Kaplan - Transcender – Content Developer
Robin M. Abernathy has been working in the IT certification preparation industry at Kaplan IT Certification Preparation, the owners of the Transcender and Self Test brands, for more than 15 years. Robin has written and edited certification preparation materials for (ISC) 2, Microsoft, CompTIA, PMI, EC-Council, and ITIL certifications and holds multiple IT certifications from these vendors. Robin provides training on computer hardware and software, networking, security, and project management. Over the past couple years, she has ventured into the traditional publishing industry by technically editing several publications and co-authoring Pearson’s CISSP Cert Guide and CASP Cert Guide. More recently, she has presented at technical conferences and hosted webinars on IT certification topics.
Dr. Jean Andrews has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, including more than 13 years as a college educator. She has worked in a variety of businesses designing, writing, and supporting application software; managing a PC repair help desk; and troubleshooting wide area networks. Andrews has written numerous books on software, hardware, and networking, including the best-selling A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC. She lives in north Georgia.
College of Southern Nevada – Professor
Scott S. Beckstrand earned his Ph.D. from the University of Teesside in England. For the last 20 years, he has served as a Professor of Computer Information Technology at the College of Southern Nevada. He teaches several courses that map to CompTIA certifications. Dr. Beckstrand’s primarily focus is teaching in an online environment. He also serves his community as a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician.
R. Emmanuel Bell Consulting – Founder
Raymond E. Bell is the founder of R. Emmanuel Bell Consulting, a training and facilitation company. Mr. Bell is a social entrepreneur, keynote speaker and facilitator. He is devoted to teaching and coaching young adults how to become I.T. professionals. Through his workshops, courses and coaching programs, Mr. Bell shows young adults how to get out of the unemployment line and on a career path. Raymond’s passion is to empower young people to take ownership and control of their own destiny. In 2009, Bell founded The H.O.P.E. Project, also known as the “Harvard of the Hood”, an I.T. career training program. The H.O.P.E. Project has been called one of the best I.T. career training programs in the country by the President of the Help Desk Institute (HDI). Graduates earn an average annual salary of $43,000 working on major government contracts, such as Lockheed Martin, World Bank and CACI. Mr. Bell is considered one of the leading experts on I.T. career training and workforce development in the United States. Mr. Bell has received numerous awards for his work including the 2014 R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center Innovator of the Year, 2014 BDPA Washington DC Chapter Member of the Year, 2012 National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Nation Builder Award Recipient, for his outstanding work developing world class I.T. professionals. Raymond Bell has been seen on and/or featured in Ebony, ABC, CBS, WHUR, NewOne Now, Bloomberg News, Washington Post, National Public Radio, National Journal, BET and many other media outlets.
ITProTV – Co-Founder and CEO
Tim Broom is the co-founder and CEO of ITProTV. The IT industry and non-traditional training methods have always been two of Tim’s primary interests. Prior to developing ITProTV, he spent 15 years of his professional career in the learning and certification training industry. This history combined with his passion for constantly finding new technologies and new directions to move in put Tim in a perfect position to mold the future of IT training. Experiencing the gaps of traditional training practices as a hands on operator, he envisioned a turning point for IT education and certification preparation – a synchronous web delivery platform, streaming live and pre-recorded video. Tim lives with his family in North Central Florida and enjoys hobbies of traveling and flying planes in his down time.
Investors Bank – SVP Chief Culture Officer
Dennis Budinich is the SVP Chief Culture Officer at Investors Bank. He is a member of The National Speakers Association and has been a speaker for numerous corporate events and at industry conferences across the country.
Immediately prior to joining Investors Bank Dennis Budinich co-founded FTC Methods Inc in 2004, a highly successful professional development and consulting firm which operated primarily in the financial services industry. In his capacity as co-founder, Dennis developed engaging learning programs, and was a highly sought after public speaker, motivator, and educator.
