Mike Thompson is the CEO of SVI, a talent development company on a mission to create irresistible companies and extraordinary people.
Mike and SVI partner with complex global organizations to engage, train, assess and develop their entire workforce. As one of the most forward thinkers in leadership, Mike coaches executives and next generation CEOs at many of the world’s largest companies. He has toured the world and studied leadership in some of the most primitive environments to gain deeper- level leadership insights in all types of communities and cultures around the globe.
Mike is the author of three top-selling business and leadership books, The Organizational Champion: How to Develop Passionate Change Agents at Every Level; The Anywhere Leader: How to Lead and Succeed in Any Business Environment; and, most recently, Forging Grit: A Story of Leadership Perseverance.
Mike holds a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Ethics from John Brown University, serves as the president of the Dallas Chapter for the Association of Talent Development, and has received numerous recognitions, including Business of the Year finalist and the 40 Under 40 Award in his home state of Arkansas.
Prior to founding SVI, Mike was the founder and president of ThompsonMurray, a leader in in-store marketing. Mike also served six years in the Air Force and Air National Guard as a life support technician providing instruction on land and water survival, and tactical evasion.
Mike lives in Dallas with his wife, Mel, and their two children.
As the Director of Emerging Technologies and Online Programs for the Brain Performance Institute, Dr. Lara Ashmore focuses on cultivating strategic partnerships and the commercialization of Center for BrainHealth’s scientific discoveries. Among her initiates are the creation of virtual learning communities for the Brain Performance Institute and the development of mobile applications, including online brain training programs and cognitive assessments. She also oversees the Brain Performance Institute’s virtual reality and gaming lab, which creates engaging and immersive environments for the Center for BrainHealth’s social cognitive training programs.
Lara received her Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of Virginia and has more than 25 years of Internet design, development and research expertise. Her area of research was Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences combined with advanced internet technologies to increase learning outcomes. While completing her doctoral dissertation, Lara worked at the University of Virginia Advanced Technology Group in R&D and with America Online during the earliest stages of the World Wide Web era. Lara's research interests include neuroengineering, wearable technologies, virtual, mixed and augmented reality, immersive learning environments, social impact and innovation.
Paul Bryant joined EST Group as an information technology professional with experience in design, implementation, optimization and troubleshooting of complex enterprise storage systems; he is vital to our technical team. He has vast knowledge of Dell EMC, Nutanix, VMware, other evolving technologies and has worked in a variety of accounts including global 500 companies with 60 petabytes of data. Paul helps keep the team on the cutting edge of emerging technologies. Paul joined EMC in 2010 as an engineer. He consistently dedicates his time to increasing knowledge, acquiring technical skills and achieving certifications while looking for solutions to increase productivity and reduce system downtime.
As an Adobe solutions consultant, Donna works with educational institutions from K12 through higher EDU to help them meet their digital strategy goals through digital workflows using Creative, Document and Marketing Cloud applications and services. Before joining Adobe, Donna consulted for over 20 years in the corporate, government and education fields to enhance the learning process across creative applications.
Frank has 35 years of experience in Information Technology. He joined UT Dallas in 2015 as the Director of Research Computing shared services. In early 2016, he also became the AVP of Enterprise Applications.
Before joining UT Dallas, Frank was the Executive Director of Central IT at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the U of A, Frank spent three decades in private industry IT leadership roles. His stops included 11 years with McDonald’s Corporation, 4 years with McDonald’s global supply chain integrator, and 2 years with US Cellular.
Frank has led all aspects of IT, including application development, research, architecture, infrastructure, operations, project management, and client services.
A native of Illinois, Frank holds a Masters degree in Computer Science and a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Akbar Kara is the CTO of an advance research & education network, Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN). Akbar studied Electrical Engineering at the City College of New York and Business management at New York University. Akbar is Chair Emeritus of Internet2’s Network Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) and an active member of IEEE/ACM Supercomputing SCinet committee.
At LEARN, Akbar leads a team of engineers responsible for network engineering and operations for the statewide optical transport and IP/MPLS networks. LEARN operates 30 points of presence and the network spans over 3,200 route miles. LEARN is a non-profit organization which connects Texas K-12, higher education, researchers, and public service organizations to commodity Internet and national research and education backbones. LEARN services are used by a large number of public schools, community colleges, and research universities in Texas. Under Akbar’s leadership, LEARN is the first non-profit network to enable 100G capability to support research in Texas.
Suresh Kumar is Senior Manager, Smart City (IoT) Solutions at Cisco. He has 13 years of experience in product management, business development and strategic partnerships. He helped build Cisco’s Smart City solution portfolio strategy & developed key ecosystem partnerships. He has been involved in Cisco’s work in digital transformation of Cities globally, especially as it relates to smart lighting (energy efficiency), smart parking / traffic analytics (urban mobility), air quality management & early warning systems (urban resiliency) & citizen engagement. Apart from Smart Cities, Suresh has worked extensively in Smart Buildings and Smart Home market segments. He has been at the forefront of innovation in IoT & Edge Computing.
