Today, we will provide insight into what some members of the AIDA User Group Board of Directors will present at AI on Pi Day (March 14, 2024).

They will start presenting in chronological order.

Rikke Jacobsen

Rikke Jacobsen is the CEO & and Founder of CogniTech A/S. A Danish IBM Business Gold Partner. Keeping her employees happy and motivated and getting more people to use and get the most value out of IBM Analytics is her passion. Rikke has worked with IBM Cognos Analytics for more than 20 years, and she still gets excited about the prospect of helping her clients make sense of their data. She is the first Dane to be named IBM Analytics Hero, a title that has been earned because of her enthusiasm and dedication to the Cognos community. A lot of people also know her as Mrs. Cognos.

Paul Mendelson

For more than a decade and a half, Paul Mendelson has been a vocal contributor to the Cognos communities. He is passionate about Cognos and Business Analytics and is never shy about offering advice or constructive criticism. In addition to his own blog (, he has shared articles with several online journals. The techniques and extensions Paul has written are used by companies worldwide. Paul’s CogBox suite of extensions and controls vastly increases the capabilities and ease-of-use of Cognos.

Atanas Iliev

Atanas Iliev is passionate about exploring. Exploring innovative AI and data platforms, as well as prompt engineering. In 2023, he joined the AIDA User Group and started providing weekly updates for the group. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2024, and the group newsletter was launched. He is member of Open Data Contract Standard (ODCS) at the Linux Foundation project Bitol and part of the Technical Steering Committee. Before diving to data and AI, Atanas gained over 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, working for some of the largest companies in Europe and worldwide. During this time, he supported the technical teams with the requirements of both residential and business customers.

Jean-Georges Perrin

Jean-Georges “jgp” Perrin is the chief innovation officer at AbeaData, focusing on building innovative and modern data tooling. He is also chair of the Open Data Contract Standard (ODCS) at the Linux Foundation project Bitol, president of AIDA User Group, and author of multiple books, including Implementing Data Mesh (O’Reilly) and Spark in Action, 2nd edition (Manning). He is passionate about software engineering and all things data. His latest endeavors bring him to more and more data engineering, data governance, industrialization of data science, and his favorite theme, Data Mesh. He is proud to have been recognized as a Lifetime IBM Champion, a PayPal Champion, and a Data Mesh Learning MVP. Jean-Georges shares over 25 years of experience in the IT industry as a presenter and participant at conferences and publishing articles in print and online media.

Heather L. Cole

Heather L. Cole has 30+ years of experience implementing and positioning analytic solutions to help organizations grow and leverage analytics. She is a two-time best-selling author of Business Intelligence Bull’s-eye and Solving the CIO Identity Crisis and keynote speaker. Heather’s teachings and skills have touched the lives of thousands of people around the world via her insights in business strategy and the future of businesses during the data revolution. As the founder of Lodestar Solutions, an IBM partner, and Heatherized, Inc. she still manages to find time to serve others sharing her diverse knowledge in Finance, IT, Law, Psychology, Sales, and Marketing. Heather is also a Certified High-Performance Coach, licensed attorney, Scrum Master, a five-time winner of the IBM Champion Award. Heather also serves on the national board of Financial Executives International (FEI). In 2014 Heather was an Enterprising Woman award winner. In her free time, Heather volunteers at Ready for Life, a charity that helps youth that age out of foster care in St. Petersburg, FL.

Ralf Roeber

Ralf shares over 30 years of experience in the IT industry, he has the ability to understand and solve deep technical problems effectively and efficiently. His in-depth technical knowledge (which includes OSI Level 2 – 7) gives him the outstanding ability to judge the feasibility of proposals and to immediately solve issues that have arisen during the “go live” of various projects rolling into production. In addition to the technical knowledge, in his business relations, he focuses on 120% customer satisfaction. For the last 18 years, he has had the pleasure of providing best-in-class service to his main customer (a prestigious German car manufacturer). Ralf had the pleasure of showing his birth town to Joseph Weizenbaum. When he is not in the machine room, which he really enjoys, he gives speeches, mentors students, and explores the wonderful landscapes and beaches of Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain.

Paul Cortellesi

Paul started his data career when records were constrained by the 80 columns available to IBM Punched Cards. He has designed systems for Banking, Brokerage, Medical, Insurance, Rental, and Pesticide businesses. While these may appear wildly different, they all share two common themes: First, one must learn what is meant by the business data, especially when implementing a company’s early systems, and second, one must learn the endless cycle of how that data transforms the business and is itself transformed by the business. For the past 25 years he has managed the ECM-based Electronic Medical Record at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is a frequent lecturer and mentor on Content Management.

At the same time, we will have the support of the rest of the board:

Martin Otto

Martin Otto

Martin started his computer career with a CP/M driven Tandy TRS-80. In High-School times he created an AI-computer language (EGAL – Expert System Generating Analytic Language). With this language, he won several prizes in Germany. He then studied brewing science in Weihenstephan (Bavaria) and at the same time founded a consulting company for BI-analyzes for breweries (with Microsoft-Multiplan and SAS). This was followed by a degree in computer science and business administration. He worked at Cognos for a number of years and then co-founded a Cognos consultancy. Martin has been on the board of the Cognos User Group DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) for many years. Martin has been recognized by IBM as an “IBM Champion” several years in a row.

Pierre-Nicolas Perrin

Pierre-Nicolas Perrin is 21 years old and works at Capital One in Cambridge, MA, in a data team. He graduated with his BS in Computer Science, BS in Mathematics, and Master’s in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill in a combined 4 years. During his degrees, Pierre-Nicolas specialized in AI/ML. His graduate school research focused mainly on 3D computer vision, and he took many high level courses ranging from NLP to CV to other fields of AI. Pierre-Nicolas participated in the very first AI on Pi Day, presenting about the impact of data quality in NLP.

Salomé Valero

Salomé Valero is a highly driven technical leader who has delivered award-winning innovative Data and AI solutions that have created new business value for customers. She is also a skilled entrepreneur who is passionate about developing human-centered innovations in collaboration with the open-source community, industry partners, and public institutions.

Stuart Litel

Stuart Litel has almost 40 years of database experience, including one of the original beta testers of Informix. During that time, he founded the New England Informix Users Group, one of the world’s largest regional Informix user groups. Later, Stuart joined the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) board and served as the president of the IIUG for over 15 years. Stuart has been one of the first IBM Gold Consultant, IBM Person of the Year, first IBM Champion, and first Lifetime IBM Champion. Before joining IBM, Stuart was the CTO of the largest IBM Informix partner globally during the Informix IBM ownership of the product. Today he lives in Boston, MA, but when the conditions allow, his home is a Delta lounge as he travels the world advocating for IBM data products and user communities. Stuart is the President of AIDA User Group.

For more information about and the event contact us.

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