Staff Bios

Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Executive Director for Strategic Consulting

Sonia has 25 years of proven experience helping organizations create high performing organizational cultures and facilitating sustainable improvement by engaging and mobilizing people. She leads Georgia Tech’s internal consulting team in advancing the Institute through strategy development and execution, business process improvements, change management, project and portfolio management, and organizational effectiveness.

Sonia joined Georgia Tech in April of 2014 after six years as a director in PwC’s management consulting practice where she served academic, healthcare and global corporate clients. Her experience includes enterprise technology implementations, major business transformations, mergers and integrations, and strategy execution. Earlier in her career Sonia was the director of strategic development for the Georgia Department of Human Resources, director of distance communication and learning for the MN Department of Health, an HR business partner with Cummins Power Generation, director of diversity and inclusion for the Minnesota Department of Health, and a mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Sonia is a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems and has designed and led faculty development courses in numerous colleges and universities. She holds master’s degrees in Human Development and Organizational Systems and a bachelor of arts in human resource management. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). In her personal life, Sonia is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders and advocating for vulnerable populations.



Andrew Billing, Senior Consultant

Andrew partners with academic and administrative departments across the Institute, helping them improve operations, develop and implement strategic plans, and enhance organizational performance. He has over 10 years of experience working with academic institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Before joining Georgia Tech in December 2014, Andrew spent four years in Huron Consulting Group’s higher education practice. During his time at Huron, Andrew consulted on and managed projects primarily related to process improvement, organizational assessments and restructuring, technology implementations, and developing and implementing cost reduction strategies. Earlier in his career, Andrew spent several years as an adviser to a senior member of the U.S. Senate, working in both his Washington, DC and state offices. He oversaw a broad scope of responsibilities, including an extensive legislative portfolio, the senator’s federal grants program, and a regional operation that supported one of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory University and a Master of Public Administration degree in public management and organizational theory from The University of Georgia. He is a member of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA) and the American Society for Public Administration.



Juana Cunningham , Senior Consultant

Juana is a senior consultant for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting. She delivers services in organizational assessment and effectiveness, strategic planning, and business practice improvement. Her experience is in helping academic, research, and administrative unit leaders diagnose and address organizational challenges, improve organizational structures and processes, and develop and implement their strategic plans. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2002, Juana conducted business and service audits and analysis for the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority Office of the Inspector General. Juana has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Richmond and a Master of Public Administration degree in public and nonprofit management and policy from New York University. She is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.



Byron Fitch, Consultant II

Byron is an experienced leader with over ten years of proven success in delivering project management, strategy, and process improvement initiatives among top Fortune 500, government, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations.  He is currently working on projects such as Workforce of the Future and Academic/Classroom Scheduling Re-alignment  for the institute.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech in August 2016, Byron worked for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School where he managed the career services data, technology, and operations within the MBA Career Management Center.  In addition, he previously worked for several years in the management consulting arena for The Hackett Group and Gallup Consulting where he led projects related to strategic operations, organizational development, and employee engagement.

Byron holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Georgia State University.  Beyond his corporate experience, Byron has a passion for advocating career development initiatives among underserved youth and served in various leadership roles for organizations such as INROADS.



John Gilleland, Program and Portfolio Manager II

John is a Program and Portfolio Manager II for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting, and is responsible for Technology Governance on Enterprise level technology investment projects.  He brings over 30 years of IT experience to this role with a focus on Project/Program Management, Planning, Budgeting, Governance and Cost Control.

Prior to joining Georgia Tech in July 2016, John spent 10 years at The Home Depot in IT Project Management roles, 5 years as a consultant at a boutique telecommunications consulting firm, 4 years as a Sr Project Manager at IBM and 12 years at Delta Air Lines in various Telecommunications and Information Technologies positions.

John holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Technology degree from The Southern Technical Institute, a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Georgia State University and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.



Tanika J. Kyle, Program and Portfolio Manager II

As a Program and Portfolio Manager for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting, Tanika manages specific portfolios of priority projects such as Library Next by organizing, mobilizing, facilitating and developing program and project managers in specific units of the institute. She works with unit leadership and Program/ project managers to help them drive consistency and communication across the portfolio and to advance their goals, timelines, resource requirements, interdependencies, risks, and other key project variables.

Most recently she worked at Acuity Brands Lighting where she held a number of progressively responsible roles.  As Senior Manager of Project Services, she managed a multitude of domestic and international strategic initiatives, cross functional process improvements and was responsible for product development and portfolio management processes, training and metrics. 

She holds a Masters of Business Administration- Marketing degree from Regent University and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from Howard University. Tanika brings 10 years of strong project, program, and portfolio management experience and PMP, NPDP, and Six Sigma Black Belt certifications.  



Tiffany Marlin, Senior Project Support Specialist

Tiffany is the Senior Project Support Specialist for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting. She manages internal projects as well as team promotion and development activities, and she assists with GTSC’s consultants on campus-wide initiatives.

Before joining Georgia Tech in 2017, Tiffany worked in program management at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. In those positions, she had a range of responsibilities, including project management, business development, and data analysis.

Tiffany holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

 


Michelle J. Powell, Senior Consultant

Michelle is a senior consultant for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting with a primary focus on strategy development.  She collaborates with research unit leaders across the Institute helping them improve operations, develop and implement strategic plans, and enhance organizational performance.

She joined Georgia Tech in 2000.  Michelle holds a Master of Arts in Communications degree from Georgia State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in History from the Fitchburg State College.



Michelle Thackray, Consultant I

Michelle is a consultant for Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting with over five years of consulting experience in the private, government, and non-profit sectors. She is currently helping to drive positive change for Georgia Tech’s internal processes.

Before joining Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting, Michelle worked as a project lead for Florida Institute of Technology on a government contract involving the introduction and training of cutting edge technology in the electronic warfare domain for multi-team systems. Prior to that Michelle worked for General Dynamics as an analyst and testing lead where she developed training and assessments, and facilitated internal change management initiatives.

Michelle is currently in the process of completing her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Her research has focused on work and employee motivation, environmental sustainability, employee burnout, and applicant response behaviors. She earned her Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.



Kara Tillman, Senior Consultant

Kara works collaboratively with campus partners on a variety of Institute-wide improvement initiatives. She has more than 20 years of experience helping project teams, project sponsors, and other change agents to develop and execute change management strategies and plans. She adds value by helping people impacted by change to make successful transitions by building support, addressing resistance and developing the required knowledge and ability to implement the change.

With a primary focus on enterprise change leadership, Kara is involved with many of the business process improvement, organizational effectiveness, strategic planning, and project management efforts supported by Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting. She joined Georgia Tech in 2004 with 12 years of consulting experience at Accenture where she worked on System Integration projects for several years before joining the Change Management practice. Kara holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is certified in Change Management through Prosci and as Project Management Professional (PMP).



Mike Vallecoccia, Program and Portfolio Manager

Mike serves as Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting’s Program and Portfolio Manager focusing on strategic portfolio management and enterprise project management. He also specializes in delivering business process improvement services to Strategic Consulting’s clients. Mike brings expertise in project management, data analytics, and process improvement methodologies that contribute to the success of Strategic Consulting’s internal and external activities. Mike is charged with managing Strategic Consulting’s portfolio of organizational improvement projects being executed across the institute including tracking and reporting to executive sponsors on project metrics and updates. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Mike worked as an Industrial Engineer at Shaw Industries where he facilitated cross functional teams across multiple levels of the organization to drive improvement and realize savings on key metrics within a diverse portfolio of processes. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP, Project Management Institute), and is Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt trained.