Speakers - 2019
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.
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.
Chief Technology OfficerCVS Health
Chief Technology Officer
Claus Jensen is the Chief Technology Officer for CVS Health, leading Technology Innovation, Business Transformation Incubation, Architecture Planning, Delivery and Forensics, Digital Integration and M&A activities across CVS Health. Plays a pivotal role in becoming a trusted health partner delivering a connected experience.
Claus is a transformational change agent. He and his team have been instrumental in critical initiatives such as defining and executing the Next Gen Platform strategy, creating a 3 year business platform transformation roadmap, launching the Digital Transformation program and optimizing the quality of Provider Directories.
Claus has been with CVS Health/Aetna since February 2015. His prior background spans 20 years of transformational leadership roles at Danske Bank and IBM. 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 five books and numerous articles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Office/External Affairs ManagerCity of Houston Office of Business Opportunity
Public Information Office/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 – OSDBUDepartment of Agriculture (USDA)
Michelle E. Warren
Acting Director – OSDBU
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.
Director - OSDBUU.S. Department of Energy
Charles R. Smith
Director - OSDBU
U.S. Department of Energy
Charles “Charlie” Smith is the Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), serving as the lead advocate for enhancing the use of small businesses to meet the Agency’s range of missions.
During Charlie’s career in both the public and private sectors, he developed an appreciation for business management and program development. Prior to joining the DOE, Charlie worked 13 years with the investment bank JP Morgan Chase, as well as with smaller companies, developing focused business strategies that helped government entities across the nation successfully achieve their missions. His experience forging successful government relationships with the business community has been one of his many noteworthy career accomplishments.
Charlie, a military veteran, received his commission from the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and served five years on active duty in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer onboard a guided missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, VA. Amongst Charlie’s many Navy contributions was his recognized leadership of the ship’s anti-submarine warfare division during three overseas deployments.
After Charlie honorably concluded his military career, he moved to New Jersey, to work on a congressional staff and subsequently in various roles in three state government administrations. Over the next fifteen years, Charlie served as a Senior Advisor to the Office of New Jersey Governor, as the Deputy Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, and as a Director in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Charlie was born in Massachusetts, and then was raised in upstate New York. He is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, and he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Princeton University.
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.
Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Speakers
Global Head, Supplier PartnershipPontoon Solutions
Global Head, Supplier Partnership
Award-winning executive and visionary leader with 20+ years of experience with Pontoon & Adecco Group developing and executing strategic global partnerships and MSP programs from the ground-up, aligning innovative services and value-added solutions with customer’s critical business initiatives. Passionate about fostering solid client and supplier partnerships collaborating with executives and senior leaders, understanding needs to implement, adopt and optimize the organization to achieve business objectives.
Former DirectorRice Angel Network
Rice Angel Network
Diane is an entrepreneur with expertise in venture industry. Her experience includes Director, Founder, Advisor, Investor Relations, and General Partner to Rice Angel Network, Innovation City, Convergence Ventures, NT Capital and EMBA Investments Fund. Additionally she is an LP with FemTech's Portfolia Fund with over 250 LP’s, the first fund in the US with a focus on women’s health and wellness. As CEO, she secured partnerships with Asia’s largest cosmetic, beauty companies. She has also created successful proprietary concepts and has extensive background in local, national, and master global license and franchise businesses. With experience in portfolio management and investment strategy, Diane created proprietary tech platform for funds.
She serves on Houston City Council Women and Diversity Committee and nominated for Center For Houston Leadership 2019. Diane is also involved with numerous venture committees including Houston Exponential, Grace Hopper, Hera Summit. With her extensive community leadership, she received an official proclamation from City of Houston and honorable awards from Texas House of Representatives. Diane earned her MBA at Rice University.
Director, Vendor PartnershipsTAPFIN
Director, Vendor Partnerships
Lisa has over 20 years of experience working in the staffing industry. She started her career at Adecco managing a branch office in Dallas, Texas working with recruiters and clients to provide contract labor. She then joined a start-up healthcare company as a corporate recruiter and grew their employee base from 3 to 500 full time colleagues over 5 years. Lisa has been with TAPFIN for 14 years supporting operations as a program manager for a large retail pharmaceutical company. After 9 years in operations, Lisa started up the Management of Vendor Partnerships team (MVP) to focus on providing innovative supply chain solutions, industry best practices, supplier diversity and performance excellence supporting over 50 TAPFIN clients.
Recently, Lisa was promoted to the Director role and looks forward to continue growing the MVP services and building strong relationships with operations teams, clients and vendor partners.
Lisa lives outside of Dallas, with her husband Jeff and daughter, Katie.
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.