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Grow your understanding of how your industry fits into the “smart city” concept while networking with people from some of the nation’s leading companies and organizations at Data Summit 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi.

Connect with hundreds of colleagues across multiple sectors, along with dozens of top leaders and decision makers who will speak about concepts, considerations, and innovations related to smart cities, during two days of practical insight and idea sharing.

The following people are scheduled to speak at Data Summit 2018. Check back for additions as speakers are confirmed!

Jump To Section
  1. Special Guests
  2. Panel: How Data Are Transforming the Way We Do Business
  3. Breakout Sessions (Set 1)
  4. Breakout Sessions (Set 2)
  5. Breakout Sessions (Set 3)

Special Guests

Mark Henry
Master of Ceremonies

Mark Henry has been executive director of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security since 2012. Under his leadership, MDES has developed the nation’s most advanced job-match technology, including the innovative that matches college students with jobs in Mississippi based on majors. In addition, MDES is launching to link community college students with in-demand, good-paying technical jobs in the state.

In 2013, he was elected president of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. In that position, he successfully led the fight to restore the authority of governors to prioritize workforce spending based on needs in their states.

He graduated with honors from Mississippi State University, where he was named to the Hall of Fame. After graduating from the University of Mississippi School of Law, he clerked for J.P. Coleman, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and former governor of Mississippi.

After practicing law in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he joined the Reagan Administration in 1983. In Washington, he worked first in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  He later became the special assistant to the deputy general counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was nominated by the secretary of energy for the Outstanding Young Federal Lawyer Award.

He was the first chief counsel of the Mississippi Tort Claims Board. He also served as former Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice’s chief legal counsel and chief of staff. When Bryant was lieutenant governor of Mississippi, Henry served as Bryant’s chief of staff.

Lynn Spruill
Opening Remarks

Lynn Spruill is a native of Starkville and is a graduate of Starkville High School and Mississippi State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1974.

Lynn is a former United States Naval Officer and pilot, Mayor of Addison, Texas, pilot for Delta Air Lines and Starkville city administrator. She is currently a businesswoman and realtor in Starkville, Mississippi.

Lynn co-owns and managed Spruill Property Management where she was overseeing the day to day operation for over 350 apartments around Starkville including the maintenance and upkeep of the properties and marketing strategy for the company until her election in July. She is also a property developer for Greenbriar Subdivision and has been a contributing journalist for the Starkville Dispatch.

As a United States Naval Officer and pilot she became the first woman in the history of the Navy to qualify as a carrier pilot in 1979.

She also served as a Councilman and then Mayor of Addison, Texas from 1985 to 1993 where she was named Woman of the Year in 1993. Under her administration the Town of Addison became the hub for special events including a Grand Prix race and Oktoberfest. She decided not to run for re-election and opted for furthering her education by attending law school receiving her JD/MPA joint degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.

Lynn is and has been involved in the local community with roles in several organizations such as board member of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, the Starkville Community Theater Board and the Volunteer Starkville Board. In 2004 she was named by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of the 50 leading businesswomen in the state.

Mark E. Keenum

Mark Everett Keenum became Mississippi State University’s 19th president in 2009.

Now in his 10th year of tenure, he has guided MSU to unprecedented heights. With about 22,000 students, the university has experienced record enrollment growth. MSU has awarded more than 4,000 degrees at all levels for seven straight years. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently designated MSU as a “Great College To Work For” after receiving top ratings from employees on workforce practices and policies. The university has also completed or initiated capital improvements totaling more than $1 billion since 2009.

Fundraising has reached all-time record levels in recent years. MSU’s current Infinite Impact capital campaign reached its initial goal three years ahead of schedule. Due to that unprecedented success, the university announced a new target, $1 billion by 2020, the largest campaign goal ever for an educational institution in Mississippi. Keenum has also been instrumental in expanding the MSU Promise Program, which provides need-based scholarship assistance to Mississippi students whose families have limited financial means.

On Keenum’s watch, MSU has ranked by the National Science Foundation as a “Top 100” research institution, and its annual research and development expenditures have exceeded $239 million. Most recently, MSU R&D expenditures accounted for more than half of all expenditures in the state.

Keenum’s passion for international engagement and transformative research and service has positioned MSU as a leader in addressing global food security and poverty, among other issues. In 2014 and again in 2016, he was invited to address the United Nations in New York about the crucial roles public research universities play as the global community works to address critical challenges for a growing population. Moreover, in 2018, President Donald J. Trump appointed Keenum chairman of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.

He began his career at MSU as a faculty member with the Extension Service and the Department of Agricultural Economics. He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C. and was undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to returning to Mississippi State.

Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves
Morning Keynote

As Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves has earned a reputation as a strong leader with a long-term vision for the state.

He presides over the 52-member Mississippi Senate with a focus on keeping government spending under control, reforming education, and making Mississippi a better place to raise a family.

Under his leadership, Mississippi has a balanced budget that reduces taxpayers’ overall debt burden.

He is past chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association. He was named one of the top 40 politicians under 40 by The Washington Post. He was named a 2013 Charter Champion by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He received the State Legislative Achievement Award from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform for the passage of the Attorney General “Sunshine Act.”

He is a graduate of Florence High School and an honors graduate of Millsaps College with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Reeves and his wife Elee are the proud parents of three daughters, Tyler, Emma and Maddie. They attend Galloway United Methodist Church.

