Finalists

2014 Finalists
John Trainor Read Bio Global

John Trainor
VP & CIO
Aaron's

Bryson Koehler Read Bio Enterprise

Bryson Koehler
EVP & CIO
The Weather Company

Walt Carter Read Bio Corporate

Walt Carter
CIO
Generation Mortgage Company

Joshua Silver Read Bio Emerging

Joshua Silver
VP Product Development
Patientco

Curtis Carver Read Bio Non-Profit

Curtis Carver
Vice Chancellor & CIO
University System of Georgia

2013 Finalists

John Trainor
VIP & CIO

Aaron's

BIOGRAPHY

John is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Aaron's, Inc., an Atlanta-based specialty retailer that leases furniture, electronics, and appliances.Since 1999, he has helped Aaron's grow from 450 to over 2,100 stores with almost $3B in revenue. Prior to joining Aaron's, he worked in technology rolesat the Southern Company and the United States Senate. He has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

John serves as the founding Chairman of the Mobility Society Board and on the Board of Directors for the Technology Associate of Georgia (TAG) and is the Membership Chairman for the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA). He volunteers and raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Georgia.

John lives in Roswell, GA with his wife, Heather, and three sons, Jack, William, and Phillip. When not working, he shuttles his sons back-and-forth from football to wrestling practice and tries to squeeze in some swimming, biking, and running (sometimes all at the same time).

2013 Finalists

Bryson Koehler
EVP & CIO

The
Weather
Company

BIOGRAPHY

As a member of the Executive Committee and self-proclaimed weather geek, Bryson plays a key role in the overall business strategy for The Weather Company. As head of technology, Bryson sets the strategic vision, technical direction, financial planning, and execution of all technology initiatives and operations across all of the company’s four divisions – TV, Digital, Professional, and International. Bryson oversees the technology architecture, global infrastructure, weather forecasting and big data platforms, broadcast and localization systems, software engineering, and quality assurance as well as the company’s internal systems. The IT team leads the design and implementation of industry leading cloud based computing capabilities, large scale big data systems, and digital video personalization technology for web, cable, satellite, and telecommunication distributors.

The technology platforms that Bryson’s team is responsible for, power the on-air products, radio, newspaper and digital distribution to leading web, mobile and desktop applications – weather.com is in the top 20 of most used websites and our mobile apps are in the top 5 of most used daily applications.

Prior to joining The Weather Company, Bryson spent time as an Operating Partner with Exigen Capital, overseeing the firm’s investments and operations in the Travel & Entertainment sectors. Bryson was responsible for global development, deal flow, execution of investment strategy, exits, and success of the overall investments. Exigen Capital is a transformational Private Equity firm that invests in carve outs and large cap startups in the Financial Services, Insurance, Media, Travel, Healthcare, and Communications industries with offices in San Francisco, New York and Zurich.

Previously, Bryson spent 10 years at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world’s largest hotel company, as the Senior Vice President of Global Revenue and Guest Technology. His team of over 425 people was responsible for overall delivery of IHG’s customer facing systems on a global basis. His team led the technology architecture, strategy, test engineering, design, software engineering, and project management of IHG’s $25B revenue and distribution systems: Central Reservations System, Yield/RevenueManagement platform, all web sites, contact centers, third party distribution partnerships, property management systems, and guest facing in hotel technology platforms.

Bryson brings a passion for change and innovation by sitting at the strategy table for both business and technology groups within large and small enterprises. He uses his 20+ years of experience to help companies transform their business capabilities and utilize elegantly simple solutions that are always focused on maximizing the business goals of to the company.

Bryson has and is serving on many customer advisory boards, including the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA), Verizon Business, Genesys, Microsoft , Google, Akamai & HCL. He was selected by the Executive Alliance as the Quality Leadership Executive of the Year in 2007, and in 2010 Bryson was recognized by CIO magazine as One to Watch with an additional standout award for innovation. In September 2010, Bryson helped IHG become recognized as #2 on InformationWeek’s Top 500 Innovative technology companies for the development a patent pending inventory management systems his team developed. Recently this year, IHG’s Revenue Management platform was a finalist for the Frans Edelman Nobel Prize for operations research and his team was a finalist for technology department of the year in the annual Stevie Awards.

