Don Appleby, Systems Engineer, Faculty, and Author
Don Appleby is a technology consultant and educator with over three decades of experience in the information technology industry. He combines core principles and extensive real-world experience into a fast-paced, get-to-the-point classroom style.
Brian Rabon, CSM, CSP, MSEE, PMP
Brian M. Rabon, CSM, CSP, MSEE, PMP
Brian M. Rabon, CSM, CSP, MSEE, PMP is the President of The Braintrust Consulting Group, a provider of project management solutions for a wide range of software related projects. Brian holds a BS in Computer Science from Auburn University and a MSEE from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is an avid author, blogger http://www.braintrustgroup.com/blog and speaker at conferences, professional organizations, and user groups. Brian loves teaching and is an Instructor for UAB’s Information Engineering and Management Program, a contract instructor for New Horizons Birmingham and Solutions Cube Group, and a course designer for Samford University. Brian gives back to the community by serving on the Board of Directors for TechBirmingham, as VP of Programs for PMI Birmingham, and as the founder of Agile Birmingham.
Daniel M. BaezaDaniel M. Baeza, Ph.D., P.E; Chief Technology Officer, Green Point Partners
Dr. Baeza is the Chief Technology Officer at Green Point Partners. Dr. Baeza has over 35 years of experience in the fields of engineering, engineering management, and system design. He has architected and built numerous complex communications systems over the years and is at the forefront of innovative design. His infrastructure plans and installations have provided voice and data services for hundreds of thousands of businesses and to millions of people.
As a veteran scientist and project coordinator, Dan has been at the forefront of technological innovation throughout his career – first at Coulter Electronics, then at BellSouth, Bell Communications Research, and the prestigious AT&T Labs, where he directed a product performance lab, including environmental testing and analysis. Dan is also a patent holder as well as a published author, with several scholarly papers and a textbook to his credit.
Lura CampbellLura Campbell, Operations Director at AT&T (retired)
Vincent CirelVincent Cirel, SVP / CIO – Norwegian Cruise Line
Since early 2008 Vincent Cirel has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Norwegian Cruise Line in Miami, Florida. From 2003 - 2008 Vincent served as Vice President and CIO for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Both of these well-known and respected cruise brands, along with Oceania Cruises make up the current cruise industry portfolio of Apollo Management - today one of the largest and most successful global private equity firms.
With over a decade in international luxury tourism and nearly 20 years in information technology and engineering, Vincent adds a wealth of business, technology, and industry specific experience to the NCL executive team. After joining Regent as its first CIO, Vincent built a world-class IT organization facilitating the systems and process requirements to fuel the Regent brand expansion. Vincent also served as a key member of the executive team facilitating the Apollo acquisition of Regent.
Prior to joining Regent, Vincent served as Vice President and CIO for Grand Expeditions (GEI) based in Boca Raton, FL. As VP/CIO, he was a key contributor to the M&A activities of GEI as a roll-up of eight global luxury travel brands.
In addition to key industry memberships and certifications, Mr. Cirel holds several degrees including a BS in Mathematics and MSEE in Information Engineering and Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, as well as an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
David A. ConnerDavid A. Conner, Ph.D., P.E., Professor Emeritus E&CE at University of Alabama at Birmingham
David A. Conner holds the B.E.E. and M.S. degrees from Auburn University and the Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, is a Licensed Professional Engineer, and is a Life Fellow of IEEE. He is currently in his 50th year of practice as an Electrical Engineer having worked in academia, industry, and government. His longest engagement in academia was at UAB where he served as the founding Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the founding Executive Director of the Center for Telecommunication Education and Research. His primary industry engagement was with IBM where he was the engineering leader on a team that analyzed communication interference problems in the Apollo/Saturn spacecraft environment. In government, Dr. Conner served as Science and Technology Advisor to the Governor of Kentucky and as a Science and Technology Advisor within the US Congress. Although he has retired from UAB, Dr. Conner continues to teach at UAB on a part-time basis and serves as a consultant to the business and professional community.
Diann JacksonDiann Jackson, Regions Bank
Diann Jackson has been employed with Regions Bank for the past 30 years as a Systems Engineer. She supports many applications and currently focuses on the Risk and Legal applications. Diann holds Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is married and has 6 children between the ages of 15 and 28.
Dr. Kevin McCormackDr. Kevin McCormack, Ph.D., President at DRK Research & Consulting
Dr. McCormack is currently President of DRK Research, a global research network. He is also associated with several Universities such as National Graduate School, Skema (an International Graduate school), and is the Master Instructor for Supply Chain Risk with the Supply Chain Council. He has over 30 years of business leadership, engineering, teaching, research and consulting experience in the areas of information technology, operations management, and supply chain management. Dr. McCormack is also a judge for the Manufacturer of the Year award for the state of Alabama, home of several international manufacturers’ locations (Honda, Mercedes, Lockheed, BASF, Nucor, U.S. Steel, and Siemens Automotive) as well as dozens of defense and automotive suppliers. Some of his clients have been Chrysler, Daimler, Texas Instruments, USMC, USAF, Chevron-Phillips, Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Dow Chemical, Standard Charter Bank, Microsoft, Intel, several state governments, Wal-Mart, Campbell’s Soup, General Mills, and PepsiCo.
