Technology Summit 2021 Presenters

Speakers are listed in alphabetical order.

David Allen

David Allen 

Georgia CISO

Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

David Allen leads GTA’s Office of Information Security, which unifies information security responsibilities for the state’s IT enterprise, the Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) program, and GTA.

Prior to joining GTA in 2019, David served as the Chief Information Officer/G6 for the Georgia Army National Guard. David has held numerous IT positions over his 20+ year career at companies, such as BellSouth Telecommunications, Accenture, and Wayne Farms LLC.

Jennifer Bonnett

Jennifer Bonnett 

Director of the Creative Coast and VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA)

Jennifer serves technology entrepreneurs through her role as director of the Creative Coast and vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship for SEDA. The objective of SEDA is economic development for Chatham County, Georgia. Jennifer’s focus is to attract and retain technology companies and workers.

Prior to these roles, Jennifer was director and general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia's technology incubator, a “top 12 incubators changing the world,” according to Forbes Magazine. While at ATDC, Jennifer spearheaded the development of a recurring year-round curriculum, statewide expansion, the Accelerate program, and growing the number of physical incubatees from 19 to 90 companies.

Nikhil Deshpande

Nikhil Deshpande

Georgia Chief Digital Officer

Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

As chief digital officer of Digital Services Georgia (DSGa), Mr. Deshpande leads the team responsible for managing GeorgiaGov, the official online portal to Georgia state government, and Georgia GovHub, the state’s official publishing platform for delivering state-of-the-art, secure, accessible, and compliant websites. His team’s many design and technical innovations have resulted in a robust platform with a mobile-first approach for supporting current and future online services. GovHub hosts 83 state websites.

 

Eric McRae

Eric McRae

Director

Carl Vinson Institute of Government Office of IT Outreach Services (ITOS)

Eric McRae is responsible for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government ITOS Office, which helps state and local governments incorporate into their operations a wide array of geographic information systems (GIS) technology, application development, and data visualization. He has managed multiple local, state, national, and international GIS projects and initiatives and has served on and chaired numerous GIS and IT boards and committees.

Christopher Nunn

Christopher Nunn

Commissioner

Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)

Christopher Nunn was appointed commissioner of DCA in 2017. He leads the state’s community development efforts to support local leaders in their efforts to build strong, vibrant communities. DCA has a broad reach that includes comprehensive planning, safe and affordable housing, downtown development, community infrastructure, and economic development finance.

Prior to DCA, Commissioner Nunn led a regional professional services firm as COO. In this role, he was responsible for all business aspects of the 150-person firm, including strategic planning and growth. Previously, he spent 15 years as a business consultant with two global firms, Arthur Andersen and Russell Reynolds Associates, focused on strategic planning, operational improvement, leadership development, and executive recruiting.

Keith Osburn

Dr. Keith Osburn

CIO and Deputy Superintendent for Technology Services

Georgia Department of Education (DOE)

Dr. Keith Osburn is CIO and deputy superintendent for technology services at Georgia DOE. Prior to this role, he served as associate superintendent for Georgia Virtual Learning, during which Georgia Virtual achieved national exposure. In 2019, Georgia Virtual was recognized by the Learning Council as a national digital school leader for both its leadership and advocacy towards high quality virtual learning practices.

Dr. Osburn’s team is one of the leading practitioners of the Open Badging Initiative, the standard considered to be the leading support for the evolution of the Comprehensive Learning Record (CLR). This work has enabled his team to participate in conversations with entities such as the National Chamber of Commerce, as well as others in higher education and the military.

Deana Perry

Deana Perry

Executive Director of Broadband

Department of Community Affairs (DCA)

Deana Perry has served as executive director of the rural broadband program at DCA since its inception in 2018. The mission of this program is to provide planning, deployment, and incentives for broadband services and other emerging communication technologies throughout the state. Perry came to DCA from the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, where she spent more than three years working with communities to develop broadband strategy. In this role, she promoted the need to identify broadband assets, drafted policy revisions, and identified funding opportunities.

Bill Price

Bill Price

Senior Strategy Analyst

Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

Bill Price is a senior strategy analyst at GTA. He is currently focused on implementing broadband legislation, the Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act for the state of Georgia which was passed in 2018. While at GTA, Bill developed and managed the Digital Georgia Program for the state to invest, develop, and manage projects that increased the use of technology across business and government, such as digital economy plans and boot camps, the E-rate Support Program, telemedicine, broadband mapping, Makerspaces, and an educational technology grant program.

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Calvin Rhodes

Georgia CIO and Executive Director

Georgia Technology Authority (GTA)

Mr. Rhodes joined GTA to lead the state’s public/private partnership IT transformation and consolidation effort in 2011. The initiative has strengthened security, modernized infrastructure and networks, improved reliability and increased transparency in the state’s IT enterprise.

Mr. Rhodes is an active member, past officer and executive committee member of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). He is a member of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association and received the association’s 2018 CIO of the Year ORBIE Award for the nonprofit/public sector.

Renee Safrata

Renée Safrata

CEO and Founder

Vivo Team

Over the past 30+ years, Renée has worked with thousands of companies and executives throughout North America and Europe, helping them connect, adopt new behaviors, and become confident members of highly functioning teams. Human connection and talent development are at the core of everything Renée touches. From one-on-one and team training to speaking engagements, she clearly demonstrates how this philosophy of connection is what ultimately drives productivity and directly contributes to company results. Early on, Renée recognized the ongoing shift and future demand for digital workplace learning and now has over 10 years of experience leading a remote team and creating and delivering educational, entertaining, and unique virtual learning experiences.

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Chris Shealy

Director of IT Strategy and Enterprise Services

Georgia Department of Education (DOE)

Chris has over 30 years of experience in technology directed towards education. He has worked in the private sector, school districts, and is currently with Georgia DOE as a director of IT strategy and enterprise services. His background covers broadband connectivity, infrastructure engineering, support services, application design, E-rate, information security, policy making, and department management.

Bob Swiggum

Bob Swiggum

K12 Connectivity Officer

Georgia Department of Education (DOE)

Bob Swiggum leads strategic K-12 connectivity and infrastructure planning, support, and initiatives for Georgia’s schools and districts by leveraging partnerships and coordinating with districts to increase connectivity and infrastructure for districts, schools, educators, families, and students.