Memphis Chapter - Society for Information Management
                                      Quarterly Newsletter  |  2015, Vol 1   
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 - Are You Missing Out? 

Are you taking advantage of this tool to network with your peers ...more>> 

Welcome New Members! 

During the first quarter, our chapter added four new members....more>> 
Published! See what two of our members - Jana Branham and Dr. Bill Kettinger, have published ...more>>  
Community Outreach


US First Lego Robotics at BGCM - Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis

Two clubs underway building Lego robots ...more>>

US First FRC league in the High Schools

The bots are built and ready for competition!  ...more>>

Teen Tech Camp - Summer of 2015
 Three "TTC"s this summer!  ...more>> 
Regional Leadership Forum
A Taste of RLF - Special Event for April!. ...more>>
Register HERE

Protecting the North American Electric Grid: The Utility Industry Responds to Cyber-Regulation
January Program  ...more>>

The IT Pricing Game

February Program  ...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

SIMNet - Are you missing out?  


In survey after survey, one of the top reasons IT professionals join SIM is the ability to network with peers in our industry. One the primary tools for this is the SIM website,, yet it is one of the most underutilized by our chapter. Here are just a few of the things you will find on the site.

  • Access to the full directory of SIM members in all chapters (more about this in a minute)

  • Complete information about our chapter including upcoming meetings, current and past program presentations, board members profiles, chapter marketing materials, outreach programs, past newsletters, etc.

  • Details about the SIM International programs open to members such as Advanced Practices Council, Regional Leadership Forum, Special Interest Groups such as IT Procurement, Enterprise Architecture, SIM Women, etc., SIMposium, National Board members, and it goes on.

While some information is accessible to anyone, the good stuff - like the member directory -- is only available to members. Upon acceptance as a member, every member receives a login and password to access the site. If you do not know your information, send an email to and we will send it to you.

One very important part of the site is the Member Profile. This is similar to the LinkedIn profile and it's where you can provide information about yourself, your company, your projects, your technology... i.e., things that help you network with fellow members/birds of a feather. To encourage you to complete your profile, SIM Memphis is holding a raffle. Anyone who enhances their profile between today and May 1, will be entered in the raffle to win a cool prize.   To access your profile, simply click on the "My Profile" link at the top right of any page on the site.

So, invest a few minutes in your Profile and start exploring TODAY! You'll be glad you did!


New 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!

Mike McCranie
Thomas & Betts


Mike McCranie is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Thomas & Betts based in Memphis. Thomas & Betts is a $2B manufacturer of electrical products used for commercial and industrial construction, industrial plant maintenance, repair and operation, electrical utility distribution, and original equipment manufacturing applications. Prior to joining Thomas & Betts in December 2014, Mike was based in Atlanta and worked with the Kimberly-Clark Corporation for 15 years. While at Kimberly-Clark, Mike served as Divisional CIO for Kimberly-Clark Health Care business and as the Divisional CIO for the Kimberly-Clark Professional business.

Mike earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Information Systems Management and Finance from the Georgia College & State University. He is also actively involved in the CIO Executive Council's Pathways Program, and has completed numerous IT leadership programs, including training at the Academy for Leadership Development for Aspiring CIOs.

Mike and his wife, Kim, have two children and they reside in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Rickey McCauley
East Arkansas Family Health Center

Rickey McCauley has worked and lived in the Arkansas Delta his entire life.  For 14 years he was employed in the banking industry, where his former employer coordinated outreach activities in the area of community development, economic education, research and monetary policy.  These activities included sponsoring and hosting community seminars, providing economic education workshops, conducting regional economic research and gathering monetary policy input from business leaders within the local community.  His role was addressing all technology issues at the local office.


Rickey is the Chief Information Officer at the East Arkansas Family Health Center.  The East Arkansas Family Health Center (EAFHC) is devoted to providing accessible, affordable, and quality primary caredental care, and support services to the underserved populations in Crittenden, Poinsett, Mississippi, and Phillips County. Within these counties, they have five primary care medical offices and an HIV/AIDS care center.  He is responsible for providing technical guidance and support for 6 sites in 5 locations.  He duties also include managing Environmental Services, Facility Management, Transportation, and Shipping and Receiving.


