As executive vice president of transformation at LeasePlan USA, Smolka is leading the strategy to drive modernization and innovation across the U.S. subsidiary and launch the company further into its journey to deliver what’s next for fleet, mobility and connected vehicles. Smolka’s career has consistently revolved around digital transformation, developing cutting-edge technologies and leveraging the power of big data to create and deliver value. With a strong history of successes, Smolka is a proven leader poised to transform the fleet industry. Smolka has an MBA from Emory Goizueta Business School.
James “Mac” McAnally is the Vice President of the Adaptive Management Services organization within HPE Pointnext.
Mac started with HPE in 1985 and has held a number of positions in the Customer Solution Center, Field, and Support Sales organizations. Most recently, Mac led the IoT and Edge Delivery Organization before moving into his current role.
Previously, Mac led the start-up of the Costa Rica Global Solution Center and served as the Site Manager ensuring readiness and the successful transition of existing and new businesses into Costa Rica.
Before leading the Costa Rica operations, Mac managed the Americas Value Solution Center, the Mission Critical Solution Center, and the TS Account Management Program. In addition, he started and managed the Field Support Engineering team and spent two years on-site as a Major Account Support Manager for Worldspan. He has also held various positions in the Solution Center as a Project Manager, Production Engineer, and Response Center Engineer.
Mac resides in the Atlanta area with his wife and their two children. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and friends in outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing, cycling, and dirt bikes.
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Ryan Hollenbeck serves as senior vice president of global marketing for Verint Systems. In his position, he is responsible for driving global marketing, digital and content marketing, marketing communications and operations, and sales enablement. He also is executive sponsor of the Verint Customer Experience Program that focuses on gathering a deep understanding of the customer journey and translating that information into actionable intelligence. In addition, he serves on multiple boards for industry associations and tech start-ups.
With more than 25 years in high-tech marketing, Hollenbeck brings a wealth of experience in market positioning for technology companies. During his 10 year tenure with Witness Systems—which in 2007 combined with Verint—he served as vice president of corporate marketing and investor relations. Prior to that, he held management and leadership positions with Dun & Bradstreet Software, Prentice Hall Professional Software and Crescent Communications (now Ketchum). Hollenbeck holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree with an economics minor from Oregon State University.
As the Executive Director for B2B in the Southeast Market, Racheal Nagrowski is responsible for driving core growth, IoT connections, an excellent customer, and employee experience. Her team is comprised of 650 individuals, who specialize in sales, sales management, pre and post sale engineering, and white glove customer care. Rachael has 18 years of industry experience, including management of outside, technical, inside, and retail sales teams, as well as support teams. Her focus is achieving growth, developing a positive culture, mentoring others, and sharing and learning from best practices.
Prior to her current role, Rachael was the Director of Strategic B2B Sales in Georgia Alabama territory for 2 years. Prior to, she served as the Director of Data Sales for the Georgia Alabama Region for 3 years. Racheal was successful in these roles due to experience she gained as an Associate Director of Strategic Sales, Manager of Government Sales, and a Business Account Executive. She joined Verizon Wireless in 2007, after years of work in Wireless Retail management for a competitor and a Marketing Organization focused on technical sales. Racheal holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree form Georgia State University.
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Want to stay abreast of current tech developments or expand your professional network? Subscribe to our events e-newsletter here and check out our tech-only events here. All events take place right here in Alpharetta. Tech Alpharetta is proud to be a provider of locally-based, stress-free and commute-free tech events.
Want to get involved? Check out one of our tech events, or come tour/join Tech Alpharetta’s incubator! You can also subscribe to our events e-newsletter here.
Karen Cashion is CEO of Tech Alpharetta, which was created by the City of Alpharetta in 2012 and is now a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization. Tech Alpharetta’s mission is to identify opportunities and initiatives to help grow technology and innovation in Alpharetta. In addition to its strategic advisory board, Tech Alpharetta runs a thriving tech startup incubator in Alpharetta, and hosts tech thought leadership events for tech executives.
