Memphis Chapter - Society for Information Management
Quarterly Newsletter  |  2014, 
Vol 2  
About the Newsletter
The Quarterly Newsletter provides an overview of SIM Memphis Chapter news, upcoming meetings, events, and location community outreach programs.
Executive Summary
Strategy Series

Make plans to join us at the 2014 Memphis SIM's Strategy Series for Executives on September 23rd at the Hilton Memphis. This event features relevant information, networking and relationship building opportunities, exciting keynote speakers along with interactive breakout sessions. 2014 Strategy Series Registration 


Membership News

SIM Memphis continues to grow!   


Welcome New Members!

Community Outreach

Teen Tech Camp conducts its 10th session!

This one week summer camp for teens ages 13-15 was held July 21-26 at the main branch of the Memphis Public library.  ...more>>  


Other Updates
Registration for the November 2 SIMposium 2014 is still open. For information on SIMposium 2014 as well as important information about the Members in Transition program, please click here Other Updates ...>.

Strategy_SeriesStrategy Series
by Kevin Morgan and Jarrett Morgan


On behalf of the conference planning committee and honorary advisors, we invite you to join us at the 2014 SIM Strategy Series on September 23rd at the Hilton, Memphis.

We're confident that you will find this experience to be beneficial through the information received, relationships generated, and exciting keynote line-up. SIM is a non-profit committed to giving back to the Mid-South community. Over its 28 year history, the Strategy Series has funded nearly $400,000 in community outreach, STEM grants, and learning experiences for students.


This event will enable you to connect with fellow executives in the Mid-South and learn from industry leading professionals on how to drive your business, featuring:

  * Keynote speakers on leadership and cutting edge IT topics
  * Interactive breakout sessions with national and local experts
  * Ample networking opportunities with their peers from throughout the


With annual participation of this event expected to top over 250 IT executives representing over 80 of the region's top IT organizations, you can't afford to miss this premier IT event.

               We look forward to seeing you there. Registration is free. 




 2014 Strategy Series Registration

Membership_NewsMembership News
by Susan Caldwell
New_Members Welcome New Members!


Dawn Clement-Cornies, Director Institutional Research, Rhodes College

Dawn Clement-Cornies is the Director of Institutional Research at Rhodes College. She has 8 years of experience working in higher education in various data and information services roles. In her current role, she directs the institutional effectiveness program, builds decision support resources for campus constituents, and provides the institutional response to external surveys and data centers.


Dawn has additional experience in non-profit and for-profit environments in application development and has worked on several implementation teams involving data migration, infrastructure changes, and new technologies.


In addition to working at Rhodes, Dawn owns a chiropractic clinic in Bartlett with her husband, Matthew. They both enjoy international adventures and travel as often as possible.



Don Kesner, Director Product Solutions, First Touch Payment Solutions


Don is a senior level management executive with a 29+ year history of driving revenue growth in domestic and international businesses within the electronic payment /domestic banking / emerging technology / e-commerce arena.  His record of accomplishments in divisional turn-around and leading international / national / regional service programs and teams is built on a personal desire to contribute to the overall effectiveness of a company as measured by its competitors. He has been recognized for innovative ideas and outside-the-box thinking while establishing new performance benchmarks in developing and promoting a company's products and services. 


Throughout his career, Don has established a history for achieving and surpassing revenue growth goals by using a ROI-driven approach to operational planning.  Don has worked for EFS (leader in the transportation payment space), ConcordEFS and FirstData (both leaders in electronic payments) and has made a significant contribution to all those companies to be dominant against their peers.

Don is currently in a leadership role at First Touch Payment Solutions, a local aggressive electronic payments company that provides products and services in the business analytics arena.



Emily Owens, CIO, Shelby County Schools

Emily Owens is the Chief Information Officer with Shelby County Schools, the largest school district in the state of Tennessee. Emily is responsible for leading both the IT department and the District's Project Management Office.
Emily has spent 20 years in the IT industry, much of that time leading large scale operational and development projects. Prior to her current role, Emily spent 16 years in multiple IT positions at FedEx in both the Memphis, TN, and Orlando, FL, areas. In her leadership positions at FedEx she managed multiple teams across the domestic US and traveled extensively across the world visiting many IT sites and multiple business partners. Emily holds an MBA and bachelor's degree in Business/MIS from Regis University.



