Speakers

KEYNOTE SPEAKER 

For 2017, NWA TechFest proudly introduces the event’s first keynote speaker, General Tamhra Hutchins-Frye. General Hutchins-Frye has the distinction of being the first female brigadier general of Arkansas Air National Guard. 

General Hutchins-Frye joined the Arkansas Air National Guard in 1984 and has her sights set on being a 2-star general before she retires.  To-date she has served one tour in Afghanistan and has been awarded the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star. Devoted to her community, Hutchins-Frye has also served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’s Girls of Promise, an organization that supports and encourages young girls to pursue their interest in STEM subjects. 

 

Accompanying General Hutchins-Frye will be Colonel Bobbi Doorenbos, the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Wing Commander.  The 188th Wing’s primary missions are intelligence, surveillance, targeting, and reconnaissance using remotely-controlled aircrafts called MQ-9 Reapers.  Col. Doorenbos has many achievements including the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Aerial Achievement Medal.  In 2007, she completed a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, at the Bolling, Maryland Air Force Base.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Kevin Clark is a proven leader with extensive experience scaling diagnostics companies from inception to lucrative exit on a global scale.  He has successfully ushered 126 products through the FDA approval process.  His career includes the development of a diagnostics company, serving as COO and CEO.  He sourced investors and sold that company to one of the largest life sciences companies in the world.  He took the company public, managed multinational operations and brokered mergers and acquisitions, all while developing, manufacturing and selling products that required FDA approval.

As CEO of ERBA Diagnostics, Clark brought the company to profitability following losses in nine consecutive quarters. Among his accomplishments was the sale of controlling interest of IVAX Diagnostics (now known as ERBA Diagnostics) to TransAsia Bio-Medicals, the largest diagnostics company in India. He consummated private investment of public equity (PIPE) of $30 million in common stock and warrants to grow ERBA Diagnostics through mergers and acquisitions.  He managed facilities across the U.S. and internationally in England, the Czech Republic, Italy, Russia, Brazil, and France.

Prior to that he served six years as COO of IVAX Diagnostics, the parent company of ImmunoVision, Inc., which he founded in 1987 and sold to IVAX Corporation in 1995. During his 18 years at ImmunoVision/IVAX Diagnostics, he was directly responsible for the successful development and clinical trials of 18 diagnostic test kits. He was Executive VP and Founding Member of the Arkansas Biotechnology Association and has served on the Board for the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation and Arkansas BioVentures

About NOWDiagnostics, Inc.

NOWDiagnostics Inc., based in Springdale, Ark., is a leader in innovative diagnostics testing. Its ADEXUSDx® product line features a lab at your fingertip, using a single drop of blood to test for a variety of common conditions, illnesses, and diseases with results in a matter of minutes. By eliminating the need to send tests to off-site laboratories, NOWDiagnostics has the potential to decrease the waiting period to determine test results by days. The company’s Springdale, Ark., facility was officially registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2014. The company is currently offering an hCG (pregnancy) test in the United States and Europe as well as three cardiac (heart attack) tests and three toxicology tests in Europe. Additional tests are in the development pipeline, including sexually transmitted diseases, more cardiac (heart attack), food intolerances, common infectious diseases, and a variety of screening tests. For more information about NOWDiagnostics, visit www.nowdx.com.

 

Ryan Overton

Valorem Consulting

As an ICAgile Certified Professional and Certified ScrumMaster with nearly 10 years of software development experience with Microsoft technologies, I have learned a breadth of development technologies for desktop (WinForms, WPF, UWA, and UWP), web (WebForms, MVC, AngularJs, and Angular 2), and mobile (Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7/8/8.1, and Xamarin). Since I first made the turtle dance around the screen using Logo, I have had a passion for development and am fortunate I get to do what I love for a living.

Daniel Worthy

Rockfish Digital/U of A Global Campus

Daniel is an NWA native and has spent the last 9 years as a developer for Rockfish Digital. He is currently in the role of Enterprise Architect and spends most of his time vetting new technologies and training other developers. Daniel has also recently taken on the role of instructor for the U of A Global Campus’ IT Readiness program.
Daniel has spent most of his development career in the Asp.net web stack and has spent most of the last 2 years working with Angular and .Net MVC WebAPI. He is always keeping an open eye to see what the next big thing will be.

