Dear Academy Member,
We had a fantastic Annual Meeting in Fayetteville Oct 28th and 29th and owe many thanks to the University of Arkansas CSCE Department for the planning and execution, and to outgoing AAoC President Gary Dowdy for his hard work, not only at this event but for the past 2 years.
We inducted seven new members at the Banquet, all with impressive achievements and great service to the computing profession and the state:
Jay Davidson, VP IT, J.B. Hunt
Lance Hankins, Co-Founder and CTO, Motio
Jim Kane, Founder Gemini Development, former CTO Acumen Brands
Kathy White Lloyd, Exec. Director Women’s Business Leadership Center, ASU, former CIO Cardinal Health
Mary Hunt, Global Practice Manager, FIS
Greg Schaffer, Founder and CEO, First72 Cyber, former EVP FIS
Rebecca Wilson, Account Executive, Microsoft
Our keynote speaker, Karenann Terrell, Executive Vice President and CIO of Wal-Mart Stores, gave an eloquent speech challenging us to keep increasing the supply of professionals in computer science. Two ways to do that are mentoring and supporting computer science education. One quick action is to contribute to the AAoC scholarship fund by visiting www.araoc.org/donate! On education, we heard an update on the Governor’s Computer Science Taskforce from its chairman, James Hendren. It is worth noting that the Taskforce had 4 members who are AAoC members. The scholarship fund helps college students studying computer science, while the Taskforce focuses on K-12 computer science, as does the EAST Initiative. EAST CEO and AAoC member, Matt Dozier, told us about an exciting national honor – EAST was recognized by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation with its 2016 STEM Innovator Award http://bit.ly/eastsvef.
Saturday the Academy and guests from the community met at the J.B. Hunt Center for breakfast and presentations. From Vance Moore’s talk we learned about new technologies and challenges in health care IT. Kathy White Lloyd update us on the Women’s Business Leadership Center at ASU, and Gary Dowdy, Collins Andrews, Jeff Stinson and LumoXchange CEO Maf Sonko reported on the success of the global business accelerators: FinTech at the Venture Center in Little Rock and Hubx run at the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock. There is lots of potential for new companies and future AAoC members in those programs. After tours of campus labs, some of the AAoC members volunteered as mentors to research-based startups in the I-Fund program. Altogether a good day advancing computing in Arkansas!
John Chamberlin, President AAoC