaces and configured the Orbiter vehicles for payloads including Hubble Space Telescope, Spacelab, Spacehab, Tethered Satellite, Shuttle-MIR docking and ultimately ISS assembly and docking.
Ronnie earned a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a NASA Silver Snoopy for his cargo integration work.
Ronnie is married and the proud father of three daughters. In his spare time, he kayaks, golfs, bicycles and spends time with his family.
Senior Director, Small Business and Education OutreachPort of Houston Authority
Senior Director, Small Business and Education Outreach
Port of Houston Authority
Gilda Ramirez directs the Small Business Development and Maritime Education for the Port of Houston Authority. Since the inception of the Small Business program in 2002, the Port Authority has awarded almost half a billion dollars in contract awards – or about 39 percent of all eligible Port Authority contracts to local small businesses and there are nearly 1000 registered small businesses in the program.
Ramirez also directs the Port Authority’s Maritime Academy Program, a public/private partnership designed to help fill the maritime employment pipeline with bright, well-trained, young talent.
Now in its sixth year, the program is anchored by two Houston Independent School District high schools – Stephen F. Austin and Jack Yates – and Galena Park, Pasadena and Channelview school districts also have Maritime programs. The program is so highly regarded by HISD that it earned the Port Authority recognition as one of the school district’s Partners and they designated Austin High School as a Maritime Magnet School.
Ramirez brings a rich portfolio of civic service and recognition. She has been named “Hispanic Executive of the Year” by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; was awarded the Texas Business Alliance’s “The One Woman Soaring Heights Award”; Women on the Move, and Government Procurement’s Small Business Advocate.
Ramirez worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County for 18 years prior to joining the Port Authority. She holds a bachelor of arts in Public Administration and Boston College’s certification in Corporate Community Relations.
Director - OSDBUU.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Director - OSDBU
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Mauricio P. Vera is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and serves as Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). In this role, Mr. Vera leads USAID’s efforts to provide maximum opportunities for small businesses to participate in agency contract awards through outreach, education, and creative procurement initiatives. Under Mr. Vera’s leadership, USAID achieved significant and unprecedented improvements in its small business accomplishments. Specifically, USAID’s grade on the Small Business Administration’s Procurement Scorecard increased from “F’s” to “A’s”, including an “A+” in 2014. In 2016, Mr. Vera received a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, a prestigious career recognition awarded to only five percent of the Federal Government’s Senior Executives for sustained superior accomplishments and inspirational leadership.
From 2001 to 2008, Mr. Vera successfully managed the Small Business Program at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Previously, Mr. Vera established and managed the Smithsonian Institution’s Supplier Diversity Program. Mr. Vera, a native of Chile, earned an MBA from George Mason University and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland.
Acting Director – OSDBUU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Michelle E. Warren
Acting Director – OSDBU
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
In December 2015, Michelle Warren was appointed Deputy Director in the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Recently, she’s been serving as Acting Director. It is her responsibility to provide maximum opportunities for small businesses to participate in USDA contracting activities. Michelle hosts and participates in Small Business events all over the country with high level USDA officials.
Educating, and Supporting the Buyer and the Seller is OSDBU’s core value.
Michelle’s philosophy is, “Think about what you want to do, DO IT, then think about what you have done!”
Mrs. Warren is a graduate of Virginia State University located in Petersburg, VA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, Rodney, their daughter, Jasmine and son Rodney Warren III.
Deputy Director - OSDBUU.S. Department of Homeland Security
E. Darlene Bullock
Deputy Director - OSDBU
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
E. Darlene Bullock began serving as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) in June 2015. Ms. Bullock is also a Senior Procurement Analyst in the OSDBU serving as the Program Manager for several small business programs to include: 8(a), small disadvantaged, and women-owned. She also is a Desk Officer providing technical procurement and small business support to four DHS operational contracting offices.
