A Bit About Us

New Mexico Big Data & Analytics Summit is a gathering of knowledge from industry and tech leaders. Together we aim to bring you the latest in all aspects of the digital world.



Richard VanNess
Tricore Reference Labs

Rick VanNess is leading an innovative team at TriCore to fully operationalize various products and services to augment TriCore’s current laboratory testing, diversify its business, and position TriCore for value based care.

Patrick Bridges
University of New Mexico
Data science at UNM

Patrick G. Bridges is a professor with the Computer Science Department at the University of New Mexico, where he conducts research on system software for large-scale computing systems. His research interests include operating system and network protocol design, virtualization systems, and fault tolerance, particularly for high-performance and scientific computing systems. Bridges frequently collaborates with Sandia, Los Alamos, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and is a member of the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society.

Josh Vertalka
Walking down the Ivory Tower: The Application and Engagement of Data Science in Industry

Josh leverages expert level geographical, geostatistical, machine learning, and urban planning knowledge and methods to create actionable conclusions to some of the world’s most challenging urban planning, resiliency, and healthcare problems. Josh also has extensive experience with social media data for predictive analytics in the healthcare industry. As a result, he has published several articles in top peer-reviewed scientific journals and taught college level courses.

Kent Kiehl, PhD
Mind Research Network
Neuroprediction: Using brain data to identify injury, illness, and predict outcomes

Dr. Kiehl is an Executive Science Officer of the nonprofit Mind Research Network and Full Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of New Mexico. He is a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist with training in both clinical assessment and neuroimaging. Dr. Kiehl has worked with incarcerated populations for more than 20 years as a researcher and clinically as a forensic psychologist performing risk assessments, psychological and psychiatric assessments, and cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of substance abuse and violent/sex offenders

Lissa Moore
Los Alamos National Labs

Elisabeth Moore (Lissa) is a research scientist in the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory and at the Ultrascale Systems Research Center. Her research focuses on machine learning within the high performance computing space, as well as methods for explainable machine learning, and computational social science. Lissa has previously held positions in LANL’s Center for Nonlinear Studies and MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Human Language Technology group.

Adolfo Mendez and Paul Crickard
State of New Mexico
The District Attorney, Data, and DIY: Open Source for Data Infrastructure, Pipelines, and Analytics

Paul Crickard is the CIO at the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office where he works to implement technical solutions to the modernization of law while also keeping the lights on. He holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from Utah State University and is the Author of Leaflet.js Essentials and Mastering Geospatial Analysis with Python. He came to the District Attorney’s Office after 5 years at the City of Albuquerque working in IT for the Albuquerque Police Department and Department of Municipal Development. 

Adolfo Mendez, Chief of Policy and Planning, serves at New Mexico’s 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Having started his tenure along with the election of District Attorney Raul Torrez, he is focused on modernizing the practice of law and improving workflow processes in the office. Adolfo is fueled by the mission of finding justice for victims of crime. He works toward implementing data informed decision making to swiftly interrupt criminal activity. Adolfo earned his BA degree from Stanford University, an MTS from Harvard University, and law degree from UNM

Darryl Ackley
New Mexico Tech
Analytics & Industrial IOT

CTO, Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis
Darryl Ackley is the Chief Technology Officer at the Institute for Complex Additive Systems Analysis (ICASA) at New Mexico Tech (NMT).  His duties include overseeing the development of enabling technologies from the basic and applied research mission for the institute, as well as in overseeing the technology strategy for the institute.  Prior to this role, Mr. Ackley served as New Mexico’s Chief Information Officer, and also as the Cabinet Secretary under Governor Susana Martinez for the state’s Department of Information Technology.  During that time, he also served a term as the President of the National Association for State CIO’s (NASCIO), and as a long-standing member on both the federal Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) to FirstNet, and as a member of the DHS SAFECOM committee.  During his career, he has served as the Principal Investigator for a number of a number of federal grants totaling more than $60M in funding. Mr. Ackley has a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science from NMT.

Dr. Chris Lippett
University of New Mexico

Dr Chris Lippitt is a faculty member in UNM’s Geography and Environmental Studies dept. His interests include Remote Sensing; Geographic Information Science; Time-Sensitive Geographic Information His current projects include “Development of a Remote Sensing Network for Time-sensitive Detection of Fine Scale Damage to Transportation Infrastructure” and “Collaborative Proposal: Optimization of Remote Sensing Networks for Time-sensitive Detection of Fine Scale Damage to Critical Infrastructure”

Karla Melendez and Nathan Friedman
State of New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

DWS Power Point Presentation

Nathan Friedman is a senior economist with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. He works on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program, and he’s been the analyst for the department’s behavioral economics and analytics initiatives for the past three years.

Karla Meléndez is the Policy Analyst for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). Ms. Meléndez began her public service career with NMDWS in 2014 where she has since provided research and analysis support. She currently serves as Team Lead for the Improper Payment Prevention Initiative (IPPI) and Employer Misclassification Predictive Analytics (EMPA) Oversight Team.