Karen is also the founder, Chairperson, and past president of the Greater Alpharetta Tech Network (“GATN”), also a 501(c)6 organization, which she formed in 2013 in order to provide the Greater Alpharetta technology community with a locally-based technology organization whose mission was to connect technology executives through tech thought leadership, educational, and networking events. GATN merged into Tech Alpharetta as of January 1, 2018.
Karen is an attorney with twenty years of experience as a commercial litigator and corporate technology lawyer. Karen began her career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, and in addition to law firm practice, has served as Assistant General Counsel for EarthLink and Legal Counsel, Global Technology for Travelport, LP in Atlanta.
Karen received her J.D. with high honors from Duke University School of Law, where she served as Senior Editor of the Law & Contemporary Problems Journal. Karen received her Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Emory University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Karen has served as a Commissioner on the City of Alpharetta’s Planning Commission, is a 2014 graduate of Leadership North Fulton, and is a graduate of the 2015 Georgia Academy for Economic Development. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the North Fulton Bar Association. Karen currently serves on the Advisory Board for the University of North Georgia’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and on the Advisory Board for Vinings Bank. Karen and her husband and two children are longtime residents of the city of Alpharetta.
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Matthew A. Thomas is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Alpharetta.
Prior to coming to Alpharetta, Matthew led Economic Development at the City of Canton, Georgia from 2013 to 2018 helping bring more than $500 million in new investment, over 300 new jobs, downtown revitalization, and new citywide branding.
Before joining the City of Canton, he also gained experience at the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he strategically worked on building metro Atlanta’s technology ecosystem.
Matthew is a graduate of the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.
Matthew is a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Julie Haley Bio
Julie Haley is the Founder and CEO of Edge Solutions. Julie’s invaluable 20-year career as a business and commercial litigation attorney, with a focus on driving public sector initiatives, drives the success of Edge Solutions. Julie uses her intimate knowledge of the community and greater southeast region to establish and maintain relationships with key customers, as well as set goals and direction for the overall organization. In addition to serving as Edge CEO, Julie continues to donate her time in service to the community. Currently, Julie sits on the Board of Governors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board of Directors, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Alpharetta Technology Commission, Board Member for Gwinnett Technical College, and serves on the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center. Julie was named as the North Fulton Small Business Person of the Year in 2011, CRN’s Top 100 Women of the Channel in 2011 through 2017, and Georgia’s Women in Technology’s Woman of the Year in 2015.
Edge customizes data center/cloud services & products to solve our clients’ business problems, specializing in hyperconverged infrastructure that simplify IT environments & cut costs so that clients’ IT budgets can be focused on innovation and disruption. For more information, visit https://edge-solutions.com/.
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As Senior Vice President of Product Development, Jimmy leads and oversees the Global Product and Technology groups responsible for supporting the TotalSource (PEO/BPO) business and the Next Generation Global Payroll (Pi) effort. Since joining the TotalSource senior leadership team, Jimmy has guided the R&D team to deliver industry leading benefits and ACA modules, along with significant upgrades to analytics and sales tools. Jimmy is also a member of the Global Product and Technology senior leadership team where he is the Executive Sponsor and Program Director for ADP’s next generation payroll program.
Prior to these roles, Jimmy led the product development for a startup company, Employease, delivering SaaS HR and Benefits. Jimmy joined ADP in 2007 with the Employease (HRB) acquisition, where he led the GPT teams as the product grew from $20M to $180M in revenue. As Vice President, Product Development, Jimmy led the HR/Benefits teams for the launch of Workforce Now in 2009, and was the GPT Sponsor for the Workforce Now 2.0 release in 2010. The Workforce Now solution has more than 80,000 HCM clients today.
Jimmy earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He works in Alpharetta, GA and resides in Cumming with his wife and three sons.
