2018 Top BRMs

Posted | Category: BRM Community | Contributed

In celebration of #BRMWeek our global BRM community is recognizing the top BRMs that have achieved success through their BRM efforts, strengthened the global BRM community and BRM discipline, enriched lives through excellence in BRM within their organizations, and/or contributed to the community on a local, national, and global level.


Jim Brusnahan

Director IT Enterprise BRM, Johnson Controls<br />

Jim is a BRM Institute Executive Council board member and co-chair. He has published articles sharing his expertise on topics and issues that affect BRMs every day. Jim has been a BRMConnect keynote speaker and he speaks on BRM at other industry conferences. He has played an active role in BRM community mentorship.

Terry Krafthefer, CBRM

Manager, Business Relationship Management, UNS Energy | Tucson Electric Power

Since being entrusted with establishing the IT BRM team in December 2010, Terry has led the team in maturing the BRM practice at UNS Energy. Progressively moving through the Business Relationship Maturity Model, the most recent “wins” were helping drive buy in by the executive Strategic Council for value management plans for projects (2017) and now (2018) leading the annual Business Planning process, adding the 5-year vision to support corporate strategy. In this expanded role, the CFO has suggested dropping the “IT” prefix from the team name as the team has become a true corporate resource. Terry is BRM Institute founding member #120 and was a member of the inaugural BRMP® and CBRM® classes. Terry says, “Beyond having a vision for BRM and driving it, a great team and management support are critical to success – I have been blessed with both.”

David Prater, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager, Hillsborough County

• Over the past two years, David has helped our organization formalize the BRM role and capability, emphasizing the need for the BRMs to help our IT organization become Strategic Partners with our Departmental Partners. The result has been greater communication and shared ownership of IT projects, with several Departmental Partners including IT proactively in their strategic planning.

• In David’s role, he has emphasized the need for formal BRM training and experiences, and his organization now has five BRMPs and three CBRMs. Their three BRMs hold the distinction of being members of the inaugural CBRM class. The formalization of our training has allowed for our team to share a common language and toolset for working with both their IT and Departmental Partners allowing for measurable and repeatable processes.

• Working with senior IT leadership, David has helped form and implemented processes have been utilizing BRM methodology that recognizes potential IT projects based on business need and strategic alignment. The implementation has resulted in a consistent evaluation methodology, demand shaping, and predictable resource allocation which has raised both Departmental Partner and IT satisfaction.

• David has actively participated within the BRM community as a member of the BRM Council, a leader of the Central Florida Community of Interest, a publisher of content to the BRM Institute, participant of BRM Connect 2017, and a reviewer of the BRM Playbook. Additionally, he has created the Tampa Bay BRM Consortium group on LinkedIn as a way for non-BRM Institute members, and those interested to learn more about the BRM role.

• David has actively networked within the BRM community, both gaining and becoming a mentor. Additionally, he has fostered relationships with other county governments. These relationships have delivered many great opportunities for collaboration within our own organizations as well as regionally. Plus, he’s made many new great BRM friends!

Chris Lucas, CBRM

Director of Strategic Engagement and Organizational Change Management, Penn State University

Chris has both his BRMP and CBRM. He’s contributed time and effort to the BRM Community through his role on the BRM Council Leadership Team, planning and hosting quarterly BRM General Council meetings and providing input and guidance to the council on methods of enhancing engagements and delivering value to its members. Chris also was the first person to facilitate the Higher Education Community of Practice.

Chris has taken on a leadership role in driving awareness of the BRM Institute and its relevance through speaking engagements at multiple conferences, including 2015 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and Knowledge 17, furthering the importance of both the BRM discipline and Institute through these efforts. He’s also recently presented at the 2017 BRMConnect Annual Conference.

Chris has received the following awards:
– BRM Community Leadership Award – Higher Education in 2015 and 2016
– BRM Excellence Award 2017 – Global Community Impact in 2017
– BRM Excellence Award 2017 – BRM Practitioner in 2017

Chris has led the development of the Penn State’s BRM team, which is CBRM and BRMP certified and have helped grown the discipline across Penn State. He’s also provided coaching to others in higher education who are looking to start BRM functions.

Arnie Wetherill, CBRM

Group Manager, Progressive Insurance

Arnie has built a successful BRM practice within his organization over the past five years. He is a founding member of BRM Institute and has been a professional member since its inception. Arnie has contributed to the formation of the BRM Council, having been a member for four years and its current Chair Person. He is active in the worldwide BRM community, sharing experiences and mentoring other BRMs. Through these contributions and accomplishments, Arnie has been honored by BRM Institute as the recipient of the first “Arnie” Award in 2016.

Lynn Borders, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager

Lynn has been with her BRM practice since its inception in December, 2011. Since that time she have fostered productive relationships with key business partners while working towards her BRMP and CBRM certifications. She says, “2018 is a year of exciting changes as we have a seat at the strategic business planning discussions. The possibilities are very exciting!”

