November 2009 - Alumni Spotlight - Randy Sutton

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the November 2009 IEM Newsletter.

November's featured IEM alumnus is Randy Sutton, Engineering Manager at Vulcan Engineering Company. Randy’s responsibilities include; completing design reviews, creating project control mechanisms, and initiating and refining standards for pricing and project control. Prior to joining Vulcan, Randy was a Project Engineering Manager with HMC Technologies in New Albany, Mississippi. A common thread throughout Randy's career has been a passion for process, more on that later.

Randy received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UAB back in 1991. Randy entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. Randy is a member of several professional organizations including; ASPE and NCEES. Another interesting fact about Randy is that he is a Registered Professional Engineer in seven states throughout the Southeast.

Recently Randy shared some of his thoughts regarding his IEM experience. Here they are in his words:

"I felt much improved in several aspects, but certainly the greatest value I took away from this program was the confidence it built for me. I have a new found desire to believe, develop, and execute new plans both business and personal that I once would have dismissed, or made excuses to avoid. This confidence and expanded tool set has made me more keenly aware of my desires and capabilities. It indeed enhances my performance and maybe more importantly my motivational point of view.

My technical interests were jolted back alive in software engineering. My experience in project management made "Technical Project Management" very fun for me, I got to share a lot of insight based on my experiences. But I would have to say my favorite was probably Don Appleby’s "Strategic Management." It kind of brought it all together for me and reinforced my comfort level with ways to evaluate strategic thinking and decision making.

The human aspect of this experience snuck up on me. I did not expect to have so much in common and become so close to many of my classmates and instructors; it was truly a pleasure to be there, in the moment."

In "Business Process Modeling" Randy authored a well written and interesting article on flowcharts. Randy uses flowcharts in order to “foster understanding” and “bridge the gaps” when he has a process to explain.

Join Randy on LinkedIn.

October 2009 - Alumni Spotlight - Alan Hill

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the October 2009 IEM Newsletter.

October's featured IEM alumnus is Alan Hill, Center Director and Regional Coordinator at the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). Alan’s responsibilities include: coordination, directing staff, marketing, and business development. Prior to joining ATN, Alan was a Senior Project Engineer/Senior Sales Engineer with Clarage Fans/Zurn Air Systems Division. A common thread throughout Alan’s career has been a passion for ISO, more on that later.

Alan received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UAB back in 1988. Alan entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. Alan is a member of several professional organizations including: Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

Recently Alan shared some of his thoughts regarding his IEM experience. Here they are in his words:

"The greatest value I received from the program was its focus on management practices and principles. I especially liked the speakers that were brought in for the various classes. Insight into their management strategies was interesting and beneficial in my management development.

My favorite class had to be Strategic Management. Shortly before I pursued my IEM degree, I was promoted to Center Director. As part of my responsibility, I became more involved in my organization's strategic management process. This class provided me more insight and a better understanding of this process.

I had several unexpected things that I valued from the IEM program. One was a better understanding of information technology processes such as network systems, network security and software development. The other was the caliber of professionals the program brings in. I thoroughly enjoyed working on class projects with fellow students and found myself learning a great deal from these professionals."

Alan chose to partner with Janaki Peri for his graduate project . Alan was able to utilize his expertise with ISO in order to create a book entitled "A Practical Guide For ISO Quality Management System Implementation."

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August 2009 - Alumni Spotlight - Chris Lumpkin

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the August 2009 IEM Newsletter.               

August's featured IEM alumni is Chris Lumpkin, Chris is an ASP Administrator III with Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Overall Chris has ten years experience in system administration and seven years of Systems Design and Architecture. In addition to his day job, Chris is also teaching Implementing Active Directory in Windows 2003 Environment at ITT Tech.

Chris came into IT from an untraditional path when after receiving a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Montevallo University. In 2007 he entered the IEM program and hasn’t looked back since. One of the biggest surprises for Chris was that the IEM program was very introspective. He learned about goal setting and controlling his destiny and now feels he is capable of achieving more than he ever thought possible.

Chris’ favorite class in the IEM program was Business Process Modeling, because he felt that it really summed up the whole program. During the class, he was able to utilize many of the skills gained in the program in order to look for ways to make business processes more efficient. A close second was the Software Engineering course where he was able to see how a software project comes together from behind the curtain.

Chris took a different tact when choosing a topic for his IEM senior project, he decided to pull several goals together and achieve them all at once. He ended up writing a book entitled E. mortal. Chris got the inspiration for this project from many sources; after reading The Goal, he realized that you can teach technical concepts by telling a story, in addition he had committed to a writing group to product a chapter, and finally with the guidance of Don Appleby, his technical advisor. If you are interested in learning more about Chris’ book visit his website at

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July 2009 - Alumni Spotlight - Johna Ledlow

This alumni spotlight was originally shown in the July 2009 IEM Newsletter.

July’s featured IEM alumna is Johna Ledlow. Johna is a senior consultant with more than fifteen years experience in the areas of project management, information technology and telecommunications.  This exertise has been utilized in the areas of accounting, banking, construction, finance, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. Johna has partnered with various organizations on software implementations, data management, technology strategies, compliance, security solutions and business intelligence.

Johna received her Peace Officer’s certification from the University of Alabama Law Enforcement Academy. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Samford University. Johna holds her Master of Theological Studies from Spring Hill College and a Master of Engineering Information Management from University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Johna appreciated a number of facets of the IEM program including: networking with like-minded professionals, industry instructors with real-life business experience, and the community leader speakers. For her graduate project, Johna revisited the premise that IEM was founded upon, “asking senior leadership about their needs in future leaders”. This project represented Johna’s favorite class in the program. One unexpected benefit that Johna received from IEM program was having an accountability partner to help her grow.

Since graduating from IEM in May 2009, Johna has been filling her spare time with reading, attending cooking classes and wine tastings.

Johna and her husband, Jim, reside in Trussville and attend Holy Infant of Prague Catholic Church. Johna enjoys spending time with Jim, their four dogs and cat.

Johna treasures the friendships she has made with students, instructors and alumni during her 20 months of IEM course work. Johna would be happy to speak with any prospective student and share her experiences while attending the program.

Join Johna on LinkedIn.