Features April 2021

Karen Warren – Wesleyan University

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Guiding IT at a small institution that delivers big results is not what Karen Warren expected as an undergraduate English major. Now it’s a point of pride for Warren as deputy CIO at Wesleyan University. In helping meet the needs of faculty, students and administration, Warren emphasizes resourcefulness and practicality—this in keeping with the history […]

Murali Natarajan – West Bend Mutual Insurance

Est. reading time: 4 mins

When Murali Natarajan came to the U.S. for IT consulting assignments in 1994, he did not expect his work would become something bigger. “I did not graduate college planning to work for an insurance company,” he says of the assignment at RLI Insurance Co. that proved to be a turning point in his life. Yet, […]

Brice Bible – The University at Buffalo

Est. reading time: 4 mins

There’s a lot happening by the shores of Lake Erie in western New York, and Brice Bible loves being in the thick of it. For nearly a decade, the city of Buffalo has been enjoying an economic resurgence, Bible says, changing from a Rust Belt manufacturing center to a high-tech hub as both state and […]

Stephen Colavito – Lakeview Capital Partners

Est. reading time: 4 mins

Though Stephen Colavito has worked in wealth management and investing for more than a quarter century, a conversation about his experiences rarely broaches his past. Instead, he’s thrilled about what the future holds, particularly investment opportunities in a post COVID-19 world and how tech innovations will better link investors and wealth advisors to those opportunities. […]

Nathan Bellinger – Ceres Solutions Cooperative, Inc.

Est. reading time: 5 mins

In the late-19th century, Nathan Bellinger’s family grew mint in Indiana’s Kankakee River Valley. His grandfather sold crops to a third party, which, in turn, sold it to the Wrigley Company, which needed the mint for its iconic spearmint gum. Times and markets changed, though, forcing many Indiana farmers—including the Bellingers—to embrace new sources of […]

Stephen Forrest – Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Est. reading time: 4 mins

While some IT specialists put more emphasis on technology, Stephen Forrest is all about information. For the data-driven Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Forrest draws on his social sciences and humanist background to advance the organization. While he appreciates what technology can do, he’s not interested in only the latest and greatest tools. Instead, Forrest […]

Tom Merkle – Houston Eye Associates

Est. reading time: 4 mins

As an aerospace engineer and propulsion system designer at NASA, Tom Merkle was living a life many could only dream of—immersed in high-profile, adrenaline-coursing projects that helped bring “the final frontier” a little closer to home. During his eight-year tenure, he worked on propulsion requirement and mass properties configuration design for almost 20 Space Shuttle […]

Venkat Shatagopam – Metagenics

Est. reading time: 4 mins

He wishes the big boost that his employer has enjoyed for the past year wasn’t so attributable to a pandemic being necessary to raise overdue health concerns. “Prior to COVID, not too many people seemed that worried about their health,” says Venkat Shatagopam. “They weren’t using as many vitamins and supplements. Now everyone sees the […]

Sara Schmidt – Farmers Insurance Group

Est. reading time: 5 mins

When it comes to assembling a cutting-edge cybersecurity team, Sara Schmidt says it’s less about where someone went to school or what they studied, and more about passion and curiosity. That might not sound like the wisest strategy with today’s cybersecurity environment. But for Schmidt, the chief information security officer for Farmers Insurance Group, willingness […]

Edward Hilton – Tahoe Truckee Unified School District

Est. reading time: 4 mins

When Edward Hilton was asked to oversee the installation of a new computer lab, he had a better idea. Instead of a lab with desktop computers, he proposed a more modern, yet less expensive, idea for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s alternative school. Rather than buying computers that had to be shared, he suggested every […]

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