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Our team

The Tambellini Group consists of a diverse team of people who are passionate about helping other people achieve business and personal success.  Members of the Tambellini Group bring unparalleled knowledge and experience that helps clients get results as many are former administrators, educators, marketplace executives, and industry experts.  Each member has many years of career achievements along with excellent client relationships.  The company is headquartered in Irvington, Virginia.

Vicki Tambellini
President and CEO

Vicki Tambellini has more than 30 years of experience and is an award-winning software company executive, author, blogger, consultant, guest-speaker, and entrepreneur. Ms. Tambellini has received numerous awards and honors from companies including PeopleSoft, Oracle, and NCR. She has been a guest speaker at SACUBO, the Oracle HEUG, E!Learning Summit Events, Smart Woman’s Network, Richmond Venture Forum, and numerous private venues.

Ms. Tambellini received a BS from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business. She received the Platinum Learning! Professional Certification Award from the Elearning! Institute in recognition of her contributions to the field of learning and her unselfish willingness to share her knowledge and expertise with peers.

Vicki Tambellini founded The Tambellini Group in 2001.

Mary Beth Cahill
Vice President, Research

As head of research for The Tambellini Group, Mary Beth Cahill focuses on higher education technology trends and software strategies. Ms. Cahill has led numerous research efforts, specifically in the area of vendor ERP and Student Information System (SIS) software solutions, data and learning analytics, CRM, learning management, and social networking. Ms. Cahill is also the co-author of several published industry reports that provide senior executives with objective market insights and executive support for critical decision-making in higher education and education technology.

Ms. Cahill is the principal analyst and researcher for multiple ERP and SIS evaluation and review projects for institutions of all types and sizes across North America. She is the co-author of The Tambellini Group’s “Upgrade or Replace” and “Vendor Review” series of reports.

Before joining The Tambellini Group, Ms. Cahill was a Senior Technologist for Oracle. Prior positions include Oracle Technical Sales Support at Dataline, Inc., Database Technical Consultant for Digital Equipment Corporation, Senior Printing Systems Analyst for Xerox, and Marketing Support Analyst at Burroughs Corporation.

Ms. Cahill earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of Richmond.


Mary McDaniel
Chief Marketing Officer

Mary McDaniel’s career has focused in the technology industry, leading organizations to exceed client expectations and deliver unparalleled results. She has a proven track record of creating awareness, demand, and preference for innovative technology. Ms. McDaniel has been active in developing thought leadership pertaining to higher education trends, challenges, and opportunities.

As Chief Marketing Officer of The Tambellini Group, Ms. McDaniel is responsible for corporate branding, marketing, and messaging. She oversees PR and media outreach, website content, and social media messaging.

Prior to joining The Tambellini Group, Ms. McDaniel served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Campus Management, where she was responsible for building a world-class team of marketing professionals to develop strategic messaging, positioning, and outreach. Previous positions include Director of Product Marketing at Oracle, Vice President of Marketing for a number of software technology market leaders, Director of Marketing and Communications for Systems & Computer Technology, and State & Local Government Specialist at Mississippi State University.

Ms. McDaniel earned a BS from Mississippi College and an MBA from Mississippi State University.


Katelyn Ilkani
Vice President, Client Services and Cybersecurity Research

Ms. Ilkani is responsible for guiding and directing The Tambellini Group’s Cybersecurity Research Practice. She is an innovator in education and cybersecurity, and provides strategic guidance to higher education executives (including academic medical center clients) based on cybersecurity best practices and emerging threats. Ms. Ilkani takes a risk based approach to her work, and her expertise covers network security, endpoint security (including mobile), application security, data security, security information & event management (SIEM), people security, and the managed security services providers’ landscape. Ms. Ilkani has a keen interest in analyzing emerging security threats and compliance issues, including IoT security and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Ms. Ilkani’s career includes being selected as one of 26 members of the IBM Summit Program, chosen out of a field of 3,000. During her tenure at IBM, she was consistently recognized for her contributions in the field of cybersecurity, with a focus on government, education, and healthcare.

She graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Russian and a minor in anthropology and also holds a master’s in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently pursuing an Executive Masters in Cybersecurity from Brown University.


Jacqueline Cherie
Director, Client Services

Jacqueline Cherie has a background in technology business management, project management, sales, research, publishing, consulting, and professional instruction. She joined The Tambellini Group in November 2016 after seven years with a market and technology research and consulting firm, where she managed projects in marketing, research, and sales involving stakeholders from all over the world.

As co-owner of a technology sales and service company, Ms. Cherie served as Marketing and Administrative Manager for 16 years. She has more than 14 years of experience in consulting and publishing and has been a repeat guest on instructional television. Her instructional projects have been published in more than 30 books by 10 major publishers.

Ms. Cherie holds a BS from Brigham Young University.


Alex Freeman
Senior Analyst and Director, Client Engagement

With experience in membership management, market research, and publishing, Alex Freeman provides direct support to Tambellini members as a part of the Client Services team. Mr. Freeman is well versed in Learning Management Systems (LMS) and instructional technology, and his analysis and insight into global education trends provides Tambellini members with indispensable information for strategic planning and direction.

Prior to The Tambellini Group, Mr. Freeman was the Senior Director of Membership and Special Projects for the former New Media Consortium (NMC). At the NMC, he oversaw membership services, produced online professional development programs, and served as editor, co-author, and researcher for the NMC Horizon Report series, which analyzed technology uptake across global higher education, K-12 schools, museums, and libraries. Previous positions include Education Director at Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin and Education Curator at Artpace San Antonio.

Mr. Freeman earned his BFA from the University of Florida and MA from the University of Texas-Austin.


Candace Eidson
Research Director

As the Research Director for The Tambellini Group, Candace Eidson conducts the depth and breadth of the company’s research coverage, using meticulous research methodologies, practices, and standards to make recommendations for The Tambellini Group’s clients.

Ms. Eidson has worked in the higher education marketplace for more than 18 years. She manages multiple consulting projects with vendors and higher education institutions across a variety of sectors and departments in higher education.

Ms. Eidson has a deep understanding of IT vendors and solutions, as well as user strategies in analytics and data management. Her knowledge of data warehouse, data storage, data governance, and data visualization makes her an invaluable member of our team, helping to ensure the completeness and accuracy of our research.

Ms. Eidson studied Business Administration at James Madison University.


Michele Cummins
Research Associate

Michele Cummins serves as a research associate at The Tambellini Group, with responsibilities in investigative research, writing, and editing. Using her proficiency in modern research methodology, Ms. Cummins supports The Tambellini Group’s ever-expanding research and data validation activities. She also contributes to the Tambellini library of case studies and reference reports.

Prior to joining The Tambellini Group, Ms. Cummins was the Research and Content Manager for the former New Media Consortium (NMC). At NMC, she managed the research process, served as a contributing author, and supported report production for the NMC Horizon Report series, as well as created, edited, and managed digital content for NMC’s blog, podcasts, and social media channels.

Ms. Cummins holds a BA from the University of Texas-Austin.


Marie Benesh
Senior Market Analyst

Marie Benesh brings to The Tambellini Group broad experience in program and project management in both public and private sectors. She has led successful projects in ERP implementation in higher education and corporate environments; has led efforts in IT Management Effectiveness and Process Design and Implementation; and has facilitated Information Technology Strategy, Planning, and Standards.

Prior to joining TTG, Ms. Benesh served in a variety of management and advisory roles in which she oversaw the implementation of IT products at Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology, Keuka College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Missouri System, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Ohio State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse University, and Cornell University.

Ms. Benesh has authored publications on management and leadership, and she has made numerous presentations and has conducted workshops on these topics.

She earned a BA from SUNY College at Potsdam, NY.


