May 14, 2015: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Youngstown State University
Williamson School of Business
Michael founded NSI Group in 2000 which later became DRS. He has an extensive IT background across multiple verticals such as Manufacturing and Medical. Michael attended Akron University and has a degree in Mechanical Design. He has worked in both the Steel and Rubber industries before changing his career in 1995. Michael currently sits on the board of Cisco IOS Sub Council, Cisco Commercial Advisory Board, EMC Partner Council, South Range Merchant Board, Ingram’s VTN Council and DRUND.com.
As CEO of DRS, Michael is paving the way for the company to become a well-known regional cloud provider. His ability to build a healthy work environment has helped DRS gain and retain top IT professionals at a time when the market for IT workers is extremely competitive. He currently oversees a staff that includes more than 80 engineers spread across three data center locations. Michael was also a key player in developing a strategic relationship with the City of Westerville to build the nation’s first municipal community data center, which DRS manages. The private-public partnership business model is a niche area that DRS is currently developing with great success.
During his 20+ years in the IT industry, John has enjoyed the opportunity to work as a consultant, architect, executive, speaker, and author. He's been involved in multi-national networking, messaging, and communications projects as well as finding solutions for small businesses allowing them to use technology to increase business opportunity and decrease their operational complexity.
John is a contributing editor for the Petri IT Knowledgebase. In addition, he has authored material for both Thomson-Reuters' Aspatore Books and Exec Blueprints publications. He also develops exciting technology training courses for the leader in IT training, Pluralsight.
John often speaks at IT events around the nation. Recently he has been a featured presenter on innovative technology solutions for the enterprise at conferences such as TechMentor, Cloud and Virtualization Live!360, the NEOSA CIO Summit, and the NorthEast Ohio Technology Summit. When he’s not presenting at a conference, John can often be found leading informative webinars on a variety of technology topics.
John is proud to be honored as a Microsoft MVP and for receiving NEOSA’s CIO of the Year Award.
Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) is the Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Afshar is a two-time Stevie Award winner stemming from his previous leadership of the company’s Support organization, and is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence and customer relationship management.
Afshar is a recognized social media advocate, having been the keynote of several industry events including Salesforce’s Dreamforce, as well as Gartner and IDC conferences. His thought-leadership has been sought after by leading publications, and he regularly contributes bylines to Huffington Post and Inc., among others. To his credit, Vala was named by Leadtail as “the most retweeted B2B marketer” and by KiteDesk as a top 40 social selling marketing master. He is also the co-host of the weekly “CXO Talk” interview series, where he interviews C-level thought leaders from companies such as Accenture, SAP and Intel.
Afshar is also a published co-author of the book, “The Pursuit of Social Business” and is also referenced in the books “The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work” and in “Socialized! How the Most Successful Businesses Harness the Power of Social.”
Andy Stahl is a Pivotal Account Executive responsible for helping companies become great software companies that leverage third generation platforms. He has over 20 years experience in Big Data, Analytics and software development.
For over 15 years, Jamie has specialized defending, securing, and protecting corporate networks. During this time, he has built security operation centers for Fortune 500 companies, providing expert guidance in all areas of security operations. He has built incident response and threat intelligence programs, including assisting federal agencies on cyber-crime investigations. Jamie has presented at regional and national conferences on the topics of security operations centers and threat intelligence.
Chris is an avid technology enthusiast who has worked in the IT field for over 15 years while filling roles in the Administration, Engineering, and System Design areas of technology firms. Chris is currently head of Product Development at Data Recovery Services in Youngstown, Ohio, and acts as a Technology Evangelist to DRS customers and the greater Youngstown community.
Justin’s role at EMC specializes in solutions that involve data storage, protection, replication and archive. He primarily works with companies in the transition from traditional IT infrastructure to building a private or hybrid cloud solution for their applications. Justin is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management. His industry certifications include MCP, MCSA, MCSE 2003, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA A+.
Roy is a Cloud Architect for DRS specializing in Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, VMware vSphere, Hyper-V and Active Directory. He has earned certifications in multiple top tier vendor programs and is currently certified as a Microsoft Systems Engineer, Citrix Enterprise Administrator and VMware Certified Professional. Roy’s extensive range of knowledge and experience allow him to design and implement of complex IT solutions for DRS customers.
Jim has a passion for getting information into the hands of consumers and driving business through digital media. He began in the real estate industry in the late 90’s. As the founder of RealEstatePointe he led the development of data driven websites for some of the largest Century 21 brokers across the country. During that time he engineered a lead management system that routs leads to agents with a rule based follow up system that is integrated with their call centers.
Since then Jim has expanded his marketing knowledge into other industries such as shale, auctioneering, manufacturing, retail, online retail and business to business services. As the Digital Marketing Manager for PALO he is responsible for bringing the many facets of digital marketing into a cohesive and effective plan.
Jim’s experience in bridging the gap between raw content and real conversions brings a unique perspective and focus to achieving results in digital marketing.
Bill is a Partner Business Manager for HP. He has been with the company for over 20 years. In his role, he covers the desktops, notebooks, workstations, accessories, printers and managed print services.
Joe is a Consulting Systems Engineer for the Unified Computing System division at Cisco. He has a strong background in network and telecom and infrastructure management.
A photographer, creative director and tech start-up founder, Brian Alls has spent most of his life designing and making things from assembly machine equipment to clothes. He loves showing the power of creativity through his work and firmly believes that the strength in humanity comes from our ability to make things.
Brian is the co-founder of Bravura 3D, LLC, an additive manufacturing tech company affiliated as a portfolio company with both the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Oak Hill Collaborative. He is studying Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University, and his professional experience includes the design work and global implementation with The United States Air Force, Delphi Packard Electric, Toyota’s North American Manufacturing Engineering headquarters, and General Motors’ Global Manufacturing Engineering division.
He has exhibited his strong support for the “Maker” movement while discussing the benefits of 3D printing while exhibiting at events like Maker City Youngstown (hosted by America Makes) and assisting in the creation of the Oak Hill MakerSpace.