Making a Difference in Computing and Information Technology
Arkansas Academy of Computing
William C. "Cody" Decker
Dr. William "Cody" Decker has repeated success in developing and leading teams to achieve nationally recognized accomplishments in the education industry. Currently, Cody serves as the Associate Provost and Chief Data Officer, adjunct Professor of Information Science, and the interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Before joining the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Cody worked as the assistant commissioner of education and chief information officer at the Arkansas Department of Education. Cody serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the Pulaski and Perry County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for abused and neglected children.
Cody is adept at leadership across strategic and tactical planning, project estimation and management, change/risk control, user and stakeholder communications, and vendor management. He has proven talent for identifying and proactively solving business challenges for measurable cost-savings and performance gains and extensive experience managing budgets, cross-functional teams, and service delivery to distributed end-users.
A holder of numerous technical certifications, Cody has a passion for the principles of total quality management and the use of data science and business intelligence to champion data-informed decision making throughout organizations. Cody earned a bachelor's of science in information science, a master's of science in information quality, and a doctorate in integrated computing, all from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Cody completed the management development program at Harvard University.
Originally from Hope, Arkansas, Cody moved to Mena, Arkansas during middle school and graduated from Mena High School. Cody was actively involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) along with Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST), which is where he obtained his interest in both technology and agriculture. Cody resides in Little Rock with his wife, Brooke, and son, Carter. Outside of work and staying abreast of current technologies, Cody enjoys reading, gardening, attempting to be a handyman, and living the country life with his family.
Mr. Jon E. M. Jacoby serves as a Senior Managing Director and Vice Chairman at The Stephens Group, LLC since July 2006. Today, Jon specializes in the creation of imaginative financial structures dedicated to value creation. He served as a Senior Executive Vice President of Stephens Inc. until September 2003 and is associated with Stephens since 1963.
Jon was important in the establishment of Systematics in 1968 and its merger into Alltel in 1991. He has had many other critical roles in the conception and funding of other Arkansas based technology companies as the primary representative of the Stephens family in numerous other significant transactions, including the sale of Union Life Insurance Company to the Ray Hunt interests in 1981; the acquisition of Atlantic Oil in 1983; the acquisition of Leisure Lodges and subsequent combination with Beverly Enterprises; the sale of Leisure Arts to Time Warner in 1992; and the acquisition of controlling interest in Micro-Flo and its sale to BASF Corp in 2000. He serves on the board of several privately-held companies and four publicly-held corporations.
As part of the combined Stephens family organization for 43 years, Jon held many roles, including Assistant to the President, Vice President and Head of Corporate Finance; Executive Vice President; Head of Special Investments; Chief Financial Officer; and Vice Chairman of the Board.
Jon received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in Boston and a B.A. degree in Geology from the University of Notre Dame. In reflecting on his career, Jon highlights three main driving forces: he was lucky; he was honest; and he never put his personal interests ahead of his associates. He was lucky in that he was helped along the way by his parents and several teachers through his scholastic career and then even luckier to be introduced to Jack Stephens, his boss, mentor, and friend for 50 years. He believes honesty is a prerequisite for success and can be guided by simple “do-right” rules. And, he understands that no one can succeed unless the people around them succeed. So, one must always keep that in mind and be grateful for the many opportunities extended their way and try to pass them on to others.
Srinivas is a technology leader with experience in digital transformation technologies, strategic planning, large-scale platform development, automation, software integration, and development. Srinivas is currently a Senior Director in the Engineering and Technology organization at J.B. Hunt where he is responsible for leading the enterprise architecture team and bringing innovating and disruptive technologies to the organization.
Before joining J.B. Hunt, Srinivas was the Technical Director and Chief Architect at Southwest Power Pool (SPP) from 2011 to 2018. SPP oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the Central United States across 14 states. Srinivas led the architecture team that successfully deployed the Integrated Marketplace platform. The Integrated Marketplace platform saved the participants over $2.7 billion in the first 5 years. Srinivas also led the team that deployed the near real-time warehouse and analytics solution to monitor the performance of the market. The solution won the Informatica innovation award. He was also responsible for bringing DevOps processes, automation of application provisioning, and deployment processes. Srinivas served as the vice-president of Architecture Working Group which represented architects from nine ISO/RTO organizations.