Before co-founding his company, Dennis was recognized as a premier entrepreneur and business leader. He has owned several successful businesses, including a gourmet bread bakery, an auto paint supply company, and a restaurant. He also excelled in the world of financial sales where his achievements carried him to the levels of Top Producer, to Sales Manager, to Program Director.
Throughout his entire career, Dennis has dedicated himself to helping others be their best by sharing with them the most effective success principles and how to apply them. In all of his high-energy learning programs, Dennis shares the information he acquired in the fields of positive psychology and self science, as well as his personal experiences as a successful financial professional and entrepreneur.
Dr. Mark Ciampa
Western Kentucky University & Cengage Learning
Mark Ciampa is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky and holds a PhD in Digital Communication Systems from Indiana State University. Prior to this he was an Associate Professor and served as the Director of Academic Computing at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee for 20 years. Mark has worked in the IT industry as a computer consultant for the U.S. Postal Service, the Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service, and the University of Tennessee. He is also the author of over 23 technology textbooks, including Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals 5e, CWNA Guide to Wireless LANs 3ed, Guide to Wireless Communications, Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security In Your World 4e, and Networking BASICS.
Western Governors University – Program Manager/Faculty
Katie has been with WGU (Western Governors University) since 2015, starting as a Course Mentor/faculty in the College of IT and now serving as a Program Manager in the College of IT. Katie earned her in BS in Information Technology and her MBA in IT Management from WGU. As part of the WGU curriculum, she obtained her CompTIA certifications in Security+, Network+, and Project+ to add to the A+ certification she held before enrolling. Katie has worked in IT for over fifteen years and in higher education for four years.
Target – Senior Director, Cybersecurity
Tim is a seasoned security leader with over 20 years’ experience building and running information security programs, large and complex incident response engagements, and threat and vulnerability assessments. He has deep experience in cyber-threat intelligence, reverse engineering, and computer forensics. He is a recognized thought leader and author/co-author of 14 books to date as well as regular training and speaking engagements at information security conferences.
Tim is Senior Director of Cyber-Security for Target. There he has built and leads the Computer Security Incident Response Team where they are working on using innovative and new techniques and technologies to achieve world class security.
Ron Culler, Jr.
Secure Designs, Inc – CTO/Executive Vice-President
Ron Culler is co-founder of Secure Designs Inc., a premier Managed Internet Security Provider to small and mid-sized businesses. He currently serves as the CTO, technology architect, MSS visionary and security evangelist for the company. With more than 23 years of experience in the technology, channel and security fields, he is an out-of-the-box thinker actively engaged in expanding the understanding of security and technology for businesses of all sizes. Ron’s expertise as a security consultant, technology innovator and industry thought leader is in high demand with companies, business councils and technology associations. A regular speaker and writer on channel issues, technology legislation, cloud and internet security, he is particularly known for his thought leadership role in encouraging small and mid-sized businesses to protect their data and personal assets from the growing body of IT threats and breaches. He is an active member of multiple industry advisory councils and boards, and is the vice chair of the CompTIA IT Security Community.
Ricoh USA – Director, Training & Knowledge Management
Stan Godard has more than 30 years’ industry experience across a wide variety of technical and management roles. Stan’s varied technical and management experience, in addition to his demonstrated success in building a robust certification and training program for one of the world’s largest service organizations, makes him uniquely qualified speak to the value of certifications to both the employee and the employer. Stan holds numerous industry Certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+. Stan also is an active member of the CompTIA Certification Advisory Council and Committees.
Outside of work, Stan is an avid outdoorsperson who enjoys running, camping and golf. He is also a general aviation pilot.