Jeremy Wall, CBRM

Director of National Integration Services, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Jeremy has been passionate about maturing the business relationship discipline in the San Francisco Bank and across the Federal Reserve System. He continues to champion the transition within the organization from service-based project demand to a value-based product management organizational model across the System IT landscape.

Medha Gupta, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Medha was one of the first few to embark on the BRM journey at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She stats, “The BRMP and CBRM certifications positioned me to build stronger relationships with Business Partners and Service Providers.”

Lori McCombs, CBRM


Lori has successfully introduced & used BRM concepts & tools with new & old business partners that have had a positive impact on the business and improved strategic relationships. In addition, she was asked to introduce her peer Consultants (10+) within her division to the BRM Role & tools and develop a strategy to support use of the role going forward.

Jeff Hileman, CBRM

Director, Business Relationship Management, Ixia

Over the last two years, Jeff has built a BRM organization from the ground up – inclusive of project management and business analysis. His team has helped elevate IT from a service provider to a strategic partner. He states, “IT has a seat at the table and is consulted prior to making strategic technology decisions.”

Cindy Heath, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager, TECO Services, Inc.

Cindy has worked with Tampa Electric Delivery Management, Peoples Gas, and IT to assess current Outage Management system and short-cycle work solutions to determine path for an Advanced Distribution Management Solution (ADMS). She has worked with the stakeholders to determine distribution management roadmap, and write ADMS RFP. The RFP is currently still active.

Cindy has led the AMI business case effort from an IT perspective including the technology financials and resourcing, evaluating and analyzing all options including on-premise, Saas, and hosting at one of her other affiliate utilities within Emera. The AMI project will transform her Electric business by the installation of two-way smart meters in the field. She stats, “No longer will we have to wait for customers to call to report an outage–we will know before they do. We will also have the ability to do remote connects/disconnects to save truck rolls.”

Cindy conducts regular technology roadmap meetings with Electric Delivery leadership to discuss strategies, report on projects, and review issues and technology needs. She says that this has increased collaboration and mutual respect between IT and the business.

She has also worked with Business Partners and IT to develop a Smart Grid Strategy w/Electric Delivery. The Smart Grid efforts will increase electric reliability, provide operational efficiencies, and provide flexibility and new offerings to their customers.

Raghu Pillai, CBRM

VP, Enterprise Architecture, Fairview Health Services

Raghu lead the BRM function to unify Business-IT strategy at a large integrated healthcare delivery system. His 2018 BRM focus is to transform BRM practice to be strategic, articulate a well-structured portfolio of IT investments based on enterprise business capabilities and to achieve at least Level 3 Business-IT relationship.

Jana McDonald, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager, Texas A&M University - Division of Information Technology

Since officially introducing BRM to campus in Fall 2016, Jana states that relationships between the Division of IT and departments across campus have greatly improved. “Communication lines are open, issues are resolved faster and with less effort, and our overall reputation has increased”, states Jana.

Jana has taken and earned both the BRMP and CBRM certifications, as well as attended the BRMConnect Forum in Dallas and the BRMConnect Conference in Washington DC.

Barbara Craib, CBRM

Business Relationship Manager, City of Virginia Beach

Barbara states, “The City of Virginia Beach laid the foundation for a Business Relationship Management program four years ago with the launch of our Master Technology Plan. My role has been to develop the framework and processes for Business Relationship Management and build the team that is now developing a close understanding of our business partners’ needs.
I have drawn on my Business Relationship Management Institute network and resources, and Certified Business Relationship Manager (CBRM) training to develop a BRM Framework to mature the BRM as a capability for the City that aligns with IT Governance and IT Service Management.”

Dana Zordan, CBRM

Manager of Business Support, Office of Technology & Innovation

Dana states, “With my fellow CBRMs, Brian Brenhoch and Tonya Rainwater, we took our organization’s BRM program to the next level utilizing knowledge gained from the BRM Institute. By implementing BRM Institute strategies, our business partners have trust and confidence in our organization. This has transformed BRM from a concept to a culture in Pinellas County Government. Because our organization has greater knowledge of our business partners processes, needs and goals, the BRM is a welcomed resource during strategic planning discussions.”

“Our business partners no longer ask “What is a BRM?”, they now ask “Have you consulted your BRM?” says Dana.

Chris McCluskey, CBRM

Sr. Business Support Analyst, The Regional Municipality of York

Over the past year Chris has become both a Certified Business Relationship Manager and a certified Change Management Practitioner (Prosci). He has also developed an application that reports on technology opportunities, contacts and business relationships between IT Services and the many business areas for our BRM Team works with.