John Davis
Gen+ Remarks

John Davis was appointed to his current position as executive directorof the Mississippi Department of Human Services by Gov. Phil Bryant in January 2016. He is no stranger to human services, having more than 27 years of experience invarious leadership positions within the agency. He has served on the local, regional, and state level as a county director, state operations director, director of economic assistance, governor’s policy advisor, and deputy administrator. He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Inaddition, he received a master’s degree in leadership from Belhaven University, where he continues to serve as an adjunct professor in his spare time. He is a native Mississippian who believes the opportunity to serve others is truly a gift.​


Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi
Keynote Speaker

Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi is a professor of sociology at Mississippi State University. He is the founder and executive director of NSPARC, an MSU research center. He is also the executive director of the Mississippi state longitudinal data system clearinghouse. He is a nationally and internationally recognized applied demographer. He represents the 21st century scholar, with a focus on restructuring the role of social scientists beyond their academic pursuits so that they can become problem solvers for public policy, economic development, and social problems that affect individuals and societies.

Parisi is known for his intellectual work on the value of data science in increasing efficiency and efficacy in state government and improving education, workforce, and economic outcomes. Over the course of his career, he has developed methods to expand the use of data by aligning information systems and communication networks to address service challenges faced by public-sector organizations in Mississippi. His data and technological innovations have helped make Mississippi a model on the national level for data-driven government initiatives.

Additionally, his work has contributed to increasing the role of universities in addressing important issues in the public sector. Most recently, he developed a data science initiative that is a university-wide organization in support of smart government and other sectors that comprise the new global movement toward smart cities (places where the use of data drives locally oriented actions for human progress). The goal of this transdisciplinary work is to further Mississippi’s reputation as a leader for innovative government processes that improve quality of life for citizens.

Parisi is a well-regarded and respected professor of demography and applied statistics. He has published more than 250 articles, book chapters, policy briefs, and reports that address the complex issue of equality across various social groups. He has received several research and service awards, including the Excellence in Extension and Public Service Award and Excellence in Research Award from the Rural Sociological Society and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award from Mississippi State University.


Panel: How Data Are Transforming the Way We Do Business

Steve Soltis, MAS Leadership Communication

Steve Soltisis a senior advisor with MAS Leadership Communication, a company he formed in 2017 with partners Ken Askew and Charles McNair. He has been a member of the Mississippi State University Department of Communication Advisory Board since 2014. Additionally, Soltis is an executive in residence at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, where he teaches management communication and strategy to residential MBA students.

Soltis recently retired from The Coca-Cola Company, where he led CEO and senior executive communication for the past 11 years and employee communication for the past five years. In that role, he served as the lead executive communication strategist for chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, guiding all of his executive speeches, town halls, videos, press briefings, correspondence, and external and internal appearances. In addition, he was responsible for orchestrating the company’s C-suite executive visibility efforts and for formulating its employee communication strategies and execution.

Judd Williams, NCAA

Judd Williams is the chief information officer for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and has served in this role since June 2012. His responsibilities at the NCAA include all aspects of strategic planning, budgeting, implementation, and support of technology initiatives across the national office, membership, and events.

Prior to joining the NCAA, Williams worked with the FBI, Northrop Grumman in the United Kingdom, and SAIC.

He currently serves on the governing body of the Society of Information Management Indianapolis Conference, is a co-chair of the Evanta CIO Executive Summit of Indianapolis, and is a member of the CXO Technology Steering Committee for the Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology Consortium. He has been published by Harvard Business Publishing. Lastly, he sits on the Auburn University Harbert College of Business Advisory Council.

In 2016, he was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40.” In 2017, he placed on the ComputerWorld Premier 100 Technology Leaders list and was named CTO of the Year by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in management information systems from Auburn University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Craig Sparks, C Spire

Craig Sparks is chief innovation officer for C Spire, a leading telecommunications and technology services company with deep roots in and a strong commitment to the southeastern portion of the United States and its people. He has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications engineering.

He was previously vice president of technology at C Spire. Prior to that, he joined Sprint, where he most recently served as a distinguished member of technical staff that facilitated intradepartmental technology path decision-making for executive business strategies. His prior entrepreneur role at NetGames USA saw him lead the company as president and CEO through acquisition by Microsoft Corporation.

He began his career as a radio frequency design engineer working on DARPA digital beamforming radio systems. A graduate of radio frequency design and telecommunications programs at the University of Kansas, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from KU.

Jessica Osaki, Google

Jessica Osaki has spent her career working at the intersection of technology and social good, helping nonprofits and social entrepreneurs use data for growth, sustainability, and community impact. Currently, she is a product operations manager at Google, where she leverages technology to solve complex e-commerce problems. Previously, she held roles at Blackbaud, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, The University of the South (Sewanee), and her own consultancy, Mar Vista Group.

She received a master’s degree in business administration, with a focus on global business strategy and social entrepreneurship, from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt. Additionally, she received a master’s degree in institutional advancement from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Sewanee. In her community, she serves on the board of the Nashville Ballet.

Matt Smith, Michael Baker International

Matt is Michael Baker International’s Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) Program Manager, based in Detroit. He serves as the national lead for CAV and emerging transportation technology initiatives, supporting more than 80 offices nationwide. He also serves on several nationwide initiatives, supporting CAV through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and through his involvement with the Transportation Research Board / NCHRP.

He has 23 years of experience in CAV Systems, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), traffic engineering, and transportation system management and operations (TSMO), gained in his former role as the Michigan Department of Transportation’s ITS Program Administrator. In that role, Matt established and implemented the strategic direction for the state’s ITS and CAV program.

