Founder & Executive Director
Liz has a degree in Human Resource Development and has been passionate about training and development since she graduated college in 2010. She has been working with Microsoft Dynamics for over 10 years in a variety of roles for multiple Partners. Liz has helped create CIT (consultant-in-training programs) at two Microsoft Partners and has had many training sessions over the course of her career. She also has taught two undergraduate college courses for the past two years at Minnesota State University Moorhead - Intro to CRM/D365 CE and Intro to Consulting.
Since Liz became an independent consultant two years ago, she’s had more time to reflect and follow her passions, which has led to this point of starting a non-profit. She sees the demand for upskilling individuals in the Microsoft Tech industry. She knows that there are few formal avenues to enter the industry. Her goal is to bring career opportunities to communities that wouldn’t typically have access to them.
Liz enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and paddle boarding with her husband and two dogs. She's has a passion for music as an avid pianist and is learning to play the ukulele. Liz has a green thumb with an ever expanding vegetable & flower garden. Liz also has a nerdy side - just ask her about Dungeons & Dragons or Halloween!
President | Co-Founder of Aeterna Media
Tayo Daniel is the Co-founder of Aeterna Media, a media-tech company that aims to improve communication between the community and corporate brands through socially conscious marketing as well as helping them evolve into the Web3 space. He has an extensive background in marketing and sales, having worked for both corporate and startup organizations building successful sales teams. He was a founding member of Prive, which was one of the only black-owned event centers in downtown Minneapolis. Tayo is also the founder of One Outreach and Communities for Nutrition, two non-profits with similar missions of improving the lives of disadvantaged youth.
Outside of his business acumen, Tayo is a motivational speaker and community leader, teaching and speaking to young people about career readiness implementing strategic skills dealing with emotional obstacles. He draws heavily from his own experiences encountered throughout his journey of growth. Tayo is proud to utilize his outcomes in working with child protection agencies, mentoring youth who have been through extreme trauma. With the recent killing of George Floyd, along with chaos in his hometown, Mr. Daniel felt compelled to take an active role in community rebuilding and social justice efforts. Tayo helped create the 10k foundation, an organization known for garnering 30 thousand individuals to come together for justice. It became the largest peaceful protest in Minnesota history. Having a deep understanding of the divide between police and communities of color, Tayo fought to bring the focus back to change and awareness, and hopefully find ways to restore the trust between the community and its elected officials. Through that foundation, he implemented the Feed 10k program has fed over 10 thousand people.
Currently, Tayo has transitioned to a consulting role in order to focus efforts on his newest project, being a founder of Smart North, a not-for-profit coalition of public, private, civic, education, and entrepreneurial individuals and organizations driving “Smart City” initiatives and thought-leadership within the Twin Cities and Minnesota.
Vice-President | Co-Founder of Ludia Consulting
Seasoned and experienced business leader specializing in complex global Microsoft Dynamics ERP software solution delivery management and sales through the Microsoft partner ecosystem. Results oriented team player and mentor focused on establishing productive strategies while helping clients navigate the complex intersection between business strategy and growth.
Treasurer | Business Psychologist at Ascend Talent Strategies
Elizabeth Fleming, PsyD is an organizational psychologist who completed her doctoral degree at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in 2018. As Talent Development Lead at Concurrency, a technology consulting firm based in the Midwest, Elizabeth leads a team to promote the personal and professional development of Concurrency employees, with a specialty in leadership development and consulting excellence.
Dr. Fleming is an avid volunteer, serving on the Minnesota Psychological Association's Governing Council as the Multicultural Division and Diversity Committee Chair and has been actively involved with legislative efforts at the State and Federal level for the past ten years. She also engages with the St Paul Winter Carnival as President of the Ambassadors organization and serves on an Upskilling and Reskilling Committee through the Milwaukee Tech Hub, focused on growing a vibrant, inclusive ecosystem where technology creates regional prosperity and life changing jobs.
Outside of her work, Elizabeth is a mother of two and is married to her husband, Matt, who is also a tech enthusiast! We enjoy traveling and taking our children off the beaten path to explore the amazing attributes of different cultures!
Board Member | Microsoft Strategy Leader at RSM
Kelly is a seasoned and accomplished leader with a proven track record of leadership and strategic decision-making within the Microsoft ecosystem across marketing, operations, and sales. With a career spanning 17 years, Kelly has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a determination to drive organizational success.
With a passion for enabling talent, Kelly is committed to mentoring and coaching others to achieve their greatest potential. This is one of the many ways she would like to give back to a community that has supported her in her career journey.