John R. Heyman
Unisys University – Director Content Development & Delivery
I am responsible for the custom content development for Unisys University and I manage a team of content developers. I'm also responsible for the management/maintenance of our learning management system and for delivering content to our employees either through our UniVirtual Learning portal or through onsite training. As part of my work with content development and delivery, I am responsible for the certification prep programs that we offer to our employees; that includes both building the learning programs to support certification preparation as well as providing access to the exams utilizing Unisys University funding. Given that we have significant demand for a wide range of certifications, it is imperative that we provide the most cost effective way to both train employees as well as get them certified. Finally, in addition to my content related responsibilities, I manage the Unisys University budget and our third party partner/vendor relationships. The responsibilities of that role result in an even greater incentive to maximize our savings at all times.
South Bend Community School Corporation – Information Technology Instructor
Mr. Walt Jaqua has actively participated in the corporate I.T. business field for over thirty-five years with vast experience in managing, administering, servicing, and supporting a wide variety of information systems and networks. His instructional experience began in the early 1980’s while teaching repair classes on the original IBM PC to other technicians looking to advance their skills. Mr. Jaqua continued teaching technology to other technicians nationwide, in addition to his daily corporate duties, until 2009 when he left the business world to build the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Information Technology program from the ground up. Through his leadership, high school junior and senior students have had the opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience, earn college dual credits, obtain multiple industry recognized certifications, secure internships, and acquire part-time and full-time jobs. His alumni have entered directly into a career, attended post-secondary community college and university, and joined all branches of the military. Mr. Jaqua believes in lifelong learning and sets an example for his students by engaging in I.T. contract work during the summer, keeping his certifications current, and pursuing new certification paths for his students and himself.
Forsyth Technical Community College – Program Coordinator - Computer Information Technology
Gerald Kearns is a Program Coordinator/Instructor at Forsyth Technical Community College for almost 20 years in the Computer Information Technology (CIT) degree program. He holds a Master of Science degree in Networking/Digital Technology, along with several certifications. Twice he has been the recipient of the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award at the college and was a runner-up at the North Carolina State level teaching award.
Tami has been involved with IT training and sales since 1996, and started Technically Speaking in 2002. Technically Speaking provides technical instructors, consultants and courseware developers that travel the globe providing superior IT training. Tami has been active in her community and participated in many arenas: Actively involved in Federal and DoD Contracting and hold memberships in AFCEA and NDIA. Recently relocated to Nevada and joined the Northern Nevada Development Authority and participates on the Business Development Committee as well as the Workforce Development Board.
Hobbies include travel, snow skiing, hiking and golf.
IBM Security – Senior Security Strategist
Charles Kolodgy is a Senior Security Strategist with IBM Security. He has been involved in the IT Security field for over 30 years. His views and understanding of IT security were initially shaped during 16 years at the National Security Agency where he held a variety of analyst and managerial positions within both Information Assurance and Signals Intelligence organizations. He then moved to IDC, and as a security market analyst executed primary research projects, built security market forecasts, and identified market trends. He introduced ideas and concepts that have become commonplace. He is known for naming and defining the Unified Threat Management (UTM) market. At IBM Security, Charles drives portfolio strategy for targeted market categories, and creates and delivers security point-of-views to customers, analysts and internal IBM teams. He is a frequent speaker and blogger.
Hewlett Packard – Senior Manager, Certification Solutions Development
Jim Lucari leads certification development in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Global Sales and Partner Enablement organization. He is responsible for sales and technical certification exam development and program operation, certification course development, certification architecture and framework, translations, HPE Press publications, and remote lab operations. Jim has been in IT technology work for over 30 years with experience primarily in networking and storage technologies. He has 20 plus years of experience in training development and delivery with seven of those focused on certifications. Jim is also currently serving on the board of the ITCC.
