TechOlympics is proud to welcome our 2016 Keynote Speakers to the main stage in the Grand Ballroom.

Geoffrey S. Mearns

Geoffrey S. Mearns

President of Northern Kentucky University

Geoffrey S. Mearns has served as president of Northern Kentucky University since August 1, 2012. During his tenure at NKU, Mr. Mearns has led the development of a new five-year strategic plan that is guiding our University to its 50th anniversary in 2018. The new plan is the culmination of a process that engaged students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders. Under this plan, our University continues to develop innovative academic programs within each of its six colleges – programs that break down barriers between disciplines and emphasize a transdisciplinary approach to solving real-world problems.

During Mr. Mearns’ tenure, the University has also welcomed the most academically prepared and diverse classes in the school’s history, and undergraduate retention rates have increased substantially as a result of concerted effort and a comprehensive plan. More of those students than ever before are now living on campus, enhancing student life as we complete our transition to NCAA Division I athletics in the Horizon League.

In 2014, as a result of Mr. Mearns’ effective advocacy, the University secured a $97 million investment from the state to design and build a modern health innovation center that will house an integrated portfolio of programs to prepare healthcare professionals and to provide solutions to the health and wellness challenges facing the Commonwealth and the nation. To enhance this public investment, Mr. Mearns secured an $8 million philanthropic investment from St. Elizabeth Healthcare to support the simulation facilities in the health innovation center.  This gift is the second largest in the University’s history.  The center is scheduled to open in 2018.

In 2016, Mr. Mearns also successfully advocated for a substantial increase – more than $5.1 million – in annual state operating support for NKU.  These resources will begin to address the historic funding disparity that has impeded the growth and impact of the University.

Prior to his arrival at NKU, Mr. Mearns was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cleveland State University. In this role, he led the most successful re-accreditation process in CSU’s history, and he co-chaired a task force that developed CSU’s new budget methodologies. Mr. Mearns also spearheaded CSU’s concerted and comprehensive efforts to improve undergraduate retention and graduation rates. Prior to becoming provost, he served four and a half years as dean and professor of law at CSU’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Before his tenure at Cleveland State, Mr. Mearns practiced law for more than 15 years. Mr. Mearns’ legal career included service as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice. His extensive record of community service includes serving as chair of three federal judicial screening committees and serving as a trustee for several Cleveland nonprofit agencies. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community.

In Northern Kentucky, Mr. Mearns has continued his community service record.  Among many other activities, Mr. Mearns currently serves as chair of the NKY CEO Roundtable.  Mr. Mearns also serves on several boards, including United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Health Collaborative, and Cintrifuse, and he is co-chair of the 40th Annual Heart Mini Marathon, the region’s largest single-day fundraising event, which benefits the American Heart Association.  Mr. Mearns also served as co-chair of the myNKY regional visioning campaign.

Thomas R. Martin

Thomas R. Martin

Vice President – Application Transformation GE Digital - Cincinnati, OH

Thomas is the Vice President of Application Transformation for GE Digital. Working with the individual business units, Thomas and his team lead application portfolio analytics and cloud migration to drive simplification, consolidation to pillar technologies, and adoption/maturation of modern application technology stacks.

He began his career as a Field Engineer at GE Nuclear Energy and progressed through a variety of Engineering, Commercial, and Operational roles before transitioning to lead Digitization for Services Engineering at GE Energy in Atlanta, Georgia.

He transitioned to Cincinnati, OH in 2008 becoming the CIO for Assembly, Test & Overhaul at GE Aviation.

In December 2011 he was named the Chief Information Officer for Turbomachinery Solutions at GE Oil & Gas based in Florence Italy. There he and his team drove advanced Customer outcomes through Industrial Internet Machine analytics, and Field Services mobility.

He was named to his current position in December of 2014.

Originally from Columbus, Ohio USA, Thomas holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. He is Six Sigma Black Belt certified and a graduate of GE’s Experienced Information Management Program (EIMP).

Thomas is an Instrument Rated Private Pilot. He also enjoys fly-fishing and kayaking.

Michael C. Fillios

Michael C. Fillios

SVP & CIO, Fifth Third Bank

A senior global business and technology executive with significant financial, technology and change leadership experience across multiple industries. He is currently SVP & CIO at Fifth Third Bank with responsibility for the Wholesale/Commercial lines of business.

Previously he was Vice President, IT and Divisional CIO at Delphi Automotive based in Shanghai. As a member of the divisional executive team, he was globally responsible for IT in 30 countries and over 100 manufacturing facilities.  In addition, he served as the IT Executive for the Asia Pacific region and as a member of the company’s Asia Pacific Growth Board. Prior to his appointment as Divisional CIO, he led the Office of the CIO with responsibility for Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and IT Business Operations, based in Troy, Michigan.

Fillios has also held CIO positions at other companies such as Cetero Research, a global clinical research organization based in Cary, NC, where he was part of the leadership team that led the organization through an extensive turnaround and subsequent sale following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

He was recruited to ITT Corporation and became part of the interim CIO team that led the successful tax-free spinoffs of ITT’s water and defense related businesses to shareholders.  During his time at ITT, he oversaw IT for the Shared Services and Corporate functions such as HR, Finance, Legal and Purchasing.

Prior to ITT, he served as the Chief Solutions Officer at BTM Corporation, a startup company focused on implementing transformative management practices in the public and private sector.  Over a 10 year period, he helped to grow the business, defined industry leading solutions for technology management and was a trusted CIO advisor to companies such as PepsiCo, Marriott, and Northrop Grumman.

Earlier in his career, he led the Finance, Human Resources and IT functions and Penwest Pharmaceuticals, and held consulting leadership positions at Grant Thornton, where he sold and delivered multi-million dollar business transformation initiatives.

Fillios started his career as a senior auditor with Ernst & Young and earned his bachelor of business degree from The Hagen School of Business at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY.

He is a contributing author of The Alignment Effect (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002) and Winning The 3-Legged Race: When Business and Technology Run Together (BTM Institute/Prentice Hall, November 8, 2005) as well as several articles and research reports.

He resides in Mason, OH with his wife Lisa.  His son Griffin is a sophomore and his daughter Sydney is a freshman at Mason High School.

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith

Senior Project Manager for the Orion testing at NASA's Plum Brook Station

Ms. Nicole Smith is the Senior Project Manager for the Orion testing at NASAís Plum Brook Station. Prior to that, she was the Aerospace and Manufacturing Legislative Fellow for Senator Sherrod Brown (OH). She has worked in various lead positions within both the Orion Program and the International Space Station Program. Nicole started her career with NASA in 2000, training astronauts and flight controllers about the electrical and thermal systems on the International Space Station. Prior to that, she was an engineer with Lockheed Martin Space Mission Systems, where her background included work in Computational Fluid Dynamics, aerothermal analysis, hypervelocity impact studies, and orbital debris analysis. She is the recipient of the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Medal, sits on the Executive Board of the Hard-Hatted Women, is a member of the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Council at Miami University, and is an Ohio Space Grant Consortium Fellow. In her free time she loves to travel, hike, and ride her bike.