Ms. Bullock has over 27 years of experience in procurement, federal assistance, and acquisitions management. Before joining the OSDBU in January 2011, Ms. Bullock was a Division Director and Contracting Officer in the DHS, Office of Procurement Operations (OPO). OPO is one of the largest procurement divisions in DHS obligating about $4 - 4.5 Billion a year. Her division was responsible for supporting the Office of the Secretary and other high-visibility offices at DHS Headquarters. Ms. Bullock oversaw and managed the award process of the first DHS-wide Program Management, Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Services (PACTS) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts which were set-aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). PACTS had an estimated value at $1.5 Billion. The award of PACTS enabled DHS to meet and exceed the 3% SDVOSB goal for the first time in Fiscal Year 2010.
Ms. Bullock has held leadership positions at several Federal and local agencies including the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters, U.S. Agency for International Development, U. S. Department of Commerce, District of Columbia Government, and the U.S. Army.
Ms. Bullock began her acquisition career with the U.S. Army successfully completing the Department of Defense contract specialist intern program. She is a Certified Federal Contract Manager (CFCM) with the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and maintains her FAC-C Level III Certification in Contracting. She has completed various Federal Executive leadership courses throughout her career. She has an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Business and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a MBA in International Management from Southeastern University.
Director - OSDBUU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Jean Lin Pao
Director - OSDBU
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Jean Lin Pao is the Director for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), serving as the principal advocate for utilizing small and disadvantaged businesses in federal contracting to meet HUD’s mission. As a member of the Senior Executive Service in a cabinet-level department, Ms. Pao has over twenty-five years of federal experience in small business advocacy, enterprise human capital management, employee engagement and training, budgeting and acquisitions, information technology planning, administration, business management, strategic planning, program evaluation, and policy development. Previously, she served as the General Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research and Chief Management Officer/Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business Management and Administration in HUD’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. Ms. Pao holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from Barnard College, Columbia University and a Master of Public Policy from the Harris School, University of Chicago. She is an Excellence in Government Senior Fellow and a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award. She is also a certified executive and leadership coach.
Manager, Professional & Technical ServicesUnited States Postal Service (USPS)
Manager, Professional & Technical Services
United States Postal Service (USPS)
Prashanth Kallat is Manager of the Professional & Technical Services (P&TS) Category Management Center (CMC), in the Supply Management (SM) organization. He is responsible for more than $500 million in annual expenditures for Professional Consulting, Technical & Non-Traditional, Advertising & Creative, and Sustainability & Environmental services.
Prashanth has over 24 years of experience working with the US Government in various supervisory and managerial positions. He has over 14 years of contracting experience, most of it with the Postal Service in SM, and three years with the Department of the Treasury with significant experience in various specialized contracting fields including Professional Consulting, Technical Services, Package Services, Equipment and Materials.
Prashanth has a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the Bangalore Institute of Technology, Master of Business Administration and an Advanced Certificate in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. He has a Certified Professional in Supply Management designation from the Institute of Supply Management, Certified Professional in Contracts Management designation from the National Contracts Management Association, and a Federal Acquisition in Contracting Certification (FAC-C) level III from the Department of the Treasury. Prashanth graduated from the USPS Managerial Leadership Program in 2012 and he was recognized by the Vice President of Supply Management in 2011 as the “SM Professional of the Year”.
Program Manager, Supplier DiversityUnited States Postal Service (USPS)
Rupert Warner, Jr.
Program Manager, Supplier Diversity
United States Postal Service (USPS)
In his position as Purchasing and Supply Management Specialist, Program Manager Supplier Diversity, Mr. Warner is responsible for managing programs that promote Supplier Diversity through the nine–elements of the U.S. Postal Service Supplier Diversity Corporate Plan. He conducts projects for the design, development, implementation, evaluation, monitoring, administration, and improvement of national programs that promote advancement opportunities for diverse business groups.
Warner is a graduate of National-Louis University of Chicago, where he obtained both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in business management.
