Technology leaders from across North Carolina will gather in Charlotte on Thursday for a conference focused on the linkages between high tech and the economy.

Titled “Think Tech,” the North Carolina Technology Association event will include panel discussions and presentations about three key segments in emerging technology:

• Big data
• Advanced manufacturing
• Virtualization

Also scheduled is a discussion about regional entrepreneurship that will be moderated by Terry Cox, president and chief executive officer of the Business, Innovation and Growth council.

The conference also will include a briefing about technology preparations for next year’s national Democratic Party convention.

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m.

The panels and speakers:

• Regional Entrepreneurship

Moderator: Terry Cox, President & CEO – BIG
Steve Amedio, CEO – Technekes
Richard Brasser, President – The Targeted Group
Yi Deng, Dean & Professor – UNC Charlotte, College of Computing & Informatics
Keith Luedeman, CEO & Founder –

• Big Data

Moderator: Garnie Bolling, Solutions Principal – EMC Corporation
Dr. Manuel Aparicio, CEO & Co-founder – Saffron Technology, Inc.
Paul Kent, VP of Platform R&D – SAS
Joe Pleasant, CIO – Premier, Inc.
Dr. Bill Ribarsky, Dir. of Charlotte Visualization Ctr – UNC Charlotte

• Advanced Manufacturing

Moderator: Clifton Vann, President – Livingston & Haven
Al Batten, Director, Solutions Optimization – Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
Lee Dockstader, VP of Business Development – 3D Systems
Mike Lackey, VP of Solution Management – SAP
David Terrell, VP, Americas Customer Support – Dassault Systemes

• Virtualization

Moderator: Terry Rusk, President & CEO – Project Right Track
David Kreidberg, SE Director – Google
Thomas Murphy, Principal, CIO Services – North Highland
Jeff Stovall, CIO – City of Charlotte
Kip Turco, SVP of Data Center Operations – Windstream

• Democratic National Convention Briefing

Robyn Hamilton, Director of Business Relations
Charlotte in 2012 / DNC Host Committee

For registration information, read here.

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