More than 200 people filled the Medical Properties Trust Commons October 19 for the 2nd Annual IS Tech Expo at the UAB Collat School of Business. The event, which focused on the use of artificial intelligence in Birmingham’s tech community, connected business students with information systems professionals while raising $12,000 for student scholarships.
“It was a truly inspiring event for Birmingham’s technology community,” said Greg Jenkins, director of the cyber division of Cornerstone Technical Group and Collat IS Advisory Council member. “Local tech leaders and their HR departments had the opportunity to meet with UAB’s top tech-focused students, and the students had the opportunity to glean helpful insights from these leaders, all with the goal of propelling UAB and Birmingham forward.”
Collat’s Information Systems Advisory Council and the Department of Management, Information Systems & Quantitative Methods and Graduate School of Management hosted the expo, which featured a mixer with nearly 50 working professionals and 150 students followed by a panel discussion.
Jay Brandrup, principal at Kinetic Communications, moderated the panel discussing the state of artificial intelligence in Birmingham’s business community. Students learned how local tech companies are implementing AI and addressing the burgeoning technology’s benefits and challenges. Panelists included Ron Blahnik, CIO of Hibbett Sports; Eric Garner, CIO/COO of Aldridge Pite, LLP; Jason Nunnelley, Fractional CTO of Disruptive Founders; and April Sargent, Director of Information Technology, Southern Veterinary Partners. Online UAB students were able to watch the discussion online and ask questions.
Event sponsors enjoyed a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception immediately following the panel.
“Many thanks to the local companies that stepped up to sponsor the event and contribute their experiences to the panel session,” said IS professor Sam Goh, Ph.D., one of the event’s organizers. “It was a pleasure to see our students packing out the Commons, eager to meet with the local companies.”
Jenkins, who conceived the idea for the expo in 2022, worked with IS professors Samuel Thompson, Ph.D., and Sam Goh, Ph.D., school staff, and other tech professionals on the council to plan the event. This year’s event was nearly double the size of the inaugural event. See event photos opens a new website
The 2023 IS Tech Expo sponsors included:
- Hibbett City Gear*
- Motion Industries*
- Southern Veterinary Partners
- Aldridge Pite, LLP
- American Cast Iron Pipe Company*
- BlueCross/BlueShield of Alabama
- Brasfield & Gorrie
- Cornerstone Technical Group
- Drummond Company
- Regions Financial
- Sigao Studios*
- Southern Company
- Southern Research Institute*
* Plankowners, a sponsor of the inaugural IS Tech Expo