Welcome the Newest Additions to the BRM Institute Board of Directors

Posted | Category: BRM Community | Contributed

Business Relationship Management Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of new and continued members to the Board of Directors.

Please welcome the newest members to the board:

  • Bart Keaney, Board Director
  • Ashlee Vasquez, Board Director
  • Jack de Sousa, Board Director
  • Pez Kooner, Board Director

The appointment of these global leaders reinforces the Institute’s commitment to inspire, promote, and develop excellence in BRM across the globe to enable outstanding organizational value and professional fulfillment of every individual member of the BRM community. Together they will drive the global awareness and adoption of BRM as a capability, discipline, and role across function and industry. BRM Institute is proud to welcome the newest additions to the growing Board of Directors.

Introducing the BRM Institute Board of Directors

California, USA

Bart Keaney is a strategic technology leader with 25+ years developing high performing teams and solutions in the healthcare industry. He is currently employed at Centene as staff VP of Business Technology Solutions, one of the largest governments sponsored managed care organization in the Unites States, serving 1 in 15 Americans. 

 As the Medicaid and Health Plan technology leader, he manages the invest portfolio and functions for bid proposal development, implementations, and BRM teams across thirty-two subsidiaries. He developed the BRM program at Centene, and his diverse professional career crosses over technology, operations, and finance. Bart currently resides in southern California with his wife and three children. 

Texas, USA

Ashlee Vasquez is an accomplished professional with over 10 years of experience in Higher Education IT where she has played a pivotal role in establishing and promoting the Business Relationship Management office. Ashlee excels in relationship-building at various organizational levels and is adept at cultivating high-performing teams.  

 Her leadership has empowered the Business Relationship Managers to create impactful connections that contribute to the university’s community support and advancement of strategic goals and strives to show the value behind meaningful relationships and its importance across organizations.


United Kingdom

Jack de Sousa has over a decade of experience in the fast-paced field of technology, Jack has cultivated a robust foundation in leadership, strategic thinking, and business partnership. His role as an Information Technology Business Partner has allowed him to converge technology and business objectives, ensuring that technical initiatives align seamlessly with the dynamic landscape of today’s business. 

Jack has held various roles in Finance and Information Technology within Higher Education before transitioning into Professional Services working as part of a global Corporate Information Technology team. Jack is passionate about empowering individuals to harness the full potential of technology, fostering a symbiotic relationship between humans and technology, where technology becomes a seamless extension of human capabilities, unlocking new possibilities, enriching humanity, and our planet. 

“I am thrilled to be part of the BRM Institute’s Board of Directors, playing an active role in advancing the institute’s mission and driving forward the evolution of BRM practices in our dynamic world. My goal is to empower each BRM with essential skills and knowledge for the future, ensuring their organisations remain adaptable amidst rapid change.”

United Kingdom

Pez Kooner has over 15 years of experience working in business relationship management roles, Pez Kooner MBRM (Master Business Relationship Manager) currently serves as Head of IT & Digital, Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce PLC. Accomplished in creating and leading high performing BRM teams, Pez has a track record of implementing BRM best practices to accelerate organizational BRM maturity. He has also served as a United Kingdom BRM community leader since 2014.  

 In recognition of his advocacy of the BRM capability, Pez was listed in the BRM Institute’s “Top 2023 BRMs” honors list and is also a recipient of the Global BRM Excellence “Arnie” award. Pez has a BA in Marketing and Economics in addition to an Executive master’s degree in business administration. 

Following a long term affiliation with Aaron and the team, it’s an honour to be appointed as a Board Director. My journey with the BRM Institute started in 2014 and has been a key component in my commitment to advancing the business relationship management practice globally. Drawing upon years of experience in BRM and a passion for growth, I look forward to offering my leadership skills and knowledge to support the BRM Institute’s purpose and mission

South African Chapter Regional

Cape Town, South Africa

Baziel Barends, Board Director, has over twenty years’ experience in digital transformation with executive roles including leadership of business relationship management, supply chain systems, and service management functions in a multinational retailer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Accounting and has completed an Executive MBA (EMBA) with distinction at the University of Cape Town. His EMBA research focused on Leadership-as-Practice, intrinsic motivation, power, and shared ownership and was featured at BRMConnect 2020 The Risky Business of Distributed Power. 

He has coached executives as part of the EMBA program in the modules of systemic leadership and organizational viability and he believes that Business Relationship Management and Relationshipism are powerful enablers in these areas. This has driven him to volunteer in various roles with the institute, including leadership of the World Impact Foundation advisory committee. As a South African, he wants to help drive the story that South Africans and Africans can overcome the significant hurdles that they currently face.

“I’m an enabler for solving big world problems and am passionate about sustainable leadership. This is one of the reasons the triple bottom line resonates with me because of the value and longevity it brings to organizations. Additionally, I believe educating people about BRM is a critical step to equip people to solve real-world issues. As a Board Director of BRM Institute, I aim to be a vocal advocate for purpose-driven and relationship-centered organizations on a global scale.”

