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TECH 21 — Mississippi's most wanted in technology

Tech 21

When examining Mississippi’s contributions to the technology world, there are tech veterans whose works are still being felt, and there are young minds who are bringing new ideas. The Tech 21 is the Mississippi Business Journal’s take on some of the top contributors to technology in Mississippi and the world.




Cameron Arcemont

Cameron Arcemont Owner Arc Technologies

Arc Technologies was formed in 2004 in Ridgeland, and Cameron Arcemont is the programming brain behind its signature product “Eight,” a paperless system that incorporates federal requirements in a new-hire software. Forms are submitted electronically, and supervisors and employees can follow their forms throughout the system.

» READ MORE: ‘Eight’ more than enough: Arc Technologies software a paperless solution to human resources nightmares



Jim Barksdale Chairman & president Barksdale Management

Jim Barksdale’s IBM sales job after college at Ole Miss turned into decades of managing corporations, including being the CEO of Netscape from 1995-1999, when it was acquired by AOL. After Netscape, he founded The Barksdale Group, an investment and advisory group created for the purpose of helping Internet service companies.


beneke, jill RGB

Jill Beneke President & CEO Pileum Corp.

After working in the financial services industry for more than 20 years — where, among other responsibilities, she was in charge of strategic planning of technology deployments at Deposit Guaranty Bank — Jill Beneke formed Pileum Corp. in 2001. Pileum designs technology solutions to help clients achieve their business objectives.

» READ MORE: Pileum Corporation provides clients wide range of services



Joel Bomgar Founder & board chairman Bomgar

Joel Bomgar’s creation, the Bomgar Box, enables support pros to securely access and control remote computer systems and devices anywhere in the world. At 23, Bomgar founded the company in 2003. Today, it has more than 8,000 customers and annual sales revenue of more than $50 million. Bomgar employs more than 200 people, most in Ridgeland.

» READ MORE: BOMGAR AND BOSTON — Tech company to remain headquartered in Ridgeland



Gary Butler Chairman and CEO, Camgian Microsystems

Since its founding by Butler in 2006, Camgian has achieved multi-million dollar annual revenues and has been recognized for its products in the machine-to-machine networking market. Previously, Butler was at BBN Technologies where he led development programs for low-power sensor networks and advanced signal processing.

» READ MORE: The ‘Internet of things’ is focus of Camgian’s Gary Butler



Mayo Flynt President AT&T Mississippi

Flynt became president of AT&T in Mississippi in 2007 and has spent much of his tenure expanding the company. Between 2011 and 2013, more than $1 billion was invested in its wireless and wired networks in the state. He is responsible for AT&T’s operations in Mississippi including external affairs, regulatory affairs and public policy.

» READ MORE: Mayo Flynt leads AT&T Mississippi by enjoying both work and workers



Hannah Gay Associate professor UMMC

Hannah Gay’s revolutionary treatment of HIV in a newborn in 2010 brought national attention to Gay and UMMC when it became public in 2013. While it appeared the child had been cured, the disease resurfaced this summer. Her breakthrough techniques, however, are one more piece to the puzzle of trying to cure HIV.

» READ MORE: One year later — UMMC doctor looks back — and ahead — at breakthrough HIV treatment


gibert, Gerard 4cGerard Gibert Founder & CEO Venture Technologies

Gerard Gibert is an entrepreneur and technologist who specializes in the business application of cloud computing. Venture, which was founded in 1986 and has locations throughout the South, owns and operates a Tier 3 data center in Jackson that provides a comprehensive suite of cloud services for thousands of customers.

» SEE MORE: Gerard Gibert talks with MBJ-TV


Goldman, David 4cDavid Goldman, Founder & president Ideal Software Systems

David Goldman grew up in the family entertainment center industry in Meridian, then founded Ideal Software Systems in 1984 as part of the family business. Ideal Software is used in entertainment centers, water parks, zoos, retail stores, museums, laser tag facilities and theme parks. Ideal Financial Software also serves financial markets, most notably rent-to-own.

» READ MORE: Experience in family business leads Meridian’s Goldman to ideal situation


Haise, Fred RGBFred Haise, Board of Directors, Infinity Science Center

Any Mississippian who successfully returns a damaged Apollo 13 spacecraft from outer space has earned a spot on the Tech 21 list. After the near-disaster in 1970, Biloxi native Fred Haise has stay in the space program, from commanding test flights of the first Space Shuttle to helping get the Stennis Space Center visitor center off the ground.

» READ MORE: “Houston, we’ve had a problem”


Hill, Eric RGBEric A. Hill, COO / Sr. System Architect, Sportsnax

Eric Hill and his partner, Daniel Payne, developed Sportsnax after watching people using smart phones while standing in concession lines at an MSU game. Hill is responsible for the IT infrastructure. Previously, he founded HillTech, a web development and management company. He is also entrepreneurship program coordinator at the office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at MSU.

