Loading Sessions

« All Sessions

Priming the Workforce Pipeline – A panel of experts

April 12 @ 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Don’t miss this thought provoking discussion on the state of training and workforce Initiatives across the country. Technology executives recognize the value of engaging in partnerships with academic organizations, non-profits and businesses in supporting awareness and understanding of alternative training and career initiatives to ensure that the pipeline for STEM talent is primed. They are all confronted with challenges due to policy, capacity, and infrastructure to support and sustain the workforce pipeline with quality resources.

Join us at SIM Connect Live 2018 to hear how three leaders are addressing the issues of business, academic and non-profit cooperation with innovative approaches and insights.

Jennifer K. Bartkowski: Panelist

Russ Medina: Panelist

Nanci Schimizzi: Panelist

James Whalen: Panelist


Jennifer K. Bartkowski, Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Bartkowski serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. Ms. Bartkowski has been with GSNETX since 2009, when she joined the council as Chief Development Officer. During her tenure, GSNETX has seen significant growth in its annual and capital fundraising campaigns. When she moved into the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer role, she added focus and innovation to new programming initiatives, mission delivery, and the Girl Scout Cookie Program for the 32-county organization.

Today, as CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Jennifer is leading an organizational transformation for the business, program and culture of Girl Scouts. With a strategic focus on membership growth, record fundraising and innovative programming, Jennifer has developed the local council into a model for national success. Jennifer led the development of the Girl Scout STEM Pledge, a major national initiative to put 2.5M girls through a progressive STEM pipeline by 2025, a $70M campaign that will change the workforce pipeline for this country. A foundational piece of this Pledge is the $14M STEM Center of Excellence in southwest Dallas, a living laboratory for girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Today, the STEM Center serves as a 21st century program facility for 4,000 local Girl Scouts and as a field trip destination for students throughout North Texas. The innovative programs designed by this council and offered at the facility, are providing leadership development, STEM skill building, excellent programming and access to mentors for girls who have never had similar opportunities before.

Before joining Girl Scouts in 2009, Jennifer served as the Senior Vice President of Workplace Campaigns for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, responsible for leading an annual campaign of more than $50 million. Jennifer’s career began after receiving a Master of Public Administration, with a nonprofit management focus, at Texas A&M University. She has worked with a variety of organizations including the American Lung Association of Texas, United Way/Capital Area, private start-up Charitygift, and as an independent consultant.

Jennifer is a graduate of Leadership Dallas, Class of 2016, and is an active member of the Leadership Dallas Alumnae Board. She recently completed the CCC Leadership Program for Women, an accelerated version of the Power of Self program. She is also a graduate of the Dallas Public Voices Greenhouse program, a national initiative to dramatically increase the public impact of our nation’s top and most diverse thinkers. Jennifer is the recipient of the Dallas Business Journal’s 2017 Women in Business Award and was named a finalist for the Tech Titans Technology Advocate Award. Through her leadership, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas was recognized in 2016 as the Nonprofit of the Year by Dallas-based CNM Connect, and with The Dallas Business Journal Creative Financing Award for its work with the New Markets Tax Credit financing package of the STEM Center of Excellence.

Jennifer is the mother of two children, and is the proud recipient of the Girl Scout Silver Award as well as the Girl Scout Honor Pin, recognizing her outstanding achievements as an adult member of Girl Scouts.

Russ Medina, Executive Director, NPower Texas

Russ Medina enlisted in the US Army in November 1974.  He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry in 1980 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He is a qualified Airborne Ranger.

He served in the Infantry as a commander, and developed joint training packages for each military service and international military units from Asia, Latin America and Europe.   Selected by US Special Operations Command to be the career manager for approximately 9.990 officers, and as a Project and Program manager for Advanced Systems, Research and Development for USSOCOM.  Utilizing funding from DARPA/ARPA, Russ launched the initial phase of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and the prototype of the SAT Communications, Intelligence and PYSOP vehicles.

Russ led the Joint International Interconnectivity Project that resulted in the 1st digital systems training and evaluation program at the Joint and National Training Centers at Camp Smith and Fort Irwin respectively. These programs subsequently became required for all units deploying overseas.

In 1996, Russ was recruited by Perot Systems to lead the 1st engagement with AT&T in their mainframe to mid-range migration.  As an entrepreneur, Russ raised $19.9M to fund a startup that built a nationwide broadband network for Northpoint Communications, a former Verizon company.

Subsequently, in 2000, the Wall Street Journal recognized the SMB company as Startup of the Year.

Prior to working with the Non-Profit NPower that guides, trains and helps veterans and their spouses gain employment in the IT industry, Russ worked with global logistics and mobility company OPTIM as the Director of Technology Deployment.  Successfully deployed an industry leading mobility solutions package that won a $35M contract with Microsoft.  Other contract wins were Comcast, Nike, Amazon, Google, NFL Teams Rams and Chargers.

Russ is an advocate for other non-profits such as the American Legion, 22Kill, USO, Women Veterans in Technology, PMI, AUSA, ESGR, Allies in Service, CitySquare, United Way, and Clean Water for 3rd World Nations.   He is focused on ensuring the Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) and Soldier for Life | Citizens for Life programs are effective for all veterans.

Residing in Frisco Texas, Russ is married with 5 Children and 7 Grandchildren.  He enjoys distance running and golf.


Nanci Schimizzi, Senior Technology Executive

Nanci Schimizzi is a Senior Technology Executive with over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.  As founder and principal at Fair Oaks Strategies, Nanci has served as a Management Consultant at large financial services firms, Non-Profit organizations and professional associations.  Nanci has extensive experience in IT strategy, business continuity and resiliency planning, relationship and program management, and software development.  She is actively engaged in championing programs supporting STEM Initiatives.

In addition to Nanci’s professional background, she is engaged in the following volunteer leadership roles including:

  • National Committee Member for Stem Outreach for SIM (Society of Information Management)
  • Past President –  EWGA DC (Executive Women’s Golf Association)
  • Past President and Nominating committee chair for Women in Technology, Washington DC


James Whalen, Senior Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer for Boston Properties, Inc.

James Whalen serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer for Boston Properties, Inc.  Prior to joining the Company in March 1998, he served as Vice President, Information Systems of Beacon Properties.  He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a recipient of the New York City Urban Fellowship.

Mr. Whalen is a Trustee and current Outreach Chair of the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM Boston). He serves as a member of the Boston Private Industry Council and chairs the Tech Hire Boston initiative, an advocacy and sponsorship group of local CIOs and CTOs focused on supporting programs driving tech skills in the local market. For over 10 years, Mr. Whalen has supported the growth of tech programs for students at the Boston Public Schools.

Boston Properties, a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), is one of the largest owners, managers and developers of Class A office properties in the United States, with a significant presence in five markets: Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.


April 12
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Category:
Session Tags:
, ,


Exchange Demo Stage
The Sheraton Dallas
Dallas, 75201 United States
+ Google Map


Jennifer K. Bartkowski, Chief Executive Officer
Russ Medina, Executive Director, NPower Texas
Nanci Schimizzi, Senior Technology Executive
James Whalen, Senior Vice President and Chief Information & Technology Officer for Boston Properties, Inc.