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Live Sessions

Title: Aligning Technology Investments with Institutional Strategy

Speaker: Carol Thomas, Ferrilli

Carol Thomas with Ferrilli is an information technology leader and experienced consultant supporting Presidents, CFOs, and Boards of Trustees in making critical technology investments to achieve aspirational strategic goals. Along with serving as the technology leader at two large community colleges, she has served as a consultant to more than 30 other community colleges as they worked to provide the best possible experience to all constituents. She understands that the ever-changing demands for the expeditious use of technology require creative and fiscally responsible approaches. Carol presented on a similar topic at the 2018 NACUBO conference, as part of a panel. That session achieved the highest attendee rating of any presentation at that year’s conference.

Title: Managing Remote Employees

Speaker: Rebecca Battle-Bryant, Battle Consulting

Dr. Rebecca Battle-Bryant is president and owner of Battle Plan Consulting, LLC, which is a full-service human resource, workforce development and public outreach consulting firm specializing in employee, workforce and economic development solutions; human resource management; customized training development and delivery; and executive and management coaching. 

Prior to her current role, she was the vice-president of Human Resources and Workforce Development at United Infrastructure Group; assistant executive director, Workforce & Economic Development, at South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce; vice-president of Corporate Training & Economic Development at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, and in progressive management positions at SCANA Corporation in Customer Service, Corporate Training, and Call Center Operations. 

Battle-Bryant is a graduate of Auburn University where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing and Sales, and a Master of Business Administration. She received her doctorate at the University of South Carolina in Higher Education Administration in 2009. 

Title: How Does Your Leadership Style Change Under Stress?

Speaker: Amit Mrig, Academic Impressions

Amit co-founded Academic Impressions in 2002 to provide research, publishing, and training on issues that directly impact the sustainability and strategy of higher education. Under his direction, AI has published hundreds of articles and papers, interactive training programs, and topical and timely webcasts, serving over 50,000 academic and administrative leaders across 3,500 colleges and universities.

Amit leads AI’s research and programming on higher ed leadership development and authors many of our research and thought leadership papers. He also leads our Presidential Dialogues Series, discussing higher ed strategy and leadership with college and university presidents.

Amit has consulted with dozens of higher ed leaders, cabinet members, and board members and is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach. Amit has been published in or interviewed for a variety of outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffington Post, International Educator, and The Chronicle for Higher Education. He also serves as an active board member of The Challenge Foundation, an organization helping low-income students successfully earn a college degree.

Speaker: Beth Rotach, Academic Impressions

Beth just couldn’t stay away from Academic Impressions, joining the company for two stints: first coordinating online training and then returning to direct company strategy and development. Beth has her fingers in many pots and brings her creative perspective to many teams. Big projects and initiatives typically keep her somewhere at their helms. As part of these efforts, she directly oversees our marketing department, human resources, and business development. Beth’s career before AI was in public health working at the University of Colorado as Director of an AIDS Education and Training Center, developing training and capacity building for health care providers across an 8-state region. She worked there to secure federal funding for her project and helped on other research, training, and telehealth initiatives at the university. She has also served as a consultant with federal agencies and for local non-profits. She enjoys the challenge of problem-solving and developing and implementing creative solutions––whether that be working with individuals to bring out their full potential or working on systems-level solutions.

Beth holds a strong passion for empowering women and women’s leadership; her two young, spunky girls has only fueled that fire. On weekends, you can find Beth adventuring with them and her husband, stretching out on a yoga mat, or searching for some time to rest.

Title: Using AI Chatbot Technology to Support Students in a Remote World 

Speaker: Damon Vangelis, Ocelot

Damon Vangelis is the Founder and CEO of Ocelot. Ocelot provides Artificially Intelligent chatbots and video content to student service offices at over 350 colleges and universities across the country, with a deep focus on community colleges. Ocelot has been serving schools since 2003, and today has the largest community of Artificially Intelligent Chatbot deployments within higher education. In 2019, Ocelot’s chatbot platform became fully bilingual in Spanish.

Speaker: Nicholas Burrell, Ocelot

Nicholas Burrell is Vice President of School Partnerships at Ocelot. He has 15 years of experience in higher education and has worked at institutions including CU Boulder and MassBay Community College.

Pre-Recorded Sessions

Title: How Are You Doing…Really? Cultural Insights From Organizational Assessment

Speaker: Adam Jones, Weaver 

Adam Jones is a management consultant with seven years of experience conducting organizational, IT and strategic governance assessments for community colleges and other public agencies. Prior to his consulting career, Adam was the Deputy Commissioner/Chief Operating Officer of the Texas Education Agency (the state’s department of K-12 education) from 2003-2012. He has been the lead consultant on assessment engagements at Austin Community College District, Tyler Junior College, Dallas Independent School District and many others. A frequent writer and presenter on leadership and management, he holds a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas.   

Speaker: Alyssa Martin, CPA, Weaver

With more than 25 years of experience, Alyssa is highly skilled in collaborating with management teams on growth strategies and governance matters.  Alyssa is widely recognized for her experience in governance and internal control process risk management, and has focused her career on enterprise risk management, internal audit, fraud prevention, operational analysis, business management consulting, and strategic planning for governmental entities specifically working with community and junior colleges such as Austin Community College, Tarrant County College District, College of the Mainland, and Del Mar College.  Alyssa is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA) and the National Association of Corporate Directors. She earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Title: GASB Update

Speaker: Fred Lantz, Sikich

Frederick G. Lantz, CPA, is responsible for providing technical services to Sikich’s clients in all areas of governmental accounting, auditing, financial reporting, budget development, revenue and expenditure forecasting, and cash and debt management. Prior to joining Sikich, Fred was the assistant director for the Technical Services Center of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), where he was a nationally recognized expert in the state and local government industry. At GFOA, Fred was responsible for managing the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program, providing accounting, auditing and financial reporting assistance to state and local government officials and their auditors, and serving as a liaison to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Fred also developed courses and served as lead instructor for governmental accounting, auditing and financial reporting training courses. He is a nationally recognized speaker, having spoken at state GFOA and CPA Society meetings and conferences.

Title: International Payment Processing

Speaker: Paul Aries, Nelnet Campus Commerce

Paul Aries is Senior Vice President, Northeast Region at Nelnet Campus Commerce, where he is responsible for helping colleges and universities in the Northeast deliver a first class experience to their students, staff and community with effective and user friendly eCommerce solutions from billing and payments to payment plans and refunds. Combine strong product knowledge with great relationships to help students achieve their education goals.

Speaker: David Glezerman, The DRG Group

David R. Glezerman is the retired assistant vice president and bursar for Temple University, where he was employed for 33 years. He had overall responsibility for billing, collections, and management of student finances. David worked in higher education receivables management for 40 years.

David now serves as the managing partner of The DRG Group, LLC, which provides training and consulting services to both the accounts receivable management and higher education industries. He also is an executive consultant for the Student Business Services division of Atlanta-based FAS, which provides operational assessment and interim staffing services, and serves as a board member for the Institute for Student Services Professionals (ISSP).

Speaker: Arif Harji, PayMyTuition

Arif Harji is Chief Market Strategist for MTFX Group which provides PayMyTuition, an international payments solution for education. Arif has more than 15 years of experience in foreign exchange risk management and cash management strategies.