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Leadership

Brimming with Passion and Talent

"I oversee the amazing lineup of talent at Big Nerd Ranch."

Stacy Henry

CEO

As Big Nerd Ranch's CEO, Stacy oversees the creation of world-class digital products that support large-scale businesses around the world, including Google and Amazon.

Before becoming CEO, Stacy was BNR’s COO/CFO, handling the company’s operations and finance. Stacy’s passion for employee development and continuous growth ensures that BNR’s culture of learning and collaboration is always at the forefront. Thanks to her dedication, she has ensured the growth of more than a 100 talents while creating an environment of continuous learning to deepen their expertise. They, in turn, now contribute to the development of other talents through trainings and best-selling books. She often speaks about BNR’s unique workplace culture at conferences and loves to be surrounded by people who are also passionate about their work.

Prior to Big Nerd Ranch, she worked in various capacities as a public accounting expert for public and private companies, including Author Anderson. Fittingly, she is also a former high school teacher (she taught in Florida for three years).

Outside of Big Nerd Ranch, Stacy sits on the Board of Advisors, Metro Atlanta CoC and is an active member of the CFO Leadership Council (where she speaks at conferences). As a kid, Stacy dreamed of being a vet, but discovered she doesn’t like getting dirty or the way animals smell. It was a great thing for BNR. When she isn’t working, Stacy enjoys coaching, playing and umpiring girls lacrosse.

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" I came to BNR because I learned how to develop iOS apps from a BNR book back in the early days of iOS development."

Chris Stewart

Vice President of Engineering

Chris has been a key part of BNR's Android team since 2011 and became team director in 2013. He is dedicated to constant improvement and works to perfect his craft as much as possible.

And Chris boasts some mean engineering skills. Chris’s love for teaching is sparked by knowing that when you teach someone new skills, you’re changing their lives for the better. And he’s putting that to good use; In his tenure at Big Nerd Ranch, he has taught more than 30 classes. Before his reign at the Ranch, Chris wrote code in the corporate world after completing his master’s degree at Georgia Tech, and impressed people by winning BNR’s very first Clash of the Coders competition. In addition to his nerdy interests, Chris spends his free time hiking, sailing, riding his motorcycle, traveling and working around his house.

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"I am honored to guide a training program with a team of experts who also build brilliant digital products together every day."

Eric Wilson

Director of Training

Eric joined Big Nerd Ranch in the spring of 2019 to lead the training initiatives.

Most recently, Eric was a manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Organization Transformation practice, where he led training and change management programs supporting major technology transformations for public and private sector clients. He also contributed to thought leadership on the Future of Work. Eric has a passion for preparing people for what’s ahead by equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. He is excited to lead the charge of leveraging Big Nerd Ranch’s strong reputation to build the best training program available to engineers and designers.
Eric loves spending time with his family: wife, two growing daughters, and one pup. He enjoys playing the guitar, hiking in the outdoors and playing Ultimate Frisbee.
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"I did a Google search for 'best tech companies in Atlanta' and stumbled onto the quirkily-named Big Nerd Ranch."

Daniel Ra

Director of Project Strategy

In 2015, Daniel Ra brought his wealth of experience fostering creative and proven tech solutions to Big Nerd Ranch, working first as a product strategist.

But his mission to “make technology accessible to people from all walks of life” catapulted him to direct BNR’s product strategy. Now he leads a team of strategists who build brilliant digital products for BNR clients, large and small. Before joining the BNR team, Daniel worked in information technology for Emory University as tech support and technical product manager. During his time there, he solved users’ problems and managed the development of software to help improve people’s everyday lives. He also implemented a Tech Talk series to help faculty learn how to use new systems and other technology in their teaching.

Looking to join a smaller, faster company led Daniel to his Google search that ended up bringing him to BNR. Beyond his role as Director of Product Strategy, Daniel has been a guest speaker addressing Agile Software Development and Product Management Practices. He’s also led breakout sessions at conferences.

Daniel’s talents extend beyond his day job. He’s a musician who prefers the electric guitar but can also play traditional Korean percussion instruments. And he’s a connoisseur of beer, whisk(e)y and coffee, enjoy a good hike and just spending time at home with his wife and their Shih Tzu Louie.

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"I helped build the company that I wanted to work for."

Emily Herman

COO

After co-founding Big Nerd Ranch in 2001 with Aaron Hillegass, Emily has served in various leadership roles from President to Chief Operating Officer to Head of Products.

As co-founder, her hard work resulted in BNR’s early success with 50% year-over-year revenue and profit growth. From 2001 to 2015 her various roles at BNR included leading a team of operation specialists to support BNR’s service offerings and steadily steering a reorganization of the company after a merger increased BNR’s employees from 75 to 125, among many others.

