Edge Team

Executive Team

Our members rely on us to solve complex networking and technology issues, drive business transformation, improve services and connect in new ways.

Accordingly, the Edge Executive Team takes full responsibility for delivering persistent value to all facets of the membership through our commitment to excellence and innovation. Value is delivered in the form of a sustainable, long-term vision founded on the effective implementation of four measurable strategic objectives:

  • Financial Performance
  • Membership Value
  • Internal Processes
  • Organizational Capacity

Effective execution and implementation of our strategic objectives by the Leadership Team successfully positions Edge for the future.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Samuel Conn, Ph. D.

Samuel Conn brings a long history of fostering the advancement of technology in public and private higher education institutions across several focus areas including information technology management, administrative and educational technologies, e-Learning networks, and enterprise transformation. Serving as President and CEO for Edge, he guides the executive management team with over 35 years of combined military, professional, private sector and academic experience in the field of technology and information systems. He holds an undergraduate (BSci) degree in Business Administration, a graduate (MSci) degree in Computer Information Systems, and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Information Systems. By harnessing the potential of digital networks to advance teaching, learning and research, he maintains Edge’s commitment to push the boundaries of innovation and achievement as a national model of excellence for purpose-built research and education networks.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Edward Chapel. Ph. D.

A career educator, technology leader and Chief Information Officer at New Jersey’s largest private and second largest public universities for the past twenty years, Dr. Edward Chapel’s commitment to active collaboration with industry partners, peer organizations and the Edge membership serves as a key driver in the advancement of operational effectiveness and strategic objectives of its member organizations. With a focus on enabling digital technologies, he ensures each client solution is value-based, future-focused and engineered to deliver an end-user experience that is unsurpassed. In addition to overseeing the delivery of a high performing network and ecosystem of purpose-built technology assets and applications, his dedication to Edge’s shared services consortium approach and advancing professional development through the Edge Communities of Practice enables New Jersey’s education, healthcare, governmental and corporate enterprises to thrive and grow. Dr. Chapel earned his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Sociology from New York University as well as a Baccalaureate degree in American Studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey.
Vice President Administration & Finance, General Counsel, and Chief Financial Officer

Joe Rearden

Joe Rearden’s approach is based on active collaboration across all facets of Edge’s strategic efforts and disciplines. In addition to managing and monitoring the year’s budget, objectives and deliverables, Joe is the liaison between Edge’s corporate partners and members. His background in finance, project management and compliance enables him to bring a sharp eye to everything from licensing agreements to service agreements to federal funding opportunities for the Edge consortium. Joe has a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of New Hampshire, School of Law.
Vice President for Technology Advancement and Chief Information Officer

Gregg Chottiner

Gregg is widely known for his decades of work in technology leadership, mainly in the higher education and government sectors. With extensive experience in systems engineering, Gregg is uniquely equipped to provide executive leadership in emerging technologies, migrations of legacy systems, and solutions to complex business and technology programs and projects. His track record of digital transformation, large-scale business process improvement, cost-containment, and organizational efficiency is unmatched and equally weighted against his ability to build consensus and achieve optimal team performance. With over 20 years of experience in the public and private sector in the roles of Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Gregg most recently spent five years as CIO and Vice President for Technology at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and 10 years as CIO and Vice President of Technology for the State University of New York. Holding an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and a graduate degree in Information Technology Management and Systems, Gregg is well equipped to handle the difficult and complex nature of today’s technical environments. In his role at Edge, Gregg works to advance technology and assist New Jersey CIOs with successful technology initiatives.
Vice President for Information Technology and Economic Advancement

Christopher R. Markham

When it comes to the strategy behind return-on-investment for technology spend, Chris applies nearly two decades of education and experience to assist our member institutions with the complexities of cloud, enterprise computing, and educational technologies. Having served in technology support and leadership roles since 2001, he most recently served as Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at SUNY Empire State College, where he successfully completed a transition of the institution’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Prior to that role, Chris served as Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Florida State College. While in that role, he successfully managed the completion of a $30 million digital transformation effort to enhance operations among the institution’s six campuses and more than 50,000 students. Today, Chris works with Edge member institutions on digital transformation initiatives, information technology leadership, technology service management and the business process re-engineering required to recruit and educate students in today’s digital world. Chris applies his graduate education in economics in concert with his technology background to ensure the value of technology is optimal in its application. Chris currently serves in the United States Army Reserves. Standing ready to assist in the success of our member institutions, more and more Edge members are starting conversations with Chris to leverage Edge’s resources in professional services, learning and teaching technologies, and information technology service management.