Todd Harris, Co-Founder, Hi-Rez Studios and President, Skillshot Media
Todd Harris (@ToddAlanHarris) – Todd is Co-founder of Hi-Rez Studios, one of the largest video game studios in the Southeast, and President of Skillshot Media, the largest dedicated esports production company on the east coast.
Todd submitted his first computer game to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of his college application, since writing games was more fun than writing essays. After obtaining his BS in Computer Science from the same university, Todd entered the software engineering industry, eventually managing product development at NCR, Radiant Systems, and BlueCube Software.
In 2005 he left FinTech for the games industry when he co-founded Hi-Rez Studios. Hi-Rez’ titles include the mythology themed, action MOBA SMITE and the fantasy team-based shooter Paladins, both played as competitive esports. In 2018 more than $4,000,000 will be earned by the best professional Smite and Paladins players around the globe, and between Hi-Rez Studios and Skillshot Todd works with partners to advance the development and production of new and existing esports.
Stephen Pair is the co-founder and CEO of BitPay, the world’s leading provider of bitcoin payment technology.
In 2011, Stephen co-founded BitPay with Tony Gallippi because he saw Bitcoin’s potential to transform payments for businesses and consumers. As CEO, Stephen is involved in directing the day to day operations as well as the long-term vision of BitPay, from research and engineering to product development and information technology.
Stephen has 20 years of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries. Before founding BitPay, Stephen held various roles including entrepreneur, architect, manager, team lead and developer. He started programming at a young age and spent much of his early career focused on languages, compilers, operating systems and virtual machines. Later, he developed an interest in the mechanics of financial markets, economics, and monetary systems as well as developments in cryptography.
Stephen has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds two patents in the field of streaming analytics.
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Vijay Raghavan is the EVP and CTO for the Risk and Business Analytics division of RELX Group. He is responsible for software development, information systems, security and data center operations. Having spent 30 years in Information Technology, Raghavan has extensive experience in diverse technology functions, with oversight of the full software development lifecycle for high-availability applications which are powered by high performance supercomputing platforms.
Previously, Raghavan served as Vice VP Technology, LexisNexis, where he was responsible for application development and support of the insurance products.
Prior to joining LexisNexis, Raghavan was the CTO at Paragon Solutions; and before that, at McKesson, a Fortune 15 company, where he was a VP of Product Development.
Raghavan holds a B.E. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and completed an Advanced Executive Education Program in Management, Innovation and Technology at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
As Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Edwina is responsible for Avanos’ global information technology strategy development and delivery, including architecture, applications, data management, technology, telecommunications networks, and day-to-day operational support. She is also leading their Business Transformation program – a global initiative to streamline business processes and implement enabling IT technology.
Prior to accepting this role, Edwina served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer for medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. She led their IT organization’s transformation, creating a global organization focused on delivering competitive advantage for the Company.
Edwina has more than 30 years of global IT experience, including directing strategic initiatives and leveraging technology to help organizations become more competitive. She began her corporate career at Kellogg Company, where she held leadership positions in the United States as well as Brazil and Mexico. Following Kellogg, Edwina joined Johnson & Johnson in 1999 in their DePuy orthopaedics medical device unit. She assumed roles of increasing responsibility, eventually serving as vice president and program manager for a global ERP deployment for Johnson & Johnson’s medical devices and diagnostics business until joining Zimmer Biomet in 2010.
Edwina earned her bachelor’s degree in computer technology from Purdue University, and was named a Distinguished Technology Alumna by the school in 2009. She serves as a member of its Department of Computer Technology’s Industrial Advisory board and Purdue Polytechnic’s Dean’s Council. She also serves on Marian University’s Technology Advisory Board and on Tech Alpharetta’s Board. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Robert Hendricks is the President of Technology Solutions and the CIO at Integra Connect, where he is responsible for all product and technology delivery to support the lines of business. Prior to Integra Connect, he was the Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Technology Officer for McKesson Technology Solutions for 14 years, with experience driving scale across technology organizations including CMMI and Scale Agile Framework, in addition to product portfolio management and acquisitions. He holds an MBA from the University of Auburn, was voted Who’s Who in Technology in Atlanta in 2015, and received the Phoenix Award for Health IT Community Leader of the year in 2016.