Both Kelly and her husband have been committed to teaching their two daughters the importance of giving back by volunteering as a family for multiple non-profit organizations, including TechFluent, Samaritan’s Purse, Family Promise of Greater Denver, Folds of Honor, and Girl Scouts of the USA to name a few. When they’re not volunteering, Kelly and her family enjoy traveling, attempting to dine at all Denver Michelin-star restaurants, and exploring Colorado outdoors with their two beloved dogs.
Board Member | Co-Founder of DGB Management LLC & Twin Cities Hospitality
Nabil moved to Minnesota to chase a dream. Growing up in Grand Rapids MI in a family of 7 where hard work and education was strongly encouraged. Nabil attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota and started his professional career at Richfield HQ Tech Giant Best Buy Inc. With his background in design and retail he joined the space management team as an analyst and moved on to be a Planner where he manages the space at a macro level dedicated to Appliances.
He also got the entrepreneurial bug early in Minnesota and loves seeing people eat, laugh and network. To achieve this he created DGB Management LLC & Twin Cities hospitality. Along with few partners, he owns and operates a couple restaurants, bars and food concepts which include: Gold Room Restaurant & Lounge, STEPCHLD Restaurant, Hyde Kitchen & Cocktails, Nashville Coop Rochester, and Love You Cookie.
Nabil is married and has two beautiful children. His passion is to help bridge the gap using technology as a tool to provide opportunities to those who most need it. He lives by the great words of former President Barack Obama, “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.”
Board Member | CPO/CPXO at CongruentX
Mike co-founded congruentX as a result of almost20 years of corporate IT leadership positions and 15 years of consulting for a half dozen consulting firms. Mike’s focus is on people both within his organization as well as his clients and his passion is mentoring and helping people achieve their goals. Mike is a lifelong student of leadership, psychology and technology that being with his 10 years in the United States Army Reserves. His journey with Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform began in 2003 when he implemented it for an Insurance Brokerage Firm where he was the VP of IT/CIO and he’s been focused on the platform and all things CRM and CX since. He has introduced and educated over 100 people to the platform through several Academy programs. Originally from Hershey, PA he now lives in the Tampa, FL metropolitan area with his Wife and 3 children and his passions include anything with wheels and being outside enjoying the Florida weather.
Board Member | Founder & CEO of Item by Item Learning Platform
Elif Item has worked for over 17 years in Axapta, AX, and Dynamics 365 space as a learner, consultant, trainer, project manager, and consulting director before setting out to start Item by Item (IBI) Learning Platform. She is not only an expert in Microsoft Dynamics 365 but also an accomplished instructor in the classroom and online as well. She is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a Certified Technical Trainer, and a Microsoft Certified Professional. She is known in the industry for her ability to understand the training needs of learners and organizations and provide appropriate expertise and training to get them ready to implement and use Microsoft Dynamics 365 effectively. Elif has founded the Item by Item (IBI) Learning Platform to provide the much needed and state-of-the-art online training tool to teach real "skills" to learners, measure and monitor their progress effectively, and get organizations ready for using Microsoft Dynamics 365 from day one.
Elif Item is also an integral part of various D365 user communities. She volunteers her time and resources to connect with other community members and make D365 space a welcoming and inclusive environment. She is involved in local D365 community events as well as national conferences and summits.
Outside of work, Elif enjoys travel, yoga, pastel painting, and spending time with her two kids, and her husband Cem.
Board Member | Global Learning Portfolio Director at Microsoft
Gretchen LaBelle works at Microsoft where her role is focused on global technical skilling for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform across customers, partners, and future talent. Prior to Microsoft, she was in leadership at PowerObjects HCL—a large, global consultancy—where she led both the internal skilling programs, as well as the training consulting for customer projects. Gretchen's passion for creating economic opportunity through Microsoft careers led her to build the #PowerAppsAfrica challenge, which is a 3-week game and hackathon to attract and skill talent in Microsoft Power Platform. As part of the board, Gretchen is excited to help accelerate the careers of the amazing TechFluent participants and to also help employers futureproof their organizations through innovative talent generation strategies.
Board Member | Chief Technology & Supply Chain Officer at Vixxo
As a visionary technology executive with a profound commitment to transformative leadership and continuous improvement, Jim McCarthy has established himself as an AI innovator and a strategic leader in driving business transformation through cutting-edge technology solutions.