With such success and her love of startup, Emily left BNR in 2015 for an opportunity to lead Roadie, Inc. a multi-disciplinary product team creating the software and predictive models to manage delivery logistics for a two-sided, crowd-sourced marketplace.

Fortunately for BNR, in early 2018, she re-joined BNR as the COO, leading the teams that deliver brilliant digital products and training to BNR clients. Emily is perpetually in search of the perfect question – the one that will unlock a transformative experience, product, or conversation – so she asks a lot of them.

Emily has served on many startup and logistics industry discussion panels and mentors several young women in technology careers. Her experience with technology consulting and training clients runs from Apple to AT&T to bootstrapped startups.

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"I market products and services that genuinely enrich the lives of its consumer."

Nikki Porter

Director of Marketing

Nikki joined the Big Nerd Ranch squad in 2017 bringing more than 20 years of marketing experience in the high technology, healthcare, insurance, telecom and retail industries.

Some of her expertise includes brand strategy, customer advocacy and marketing return on investment. She leverages a Green Belt in Six Sigma certification (through Emory University), to enhance her project management skills, process improvement, and statistical analysis. With her passion for the customer and enjoying witnessing and highlighting their success, BNR is the second company where Nikki has built an employee and customer advocacy program from scratch. She is passionate about leveraging BNR’s clients to build valuable digital products that can help them thrive. At BNR she also helps provide DemandGen, project management, contract negotiations, public relations, vendor management, account based management and more.

Prior to joining Big Nerd Ranch, Nikki led the VoC and customer advocacy program for SAI Global, a technology and training company that primarily served highly-regulated organizations. Nikki has also served on the Board of Directors for Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). She is also an active member of the American Marketing Association, Data Marketing Association and the National Black MBA Association. She serves on the boards of Mission 4 Movement and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Outside of BNR, Nikki is also the owner of a nonprofit organization that partners with professional athletes and artists to host charity events. Their work helps provide resources (food, clothes, job resources) to Georgia’s a portion of Atlanta’s homeless population twice per month to help get them back on their feet.

When she isn’t working, serving on board meetings or supporting her nonprofit organization, Nikki loves being a mom — especially a dance mom.

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"I focus on designing the best human-technology experiences using agile and lean design practices."

Angie Terrell

Director of Design & Instruction

Angie joined BNR in 2014 as a senior UX/UI designer. Just a little over a year later she became director of design and instruction.

Interestingly, Angie has a BA in cultural anthropology, which is great prep for a career in user experience—no, really. As she points out, the practice of understanding the cultural and technical norms of groups, along with empathizing with their needs, is ideal for user-centered design. At BNR, Angie enjoys leading a team of user experience and interface designers. Together they design brilliant mobile and web products that go from “visionary” to “market advantage.” She is also a gifted BNR teacher, instructing others to design for mobile and emerging technology.
All told, Angie has over 15 years of experience designing a wide array of user experiences with companies like Coca Cola, Chick-fil-A, Nationwide, Dragon Army and more. Throughout her career, she has been “devoted to design solutions that meet the unique needs of the user while never neglecting core design principles.”
Passionate about sharing her knowledge, Angie has had many speaking engagements at conferences like QCon SF, SXSW, ConnectJS, IxDA, Amex, and Ladies that UX. Some of her topics have been “Animating the UI,” “Design Guidelines for Conversational Interfaces” and “The Maker Movement.”

Angie always wanted to become a French philosopher when she grew up and has an ongoing love of Paris. When she’s not daydreaming about her next visit to the city of lights, she might be running, biking, or indulging her love of ‘80s John Hughes movies.

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"I help guide Big Nerd Ranch's strategy and hold the leadership accountable for execution on that strategy."

Aaron Hillegass

Founder

Aaron Hillegass founded Big Nerd Ranch after spending several years as a trainer and programmer at NeXT and Apple, helping the teams understand and adopt new operating systems.

He has also previously worked as a lecturer of Mathematics at the University of Washington. He has received global recognition for his work, most notably as the world’s greatest WebObjects programmer in 1996. A seasoned trainer, he makes teams tick by creating strategies that give room for ample growth while being experts that develop world-class solutions for some of the world’s largest corporations.
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Brilliance!

Charles Brian Quinn

Principal

Charles is a co-owner and board member of Big Nerd Ranch. Prior to this, he has contributed to the growth of different tech companies in likewise different capacities, including Highgroove Studios, Scout, Greenzie, CloudTags and Kelp Engine.

He is a member of several organizations such as the Georgia Tech Computing Alumni Organization, the Young Presidents’ Organization. Charles also serves as a mentor in the Georgia Tech Mentor Jackets Program.
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