SVP and CTO SG Lottery
As CTO of the Lottery Group, Walt Eisele is responsible for all aspects of global product development and quality for Scientific Games’ Lottery systems and technologies. The product development responsibilities encompass central systems, terminals, interactive, sports betting and inventory management as well as other support systems. Eisele is responsible for global teams that include locations in the US, Europe and India.
Prior to joining Scientific Games Lottery Group, Eisele served as Vice President of Technology for Bally Technologies and was responsible for all aspects of product development, quality and compliance for Bally Technologies’ Game Platform and related systems. The product development responsibilities encompass hardware, operating system, firmware as well as peripheral support systems. Bally Technologies was acquired by Scientific Games November of 2014.
During his tenure with Bally, Eisele has been responsible for strategic technology which included the development of new technologies with an emphasis on the integration of games and systems, server-based gaming technology and overall product direction. Eisele led the Bally Innovation Lab, which is responsible for the creation of new systems-based gaming product gaming innovation. Eisele has played a major role in the development of the Company’s Download and Configuration management system based on game-to-system (G2S) protocols. He oversaw product development activities for Systems products which included re-creating the Company’s Slot Data System (SDS) and Casino Marketplace (CMP) products to modern software architecture standards, as well as directing the Company’s high-speed networked slot floor technology based on the latest industry G2S standards.
Eisele joined Bally Technologies in 2004 when Reno, Nev. – based gaming technology company Sierra Design Group (SDG) was acquired by Bally.
Prior to Bally’s acquisition of SDG, Eisele, who joined SDG in 1999, was a Senior Engineer and a member of that company’s engineering management team. Previously, Eisele was Senior Engineer/Architect for two Northern Nevada technology start-up companies. He also was a senior systems analyst for the State of Nevada information systems department.
Director, Corporate Citizenship and Community Relations
Susan is Director, Corporate Citizenship and Community Relations at Aprio and by all meanings of the word, a connector. By more than virtue of her career, Susan loves meeting and building relationships with individuals from all areas of business. In her roles at Aprio, Susan is responsible for driving business development across all industry sectors serviced by the firm. Susan’s willingness to help companies be successful has led to her own personal career success.
Susan’s specialty lies in the technology and venture capital industries, two industries that go together hand-in-hand. She is known throughout the Atlanta business community for her passion for connections, which resulted in Susan being recognized as one of the Top 50 women you need to know in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, as one of the 100 most influential people in the tech community and as a finalist for the 2012 Turknett Leadership Character Awards.
As the director for corporate citizenship and community relations, Susan acts as the main point of coordination regarding civic and community activities throughout the firm. Her role is to maintain open communication with civic leaders and community partners, creating good will on behalf of Aprio.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fresno State University in Journalism. Her professional and civic affiliations include:
Mr. Moccia has over 20 years of experience in the software development industry and is the founder and CEO of OneSpring LLC, an experience design and development consultancy based in Atlanta GA. OneSpring was founded in 2005 with the vision of designing better software products and services for its clients through the use of Human-Centered Design. OneSpring was one of the first companies to utilize rapid prototyping, user experience, and visualization principles to help clients understand their user needs prior to development. These techniques are now utilized by companies and government agencies across the nation.
Under his leadership, OneSpring has grown from a hand-full of customers to over 50 large commercial clients and Federal agencies. He is recognized as a leader in the consulting space with a focus on Agile design techniques and Customer Experience best practices and has written numerous articles on the subject.
Mr. Moccia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida with a focus in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Georgia.
UPS Supply Chain Solutions
Darren is the President of Information Technology for UPS Supply Chain Solutions, where his teams design, build, and manage technology solutions to compete in the global third party logistics (3PL) space. Darren is also the CIO of Coyote Logistics, a technology-driven freight brokerage a company UPS purchased in August 2015. Darren’s focus is delivering functional, attractive, efficient, and sustainable supply chain technologies for UPS’s thousands of supply chain clients, from startups through Fortune 50 companies.