Legal Advisory Services

Stephen Dix
Bodker, Ramsey, Andrews, Winograd & Wildstein, P.C.

Steve Dix brings a 30-year in-house career at high tech companies, most recently as the Senior Vice president, General Counsel and Secretary at Alpharetta, GA based Convergent Media Systems Corporation. Prior to joining Convergent, Steve was the Chief Counsel for North American Operations at Amdahl Corporation.

He has an in-depth knowledge of the high tech industry and related IP issues, plus his broad base of knowledge in matters as diverse as corporate governance, M&A, and labor law.

Mr. Dix began his legal career as a Lieutenant in the US Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and was in private practice in Houston, Texas prior to moving in-house. He holds a JD from University of Texas at Austin, a MBA from Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, and BS in Economics from University of Houston.


Leslie Spasser
Polsinelli PC, an Am Law 100 firm

Leslie Spasser handles complex technology transactions for clients in the media and communications, education, health care and financial services industries. Typical transactions involve one or more of the following elements: cloud computing/hosted services; technology and media licensing; video distribution via multiple platforms including mobile; data and/or content licensing and integration; technology outsourcing; and new technology development and deployment. Ms. Spasser also counsels clients on privacy and data security issues and related legal and regulatory compliance. Ms. Spasser takes a business-focused approach to her practice and strives to provide practical solutions that drive positive results for her clients.

Ms. Spasser holds a JD from New York University School of Law, and graduated magna cum laude from Duke University.


Tambellini Executive Advisory Council

Corey Fling
Chief Information Officer
Point Loma Nazarene University

Corey Fling serves as the Chief Information Officer at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). Mr. Fling has led transformation efforts at the university to modernize its technology platforms for both administrative and academic relevance, aligning business needs with technology. Significant effort has been made in upgrading ERP functionality, security, leveraging cloud services, and providing strategic guidance in support of all information technology initiatives within at PLNU. Mr. Fling is overseeing a multi-year migration from a legacy ERP to Workday, establishing an information security office, and developing his staff to utilize progressive technology to meet customer needs.

Prior to his role as Chief Information Officer, Mr. Fling oversaw the network and server infrastructure at PLNU and served in various technical capacities within and outside higher education.

Mr. Fling earned his BA from Point Loma Nazarene University and MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.


Beth Hayes
Deputy Chief Information Officer
Vassar College

Beth Hayes is the Deputy CIO and Director of Enterprise Services at Vassar College. She has led efforts to move the college from a 20-year-old legacy ERP to a modern, mobile enabled, cloud-based solution. She has also implemented an identity and access management (IAM) strategy, single sign on (SSO), and iPaaS integration strategy to significantly reduce costs and meet current and future needs across the college ecosystem.

Prior to Vassar, Ms. Hayes was the Director of Information Technology at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and held a number of engineering positions in the corporate sector.

As a leadership coach, she has mentored the next generation of technology leaders in the areas of relationship management, management techniques, career advancement, and goal setting.

She holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson University.


Bret Ingerman
Vice President for Information Technology
Tallahassee Community College

Serving as the Chief Information Officer, Mr. Ingerman is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction for technology at Tallahassee Community College (TCC). Mr. Ingerman is currently the executive sponsor for TCC’s implementation of the Workday Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, the largest technological undertaking in TCC’s history, and the College’s partnership with Workday to design a new Student Information System (SIS).

Prior to joining TCC, Mr. Ingerman has served as the Vice President for Computing and Information Services at Vassar College, Chief Technology Officer at Skidmore College, and in a number of technology positions at Lewis & Clark College and Syracuse University.

Active nationally in the field of educational technology, Mr. Ingerman has held leadership positions with EDUCAUSE and has served as Chair and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC) and as Secretary of the Board of NERCOMP (North East Regional Computing Program).