Houston District DirectorU.S. Small Business Administration
Houston District Director
U.S. Small Business Administration
Tim Jeffcoat is the Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Houston. He oversees the delivery of SBA programs and services in Houston and the surrounding 32 counties of Texas.
Most of Tim’s career has been private sector leadership roles in international business, marketing and business development. Tim’s career has required international assignments and global responsibilities.
Tim is a graduate of Auburn University with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Tim also has a BS degree in Music Business and a BS in Marketing.
Tim enjoys teaching economics classes in graduate school, has completed 4 iron-distance triathlons as well as the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, and was nominated for the SBA IKE Award in the category of Most Valuable Player.
Contract SpecialistFederal Reserve Board
Vasiliki “Shelly” Johnson
Federal Reserve Board
Vasiliki “Shelly” Johnson joined the Federal Reserve Board in 2007; a contract specialist at the Federal Reserve Board, located in Washington, D.C. Shelly’s 18 years of experience spans all the facets of purchasing, implementing process improvements, providing sourcing guidance to Division subject matter experts and section Contracting Officer Representatives through the procurement process to solicit, evaluate and award.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Speakers
Founder & CEO2M Research
Founder & CEO
Dr. Marcus Martin is the Founder and CEO of 2M Research (2M). He is responsible for 2M’s corporate vision, strategic growth, and teaming relationships. With offices in Arlington, TX, Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC, 2M is one of the fastest growing small business professional services firms in the country. 2M provides Federal Government agencies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, healthcare organizations, nonprofit organizations, and individual study investigators with a full range of first class clinical and public health research, program evaluation, econometric research, survey research, and statistical consulting services.
Dr. Martin is a first-generation college graduate who attended college on a football scholarship at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He received his PhD from Howard University with concentrations in Sociology and Applied Statistics, and his MPH from the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health with concentrations in Population Health and Epidemiology. He is a proud graduate of Jennings High School in Jennings, Louisiana.
Dr. Martin serves on the advisory boards of the Texas Academy of Math and Science and the University of Texas Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. He is also a former faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, and has a current adjunct faculty appointment in the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Through Dr. Martin’s leadership 2M debuted at No. 285 on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America.
Founder and CEOAmpcus
Ann Anjali Ramakumaran
Founder and CEO
Anjali 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 and Human Capital Management across the globe. Under her leadership she has cultivated Ampcus into a fast growing Consulting and Professional Services firm. For eight consecutive years (2009-2016), she has been recognized as a top Asian American owned business by the USPAACC. In addition, for the past seven consecutive years (2010-2016), 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 7 years (2010-2016). Ann was also awarded Women in Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by WIT and most recently received the Chairman’s Award for Inspirational Leadership from the CRMSDC. Ampcus has also received the Global Growth Award from Astra Women’s Business Alliance, Supplier of the Year Award from the GMSDC and the Top Asian American Business Award from the USPAACC-SE.
Ann works closely with her Advisory Board, whose advice/input on strategy and direction 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 actively involved in executing a consultative methodology to define, qualify and quantify Ampcus’ target clients, determine their strategic IT and business objectives and from this developed solutions which proactively address their current and evolving demands and needs.
Ann serves on the CRMSDC Board of Directors, WPEO Leadership Committee and the USPAACC Scholarship Committee. She has been a speaker at numerous National and Local Procurement and Diversity Conferences. In addition, Ann has mentored several women and minority start up’s in an effort to help them grow their business. Ann holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business and Commercial Management from India and has completed Executive Management from the Robins School of Business, University of Richmond Virginia and an Advanced Management from the Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University Illinois.
AJ Jaghori is a serial Technopreneur, Data Scientist, Inventor, Early Blockchain Pioneer, Founder of the MIT Social Genome Project, and a Fortune Magazine Most Influential People in Business - 40 under 40 nominee.
