2013 Summer Conference – Austin

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Michael D. Beck

Michael D. Beck is the founder, president and CEO of the IQ Business Group, where he formulates and executes long-term strategies with responsibility for all interactions with clients, employees, investors and other stakeholders.

With more than 20 years of leadership experience in private and public- sector technology sales and services, Beck has a solid reputation for building and leading successful multi-disciplinary teams.

Prior to IQ, Beck was president and CEO of Trusted Edge Inc., a software company that provided solutions for information lifecycle management. In 1995, with Raul Fernandez, Beck founded Proxicom, a company they grew to over $250 million in revenues and later sold to Dimension Data. Beck went on to run the North American division of Dimension Data, a company with $500 million in revenue. Proxicom is still recognized as one of the true success stories of the early Internet days.

In addition to Beck’s commercial experience, he serves on the board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation - Mid-Atlantic and is actively involved in many civic activities.

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Andrew Blifford

Andrew Blifford attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history. From 1996–2002, he served in the Governmental Relations Divisions of the Texas Department of Economic Development, Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Public Utility Commission. In 2002, he joined the office of State Representative Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) as chief of staff. During 2006, he served as director of the House Appropriations Committee under Chairman Pitts.

In February 2009, Blifford joined the Office of Speaker Joe Straus where he currently serves as budget director.

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As deputy chief information security officer for DIR, Eddie Block provides governance support for the enterprise security program operations and services. He researches enterprise security trends, security technology, best practices, regulations and legislation, and makes reports and recommendations.

He is a licensed attorney who served as the senior product security engineer at Polycom where he was the security subject-matter expert and worked with product engineering teams to find and eradicate or mitigate system vulnerabilities. He also served as the information security officer at the Employees Retirement System.

Block is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government (CIPP/G), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Security Analyst (E|CSA). He is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law and Loyola Marymount University.

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Les Butler

Les Butler is the associate commissioner for business and regional services at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). As associate commissioner, Butler manages support services for HHSC departments and programs across Texas. This includes facility support services, facilities management and leasing, and regional administrative support services.

Prior to his current role, Butler was HHSC’s chief operating officer. His previous experience also includes serving as Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) deputy director for regional administrative services and the DHS regional administrator for multiple regions.

Butler received a bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University and a master’s degree from the College for Financial Planning.

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Dr. Erin Carlson

As assistant professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Dr. Erin Carlson teaches graduate-level health care policy courses. Her funded research responsibilities include projects related to the cost-effectiveness of disease prevention and access to health care for underserved populations.

Dr. Carlson holds a doctorate from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, a Master of Public Health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and communications from the University of Kansas.

In 2013, Dr. Carlson was selected to participate in Leading Edge, a program of Leadership Fort Worth for young leaders in their 20s and 30s. According to Leadership Fort Worth, Leading Edge participants are considered outstanding volunteers and rising stars in their profession.

Dr. Carlson is active in the American Public Health Association, League of Women Voters for Tarrant County, Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration and YWCA of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

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Ralph Disher

Ralph Disher has been an investigator in law enforcement for more than 25 years. His investigative experience began with the Belton Police Department as a detective. He then joined the Bell County District and County Attorney’s Office as an investigator and is now a senior investigator with the Special Investigations Unit of the State Auditor’s Office.

Disher has extensive experience in fraud investigation, gang prosecution and violent offender investigation. A graduate of Tarleton State University, Disher holds a Master Peace Officer certification and is a member of the Regional Organized Crime Information Center. He is also a former member of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.

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Lisa Feder

Lisa Feder is a yoga instructor, personal trainer and corporate wellness consultant. She is passionate about the field of wellness because she has seen the life-changing, positive impact that healthy habits can have on her clients.

With over 20 years of corporate experience as a marketing professional, Feder understands the challenges of maintaining wellness with a busy, full life. She has over 20 years of teaching and training experience, creating customized total programs for her clients.

Through yoga, in both one-on-one and class sessions, Feder works with her clients to help them develop strength, flexibility and the important awareness of breathing and living in the present moment. She encourages students to work at their own pace and to select their level of challenge each day, letting go of preconceived notions of competition or where they “should” be. She has seen the practice of yoga meet students wherever they are along the path, whether it is getting started or moving forward.

Prior to teaching yoga, Feder held marketing management positions at Fortune 500 companies in Cincinnati and Dallas while teaching group exercise classes and leading personal training sessions part-time. She believes yoga is the perfect avenue to bring more of everything you want into your life.

