Memphis Chapter - Society for Information Management
                                           Quarterly Newsletter  |  2014, Vol 4   
About the Newsletter
The Quarterly Newsletter provides an overview of SIM Memphis Chapter news, upcoming meetings, events, and location community outreach programs.
Executive Summary
Membership News

Membership Renewal Time -- It's not too late to renew!

Membership renewal is upon us. If you have not renewed, please take time to do so now.

SIM Memphis Chapter Shines at 2014 SIMposium!

At SIMposium, a Memphis chapter member was nominated for Leader of the Year. ..more>>
Also, a Memphis SIM team wins 2014 SIM paper competition. 

Welcome New Members! 
During the fourth quarter, our chapter added thirteen new members and welcomed back two returning members.
Community Outreach


SIM Memphis promotes STEM!  

The community outreach committee continues work with the four Memphis girls' schools ...more>>

The team also seeks to foster a relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Memphis.  ...more>> 
Special Updates
SIMposium 2015 is November 1-3, 2015, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Registration is now open.

Click here to register. ...more>>

Memphis Chapter Leadership
The 2015 Memphis SIM Board has been installed. ...more>>

 For more information on all Special Updates, please click here Special Updates ...>.
Membership_NewsMembership News
by Susan Caldwell and Diane Coons

It's still not too late to renew your membership for 2015. You may pay securely by credit card via PayPal or by personal or corporate check. Although our costs have continued to rise, our successful Strategy Series has allowed us to hold dues at the same rate for over eight years without an increase!  Click HERE to renew by credit card or email to request an invoice.
Dues cover your membership in SIM International, the Memphis Chapter monthly programs including seated dinners, Strategy Series, the holiday party for member and guest, annual subscription to MIS Quarterly, access to the Advanced Practices Council (APC) and Regional Leadership Forum (RLF), help for Members in Transition, discount on SIMposium, the annual SIM International event.

Depending on your level of membership, this works out to a less than $40 a month investment in your professional development. Even if your company does not reimburse you, there is no other investment you will make in yourself and your career that will match the benefits of your membership in the only premier society for information technology professionals - and it is tax deductible.





by Susan Caldwell

Each year, Chapter Leaders from across the country are submitted to SIM International for consideration as a SIM Leader of the Year.  The award recognizes member contributions to the growth, advancement, and excellence of SIM at the local and/or international level. The SIM Memphis Chapter is delighted that Jana Markowitz
was selected as one of the five leaders of the eighteen nominated to receive this award in 2014.  

Selection criteria includes the member's:  

  • Involvement in SIM at the local and/or international level
  • Efforts to increase awareness of SIM and its mission at the local and/or international levels
  • Efforts in support of the advancement of SIM initiatives locally and/or internationally
  • Additional evidence submitted outlining why the nominee is deserving of the award

For more information about Jana's and the other four winners and runners up, click here. 




Memphis SIM Team Wins 2014 SIM Paper Competition by Susan Caldwell  

A local Memphis team of academics and practitioners won the 2014 SIM Academic Paper Competition. Their paper, "Re-Visioning IT for Value: The Value Stream Initiative at Buckman" was awarded first place at the recent SIMposium national convention in Denver Colorado.  Congratulations to Brian Janz, The University of Memphis, Tim Meek, CIO, Buckman, Ernest Nichols, The University of Memphis, and John Oglesby, Director, Corporate Systems and IT Governance, Buckman for their winning efforts.  This is the first time a Memphis team has won the competition and it brings great recognition to the SIM Memphis Chapter and to the University.   

Each year since 2001, the Society for Information Management has sponsored the SIM Academic Paper Competition. The winning paper must be a collaborative effort between academic professionals and industry practitioners. Since SIM's thrust is toward executive management, the work should describe an initiative of interest to senior IT leaders and should have a significant impact on the organization involved. 