Apex Systems – Vice President, Talent Acquisition & Development
Michele McCauley is the Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Development at Apex Systems. Michele graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She started her career in retail with the May Company working her way from Assistant Department Manager to Regional Trainer to Branch Human Resource Manager. Looking for a change in careers, Michele began recruiting in the Richmond office at Apex Systems in October of 1998. During her career, Michele won a Top Recruiter award, helped with Apex’s growth as the first Internal Recruiter, won Associate of the Year for Corporate Staff, and has managed various teams at Apex, including Internal Recruiting, Benefits and Compliance, Compensation, Employee Relations, Training and Development. Along the way, Michele has gained certifications in Human Capital Strategy, ROI Methodology and SPHR. Throughout her career with Apex Michele has played a role in standardizing the Internal Recruiting process, launching various training programs, including an Emerging Leaders Program, and has selected and customized training systems. Michele lives in Richmond, VA with her husband Larry, two daughters, Kelsey and Schuyler, and their greyhound, Shelby.
CompTIA – Senior Vice President, Global Business Development
At CompTIA, John McGlinchey is Senior Vice president for Global Business Development and is responsible for leading the global business development team in the promotion and sales of CompTIA Certifications. This includes the development and delivery of partnership relationships as well as cooperating with the education and training communities across the world.
A successful, dynamic, strategic and highly committed Senior Executive with 25+ years commercial experience most of which gained within the IT training and certification industry. Has a proven track record as a leader, directing sales staff in the consistent achievement of targets and performance metrics.
Dell – Marketing Director, Services Product Group
Kim Metz is the marketing leader for Dell’s Training and Certification programs. With over 20 years of Dell experience ranging from Sales to Product Development and Delivery, Kim leverages her thorough end-to-end knowledge of Dell sales motions and services processes to define Dell’s training product marketing strategy. Kim is responsible for integrating training and certification programs into Dell’s mainstream services business and ensuring there is a simple consistent framework across the various Dell businesses. She collaborates with the Dell Product Group, Sales and internal training teams to create common certification and learning paths aligned to Dell’s storage, server and networking technologies. Kim leverages these common frameworks and methodologies to develop a simple go to market strategy for Dell’s sales teams and customers. Recently, Kim led the Dell team to winning two prestigious industry awards in the Education space: TSIA’s “Innovation enabling customer outcomes / Education Services” and CedMA’s 2015 Impact Award.
Total Seminars – President
Mike Meyers is a technician, instructor, speaker and author. He is considered to the leading authority on secondary and post-secondary IT instruction in the world. In his 25 years of experience, Meyers has personally taught students from high school to US Supreme Court justices.
He has millions of books in print covering close to fifty different titles. Meyers is often on the road, speaking in the US and internationally, "preaching his gospel" on the importance of excellence in introductory IT instruction.
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers – Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Ms. Morris is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, a global training and skills development organization. She has spent the past 20 years holding various roles in enterprise and government sales, business development, product and partner management, operations, marketing, global strategies, and senior management in the Learning & Development and Financial Services industries. Ms. Morris works with several IT industry advisory groups providing leadership and vision to help maneuver the ongoing challenges around marketplace disruption. She is a proven leader with an in-depth understanding of IT channel education and works closely with many IT industry organizations including CompTIA, to identify and strategize on forward-looking development and growth opportunities in areas such as IT, cyber security, cloud, and workforce education to support IT Channel education for organizations and individuals.
NetCom Learning – Author, Entrepreneur, CEO of Learning
Russell Sarder is an award winning entrepreneur, author, and CEO of NetCom Learning. Under his leadership, NetCom Learning has become a multimillion-dollar business. In 2008, 2011 and 2012, Inc 5000 Magazine listed NetCom Learning as one of the fastest growing private companies in the USA.
Sarder is the author of Building an Innovative Learning Organization: A Framework to Build a Smarter Workforce, Adapt to Change, and Drive Growth. He has been featured in Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Daily News and the New York Times; his television appearances include CBS Market Watch, and NY1. Sarder is also a business practitioner and mentor for MBA students and alumni at Columbia University.
