ATC Announces New CEO Ahead of its 30th Anniversary

AUSTIN, TX — The Austin Technology Council (ATC) has selected acclaimed speaker, author and consultant Thom Singer as its next Chief Executive Officer, ushering in a new era for the local business council as it reemerges in a post-covid era and prepares for its 30th anniversary. 

Established first as the Austin Software Council in 1992 by the Austin Technology Incubator and IC2 Institute, ATC currently represents more than 200 companies, providing a platform for communication and value-based programming to lead, support, and connect those working within the tech industry, which represents nearly a third of the local workforce.

Thom Singer Headshot

Thom Singer, CEO, Austin Technology Council

Austin is known as a leader in the world of technology, and we cannot take that for granted,” Singer said. “I want to see ATC continue to be a catalyst for future growth and am seeking engagement from leaders who want to embrace the best parts of our tech community. We need expanded dialogue and collaboration to continue to lead.”

Singer assumes the executive role as ATC finds its footing again post pandemic, resuming full event operations, including its upcoming 30th anniversary celebration, Battle for Austin Tech, and introducing first-ever Austin Tech Awards, a series dedicated to honoring those who are shaping the future through technology and innovation. Companies with a local presence are encouraged to apply by July 1.  

Singer will also lead the organization in planning its annual CEO Summit, a single-day conference designed to prepare c-suite executives for the year ahead. This year’s keynote will be Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO of Found and former Bumble executive, preceded by a day of panel presentations on relevant industry and business topics. 

“Thom has made a career of helping technology companies and associations throughout and will be an inspiring leader for our community as technology continues to drive the Austin economy,” said Scott Francis, CEO and Founder of BP3 Global and chair of the ATC board.  “Who better to connect, network, and community-build than someone who has made a career out of helping other people make transformative connections in their professional careers?” 

Singer comes to the non-profit after more than a decade of work as a speaker and trainer on topics such as business relationships, networking, and leadership. He’s delivered more than 1,000 presentations, written 12 books, and hosts several podcasts. His background includes sales, marketing, and business development for Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial ventures, as well as executive search consultancy.

“Continuing to expand the sense of community that has done so much to define Austin’s tech industry will be challenging but crucial as companies face a more distributed and decentralized workforce, and I expect ATC to play a key role in that transition,” said Lawrence Waugh, CEO of Calavista Software and ATC board member. “I’m excited to work with Thom on that, I think he’s the perfect person to advance the amazing work that Amber Gunst (former CEO) has done over the past 4 years.”


The Austin Technology Council is a unifying voice and collaborative platform for innovation and technology, supporting the growth goals of its member businesses by providing knowledge and access in the areas of capital, talent, business mentoring, and networking. For more information, visit austintechnologycouncil.org.

Meet the Sustaining Sponsor of Gateway 2022

My biggest takeaway from today’s live conversation with FIS Senior VP of Marketing, Cory Treffiletti, is that the company is truly a giant hiding behind the curtain of the global fintech industry. 

Referred to by Cory as an “ingredient brand,” FIS fuels more than 20,000 brands and platforms worldwide and plays a pivotal role in day-to-day money movement, financial software and payment processing around the world. 

From powering bank software to smoothing the transition of money in the capital markets to simplifying merchant processes for businesses and consumers, FIS has fueled transformation across the fintech industry through its acquisitions, partnerships, and innovation. It is essential to the global economy and everything that happens from a fintech perspective, Cory emphasizes. 

Which makes me so curious as to why I hadn’t heard of them before joining ATC as a marketing director back in October of 2021. Cory says he’s hoping his recent move to Austin coupled with the continued fast growth of FIS as it emerges from behind the curtain to be more out-in-front will soon change all that. 

Want to learn more about FIS, sustaining sponsor of Gateway 2022? Join Cory, ATC, and hundreds of other local and visiting techies at our SXSW kick-off party, next Thursday, March 10 from 6-10 p.m. at Fairmont Austin. 

Product Manager Mindset with Dustin Kirkland

Product managers are visionaries. They are uniquely able to marry engineering knowledge with customer useability in mind. Dustin Kirkland, Chief Product Officer at Apex Clearing, has been in the product space for more than 20 years. During that time, he has developed a deep knowledge of technical processes paired with a desire to help customers achieve the outcome they want.

Dustin joined Patrick and Shelli to discuss what it takes to develop a product manager mindset, why he wishes he would have stuck with controversial ideas early in his career, and the current landscape of product design in IT. Tune in for his story and wisdom.

  • (01:48) – What is Apex Clearing?
  • (02:52) – Fractional share offerings
  • (06:49) – Disruptive fintech tools
  • (10:51) – True to the vision
  • (13:40) – Sphere of influence
  • (19:04) – Project-to-product mentality
  • (21:33) – Getting involved in product management
  • (26:58) – Leaders are learners

Dustin Kirkland is the Chief Product Officer at Apex Clearing. As CPO, Dustin is responsible for defining the vision and evolving the strategy of Apex’s product portfolio. With 20 years of experience in the software and technology industry, Dustin has worked for some of the largest technology firms—Google and IBM, along with innovative startups—Gazzang, acquired by Cloudera, and Canonical, which is the company behind Ubuntu. His team of product managers interface with Apex customers and Apex engineers on a daily basis, ensuring quality, excellence, completeness, and timely delivery of the product release cycles.

If you’d like to receive new episodes as they’re published, please subscribe to Innovation and the Digital Enterprise in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Don’t Miss ATC News

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.