Advisory Council

Paul Herdmen
President and CEO, Rodel Foundation
Paul Herdman has been president and CEO of Rodel since 2004. He is a founding member of the Vision Coalition, one of the nation’s longest standing public-private partnerships. A former educator, he also serves on a range of local boards, including the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his current role, he served as a senior manager at New American Schools, consulted with Brookings Institution, RAND, the U.S. Department of Education, and The World Bank.
Stephanie Eldridge
Co-Founder and CEO, Code Differently
Stephanie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Code Differently. She leads the overall operations of the organization that is focused on increasing the diversity in the technology workplace. Prior to Code Differently, Stephanie was an engineer at JP Morgan Chase’s Delaware Tech Center. A proud graduate of Morgan State University, she now resides in Wilmington with her husband and family.
Patrick Callihan
Executive Director, Tech Impact
Patrick Callihan is the executive director for Tech Impact, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower communities and nonprofits to use technology to better serve our world. Tech Impact’s offerings include technology-based education, services and support designed specifically for nonprofit organizations and workforce development programs named ITWorks, CXWorks and Punchcode. ITWorks serves opportunity youth and veterans (18-26-year-old youth without a college degree) with training and credentials to begin a career in information technology. Collectively, over Tech Impact has graduated nearly 1000 young adults with their workforce development programs. Tech Impact is focused on developing an inclusive tech talent pipeline in the markets they serve and have recently launched IT apprenticeships to support alternative pathways to careers in technology. 
Jen McDermott
Executive Director, Technology for Social Good, Diversity & Inclusion, JP Morgan Chase & Co
Jennifer is currently responsible for reskilling, higher education engagement, onboarding and acclimation for Global Technology and the Corporate Investment Bank’s Digital & Platform Services, supporting 75,000+ global employees. As part of her higher education engagement role, Jennifer also manages the unique public/private collaboration between the University of Delaware and JPMorgan Chase and oversees the JPMorgan Chase Innovation Center on the University of Delaware campus. Jennifer is a member of the Delaware Market Leadership Team, the Delaware Technology Leadership Team and is responsible for JPMorgan Chase Global Technology external relations in the Delaware community. Jennifer is actively engaged in STEM initiatives both in the local Delaware community and nationally. She is the chair of the Delaware IT Industry Council. She was appointed by former Governor Markell to the Delaware STEM Council and was also part of the White House TechHireSteering Committee for the State of Delaware. She has spoken externally at conferences on STEM topics. During her 20 year tenure at JPMorgan Chase, Jennifer has held multiple roles in the technology organization managing software engineering teams, process reengineering initiatives and overseeing technology program management activities. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Jennifer worked at Accenture as a Telecommunications and High-Tech consultant in Washington D.C. and as a Project Director at an internet startup. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Virginia Tech. She resides in Delaware with her husband and three children.
Brian Conneen
Chief Information and Technology Officer, Best Egg
Brian has had a journeyman’s career in Software Development and Information Technology spanning multiple decades, two centuries and at least one millennia. He brings a critical and enthusiastic approach to problem solving issues at code, system and organizational levels. He has worked in varied roles within IT; customer facing troubleshooter, critical systems architect and dynamic team leader. His most recent journey includes successfully launching then shepherding Best Egg from business plan to 750k customers and over 13 billion dollars originated as CIO/CTO.
Zakiyyah J. Ali, MLD, SHRM-SCP
Executive Director, Delaware IT Industry Council
With over 20 years of experience as a workforce development and human resources leader in the corporate, higher education, non-profit, and government sectors, Zakiyyah utilizes a systems-thinking approach to develop mutually beneficial, scalable solutions that provide businesses with a pipeline of qualified talent and create avenues for underserved and underrepresented populations to achieve economic independence through sustainable employment. Zakiyyah graduated with honors from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and minor in Psychology and earned a Master of Leadership Development from Pennsylvania State University-Great Valley. She also holds a Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a Professional Human Resource Management credential from Villanova University, and is a graduate of the Women’s Leadership Series through Temple University’s Fox School of Business Center for Executive Education. Zakiyyah recently relocated to Bear, DE and in her spare time she enjoys reading mystery suspense novels and watching Jeopardy.
Jeff Berger
Chief Information Officer
Jeff Berger is the Chief Information Officer with Customers Bank. In this role, Jeff leads the Information Technology team providing direction, guidance, and strategic vision to enhance the success of Customers Bank. Jeff and his team are responsible for collaborating across the organization to analyze present and future system requirements, help shape major change initiatives within the organization and bring value through product innovation. Jeff supports business growth through better use of technology and new product development in partnership with all stakeholders in the organization. Jeff is an accomplished executive, with a proven track record of building innovative solutions to achieve business goals and maximize growth. He is a collaborative leader, known for delivering exceptional quality by building and managing high-performing, cross-functional teams. Jeff holds a BA in Business and Accounting from Rutgers University. Before joining Customers Bank in 2021, Jeff worked for over 30 years for a diverse range of organizations, including large and midsized private and public companies in the logistics and media industries and has 16 years of senior leadership experience in the Technology field.