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Joaquin Guadarrama

Joaquin Guadarrama attended Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. After graduation, he moved to Austin to work in private industry as an Accounting Manager for a high-tech company. In 2008, he joined the House Appropriations Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pitts. After four years in the Appropriations Committee, he joined the Office of the Governor as a Governor’s Advisor on budget issues.

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Roxanne Gruhlke

Roxanne Gruhlke is a management training specialist, curriculum developer and facilitator with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Training and Development Department. She has been employed with the TWC Management Training Unit since May 2000.

Gruhlke facilitates workshops, staff and executive retreats, work groups, and joint application development (JAD) sessions. She developed and conducts various training courses, including Communication Skills, Facilitation Skills, Presentations Skills, Exploring Insights, Managing Transition for Managers, Objectivity: A Matter of Maintenance and Supervisory Skills Development.

She also conducts workshops and presentations at various professional conferences and professional development workshops for training organizations.

Gruhlke received her Bachelor of Science in education from Texas State University and her Certified Corporate Trainer credential from San Antonio College. She is also a National Workforce Institute Certified Workforce Expert with training as a specialization.

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Jo Dale Guzman

Jo Dale Guzman is the manager of professional development at the State Auditor’s Office. Originally from Alabama, she came to Austin to attend Saint Edward’s University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice. She went on to receive a Master of Science in criminal justice from Southwest Texas State University.

Guzman previously worked at the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, providing legal and technical training to municipal court clerks and bailiffs.

Guzman has written articles for various state and national publications and is a Certified Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education Instructor. She is also certified to teach FranklinCovey’s Leadership, Five Choices and Project Management courses.

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Ray Hymel, Jr.

Ray Hymel, Jr., has been a lobbyist for the Texas Public Employees Association (TPEA) since February 2005. During five regular sessions working for Senators Truan and Barrientos, Hymel had varied duties ranging from constituent relations to handling major legislation.

Hymel then served as legislative liaison for the Employees Retirement System for 11 years, spearheading the agency’s legislative relations with a primary emphasis on the finance and appropriations committees. He also served as staff director for the Joint Select Committee on Employee Benefits. In addition to TPEA, Hymel has represented Sagebrush Solutions, a health claims auditing company.

Hymel received his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s in government from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Ronnie Jung, CPA, CGMA

Ronnie Jung of RJung Consulting provides pension consulting services to a number of clients. He served as executive director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) from September 2003 until August 2011. He also worked as executive liaison to the TRS Board, deputy director and chief financial officer for TRS.

Jung’s experience includes 20 years at the State Auditor’s Office in various roles and two years at the Legislative Budget Board. He was also president of the National Council on Teacher Retirement and a board member of the National Institute for Retirement Security.

Jung was recognized as the 2002 Administrator of the Year and is a past president of TSABAA. He served on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) task force on higher education financial reporting that lead to the development of GASB 35.

He currently is vice chair of Texans for a Secure Retirement and on the board of the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation.

Jung earned a BBA in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974 and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1991. A Certified Public Accountant with a Personal Financial Specialist designation and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Jung is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Texas Society of CPAs.

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D.J. LeRiche

D.J. LeRiche is a senior systems engineer with over 15 years of experience helping companies maximize user productivity while reducing IT complexities, risks and costs.

LeRiche currently works for LANDesk Software, which develops and sells solutions providing organizations of all sizes the systems, security and service management tools they need to be successful in the ever-changing IT landscape.

As a senior systems engineer, LeRiche acts as the sales team’s technical encyclopedia during the sale, detailing the technical aspects of customer solutions. A former Marine, LeRiche was LANDesk’s 2012 America’s Channel Champion award winner for the work he did enabling LANDesk’s channel partners.

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Marny Lifshen

Marny Lifshen is an author, speaker, coach and marketing communications consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She works with businesses and individuals to develop brand awareness and credibility with key audiences and to establish relationships with key influencers.

Lifshen developed her experience as an in-house marketing communications and PR professional within a law firm, followed by over eight years of agency experience. She struck out on her own as a consultant in 2001, and provides comprehensive strategy, management, implementation and evaluation of marketing initiatives. In short, she works with clients to define, refine and expand their brands and specializes in working with professional service firms.