The paper competition encourages author teams to address five specific criteria, and both the abstracts and papers are reviewed using these criteria: 

  • Innovation: Are new strategies and approaches described?
  • Impact: Does the paper address the real problem and does it help to solve the problem?
  • Implementation: Is the innovation operational?
  • Re-applicability: Is the approach applicable to other organizations?
  • Appeal and readability: Will the paper appeal to SIM membership?

The reviewer team consisted of three IT industry leaders and three academic professionals in the IT field.  

The competition reinforces the importance of research which impacts practice and research that provides valuable insights to inform information technology leaders. The paper will be published in MIS Quarterly Executive which is available to all SIM members at the SIM web site: 



New_MemberNew Members!

Membership is excited to welcome these new members to SIM Memphis. We all look forward to getting to know you and seeing you often!

Joe Cutrell
Director of Strategy & Innovation

Joe Cutrell is a Director of Strategy & Innovation at AT&T Global Business Solutions.  As a strategy resource for AT&T's largest customers, he provides technical direction to help them address their unique business challenges.  Joe assists with infrastructure architecture and works directly with enterprise executives to align technology with business priorities.  With a focus on communication and collaboration solutions, he also provides design expertise for connecting users and systems with reliable, scalable network services.

Aaron Goodwin
Wunderlich Securities

Aaron J. Goodwin is the Chief Information Officer for Wunderlich Securities, Inc.  He has been employed with Wunderlich for 10 years where he was promoted to CIO in 2009.  He is responsible for all areas of Information Technology for Wunderlich's 33 branch offices across the U.S.   Aaron's primary functions are strategic forecasting, acquisitions, project management, and infrastructure design and implementation.  In 2014, Aaron was bestowed the honor of MVP by Wunderlich's Chairman Council for his years of service and dedication to the company.  Aaron is a graduate of ITT Technical Institute with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Systems Security.  He has more than 10 years experience in multiple areas of Information Technology.  In his spare time he pursues mentoring young IT professionals, traveling, and being a photographer.

Ajitabh Gupta
Sr. Manager, IT Applications
Sedgwick CMS

Ajitabh Gupta is a senior management executive with Sedgwick Claims Management Systems, the largest Third Party Claims Administrator in North America.  Ajitabh is responsible for management and delivery of strategic and enterprise initiatives, aiding in the achievement of business strategies and goals for the organization.  Ajitabh has spent over 18 years in the IT industry, much of that time as an IT leader in an influential role in Third Party Claims Administration space shaping business architecture, product development, direction and management of an array of business programs.  Ajitabh has an established history of delivering complex enterprise initiatives with end to end solutioning and managing distributed teams delivering value to the organization. He is currently leading multiple strategic initiatives for the organization with globally dispersed teams.  Ajitabh's ability to be a hands-on and management person allows him to interact equally well with technical and management teams.  Ajitabh holds an MSBA degree from University of Memphis.


Ken Kloker
IT Manager, Technical Services
International Paper

Ken Kloker, IT Manager with International Paper's Technical Services Organization, is currently responsible for ITIL Processes and internal Account Management functions.  Ken joined IP as the Help Desk Manager in 2000.  He previously worked for AT&T as a Senior Operations Manager in Jacksonville, Florida, and Lubbock, Texas, and FedEx as an IT Manager in Memphis.  He is a graduate of the University of Memphis and is a verteran of the U.S. Army.  Ken has been married to Lynn for 10 years.  He loves to travel and recently took up running.


Kim Ladd
IT Manager Business Process
ACH Food


Kim Ladd has been involved in Information Technology for over 30 years.  She currently serves as an IT Business Process Manager at ACH Food Companies where she has been employed for the last 11 years.  Her primary responsibilities include managing a team of Business Analysts who are responsible for supporting the Supply Chain business processes (Supply Planning, Transportation/Logistics, Warehouse Management, Procure to Pay, Manufacturing, and Quality) as well as managing larger projects involving both IT and the business. Prior to working for ACH, she spent 20 years in various IT positions at Jimmy Dean Foods (division of Sara Lee/Hillshire Brands).  Kim received her Project Management certification in 2005 and served as VP of Communication for the local PMI Chapter (Project Management Institute). She also served on the PMI Membership Committee helping to develop a program to introduce new members to the local chapter.  She has served on other PMI committees such as PMI Professional Development Day and Jingle Bell Run.  One of Kim's passions is mentoring others using her professional and life experiences.  