Sarder was the winner of the Executive of the Year 2012 by American Business Award, Top 10 Asian American Business Awards in the USA 2012 & 2011. Sarder is also the Chairman and CEO of Sarder Inc., a holding company that includes NetCom Learning, Sarder TV, Learning CMS, Sarder Learning, Ebiz9, Technology and Training magazine, and other smaller companies. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and CISCO CEO John Chambers have contributed to his technology magazine.
Sarder is a philanthropist and the benefactor of Netcom Learning's Sarder Scholarship, awarded monthly to individuals who wish to begin or advance their IT careers.
James Stanger (Moderator)
CompTIA – Senior Director, Product Management
Dr. Stanger is a respected authority concerning IT support services, Web technologies, network security, and open source. He is also a recognized authority in the field of IT certification and long-distance education, working in the field for over twenty years. He has managed and contributed to certifications for CompTIA (e.g., A+, Network+, Security+), CIW (Certified Internet Web Professional), Symantec, IBM, and the Linux Professional Institute (LPI).
James has written dozens of books and courses on security, Web technologies, and IT support, and has spoken and delivered training worldwide. He is also a respected distance educator, having given Webcasts and education events to audiences worldwide since 2002. He has designed and taught both traditional and on-line courses, and is also a respected blogger and social media consultant.
Learning@Cisco – Senior Director, Product Strategy & Marketing
With over twenty-four years of sales, marketing, product management and technical experience within the communications industry, Tejas Vashi is currently Senior Director, Product Strategy & Marketing for Learning@Cisco, within Cisco’s Services organization.
In this role, Tejas leads the Product Management team responsible for building and maintaining the comprehensive product portfolio strategy, establishing cross-company alignment and developing strategic industry partnerships aimed at redefining talent enablement for today’s digitized world. Through the IoT Talent Consortium, Tejas is helping create new industry benchmarks in global learning and certifications that will keep pace with the industry’s evolving job roles.
As head of Marketing, Tejas is also responsible for the business development, customer acquisition, industry alignment and the community strategy for the Learning@Cisco organization. Currently, he is establishing a new $1B+ collaborative knowledge services practice through the recruitment and transformation of traditional enterprise buying centers.
Prior to joining Learning@Cisco, Tejas was a key leader within Cisco’s Central Marketing Organization (CMO), and instrumental in driving industry thought leadership for solutions that integrate Routing, Switching, Network Management, IOS, and advanced technologies.
Tejas holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and an MBA in Marketing from Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA.
The 2112 Group – CEO and Chief Analyst
Larry Walsh is CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, a business strategy firm focused on improving the performance of technology companies’ direct and indirect channels. Mr. Walsh specializes in the development and execution of channel programs, disruptive sales models, and growth strategies for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 organizations. A seasoned journalist, analyst, author, industry commentator, and founder of Channelnomics, Walsh previously served as editor of Information Security, VARBusiness, and Ziff Davis Enterprise’s Channel Insider and Baseline Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @lmwalsh2112.
Network Development Group – President
Richard Weeks is the President and co-founder of the Network Development Group. He has worked in Information Technology for over 26 years. NDG’s mission is to help academic institutions teach and academic learners develop information technology job skills.
NDG has developed several new online courses designed to help learners with zero IT knowledge develop Linux system administration skills. The first course helps learners become proficient with the Linux command line skills that are often difficult to master, given the graphical user interfaces typical to most consumer based computing resources. NDG has developed a method to provide learners a virtual machine built into the content for a user-friendly, “learn by doing” approach.
Dr. Deanne Wesley
Davis iTEC Center – Department Chair and Cyber Security Center
Dr. Wesley is a cybersecurity professional and has appeared as a subject matter expert on Fox8 and Time Warner News discussing recent advances in cyber security vulnerability. She has also appeared as a panelist for the Winston Salem Chamber on a Cyber Security topic. As an instructor she teaches Information System Security, Computer Forensics and Cisco Networking courses in the Business Information Technology Department.