Lifshen expanded her passion to a new arena in 2008. As the author of the awardwinning Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women, she is a nationally recognized expert on professional women’s networking, communication and personal branding. In 2009, she was named a winner of the Profiles in Power and Women of Influence Awards hosted by the Austin Business Journal.

Lifshen is a seasoned keynote speaker and breakout session leader for organizations, conferences, events and retreats across the country. She also creates custom webinars and workshops for corporate clients.

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Cheryl MacBride

Cheryl MacBride is presently the deputy director for services at the Texas Department of Public Safety. She joined DPS in late 2009 initially as chief financial officer and then assumed the deputy director role in 2010. Previous to DPS, she worked for the Texas General Land Office and Veterans Land Board for almost 24 years.

During her time at the General Land Office, MacBride served in various financial management and administrative capacities, including deputy commissioner for administration. Prior to state service, she was the assistant controller for several Allied Bancshares banks.

She has served as an ERS Trustee since 2009, first appointed to fill a vacancy on the board and then elected in 2013.

MacBride has been an active member of TSABAA and has held several offices with the association, including president in 2000. She has served on numerous statewide committees and task forces and has held Certified Government Financial Manager and a Certified Fraud Examiner designations.

A native of Houston, MacBride attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a BBA in finance. She is also the mother of three wonderful grown-up children.

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Stephanie Muth

Stephanie Muth, deputy executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), directs the Office of Social Services, which is responsible for eligibility determination for HHSC programs, the mainspring function of the enterprise.

Muth also has served as HHSC’s chief of staff, associate commissioner for consumer and external affairs and director of external relations. She also worked in government relations for the Department of Human Services and DFPS.

Muth previously worked three years for the Texas House of Representatives. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Stephanie Nestlerode

Stephanie Nestlerode is a founding partner with Omega Point International, Inc. The firm specializes in strategic planning, leadership development and collaborative efforts across civic, business and government sectors.

Nestlerode has consulted with state government agencies in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, California and Nevada. Prior to her consulting career, she worked as a strategic planner for the state of South Carolina.

Nestlerode’s techniques nurture the ability to make wise choices for a shared future. She helps clients apply successful leadership practices to create effective and efficient systems for serving the common good. Her clients learn how to generate the energy, ownership and structure required for strategic thinking and successful implementation. As a result, her clients are known for innovation and results.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in social work administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a certificate in gerontology and marketing from the University of South Carolina.

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Representative John Otto, CPA

State Representative John Otto is a businessman, community leader and native of Dayton, Texas. He was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November 2004.

During his tenure in the Texas House, Otto has consistently been a leader on tax and fiscal policy. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on General Government and Criminal Justice. He also serves as vicechairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

In 2008, Otto chaired the House Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform. As a result of the efforts of the committee, he passed a series of reforms designed to improve the property tax system. His work on the property tax system earned him a Legislative Achievement award from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, and he was named “One of the Ten Best Legislators in Texas” by Texas Monthly.

Otto has earned several other awards. In 2005, he was named Republican Freshman of the Year by members of the Texas House of Representatives, Freshman of the Year by members of the House Republican Caucus, Most Valuable Freshman by editors of Capitol Inside and Rookie of the Year by Texas Monthly. During the 82nd session in 2011, he was recognized as the Legislator of the Year by the Texas Retailers Association for his work on the nexus bill for sales tax.

Otto is a 1966 graduate of Dayton High School and attended Texas A&M University where he received his BBA in accounting in 1970. A distinguished military graduate, he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army upon graduation and reported to Fort Benjamin Harrison for finance officer training.

Otto is a Certified Public Accountant who served on the audit staff of KPMG in Houston until 1975 when he and his wife Nancy returned to Dayton to start his CPA business. Today he serves as a director for business development of Ryan, the leading tax services firm in North America.

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Elizabeth Rogers

Elizabeth Rogers became the first chief privacy officer in Texas state government when she joined the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in July 2011. Since that time, Rogers has become a member of the National Advisory Board of the Future of Privacy Forum and leads the Statewide Information Privacy Advisory Council that serves other privacy professionals working for various Texas government agencies.

Before moving to Austin, Rogers started the labor and employment law section for the Houston office of Haynes and Boone, where she became partner and worked for 10 years. She accepted the offer of then-Attorney General John Cornyn to become the Office of Attorney General’s attorney ombudsman and that agency’s first-ever ethics officer. Attorney General Greg Abbott re-appointed Rogers when he was elected. After serving General Abbott for a term, she left to accept the position of general counsel for the State Bar of Texas.

