Leading innovation

Conversant Group is an IT infrastructure and security consulting company based in Chattanooga, TN. Conversant Group has provided technical, organizational, procedural, and process consulting internationally since the company was formed in 2009.

Unlike many in IT, Conversant Group has a unique perspective: technology is a tool, nothing more. Technology should support the business, and the business should support the people.

 

 

Our approach:

Plan with perspective.

Act with precision.

Serve with passion.

our
leadership
team

John Anthony
Smith

Chief Listening Officer & President

Chief Listening Officer, John Anthony Smith, founded Conversant Group in July of 2009 as an outgrowth of his passion to cultivate people-focused business.

Engaged on numerous projects and consultations with companies both large and small throughout his 24-year career, John Anthony understands the unique challenges of conducting business on a human-centric level — its strategy, quality, and process.  He especially understands the practice of law, as he has served law firms’ technological and business needs since 1998.

John Anthony started his IT career in 1994, at the age of 14, at Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation of Lavergne, TN. While working with Thompson Machinery, John Anthony was involved with the initial rollout of multiple industry-leading technologies including: Citrix Winframe, IBM NetStation, Window NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows NT Terminal Services Edition, remote access via Shiva, ISDN Internet, and WebSense.

During his time at Thompson Machinery, John Anthony founded his first company, Computech, in 1996. In 2002, he founded his second company, NetAlliant Technologies, which he sold in 2008.

In 2009, he founded Conversant Group, a technology conglomerate based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, serving clients across North America.

John Anthony studied Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and holds a degree in Organizational Management from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

Brandon
Williams

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Brandon is centrally responsible for ensuring the delivery of all consulting and managed services on-time, in-budget, and to the satisfaction of the customer.

Brandon started his professional career in 2003, after receiving a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. Upon graduation, Brandon accepted a network administration post at a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer in the Nashville area.

Shortly after meeting John Anthony Smith in 2006, Brandon signed on with NetAlliant Technologies, LLC, as a Network Engineer with a focus on network infrastructure design and implementation. In this role, Brandon performed an array of storage, networking, remote access, Exchange, and data center projects. 
After starting with NetAlliant, Brandon began delivering industry-leading consultation to companies large and small using Terminal Services, Citrix XenServer, Citrix Provisioning Services, Citrix XenApp (Metaframe/Presentation Server), and other core infrastructure products.

In 2012, Brandon joined Willis, a Nashville-based company, as a Citrix Administrator for the IT Infrastructure Platforms team. In this role, Brandon supported IT infrastructures across the globe — one of which included a global Citrix XenApp farm for approximately 13,000 users virtualized with VMware on Cisco UCS blade servers.

His Citrix support role led to Brandon and John crossing paths once again in early 2015 at a Citrix conference in Orlando, FL. Later that year, Brandon joined Conversant Group. He has led technical services for us ever since.

John
Hale

Chief Financial Officer

John is a financial executive with many years of experience working with startup and development stage companies to support growth by building a scalable accounting and reporting infrastructure. John was recently the Corporate Controller for TractManager, which is a Private Equity owned organization consisting of six operating companies, where he managed a finance team of 10 people. He was also the Finance Director for a biochemical manufacturing company where he helped raise $75 million in a Series C equity funding that enabled the construction of a state-of-the-art research laboratory.

John received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama and obtained his CPA license soon after graduation. He worked as a business analyst in MetLife’s Investment division for several years and then went to work for SunTrust Bank where he managed the Privately Held Investment department in the Trust & Estate division. John transferred into the SunTrust Internal Audit department as an Audit Manager where he led a team to roll out the initial implementation of Sarbanes Oxley.

Michael
Ball

Director of Managed Services

Michael Ball is the Director of Managed Services for Conversant Group and leads our talented managed services engineers. He is responsible for ensuring the success of the team’s mission – “To manage infrastructure for our clients to facilitate a secure, dependable user experience.” Michael has an associate degree in Computer Science. Through his 20+ years in the industry, Michael has served in many technology roles including an internship at ABB Environmental Systems, help desk support with Associate Housing Finance, system administrator and IT Director before coming to Conversant Group.

The key to a strong partnership with our clients begins with communication, and Michael is committed to doing the very best for his team and our clients. The goal – align with our clients’ initiatives.

Michael lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and daughter and yes, is a suffering Tennessee Volunteer fan.

Chelsea Brown

Director of Business Success

Chelsea joined the Conversant Group team in August 2019 as the Partner Relationship Manager where she manages our 150+ partnerships. Some of these partnerships include Citrix, Cisco, HPE, Fortinet, and VMware to name a few. Her role is focused on cultivating and maximizing all partnerships from which we purchase products with a spotlight on partner compliance, training, and program changes. Her position has since developed into a hybrid role where she manages our Partner Relationships and leads a Business Development team.

