Center for Innovation and Digital Transformation (CIDT)

The Center for Innovation and Digital Transformation (CIDT) is the bridge between businesses and digital innovation. We help organizations identify innovations that provide business value. CIDT support organizations in a variety of ways such as certificate programs, internships, and mutually beneficial research.

Mission Statement:

To help organizations pursue excellence through digital transformation.

Friend Circle

The Friend Circle is a subset of our Advisory Board that is committed to the growth and success of the Business Analytics Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. They are affiliated with the annual Business Analytics Symposium and have the opportunity to engage with faculty and students. We appreciate the financial support and time commitment of our Friends to ensure the success of our programs. For more information about the Friend Circle, please contact us at digital.innovation@uta.edu

Ashok Nayak

Accenture Digital

Managing Director, Applied Intelligence

Ashok Nayak: Accenture Digital, Managing Director, Applied Intelligence

Heather Avery, PhD

Aflac

Vice President

Customer Analytics and Infrastructure

Heather Avery Aflac

About Heather Avery: Heather joined Aflac in 2001 and held positions in Internal Operations, Change Management, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and U.S. Analytics. In her current role, she is responsible for the strategic oversight and operations of Aflac’s Analytics department, with a focus on providing efficient, value-driven Analytics to optimize business outcomes. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in computer science from Columbus State University. She earned a master of business administration and a doctor of philosophy in computer science and software engineering from Auburn University. She is an ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt.

Jacob Locke

ALCON

Director

Commercial Data & Technology

Jacob Locke

About Jacob Locke: Jacob is the Director of Commercial Data & Technology at Alcon. He and his team are responsible for creating and maintaining dashboards and analytics solutions for Alcon’s US Commercial Operations. While new to the Data and Analytics industry, Jacob is a CPA and has been with Alcon since 2011 holding various roles in Financial Reporting, FP&A, ERP Deployment, and Commercial Operations. Jacob lives in Fort Worth with his wife and three daughters.

Christus Health

Brian White

Ericsson

VP Head

NA Region Support and Repair

Brian White Ericsson

About Brian White: Currently serving as Head of Customer Support for the Ericsson North America Market, Brian is a thirty-year veteran managing the development and delivery of complex network and software solutions primarily for telecommunications service providers. As an evangelist for the innovation driven by analytics and transformative digital solutions Brian has led the creation of strategies for migration to next generation technologies, evolving businesses to new business models and optimizing business operations to maximize quality and velocity of product delivery/deployment.

Ramesh Chougule

INFOSYS

Partner/Managing Director

Unni Rajendran

About Ramesh Chougule: Ramesh is a P&L leader and head of SAP- Cloud and Digital business portfolio in Infosys. He comes with 23 years of experience in ERP, Supply Chain Management, Analytics and Intelligent Technologies domains. He has worked across the globe in India, Switzerland, Japan and USA advising Fortune 500 clients on their technology roadmaps, SAP led digital transformations and information technology COEs. He has an extensive experience in Life Sciences and CPG industries, helping them implement next-ben SAP solutions, defining their business technology architectures and setting up centers of excellence in a complex and global business environments. He has published multiple thought papers in ERP, Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management domains. He lives in Dallas with his wife Arati and son Aryan. He coaches his son on the sport of Cricket in his free time.

Dennis Tkach, PhD

Canton & Company

Chief Operating Officer

Dennis Tkach Contact Photo

About Dennis Tkach: Dennis serves as Canton & Company’s Chief Operation Officer. With 15+ years as a research scientist in the biomedical field, and then a market research/ program expert for health IT and provider organizations, Dennis has led successful, multi-year research projects for the US Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. His work has been recognized in multiple peer-reviewed journals and with a US patent. Building on that foundation, Dennis shifted to focus on business strategy, helping companies identify market trends and competitive intelligence, and using that information to guide their sales and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Canton & Company, Dennis led the Accountable Health Communities model for Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, a national CMMI program to transform healthcare delivery by addressing patients’ Social Determinants of Health. He also led Market Insights and Strategy for Medecision, Health Informatics for Vizient, and a series of scientific research roles for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sg2, and the University of Chicago.

Advisory Board Members

Shawn Kondratiuk

Alcon Labs

IT Team Lead

Shawn Kondratiuk: Alcon Labs, IT Team Lead

Jacob Locke

ALCON

Director

Commercial Data & Technology

Jacob Locke

About Jacob Locke: Jacob is the Director of Commercial Data & Technology at Alcon. He and his team are responsible for creating and maintaining dashboards and analytics solutions for Alcon’s US Commercial Operations. While new to the Data and Analytics industry, Jacob is a CPA and has been with Alcon since 2011 holding various roles in Financial Reporting, FP&A, ERP Deployment, and Commercial Operations. Jacob lives in Fort Worth with his wife and three daughters.

Asim Syed

ATOS, Inc.

Head of SAP Practice

Commercial Data & Technology

Asim Syed

About Asim Syed: Asim Syed is a result-oriented leader with +19 years of experience for defining, building, implementing and optimizing best-in-class IT strategies, operations and business solutions. He offers expertise in Digital transformation, Process improvement, strategic decision making and Consulting. Asim has helped many global customers in Manufacturing, Retail, Life sciences and other industries for successful business transformation program. Asim is part of advisory board at UTD and UTA and he is often invited as a guest speaker at large professional events, universities and conferences.