Dr. McCormack has degrees in Chemistry, Engineering, an MBA and a DBA. He has also developed and delivered courses in Information Technology, HR, Operations Management, and Supply Chain Management at the graduate and undergraduate level both in the U.S., China and Europe. He has published five books and over 100 articles in Quality Progress, Business Process Management Journal, Supply Chain Management, Benchmarking: A International Journal, Supply Chain Management Review, and several others.
Tanveer PatelTanveer Patel, Founder & CEO of Exerceo LLC
Tanveer is an experienced entrepreneur with almost two decades of experience in Information Technology in the healthcare arena. For many years, she has worked with small to large companies (Fortune 500) including GE medical Systems. Her business experience, as well as her expertise in handling growing companies, managing risk and developing international relationships is a keystone to ensure our long term commitment to clients and excellence of our services.
Ms Patel has been investor and adviser for multiple organizations, including Healthcare companies such as Comply MD and Secant Healthcare. She founded and led CircleSource a Healthcare Software Development Company until its acquisition in 2010. She has also served in the Board of HIMMS, was a member and founding member, Vice President of the Red Crescent Clinic of Alabama, and currently serves as President of Birmingham Venture Club.
Mrs. Patel is a gifted public speaker, and routinely gives talks related to strategic planning, start up development/growth, and international business.
Strategic planning, Startup development/growth strategies, International business.
Steven PuckettSteven Puckett
Mr. Puckett has over 20 years of experience in bringing technology to the marketplace with a diverse background in many industries and technologies. As an author and adjunct professor, Mr. Puckett has developed the skills to communicate complex technical issues and solutions to students, clients, industry leaders, and government officials. He develops and implements creative solutions for the utility, telecommunications, and smart building industries. His clients include the U.S. Marine Corps, AT&T, Southern Company, Schlumberger RMS, Siemens Engineering and Automation, and Cloud Technologies, Inc.
He is skilled and experienced in designing and deploying wireless mesh, municipal wireless, and Broadband Over Power Line networks in the U.S. and abroad. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Puckett has launched several companies, including Network Convergence Associates, American IP, International Network Technologies, and a wireless telecommunications company
serving Birmingham, AL business customers with data, VoIP, and video services. Recently, he launched Digital Direct, a digital media and advertising solutions company, which creates innovative advertising platforms by integrating web-based media with HD televisions.
As a founding member of SMART Development International, Mr. Puckett’s focus in on integrating technology, communications, and sustainability for the building, data center, and utility industries. Mr. Puckett has designed solutions that answer many of the issues related to the Smart Grid, Cloud Computing, and building automation systems. These solutions include low cost transmission and distribution monitoring systems, Single Rack Cloud Data Centers, environmental and lighting control sensors, and wireless building control systems.
He holds a BS in Physics from Auburn University and a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Executive Information Engineering Management program.
Ray ShafferRay Shaffer, Principal at FCL, LLC Consulting
A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Ray is the Principal of FCL, LLC Consulting, a technology consulting company specializing in interim management and "C" on demand services. He brings over 30 years of technology and executive management experience across multiple business environments.
Prior to forming FCL, LLC, Ray was the Director of Information Technology at BBVA Compass Bank, and Director of Technology at Regions Financial in Birmingham, AL. Ray also was the Director of Application Delivery at GMAC, and the Chief Architect for R.L. Polk Company in Detroit, Michigan. His experience also includes working with manufacturing, direct marketing, and retail organizations.
Ray graduated from Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania with a BS in Computer Science in 1985 and received his MSEE from the University of Alabama, Birmingham IEM program in 2008.
Sanjay SinghSanjay Singh, Ph.D., Vice President at CTS, Inc.
Dr. Sanjay Singh holds a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems and Strategic Management from the University of Georgia. He is a partner in Computer Technology Solutions, a software engineering firm specializing in implementing business solutions. Additionally, he is also an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Over the past 15 years, Sanjay has consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies and private organizations like Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, UAB Health System, Baptist Health Systems, Southern Company, Duke Energy, Alliant Energy, BellSouth, Deutsche Telekom, IBM, and Microsoft. Further, he has lectured in 10 countries and studied over 200 companies in Europe, North America, and Asia. Sanjay specializes in the use of information technology for strategic planning and implementation. He was the past President of Society for Information Manager – Alabama Chapter and serves on the Boards of Rotary Club of Downtown Birmingham, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Tech Birmingham, and Alabama India Business Partnership. He is married to Dora Eugenia Pineda-Rivera and enjoys vacationing with his two children Vivek Gabriel and Indira Evangelina.
Jennifer Skjellum, President at RunTime Computing Solutions, LLC, IEM Instructor
Jennifer Skjellum is President and owner of Runtime Computing Solutions, LLC. RunTime Computing Solutions provides software and solutions for the high performance and embedded computing space. Her previous company, MPI Software Technology, was a profitable software and services company and was acquired in 2003.