Matt is a proud graduate of Pennsylvania State University.


Tony Sager, Center for Internet Security

Tony Sager is a Senior Vice President and Chief Evangelist for CIS (The Center for Internet Security). In this role, he leads the development of the CIS Controls, a worldwide consensus project to find and support technical best practices in cybersecurity. Tony also serves as the Director of the SANS Innovation Center, a subsidiary of The SANS Institute.

Tony retired from the National Security Agency (NSA) after 34 years as an Information Assurance professional. He started his career in the Communications Security (COMSEC) Intern Program, and worked as a mathematical cryptographer and a software vulnerability analyst. In 2001, Tony led the release of NSA security guidance to the public. He also expanded the NSA’s role in the development of open standards for security.

Mr. Sager holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Western Maryland College and an M.S. in Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University.


Breakout Sessions (Set 1)

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m.

Smart Agriculture


Bonnie Coblentz
Agricultural Communications, Mississippi State University

Bonnie Coblentz is a news writer in media relations with the Mississippi State University Office of Agricultural Communications. She has a communication degree with an emphasis in journalism and a master’s degree in education, both from MSU. She began her career in daily newspapers, with stints at the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula and the Commercial Dispatch in Columbus. Her work at MSU today concentrates on the education and outreach efforts of the MSU Extension Service. What makes news writing fun for her is the responsibility the press has to honestly and accurately keep the public informed, and the opportunity the job gives her every day to learn something new. Originally from Ocean Springs, she, her husband and their two sons are Bulldog fans who call Starkville home.

John Campbell
Office of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith

John G. Campbell, senior advisor for U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith. Campbell, a native of Greenville, was the Deputy Commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) before joining the Hyde-Smith staff.  He previously held several positions within MDAC, including state entomologist and director of the Bureau of Plant Industry. Additionally, he was a biological science technician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research center at Stoneville. Campbell has a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Delta State University.


Robert Moorhead
Geosystems Research and Northern Gulf Institutes, Mississippi State University

Robert J. Moorhead II is a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Mississippi State University. He is also director of the Geosystems Research Institute at MSU and the Northern Gulf Institute. He serves on the board of directors of the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Committee on Visualization and Graphics and has led visualization research and development efforts across many domains. He received the Career Achievement Award and the Outstanding Engineering Research Award from the MSU Bagley College of Engineering. After receiving his doctorate in 1985 from North Carolina State University, he worked at IBM’s Research Center in New York before joining MSU in 1989. His research has migrated from image processing to visualization of large computer simulations and, most recently, the use of unmanned aerial systems for advancing agriculture performance and understanding the environment.

Mitt Wardlaw
Southern Ag Consulting

As co-owner of Southern Ag Consulting, Mitt Wardlaw serves as director of precision ag and water management. He is licensed and certified as a Mississippi consultant in agricultural entomology, agricultural plant pathology, agricultural weed control, and ornamental and turf weed control.

He grew up on his family’s hog farm outside of Batesville, Mississippi. After high school, he attended Mississippi State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in crop science, and continued to farm. After completing his undergraduate degree, he went on to receive a master’s degree. During graduate school, he had various job experiences with Alan Blaine (state soybean specialist), William Moore (plant pathologist), Jim Hamer (agricultural entomologist), and Jim Thomas (state irrigation specialist).

After graduate school, he cofounded Southern Ag Consulting with Blaine and Brian Ward. He also helped cofound Alliance Ag Risk Management and started his own land management business, Midsouth Resource Management.


Smart Health


Christie Lawrence
Surge Advisors

Christie Lawrence is president and founder of Surge Advisors, a consulting consortium of senior-level healthcare executives committed to accelerating an organization’s vision through strategic assessments, targeted programs, and effective marketing. Currently, she is working to reposition a large physician-hospital organization in Louisiana to expand and structure its services for value-based payment programs.

She is an accomplished marketing and business development strategist and consultant, with more than 25 years of experience working with hospital systems, physician groups, managed care companies, self-insured employers, government entities, Accountable Care Organizations, and clinically integrated networks.

For more than seven years, she has served as the communication chairperson for the Executive Healthcare Network of Dallas-Fort Worth, the largest healthcare networking group in North Texas with more than 1,200 members.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education from the Mississippi University for Women and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Reuben F. Burch
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mississippi State University

Reuben F. Burch has more than 14 years of industrial experience working for and with global Fortune 500 companies in areas such as virtual reality design, weapons systems and training, satellite systems and geospatial data, high-value financial software systems, logistics technology and management, and research and development. His primary research interests center around human factors, ergonomics, and future generations of technologies. He is particularly interested in the design of and human interaction with rugged mobile and wearable tools, robotics and autonomy, and wearables for human performance evaluation. He has served as a logistics and technology advisor for numerous universities and multiple Fortune 100 companies around the world. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree in engineering management from Kansas State University, and a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from MSU.

Drew Snyder
Division of Medicaid, Mississippi

Drew Snyder is executive director of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. In this role, he administers the state’s Medicaid program, subject to state and federal laws and regulations and policies as approved by the Gov. Phil Bryant. He also serves on the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees and chairs the Business Law Section of the Mississippi Bar.

He has served in several public-sector leadership roles, including most recently as deputy chief of staff, policy director, and legal counsel for Bryant. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, he was as an assistant secretary of state for Delbert Hosemann.

A native of Eupora, Mississippi, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law.

