Rev. Steven Rayford Johnson is the Pastor for Discipleship and an associate teaching pastor at the Illuminate Community Church, which he helped plant, in April of 2019. He has devoted his career to ministry, and as a youth pastor he began to organize and carry out short-term mission trips to Mexico. Since then, he has led more than 35, large and small, including trips to Spain and Argentina, each with more than 150 participants. He also served on the Board of a Phoenix-based ministry to Northern Mexico.
Rev. Johnson oversaw the operations of more than 190 North American and Latin missionaries in 16 Latin countries and Spain, while nurturing and growing over 175 partnerships with indigenous national ministries. In 2013, he successfully led LAM to merge with United World Mission. During his tenure as President of LAM, he also served on the Preaching Team of his local church, La Iglesia Gran Comisión Latino América in Doral, FL.
Educated in both university and theological studies, Rev. Johnson has a B.S. in Speech Communication; a M.Div, Western Seminary; and is currently working on his D.Min. at the Phoenix Seminary. Rev. Johnson has been married for more than 45 years to his wife, Shellie, and he finds incredible joy in loving their four adult children, as well as spoiling their 9 grandchildren. He is also a crazy fanatic of real futból.
Jeff Birkelo is the Senior Vice President/Team Leader at Alliance Bank of Arizona and has more that 30 years of experience in the finance/banking industry.
Birkelo received his BBA in Finance/Accounting/Economics at the Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business. He is involved with AZ Outdoor Sports (Board of Directors), AZ Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (Board of Directors (Affiliate)0, SMU Alumni Association, and the University of Advancing Technology Foundation (Board of Directors & Treasurer).
Joe Simon, CM-BIM, is the Principal Implementation Consultant at Autodesk. Simon is a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) professional with 18 years of construction and design experience, from preconstruction to project closeout. He is currently working for various clients leveraging VDC technologies to improve overall stakeholder collaboration and communication processes. Simon’s specialties include Business Development, Constructability Reviews, MEP Coordination, 4D Sequencing, and Model Turnover. A University of Advancing Technology alumni, Simon received both his Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Architecture, as well as his Master of Science (M.S.) in Technology Leadership, from UAT.
Blake G. Adkins
Blake G. Adkins is the Director of Sales at Riverside Technologies. He has spent more than 24 years working in the Technology Industry, with 18+ years of tech leadership experience, including Managing Federal Sales for the DoD (civilian and System Integrators); partner development with MFG and OEM Partners; and specializing in enterprise solutions including storage, availability, virtualization and security. Mr. Adkins also specializes in Esports. He is currently a board member of the New Mexico Athletic Association Esports, and he organized the “first” in-state Esports Tournament in New Mexico, featuring K-12 and Higher-ed teams.
Mr. Adkins received his education from the University of Oregon, Lane Community College, and the CAD Institute. He is also a former employee of the University of Advancing Technology’s Compute Reality Center.
A family man, Mr. Adkins is a husband, father and grandfather, including the father of a UAT graduate.
Raymond Todd Blackwood has spent over 20 years inventing technology solutions that run college campuses. His passion for technology and bringing people together to create efficiencies on college campuses can be heard on a variety of webinars, podcasts, papers, and presentations throughout the world.
In his current role at Anthology Inc, Blackwood is the Vice President of Product Management, overseeing the Operate to Lead set of products and services, which include the student information system and Higher ed ERP.
Blackwood holds an MBA in technology management and lives in Boca Raton, FL, with his wife Catherine, daughters Alabama and Samantha, and dog Cooper.
Carlos Miera is the Senior Mechanical Designer at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Miera is experienced in research & development, prototyping, and testing of products for a multitude of industries, including: Power Electronics, Defense, Semiconductor, Aerospace and Communications.
Miera has management experience in building design teams and leading projects from cradle to new product introduction. He is an alumni of the University of Advancing Technology and New Mexico State University, studying engineering and Computer Aided Design.