Srinivas joined Acxiom in 1995 after completing his master’s degree. During his 16 year career at Acxiom, Srinivas served in a variety of roles, including software developer, architect, technical advisor, and leader of the enterprise architecture team. He was instrumental in architecting and leading several Acxiom’s strategic products and innovative technology platforms notably InfoBase data products, Grid platform, and multi-channel marketing campaign platform. He worked with multiple universities on research projects and taught classes during his career at Acxiom. He was also a contributor to the open-source community and served as a member of the UALR EIT advisory council for several years.
Before coming to the United States, Srinivas worked as a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization where he developed real-time systems for processing remote sensing satellite data. Srinivas is a co-author of a textbook and author of several technical and white papers. He received his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Sri Venkateswara University in India.
Srinivas is an active member and volunteer in the Indian community. He was the chair of the devotional and cultural committee. He is currently the chairman of the board for the Telugu Association of Arkansas (TAA). Srinivas has two sons, Pranav and Suraj, and a daughter, Lahari. Srinivas and his wife, Sridevi, currently live in Bentonville, AR.
Matt Lanford is Paysign’s Chief Product Officer. In this role, he is responsible for managing and expanding Paysign’s suite of prepaid products. Matt has 30 years of experience in the payments industry. Prior to joining Paysign, he was the SVP and General Manager of the Financial Services division of InComm. He was responsible for InComm’s consumer-facing VanillaTM brand suite of products, which produces prepaid consumer solutions like Vanilla Gift, MyVanilla general purpose reloadable cards and the VanillaDirect cash-in network. Prior to InComm, he was with Mastercard from 2006 and held a variety of roles in the organization in both product management and strategy development. Other roles Matt held include senior vice president – ESS, Processing and Network Solutions Lead, North America, vice president, Investor Relations, vice president with the Global Prepaid Product & Solutions Group of MasterCard and the Prepaid Product Lead for Europe based in London. In 2012, Matt was named the Most Influential Figure in European Prepaid Industry in the top spot of the Prepaid Power 10 by a panel of his peers and again in 2013 as the Number One in the European 2013 Payments Power 10.
Matt also worked for Citigroup, first as a Vice President of Business Development in its global ATM and PIN POS debit transaction processing business and later as Director of Corporate Investment Bank Global Transaction Services. He has also worked internationally with Euronet Worldwide, Inc., holding positions in Budapest, Hungary and the U.S.
In Arkansas, Matt Lanford joined Arkansas Systems as a new college graduate and immediately made his mark on the company and the future of the company's software products. He was one of the primary architects of the Integrated Transaction Management (ITM) solution and his vision for the ITM product helped create a product that would acquire, route, and settle transactions around the world. The architecture Matt help design provided support for multi-currency and multi-lingual environments. Matt was a visionary when it came to software design and development and no challenge was too large for his creative problem solving. He was an integral part in helping Arkansas Systems deliver an Arkansas developed software worldwide. Matt is one of Arkansas' great computer science talent success stories.
Matt grew up in Little Rock, AR. He attended Little Rock Central High School and University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he graduated with Bachelors of Science in Computer Science.
Matt currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his husband of 25 years and their two French Bulldogs and two cats.
Daniel Moix is an Arkansas educator licensed in business with endorsements in computer science and mobile application development. He was a recipient of the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the 2016 Awards for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. Daniel currently works to grow the number of teachers in Arkansas qualified to teach computer science. He is currently Director, Coding Arkansas' Future at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, and is responsible for the training and support of the majority of the high school computer science teachers.
Daniel's greatest service has been the roll out of computer science education to all high schools in the state. Daniel Moix is a fabulous computer science teacher who has prepared and inspired many students. He has served the state and nation by his collaborations on state and national computer science standards and frameworks.