Josh Siddon, Director of Information Technology, Shelby County Schools


Josh Siddon serves as the Director of Information Technology at the Shelby County School District. He is responsible for directing all the technology services initiatives for the district.  He has successful track record managing Networks, Product Development, QA, Data Analytics, and Datacenter Virtualization.


Josh is also experienced in interfacing with key business units on property and leveraging technology to improve business processes.
Josh has over 15 years of experience in Information Technology, both direct hands-on and in management roles.  Prior positions held include Regional Director, Department Manager, Network Manager, Sr. Systems Engineer, and Network Administrator.




Joel Tracy, CIO, IMC Companies


Joel Tracy is the Chief Information Officer with IMC Companies, a national logistics company focused on international shipments.  Company services include container drayage, customs house brokerage, freight forwarding and maintenance and repair.  As the CIO, Joel is responsible for leading IT development, delivery and integration of technology platforms and solutions for IMC's Operational and BackOffice systems.  



A 27-year IT veteran, Joel has spent most of that time leading large scale application development projects. Prior to his current role Joel held managing director positions at FedEx in Enterprise Services, Electronic Commerce Systems, Software Quality Assurance, Customer Service Systems, and Finance/Legal Systems.  In each of these leadership positions Joel worked closely with his business partners and traveled extensively to locations around the world.  While in these roles Joel helped guide the strategic use of several technology areas such as Service Oriented Architecture, Database concepts, Software Quality Assurance, CRM, and ERP.  Joel holds an Executive MBA from the University of Memphis and a bachelor's degree in Business/MIS from Bowling Green State University.




Drazen Vamplin, CIO, Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute



Drazen Vamplin has provided IT leadership at the Semmes-Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute in Memphis for over 10 years.  There he has led several infrastructure and systems implementations and has managed integration projects of disparate medical systems in order to facilitate information exchange between Practice Management (PM), Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) as well as many other projects.  Prior to his current position, Drazen gained business analysis and IT experience in the financial and technology industries.

Drazen holds an Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of Maribor, Slovenia, and maintains a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation granted by the Project Management Institute.

When out and about with his lovely wife, Drazen is often approached by strangers remarking on his resemblance to Liam Neeson.  Lately he spends his spare time at the gym, trying to become a tough guy.


Michael Williams, IT Director, National Bankers Trust 

Born in Bossier City, LA and moved to Austin, TX when I was 4 years old. Worked at Progressive Insurance for 12+ years. Moved to Memphis in August of 2008 to become Lead Application Developer at NBT. I'm the IT Manager as of November of 2013 and I continue to be the Lead Application Developer. Currently managing 4 team members and looking for a new Lead Application Developer (IBM Domino). First point of contact for all IT related questions and decisions. Work closely with the business side to ensure we have the appropriate equipment and software to take care of all daily activities. Oversee our secondary location, which serves as a backup datacenter. On a side note....The Dallas Cowboys will actually be good again some day!





In Memoriam 


Dave Barger, CEO, LunaWeb

We were saddened to learn of the tragic death of our member, Dave Barger.   His vision and dedication to SIM, our outreach, and the IT profession will be missed.  An excerpt from the Commercial Appeal article about the accident follows:

"Family members and co-workers identified the man who died in a kayak accident on the Wolf River near Germantown Saturday as David Barger Jr., chief executive officer of LunaWeb.
Authorities had not released the victim's identity by Monday afternoon, but Barger's wife, Maurrean Barger, and Steve Phipps, vice president of LunaWeb, confirmed Barger's death.

Barger, 50, was instrumental in raising the profile of the local tech community. "He's one of the best people I've ever had the opportunity to work with," Phipps said.

According to authorities at the scene Saturday, Barger was part of a family outing, kayaking west along the Wolf River, which skirts Germantown's northern border. Family members lost sight of him about 2:15 p.m. near the Germantown Road bridge and scrambled out of the river looking for help. A medical helicopter in the area provided aerial support and Barger was located near Kirby Road and Humphreys Boulevard.  He was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His wife said he had about six months' kayaking experience before the accident. The family will hold a public service at Calvary Church in Cordova on Thursday at 3 p.m. in addition to a private service at their Fayette County home.

The couple has two daughters, Savannah, 11, and Celeste, 9. A scholarship for the girls will be set up in honor of her husband, Barger said.