Prior to joining the Conversant Group team, she achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In her time at UTC, she was a D1 athlete on the Track and Field team. Following college, she was an IT recruiter for 3.5 years where she developed knowledge and credibility in the IT industry. IT recruiting subsequently led her to Conversant Group.

David
Graves

Director of Project Management

David has over 20 years of experience in the technology arena with extensive professional services delivery experience. In addition, David has senior and executive level experience managing complex, multi-use technology divisions. He began his career with the US Army in communications, where he built on technical skills in infrastructure. His responsibilities expanded to include project delivery of IT services, often this included application delivery. David’s experience grew to include executive-level leadership focusing on IT service delivery as a project-centered delivery model. This delivery model was demonstrated in organizations such as being CIO for a State Supreme Court System. This included developing a service delivery organization built on project delivery of new services.

In his role as Director of Project Management at Conversant Group, David builds on the services-centered strategy that is clearly defined while overseeing project delivery performance. He maintains project service delivery team morale by ensuring an environment exists that supports the teamwork mindset. His clear and consistent communication, along with his client service skills, enhance Conversant Group’s servant leadership mindset and process-driven project management philosophy.

David graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BBA with an MIS focus. He is also PMP certified since 2009 and ITILv3 certified since 2010. He has held numerous manufacturer and industry certifications throughout his career.

Michael
Williams

Director of Marketing &
Business Development

Michael joined our team in May of 2016, after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree of Communication from Shorter University with a focus in Marketing, Public Relations, and Advertising. Through his studies, Michael assists with the study of the sociodynamics between the end user and the ever changing world of technology.

Bringing dynamic energy and out-of-the-box approaches to marketing and public relations, Michael is an integral part of Conversant Group’s client relations and business development.

Before joining Conversant Group, Michael played lacrosse for Shorter University. He continues to display his passion for leadership and competition as coaching a travel lacrosse team on the weekends.

Jill Dietz

Process Improvement and Education Manager

Jill Dietz is the Process Improvement and Education Manager of Conversant Group responsible for developing workflow efficiencies and enhancing business continuity. With almost 30 years’ experience, she has intimate knowledge of the legal industry, and understands the challenges facing law firms.

Jill’s passion to help people grow and achieve their goals is a testament to her strong leadership, coaching and interpersonal skills. Some of her more memorable projects capitalized on her talent to analyze data, develop and implement strategic goals. Her longtime alliance with the International Legal Technology Association, its members and business partners, is one of her most cherished relationships.

John Anthony Smith

Chief Listening Officer & President

Chief Listening Officer, John Anthony Smith, founded Conversant Group in July of 2009 as an outgrowth of his passion to cultivate people-focused business.
Engaged on numerous projects and consultations with companies both large and small throughout his 24-year career, John Anthony understands the unique challenges of conducting business on a human-centric level — its strategy, quality, and process.  He especially understands the practice of law, as he has served law firms’ technological and business needs since 1998.

John Anthony started his IT career in 1994, at the age of 14, at Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation of Lavergne, TN. While working with Thompson Machinery, John Anthony was involved with the initial rollout of multiple industry-leading technologies including: Citrix Winframe, IBM NetStation, Window NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows NT Terminal Services Edition, remote access via Shiva, ISDN Internet, and WebSense.

During his time at Thompson Machinery, John Anthony founded his first company, Computech, in 1996. In 2002, he founded his second company, NetAlliant Technologies, which he sold in 2008.

In 2009, he founded Conversant Group, a technology conglomerate based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, serving clients across North America.

John Anthony studied Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and holds a degree in Organizational Management from Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia.

Brandon Williams

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Brandon is centrally responsible for ensuring the delivery of all consulting and managed services on-time, in-budget, and to the satisfaction of the customer.

Brandon started his professional career in 2003, after receiving a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. Upon graduation, Brandon accepted a network administration post at a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer in the Nashville area.

Shortly after meeting John Anthony Smith in 2006, Brandon signed on with NetAlliant Technologies, LLC, as a Network Engineer with a focus on network infrastructure design and implementation. In this role, Brandon performed an array of storage, networking, remote access, Exchange, and data center projects. 
After starting with NetAlliant, Brandon began delivering industry-leading consultation to companies large and small using Terminal Services, Citrix XenServer, Citrix Provisioning Services, Citrix XenApp (Metaframe/Presentation Server), and other core infrastructure products.

In 2012, Brandon joined Willis, a Nashville-based company, as a Citrix Administrator for the IT Infrastructure Platforms team. In this role, Brandon supported IT infrastructures across the globe — one of which included a global Citrix XenApp farm for approximately 13,000 users virtualized with VMware on Cisco UCS blade servers.