Daniel has been a powerful force in computer science advocacy in Arkansas and in helping increase the capacity of Arkansas to develop, enhance, and retain computer science teachers in Arkansas. He has helped plan and present at the Arkansas annual Computer Science Education Summit. He utilizes his connections with other educational leaders, industry, and the Arkansas Department of Education to develop computer science curricula, courses, and professional development which is used by students and teachers statewide.
Abby is the founder and CEO of iDestini, a custom software development firm. As a full stack developer, Abby has been in computing for over 20 years. Her early career included work at the Arkansas Crime Lab, the Southwest Power Pool, and NIC. She was the Technical Director for Rockfish's Little Rock office and a developer for Idea Loop before starting her own firm, iDestini, in Bryant Arkansas in 2014.
Education, mentoring, and fostering a vibrant tech community is another focus for Abby. Abby has been very involved in the tech and startup communities of Central Arkansas. She is a founder of the .Net meetup group, which is one of the strongest and longest lasting user groups in the area. Looking for further professional development for herself and her employees, Abby was one of the founders of Little Rock Tech Fest, which in 5 years has grown to huge event of over 600 attendees with dozens of sessions over two days. Few people have contributed this much volunteer effort to advancing Arkansas computing while also building a startup. Abby has also been a regular participant in events in the Startup ecosystem of Central Arkansas.
In 2005, she joined Southwest Power Pool (SPP) where she served as an Application Developer working on teams in the IT Applications, Data Warehousing, and Training departments. While working at SPP, Abby completed a B.S. in Business Information Systems at John Brown University in 2006. Abby left SPP in 2010 and spent a brief time each at NIC, Inc., Rockfish Interactive (now VML), and IdeaLoop developing and designing highly interactive web applications.
Abby's company and her career are in Arkansas. Her BS in Business Information Systems is from John Brown University.
Abby has been married to her husband, Mike Sims, since 2014. They are residents of Bryant, have three kids, two dogs, and two cats.
Peter Ungar serves as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Environmental Dynamics PhD Program at the University of Arkansas. He received his PhD in Anthropological Sciences from Stony Brook University and taught Gross Anatomy in the medical schools at Johns Hopkins and Duke before joining the University of Arkansas faculty in 1995. He is an Honorary Professorial Research Fellow of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has served as visiting faculty at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, the University of Helsinki in Finland, and Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.
Peter is known primarily for his work reconstructing diet and environments from fossil teeth with the help of automated surface characterizations derived using a variety of innovative technologies. He has spent thousands of hours observing wild apes and other primates in the forests of Latin America and Indonesia, studied fossils from tyrannosaurids to Neandertals, and developed new techniques to tease information about ecology and evolution from tooth shape and patterns of use wear. He has also conducted research on oral health of the Hadza peoples of Tanzania, the last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa.
Peter has written or coauthored nearly 200 scientific works for journals, books, and other media, including Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scientific American, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
Peter’s work has been featured in a recent TED-Ed video and documentaries on the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, BBC Television, and others. He has given dozens of invited talks and keynote addresses at venues around the world, including the Royal Society and Royal Institution in London, The World Health Summit in Berlin, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Peter has been at UA Fayetteville for 24 years. He has raised his family there and is a great promoter of life in Arkansas through social media.
Bill Yoder leads the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) team with a long-standing reputation for building loyal, long-term relationships with business partners, client accounts, and staff members. Bill is guiding the ACDS team’s effort to build a sustainable, long term catalyst for the future of data and computer sciences in Arkansas.
Bill was interim CEO of the Venture Center, CEO of Watch House International for 12 years, Group Leader and Account Executive at Acxiom for 10 years, and District Account Manager at Alltel Information Services for 10 years.
Fate and family kept bringing Bill back to Arkansas. The first time was 1972, when his in-laws encouraged him and his wife to locate and find work in central Arkansas. Later Systematics sent them to San Diego and on to Milwaukee, and then back to Little Rock. While with Acxiom they went to Phoenix, and then after an 11 year entrepreneurial start-up in Missouri, Bill and his wife Peggy are very happy to now be back in Arkansas.
Bill believes in taking your work seriously, but not yourself, in always doing your best – and setting expectations for quality high!
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