David Muns
Memorial Hospital, Gulfport

David Muns is vice president of system development at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi. He is responsible for population health initiatives, case management, social services, and a variety of other projects within a system of 303 beds and 90 clinics.

His previous work at Memorial Hospital included administrative management for more than 60 physicians and mid-level healthcare providers. He is also a retired Air Force Master Sergeant with 23 years of service. His duties included more than 10 years of direct patient care and several overseas assignments and deployments.

He received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Southern Mississippi. Additionally, he is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and past president of the ACHE state chapter (Mississippi Healthcare Executives).

Dr. Tanuj Gupta
Cerner Intelligence

As the senior director and physician executive of Cerner Intelligence, Tanuj Gupta leads the strategy team for machine learning and artificial intelligence in health care. He is actively pursuing predictive and prescriptive intelligence solutions as well as voice, video, sensor, and natural language processing projects to make technology in healthcare more intuitive.

Previously at Cerner, he devoted several years to the Population Health organization where he provided clinical and product guidance. He also served as the managing director for Cerner’s clinical consulting strategy practice.

He came to Cerner from Siemens Healthcare, where he worked as senior director of clinical market strategy for the organization’s diagnostic imaging business. In that role, he piloted methods for analyzing the clinical, operational, and financial data of health care systems in order to influence product marketing, development, and sales.

He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston University, a master’s degree in finance from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, and a medical degree from Northwestern University.

Smart Communications and Media


John E. Forde
Communications Department, Mississippi State University

John E. Forde has taught at Mississippi State University since 1987. He has served as the MSU communication department head since 2004, and he teaches Principles of Public Relations in person and online. He also has an Accreditation of Public Relations credential and was honored with the Fellow PRSA distinction by the Public Relations Society of America.

Forde has been very involved with multiple professional organizations in numerous leadership positions. He has served as president of the Southern Public Relations Federation, and he is a long-time member of the Universal Accreditation Board (where he has served as chair and co-chair), representing both SPRF and PRSA.

He has been inducted into the SPRF Hall of Fame and the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame.

He received degrees from Jones County Junior College, Mississippi State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to teaching, he was director of public relations at William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Ellie Banks
Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Ellie Banks has worked in the digital field for 10 years. As soon as a new social media platform emerges, you can bet that she will be one of the first people on it. In 2008, she joined the Mississippi Public Broadcasting team as an intern and developed the initial social media strategy for the agency. She also hosted a new media conference (one of the first in the state) at MPB. Her past experience includes time at C Spire and The Cirlot Agency, where she sharpened her strategy skills working with clients from around the world. In 2014, she returned to MPB and now works as the digital media strategist, overseeing digital content strategy, implementation, and analytics. She received a degree in mass communications from Mississippi College.

Steve Soltis
MAS Leadership Communication

Steve Soltisis a senior advisor with MAS Leadership Communication, a company he formed in 2017 with partners Ken Askew and Charles McNair. He has been a member of the Mississippi State University Department of Communication Advisory Board since 2014. Additionally, Soltis is an executive in residence at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, where he teaches management communication and strategy to residential MBA students.

Soltis recently retired from The Coca-Cola Company, where he led CEO and senior executive communication for the past 11 years and employee communication for the past five years. In that role, he served as the lead executive communication strategist for chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, guiding all of his executive speeches, town halls, videos, press briefings, correspondence, and external and internal appearances. In addition, he was responsible for orchestrating the company’s C-suite executive visibility efforts and for formulating its employee communication strategies and execution.

Bill Martin
Mississippi State University Athletics

Bill Martin is the Associate Athletic Director/Communications for Mississippi State Athletics. Martin, who joined the Bulldogs’ senior staff in January 2014, serves as the department’s lead spokesperson while overseeing the communications staff. Martin works closely with local, state and national media as well as television networks who cover MSU athletics. He also oversees MSU’s social media channels. As the lead communications contact for the football program, he has promoted five All-Americans, including Dak Prescott.

Martin has over 10 years of full-time communications experience in the SEC. He was the associate director for communications at LSU from 2008-13, serving as the top communications assistant for the Tigers’ football team. He also led the communications efforts for the women’s basketball program.

Martin has been around the athletic communications field for 18 years, beginning as a student assistant in the LSU Sports Information Office. After graduation, he served as an intern in the University of Florida Athletic Department.

Ryan Phillips
Starkville Daily News

Ryan Phillips is the executive editor of the Starkville Daily News and Daily Times Leader. He is also a part-time lecturer in the Mississippi State University Department of Communication. He has worked as a journalist at the Anniston Star, the Birmingham Business Journal, the Associated Press and Phillips has won numerous awards for his journalistic work as a reporter and editor, and has had his research cited in multiple publications, including The Atlantic.



Breakout Sessions (Set 2)

Thursday, Sept. 13, 3:45 p.m.

Smart Public Safety


Senator Brice Wiggins
District 52, State of Mississippi

Mississippi Sen. Brice Wiggins represents District 52, which covers south Jackson County, including the cities of Pascagoula, Gautier, and Ocean Springs.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves named him chair of the first-ever Senate Medicaid Committee, overseeing policy for one of the state’s largest budget items. In addition to serving on various other committees, he is vice chair of the Public Health Committee, one of the largest committees in the Senate. In a rare occurrence as a freshman legislator, he served as chair of the Ports and Marine Resources Committee.

In his five years in the Senate, he has authored and passed legislation that strengthens Mississippi’s child abuse laws, allows for the collection of DNA after arrest on violent felonies, expands GPS monitoring of sex offenders, and increases funding for prosecution of child abuse cases. For his work in these areas, he has received a number of awards.