His Citrix support role led to Brandon and John crossing paths once again in early 2015 at a Citrix conference in Orlando, FL. Later that year, Brandon joined Conversant Group. He has led technical services for us ever since.

John Hale

Chief Financial Officer

John is a financial executive with many years of experience working with startup and development stage companies to support growth by building a scalable accounting and reporting infrastructure. John was recently the Corporate Controller for TractManager, which is a Private Equity owned organization consisting of six operating companies, where he managed a finance team of 10 people. He was also the Finance Director for a biochemical manufacturing company where he helped raise $75 million in a Series C equity funding that enabled the construction of a state-of-the-art research laboratory.

John received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama and obtained his CPA license soon after graduation. He worked as a business analyst in MetLife’s Investment division for several years and then went to work for SunTrust Bank where he managed the Privately Held Investment department in the Trust & Estate division. John transferred into the SunTrust Internal Audit department as an Audit Manager where he led a team to roll out the initial implementation of Sarbanes Oxley.

Michael Ball

Director of Managed Services

Michael Ball is the Director of Managed Services for Conversant Group and leads our talented managed services engineers. He is responsible for ensuring the success of the team’s mission – “To manage infrastructure for our clients to facilitate a secure, dependable user experience.” Michael has an associate degree in Computer Science. Through his 20+ years in the industry, Michael has served in many technology roles including an internship at ABB Environmental Systems, help desk support with Associate Housing Finance, system administrator and IT Director before coming to Conversant Group.

The key to a strong partnership with our clients begins with communication, and Michael is committed to doing the very best for his team and our clients. The goal – align with our clients’ initiatives.

Michael lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and daughter and yes, is a suffering Tennessee Volunteer fan.

Chelsea Brown

Director of Business Success

Chelsea joined the Conversant Group team in August 2019 as the Partner Relationship Manager where she manages our 150+ partnerships. Some of these partnerships include Citrix, Cisco, HPE, Fortinet, and VMware to name a few. Her role is focused on cultivating and maximizing all partnerships from which we purchase products with a spotlight on partner compliance, training, and program changes. Her position has since developed into a hybrid role where she manages our Partner Relationships and leads a Business Development team.

Prior to joining the Conversant Group team, she achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In her time at UTC, she was a D1 athlete on the Track and Field team. Following college, she was an IT recruiter for 3.5 years where she developed knowledge and credibility in the IT industry. IT recruiting subsequently led her to Conversant Group.

David Graves

Director of Project Management

David has over 20 years of experience in the technology arena with extensive professional services delivery experience. In addition, David has senior and executive level experience managing complex, multi-use technology divisions. He began his career with the US Army in communications, where he built on technical skills in infrastructure. His responsibilities expanded to include project delivery of IT services, often this included application delivery. David’s experience grew to include executive-level leadership focusing on IT service delivery as a project-centered delivery model. This delivery model was demonstrated in organizations such as being CIO for a State Supreme Court System. This included developing a service delivery organization built on project delivery of new services.

In his role as Senior Project Manager at Conversant Group, David builds on the services-centered strategy that is clearly defined while overseeing project delivery performance. He maintains project service delivery team morale by ensuring an environment exists that supports the teamwork mindset. His clear and consistent communication, along with his client service skills, enhance Conversant Group’s servant leadership mindset and process-driven project management philosophy.

David graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BBA with an MIS focus. He is also PMP certified since 2009 and ITILv3 certified since 2010. He has held numerous manufacturer and industry certifications throughout his career.

Michael Williams

Director of Marketing &
Business Development

Michael joined our team in May of 2016, after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree of Communication from Shorter University with a focus in Marketing, Public Relations, and Advertising. Through his studies, Michael assists with the study of the sociodynamics between the end user and the ever changing world of technology.

Bringing dynamic energy and out-of-the-box approaches to marketing and public relations, Michael is an integral part of Conversant Group’s client relations and business development.

Before joining Conversant Group, Michael played lacrosse for Shorter University. He continues to display his passion for leadership and competition as coaching a travel lacrosse team on the weekends.

Jill Dietz

Process Improvement and Education Manager

Jill Dietz is the Process Improvement and Education Manager of Conversant Group responsible for developing workflow efficiencies and enhancing business continuity. With almost 30 years’ experience, she has intimate knowledge of the legal industry, and understands the challenges facing law firms.

Jill’s passion to help people grow and achieve their goals is a testament to her strong leadership, coaching and interpersonal skills. Some of her more memorable projects capitalized on her talent to analyze data, develop and implement strategic goals. Her longtime alliance with the International Legal Technology Association, its members and business partners, is one of her most cherished relationships.

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a purposeful

relationship

together

 

 

 

 

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