Michael Mathews
Associate Vice President of Technology and Innovation
Oral Roberts University

Mike Mathews has served Oral Roberts University as CIO and AVP for Technology and Innovation. Mr. Mathews has successfully led a 2-year initiative to transform “Information Technology” toward “Innovation and Technology.” This transformation has allowed ORU to enjoy global attention through digitizing the entire campus experience. ORU has become the leader in wearable technology for students, robotic teleportation technology for global connections, and a campus wide deployment of augmented and virtually reality. The capstone of the two-year initiative was the design and deployment of a Global Learning Center to reach students around the world from their main campus in Tulsa, Ok.

Prior to joining ORU, Mr. Mathews invested eleven years as a CIO, Business Development Officer, and VP of Academic Technology for Ellucian. Mr. Mathews has also invested his career in numerous industries including legal, manufacturing, and high-tech where he has learned seven ERP/SIS systems.

Mr. Mathews has been invited to the White House on two occasions for innovations in education. He is also the recipient of the 2012 White House Department of Education Innovation Award, 2013 Campus Technology Innovation Award for Student Systems, the 2015 Texas Star Award, and the 2016 EDUVENTURES Innovation Award. Mr. Mathews has been featured in numerous education periodicals, journals, and magazines for his innovation and commitment to students.

Mr. Mathews earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


David Sherry
Chief Information Security Officer
Princeton University

As Chief Information Security Officer at Princeton University, David Sherry is responsible for developing university policy and strategy regarding matters of information security. He plays a critical role in addressing the larger institutional issues of security policy and practice, data governance, risk assessment and business continuity, as well as the compliance requirements that span the university.

Prior to Princeton, Mr. Sherry worked as CISO at Brown University, as vice president for enterprise identity and access management at Citizens Bank, and as manager of information technology with the United States Postal Service.

Mr. Sherry sits on a number of committees that fall under the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council. He shares his vast knowledge of information security as a presenter at conferences, as a guest lecturer at several New England institutions, and as a contributor to publications, such as Information Security Magazine, Security Currents, and SearchSecurity.

Mr. Sherry earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Providence College and an MBA in management science from Northeastern University. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).


Marilyn Smith
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
George Mason University

Marilyn Smith has been Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer of George Mason University since 2013, where she leads the central Information Technology (IT) department of the largest research university in Virginia.
As the Chief Information Officer of MIT from 2009–13, Ms. Smith established IT Governance and developed and implemented visionary strategic plans. She oversaw the redesign and automation of key business functions and led the IT department in its transformation to a customer, results and people-focused culture.

After graduating from Wellesley College with a major in Astronomy, Ms. Smith spent 26 years at John Hancock in information systems, four years at Liberty Mutual as Vice President and CIO of Personal Market Information Systems, and nine years at The Hanover Insurance Group (formerly Allmerica Financial), the last three of which she served as President of the Life Companies.
Ms. Smith is a Director on the Board of CSP, Inc., a provider of IT solutions, systems integration services and dense cluster computing systems.

She received an MBA with highest distinction from Babson College. She is a graduate of the Aspen Seminar on Leadership.


Gordon Wishon
Chief Information Officer
Arizona State University

Gordon Wishon is CIO at Arizona State University, providing leadership for the University Technology Office which is responsible for providing technology services and support to ASU’s more than 90,000 students and 10,000 faculty, staff, and researchers.

Mr. Wishon previously served as CIO at the University of Notre Dame and for the Georgia Institute of Technology. He currently serves on the Arizona Data Governance Commission, the Arizona IT Authorization Committee, and chairs the Board of Directors of the Sun Corridor Network. He also serves on the board of the ASU-GSV-Draper EdTech Accelerator and on various corporate customer advisory boards. In 2004 he was selected as one of Computerworld magazine’s Premier 100 IT Leaders, and was awarded CIO magazine’s CIO100 award for innovation in information technology in 2005 and again in 2008. In 2013, Mr. Wishon was selected as one of Information Week magazine’s Top Five CIOs. In 2014 he received the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award, EDUCAUSE’s highest award.