Chris King

J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

Chris King is a hands-on software architect, consulting adviser and thought leader at J. B. Hunt Transport. He studied vocal music at John Brown University, but his current instruments of choice are the keyboard and mouse. Chris’s passions include performance tuning, security and integration. You can usually find him at the whiteboard leading a discussion, or pouring over logs and providing performance analysis. Chris is currently providing technical leadership for a large modernization project. When not at work, he enjoys singing with his wife, conducting his church choir and reading to his five young children.

James Hopper

EAST Initiative

James Hopper is the Development Coordinator for the EAST Initiative in Little Rock, Arkansas. He holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Harding University and a graduate degree in school psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. Previous work experience includes time as a federal law enforcement officer, educational specialist, STEM Coordinator, and general manager of a restaurant franchise. Since transitioning from the Federal government to EAST, James has served in a variety of positions including STEM Coordinator, Director of Special Projects, and provided site support services to local EAST programs. He regularly provides training to students and teachers in the areas of soft skills, ArcGIS software, and grant writing. In his free time, he is pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology, learning to code, building an emergency planning consultation business, and trying to find time to spend with his wife, cat and extended family.

Jeremy Jones

Mainstream Technologies

Jeremy Jones is an award winning designer with over fourteen years of professional experience. Jeremy has worked through the ranks of design roles including: graphic design, marketing, advertising, web development, and creative direction. Jeremy holds a BFA and MA in Design from Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). Currently Jeremy is the lead designer and front-end developer at Mainstream Technologies in Little Rock. Jeremy’s main role is crafting branded UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) solutions for enterprise level clients. Jeremy is passionate about design and his expertise lies at the crossroads of design, development and marketing. Jeremy believes in user-centric design, agile development, and scalable systems.

Kevin Minehart

WEHCO Media

My name is Kevin Minehart, I’m a full-stack developer at WEHCO Media. I deal with a a huge variety of problems, from system administration, server and application development in Go or Python, or front end development with React. My focus switches so often that I’m not comfortable calling myself a “front-end” or a “back-end” developer. I started programming in C++ when I was in middle school, and I kept the hobby going until I was finished with high school. I think I stand out a bit in saying that I made the decision to not go to college; after taking a few classes, I found that I would be starting from square 1, and that didn’t sit well with me. I have since learned a huge amount on my own, and am continuing to increase my knowledge. I’m a huge free-software enthusiast. I use Linux on my home machines and on my work computer. I try to avoid using non-free software like Microsoft Office or Adobe products, and even some aspects of Chrome are pushing me to Firefox. A huge influence for this was Richard Stallman’s approach; he’s definitely a bit crazy but he makes some absolutely valid points, and I love how he does not budge from his ideology.

Matt Shull

Aristotle Labs

Matt Shull is Director of Aristotle Labs, which is a small team dedicated to creating innovative products using emerging technologies, such as beacons. Because of his work in web performance, he was named one of the Top 60 Web Performance Experts to Watch by KeyCDN. In his spare time he will tinker with the Internet of Things, hang out with his family, and occasionally, enjoy a demolition derby. Catch him on twitter as @themattshull or check out other blog posts, videos, and information at mattshull.com.

Luke Crouch

Mozilla

I write web code at Mozilla on the Privacy & Security Engineering team. I organize some local tech communities: Tulsa Web Devs’ mission is to make Tulsa on of the greatest cities in the world for web developers. Code for Tulsa is our Code for America Brigade. Techlahoma is a sate-wide foundation to support grassroots technology communities. I owe all my best experiences to the open-source community and try to give back. I sometimes work on an open-source side project start-up: codesy.io.

I sometimes brew my own beer.

Casey Kinsey

Lofty Labs

Casey Kinsey is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Lofty Labs, a boutique software development and data analysis consultancy based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Lofty works with companies big and small to help identify and solve problems across a wide range of industries including marketing, software, legal, and retail. Prior to launching Lofty Labs, Casey worked as an engineering consultant to some of the largest media companies in the world at Celerity in Washington, DC.

