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Read the latest Ad Astra Tech Summit News

Kansas' Biggest Tech Event

Ad Astra Tech Summit

All Attendees The Heartland of Innovation: Kansas’ Evolving Tech Landscape & How to Accelerate It

About the Session

Join us for an enlightening Welcome Address that promises to set the stage for the rest of the Ad Astra Technology Summit!

  1. Mapping the Terrain: Get an insightful snapshot of the current size and scope of Kansas’ tech sector. We’ll unveil compelling statistics that demonstrate our state’s contributions and potential.
  2. Tech Education in Focus: A comparative analysis of Kansas’ tech curricula, juxtaposed against national benchmarks.
  3. Jobs of the Future: As technology evolves, so does the job market. We’ll articulate why the tech sector represents the next great economic frontier and why Kansas should stake its claim in this transformative landscape.
  4. A Unified Strategy: What does it take to cultivate a flourishing tech ecosystem in Kansas? Hear about the collaborative efforts required from private enterprises, educational bodies, governments, and investment organizations to make this dream a reality.
Key Takeaways
Learn

Equip yourself with the knowledge to advocate for tech sector initiatives.

Engage

Engage in meaningful discussions about Kansas’ role in the tech-empowered world.

Take Action

Gain actionable insights for your own business or educational endeavors.

About the Speakers

Luis Rodriguez former president of Keycentrix and a seasoned technologist with a track record of industry leadership, and Joy Eakins President of Cornerstone Data, a leading Data Science/Analytics company, renowned for her expertise in data-driven transformation.

AdAstraSummitSpeaker LuisRodriguez

Luis Rodriguez

Technology Executive & FlagshipKansas.Tech Immediate Past Chair
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Luis Rodriguez

Technology Executive & FlagshipKansas.Tech Immediate Past Chair

Luis Rodriguez is an executive leader, technologist and enthusiastic advocate for the Kansas tech industry. He is truly a developer at heart, in every sense of the word. His zeal for both the advancement of technology and helping unlock the potential of people, communities, and businesses drives his actions and motivates him every day.

After growing his career in technology and business leadership through his company NerdUnit, Luis earned successive roles at large companies including Bombardier Aerospace, where he became a Six Sigma Agent. After serving as Senior Director of Software Development at High Touch Technologies, Luis joined keycentrix™ in 2015 as Chief Technology Officer. During his time as president from 2017 to 2023, he grew the company into one of the top competitors in specialty pharmacy software. He now serves as a thought leader for the specialty pharmacy industry, as a voice of technology on the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) board of directors, and by participating in national speaking opportunities and providing insights to multiple industry publications.

Luis’s passion for technology runs deep. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council at a national level but also encourages local tech industry progression and education as a founding member and board member of FlagshipKansas.Tech. In 2019, he appeared before the Kansas Board of Education to advocate for the advancement of technology programs in Kansas schools, which led to changes in graduation requirements to include computer science education. He served as the organization’s Board Chair in 2022, when the organization received two innovation awards and hosted its inaugural Ad Astra Technology Summit. That same year, the organization grew to more than 40 member companies and received more than $645,000 in grant funding from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Microsoft for workforce development initiatives. Luis also provided a technology perspective in the Business Education Innovation Partnership, a collaborative effort between the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and Wichita Public Schools.

Originally from Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, Luis moved to Wichita more than 29 years ago and has long considered it home. Over the past several years he has participated in several community business organizations and not-for-profits, as a member of the Wichita Downtown Rotary and serving on the boards of The Workforce Alliance, Dress for Success, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He has taught web development at Friends University, serves as a technology faculty advisor for WSU Tech, and was named to the Wichita State University President’s Council.

Away from his day job, Luis is deeply dedicated to his family and loves to keep up with their antics and interests, whether it’s participating in the annual family Halloween costume theme, helping assemble experiments for the Science Olympiad, rocking out to musical performances, or conquering a fear of healthy respect for horses.

Also, GO SHOCKS.

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AdAstraSummitSpeaker JoyEakins

Joy Eakins

Cornerstone Data, Founder & President
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Joy Eakins

Cornerstone Data, Founder & President

Joy Eakins, the dynamic founder and President of Cornerstone Data, holds a Master’s in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado, a Master’s of Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In 2008, Joy’s passion for bridging the worlds of data and human interaction led her to establish what would later evolve into Cornerstone Data. Her unique educational blend enabled her to craft a company that interprets data science with keen insight into its human and organizational origins.

Before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, Joy sharpened her technical prowess at renowned institutions like Milliman, ICB Consulting, Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, and Avaya.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Joy’s commitment to community shines brightly. She served as a steadfast advocate for education during her tenure on the Wichita School Board between 2013 and 2018. Furthermore, she has championed Kansas’ tech industry as the education chair of FlagshipKansas.Tech. Since 2016, she has been a dedicated board member of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, presently stepping into the role of chair, and she began her association with Youth Horizons as a board member in 2020.

Among her accolades, Joy’s exceptional leadership earned Cornerstone Data the title of Wichita Chamber’s 2015 Small Business of the Year. She herself was spotlighted by Wichita Business Journal in their 2020 Women who Lead in Technology feature, following a 2016 recognition in their Women in Business category.

Joy’s enthusiasm for data is palpable. She relishes problem-solving, drawing on patterns to craft impactful solutions. She notes, “While not all life’s challenges can be dissected this way, the joy of deriving concrete solutions in the technical realm is unmatched.” For Joy, the pinnacle of her role surfaces when presenting data visualizations to clients, particularly when their realizations spark transformative conversations. Observing those ‘aha’ moments, she confidently affirms, is a definite “home run”.

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