Damon Darsey
Mississippi Center for Emergency Services, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Dr. Damon DarseyDamon Darsey is an associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the medical director of the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services, an emergency response umbrella organization that includes a medical communications center (Mississippi MED-COM), critical care transport division (AirCare), public safety support division, and traditional advanced life support ambulance service.

His clinical interest is in the field of emergency, critical care, and transport medicine, with a focus on innovation, increasing scope of practice, and pushing evidence-based clinical advances to first responders of all clinical levels. His academic interests center on improving medical communications through enhanced radio networks, developing broadband applications, and improving medical education.

He has been the principle investigator for about $20 million in grants that focused on improving the communications, quality, and coordination of first responders and medical care provided in the field.

He obtained an EMT certification in 1998 in Dallas, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Trae Sims
Taggart, Rimes, & Graham

Trae Sims is an attorney at Taggart, Rimes, & Graham. His extensive legal career has included more than a decade of complex litigation practice, several years of service as prosecutor and assistant city attorney to the city of Madison, Mississippi, and most recently a stint as general counsel to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, the state’s law enforcement agency.

He has worked primarily in the area of health care regulatory compliance-based litigation, handling hundreds of cases, many through verdict and appeal, including reported appellate decisions favorable to his clients.  He also achieved a 100-percent success rate in disputed arbitration challenges. As a prosecutor, Trae has handled thousands of criminal cases, both misdemeanor and felony.

He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and German language at the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

Kris Graham
Taggart, Rimes, & Graham

Kris Graham is an attorney with Taggart, Rimes & Graham in Ridgeland, Mississippi and head of the firm’s UAS practice group. An approved attorney for the Mississippi Tort Claims Board, Kris is also a manned aircraft pilot and commercial drone operator who has performed flights in support of real estate, motion picture, education, agriculture and government clients. Kris currently serves as the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Pilot at Unmanned Systems Group, which provides commercial flight services and UAS training to government agencies and other entities wishing to incorporate UAS data into their existing operations.



Smart Transportation and Logistics


Hal Miller
Mississippi Trucking

Hal Miller, president of the Mississippi Trucking Association, is a native of Mississippi. Upon graduation from the University of Mississippi, Miller went to work for his family’s tank truck company, Miller Transporters, Inc. 

He held several positions throughout the organization during this 30 year tenure, most recently serving as Executive Vice President. Miller still serves as Director of the Miller companies 

In mid-2014, The Mississippi Trucking Association hired Miller to lead the association to direct the efforts of being the resource for safety, education, and governmental advocacy as well as promote the trucking industry within the state. Having grown up in trucking, Miller was thrilled to be allowed to represent an industry he knew so well and immensely proud of its heritage of public service and safety. 

Miller has served as a Director for the National Tank Truck Carrier Conference, Board Member and Chairman of Mississippi Trucking Association, Executive Board Member of the Business and Industrial Education Committee of Mississippi as well as Board Member of several civic, business and religious organizations. 

Hal has been married since 1983 to his wife, Tricia. They have three grown sons, two daughters- in – in law and two granddaughters. 

Matthew Doude
Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), Mississippi State University

Matthew Doude is an automotive R&D manager with expertise in autonomous and electrified vehicle systems. As the associate director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems CAVS at Mississippi State University, he participates in strategic and investment planning, corporate outreach, and marketing. He also manages programs for key corporate clients in the fields of autonomous vehicles and vehicle electrification.

Doude manages industrial relationships and technical marketing across all of CAVS’s technical areas, including computational fluid dynamics, advanced materials research, human factors engineering, and advanced vehicle systems. He has extensive technical experience in automotive battery-pack design, including development of proprietary thermal management systems.

He led three different vehicle powertrain development teams to first-place finishes in the U.S. Department of Energy’s premier Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions. He has twice been honored with the Outstanding Research Award at Mississippi State University and received research presentation awards from the Society of Automotive Engineers. He also publishes scientific articles and is invited to speak and keynote at industry conferences and summits.

Art Spratlin
Butler Snow

Art Spratlin is a member of the law firm of Butler Snow LLP, practicing in the Ridgeland, Mississippi office.  He is the Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Tort, Transportation and Specialized Litigation Practice Group, Coordinator of the firm’s Autonomous Vehicle Technology Group and 24-Hour Accident Investigation Team, and serves on the firm’s Futures Committee.  He has extensive experience in Product Liability Law and Transportation Law/Trucking Defense.  He is a frequent writer and speaker on Autonomous Vehicles.

Art has published numerous articles, and spoken at numerous conferences in the U.S. and abroad regarding the future of mobility, and the autonomous vehicle industry.  Art’s presentations explain the technology behind the vehicles (cars and heavy trucks), expected changes in the insurance industry/coverage issues, and the potential risks/issues that will arise.  Art has also been a leading voice in Mississippi on the economic impact that AVs can have on our state. He has consulted extensively with representatives from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Secretary of State, and the Governor’s office and CAVS (Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems) at Miss. State University in order to promote a vision for MS to enter the AV race, including the development of a plan and infrastructure for taking applications and allowing testing of AVs in MS.

Dustin Koehl

Dustin Koehl serves as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at TOTAL Transportation of MS, LLC.  Current responsibilities include providing oversight and strategic direction for the Truckload, Logistics & Dedicated Divisions. TOTAL is the largest dry van truckload carrier in the state of Mississippi. Nearly 900 tractors & 1300 employees, TOTAL has tripled in size since 2009 by working with over 50 of the Fortune 500 companies, engaging a diversified workforce and implementing critical technologies.