Jennifer has extensive experience teaching courses in communication theory, public speaking, and business communication. In addition to her role in the IEM Program, she is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in the Department of Communication Studies. Jennifer is also active in her community. She is a volunteer for Junior Achievement. In 2008 Jennifer was the Chairperson of TechBirmingham and continues to serve on its Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) awarded Skjellum the Top 40 under 40 in February, 2009.
Gary SwatzellGary Swatzell, Lead Technology Architect at Southern Company
Gary Swatzell has advanced the strategic technology planning for electric utilities for over 26 years. Swatzell is currently working on Smart Grid initiatives and is considered an industry expert on Smart Grid and wireless technologies.
Swatzell is responsible for designing, maintaining, documenting, and communicating all aspects of Southern Company’s Information Technology infrastructure and network. In 2007, Swatzell represented IT with Southern Company’s Smart Meter project. He assisted with the selection of the Smart Meter technology and negotiated the Smart Meter vendor contract. In 2002, he was published in the “Society for Design and Process Science” magazine. The article explored the system integration aspects of mobile computing. That same year, he received the “Electrical Engineer of the Year” award issued by the Alabama section of IEEE. In 1999, Swatzell represented Southern Company in negotiations with the FCC regarding the moratorium issued by the FCC on frequency applications in the 900 MHz spectrum. Swatzell’s negotiations resulted not only in the FCC lifting the moratorium; the FCC also provided more frequency spectrum for utilities. From 1987 to 1998, Swatzell was responsible for the design and implementation of Southern Company’s Distribution Automation network, which today monitors and controls over a million points on the Distribution system.
Swatzell holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Tim TaylorTim Taylor, Founder Endius
Mr. Taylor is the co-founder and VP of Engineering of Endius, Inc. a Boston based surgical device company. The world’s largest orthopedic company Zimmer acquired Endius in March, 2007. Before being acquired Endius was one of the fastest growing spinal device and implant companies in the U.S. and has raised more venture capital money in 2003 and 2004 than any other medical device company. Investors include Morgan Stanley Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Polaris Ventures, New England Venture Capital, Hickory Venture Capital and Hillman Medical. After hiring a seasoned CEO, Tim resigned from Endius in 2000 to move back south and currently works as a contractor for NASA and lives in Birmingham with his wife and 12 year old daughter.
Tim published an entrepreneur – non-fiction book Launch Fever in 2003 that reached the Top 200 online listing at Barnes and Noble. In 2010 he published a children’s fiction book Byron’s Adventure.
Gary YorkGary York, Ph.D., Entrepreneur
Gary York is an experienced consultant, entrepreneur, and technologist with a track record of starting and growing technology companies to success. He has over 25 years of experience in the areas of enterprise commercial software development. He has held technical and executive positions with leading software companies. Currently, Gary advises early stage technology companies seeking to establish high growth rates and to develop innovative, market-leading products and services.
Gary is the founder and former Chairman of Awarix. Awarix provides enterprise patient care visibility solutions for healthcare providers to improve patient flow and improve patient safety. Awarix increases the visibility of clinical events along with patient, staff, and asset location to improve workflow and communications for the healthcare enterprise. Awarix addresses the critical problems of patient diversion and nursing shortages to help increase revenue, reduce cost, improve productivity, and improve patient satisfaction. The Awarix solution has been deployed at leading hospitals in the U.S., England, and Germany. Awarix was sold to McKesson in 2007.
He is the founder and former CEO of ComFrame Software Corp., a leading information technology consulting company employing over 100 software experts in Birmingham, Nashville, and Beijing. ComFrame has been recognized as one of the fastest growing and most successful startup companies in Birmingham. ComFrame has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in the country. Gary is a board director for ComFrame.
Gary is also founder, former President, and Chief Technology Officer of Emageon, Inc, an enterprise medical imaging solution provider for healthcare. Emageon has captured over 200 hospitals nationwide including Kaiser Permanente, Baptist Healthcare System of Alabama, Sisters of Mercy Healthcare System, Sutter Health, BJC Healthcare, and St. Vincent’s Hospital. Emageon has successfully changed the medical imaging market by providing scalable, enterprise-wide medical imaging solutions. In early 2005, Emageon had a successful Initial Public Offering.
Gary received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, and served as a research fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a popular speaker and author in the areas of entrepreneurship and technology.
Drew DeatonDrew Deaton, President and CEO at Vipaar, Inc.
Drew Deaton is a successful healthcare and technology entrepreneur previously with CareFusion, Inc, a Fortune 500 medical technology company with industry leading medical devices and healthcare informatics technologies. He joined CareFusion, Inc. through MedMinedTM which uses healthcare informatics company to identify patients with hospital acquired infections and reduce their occurrence. Mr. Deaton has held operations, finance, and executive roles within MedMined and CareFusion. He began his career at Ernst and Young, working with entrepreneurial and technology companies in Research Triangle Park, NC and Birmingham, AL.