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September 6 Newsletter


Welcome to the SIMCAC Weekly Newsletter....
....Where each week, we'll share SIMCAC announcements, member spotlights, local/national industry news, upcoming events, and recaps of past ones! 

Upcoming SIMCAC Event - The AI Revolution: Local Success Stories
September 10th from 05:30 - 08:00 PM in Vienna, VA

Event Updates

The Google cloud team will be raffling off a Google Home and a Google backpack (full of “swag”), and all attendees are eligible for the raffle!

AARP's Acting CTO, Kevin Higgins, just added as a panelist!


There's no doubt that artificial intelligence is already beginning to change society and that the pace of change is accelerating.  Its ability to augment human effort, extend automation, and discover patterns and categorize large data volumes promises to transform all of our businesses.

SIMCAC welcomes all current and eligible prospective members to join us for an evening of networking, cocktails, dinner, and a lively panel discussion (see section below for panelist bio's) with local IT leaders that are successfully embracing artificial intelligence and transforming their organizations. Members must log in to register (event attendance is FREE for members in good standing). 
                         Register Now!

Event underwritten by Google Cloud

Meet the Event Panelists
New panelist just added: Executive Consultant and Acting CTO at AARP, 
Kevin Higgins

Mona Kahn
Director, Securitization & Servicing Technology SPARC team (Smart Process Automation & Robotics Center)
Fannie Mae 

Mona Kahn is a Director of Technology at Fannie Mae and has been a technologist in the Financial Services industry for nearly 20  years.  She currently runs the Smart Process Automation & Robotics Center (SPARC team) at Fannie Mae with overall responsibility for the organization including the Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence, Innovation Research & Development, Software Delivery, and Production Operations for enterprise Automation solutions.   Her team has spent the past 18 months heavily focused on Robotics Process Automation (RPA) solutions, and more recently branching into connecting RPA with other technologies, evaluating broader automation concepts.   Fannie Mae’s RPA program was featured in CIO magazine’s Summer 2018 digital magazine as well as  Mona was recently selected by CIO magazine and the CIO Executive Council as a 2018 “Ones to Watch” honoree, identifying rising stars in IT - the senior staff destined to become the CIOs of the future.

Ali M. Tafreshi, Ph.D.
CIO Partner 
Tutum, a Randstad company 

Ali is a strategic senior technology executive with more than 20 years of leadership achievements across multiple industries. With a proven track record of creating impactful business outcomes, Ali is an industry expert in data analytics, IT security, IT management and implementation. His accomplishments derive from his plethora of technical knowledge and expertise in next-generation technology solutions, which he has consistently monetized and exploited to drive innovation, business growth, and competitive advantage.
Throughout his career, he has combined deep-industry-knowledge with strategic management skills to lead the creation of industry-first, patent-winning technology solutions that have transformed the customer experience, fueled market expansion, enabled operational excellence and enhanced business value.
Ali is a well-known thought leader with impeccable executive credentials including a PhD, Master’s in Nuclear Engineering and Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, as well as a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from Bowie State University. He also obtained an MIT Sloan Executive Certification in Strategy and Innovation. Ali is a named inventor of four different patent applications.

Gotthard Szabo
Partner, nextLevel 

Dr. Gotthard Szabo is a technology leader, former CIO, computational scientist, with many years of executive leadership experience in non-profit, scientific research and educational organizations. He supported and strategically advanced some of the world's best multi- and inter-disciplinary research and education teams addressing fundamental scientific problems. He comes from a strong, scientific computational background, and have many years of experience in planning, developing, acquiring, implementing and operating administrative systems, ERP solutions, digital marketing and CRM tools, high-performance, high-throughput research computing solutions, and cloud based technologies. He advises startups and scientific research organizations in advanced data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to advance their R&D and business processes. He teaches cybersecurity courses at UMUC's Graduate School in the fields of digital forensics, advanced cyber exploitation and mitigation, secure systems development, software assurance, virtual network and cloud computing security techniques. 

He received his postdoctoral training in theoretical solid state physics from Carnegie Institution for Science, has a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from UMCP and an M.Sc. in Nuclear Chemistry from ELTE University. He also studied business at UMCP, and Roman and medieval archaeology at ELTE.

Upcoming SIMCAC Event - Major Cybersecurity Trends for 2019
October 1st from 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM in Arlington, VA

Organizations, public and private, as well as consumers across the world will face no shortage of cybersecurity challenges in 2019. Ransomware and social engineering cyber threats continue to be at the forefront as they exploit basic human behavior. Many companies have failed to prepare for GDPR and the continued rise of state-sponsored attacks will erode our trust in institutions, enterprises and services. Join us for an evening of lessons learned and insights into what’s down the road as we bring to you cybersecurity subject matter experts in a lively panel discussion. Are you prepared for the cyber threats of tomorrow?

SIMCAC welcomes all current and eligible prospective members to join us for an evening of networking, cocktails, heavy appetizers, and a lively panel discussion. Event attendance is complimentary for members in good standing.

                                            Register Now!


Event underwritten by Sirius, IBM QRadar, and special thanks to the Virginia Tech Research Center Arlington for hosting.

The Inaugural SIMCAC Charity Golf Outing

One of our core principles in SIMCAC is to give back to our community. As part of that commitment, a portion of the proceeds from this golf outing will fund our various Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) partners. Our donations fund programs for young students, high school graduates, and programs to train teachers on educating students in the STEM areas.

We have worked diligently to put together a stimulating and focused agenda, bringing together experts, visionaries and professionals from the IT industry. Visit the official event website for more information and registration. 

About the Venue: Westfields Golf Club

At Westfields, Fred Couples has built one of the top destinations for golf in Virginia. This stunning Northern Virginia golf course is fun and accessible for the novice, yet challenging and thought-provoking for the experienced golfer. Fred's professional play on hundreds of courses around the world, coupled with his experience in countless tournaments and team competitions, has given him exceptional insight into optimal golf course design. The perfect embodiment of that vision is yours to experience at Westfields Golf Club located close by to Centreville, VA.

Register Here!

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Attention SIMCAC members! Since our members are the lifeblood of this great chapter, the success of this newsletter depends on our ability to share the happenings within it! So we're going to ask for your help in making this newsletter the best it can be. If you or fellow SIMCAC members have announcements, articles, pictures, videos, or any other content you'd like to share (and please do!), email to