A self-taught, dyslexic coder, he started his first tech company at 17 from the back of a car in Palo Alto and sold it at 19. He’s since had 4 successful exits including to Google and Verizon, 2 failed ventures, a month-long digital detox with a Buddhist monk whose teachings helped him overcome burnout, and a patent litigation battle that nearly bankrupted him --- all before the age of 30. AJ is the CEO and Co-founder of personalized healthcare blockchain upstart Cura AI, Author of the upcoming book SURVIVING THE STARTUP ECHOCHAMBER. A counterintuitive model for accelerating from concept to market, and Entrepreneur In Residence at the Human <> AI Project where among other moonshots, his team is developing a platform that is capable of storing over 200 petabytes in a single gram of DNA.
Chief ExecutiveDr. Marcella McCurdy Consutling, LLC
Dr. Marcella McCurdy Consutling, LLC
Dr. Marcella McCurdy core mission is centered on “Bridging Gaps and Breaking Barriers” in the Career Development space. She is passionate about helping organizations, colleges, and universities develop their talent base, and cultivate a diverse culture to fulfil their mission. She is an advocate for interns, college students, and a voice for multicultural equality in the workforce and in education.
She is the Chief Executive of her own consulting firm, Dr. Marcella McCurdy Consulting, LLC which serves to close economic and workforce gaps by helping organizations recruit the right talent and assisting interns in building their careers. Dr. Marcella McCurdy focuses on IT talent development/recruitment, Succession Planning, Leadership Development, and Diversity & Inclusion.
PresidentInterstate Professional Group Inc. (IPG)
Kaylyn Scott Williams
Interstate Professional Group Inc. (IPG)
Interstate Professional Group Inc, a property preservation and inspection company serving both the government and private sectors. Established in 1996, IPG operates as a prime contractor in over 75% of the U.S. providing property preservation, multifamily construction inspections, and rent comparability studies for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and as a subcontractor for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
President & CEONOVA IQ
President & CEO
Rajeev Sharma is the President and CEO of nova IQ. He is responsible for ensuring operational excellence across the organization and leading the technology roadmap of the company. Rajeev also spearheads the partnership strategy and talent pool development in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Architecture, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation using emerging technologies.
Rajeev has more than 25 years of leadership and management experience, in addition to a strong engineering background in Enterprise Architecture, Product Design & Development, Solutions Architecture, Quantitative Analysis, Algorithms & Modeling, and Engineering Process Design. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he served as the senior rocket scientist and deputy project director of Agni III missile program of Defense R&D Organization in India.
Prior to joining nova IQ, Rajeev served as the Chief Solutions Officer at Ness Digital Engineering, a renowned global digital product engineering company. In this role, he played a vanguard role in creating a scalable, delivery framework integrating Experience Engineering, Big Data & Analytics, and Product Engineering. During his more than 4 years at Ness, he led solutions and sales enablement teams globally and led architecture programs for large complex client initiatives across multiple industries like Financial Services, Media, Retail, Healthcare & Life-Sciences, Education and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s).
From 2008 to 2013 Rajeev led the GE Infrastructure’s business in Polaris Software Limited as the VP- Engagement Management and Account Director. Shortly after this stint, he wore an entrepreneur’s hat as the President and Founder of Dynalead – A leadership and technology consulting firm helping small and medium size (SMB’s) businesses build their leadership and engineering strategy. In the recent past, Rajeev also served as the President & CEO of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey and the Board of YMCA in Edison, New Jersey. He is a published author and his book titled ‘Intuitively Rational’ was published in 2014.
Rajeev has a Graduate degree in Management & Systems Design from MIT Sloan School of Management & the School of Engineering Systems and as part of the program has also studied Public Policy and General Management at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School. He also has a Master’s Degree in Space Engineering & Rocketry and an Undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from India.
Executive Vice President, Client Relations and Business Development CompanyPyramid Consulting, Inc.
Executive Vice President, Client Relations and Business Development Company
Pyramid Consulting, Inc.
Namita Tirath is EVP of Pyramid Consulting, Inc., a global information technology company specializing in staffing, solutions and products Founded in 1996 in the Atlanta metropolitan area, over 22 years Pyramid has grown to a $250M global business with offices and operations in over 20 countries.