In addition to his professional career, Rickey has served his community in several capacities for over 20 years.  He currently serves as the Vice-President of the Mid-Way Water Authority in Crittenden County, Arkansas. He also serves as the chairman of the Deacon's Ministry at the Old St. Paul Church in West Memphis, Arkansas.  In the past, he has served as a community alderman, founder and past president of the Eastern Arkansas Community Outreach and Development Corporation.  He also served on a local building committee that constructed a 4.1 million dollar worship center and owner representative for a 7 million dollar health center.  He has also chaired many fund-raiser for a local volunteer fire department.


Rickey graduated from LeMoyne-Owen College with a degree in Computer Science and a concentration in Mathematics.  He also is a graduate of the Delta Leadership Institute sponsored by the Delta Regional Authority. He also received a certificate of completion from the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education for Leadership for the 21st Centry.


On this journey, Rickey has his wife, Melvia, to thank for her encouragement and great support.  They have four girls, Kendra, Keshia, Kayla, and Kaia.  He also has many community leaders and organizations to commend and thank for their support.



New Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) Members


Memphis continues our strong participation in RLF in 2015. We again welcome two new members who are currently participating in the program.

Paul Fitzgerald
Computer Systems Engineer 
Buckman International

Paul has served Buckman International in a number of roles since 1996, including Technical Library Assistant, Web Application Developer, and PC Support Specialist. Since 1998, Paul has held the position of Computer Systems Engineer where his responsibilities have included leading and contributing to projects and initiatives related to the design, operation, support, and maintenance of various systems, services, and line of business applications. Paul specializes in and is passionate about Microsoft technologies ranging from traditional on-premises solutions such as Windows Server and Active Directory to modern cloud-based offerings such as Office 365 and its constituent services.

Paul holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Technology from Southwest Tennessee Community College and recently began working toward a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies with a concentration in Management of Information Systems from the College of Adult Professional Studies at Christian Brothers University.

Paul was born and raised in Memphis and has lived here his entire life. He married his wife Heather nearly seven years ago and together they have two energetic and imaginative daughters-Taylor, who will turn five in June, and Lauren, who will turn two in April. The entire family enjoys listening to music, watching movies, eating out at restaurants, going on road trips, and anything and everything Disney. The family planned their first Disney vacation this past December and hope to make it an annual family tradition.


Brent Ellis
Enterprise Content Management Engineer
Buckman International

Brent joined Buckman in December 2013 as an Enterprise Content Management Engineer, specializing in the strategic design and development of enterprise portal and cloud-based solutions using Microsoft Office 365 and related technologies, including SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive for Business, and Yammer. He spent the previous 7 years as a strategic technology consultant for the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting multiple Department of Defense clients, including the Navy for 4 years in Millington, Tennessee, where he led a team in the IT project management office responsible for executing 100+ projects focusing on business process improvement, electronic forms, workflows, and digital signatures.   He has a broad range of functional and technical experience including project management, business analysis, IT strategy and governance, web design, user experience design, information architecture, and systems engineering.

Brent and his wife Ashley have been married for 8 years and have a two children, Hadley, age 4, and John Ross, age 2. Brent is originally from Germantown, Tennessee and currently lives in Southaven, Mississippi. Brent has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, Tennessee and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Brent enjoys scenic photography, watching good movies and TV series, and spending time with his family.



MEMBERS IN THE NEWS - Just Published!

Jana Branham


ACH Food Companies


Just published!  Look for Jana's article in the latest CIO Review Magazine: Food & Beverages Technology Special, where Jana discusses "The Transforming Role of the CIO".  View her article by clicking HERE.  Notice the plug she gave SIM!