Jason Landrum
Sedgwick CMS

Jason Landrum is Chief Information Officer with Sedgwick, the leading North American provider of technology-enabled claims and productivity management solutions. At Sedgwick, Jason is responsible for all facets of technology and innovation for the organization.  Jason has a proven track record of over 18 years delivering critical technology solutions, driving IT organizational efficiency and creating improved enterprise profitability.   Prior to joining Sedgwick, Jason held various IT leadership roles at global claims management and insurance companies.  He holds a bachelor's degree in Management of Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Robin Poston
Associate Professor; Interim Dept Chair and PhD Coordinator in MIS
University of Memphis

Dr. Poston is a Systems Testing Research Fellow and Associate Director of the System Testing Excellence Program for the FedEx Institute of Technology and she is an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fogelman College of Business & Economics at The University of Memphis.  Dr. Poston's research focuses on understanding how individuals use web-based knowledge management applications and feedback systems, internet-based dissemination of information, and systems testing management.  Dr. Poston has over 10 years of experience in the information systems field working for KPMG Consulting, Educational Computer Corporation, Meta Group Research, and Convergys, as well as consulting with several Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.  Today, she works with local organizations, such as FedEx Corporation, First Horizons, St. Jude/ALSAC, Pinnacle Airlines, Rhodes College, and the University of Memphis IT Division to conduct projects and educational programs.  She has published articles in journals such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Sciences Journal, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Computer, and others, as well as in major international conference proceedings. She currently serves as an Associate Editor at Decision Sciences. Dr. Poston received her Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from Michigan State University (2003).  



Joe Sanders
Memphis Housing Authority

Joe Sanders is the CIO and Director of Information Technology Services for the Memphis Housing Authority where he is responsible for the technology services and systems that allows the Housing Agency to provide low-income housing assistance to the citizens of Memphis, TN.  Before joining the Memphis Housing Authority Joe was General Manager and Vice President at TW (Formally Time Warner) Telecom, Inc. where he managed a Sales and Operations organization for Memphis, TN and Little Rock, AR.
Joe has a career span in Information Technology of more than twenty five years and has played major roles in large organizations and institutions.  He has held Senior and Executive level positions at the City of Memphis, First Horizon/First Tennessee Bank, Sabre (an American Airlines subsidiary) and First USA Bank (now JPMorgan Chase).  Joe began his career in the US Treasury and the US Department of Justice before becoming an Independent Consultant for Mobil Oil Corporation. Joe has been a keynote speaker to national and international conferences for Hewlett Packard, IBM, Oracle, World Cyber Security Conference in Nigeria and most recently in Wilmington, Delaware for the NAAAHR National Conference.

Dan Schweizer
Director Enterprise Architecture & Emerging Technology Research
Sedgwick CMS

Dan Schweizer serves as the Director of Enterprise Architecture and Emerging Technology Research at Sedgwick, the leading North American provider of technology enabled claims and productivity management solutions. Dan has spent the majority of his life in Memphis, moving here when he was just starting high school.  In his 20 years at Sedgwick, he has performed numerous roles in IT. Dan played a key role in the development of JURIS, Sedgwick's proprietary claims management system, and provided architecture direction through many years of accelerated company growth. In his current role as Director, he leads a team of enterprise architects that provide architecture vision and direction for the organization as well as standards and best practices. When not at Sedgwick, Dan likes to dabble in photography. He can also be found most Sunday mornings behind the lighting console at Highpoint Church Memphis.

