Countdown to the 2016 Apogee Awards: CIO honorees

The awaited celebration is almost here!

On Oct. 27, at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, SFBW magazine will recognize distinguished leaders who hold positions in the C-Suite of companies.

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Here are the biographies of the Chief Information Officer honorees:

CIO honoree for Miami-Dade: Melvin Kirk, Ryder System, Inc.

Melvin Kirk

Melvin Kirk

Kirk is CIO of a Fortune 500 commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation and supply chain solutions company. He is responsible for all aspects of Ryder’s IT organization, including technology vision and strategy, operations and project management, infrastructure and software development, resource optimization and systems development lifecycle.

He also is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Kirk joined Ryder in March 2012 as vice president of quality and was elevated in 2013 into the role of vice president of maintenance, engineering and quality operations. He has extensive experience in multiple industrial segments.

Kirk, a native of Augusta, Georgia, received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee, and an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University. He has two daughters and lives in Miami.

CIO honoree for Miami-Dade: Charles Grau, United Data Technologies

Charles Grau

Charles Grau

Grau is CIO and vice president of operations for the information technology company used by businesses throughout the Southeast. He has more than 20 years’ experience in IT management, working with top-tier companies specializing in aerospace, defense airframe, engine new part distribution, surplus material and multiple component repair businesses, as well as commercial construction.

At UDT, he is responsible for all aspects of strategic IT planning, implementation and support of the annual operations business plan. His duties include management of all technology initiatives and continuous improvement through the organization.

Previously, he was vice president of IT at AeroTurbine, a Miami-based global company providing used aircraft and engine products, acquisition, maintenance, management and warehousing.

He is a graduate of American InterContinental University, where he received his bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) and master’s degree in information technology. He holds an MBA from DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. He is a contributing member to World Vision, 4Kids and the Florida Keys campus of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.

CIO honoree for Broward: Bob Young, Seminole Gaming – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Bob Young

Bob Young

Young has served as senior vice president and CIO since 2012. The company has $2.3 billion in revenues produced from seven casinos within the state of Florida and employs 11,000 people.

Previously, he was vice president and chief technology officer at Southwest Airlines, senior director of information technology at Motorola, and leader for marketing and product development at United Health Group.

He also held a senior technology position at Harrah’s Entertainment, which was named one of the top 10 information technology organizations to work for by Computerworld magazine. Young, a Minneapolis native, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served as a naval aviator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science and math from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in information systems from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

CIO honoree for Palm Beach: Donald Hankus, MDVIP

Donald Hankus

Donald Hankus

As CIO, Hankus draws upon his experience as a health care technology executive with more than 20 years’ success in building and leading top IT teams, delivering customer-focused solutions and directing large-scale change initiatives.

His experience began as an entrepreneurial founder and president of MicroStar Computers. Most recently, Hankus was CIO for Clarient, a former subsidiary of GE Healthcare specializing in cancer and molecular diagnostics and research, where he supported more than 1,100 pathologists across the United States. Before that, he was executive vice president and CIO for Insight Health Corp.

Hankus received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Southern Illinois University, where he also completed courses toward a master’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering and computer science.

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