Prior to Cisco, he has driven commercialization of new products at various high-tech startups and fortune 500 companies. He is passionate about new product-market fit discovery in the high-tech world.
Suresh has Masters in Business Administration & B.E. (Hons.) Computer Science degrees from leading universities in India. He lives in San Jose, California with his wife and a 5-year old daughter
Henry Neeman, Ph.D.
Henry Neeman is the founding Director of the OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research (OSCER), Assistant Vice President for Information Technology - Research Strategy Advisor, Associate Professor of Engineering, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma (OU).
He received his BS in Computer Science and his BA in Statistics with a minor in Mathematics in 1987 from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, his MS in CS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1990 and his PhD in CS from UIUC in 1996.
Prior to coming to OU, Dr. Neeman was a postdoctoral research associate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at UIUC, and before that served as a graduate research assistant both at NCSA and at the Center for Supercomputing Research and Development, also at UIUC.
Dr. Neeman and his counterpart at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Dana Brunson, have been appointed joint co-leads of the Campus Engagement program of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the umbrella organization over the National Science Foundation's national supercomputing centers.
He also collaborates with the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators (ACI-REF) project led by Clemson University, and serves on the steering committee of the Linux Clusters Institute, as well as the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure, for which he chairs the Working Group on Learning and Workforce Development.
Doug Reeder is the Chief Technology Officer of Commercial Industries at NTT DATA, formerly Dell Services. In this role he helps organizations define and achieve their business objectives, develops new capabilities and competencies, and implements strategies to advance top line and bottom line growth for customers and the company.
Throughout his career, Doug has envisioned the future and made it a reality in the information technology and telecommunications industries, by designing, developing, and bringing to market innovative technology products and services that help organizations succeed. He previously worked with leading technology organizations including Dell, Perot Systems, Nortel Networks, and Electronic Data Systems (EDS).
Doug has a rich background as an innovation expert and strategic foresight leader identifying, evaluating, and assessing the potential of new technologies, business models, and processes and in bringing new value to customers and the company. He is an accomplished business technologist, strategist and thought leader with a patent in wireless technology (assigned to Apple, Inc.), and has authored and co-authored various articles, papers, and book contributions.
Doug has degrees in economics and finance and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas, is ITIL v3 Foundations certified, and most recently completed a Strategic Foresight Certificate at the University of Houston in the College of Technology Future Studies program. He gives back through various volunteer and community activities, teaching, mentoring, and advising start-ups and non-profit organizations and recently served as a Tri-Chair Leader of the Innovation Team at Tech Titans and currently serves on the Board of Directors at InterLink of North Central Texas.
Perry Samson is Arthur Thurnau Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Engineering and the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Prof. Samson's research interests include extreme weather dynamics, air quality modeling and effects of educational technology on learning. Perry is co-founder of The Weather Underground for the WILD Learning System and serves as Senior Vice President for Teaching Innovation for Echo360 Inc.
Chris Schreiber has nearly 20 years of IT and information security experience across the higher education / research, IT managed services, and financial services industries, including more than 9 years leading enterprise information security programs in both customer-facing and internal risk management roles.
Before joining FireEye, Chris was the CISO and HIPAA Security Officer at the University of Arizona where he was responsible for all aspects of information security across a decentralized university with more than 15,000 employees and supporting more than 42,000 students. Chris held prior information security and IT leadership positions with SunGard Data Systems (now Ellucian), the University of Wisconsin, and Central Michigan University.
Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and holds certifications including Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Project Management Professional (PMP).
Rajiv Shenoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Apogee, higher educations largest managed service provider of data, ResNet, and video solutions to drive the Student Experience. Rajiv is responsible for driving Apogee's vision, help foster the student experience through technology, and understand higher ed's future needs. Prior to CTO, Rajiv lead our Stream2 IPTV strategy and direction to help students watch live TV and connect with important university related content. Before joining Apogee, Rajiv was the Founder and CEO of OrcaTV, a digital media company that drives student success and engagement across college campuses through a unique, curated channel of university created campus. After two rounds of funding and consistent growth over 7 years, OrcaTV was acquired by Apogee in 2016.
Rajiv graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering Planning & Management and where he earned the Student Life Achievement Award and the Provost's award for Innovation. Shenoy is a resident of Dallas, an Eagle Scout, a proud husband and new dad, loves bad jokes, and playing basketball.
Mr. Skelton is currently the Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Business for the Richardson Texas Economic Development Partnership. His responsibilities include recruitment of foreign companies (foreign direct investment) into the city of Richardson and assisting local companies with their globalization and export initiatives.
His background includes being President and CEO of a small public software company, CEO of three start-up software companies, as well as VP/General Manager level roles with several high tech companies in Silicon Valley. Mr. Skelton's background also includes interim executive management level business consulting positions with two French companies and a Japanese company. Immediately prior to joining the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, he formed an international consulting company, EstablishUS LLC, to assist foreign based companies in launching their U.S. businesses.
Michael Skelton has a degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.