Paul Shook
Manager Business Process
ACH Food

Paul Shook is a Manager of Business Processes for ACH Food Companies where he has been working for over 12 years.  He is currently responsible for managing a team of business analysts who are responsible for supporting the processes and projects for the Finance, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Product Development, and Demand Planning functional areas of ACH's business.  He is also responsible for organizing and leading ACH's Data Management Organization, which is an IT/Business cross-functional team responsible for establishing governance rules and managing master data at ACH as well as the applications/processes needed to support data governance and data entry.  Paul is a graduate of Mississippi State University.  He also received a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Christian Brothers and has been certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP).   Paul has worked actively in his church for many years serving as a Deacon and sitting on multiple committees throughout those years.   

Richie Trenthem
Director IT
Rhodes College

Richie is the IT Director at Rhodes College.  He has 20+ years in IT; most of this time has been working in higher education.  He is part of the leadership team for Rhodes' merged Library/IT division, and enjoys being at the center of the tech-driven transformation of research, teaching, and learning that is disrupting higher ed.  Much of his previous experience has been administering systems and networks. He has learned to feign ignorance during wistful discussions of VMS.  He's not hiding his age; he's simply sparing his broken heart.  He is a native Memphian, and lives in midtown Memphis with his wife, three kids, and a gratefully geriatric rat terrier. 



Sharon Weymouth
V.P. IT Casualty Operations
Sedgwick CMS 



Andrew Wylie
Southeastern Asset Management  






After a brief "vacation", we warmly welcome back the following members to active membership in SIM Memphis!

Scott Herren
Director Global IT Infrastructure
Buckman International

As Manager of Network and Computer Systems for Buckman International, Scott is responsible for network performance and security at all Buckman globally, establishing standards for computer system architecture, and supporting each location around the clock. For over 20 years, Scott has been a respected member of the the talented IT professionals at all Buckman locations working to achieve the goal of World Class IT.

Brian Janz
Professor, Management Information Services; Innovator in Residence - FedEx Institute of Technology, Associate Director, FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management
University of Memphis

Dr. Janz is the First Tennessee Professor of MIS and also serves as the first Innovator in Residence at the FedEx Institute of Technology.  He is also the Associate Director of the FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Memphis, and has been named a George Johnson Teaching Fellow.  Brian is a recipient of the University of Memphis's Distinguished Teaching Award, a recipient of a Suzanne Palmer Professorship for Teaching, as well as the University of Memphis MIS Advisory Council's Outstanding Teaching Award.  He is currently focusing on how to improve the quality of pedagogy in online education.  Brian's research interests focus on how information technologies affect organizational strategy, design, business processes, and supply chains. His most recent research is focusing on the implementation and use of emerging technologies in the healthcare industry, the use of social action networks and co-creative models in healthcare, and the pacing and sequencing of implementing organizational strategies.  Brian's research has been published in book chapters as well as many academic and practitioner journals as including MIS Quarterly, Decision Science, Communications of the AIS, Journal of MIS, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Database Management, Journal of Information Technology Management, and Information and Management.

Brian has been affiliated with SIM for over 20 years in both Minneapolis and Memphis, and is a past president, program chair, and Strategy Series chair for the Memphis Chapter. He has over 30 years of experience in the information systems field working for The University of Minnesota, IBM, Honeywell, and General Motors, and consults widely with many Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies.  Brian did his bachelor's degree work in electrical engineering at both The University of Wisconsin and The University of Minnesota, and earned an MBA and a Ph.D. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. 
OutreachCommunity Outreach
by Jana Markowitz and Ed Charbonnet

STEM Outreach to the Four Memphis Girls' Schools

by Jana Markowitz

SIM Memphis started talking to the four girls' schools in Memphis in 2012.  We've come a long way since then.  This year SIM introduced Rock the Street, Wall Street (RTSWS), a non-profit based in Nashville which focuses on getting more young women interested in degrees and careers in Finance, to three girls' schools in Memphis.  How is Finance STEM?  Finance is very math-centric - and of course there is no Finance without Technology.  


RTSWS's program is a combination of classroom time (materials from Wharton, teachers who are Finance professionals), field trips and mentoring - all just for girls.  RTSWS is currently working with girls from 14 public and private high schools in Tennessee and expanding soon to Chicago.  