As the Executive Vice President of Client Relations and Business Development, Namita’s primary responsibility is to set Pyramid’s sales vision, to maintain the firm’s customer relationships, and to achieve its revenue targets.
Her scope of responsibility includes the US and Canada in North America, and she is also responsible for global operations that include India, Singapore and the UK. Namita began her IT career as a consulting Systems Analyst, and leverages both her technical and business perspectives for the benefit Pyramid’s clients.
Namita also devotes extensive volunteer hours to Atlanta’s technology community and IT professional organizations, including the Women in Technology (WIT), the Society for Information Management (SIM), and the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, among others. Namita holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming, and a Master’s of Science degree in Mathematics.
Founder & ChairmanUtegration, LLC
Founder & Chairman
Bin Yu is the Founder and Chairman of Utegration, LLC. He received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from Beijing Polytech University in 1991 and a master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Mays Business School, Texas A&M University in 1997. Prior to starting Utegration, Mr. Yu worked for Deloitte Consulting and SAP America where he led US Utilities Professional Service practice. Mr. Yu started Utegration in August 2008, and with his leadership the company has grown into one of the largest SAP Utilities Practices in the industry.
Mr. Yu serves as board director on the board of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in the last 5 years. Mr. Yu was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Asian Chamber of Commerce in 2013. Utegration was recognized as one of the top 25 minority firms in 2015, received the Aggie 100 award 2014 and 2015, named SAP Partner of the year in 2016, and awarded The Best Place to Work in 2016. Mr. Yu was also chosen as a winner of Immigrant Business Magazine’s Immigrant Entrepreneur. As a first generation immigrant, Mr. Yu strives to provide entrepreneurial opportunities to young professionals who are just beginning their careers.
DirectorWashington DC MIT Alumni Angel Group
Washington DC MIT Alumni Angel Group
Terry is an entrepreneur having founded and led multiple companies in mobile, payment and cloud both in US and China. He currently heads up Strategy at Kaleyra, a leading trusted cPaaS company with global footprint. An active angel investor and advisor, Terry was appointed by Virginia Governor to serve 2 terms at Center of Innovation and Technology that focuses on policy and governance for state funded innovation and entrepreneurship programs. On his spare time, Terry serves as President of Monte Jade DC Chapter, a 501(c) non-profit organization representing Asian American business leaders and entrepreneurs, and he leads the Washington DC MIT Alumni Angel Group. Terry is married and enjoys basketball, tennis, and golf.
VP, International Operations & Business DevelopmentTechnology Integration Group (TIG)
VP, International Operations & Business Development
Technology Integration Group (TIG)
Ying McGuire is the Global Vice President at Technology Integration Group (TIG), a San Diego based Technology Solution Provider with 25 offices in US, China, Canada, and a global partner network covering 4 continents. She also serves as a board advisor to Empower Billion Women 2020. Ms. McGuire came to TIG from Dell Technologies. As a Corporate Leader in a Fortune 500 company, she built and sustained high impact global initiatives across many functions and mentored numerous entrepreneurs and CEOs.
Ms. McGuire holds a variety of leadership roles in the community. She was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to the United States Investment Advisory Council. She serves as the first woman chair of an advisory board of the International Trade Center, a joint agency of United Nation and WTO based in Switzerland, and is currently a board member of the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council, and a founding board member of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC). She also co-founded the Texas-China Investment Summit.
MEA Magazine named Ms. McGuire Twenty-Five Influential Woman in Business. DiversityBusiness.com named Ying as an “America’s Top Diversity Advocate. Minority Business USA recognized Ying as one of its “Best of The Decade”. Ms. McGuire was a featured speaker at many regional, national and international conferences including the World Export Forum.
Born and raised in China. Ms. McGuire received a Bachelor’s degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. She immigrated to the U.S. and received a Masters’ degree in Business Administration of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona.