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.
June’s featured IEM alumna is Janki "Jani" Peri, Project Manager with XcitekSolutionsPlus. Jani’s responsibilities include: management of an off-shore development team, architecture and design for a Swift Custodian Interface, and software development lifecycle management. Prior her current role at XSP, Jani was a Senior Software Engineer. In total Jani has over eleven years of total software development and full lifecycle experience.
Jani received a BS of Commerce from Osmania University in 1989 and a BS of Law from Nagarjuna University in 1993. Several years later after the encouragement of her mentor and Chief Technology Officer, Dan Rezter (also an IEM alumni), she entered the IEM program. Jani is one of the most recent alumni of IEM program, graduating in May of this year.
Q&A with Jani
Question: What was the greatest value that you received from the program?
Answer: I learned a lot from the IEM program. The program gave me the confidence to speak publicly, network with a whole group of people and challenge myself to work hard. Today, after the completion of the program, I feel confident that this will lead me to other opportunities in my career.
Question: What was your favorite class and why?
Answer: Project Management was a class that I enjoyed a lot. It taught me the various facets of project management and gave me a 360-degree view of this process. This was a hands-on experience since everything that I learned in the class was directly applicable to what I did at work.
Question: What did you get from the program that you didn’t expect?
Answer: I expected to learn a lot of academic knowledge, but I did not expect any real-world experiences in the classroom. We had several visits by senior-level management from various companies who shared their experience in leadership. They also shared their unique perspective on what qualities a good leader should have.
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May’s featured IEM alumnus is Ken Sawyer, Senior Application Systems Architect with Valmont Industries, Inc. Ken’s responsibilities include: serving as Architect, Developer, Development Team Lead, Project Manager and Business Analyst for various engineering, manufacturing and database applications, and leading the charge to adopt the Agile Scrum framework.
Ken received a BA in Human Relations from Samford University. In addition he received a Master of Education from The University of Montevallo. Ken entered the IEM program in the fall of 2007 and graduated in 2009. In addition to his academic achievements, Ken has successfully completed a number of certifications including; Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), MCAD, MCSD, MCP, and PMP.
Ken considers himself a generalist and really enjoyed the diversity of the IEM program, especially the networking and business simulation courses. Overall he felt that he received the most value from the Project Management course because it spurned him to take his career to the next level (Ken earned the PMP designation while in the IEM program). Overall Ken feels that the IEM program provided tools and techniques that he could immediately use at work and that all of instructors were very passionate about what they were teaching.
Ken and his wife Liz live in Pelham. They are currently enjoying each others' company, after having successfully raised two boys (Rob and Benji), several dogs, and even horses. Rob is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy and Benji is a Senior Web Developer at Brother. Both Rob and Benji have families of their own and have made Ken and Liz very happy grandparents.
One of Ken’s biggest passions is for scouting. Ken holds a number of awards from scouting including; Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver, Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor, and Order of the Arrow Founders’ Award. In addition to scouting Ken enjoys traveling, especially when he is visiting his two sons and their families.
Join Ken on LinkedIn.
April's featured IEM alumna is Carlette Durham, Senior Supplier Diversity Analyst in Supplier Relations & Diversity of Alabama Power Company’s Supply Chain Management organization. In her role she serves as the primary point of contact for major business units within Alabama Power and is responsible for understanding the procurement needs of those business units and translating those needs into opportunities to do business with diverse suppliers. Additionally, she is responsible for creating and managing programs that continue to develop and expand the pool of potential diverse suppliers, as well as ensuring that the Company and its business units are in governmental compliance.
Carlette graduated with honors from Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) in 1996 earning a B.S. in Physics. In addition to her B.S. from Stillman, she earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005.
Carlette sees herself as a tweener (someone who lives in the space between business and technology). She felt that the IEM program was the perfect fit to help her broaden her horizons and work within her busy schedule. Her favorite instructor in the program was Kevin McCormick and her favorite class was the Entrepreneurship series. She felt that she was immediately able to take the new concepts she learned in IEM directly back to her desk at work.
Carlette is very active in the community, including serving as President on the Committee of 25 for Girls Incorporated (a junior board) and as a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council – South board of directors. She is a member of the Alabama Power Service Organization, Southern Company Women in Business & Technology, Southern Company Campus Action Team for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Word of Life Christian Center where she is active in the Ministry of Helps. She also served on the 2007 United Way Leadership Team as Chair of Leadership Givers.
Carlette describes herself as an achiever who is confident in her abilities. She has always worked hard and strived to be the best that she can be. In doing so she was able to attend her undergraduate program on a full scholarship and have many great successes in her career at Southern Company.
Carlette’s hobbies include reading, traveling, and helping others.