Meet the ILW Leadership Team
Gary Telles is the Executive Director of the Commercial Division at Illumination Works. Gary has been a partner with Illumination Works since 2010 and brings more than 25 years of raw programming and data experience. For 17 of those years, Gary led and mentored projects featuring data management, big data, BI/DW, data quality, and analytics.
Gary’s mantra is to implement IT solutions better than anyone else. While some of the distinctively remarkable work Gary has done in the IT industry are like tales of legend, he is highly esteemed as an IT consultant for his communication skills and innate ability to articulate tech-speak into ordinary, intelligible language. Gary’s extensive experience includes a few notable highlights including drastically reducing a nightly process for a Fortune 100 company from an unacceptable 70 hours to a matter of minutes. It has also been chronicled that Gary once tuned the largest computer IBM sold at the time, postponing an expensive hardware purchase for a major insurance company by two years.
Gary casually participates in sports and enjoys jogging and biking. He and his wife Diana have four children: Alex, Kate, Matt and Michael. When he isn’t running to various games with his kids on the weekends, Gary enjoys firing up his smoker for meals to do a little catering for friends and family.
Hugh Bolton is Illumination Works’ Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In this role, Hugh guides ILW’s strategic goals and helps identify growth opportunities for the company. As CSO, he evaluates market forecasts and long-term trends, gathers competitive intelligence, assesses cross-functional business processes, and pushes business model innovation. Hugh also drives potential ILW merger and acquisition (M&A) activities focused on long-term strategic growth.
Hugh is a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate with nearly 40 years of business experience in commercial and public sector organizations including military, federal government, state government, non-profit, publicly traded, and private for-profit companies, for which he has held leadership roles in each. His most current government resume includes working highly classified programs as Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office.
Highlighting his industry career, Hugh served in executive roles with both small business and large, publicly-traded companies including full P&L responsibilities and serving as management lead on public offerings and over $3.5B in merger activity. During his Air Force career, Hugh served in various roles on highly-sensitive intelligence, operational, and acquisition programs. Immediately prior to joining Illumination Works, Hugh served as Director of Commercialization and Senior Cyber and Intelligence Fellow at the Wright State Research Institute.
Hugh enjoys the outdoors. Growing up on a lake in New Jersey, sailing became his first love. In addition to sailing, Hugh enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping, flying, shooting, and scuba diving. When he is not outdoors, Hugh reads veraciously, consuming anything from mathematical papers to fiction novels. Hugh resides with his wife, Bonnie, in the Dayton, Ohio region.
Jan Turkelson is the Government Vice President at Illumination Works. Jan is a leader in information management and digital transformation solutions. She is dedicated to high quality results, innovation, and tackling some of her clients most challenging strategic and technical visions. She is a disciplined leader with a proven track record in both large and small business. Jan has deep expertise across technology solutions where she has focused on program management, enterprise data management, data science, big data, data warehousing, visualization, system implementation, AR/VR, IoT and business transformation.
Jan has over 17 years of experience in Department of Defense Information Management and has significant experience within the Air Force logistics domain. Jan holds degrees in Accounting and Information Systems Auditing and Controls. She is also a Program Management Professional, Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt, and Prior Certified Information System Auditor.
In her spare time, Jan can be found supporting her active family or working to make a difference in the world. She is a proud mom of two and loves rooting on her kids in all they do – academics, soccer, basketball, swimming, track and Girl Scouts. She also has a strong passion for medical and children’s charities. She is very active in TWIGs, one of the auxiliaries of Dayton Children’s Hospital that raises funds for pressing needs, such as mental health. Jan is also involved in fundraising for the Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation.
Janet Schreiber is the Comptroller/Finance Manager for Illumination Works. Janet has 14 years of experience in financial management and timekeeping as well as five years of experience in HR. Janet has a BA in Accounting from Wright State University and has been with Illumination Works for over four years as the Finance Manager.
In her spare time, Janet likes to quilt, referee soccer for the Buckeye and Dayton Area Soccer Association, and volunteer for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in her local area. Janet was recently married in 2019 and loves being a mom. She has four children ranging in ages from 17 to 29, and now three step-children, ages 19 and 29. She enjoys traveling and usually fits in a trip out to Colorado so the kids can see their grandfather, which always includes stopping at national parks along the way.
Jon Mitchell is the CEO, President, and Chief Technology Officer for Illumination Works. Illumination Works and its employees are Jon’s second family and this company is absolutely his heart and soul. He tries every day to instill the passion for getting things done, which has had a trickle-down effect within our company. As the CEO, Jon has successfully guided our company from a single-person consultancy in 2006 to what it is today – a thriving organization with three offices and over 95 employees supporting commercial and government clients. Jon is a leading authority in the big data, advanced analytics, and augmented reality revolution. As an alumnus of the University of Dayton, his research interests include natural language processing, industrial internet of things, cloud computing, and data security implementations.