Leadership Team

With a keen eye on supporting Edge’s strategic objectives, our Leadership Team consists of seasoned postsecondary professionals, creative thinkers and future-focused individuals.

Their collective experience across the education, government, corporate and technology industry verticals makes them uniquely qualified to guide members amid the constant change and innovation that accompanies a world driven by transformative technology.

The team is committed to delivering persistent value to our members with a full range of clearly defined digital ecosystem solutions – solutions that help members thrive and grow.

Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs

Dr. Forough Ghahramani

What makes scientific discovery great is involvement from people like Dr. Forough Ghahramani! As Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Sponsored Programs for Edge, she works tirelessly with the research community in the state, region, and nation to deliver the resources and programs of EdgeDiscovery. As principal architect for EdgeDiscovery, Forough ensures a broad platform of support for innovation, acceleration, and engagement among researchers and other stakeholders in the scientific discovery domain. Forough’s over 25-year diversified career experience in higher education management includes previously serving as dean and department chair, program development and accreditation manager. Prior to joining academia, she held senior level engineering and management positions at Hewlett Packard and consulted to Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, information technology, and financial services sectors. Forough is a transformational leader with experience in entrepreneurship, project management, technical sales, partnerships and strategic alliances, software engineering, bioinformatics, and organization-wide data strategy and information technology planning Forough holds a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA in Marketing from DePaul University, MS in Computer Science from Villanova University, and BS in Mathematics with a minor in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include, “bioinformatics, the challenges and opportunities associated with the convergence of biotechnology and information technology”, “models for fostering diversity and inclusion in the university innovation ecosystem”. As a trailblazing woman in STEM innovator and entrepreneur, Forough is consulted on the state, national, and international levels in various capacities including STEM workforce development strategies and entrepreneurship programs for women. She has done extensive work with government, academic institutions, and professional associations to evaluate the policies and programs that shape vibrant innovation ecosystems. Forough has served in leadership roles in educational and non-profit boards, and professional associations, such as AWIS, SWE, and IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE).
Human Resources Manager and Office Administrative Director

Amy Hillman

One will always find a friendly and knowledgeable professional when engaging with Amy. She joined Edge in 2017 as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and has successfully advanced her career since that time, demonstrating a tireless effort in service to Edge and its members. As our Human Resources Manager, she originates and leads Edge’s Human Resources best practices and objectives to ensure an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce. Amy also provides administrative support to the organization’s management team and its employees as the Office Administrative Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Human Resources Management Certificate from the University of Phoenix, was most recently inducted into Delta Mu Delta’s International Honor Society in Business.
Associate Vice President Accounting & Controller

Caitlin Kaplan

In her role as Controller at Edge, Caitlin is responsible for overseeing the accounting operations, including financial reports, audits and accounting records. With a sharp eye for detail, she ensures that all of Edge’s reported results adhere to strict compliance measures and accounting principles. Her most recent experiences include a six-year term at New Jersey’s Institute of Technology where she held the position of Account Manager which was preceded by a six-year tenure as an Auditor in KPMG’s non-profit sector. Caitlin received her B.A. in Accounting from Muhlenberg College.
Associate Vice President and Principal Network Architect

Jim Stankiewicz

Jim Stankiewicz leads the technical management team with a future-forward approach that embraces a long-term vision of an integrated K-20 portal for the NJ educational community. With responsibility for the Edge network infrastructure, Jim guides his team through complex engineering project activities that drive customer performance, utilization, problem resolution and the overall effectiveness of the Edge network. Jim’s 25+-years of experience in communications and network development are key drivers for Edge’s commitment to adaptive and defined technology solutions. Jim holds certification in CCIP (Certified CISCO Internet Professional) and CCSP (Certified CISCO Security Professional).
Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Adam Scarzafava