Dr. Bill Kettinger

MIS Professor and FedEx Chair of Excellence
University of Memphis


Dr. Bill Kettinger, Professor and FedEx Chair of Excellence in MIS at the University of Memphis and a SIM member since 2007, has been awarded $2,500 for his article published in EJIS (AIS-6, A+). The reward is based on the MIS AIS-6 PUBLICATION AWARDS PROGRAM GUIDELINES, supported by the MIS Advisory Board and Department of MIS.  Consistent with FCBE's mission of research aimed for the highest levels, the MIS department offers incentives for high-quality MIS research publications to support strategic goals in Research Productivity and Faculty Research Development.  The incentive program encourages publishing in the rest of the AIS-6 high-quality MIS research journals, which is the basis for MIS department rankings in universities across the nation.

In addition, Bill received the Best Paper Aware at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICCSS) in the Organizational Systems and Technology Track, for his paper entitled, "Late to the Game:  Assessing IT Integration Risk After the Acquisition Target has Been Identified." The paper was co-authored by Stefan Hennningsson of the Copenhagen Business School. In its 48th year, HICSS attaches close to 1000 researchers from around the world. IT papers are published in the Proceedings by the IEEE Computer Society Press and carried in the IEEE digital library Xplore. HICSS is the #1 IS conference in terms of citations as recorded by Google Scholar.

Please congratulate Bill on a job well done!


OutreachCommunity Outreach
by Ed Charbonnet

US First Lego Robotics at BGCM - Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis


I deeply wish that all of you could hear and feel the excitement in the room as a student gets the Lego robot to move for the first time and see it perform steps that they programmed it to perform.


The room is filled with cheering, gasps, clapping and the "What ifs". They start to make variations in their programs to try different moves. They learn by doing and they feel a great sense of accomplishment.


Using funds the SIM has provided, we have 2 clubs underway:

  1. Bernal Smith on Ross Road (Raines and Riverdale area)

    1. 4 sessions (should have been 6 by now but for the ice and snow);

    2. 10 regular attendees;

    3. Vinson Smith is the director and is a strong supporter;

  2. Ira Samelson on Isabelle St (Grahamwood and Summer)

    1. 1 session (ice and snow messed up the second)

    2. Have 2 volunteers from the club staff that we are training with the skills and goals;

    3. Had first bot built and running in 1 session;

    4. Kendra Moore is the director and also a strong supporter;

  3. Next Club?

    1. Not likely soon unless some volunteers step forward;

    2. Only 2 members of SIM are active so far so they will have to focus on these 2 clubs;


The initial goal is to expose as many of the students as possible to the fun and learning provided by these Lego kits. Then by late May or into June we hope to develop a steady team of 8 to 10 students from each club who wish to delve much deeper and actually form a team for the First Lego League. Early results are very promising.




 US First FRC league in the High Schools


SIM has members active in 2 High Schools - White Station and Collierville. Their bots are built and ready for competition. Please see the attached pictures of the White Station "SpartaBot". This should impression you with the size and complexity of these bots. The boys and girls on each of these teams have done most of the design and construction work and - as of the writing of this article - will be headed off to Atlanta March 25th to compete in that regional competition on Friday and Saturday the 27th and 28th.

These experiences are exposing these young adults to team building and engineering and math concepts that hopefully will lead many of them to technical careers. They will meet young men and women like themselves from all over the region.





Teen Tech Camp - Summer of 2015


After celebrating our 10th anniversary of "Teen Tech Camp" this past summer, it has started to spread. All of a sudden we have 3 TTC's scheduled for this summer instead of one! SIM is proud to see its idea spreading but we are hoping a few more SIM members will volunteer to share a few mornings in July.


In these TTC camps, the students learn to program using the language SCRATCH or one of the popular tools for building APPS for modern mobile devices. Professionals who are knowledgeable in these areas teach these concepts.


But for 45 minutes each morning, SIM members help explain how IT touches everything they do and how IT and other engineering disciplines make for very rewarding careers. In particular we share with the students the "order to cash" process and tie IT processes to shopping experiences they each know in their daily lives. And we show them how IT makes all of this happen smoothly and efficiently.


Without a few more SIM volunteers we may not be able to provide these 45 minute sessions to all of the TTC programs.