Special thanks to Bruce Livesay, CIO at First Tennessee, who has invited the girls' schools to visit both First Tennessee's women executives in Finance and their Trading Floor.  Also thanks to Kellie Maske, FedEx Senior Economist, who has offered to introduce the girls to FedEx Finance executives.

St. Mary's held their first 5-week RTSWS program in October/November by incorporating it into their World Politics class and will continue in the Spring Semester.  Hutchison and St. Agnes have plans to incorporate the RTSWS into their personal finance curriculum in Fall 2015.

St. Mary's has also added a Maker Space Lab for 3D printing, robotics team activities and other hands-on tech projects.  They started their first Design class in Fall 2014, which uses the 3D printer and will add an Intro to Engineering class in Fall 2015.

There will be lots of volunteer opportunities for SIM members and their Finance and Engineering colleagues in 2015, so be sure to register as a volunteer on NPower/The Community Corps here:

Click on this registration link:  Memphis Volunteers 

Contact Jana Markowitz,, if you are interested in getting involved with the girls' schools.  




STEM Outreach to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis 

by Ed Charbonnet



For the past two months the outreach group has been particularly focused on initiating more STEM projects for students in the Memphis areas.

In particular Jana Markowitz and Ed Charbonnet have been holding meetings with the BGCM - Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.  We have held 3 presentations - first to a board member - Steve Bargiacchi - at his request, and then to the President and one of the VP's at their request, and lastly to the Directors and Assistant Directors of each of the 6 clubs.

The main focus has been to initiate FLL - First Lego League - teams at each of the clubs and build up from there.  FLL introduces young people, ages 9-14 (typically grades 4-8) to the fun and excitement of science and technology. But there are also initiatives under discussion for other technology and career building programs for their training center.  Leaders of BGCM have expressed sincere interest but are concerned about the costs and manpower considering their current tight budgets.  They wish to work on discovery to see how they would fund the initial programs and what the student interest will be.  To this end SIM has pledged a grant of $6,000 to fund the initial teams.  BGCM has tentatively scheduled a mock FLL competition at their Hickory Hill club to help determine the potential interest by the boys and girls.

They eagerly wish to start some technology programs but are trying to determine which programs and where.

Meanwhile 2 SIM members have volunteered to become mentor for 2 high schools involved in the FRC level of the US First Robotics programs.  Kevin Morgan is volunteering at Collierville High and Ed Charbonnet is volunteering at White Station High.  The competitions enter high gear starting January 3rd.

The Teen Tech Camp programs at the Memphis Library and the Horn Lake Library are progressing with their plans for their summer programs.  This will be the first year that TTC will be at the Horn Lake Library.  

Special Updates

Special Updates
Simposium 2015
SIMposium, the premier conference for technology executives, practitioners, and business leaders is right around the corner. This year, the conference will be held in Charlotte, NC starting November 1st and running through November 3rd. For more information, watch the video at SIMposium - video.


Register now by clicking here.  





Memphis SIM 2015 Leadership Board

President - Michael Jones

Vice-President - Jarrett Morgan

Treasurer - Jim Boyd

Governance Chair - Michael Boyd

Strategy Series Chair - Kevin Morgan 

Strategy Series Co-Chair - Josh Siddon

Membership Chair - Mason Rotelli

Membership Co-Chair - Susan Caldwell

Programs Chair - Ahmed Esmail

Community Outreach Chair - Danita Macon

Community Outreach Co-Chair - Ed Charbonnet

Marketing Chair - Darrell Price

Marketing Co-Chair - Debbie Smith

SIM International Liaison - Rick Pride

Immediate Past President - Mario Simmons


Please click here for Board member bios 

Next Meeting

January 8, 2015  
Crescent Center
Protecting the North American Electric Grid
The Utility Industry & Cyber Regulation



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


Newsletter Contributors
Susan Caldwell
Jana Markowitz  
Ed Charbonnet
Darrell Price, Editor

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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