Business Week 2010 Featured Speakers
Robert P. Birmingham
Link Simulation & Training
Robert P. Birmingham is President of Link Simulation & Training, a division of L-3 Communications that supplies training systems and services – including flight simulators, maintenance trainers and training devices – to the U.S. Armed Forces and militaries worldwide. He joined Link in November 2008 and is responsible for managing and growing Link’s worldwide operations. Prior to Link, Mr. Birmingham was Senior Vice President for Army Programs and Strategic Planning within the L-3 Communications Sensors and Simulations Group. Mr. Birmingham also served as a consultant to the Army Science Board. Prior to joining L-3 Communications, Mr. Birmingham served as Vice President for Computer Sciences Corporation’s South East Region. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Army after 25 years of service, Mr. Birmingham served as the Program Manager for the U.S. Army Comanche Helicopter Program, formally the Army’s largest and most important development program. Mr. Birmingham also served as the Project Manager for U.S. Army Aviation Systems and served as the U.S. Army Material Command’s senior aviation advisor. Mr. Birmingham received a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MS degree from Boston University in Business Administration, and National Security Policy from the U.S. Naval War College. Mr. Birmingham was also a National Security Fellow at Harvard University.
Stacey Dwyer (MS '89)
Executive Vice President and Treasurer
D.R. Horton, Inc.
Stacey Dwyer joined D.R. Horton, Inc. in 1991 as an accounting manager and has been an Executive Vice President since February 2000. Before joining D.R. Horton, Inc., Ms. Dwyer was an auditor with Ernst and Young. Ms. Dwyer received a BS in Accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and an MS in Accounting from UT Arlington.
Senior Manager of Integrated Operations
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
David Edwards is the Senior Manager of Integrated Operations for Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business area. He is responsible for Enterprise Initiatives, Customer Councils, and the Company Objectives process. He is also the Project Manager of the Aeronautics Enterprise deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and serves as the primary point of contact between Aeronautics and the Corporate Automated Identification Technology (AIT) team. Mr. Edwards has 33 years business experience with 20 years at Lockheed Martin in finance, business management and aeronautics operations. He has held various management roles with increased responsibilities since 1990 in the core finance organizations and has held program business manager positions on the F-16 and F-35 programs.
Craig Happel (BBA '82)
Deputy to the Vice President of Business Ventures
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
As Deputy to the Vice President of Business Ventures, responsible for contracts management, estimating, and existing programs, Mr. Happel is responsible for improving the process discipline in contracts and estimating across all programs as well as enhancing the Estimating and Contracts processes for the changing business environment. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Happel was the F-35 Chief Financial Officer for over ten years. During that time, he led all business operations for the Program. He was responsible for developing and implementing business strategies that led to two successful down selects as well as ensuring the success of the F-35 Development Program worth over $25 Billion and for the transition of the F-35 Program from development into production with a potential for over $200 Billion in orders and yearly sales of over $10 Billion. He is a graduate of UT Arlington and he completed his executive training from the University of Michigan, School of Business.
Mike Hawkins (BS '83)
Alpine Link Corporation
Mike Hawkins is author of “Activating Your Ambition: A Guide to Coaching the Best Out of Yourself and Others” and President of Alpine Link Corporation, a boutique consulting firm specializing in leadership development and business performance improvement. He brings over twenty years of professional experience in successfully leading individuals and organizations to peak performance. His services include executive coaching, leadership training, sales training, management consulting and workshop facilitation. Mr. Hawkins advises mid-size and Fortune 100 clients in a variety of industries including information technology, construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, and financial services. He coaches CxO level executives as well as mid-level managers. Mr. Hawkins has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UT Arlington and attended a one-year advanced management program at Harvard Business School.
Vice President for Development
Jim Lewis joined UT Arlington in March 2008 to lead the University’s fundraising operations. Mr. Lewis has 25 years of experience as a development professional in higher education and was previously the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. During his tenure at Austin College, Mr. Lewis provided leadership for the New Era Campaign, which resulted in raising more than $120 million to build and renovate 14 facilities, increasing the number of million-dollar donors from 11 to 46 and establishing 277 new scholarships totaling $26.5 million. Prior to that, he served as Vice President for Development and as Executive Director of Development at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He also has held management positions at Southern Methodist University and Odessa College. Mr. Lewis is a native of Texas. He earned his MBA in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. He also holds an MS in Student Personnel and Guidance and a BS in Sociology/Counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Jonathan Pettit, P.E.
Advanced Metering System Project Manager
Oncor Electric Delivery
Jonathan Pettit is currently the Advanced Metering System Project Manager for Oncor Electric Delivery. Mr. Pettit has been with Oncor Electric Delivery and the former TXU family of companies for almost 24 years. He started his career as a plant engineer at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant in construction, startup, operations, and technical support. He then worked as an energy consultant, project manager, business planner and asset manager. Mr. Pettit is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard and served a tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom during 2005. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an MBA from Tarleton State University.
Bradley W. Pietras
Director of the Lockheed Martin Corporate Engineering and Technology Nanotechnology Initiative
Bradley Pietras began his career at GE Astro Space in East Windsor, New Jersey in 1989. Mr. Pietras left GE in 1990 to become a graduate fellow in Neuroscience at the Institute for Sensory Research at Syracuse University where he performed research in vision, hearing, touch, and was awarded a second fellowship in computational neuroscience. In 1996 he joined Lockheed Martin Radar Systems’ Advanced Programs group. In 2002, after several years of managing missile-defense research and development projects, he took the position as Missile Defense and Advanced Programs Business Development Manager. In 2006, Mr. Pietras became Director of Advanced Technology for Lockheed Martin Mission and Sensor Systems, responsible for research and development programs across the eight lines of business whose revenues exceed $4B annually. Mr. Pietras took his current position in Corporate Engineering and Technology in 2007 where he is the Director of the Lockheed Martin Corporate Engineering and Technology Nanotechnology Initiative. Mr. Pietras holds a BS degree in Physics from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MS degree in Neuroscience from the College of Engineering at Syracuse University.