Recently she, led the initiative on behalf of Forsyth Technical Community College to the prestigious designation of Center for Academic Excellent (CAE) for Information System Security and Cyber Programs. Additionally, Dr. Wesley has assisted with the development of Cyber curriculum for k-12 stem initiatives and works with the Cyber Curriculum Taskforce. Dr. Wesley has vast experience in online education, curriculum mapping, grant writing, research and program evaluation. She is a published author of various technology related articles. She holds a PhD in Education Leadership with a focus in Instructional Technology. She has presented at various conferences including several presentations at The Colloquium Information System Security Education Conference, Women in Cyber Security, CompTIA Educators Conference and North Carolina Computer Instructor Conference (NCCIA). Furthermore, she has obtained the following certifications; IC3, Security +, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Instructor (CCAI).
Jill West, co-author of Network+ Guide to Networks, 7th edition, and A+ Guide to IT Technical Support, 9th edition, brings a unique cross-section of experience in business, writing, and education to the development of innovative educational materials. She has taught multiple ages and content areas using a flipped classroom approach, distance learning, and educational counseling. Jill currently teaches at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, and she was instrumental in piloting a flipped classroom program for learning support courses at North Georgia Technical College. She has over a decade’s experience working with Jean Andrews in textbook and digital content development. Jill and her husband Mike live in northwest Georgia where they homeschool their four children.
Dr. Tracey Wilen
Thought Leader, Speaker
Dr. Tracey Wilen is a prominent thought leader and speaker on the impact of technology on society, work, and careers. A former visiting scholar at Stanford University, she has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, and Cisco Systems. She was an adjunct professor for Bay area colleges teaching classes in business, technology and women’s workforce topics.
Dr. Wilen has authored 11 books, including her most recent book, Employed for Life, 21st. Century Career Trends (2014), Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders (2013) and Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work, and Society (2012).
She has appeared on CNN, Fox, and CBS News, and in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She frequently contributes to the Huffington Post and LinkedIn, and is a regular guest on radio and TV shows across the US as an expert contributor.
Dr. Wilen is a global speaker on the impact of technology on work, careers, and women’s leadership.
Dr. Wilen was named San Francisco Woman of the Year and honored by the San Francisco Business Times as the most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business.
Claude L. Williams
Phoenix Technology Solutions – Vice President of Sales
Claude L. Williams is currently the Vice President of Sales for Phoenix Technology Solutions. Phoenix TS is a world-class professional training and certification company servicing the US DoD, US civil government agencies, and the world-wide private sector with cyber security, leadership, and information technology services. Previously he was the Head of Business Development for (ISC)2 Americas, and Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for IT Professional Group, Inc, the company who manages that (ISC)2 division. Mr. Williams has over 17 years of experience in information technology, information security, and certification education. Mr. Williams has a diverse management and information security background, and has worked primarily in the U.S. DoD environment as an integrator and executive consultant to various military and civilian agency CIOs. Mr. Williams has authored numerous white papers and case studies related to enterprise systems management and supporting business processes with information technology. He has authored curricula in collaboration with Microsoft, Novell, and numerous training organizations and academic institutions. He has successfully developed and administered customized training programs for notable organizations in support of internal initiatives; among those successes are the programs he managed for the American Red Cross, The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and The U.S. Senate. Mr. Williams holds various technical and professional industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioners (CASP) credential. He holds degrees in Computer Information Systems, and Information Security.
Apex Systems – Manager, Contractor & Community Relations
Erica Woods is the Manager of Contractor and Community Relations at Apex Systems. Her focus is on overseeing initiatives that add value to our National Contractor Community, increasing involvement and support of the Technical Communities we serve, and acting as a Philanthropy Coordinator to increase involvement in nonprofit activities and support. Erica has helped launch various T&D initiatives for technical contractors and internal Apex employees, including a women’s leadership group, monthly technical seminar program, and career services resource center. She has 10+ years of experience in the Information Technology staffing world, an MBA, is a career development author for MSSQLTips, and does executive/team coaching and facilitation.