Rogers is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and is on the board of the St. Mary’s University School of Law Foundation. She also is the immediate past president of the St. Mary’s University School of Law alumni association and served as the president-elect of the Texas General Counsel Forum.

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Mike Reissig

Mike Reissig is the associate deputy comptroller for tax and fiscal policy for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. In this position, Reissig is responsible for tax and revenue administration as well as fiscal management. These duties include the Comptroller’s tax policy, audit, enforcement and allocation issues, in addition to accounting and fiscal areas. He also serves on the governing board of the Federation of Tax Administrators, which works to improve the quality of state tax administration by providing services to state tax authorities and administrators.

Prior to his work as associate deputy comptroller, Reissig most recently worked as the director of tax administration for the Comptroller from 2002 to 2007. In that post, he was responsible for the oversight of the Comptroller’s Tax Policy, Audit and Enforcement Divisions.

From 2000 to 2002, Reissig served as director of the Comptroller’s Fiscal Management Division, and he served as the division’s assistant director from 1999 to May 2000. Prior to that, he served as the Comptroller’s chief revenue estimator from 1993 to 1999.

During the 1991 and 1993 sessions of the Texas Legislature, Reissig worked at the House Ways and Means Committee. This service included a session for former Speaker of the House Tom Craddick when he was the committee chair. Reissig’s work for the committee included assisting in the development of tax legislation and serving as an information resource.

Reissig got his professional start in the Comptroller’s Revenue Estimating Division as a revenue analyst and supervised the business tax group in the division before accepting the post with the Ways and Means Committee.

His academic background includes a master’s degree in business administration from Texas State University, a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance from Texas Lutheran University and an associate degree in accounting.

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Catherine (Cathy) Terrell, CPM

Catherine (Cathy) Terrell is the Director of Communications and Research for the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). The department manages external communications for ERS including the website; member, retiree, employer and association communication and education; and media relations. The department also supports ERS through policy and research reports. ERS’ goal is to engage stakeholders by providing them understandable information in their preferred mode, whether that’s face-to-face, online, written or via the telephone.

Terrell is the former Director of Customer Benefits where she worked to simplify benefit enrollment and administration processes, increase direct communication with employees and retirees, and transform complex paper-based transactions into easy online or contact center functions. ERS has received awards for enrollment, deferred compensation and member engagement communication pieces.

Terrell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. She earned reporting awards from the Associated Press while working as a daily newspaper reporter and national communications awards for her work as a marketing consultant and public affairs director. Cathy earned certification as a public manager from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and has completed the Governor’s Executive Development Program.

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Pamela R. Villars, LPC, CPLP

Pamela Villars holds a master’s degree in counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and clinical supervisor in Texas.

Before moving to Austin, Villars had a private practice in psychotherapy in Houston, specializing in the treatment of depression, trauma and addictive disorders. While in Austin, she worked for eight years providing hospice and housing for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

In 2003, Villars moved to the American Cancer Society as the Quitline® counseling manager. She then transitioned into learning and development, providing curriculum design and clinically focused employee development and training for the National Cancer Information Center.

Now a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), Villars works for the National Home Office’s talent development team where she specializes in facilitation, coaching, leadership development and organization effectiveness.

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Terri Ware

Terri Ware is the chief operating officer of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). As the COO, Ware has responsibilities that include client services procurement, contract oversight, information technology, training and statewide intake.

Ware formerly served at DFPS as director of the Operational Support Division and director of the Center for Program Coordination. Prior to this, she held positions in Management Analysis and the Office of Programs. She began her career with the agency as a Child Protective Services caseworker in 1991.

Ware has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Mike Wyatt

Mike Wyatt is a national director of Security & Privacy practice for Deloitte. In this role, he serves as a recognized leader for state public sector cybersecurity incident response and breach remediation as well as statewide security program development.

Wyatt helps clients who have been negatively impacted by loss of citizen data due to cyber-criminal activity. He works to address their most immediate needs of security improvement and provides guidance on the restoration of citizen trust. He speaks nationally on topics related to cybercrime including the risks of employee use of social media. Wyatt served as a delegate to the International Technological University working group at the inaugural East-West Institute Worldwide Cybersecurity Initiative in 2009. He also serves as a center fellow at the University of Texas Center for Identity, an organization focused on addressing the challenges of protecting digital identities from compromise by cybercriminals.

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