Darren holds two information system degrees plus an MBA from Vanderbilt. In 2017, he was recognized as the Technologist of the Year by ITA CityLIGHTS in Chicago, IL.
Karyn Mullins, President, Healthcare Staffing Technologies
Karyn Mullins is a proven executive leader with experience in healthcare, technology, and Internet businesses/e-commerce. In her role with Healthcare Staffing Technologies, she is responsible for strategic planning as well as running day to day business operations. Karyn has a reputation for strategic vision, creative direction setting, and fostering partnerships throughout all levels of the organization.
Prior to joining Healthcare Staffing Technologies (a Jackson Healthcare company), Karyn served as Vice President of Marketing for Lightyear Direct, a leading provider of digital x-ray technology in the dental market. She has also held marketing management positions at CipherTrust and Internet Security Systems where she served as a significant contributor to each company’s explosive growth. Karyn holds a Bachelor of Administration from Stetson University.
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Ashok Vantipalli – BIO
Ashok Vantipalli assumed his role as Vice President of Information Technology at Tirehub in 2018.
Vantipalli joins Tirehub from Sage Software, where he served as the Global Vice President of Application Delivery. In this role, he was accountable for Digital Transformation of the business from an on-prem to a SaaS company. He was also responsible for transforming 10 regional technology teams into one global function and shared services.
Prior to joining Sage in 2016, Vantipalli was the Turnaround Architect of American Cancer Society’s business to a “Digital/Mobile First” organization that delivered innovative mobile fundraising and new digital platforms, resulting in net new revenue streams for the organization.
Previously, Vantipalli spent more than 15 years in technology and management consulting, serving financial services, media and healthcare clients. At Alvarez and Marsal (A&M) Consulting, he served in interim CIO/CTO roles to support mergers and acquisitions and technology transformation initiatives for his clients. During his tenure at A&M, he also served as the Head of Technology Operations (U.S., Europe and Asia) for the largest bankruptcy and turnaround in U.S. history – Lehman Brothers.
Prior to A&M, Ashok was with McKinsey & Company, where he was the key driver of a multiyear technology transformation initiative. He began his technology career in Merck’s Clinical Trials and Research Labs Division. He later spent more than five years at KPMG Consulting, where he served as engagement manager and technology architect for large-scale system integration projects.
Ashok received a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and statistics, with a concentration in computer science, from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He later earned a master’s degree in computer science from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Having relocated to Atlanta in 2012, Ashok resides in Milton with his wife and three kids. He is an active member of Atlanta technology community and also a board member at TechBridge – a non-profit that supports smaller non-profits with technology needs to increase their mission outreach.
I have an undergraduate degree in Health Care Administration from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Illinois and an undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies from Limestone College, Gaffney South Carolina. I have a Dual Master of Arts Degree in Computer Information Systems and Human Development from Webster University, St. Louis Missouri. I have served twenty-two years in the United States Navy, and retired in 1994 as an E-9 Master Chief Mess Management Specialist (Submarine Service). While in the U.S. Navy, I was an Instructor Skills Facilitator, and Leadership and Management Instructor. I earned the designation as a Master Training Specialist and have been teaching since 1984. I was a Restaurant Manager from 1995-2004, serving as Food Service Director at Greenville County Detention Center in Greenville, South Carolina and Manager of several Golden Corral Restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area. I have been an Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at Gainesville State College since 2005. I hold CompTIA’s A+ Computer Certification, CompTIA’s Network+ Computer Certification, and Certiport’s Internet Core Computing Certification. I am married to the lovely Marion Turk Mobley-Anderson. I have four children and one grandson.
Dean of Computer Science
Gwinnett Technical College | 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5702 | www.GwinnettTech.edu
Office Location: Building 700, Room 2.207C
O: 678-226-6505 | F: 770-685-1284