Abby Sims

Idestini Dev Studio

Abby has 17 years experience in web and software development, as a full stack .NET and PHP developer. She is a pragmatic developer who prefers front-end work and really just likes to get things done. In 2014, Abby founded Idestini Dev Studio, a software consulting firm based in Bryant, Arkansas. At Idestini, she brings together remote developers to solve website and software needs of clients. Recent project stacks range from custom .NET and PHP, WordPress, Magento, Umbraco, and Adobe Business Catalyst. She currently serves as Vice President of the Little Rock .Net User Group and is an organizer of Little Rock Tech Fest. She also serves as a mentor and participant within the Central Arkansas startup, entrepreneurial, and education communities.

Mike Johnston

QBox

I am an infrastructure engineer with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. I have experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. My expertise is in automating deployment, management, and problem resolution in these environments, allowing my teams to run large transactional applications with high availability and the speed the consumer demands.

Drew Wallis

NWA3D

Director of Sales & Education at NWA3D. Drew Wallis grew up in Farmington and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2010 with a Double Major in Communication and International Relations. After graduation, he became a licensed teacher and has over 8 years experience teaching educational technology and computer science. Drew cofounded NWA3D in 2015.

Chris Oswald

Atlas Technology Group

As the Vice President of Engineering at ATLAS Technology Group, Chris Oswald oversees Application Development, Business Intelligence, and Infrastructure needs for one of NWA’s leading retail data analytics providers. In this role Chris is responsible for ensuring the strategic vision of ATLAS Technology Group is executed through the software solutions they provide. Chris joined the team in 2012 as the Director of Enterprise Architecture and later assumed the role of Vice President in 2014. His determination to develop scalable and maintainable code has greatly supported ATLAS as they have seen tremendous growth over the past 5 years.
Prior to working in the Retail Community, Chris spent 9 years in the Transportation Industry with Data-Tronics Corp. and USA Truck, Inc. These roles gave Chris a greater appreciation for the need to keep pace with the ever-changing field of technology and to continually look for new and better solutions.
Chris Oswald received his Bachelors in Computer Information Systems at Missouri State University.

John Koch

The Right Solutions Healthcare Staffing

Not your typical IT Person. I actually have a degree in Music Education. I spent the first 10 years of my professional life as a band director and through a location change, I jumped ship to become an IT Professional. With 3 years as a System Administrator and the last 10 as a C# developer, I have now been in the IT profession longer than I taught music. Because my interests are wide, I often find myself jumping into new topics and hobbies. Amateur Radio (Ham Radio), wood working and now 3D Printing. Typically I jump into a hobby and explore it for about a year and then expand that hobby or find a new hobby all together. 3D printing for me was an extension of being able to “make stuff” like I was doing with wood working. It also was just an intriguing idea to look into. The perfect merging of my need to build and my love of technology. I still find time for music by playing Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar and Acoustic Guitar at my church. But my love is still technology and it’s vast applications that are possible. I look forward to seeing how I can merge my hobbies and music as well as my career.

Will Bowlin

RevUnit

Will is the VP of Technology at RevUnit, a digital product studio in Bentonville, AR. As a Northwest Arkansas native, he has spent 20 years within the local tech community. He has worked with a spectrum of companies from startup to enterprise and across a number of solution spaces including desktop, web, mobile and system integrations. As an avid learner and hacker, Will enjoys exploring new programming languages and open source frameworks. You can often find him implementing and evaluating solutions across various stacks. He has recent experience with JavaScript, Scala, Java and Go on the server side and has executed mobile projects using Ionic, React Native and native code across both iOS and Android. By day, Will guides his team at RevUnit as they live into their mantra, “Build Small. Learn Fast. Iterate Often”. When not diving into tech, he enjoys hanging out with his family and exploring the outdoors.

Whitney Silva

JB Hunt

I am a full-time Creative UX Strategist born and raised in Louisiana and now living in Northwest Arkansas. To me, design is a way for me to realize the ideas in my mind. The texture of daily life and all the things I see every day inspire me to create something new, something fresh. While a single design can consist of hundreds of layers and go through several iterations, I always focus on the message conveyed by the final result. Every day I look forward to new challenges and new projects ahead.
I have experience working for some of the largest companies in the world; Walmart, Dillard’s, Country Outfitter, TATA Consultancy, TSC, and JB Hunt.
I pride myself on being very inventive and strategic. As a true creative I specialize in Graphic/Web Design, Advertising Design, Art Direction, Management, Branding and UX/UI.