In 2016, The American Transportation Research Institute appointed Dustin to a 2-year term on the research advisory committee, which is responsible for annually identifying top research priorities for the trucking industry.  Dustin is also the Vice-Chairman of the American Trucking Associations, Communications & Image Policy Committee.

Dustin holds a MBA with a focus in organizational management from Lincoln Memorial University and a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in Finance & International Business from the University of Tennessee. This year, the Mississippi Business Journal recognized him as one of the Top 50 Under 40 Business Leaders for his work in the trucking industry & community.

Glenn Shreiner

Glenn Shreiner has over 32 years of US Air Force and Department of Defense air traffic control experience.  He has both radar and control tower certifications in six state-side and overseas locations and has managed two air traffic control facilities. Currently, he is the Airfield Operations Automation Manager at Columbus Air Force Base where he maintains $5 million of Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) equipment in support of 12 airports. Recently, he has managed the first Air Force location for the STARS Generation-4 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and FUSION target tracking service upgrades, providing critical automation feedback to both the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration.  Glenn is married to Tanya and they have two adult daughters.


Smart Community Resources


Eric Crosswhite

Born and raised in southwest Missouri, Eric Crosswhite began his broadcasting career in Joplin, Missouri, after graduating from Missouri Southern State University with a degree in mass communications.

At KSNF in Joplin, his first title in broadcasting was camera operator. He went on to work as a photographer, reporter, weekend anchor, morning anchor, executive producer, and night-side anchor.

He’s excited to join the WCBI team in Columbus, Mississippi, and make his return to the morning-show format where he feels most at home.

He spent a good portion of his childhood, high school, and college years acting and performing in the theater. That led to a love of movies and anything involving stories or creativity. He currently lives in Starkville.

Lucy Allen
Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Lucy Allen is the museum division director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. She has 40 years of award-winning experience as an exhibit designer, education director, and division director for nine museum sites. She has managed planning teams, grants, public events, and school and community outreach programs. She also directed the $110 million Two Mississippi Museums project, overseeing the design and construction of the multilevel complex and the design and fabrication of exhibits.

She has extensive experience in community engagement, consultation, and museum management. She created a Community Advisory Committee that represents 20 different cultural, religious, and ethnic groups. One of the first of its kind, the committee has advised museums for 20 years and helped produce exhibits, teacher training, curriculum materials, and public programs that tackle complex historical subjects.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education from East Carolina University and is a Mississippi State Personnel Board Certified Supervisory Manager.

Rachael Carter
Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, Mississippi State University

Rachael Carteris an economist and community development specialist at the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development. For more than 15 years, she has applied her expertise in economic analysis, community engagement, and natural resource policy to Mississippi’s diverse economic initiatives and challenges. Her data-driven approach has helped inform the decision-making and problem-solving of elected officials at the city, county, state, and national levels.

She has appeared on National Public Radio’s Marketplace, and her work has been featured by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Main Street Center. She specializes in projects related to downtown revitalization, tourism development, and energy policy.

She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agribusiness and economics from MSU and will complete her doctoral degree in forest resources in 2018. Prior to her current position, she served as the director of tourism and natural resource policy for the Stennis Institute of Government.

Bobbi Nance
Recreation Results

With more than 10 years of experience as a facilitator, trainer, and consultant, Bobbi Nance is founder and president of Recreation Results. Recognized as an industry leader in performance measurement and innovation, she partners with park, open space, recreation, sports, and fitness organizations across the country to use data, trends, and strategy to drive real change within teams whose mission is to change the world.

Before Recreation Results, she spent 15 years working in the field of parks and recreation in the areas of recreation programming, facility management, project management, data and analytics, and innovation. During this time, she built data-driven systems and innovation initiatives, which were featured in national publications and resulted in a Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government.

She received a bachelor’s degree in leisure studies from the University of Illinois and a certificate in project management from Northwestern University.

Clark Swanson
Orangeboy, Inc.

Since childhood, Clark has always been fascinated by how people make decisions. This led him to found OrangeBoy with a commitment to enhancing organizations everywhere with behavioral analytics. Prior to founding OrangeBoy, Clark was the Principal Administrator at the Ohio Historical Foundation and Senior Editor at the Federal Reserve Bank or Kansas City.  Clark is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri and Missouri Southern State University.

An avid runner in his free time, Clark has completed more than 15 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.


Breakout Sessions (Set 3)

Friday, Sept. 14, 10:45 a.m.

Smart Security and Data Governance


Karyn Brown
College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University

Karyn Brown is communication director for the College of Arts & Sciences at Mississippi State University. She is also an instructor of communication, public relations, and broadcasting in the Department of Communication at MSU and serves as the coordinator of the PR concentration in communication.

In her PR- and broadcasting-focused career, she has worked for KWQC-TV (Davenport, Iowa), Deere & Company’s world headquarters, Mediacall Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving North Carolina, and WCBI-TV (Columbus, Mississippi). She received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and political science from Augustana College, a master’s degree in public communication and broadcasting from Western Illinois University, and a continuing education unit in nonprofit management from Duke University.

Brad Pierce

Brad Pierce

Brad Pierce is the director of network security for HORNE Cyber, a cybersecurity firm. Pierce focuses on leading the advanced penetration testing teams at the firm.