Independent Contractors

Fred Damiano
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Information Officer
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Fred Damiano serves in a dual senior executive role at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. As CIO, he directs and oversees all aspects of IT service delivery, including operations and technical support, network and systems infrastructure, digital learning technology, enterprise solutions development, and program management office. As VP of Strategic Initiatives, Mr. Damiano works closely with senior leadership of the Colleges and the Board of Trustees to identify, explore, evaluate, and implement strategic initiatives.

Prior to Hobart and William Smith Colleges he served in management and technical roles at Xerox, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems, and Travelers Insurance.  He also was an Adjunct Lecturer in the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Mr. Damiano holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University, and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.


Ann Kristin Glenster
Data Privacy Consultant, Glenrox Consultancy

Ann Kristin Glenster is an acknowledged global legal authority specializing in data privacy. She earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree, specializing in constitutional law and intellectual property, from Birkbeck College, University of London. She was a doctoral exchange student at Harvard Law School, and is now completing her PhD in Law at the University of Cambridge, focusing on the commodification of personal data. She is deeply involved with the GDPR’s implications, and acts as a private consultant on issues related to GDPR and data protection.

Ms. Glenster has taught courses in data protection at the University of Cambridge, and in cybersecurity for the Masters of Cybersecurity program at Brown University. She has authored several research reports for the London-based think-tank Centre for Information Leadership Policy (CIPL) on the GDPR. She has also written articles for the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology Digest (JOLT) on privacy law and technology in the United States.

In addition to her legal degrees, Ms. Glenster also holds a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees in Stage Management, Dramaturgy, and Audioovisual Management from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Columbia University, and The Media Business School in Spain, respectively.


David Kieffer
Associate Vice President for Administrative Applications
The Ohio State University

David Kieffer is the Associate Vice President for Administrative Applications at The Ohio State University. He brings expertise to that role that leverages more than 25 years of expertise in creating, implementing and managing enterprise-class applications in higher education. He is currently responsible for Ohio State’s ERP applications and is integral in the implementing a new cloud ERP systems.

Mr. Kieffer is a leader in technology for higher education, and has served on executive advisory committees for vendors and partners. He is dedicated to advocating for great architecture, functionality and accessibility of enterprise-class technology.


Ganesan (Ravi) Ravishanker
Chief Information Officer
Wellesley College

Ravi Ravishanker leads Wellesley’s Library & Technology Services department. Mr. Ravishanker is currently overseeing the college’s transition to Workday and has managed several other major technology transitions and key digitization projects in the library. Previously, Mr. Ravishanker was the Vice President and CIO at Pace University in New York, where he was responsible for transforming the IT department into a highly service-oriented organization that also began serious engagement in academic support.

Prior to his tenure at Pace University, Mr. Ravishanker served at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, as Director of Technology Support Services and, later, as Associate Vice President. He managed several major technology implementations and authored a number of software applications.

Mr. Ravishanker received his MSc in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He completed his PhD in computational chemistry from Hunter College and received an MA in Computer Science from Queens College of the City University of New York.


Roberta Roth
Director of IT Policy, Strategic Planning and Communication
Nevada System of Higher Education

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, Roberta Roth’s role is to provide leadership and coordination in the development, implementation, and measurement of system-wide strategic planning, policies, and communication for Information Technology. The Nevada System of Higher Education is comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges, and one environmental research institute. NSHE serves more than 110,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.

Ms. Roth assists in outreach and specific activities and programs that focus on aligning IT strategy, centralized and shared services, investment decisions, and processes with NSHE business needs and requirements. She is also responsible for IT project communication and other planning roles for Nevada’s iNtegrate Project.

Ms. Roth joined NSHE in 2001 and has served in a variety of IT leadership roles. Prior to that she was with IBM for 24 years as a systems engineer, consultant, senior client representative, and territory partner manager. Ms. Roth earned a BA from the University of Nevada, Reno.