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Board of Directors

Picture unavailable Cliff Missen  MA
Director, WiderNet Project
Clinical Associate Professor in School Information & Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Cliff has over 25 years professional experience in computers, networking, multimedia design, and applications development. At the WiderNet Project, he combines this with his long-term interest in international development. His first visit to Africa was with a medical team in 1982, and he continues to teach and promote appropriate water well drilling technology through the U.S. non–profit organization Wellspring Africa. "I want to see the day when African technicians - so steeped in understanding of ICT technology - bend and twist these tools to create appropriate and affordable communications systems for the most rural villages in Africa."



Gary Hoke MBA
Director, IT, National Agents Alliance

Gary Hoke has a passion for education, innovation and entrepreneurship.  He holds three engineering degrees and an MBA from North Carolina State University.  Gary is an inventor and founder of CubeShield which was granted a U.S. patent in 2006.  In his current role as Director, IT at National Agents Alliance, Gary provides strategic leadership and tactical direction to deliver world-class IT systems and services to company staff, agents, carriers and customers.



Jerri Bland  Ed.D.
Founder, Just In Time Technology Solutions

Jerri Bland, Ed.D., is the founder and managing director of Just In Time Technology Solutions. Jerri previously served as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Columbia University and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Applications for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After 20 years implementing enterprise level application and business process technology for government agencies and higher education institutions, Jerri refocused her talents to support small businesses and non-profits. Jerri also continues to pursue her research interests in technology capacity in higher education and broadband access. Jerri has a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans, a master of public administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in higher education administration from The George Washington University.




Brian Harris  BS, BA
Sr. Account Executive, Blackboard

Brian has worked nearly ten years at the one of the largest education technology companies in the world, Blackboard, helping school districts solve their most pressing challenges around community engagement, safety & security, and personalized learning.  He is excited to bring his experiences in strategic planning, instructional technology, and collaboration to Widernet to expand the global reach of the eGranary.  He lives in Granville County with his wife and two sons.



Dinesh Divakaran PhD, MBA
Associate Director, Office of Licensing & Ventures, Duke University

Dinesh Divakaran is an intraprenuer with a strong track record in fostering innovation, translating research, accelerating commercialization, building business models, catalyzing seed-stage startups and developing strategic alliances between academia, industry and government. He currently works as an Associate Director with the Office of Licensing & Ventures at Duke University & Medical Center.  Prior to working at Duke, Dinesh worked in innovation management and technology commercialization roles at North Carolina State University, The Texas A&M University System and University of South Florida. Dinesh received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of South Florida and has an MBA from North Carolina State University. 



Senior Internal Auditor, Laboratory Corporation of America

Jeff Smith is a Senior Internal Auditor with Laboratory Corporation of America. In In addition to working in public accounting (NC License 29339), Jeff has 15 years of management experience leading finance and accounting operations as VP/Finance and Controller for diverse business sectors, including medical, banking, information technology, engineering, construction, and real estate.

Prior to joining LabCorp in 2014, Jeff previously served in the Raleigh/RTP area as Controller-Skanska USA Building, Commercial Mortgage Controller- Credit Suisse, and Analyst-Wachovia Mortgage Company.



Mike Bittle MBA
Founder/Principal, Workflow Analytics LLC
Mike is the Founder and Principal of Workflow Analytics LLC. He is a turnaround specialist with expertise in product performance, process effectiveness, program/project success, business growth and exit.