Peter Healey

Buxton Corporation

Vice President

Account Management

Peter Healey

About Peter Healey: Peter Healey is a Vice President of Account Management at Buxton, where he establishes and maintains strategic partnerships with high profile healthcare and retail clients. He advises clients on the best way to apply consumer analytics to answer their unique business questions. Peter brings account management experience from a variety of industries to Buxton, including e-commerce and logistics. He holds a BA in History and Political Science from Texas Christian University and MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Mandeep Kumar

Deep Cognition Labs

CEO & Co-Founder

Mandeep Kumar: Deep Cognition Labs, CEO & Co-Founder

Brian White

Ericsson

VP Head

NA Region Support and Repair

Brian White Ericsson

About Brian White: Currently serving as Head of Customer Support for the Ericsson North America Market, Brian is a thirty-year veteran managing the development and delivery of complex network and software solutions primarily for telecommunications service providers. As an evangelist for the innovation driven by analytics and transformative digital solutions Brian has led the creation of strategies for migration to next generation technologies, evolving businesses to new business models and optimizing business operations to maximize quality and velocity of product delivery/deployment.

Mahesh Kashyap

Kievanos

Chief Operating Officer

Mahesh

About Mahesh Kashyap: Mahesh is a technology entrepreneur with current focus on financial markets, & artificial intelligence. He is particularly fascinated by public equity markets & how they behave under different circumstances. He is on advisory board of few DFW based AI technology startups where he provides guidance with product & business roadmap to become successful. In past he mentored high school students & other entrepreneurs on time to time basis.

Dilip Rane

Pepsico

Director, BIS Innovation

Dilip Rane: Pepsico, Director, BIS Innovation

Venkat Rajan, PhD

ReNi Analytics, Inc.

President and CEO

Venkat Rajan: ReNi Analytics, Inc, President and CEO

Vidhya Balakrishnan

Sabre

Senior Director

Software Engineering

Vidhya Contact Photo

About Vidhya Balakrishnan: Vidhya is a Senior Director of Software Engineering at Sabre which is a Travel Technology company. She has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry and grew in ranks from a developer to Senior Leadership roles. She manages a global team of 100+ technology team members including data scientists, architects and developers. Her technology domain expertise revolves around Data Analytics, Customer experience and Personalization. She has wide experience in a variety of industries including Travel, Auto Finance, and Telecom where she was responsible to define and execute enterprise Data Strategy. Vidhya is a certified Brain-Based Coach. The Quiet Leadership approach that this coaching adopts is firmly rooted in Neuroscience and teaches leaders how to effectively bring out the best in their team by understanding brain’s physiological properties that lead to an energized ‘toward state’ to solve dilemmas at workplace. Vidhya is active in the DFW Data circles and is a member of multiple professional groups. She speaks at various industry events on a wide range of Data Analytics topics.

Gavin Berry

Sogeti USA

Senior Manager, Texas Region

Gavin Berry: Sogeti USA, Senior Manager, Texas Region

Eric Haney, PhD

Lone Star Analysis

CTO

Eric Haney Contact Photo

About Eric Haney: Eric Haney is the Chief Technology Officer for Lone Star Analytics. He has been in this role since 2018 and his previous positions include Deputy CTO Eric Haney is the Chief Technology Officer for Lone Star Analytics and previously served as Deputy CTO and Lead Analyst at the company. In his current role, Eric is responsible for guiding the technical direction of the company. He manages the development and roll-out Lone Star’s core software applications, TruNavigatorTM, AnalyticsOSTM, and TruPredictTM. His principal goal is to connect individuals with the information required to make pragmatic, objective decisions. Eric completed his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington culminating in his dissertation, Data Engineering in Aerospace Systems Design & Forecasting. His academic research team’s collaborations with DARPA and NASA have been published in The Aeronautical Journal.

Heather Avery, PhD

Aflac

Vice President

Customer Analytics and Infrastructure

Heather Avery Aflac

About Heather Avery: Heather joined Aflac in 2001 and held positions in Internal Operations, Change Management, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and U.S. Analytics. In her current role, she is responsible for the strategic oversight and operations of Aflac’s Analytics department, with a focus on providing efficient, value-driven Analytics to optimize business outcomes. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in computer science from Columbus State University. She earned a master of business administration and a doctor of philosophy in computer science and software engineering from Auburn University. She is an ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt.

Ashok Nayak

Accenture Digital

Managing Director, Applied Intelligence

Ashok Nayak: Accenture Digital, Managing Director, Applied Intelligence

Christopher Seil

TD Ameritrade

Director, Institutional Analytics

Christopher Seil: TD Ameritrade, Director, Institutional Analytics

Richard Vitek III

Lockheed Martin

IT Data Experience Director

Richard Vitek III: Lockheed Martin, IT Data Experience Director

Dennis Tkach, PhD

Canton & Company

Chief Operating Officer

Dennis Tkach Contact Photo

About Dennis Tkach: Dennis serves as Canton & Company’s Chief Operation Officer. With 15+ years as a research scientist in the biomedical field, and then a market research/ program expert for health IT and provider organizations, Dennis has led successful, multi-year research projects for the US Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. His work has been recognized in multiple peer-reviewed journals and with a US patent. Building on that foundation, Dennis shifted to focus on business strategy, helping companies identify market trends and competitive intelligence, and using that information to guide their sales and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Canton & Company, Dennis led the Accountable Health Communities model for Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, a national CMMI program to transform healthcare delivery by addressing patients’ Social Determinants of Health. He also led Market Insights and Strategy for Medecision, Health Informatics for Vizient, and a series of scientific research roles for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sg2, and the University of Chicago.

The Center for Innovation and Digital Transformation (CIDT)

Contact

Budiman Contact Photo

Dr. Santoso Budiman
Director
Center for Innovation and Digital Transformation
digital.innovation@uta.edu
817-272-6358
Box 19437
701 S. West Street, Room 511