Michael Antis, CBRM

IDS and Applications Support Manager, Hillsborough County

During his tenure as a BRM, Michael managed the relationship with 13 departments in Hillsborough County. With his high level perspective of the organization Michael realized a relationship between the Economic Development (ED) and Consumer and Veteran’s Services (CVS) could be beneficial to both organizations and to veterans in the community and worked to establish that connection. The Entrepreneur Collaborative Center (ECC) now has a dedicated computer for veterans to research entrepreneurial opportunities and are displaying veteran specific pamphlets and flyers for CVS. ED has also started attending the quarterly Military Transition meetings to tout the free assistance available at the ECC, embracing and supporting our mission to promote community prosperity. Being a retired veteran himself Michael also attends this after hours meeting to share his experiences in transitioning to civilian life.

Grady L. Bird, CBRM

Public Safety Business Relationship Manager, City of Virginia Beach

Grady states, “The City of Virginia Beach laid the foundation for a Business Relationship Management program four years ago with the launch of our Master Technology Plan. Our public safety business partners were among the first groups in local government to have a dedicated business relationship manager (BRM). Integrated technology, open data and the Internet of Things have created a strong demand for business relationship management across public safety and criminal justice agencies. By collaborating with my business partners, I was empowered to design a successful model for business-provider governance and have made significant progress toward strategic convergence.”

In 2016, the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew felt throughout several Virginia Beach communities compelled the city to rethink how they can leverage technology during emergencies and disasters while providing citizens with support services to protect life, health and property. Subsequently, as Public Safety BRM, Grady began working closely with the Office of Emergency Management and the Deputy City Manager for Public Safety to position the Information Technology Department to deliver technologies necessary for continuity of government during catastrophic events.

As the city strengthens our continuity of operations plan, BRMs will be able to expand their capacity to assess business demand maturity, surface trends and identify high-value strategic opportunities. The Business Relationship Management Institute (and the Certified Business Relationship Manager (CBRM) Guide offer excellent tools and resources to support my professional development and facilitate the continuous evolution of the BRM program at the City of Virginia Beach.

Greg McLean, CBRM

IT Program Manager, Hillsborough County BOCC

Greg worked with key stakeholders at Public Utilities and IIO to create a 5 year Business Technology Roadmap to align technology spends with business goals.

Stephanie Todd, CBRM

Business Partner, LA County - Internal Services Dept

Stephanie started a BRM organization to be a strategic, customer-embedded team that delivers outstanding customer service to 37 LA County departments, and derives greater value from ISD investments. She completed the BRMP and CBRM this last year, attended a BRM Forum and the BRMConnect Conference in DC, and hope to start co-leading the Southern California COI in the coming year.

Jodi Long, CBRM

Director, IT Business Management

Jodi states that achieving her CBRM designation provides her with additional tools and in depth knowledge to advance strategic relationships with my business partners. “Strategic, business enabling, and value-based conversations help assess business demand and mature provider capabilities. Opportunities to collaborate on strategic initiatives are well supported by IT and business partners,” says Jodi.

Chris Clancy, CBRM

Chris says, “I am proud to have built a team of BRMs within the second largest health system in the country. We continually drove increases in the value of the IT service provider for our clinical partners and ultimately the patients. The synergistic abilities of a cohesive group of BRMs is fascinating and it’s a privilege to be associated with them.”

Jamel Thomas, CBRM

Executive Business Partner, Los Angeles County Internal Services Department

Jamel is a founding member of the Office of Strategic Partners Division of Los Angeles County Internal Services Department. He is a part of the team that brought BRM to the County of Los Angeles. His team is helping to establish a firm foothold for the BRM methodology in the world’s sixth largest economy.

Michelle Fowlie, CBRM

Senior Business Support Analyst, York Region

With the knowledge gained through the CBRM, Michelle says that she has been able to utilize the skills and techniques to forge new relationships and strengthen existing ones. She states, “Specifically, I have utilized the strategic relationship management techniques to introduce the BRM discipline to a new business area, creating a partnership with the business and increasing interdepartmental communication.”

DeWayne Cassel, CBRM

Sr. Business Relationship Manager

DeWayne is a BRM Institute council member and has published articles sharing his expertise on topics and issues that affect BRMs every day. He has both his BRMP, CBRM and is ITIL & APICS certified. He is an accomplished senior business relationship technology professional leveraging 12+ years of IT Consulting, Manufacturing Operations, Sales & Marketing and IT Delivery Services experience. He has designed and built 4 global BRM capabilities, been a successful business advocate & trusted advisor for five global business partners with a combined revenue of $2B+ and managed diverse high performance teams with P/L accountability.

DeWayne has experience influencing and establishing strong strategic relationships with Senior Management (Sr. Director/VP), IT leadership, Manufacturing, Quality, Engineering, BU’s and across functional shared service groups developing value plans to align with global business objectives. He has proven expertise in new business development and solution delivery services for Defense Contractors & Government agencies, Business Services, Healthcare, Information Services, Industrial Solutions and Manufacturing industries.

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