Bryson earned his double Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. He has lived in the Atlanta area for 15 years, is married and has five children. He is active in his community and has served as the co-captain for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), executive sponsor of the Women In Technology (WIT) program in Atlanta, and is the chief of his son’s Indian Guides program with the YMCA. Bryson also is on the Board of Directors for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and San Francisco based Revinate

2013 Finalists

Walt Carter
CIO

Generation
Mortgage
Company

BIOGRAPHY

Generation Mortgage Company’s Chief Information Officer Walt Carter has more than 25 years of experience in technology leadership roles, including positions managing IT and delivery teams at software and services companies, as well as leading consulting groups. He has grown and transformed businesses, their customers, and teams. Adept at working on technology challenges at both large and small companies, Walt frequently speaks to professional groups on the topics of IT governance, risk management and compliance.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Guilford College, Walt began his career as a technical officer in the U.S. Air Force and has served in a variety of technology leadership roles with companies such as Fidelity, Gannett Corporation, TRW, Spherion and Ajilon Consulting. Walt earned a Master's degree in public and private administration from Central Michigan University. While at TRW, he won the President's Award for leadership on their largest commercial project. In addition, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) has selected Walt’s team at Generation as an Excalibur Award Finalist for the past two years.

Walt makes his home just outside of Atlanta with his wife Eileen and their four children.

2013 Finalists

Joshua Silver
VP Product Development

Patientco

BIOGRAPHY

As Vice President of Product Development, Joshua is responsible for Patientco’s overall technology strategy and product direction. His expertise in consumer-centric system design, secure payment processing, and scalable web-platform architecture has helped Patientco deliver a market-leading Patient Billing and Paymentsplatform.

Prior to co-founding Patientco, Joshua served as a core member of the newly- created International Product Development team at CareerBuilder. Splitting his time between Atlanta, Chicago, and London, he worked on launching over six new international sites and spearheaded technical integrations with key European online advertising partners such as Virgin Media, AOL, and Lycos.

Joshua holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he graduated with Highest Honors and was the recipient of the prestigious President's Scholarship Award. He is an active member of the Atlanta Technology and Startup communities and has served as a judge for the Technology Association of Georgia's "Top 40 Innovative Companies in Georgia" Award.

2013 Finalists

Curtis Carver
Vice Chancellor & CIO

University
System of
Georgia

BIOGRAPHY

Curtis Carver, Ph.D is the Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG). In this capacity, he oversees a statewide educational infrastructure and service org anization with morethan 250 innovators and an annual investment in higher education of more than $70M. He also provides technical oversight for the USG Shared Services Center.

With a mix of military and academic experience, Curt has led the transformation of USG Information Technology Services by partnering with USG business owners, institutions, and other state agencies. The introduction of private cloud services, entrepreneurial offerings, new learning management system, new data systems, social media, unified communications, strategic partner engagement, and a focused and aligned financial model has been well received in Georgia and around the nation.

Through his leadership, Curt’s garnered national recognition for the USG including the 2012 Global CIO Break Away Leader Award, 2012 and 2013 Georgia State Technology Innovation Award, 2013 InformationWeek500 Top Innovative Organizations (ranked in the top 10), 2013 InformationWeek 20 Best Ideas to Steal, 2013 N2N Champions of Innovation, 2013 Atlanta Telecommunications Professional Leadership Impact Award, 2013 InformationWeek Chiefs of the Year and the 2014 ComputerWorld Premiere100 IT Leaders.

Prior to the USG, Curtis served at the U.S. Military Academy – West Point in a number of positions including interim Vice Dean of Education, Vice Dean for Resources, Associate Dean for Academic Computing, and IT Program Director. Curtis led efforts that were successful in more than doubling student participation in international experiences and substantially expanded programs addressing the needs of at-risk students. In addition, he coordinated significant revisions to the curriculum, facilitated the completion of the construction of a $72M library and learning center, secured funding for a $182M renovation of the science building, and supported efforts to accredit the institution regionally through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Carver’s 27-year military career includes appointments as platoon leader, senior signal officer, company commander, battalion operations officer, division deputy G6, and military mentor. He was assigned to Korea and Italy, and was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he served as a strategic mentor to build their respective national military academies.

Throughout his career, Curt has been engaged in the active leadership of military, academic, research, and service organizations. He has served as a member of a number of governing bodies or executive boards including the Computer Science Accreditation Board, Computer Accreditation Commission, multiple CIO Executive Summits, and the Federal Information Assurance Conference. He is a senior-level member in the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional societies and continues to play an active role in shaping the national agenda in technology, education, and the interaction between the two. In addition, he is an active member of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA).

Curtis has authored hundreds of journal articles and conference papers and has given numerous keynote presentations or other plenary presentations. He has received numerous national and international honors and awards for military, teaching, and research excellence throughout his career.

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