Today, I was truly humbled and honored to be named North Carolina’s Tech Executive of the Year by NC Tech!
As a North Carolina native, this means a lot to me. I take pride in the work I do to contribute to employee engagement and diversity across the state, which is home to one of IBM’s largest employee populations.
Receiving this award has allowed me to humbly reflect on my career journey and current roles.
As a young Black man growing up in Fayetteville, I did not know any engineers or computer scientists. Thanks to a high school guidance counselor, I learned about STEM careers, and decided to pursue a path in Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University. This path of humble beginnings keeps me motivated as a mentor and drives me to keep finding ways to give back to the community.
I started my IBM career in 1995 as a Level One Technical Support call taker, working to resolve computer issues. 25 years later, I wear multiple hats serving as the Senior Location Executive for IBM Research Triangle Park and Senior State Executive for North Carolina. As Vice President, IBM Chief Data Office, where I am proud to lead the team that is building and driving the adoption of IBM’s data and AI backbone, the Cognitive Enterprise Data Platform, helping analysts and data scientists find the information and data they need in real time to deliver insights.
I would like to congratulate all of my fellow award finalists for being reputable leaders within North Carolina’s tech sector: Tana Greene, Todd Olson, Michael Praeger, and Derek Wang. Through their work, mentorship, and advocacy, they are leading innovation and advancement within the industry and bettering their communities. Thank you all for doing what you do! Finally, the support of many family, friends, loved ones, mentors, & co-workers across the globe got me here today, and I thank you all for giving me this honor.