» READ MORE: ‘Virtual concessions’ — SportSnax roars out of gate, lands SEC clients


Jeff, Tony RGBTony Jeff, President & CEO, Innovate Mississippi

Innovate Mississippi is a nonprofit that drives innovation and technology-based economic development for the state. Before becoming president, Tony Jeff was vice president  and helped companies that raised more than $130 million in private equity financing. He speaks regularly on emerging trends and strategies in technology and innovation commercialization.

» READ MORE: Q&A: Tony Jeff, president and CEO of Mississippi Technology Alliance


Johnston, Stephen RGBStephen Johnston, VP / Corporate development, Itron

While at SmartSynch, Stephen Johnston was named one of the most influential executives in the smart grid industry, and his company was named one of the 10 firms to watch (globally). In 2012, Itron acquired SmartSynch in a deal reportedly valued at $100 million. At purchase time, SmartSynch’s customers included nine of the Top 10 utilities in North America.

» READ MORE: Itron signs agreement to buy SmartSynch for $100M


lichtenhan, joeJoe Lichtenhan, President & CEO, Hybrid Plastics

Hybrid Plastics operates a chemistry and sales support facility in California, while polymer support and development, bulk production and corporate headquarters are in Hattiesburg. Joe Lichtenhan’s firm has also developed an association with one of the top polymers schools in the nation — the University of Southern Mississippi.

» READ MORE: LIQUIDITY — Hybrid Plastics expanding after developing new product line


Meena, Hu RGBHu Meena, President & CEO, C Spire

Meena has served to notice to the telecom sector that Ridgeland-based C Spire intends to be aggressive and innovative in the digital market. He is guiding an effort to build a fiber optic network to deliver ultra high-speed Internet to the home. Last year, the trade publication Fierce Wireless listed him the 20th most powerful person in the U.S. wireless and wireline.

» READ MORE: MBJ BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR — Forward thinking: C Spire’s Hu Meena has made the most of 2013


Peavey, Hartley RGBHartley Peavey, Founder & CEO, Peavey Electronics Corp.

In the last 30 years,Hartley Peavey has expanded his musical empire of Peavey Electronics into the production of keyboards and drum instruments, with manufacturing facilities spread over several continents. His development of guitar amplifiers had a profound impact on the music industry worldwide, and put his hometown Meridian on the musical map.

» READ MORE: Peavey opens Hollywood showroom on Sunset Boulevard


Palmer, David RGBDavid Palmer, Owner, Synergetics

In addition to operating Synergetics, a nationwide information technology services consulting  firm, for the last 22 years, David Palmer also has the largest solar array in the TVA area on the roof of his Starkville headquarters. Synergetics provides a full-range of network support and works with K-12 schools in Mississippi and Alabama.



Moore, David RGBDavid Moore Founder, president & CEO, Navagis

David Moore knows maps. While at the Army Corps of Engineers where he created Corpsglobe, one of the largest Google Earth Enterprise installations outside of Google. In 2008 he founded Navagis, which helps create operating maps to visualize critical information. He’s also spent time working with Google.


stradinger, joe2 RGBJoe Stradinger, Founder & CEO, Edge Theory

Internet browsers provide a search engine, but at Ridgeland’s Edge Theory, formerly Leadify, Mississippi native Joe Stradinger has introduced social media to the “find engine.” His platform creates conversation for business and deploys messages on social networks, then provides intelligence back to businesses.

» READ MORE: State roots key to Edge Theory’s Joe Stradinger


watts, Gary RGBGary Watts ,Founder & CEO, Broadband Voice

When Gary Watts realized the future importance of telephony rooted in hosted VoIP solutions, it led him to start Broadband Voice to provide Voice over IP products and services for small to medium-sized businesses. His company has become one of the fastest-growing VoIP technology companies in the Southeast.

» READ MORE: Broadband Voice founder Gary Watts isn’t afraid to take chances


Williams, Lakeisha RGBLakeisha Williams, Assistant professor, Bagley School of Engineering

A biomedical engineer at Mississippi State University’s Bagley School of Engineering, Williams researches ways to protect people from serious injuries and death — such as what happens to soldiers’ legs when their vehicles run over explosives, and how to improve football helmets to better prevent concussions and other injuries.



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  1. Positive Pete

    No Dr. Rayburn or Dr. Dennis Tosh?

  2. We sure could use the technological influence and brain power in the work we are launching in the Mississippi Delta, through the Delta Arts and Technology Academy (DATA). We anticipate coming online in 2015. Partners and signs of good will are welcome!

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