The Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics (CBIA) announced the formation of its Executive Advisory Board. The board is comprised of the following members: Meghan Achimasi, Norfolk Southern; Sam Hampton, TethrIT; Ganesh Natarajan, Ennoble First; Jason O'Connor, Leidos; Kelly Sandridge, Roanoke City Schools; Rick Sullivan, DXC; Dan Tolley, SP Global, Inc.; Rob Torpey, Deloitte; Matthew Welsh, Perspecta; and, Andy Wilson, Logikcull.

“We are humbled to have such an accomplished group of industry professionals on our executive advisory board, guiding the current and future efforts of the Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics,” said Jay Winkeler, executive director for CBIA.

The board, which consists of a “coalition of strong Hokie alums and supporters who work in the field of business intelligence and analytics,” will advise Winkeler and his team, as well as participate in and lead activities for the good of the Center. Members of the board will also look to strengthen relationships with other Virginia Tech constituency groups as well as contribute to the program financially and through other means.

“The mission of CBIA is exciting to me,” explained Sandridge, executive director of communications and marketing with Roanoke City Schools. “No matter what business you are in today, understanding data is what can turn ordinary results into extraordinary outcomes. I’ve been fortunate over the past couple of years to meet a few of the outstanding students who have gone through the MSBA-BA program and help them to connect what they learned with what they are passionate about doing in their career.”

Sandridge added, “As a member of the Executive Advisory Board, I look forward to continuing to help students and graduates find the career opportunities that become a career they are passionate about and not just a job.”

“The impact of Data and Analytics continues to accelerate – informing and driving every aspect of business,” said O’Connor, senior vice president for Leidos’ Homeland Security Solutions.

I’m very pleased to join the board of CBIA as we aim to prepare students to thrive as they discover innovation, insight, and professionalism in this rapidly evolving world.”

Formed in 2013, the CBIA was created to achieve goals of centrally locating the Pamplin College of Business analytics efforts and stimulating analytics research and collaborations across Virginia Tech. In 2016, the Master of Science in Business Administration with a Business Analytics concentration (MSBA-BA) was created to accommodate the growing field of analytics. The program offers students an opportunity to work with corporate partners on a real-world capstone project.

Before the formation of the Executive Advisory Board, the CBIA has had an advisory board made up of sponsors of the Master of Business Analytics capstone projects. According to Winkeler, it was difficult to maintain board continuity as roughly one-third of the sponsors would change yearly. Current board members will serve a 3-year term and can serve no more than two consecutive terms without special approval.

“The data-driven enterprise is fueled by intelligence and analytics,” explained Sullivan, vice president and general manager of applications with DXC Technology. “It’s a top priority of business and IT leaders, but there’s an acute shortage of talent. Virginia Tech and CBIA afford tremendous opportunities to further develop students and amplify their value in filling this highly demanded expertise that will continue into the future. It’s an honor to be a member of the executive board for the Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics.

Ut prosim, that I may serve.”