Prashant Ranade was appointed CEO of Syntel in February 2010, after serving on Syntel’s Board of Directors since 2007. His areas of expertise include sales, marketing, engineering and research and development for products, projects and services businesses. Mr. Ranade has a strong history of transforming organizations through a strong focus on customer centricity, innovative service/ product offerings, operational excellence and employee engagement to drive value creation. Most recently, Mr. Ranade served as President and CEO of Siemens Logistics & Assembly Systems, Inc. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Service at Siemens Medical Solutions, where he was responsible for doubling the company’s profitability and growing revenues at triple the market rate during his five-year tenure. He has also held leadership positions at Rockwell Automation and Siemens AG, where he began his career over thirty years ago as an engineer, before working his way up to General Manager of its automation division. Mr. Ranade holds a BS in Engineering from IIT Bombay, an MS from the University of Cincinnati, and an MBA from Xavier University, Cincinnati.
David Roberts (BBA '87)
Senior Vice President of Americas Sales
David Roberts joined Websense in April 2006 with the charter to deepen the company's relationship and commitment to the channel. Mr. Roberts oversees both the sales and channel teams to develop a cohesive channel-centric organization. A luminary in the channel industry, he has held key positions with leading software companies including McAfee Corporation, Microsoft Corporation and Corel Corporation. Mr. Roberts brings to Websense significant expertise in the areas of organizational leadership, strategic management and operations turnaround, as well as team performance management. He holds a BA in Business Administration from UT Arlington and completed coursework in the Mid-level Management program at Southern Methodist University.
Senior Advisor to the President
Terry Ryan served for 13 years as President & CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest chambers in the nation. His most significant initiative as the Chamber’s chief executive was the development and implementation of a major economic development program. This program is still fundamentally in place and continues to serve as the blueprint to lead and guide Fort Worth's economic expansion efforts today. During his long and successful tenure at the Fort Worth Chamber, which began in 1988, he was elected Chairman of the National Association of Chamber Executives and also was the recipient of the Texas Chambers' Martin Hurley Award.
Bruce Tanner (MBA '90)
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Bruce Tanner is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Lockheed Martin Corporation. Mr. Tanner was appointed to his current position on September 1, 2007. As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Tanner is responsible for all aspects of the Corporation’s financial strategies, processes and operations. Prior to assuming the post of CFO, Mr. Tanner served as Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company since April 2006. In this role, he was responsible for all business aspects of the company including financial management, accounting, estimating, contracts and program finance. Mr. Tanner also served as Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems Business Area for four years before returning to the Aeronautics Business Area where he began his career in January 1982. Beginning in 1982, he held positions of increasing responsibility including Manager of Finance and Director of Financial Management. He served as Vice President for Business Management from 1997 until his promotion to the Electronic Systems Business Area in 2002. Mr. Tanner received a BBA in Finance from the University of Michigan in 1981 and an MBA from UT Arlington in 1990.
Automated Identification Technology Project Manager
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Thomas Tschaar is Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Enterprise Automated Identification Technology (AIT) Project Manager. He is responsible for planning and implementing AIT across the Aeronautics enterprise to automate the Supply Chain as well as developing strategies to insert the technology supporting production operations. Mr. Tschaar joined Lockheed Martin Aircraft and Logistics Centers in Greenville South Carolina in 1997 after a 20-year career in the US Air Force. As a member of the Lockheed Martin Team, he performed as the Manager of Operations, Manufacturing Engineering, and Back Shop Operations. He was also appointed as the Lockheed Martin Corp. Business Area Lead and Subject Matter Expert for application of AIT across the Lockheed Martin Enterprise to support US Department of Defense AIT initiatives and compliance. Mr. Tschaar is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and a contributing member of the GS1 EPC Global Standards and Technology Workgroup. He is the recipient of numerous Corporate and industry awards for his innovative use and application of automating technologies.
James Von Ehr II
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
James Von Ehr is recognized as a respected leader within the nanotechnology industry. Mr. Von Ehr founded the Zyvex Corporation in 1997. The company has since become a premier organization in the nanotechnology industry, providing tools, instrumentation and applications to serve the semiconductor and advanced research markets. In 2003, Mr. Von Ehr testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for Bill S.189, The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. He is also an invited member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group (NTAG) to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Jim was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Pioneering in June 2003. Mr. Von Ehr has made significant philanthropic contributions to higher education including the establishment of the University of Texas at Dallas NanoTech Institute and the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair of Science and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, held by the late Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid (2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry). He also founded the Texas Nanotechnology Initiative in December, 2000. In 2006, Mr. Von Ehr created the “James Von Ehr Scholars Program” at Michigan State University. Before founding Zyvex, he was the Founder, President, Chairman and CEO of Altsys Corporation, which developed FreeHand and Fontographer, the first commercially available PostScript drawing program. Mr. Von Ehr has a MS in Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science) from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a BS in Computer Science from Michigan State University. He was awarded Distinguished Alumni awards from both Michigan State University and the University of Texas at Dallas in October 2004. In May 2006, he was awarded the “Computer Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award” and the “Claud Erickson Award”, Michigan State University’s highest Engineering Alumni award. In 2009, Mr. Von Ehr was featured on the popular KERA “CEO” series.