He joined HORNE Cyber in 2007. He has more than 10 years of experience in network deployment, management, and internal customer technology support. Brad served eight years in the United States Marine Corps and received an honorable discharge in 2003.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Roger A. Grimes

Roger Grimes

Roger A. Grimes is a 30-year computer security consultant, instructor, holder of dozens of computer certifications, and author of 10 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles on computer security. He is a data-driven defense evangelist for KnowBe4, the world’s largest security-awareness training and simulated phishing platform.

He has spoken at many of the world’s biggest computer security conferences, been in Newsweek™ magazine, appeared on television, been interviewed for NPR’s All Things Considered™, and been a guest on dozens of radio shows and podcasts. He has worked at some of the world’s largest computer security companies, including Foundstone, McAfee, and Microsoft. He has consulted for hundreds of companies, from the largest to the smallest, around the globe. He specializes in host and network security, identity management, anti-malware, hackers, honeypots, public key infrastructure, cloud security, cryptography, policy, and technical writing. His writings and presentations are often known for their real-world, contrarian views. He has been the weekly security columnist for InfoWorld and CSO magazines since 2005.

Chris Meehan
Experian Decision Analytics

Chris has worked with the State and Local Government market for almost 30 years. His experience spans a range of functional and vertical government sectors. Chris has worked with large and small government organizations covering general administration, public safety, public services and benefits programs.

Chris joined Experian in 2012 and has worked in the Experian Decision Analytics organization focused on the State and Local market. Chris brings a wealth of insight about the challenges of balancing citizen ease of access with security concerns in a digital government paradigm. Data security, data governance and citizen confidence are at the core of Experian’s company-wide ‘Security First’ initiative.

Chris’ focus on identity management and fraud prevention for government programs leverages traditional and non-traditional data for identity verification and assurance.

Jeff Robbins

Jeff Robbins is the Practice Director of the Security/Mobility group for Business Communications, Inc. He is a graduate of Troy State University and has been involved in information security for eighteen years. Jeff focuses on the technical controls of security to enforce organizational policy on data in transit through the OSI layers. In his current Practice Director roll he is called upon daily to help with Network and Security architecture from organizations ranging from Fortune 250 to small business.   He holds numerous expert level certifications including the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE), Network Security Engineer 7 (NSE), and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional.



Smart Government


Representative Scott DeLano
District 117, State of Mississippi

Rep. Scott DeLano was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and has represented District 117 in Mississippi since 2010. He currently serves as chair for the Mississippi House Technology Committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi and is married to Robin DeLano. They have two children, Matthew and Emily. They are of the Presbyterian faith.


Jonathan Barlow
NSPARC, Mississippi State University

Jonathan Barlow serves as an associate director at NSPARC, a research center at Mississippi State University that specializes in applying data science to education, workforce, human services, and economic development projects. At NSPARC, Jonathan connects research scientists in a variety of academic disciplines with a software development team, manages the design and development of software applications that collect data, performs case management, enables federal reporting, and makes data available to decision-makers in state government and the citizens they serve. Jonathan has 25 years of experience in web, mobile, and server software development for digital-government and private-sector projects.

Craig Orgeron
Mississippi Department of Information Technology

Craig Orgeron

In his role as executive director of the Mississippi Department of Information Technology and chief information officer of Mississippi, Craig Orgeron provides statewide leadership in the provision of services that facilitate cost-effective information processing and telecommunication solutions for agencies and institutions. He has more than 28 years of information technology experience in the private sector and on the federal and state levels within the public sector.

He began his career as a communications/computer systems officer in the U.S. Air Force. He has served as president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves on the executive committee of the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center. He has participated in numerous government information technology task forces and committees, including the Governor’s Commission on Digital Government, which led to the implementation of the enterprise electronic government in Mississippi. He received a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and a master’s degree and doctorate in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University.

Jennifer Gregory
Stennis Center for Public Service

Jennifer Gregory is assistant executive director for the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service in Starkville. With offices in Starkville and Washington, D.C., the center is a bipartisan, federal, legislative-branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America.

Gregory was named a “Top 50 Under 40” professional by the Mississippi Business Journalin 2016. She serves as president of Parents for Public Schools Starkville and the Sudduth Elementary PTO. She is also executive director and vice president of operations for Bully Bloc, a non-partisan committee that seeks to ensure that public officials advance the interests of Mississippi State University and other higher education institutions.

Jennifer and her husband Bart are the proud parents of 4 children: Ella,13, Julia,11, Sims, 7, and Wells, 4. They reside in Starkville.

Jacob Black
Mississippi Department of Human Services

Jacob Black is from McCool, Mississippi. He began his studies at Holmes Community College, where he earned a football scholarship and was a two-year starter as an offensive lineman. Next, he attended Mississippi State University for his undergraduate degree and later received a law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law. His professional career began with the Mississippi Department of Human Services as a child support attorney in Hinds County. He then served as general counsel to the executive director’s office and deputy administrator of administration at MDHS. He is now the deputy director of programs at MDHS. He has a wife and two young boys. They reside in Madison.


Smart City Planning, Energy, and Infrastructure


Daniel Forde
Mississippi Public Service Commission, Southern District

Daniel Forde is director of public affairs for the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s Southern District. The Public Service Commission’s main duties include regulation of electric, gas, water, and sewer utilities and is charged with assuring that rates are just and reasonable and that adequate service is provided.

Forde grew up in Starkville and graduated from Mississippi State in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in business. In 2016, he received a master’s degree in integrated communication and public relations from Mississippi College, where he received the Most Outstanding in Public Relations award.