Scott is a senior consultant and a member of the AT&T PCI Leadership Team. His expertise is on the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standard. Scott was among the first to become certified by the PCI council. Prior to joining AT&T, Scott was the CISO for the University of Delaware. Scott has also held management positions with Bank One, Hercules, The Vanguard Group, and General Electric.
cott has 30 years of practical hands-on and managerial experience in Information Technology, the last 15 focused exclusively on information security. Coupled with his combination of technical skills in programming, systems administration and information security operations gives him a unique perspective in information security.
Scott has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Science from Elizabethtown College. He also holds multiple certifications in information security and project management. He volunteers his time as an ISACA boot camp instructor and has held positions with ISC2 and ISSA
B.J. Tucker is the VP of Infrastructure and Data Center Sales. He’s been providing Data Center Solutions for nearly 20 years. He manages a team of people who focus on customizable end-to-end solutions for our customers. These solutions include storage, servers, networking, firewalls, and server/desktop management. EST takes a holistic approach to data center solution design. It is not about selling boxes, but rather bringing the right set of technologies together as a solution and providing value to the business. Customers value this approach and EST has grown to be one of the largest regional technology providers in Texas. EST provides additional value by integrating key technologies such as virtualization, consolidation, and integration. Prior to joining EST Group in 2012, B.J worked for large companies including Rockwell Automation, IBM and Sun/StorageTek. He graduated with a BSBM in Business.
Rustomji "Gi" Vania
Rustomji "Gi" Vania is the Director of Enterprise Architecture for the Office of Information Technology at UT Dallas. He has over twenty years of professional IT work involving networking and Linux system administration. Prior to UT Dallas Gi worked at SIU.
Gi coordinates centralized cluster computing and network connectivity. He is instrumental in developing extensive state and national level exposure for UT Dallas.
Gi is excited to be a part of the UT Dallas environment because the level of research happening here is cutting-edge. It is his goal to help researchers break ground on fascinating research.
When not at work, Gi stays busy. He is a Ham Radio operator, Taekwondo blackbelt and avid swimmer.
Walter Everett Voit is a tenured associate professor at UT Dallas where he explores the thermomechanics of shape memory polymers, flexible bioelectronics, next generation neural interfaces, 3-D printing, degradable polymers and the effects of ionizing radiation on polymers. Voit is a cofounder and CTO of Syzygy Memory Plastics, which has licensed IP from both Georgia Tech and UT Dallas in pursuit of next-generation acoustics and electronics products based on shape memory polymers.
Voit co-founded Adaptive 3D Technologies and Ares Materials in 2014 and co-founded Pascalor, Qualia and Polycraft World in 2015. In 2016 Qualia nucleated new subsidiaries including the Qualia Foundation, Qualia Labs, Myelife Solutions, and Skin Aware.
Voit is the President and Science and Technology Chair of the Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards through the National Institute of Standards and Technology and an International Atomic Energy Agency consultant in the field of radiation crosslinked shape memory polymers.
Voit is a DARPA Young Faculty Awardee and DARPA Director’s Fellow and works with industry including Texas Instruments, GlaxoSmithKline, Verily, Medtronic, Qionics, Halliburton, Qorvo, Plexon and Zyvex. Voit graduated high school valedictorian and was recruited to UT Dallas via the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program. As a McDermott Scholar, Voit worked at Los Alamos National Labs and at nanotechnology startup company Zyvex. Voit received a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.S. in Artificial Intelligence from UT Dallas.
Voit’s Master’s thesis work was conducted under the mentorship of Prof. I. Hal Sudborough where their team helped improve the upper bound of the pancake problem which has not been beaten since (Bill) Gates and Papadimitriou published on the subject in 1979. Voit was named a Presidential Scholar at Georgia Tech and was selected to the TI:GER program. Voit performed doctoral work under the guidance of Ken Gall.
Voit has authored and co-authored more than 50 manuscripts and book chapters (15 authored in 2016) with an H-index of 16 and an i10-index of 20. He is inventor and co-inventor on multiple patents, provisional patents and invention disclosures and enjoys basketball, soccer, snowboarding, rafting, hiking and travelling. Prof. Voit currently mentors 2 research professors, 5 technicians, 10 post docs, 15 doctoral students, 2 masters students, many undergraduate students and several high school students and helps manage startups. Voit has graduated 7 doctoral and 7 post docs who have launched their own successful careers: faculty positions; employment with large industries; consulting work; and self-employment.
Dr. Rym Zalila-Wenkstern is an Associate Professor at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. She holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and the Doctorat de Specialite in Computer Science from the University of Tunis, Tunisia. Dr. Wenkstern is the director of the Multi-Agent and Visualization Systems lab. Her research projects are sponsored by several organizations including the National Science Foundation, Sandia National Laboratories, Rockwell Collins and the Department of Education. She has served on several international conference organizing committees and numerous program committees.
Dr. Wenkstern is the founding director of the Executive Masters of Science in Software Engineering program at UT Dallas. She has worked as a consultant for U.S. and European organizations and is the CEO of ZW Corp, a startup specializing in the development of web-based multi-agent systems. Dr. Wenkstern is twice the recipient of the Erik Jonsson School's Teaching Excellence Award.