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.


After the keynote, speakers appear alphabetically by first name.

Chris Konarski

As a Thought Leader with 20+ Years’ in Technology Transformation Sales, Chris is known and respected for his innovative approaches for
technology sales and execution with an emphasis on identifying the correct architecture to position organizations for digital transformation. He has achieved outstanding success developing new business models and go-to-market strategies for global expansion leveraging integrated technology, services and solutions.

Through Relationship-Building and Collaboration with clients, Chris has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to develop and lead talented teams, integrate technologies, accelerate go-to-market capabilities, cocreate solutions, and develop modern approaches ─ supporting rapid growth for world-class technology enterprise business units at IBM.

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

Angelica Bruhnke
Versatile MED Analytics
How Big Data is Transforming Healthcare

Angelica Bruhnke is the Chief Executive Officer at Versatile MED Analytics, a fast-growing healthcare analytics company, created with the mission to improve visibility, trust, collaboration, and patient care — through the sharing of information and ideas. Angelica holds a Master of Science in Analytics with a concentration in Healthcare from Dakota State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of New Mexico.

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”

Cliff Lewis
Think Tank Analytics
Data Science Bootcamp intro

Cliff received his Ph.D. in Physics with specialization in Chaos Theory from the University of California, San Diego. He held the position of Assistant Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation where he managed data-intensive technology programs for the DoD and DHS in the areas of biotechnology, 3-D tomography, data science, and signal processing. He started Think Tank Analytics in 2011 and provides clients with successful product development in many different areas of data science, including Wearables and Personalized medicine, Predictive Analytics, Fitness Analytics, and Data-Intensive Mobile App Development for smartphones.

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.

David Ostby
Graph Based Search

David is a prolific inventor, data scientist and software systems designer. He is the driving force behind SavantX’s advanced analytics algorithms, including a narrow AI system for enterprise Search, Discovery, and Analysis. These algorithms are unique in the AI field as they require no data curation or training. David has architected numerous business process modeling and optimization engines over many years. He has been awarded patents and has several pending patents. He is responsible for software design and data analysis methodologies and algorithms at SavantX. Mr. Ostby attended the University of Washington.

Garrett Kenyon
Los Alamos National Labs
Brain-Inspired Data Analytics/Machine Learning for the Business World

Dr. Garrett T. Kenyon received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has worked for over thirty years on problems involving various aspects of neural computation. He has recently started a research project with Prof. Ed Kim, Villanova, funded through the Intel Neural Research Community, to investigate robustness to adversarial examples using sparse coding algorithms implemented on the Loihi neuromorphic processor.

Jorie Koster-Hale
Falling Colors

Jorie is a native New Mexican (chopped green, please).  After receiving a BA in linguistics from Pomona College, she received her PhD in cognitive neuroscience from MIT, where she studied the neural basis of human social reasoning.  She continued that research as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.  Before joining Falling Colors, Jorie lived in Paris, working as a lead data scientist for an enterprise AI software company.  Jorie’s primary goal at Falling Colors is to leverage data and technology to improve social determinants of health across the state of New Mexico. 

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

Leslie Andrews
City of Albuquerque
Building a Strong Foundation for Data Analysis

Leslie Andrews is an IT professional with a passion for making improvements that help people to do their jobs more efficiently. She obtained her BBA with an MIS concentration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico and has worked in the public sector for 15 years developing applications and databases. She is currently the Database Architect for the Albuquerque Police Department. She is a national speaker on Data Architecture, active in the SQL community, a 2019 Idera ACE, and on the Governing Board of Amy Biehl High School.

Liping Yang
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Advancing Machine Learning and Machine Vision Using Topological Graph-Based Representations, Methods, and Algorithms

Dr. Yang is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and will become an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Science and and Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) at the University of New Mexico in January 2020. Dr. Yang received her Ph.D. in Spatial Information Science and Engineering from the University of Maine, and after that she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Penn State University before joining LANL, where she has worked on machine learning and deep learning to analyze big geospatial data, including high resolution aerial images. Dr. Yang has worked many years at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, and geographic information science. Her multidisciplinary background on graph theory, computational geometry, and machine learning provides her a solid foundation to develop creative and novel solutions to advance computer vision tasks such as image representation, retrieval, and analysis. Dr. Yang has several top-tier journal papers in geospatial artificial intelligence, and has several accepted and published conference papers for ICCV, CVPR, and KDD workshops.

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.


Nathan Longbotham
Descartes Labs
Petabyte Scale Remote Sensing in the Cloud

Nathan Longbotham received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado and his M.S. degree in Optical Science and Engineering from the University of New Mexico.  He is currently a remote sensing scientist at Descartes Labs in Santa Fe, New Mexico where the team is building a platform that is providing abstracted access to worldwide geospatial data.  Nathan’s work at Descartes Labs focuses on data normalization and fusion across a wide variety of sensing modalities.  Prior to joining Descartes Labs, he worked on a variety of both software and hardware based remote sensing technologies including computational information extraction, tunable ultraviolet lasers for holographic data storage drives, and Q-switched microlasers for LIDAR systems.

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.

Richard VanNess
Tricore Reference Labs
Success in Healthcare Requires Focused Data Analysis

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.

Shelley MacNeil
Tempus Labs
Cancer and Big Data Analytics

Shelley MacNeil received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico and her Ph.D. in Oncology from the University of Utah.  She interested in improving the lives of patients suffering from cancer using genomics and big data analytics. She currently works as a computational biologist at Tempus, a cancer technology company building the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data to enable physicians to deliver personalized cancer care for patients through an interactive analytical and machine learning platform.