The Bargers lived in the Memphis area for more than 20 years, and he organized monthly events for local companies to learn how technology could help their businesses.

"He was very generous with his time and his energy," Maurrean Barger said. "I used to call him the godfather of social media."

A 2012 profile of Barger by The Commercial Appeal described his launch of GeekMemphis, a group that staged forums, workshops and networking events. He also rebranded Social Expedition, a technology and social media group, to Interactive Expedition. Barger said at the time he wanted "to raise the tech tide in Memphis."

"For 20 years I've been hearing that Memphis is behind other cities in regard to technology issues, and I'm tired of it. Now is the time to make a change," he said.

"He wanted to see Memphis continue to grow and get better," Phipps said of Barger. "He had a heart for wanting to see people do well."



Community_OutreachCommunity Outreach
by Danita Macon
By David Ulloa and Ed Charbonnet


Teen Tech Camp at the Memphis Public Library is our longest running program with this year making the 10th year. Eigh
en students participated in this years program.  A grand total of 229 students have attended over the years.


In addition to the campers, in the picture you can see SIM members David Ulloa on the right and David Pekol on the left. Ed Charbonnet is in the back center and Richard Stanley is to the right of Ed. SIM member Philip Mashburn also participated but is not pictured. Finally, Mark Marcus from SAP, also not pictured, was at the camp on Monday.


To see coverage presented by My Fox Memphis, please click here.


To volunteer or to provide donations for next year's session, please contact David Ulloa

Other Updates

Simposium 2014
SIMposium 2014, the premier conference for technology executives, practitioners, and business leaders is now open for registration. The year, the conference will be held in Denver, CO starting November 2nd and running through November 4th. For more information, watch the video at SIMposium - video.  You may sign up by following this link SIMPosium 2014.

Members In Transition Program

Start utilizing this SIM member benefit today!

The Members In Transition (MIT) program was developed to assist SIM members who are in transition or looking to make a career change, by providing a forum to share leads, connections, opportunities and advice. We encourage all members to join, whether you are looking for a change or just want to help fellow members in need. Start expanding your network today!  

Already employed? Members need your help!

Join in the MIT program to help fellow members. There is no time commitment to fulfill so you can be as active as you would like. Here's how you can get involved...

  • Members in need are looking for part time or contract work - find them on the Helping Hands Roster.
  • Offer advice on the weekly telecoms held Tuesdays @ 12pm ET or Thursdays @ 8am ET
  • Offer up connections by joining our Linked In group
  • Post openings that others have shared with you, or that are open at your organization
  • Offer advice to those in need.

Looking for a new position? Currently out of work?

MIT can broaden your search and provide the resources you need!

You can take advantage of ALL of the MIT resources mentioned above as well as the Career Portal. Here you will find resources to help in your job search. Resources include...

  • Job boards
  • Weekly live webinars
  • Job source resources
  • Resume review
  • Resource library including past webinars, audio recordings and articles

For a complete list of benefits visit (under career center) or contact Don Kesner, Jana Markowitz, or Susan Caldwell, your local MIT representatives by sending an email to

For more information on how to get involved contact Veronica Sullivan at


Next Meeting

September 23, 2014 
Hilton Memphis
28th Annual SIM Strategy Series for Executives  



Have SIM Memphis News to Share for the Next Quarterly Newsletter?
Please email our  Marketing Chair, Darrell Price


SIM Memphis

2014 Board of Directors



Mario Simmons



Michael Jones



Jim Boyd



Jana Branham

Susan Caldwell 



Bob Johnson



Danita Macon



Darrell Price



Jarrett Morgan

Kevin Morgan



Rick Pride 



Dick Vandenberg


Past President

Della Adams


Newsletter Contributors
  Susan Caldwell

    Jana Markowitz 

David Ulloa
Danita Macon
Mario Simmons
About SIM
Established in 1968, the Society for Information Management (SIM) is the premier network for IT leaders. SIM is comprised of more than 3,600 members including CIOs, senior IT executives, prominent academicians, and foremost consultants. Through its 31 chapters, SIM provides resources and programs inspired by IT leaders for IT leaders that enable CIOs to further develop their leadership capabilities and those of the emerging leaders in their organizations. SIM provides the premiere collective voice to advocate policy and legislation on behalf of the IT profession. 

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