As an experienced marketing professional and communications strategist Adam’s passion is connecting people with technology solutions, products, and services. After spending the past eight years with a premiere technology solutions provider in executive digital marketing and communications roles, Adam joined Edge in 2018 to help current and new members learn about and take full advantage of digital media, cloud, networking, security, and professional service solutions. Adam’s experience and track record as a top college athlete makes him no stranger to competition in today’s digital world. Graduating magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and then began his career at the Global Options Group in New York City. Besides technology, on any given day Adam can be found coaching little league baseball or snowboarding.
Associate Vice President Programs & Services

Bruce Tyrrell

Since the infancy of Edge, Bruce Tyrrell’s roots with Higher Education, State Government, K-12, local and county government IT environments has served as a foundation for defined solutions and transformative engagement experience for all Edge members. With a keen emphasis on realizing the strategic goals of the consortium, his member-focused approach continues to drive maximum benefit for all Edge constituents. Bruce holds an ITIL V3 certification – one of the most widely adopted approaches for IT service management in the world, providing a practical, no-nonsense framework for identifying, planning and supporting IT services.
Senior Network Engineer

Adam Bathiard

It comes as no surprise that when Adam began his education in the early 2000s everyone knew he would accelerate to the top of his field in information technology. After graduating from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2008 with an earned Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems, Adam pressed on to achieve a Master of Science degree in Information Systems in 2012, again at one of New Jersey’s premiere institutions. Joining Edge in 2007 as a systems administrator, Adam was instrumental in much of the growth and advancement of the Edge network over its twenty-year history. Adam’s initial work with Edge created a solid foundation for his current role as Senior Network Engineer. It’s unusual to find someone with broad expertise in more than one domain of technology, but Adam spans the field with his expert knowledge of security, systems, applications, infrastructure, networking, cloud architecture, and video. Most recently Adam successfully constructed and launched the software defined networking segment known as EdgeDiscovery, Edge’s network segment that supports the research community. As an AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Adam is at the forefront of technology that binds local and wide area networks to hybrid and multi-cloud solutions for institutions of higher education, K-12, healthcare, and government. Although Adam’s technical knowledge, skills and abilities rate at the top of his field, he is an easy-going and relatable conversationalist with a great understanding of how networking and technology can positively impact our world and society.
Executive Director for EdgeEvents and Print Communication

Nancy Zimmerman

EdgeEvents benefits from a visionary, strategic, and entrepreneurial leader with Nancy at the helm. With an impressive professional background in product management, strategic marketing, and operations, Nancy brings a unique blend of talent and perspective to our members through a robust agenda of event offerings that inform, inspire, and bring our community together in new and relevant ways. As part of how Edge builds community, EdgeEvents and associated community of practice groups are front of mind for our members, whether it’s a premier event such as EdgeCon, or professional practice groups such as Women Leaders in Technology. Nancy works tirelessly to ensure that every event is substantive, relevant, and integrative with the needs and interests of our member community. Her professional resume includes working with such brands as Proctor & Gamble, Girl Scouts USA, and Hackensack Meridian Health. With an academic background consistent with her career, Nancy holds an earned BA degree from Indiana University in Brand Identity, and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati with a concentration in marketing. Always helpful and happy to engage, Nancy is a great starting place for new and existing members, or anyone interested in learning more about Edge.
Director for Cooperative Pricing Systems, EdgeMarket

Dan Miller

The need for professional, timely, and relevant procurement in both public and private entities has never been more important and Dan has been at the forefront of supply chain driven, complex requirements gathering and procurement since the beginning. A technology, collaboration, and procurement innovator for nearly 40 years, Dan leads our EdgeMarket initiative with a passion for collaboration and a relentless focus on success. Over his career as a software developer and architect, top sales executive, and CEO of his own companies, Dan has delivered results-driven innovation in a variety of venues, including the first-ever web-based collaboration and procurement support platform, WebRFP.com, in 1996. Fast forward to today, Dan and the Edge team are hard at work delivering on Edge’s commitment to grow and serve its membership through increasing value and accelerating innovation in technology and services procurement. Whether you need general assistance with procurements, know exactly what you need, or just want to catch up and learn more about today’s eProcurement process, Dan is a great guy with which to connect!