As a US Army veteran with extensive leadership experience, Jim McCarthy has notably served as Vixxo Corporation's Chief Technology & Supply Chain Officer since 2019, where he has been pivotal in AI strategy implementation and service delivery optimization. His career also includes impactful roles at VEREIT Inc. as SVP and CIO, driving IT modernization and cybersecurity, and significant positions at Pearson, DHL, and WebMD, where he further honed his expertise in technology transformation and strategic leadership.
Jim is deeply engaged in community service, especially in youth development, through his roles as a head coach and mentor, where he emphasizes character building, teamwork, and resilience among young minds.
Jim's dedication to leveraging technology for social good aligns with Tech Fluent's mission of empowering lives through education and technology. He is passionate about contributing to TechFluent’s strategic direction, leveraging both his professional expertise and personal passion for education and community development. Jim is eager to collaborate with the board and the TechFluent team to drive impactful programs that empower individuals, uplift communities, and bridge the gap in technical education.
Board Member | Director of Learning & Development at Stoneridge Software
Lindsay "LMG" (she/her) is a learning engineer with a contagious passion for equity and justice. She has been in the Learning & Development space for over 10 years, certified in a variety of facilitative practices including virtual spaces, Franklin Covey courses, Culture assessing, and Diversity-to-Belonging. LMG is most known for developing purposeful and meaningful connections with others through empathy; meeting folks where they are on their journey and helping them uncover the inclusive behaviors that we humans have innately. LMG lives in the Twin Cities with her wife and son, currently serving as Director of Learning & Development at Stoneridge Software, and enjoys exploring, learning, and reading.
Board Member | Senior Counsel at Sun Country Airlines
Neda started her role as a Senior Counsel at Sun Country Airlines in 2022. Neda has experience specializing in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and other business transactions. She has transaction experience in the retail consumer, manufacturing, and tech industries. Neda works remotely for a law firm in New York and lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband and two dogs. In her free time, Neda enjoys cooking new recipes and riding her horse.
Board Member | Technology Sales Senior Director - Business Applications at Microsoft
Brion is a Senior Director at Microsoft and over the course of 18 years, Brion has held numerous positions within the Dynamics 365 ecosystem at Microsoft, end users, and in the partner channel.
This breadth of experience and opportunity runs the gamut from support and project implementation through channel management, global go-to-market strategy, and leading teams. Having seen firsthand the dividends of tethering a career to business applications and the Microsoft ecosystem, Brion has a passion for connecting like-minded interests, and injecting talented people into the Dynamics ecosystem.
Brion, wife, and daughter live in Denver, Colorado where they enjoy cycling, skiing, and University of Denver hockey games. Committed to lifelong learning, Brion is an avid reader and is currently pursuing his EMBA at DU.
Board Member | Senior VP of Product Management at IFS
Ben Vollmer joined IFS with the primary objective to enable customers to maximize the three areas that define moments of service: customers, people, and assets. Regardless of complexity, he takes a customer-centric approach in understanding an organization’s business goals and their processes, while aligning them with IFS’s capabilities to create exceptional customer experiences.
As SVP of Product Management, Ben owns IFS’s strategic roadmap for the product and its industry-leading capabilities. He also oversees IFS Labs, which applies the latest thinking around consumer technologies, digital trends and innovation to IFS’s software solutions.
Ben has over 25 years of experience in consulting, sales, and product management at General Electric, ePartners (acquired by DXC) and most recently, Microsoft. At Microsoft, he was responsible for the development and execution of a commercialization strategy for Dynamics 365 Field Service, advancing its global go-to-market efforts, as well as focus on strategic customer engagement. At ePartners, Ben worked to establish new offerings and geographic coverage models globally. ePartners was the first business applications partner with a national footprint for Sage and Microsoft, comprised of over 1,200 team members and 8,000 customers.
On top of his passion for technology, he is an avid car and audio enthusiast.
Board Member | Senior Director D365 CRM at Velosio
Jason is a business and technology advisor, with the reputation for helping people achieve their north star. Strength in creating the long-term vision and road map aligned to business needs that achieves desired outcomes. He has 17 years of experience with selling and implementing the Microsoft Dynamics product and over 28 years in business applications with sales and operational experience. For Jason success has been a journey through diversity, team collaboration, and a focus on doing what is right. An outdoor enthusiast that lives just north of Pittsburgh, PA on a farm with his wife, dogs, and horses.
Data Quilter specializing in Microsoft Fabric
Director of Marketing
I grow love between customers and organizations and their brands
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Ayomide S. Akodu