Where are the 3 TTC programs this summer?


Dates and locations:

  1. Memphis - July 13-18 at Whitehaven Branch (15-17 years old)

  2. Memphis - July 21-25 at Central Branch (12 -14 years old)

  3. Hornlake - July 21-25 at Hornlake Library (12 - 14 years old)


If you can help us, please reach out to Ed Charbonnet or David Ulloa. We provide you with structure for your time of sharing.


by Ahmed Esmail




A Taste of RLF - Special Event for April!

Join us on April 9th from 4-8pm as we share a program that will familiarize you with the Regional Leadership Forum, one of SIM's most successful offerings.  RLf has been in existence for over 20 years and honors over 3,500 graduates.  
Click here to download the RLF detailed brochure. 


The evening's program will not only provide information on what RLF is (and is not), but will offer attendees the opportunity to participate in exercises, discussions and presentations that are part of the program itself.


While we do not have the opportunity to review a full book, one of the core components of RLF, we will be discussing the McKinsey report IT Under Pressure.  Click to download and read before session


RLF has always been about the intersection of learning and leadership.  The evening will be a reflection of that philosophy.  We plan to have fun and learn at the same time.


NOTE: Meeting is open to non-member guests.

Perfect opportunity to introduce your corporate Professional Development group to this unique offering.


Don't miss this program!







4:00 pm Welcome

4:05 pm Warm-up Exercise

4:15 pm What is RLF?

4:30 pm Article Discussion - IT Under Pressure, McKinsey Global Survey

5:00 pm RLF Graduate Panel

5:30 pm Buffet Dinner

6:15 pm Leadership Discussion - The Art of Possibility (video), Rosemund Stone & Benjamin Zander

7:00 CIO speaker

7:30 Topical Exercise - Defining Leadership

7:45 Wrap-up & Discussion


Discussion Leader


Phil Zwieg

Regional Leadership Forum


Phil currently functions as a Director and Facilitator for the Regional Leadership Forum sponsored by the Society for Information Management (SIM).  He formerly served as Vice President - Information Systems at Northwestern Mutual and head of the Information Systems organization at We Energies.  Phil received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his MBA from Marquette University.  He taught for over 21 years as an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Business at Marquette University.  Phil is past-President of the Board of Directors of Lad Lake, Inc. and has been a member of the Society for Information Management for over 30 years, serving in board roles at both the national and local levels.  In 2009, he was named IT Leader of the Year by SIM International. 




Programs in Review

January Program - Protecting the North American Electric Grid: The Utility Industry Responds to Cyber-Regulation


Lashell Vaughn, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, and Allan Long, Utility Compliance Manager of Memphis Light, Gas, and Water spoke about the threats facing the utility industry and how MLGW is responding to protect its critical assets. No component is more vital to the safety, economy, and quality of life than our electric grid. As the nation's largest three-service municipal utility, Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is actively addressing both physical and cyber security while also implementing new technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability of its services. They discussed efforts in complying with evolving mandatory standards issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) under the direction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).





February Program - The IT Pricing Game

Bob Stanley, Managing Director of ClearEdge Partners wowed us with tricks and tips on ways to get the best pricing from top IT Vendors. Bob utilized is over 22 years of sales and executive leadership to give SIM members the inside look at how to understand the critical information that affects pricing metrics, services levels, and discounts. With a full-house crowd, the questions kept coming to understand how to outmaneuver IT vendors' sales teams.



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 Program

April 9, 2015  
Crescent Center
A Taste of RLF
Regional Leadership Forum 



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


SIM Memphis

2015 Board of Directors



Michael Jones



Jarrett Morgan



Jim Boyd



Mason Rotelli

Susan Caldwell 



Ahmed Esmail
Joe Cutrell 



Danita Macon

Ed Charbonnet



Darrell Price

Debbie Smith



Kevin Morgan

Josh Siddon



Rick Pride 



Michael Boyd


Mario Simmons

Newsletter Contributors
Susan Caldwell
Ed Charbonnet
Darrell Price and Debbie Smith, Editors