“I don’t always have the best ideas, but I don’t have to,” Jon believes if he puts the right team of creative and brilliant minds together, who can work collaboratively, Illumination Works will solve our client’s toughest problems and continue to lead and innovate in the digital world. “I am proud of the company we have become, and I look forward to the next chapter.”
Jon enjoys being on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky spending his vacation time boating with his wife, Morgan, and their four children, Jonathon, Maddison, Joshua and Mallory. That is, assuming he has the time to vacation. In reality, he spends any extra time he has playing taxi and super-fan for cheerleading, dance, football, wrestling, and soccer… not to mention telling uber-nerd dad jokes and making sci-fi references that none of his family gets.
Pam Kerstetter is the Vice President for the Commercial Division of Illumination Works, joining the company in September of 2018. She is responsible for managing the commercial business that includes a team of sales, recruiting and delivery. She has had a successful career marketing and managing IT consultants in the Greater Columbus and Cincinnati areas as well as selling technology projects and solutions for over 25 years.
Prior to her sales career she spent several years in software development. In addition to her career in technology, Pam has also spent time volunteering for several organizations. She has been a member of the Technical Advisory Board for Columbus State Community College, has volunteered with the local YWCA, and has spent the past five years as a business mentor for MBA students at The Ohio State Fisher College of Business. Pam has a BA in English from The Ohio State University and resides in Upper Arlington with her husband and two children.
Rob Keefer, PhD, is the Director of Research and Innovation at Illumination Works. He has 20+ years of experience turning complex problems into opportunities for measurable progress, improved deliverables, and faster time to market.
In his data science role, Rob works to develop solutions that promote the user’s perspective through his emphasis on human-machine teaming applications of data, algorithms, and visualization. Rob dubs himself “an early-adopter of Agile methods” as he was one of the first whitecaps of consultants to implement the Agile methodology for developing software systems in 2003.
Rob has authored several articles, white papers, and presentations on data science, machine learning, software craftsmanship, user experience design, and Lean/Agile practices. Rob holds a Masters in Human Factors Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science and has guided or led the development of software systems with 30+ organizations including Raytheon, Major League Baseball (mlb.com), and FedEx Office.
In his free time, Rob enjoys spending time with his family, and leads an active lifestyle by setting aside time for running and cycling.
Steve Hannaford is the Director of Business Development for the Government Sector at Illumination Works. Equipped with over 39 years of public sector and business experience, Steve’s reputation in the government sector is everlasting. As an Air Force civilian, Steve implemented the largest successful information system in the Air Force. He accomplished this feat by taking successful aspects of different systems from the Navy and the defense finance accounting services while using middleware to tie it all together. This information system has nearly 50,000 users and is currently the same system used today. He also led a transformation effort in the Air Force to completely change logistics, product support, and life cycle management. Reporting, training, certifications, and almost every other aspect was transformed during this process. Steve has an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Wright State University. Steve has always been an innovative thinker who believes that a good culture is more long term and a more successful way of doing business.
Steve’s pride and joy is his large family that includes his wife, five daughters and their families, and an extra special fondness of his six grandchildren. He was the head coach of the Fairborn Skyhawk’s varsity women’s basketball and golf teams from 2007 through 2013. In his spare time Steve can be found on the golf course in some form or fashion.
Cathy Claude is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Illumination Works. With over 20 years of experience in tech writing and editing as well as creation of promotional materials and graphic design, Cathy works with executive leadership, sales, delivery, recruiting and operations to build Illumination Works’ brand both internally and externally. Cathy enjoys working with the various teams to market Illuminations Works through events, social media, website, marketing assets, and communications. She has a BA in Marketing with a minor in Art from Ohio University.
Cathy was a foster parent for two years and loves the fact that she is still spending time every week with her daughter that she helped successfully transition home. They have an amazing bond and love camping, hiking, roller skating, going to the park, playing games, and doing arts and crafts as well as going to Kings Island and having at-home dance parties with Alexa. Cathy also a fanatic about kayaking and enjoys stand up paddle boarding, gardening, yoga, and spending time with her family and three large dogs.
Janette Steets, Ph.D., is the Director of Data Science at Illumination Works. She has 20+ years of experience in research and data science, including extensive background in experimental design and statistical analysis. She brings skills in technical writing, having published over twenty articles in well-respected journals. For the past 2 years Janette has worked extensively applying data science techniques to DoD aircraft maintenance and logistics data to gain new insights and turn data into actionable information.
Outside of work, Janette loves spending time with her amazing husband, son, daughter, and dog. She is a proud mother who loves to support her children during their academic and extracurricular activities, including soccer, Irish dance, and Tae Kwon Do. As a family unit, they enjoy cycling, hiking, baking, and cooking together. Janette also has a passion for running, which affords her some quiet time to process ideas.