He has previously worked for Sanderson Farms and the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Public Affairs Division. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Central Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.

Jordan Rae Hillman
City of Jackson, Mississippi

Jordan Ray Hillman

Jordan Rae Hillman is deputy director of city planning for the city of Jackson, Mississippi. Previously, she served as the community development director for the city of Brandon, Mississippi. Her work has focused on comprehensive planning, process improvement, and capacity building. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association, and Engaging Local Government Leaders. She is a regular contributor to the ELGL “Morning Buzz” blog.

She received a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Memphis.

Ivy Kelly
C Spire

Ivy Kelly has more than 18 years of experience in the telecom industry, specializing in the field of radio frequency engineering. She currently holds the title of distinguished member of technical staff, which is responsible for technology strategy at C Spire, where she has worked for more than two years. She previously worked at Sprint for more than 15 years in various roles, including network development and strategic planning. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Leah Kemp
Carl Small Town Center, Mississippi State University

Leah Kemp is director of the Carl Small Town Center, a community design unit at Mississippi State University that advocates for meaningful design for small towns. She is a registered architect who collaborates with MSU School of Architecture faculty, staff, and students to help small towns in many different capacities. She also teaches within the School of Architecture. She received a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in architecture from Tulane University. She has practiced in Washington, D.C., Nashville, New Orleans, and across the state of Mississippi.

Jack Allin
Wier Boerner Allin Architecture 

Jack Allin is a principal architect with Wier Boerner Allin Architecture in Jackson. Prior to joining WBA in 2012, he worked for prominent firms in New York and Atlanta where much of his practice was focused on K-12 and higher education projects. Educational oriented projects continue to be a major focus of his work, with completed and current projects across the region. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University.



Smart Education


Senator Gray Tollison
District 9, State of Mississippi
Gray Tollison

Gray Tollison recently completed his 23th legislative session in the Mississippi Senate representing District 9, which consists of Lafayette and Panola counties. In 2012, he was appointed chair of the Senate Education Committee, where he led efforts to achieve significant education reform in Mississippi. He has worked for increased teacher pay, passage of the third-grade literacy promotion act, an improved accountability A-F grading system for funding, improved school choice, and higher standards to improve teacher quality.

Tollison served as chair of the Judiciary “B” Committee from 2004 to 2012.  In this role, he worked to restrict access to pseudoephedrine (resulting in a dramatic decrease in “meth labs” across the state), improve teen driver safety laws and animal cruelty laws, and pass the primary seatbelt law that has resulted in increased seatbelt usage in Mississippi and a reduction in traffic fatalities.

He is a graduate of Rhodes College and the Ole Miss law school. He worked for Sen. John Stennis in Washington, D.C., after college, served as a law clerk for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Armis Hawkins, and has been a partner with Tollison Law Firm for the past 26 years.

John Kraman
Mississippi Department of Education

John Kraman

In March 2018, John Kraman became the chief information officer at the Mississippi Department of Education, where he is focused on growing the capacity of the Office of Technology and Strategic Services, improving data quality, reducing districts’ data reporting burden, and expanding data use. Before his current role at MDE, he in a similar capacity in the New Mexico and Oklahoma State Departments of Education. Previously, John worked for more than 13 years in Washington, D.C., as an education policy analyst and researcher, supporting organizations such as Achieve, the Center for Education Reform, and the U.S Department of Justice. He lives in Madison, Mississippi, with his wife and four school-age children.

Andrea Mayfield
Mississippi Community College Board

Andrea Mayfield

Andrea Mayfield is executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, a position she has held since December 2015. She previously served as president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and has more than 20 years of experience in the Mississippi community college system.

She is currently a member of the board of directors for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, State Health Insurance Board, Mississippi College Savings Board, State Workforce Investment Board, State Longitudinal Data System Governing Board, Innovate Mississippi, Education Achievement Council, and Mississippi State’s Education Leadership Advisory Committee.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Livingston University, a master’s degree from the University of West Alabama, and a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in the administration of higher education from Mississippi State University. She was recently honored as Alumni of the Year in Education from Mississippi State University. She is also a distinguished recipient of the University of West Alabama’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.

Adam Pearson

Adam Pearson is a serial Education Technology entrepreneur who has committed his career to leverage data to facilitate change and innovation. Adam’s passion for technology and love of education led him to found Learning Earnings, a positive reinforcement platform for K12 based on trends in student behavior. Adam ran a nationwide expansion of Learning Earnings until it was acquired in 2013. During that time, he took the role of Director of Corporate Development at Chalkable, a national student data management company, to lead the efforts of data visualization and data governance across the K12 network. The success of that project led to an acquisition of Chalkable by the largest company in the education space. Driven by his exposure to challenges in education, Adam founded and is currently President of Glimpse K12. Glimpse’s technology captures everything schools are doing to impact student achievement, including expenditures, and correlates these with student outcomes. The platform provides robust Education Return on Investment metrics for school and district administrators. In his role, Adam appreciates supporting educators and policymakers who share in the efforts to optimize spending around what works for students.

Nathan Hoffman

Nathan Hoffman is ExcelinEd’s regional advocacy director for the Gulf Region, covering advocacy and legislative efforts in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Prior to his role at ExcelinEd, he was the director of advocacy at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the chamber’s political action committee. He has also served as district staff for a member of Congress and worked on various state and federal political campaigns. Lastly, he has been a member of the University of Illinois System’s board of trustees and the Springfield Public Schools Foundation’s board of directors.

He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield with a bachelor’s degree in political science.