  Charlotte, USA

Joe Topinka, Board Chair, is a pioneer in the BRM field and is the author of IT Business Partnership: A Field Guide, one of the first pragmatic guides about the BRM role. Joe is a career CIO and founder of CIO Mentor, LLC. Joe brings his passion, energy, and commitment to ensuring that adoption of the BRM role continues across industries and around the globe. Joe is a frequent blogger and public speaker on the subject of BRMs.

Arnie Wetherhill

Milwaulkee, USA

Jim Brusnahan, Board Director, is an enterprise leader within the Business Relationship Management (BRM) team for Johnson Controls, Inc. He is a published writer, awarded speaker, and BRM Institute Executive Council member. He is currently focused on leading a Manufacturing 4.0 global transformation for the Johnson Controls Manufacturing System. His background includes polymer engineering and engineering management, program management, manufacturing operations management, general management, and strategic enterprise initiatives leadership.  Jim has a degree in Materials Engineering and was a 101st Airborne Infantryman in the U.S. Army. He also ensures that he has time to enjoy his wife and four daughters, mentoring, trail running, cooking, reading, and writing.

“I am proud to be a BRM and am equipped with the confidence in my ability to influence and produce value through the BRM capability.”

Aaron Monroe

 Florida, USA

Aaron Monroe, Board Director, is a vice president in the Enterprise Lean Agile group at T. Rowe Price. He leads the Lean Agile Transformation efforts for the Investments and Retirement Planning Services divisions and is also responsible for development of the enterprise-wide Lean Agile methodology. Aaron is a subject matter expert in Lean, Agile, Organizational Agility, Methodology Development, Project Management, and Business Relationship Management.

Aaron holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English, an M.S. degree in Project Management, and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

He also holds Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) certifications.

“I am honored to be selected as a member of the BRM Institute Board of Directors. I am committed to being an active advocate for our members and the BRM community as a whole. In this role, I hope to expand and deepen the strategic role BRMs play in the delivery of business value, and I also look forward to interacting with members to hear their interests and ideas for BRM Institute.”

Glenn Remoreras, BRMP

Texas, USA

Glenn Remoreras, Board Director,  has 20+ years of IT leadership roles at industry leaders Constellation Brands and CEMEX Inc with rotations in key aspects of Technology program delivery, IT leadership and strategy. Experienced in leading teams globally – with international and hands-on management in Asia, Europe and Mexico, and North America. Today, he leads the Information Technology organization of Constellation Brands’ Beer Division as Vice President of IT. At CEMEX Inc, Glenn held several technology leadership positions. 

He also participated in post-merger integration projects in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Mexico, and the United States. In those projects, he directed major enterprise-wide projects that included global process standardization and enterprise solution implementation using SAP. He published articles on major publications and presented in conferences on topics ranging from IT, Shared Services, Digital Transformation, and Business Relationship Management.

“I began volunteering in 2013, the year BRM Institute was established. It was my way of giving back and supporting the single, global BRM community. Little did I know, this experience would transform me as a technology professional, as an individual and as a leader. Through BRM, I found my purpose and built lasting relationships. BRM changed my mindset which strengthened my leadership capacity.”

Sarah Fogg

  United Kingdom

Sarah Fogg, Board Vice Chair, is Head of IT Business Relationship Management at Scottish and Southern Energy plc based in Reading, England. She was a founding member of the BRM Institute and has spoken at BRM events and forums, as well as serving on the BRM Council leadership team and contributing to the UK Community of Interest. She is currently focused on building BRM capability to drive digital strategy.

Sarah has worked in Utilities, Higher Education, and FMCG in a variety of IT management roles, but always with a passion to connect IT to business goals. She has specialized in BRM for the last 8 years, building and maturing the capability in different organizations. She was one of the first Europeans to qualify as BRMP back in 2014 and went on to CBRM in 2018.

Sarah loves skiing in the French Alps, and is getting used to the fact that her son is now faster than she is! She maintains her fitness through running and volunteers as a coach and Road Running Captain at her local club.

“As the Board Chair, I’m proud to be able to represent United Kingdom and European voices and perspectives to the forefront. I’ve been involved with BRM Institute since 2013 as a founding member. Now, it’s time to give something back to what has fed my journey so powerfully with a drive to make a difference. I’ve truly benefited so much from this partnership, because discovering and learning about BRM as a role and capability – it was like coming home for me.”

Hawaii, USA

Aaron Barnes, Board Director and CEO of BRM Institute, is an expert BRM leader and practitioner with first-hand experience in successfully performing as a strategic business partner, leading BRM teams, and instilling BRM leading practices in organizations. Aaron’s passion for business partnering come from his years of consulting service in the U.S and Europe, leading converged business teams, designing strategy, and implementing business systems with a constant focus on delivering business value results.

Aaron is the co-founder and CEO of Business Relationship Management Institute and has spent countless hours demonstrating the value of Business Relationship Management to practitioners and organizations to advance the BRM profession around the globe.

“In organizations around the globe, I have seen firsthand how the BRM capability gives life to business and people so that they may flourish like never before. The BRM capability moves organizations away from the service provider mentality to converged strategic partnership with shared ownership of both business strategy and business results, all leading to great impact for organizations, the people in those organizations, and the entire community around them. In my role as board director and CEO, I look forward to furthering efforts to enable your success with a BRM discipline, the global adoption of a BRM capability, and the continued growth of BRM Institute.”


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