John P. Gillispie
Missouri Research and Education Network
About John P. Gillispie
John Gillispie leads the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), one of the nation’s first and largest research and education networks, serving nearly 800 Missouri organizations, including school districts, public libraries, higher-education institutions and government agencies. Founded in 1990, MOREnet, a separate business unit within the University of Missouri, provides its members with a statewide fiber optic network, Internet connectivity and access to essential technology services such as videoconferencing, technical support, network consulting, training, network security and access to online database resources.
Prior to joining MOREnet, Mr. Gillispie served as executive director of the Iowa Communications Network, serving thousands of Iowans with a fiber network and related technical services. Concurrently, Gillispie also held the positions of chief operating officer for the Information Technology Enterprise for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services and chief information officer for Iowa, overseeing daily operations of information technology and shared services throughout state government. He is a past president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), an organization of state chief information officers and information technology executives from state governments across the United States and U.S. territories.
Originally from Chicago, Mr. Gillispie graduated with degrees in Accountancy and Business Administration from Triton College in River Grove, Ill., in 1974, Business Data Processing from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., in 1975 and received his Masters of Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1996.
“As executive director, my priority is to ensure we maintain each member’s confidence and trust as we explore opportunities to increase our value to the entire consortium. I am committed to finding innovative ways to lower our connectivity costs and enable shared services across the network while keeping our member fees fair and equitable.”
Director of Member Services
MOREnet Member Services comprises the organization’s service delivery and support functions including Member Relations, Marketing, Conferences, Network Consulting, Network Security, Technical Support, Technical Training and Video services. Like all MOREnet staff, Member Services staff take pride in delivering high-quality, value-added services and providing outstanding customer service to the MOREnet membership.
Prior to this assignment, Natasha was Manager of Technical Support Services for MOREnet, with overall responsibility for Technical Support and Training services.
Before joining MOREnet in 2002, Natasha was Vice President of Education for OMD Corporation, a global provider of integrated management information system software for the office equipment industry, where her responsibilities included oversight for software system implementations, application training and user support services.
Natasha is a native of Columbia where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems.
Director of New Initiatives
Chip Byers provides long-range vision and strategy for MOREnet. As the Director of Strategic Initiatives, he managed the planning and implementation of Missouri’s first fiber-optic research and education network – MOREnet’s Next Generation Network (NGN).
Byers is MOREnet’s primary contact with the state of Missouri’s information technology community. These interactions include responsibility for MOREnet’s formal MOU with the Information Technology Services Division, representative to the state’s Information Technology Advisory Board (ITAB) and Higher Education Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Since 1995, Byers has provided leadership and vision for MOREnet as the longest-serving member of the senior management team. Byers served nine years as Director of Operations with responsibility for all MOREnet’s technical operations and three-quarters of MOREnet’s staff. Byers has been an active, contributing member of the StateNets and QUILT communities, two national organizations that represent the depth and breadth of research and education networks and regional optical networks.
Byers has a rich history of public and private IT positions with such organizations as Datastorm Technologies, University of Missouri - Columbia, USDA’s National Center for Animal Health Information Systems (NCAHIS), ANR Freight Systems, CitiCorp/Diners Club International and Playboy International Corporate Data Systems.
Byers received a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Computer Information Systems and Accounting from Colorado State University.
Director of Infrastructure
Hank Niederhelm is the Director of Infrastructure for MOREnet. Prior to his current position, he held the positions of User Services Manager, Network Services Manager and Associate Director of Operations with MOREnet. Hank is responsible for all network operations, server administration, application development and desktop support for MOREnet.
Infrastructure includes the Network Services and Application and Systems Administration groups. Network Services manages 3,500 miles of fiber and 700-plus member circuits with an aggregate capacity of over 71 Gbps and provides network operations for the MOREnet network, the University of Missouri’s intercampus network and the Great Plains Network. The Application and Systems Administration group develops MOREnet’s business applications and operates more than 250 UNIX- and Windows-based servers in virtual and non-virtual environments.
Prior to working for MOREnet, Hank held various management positions during his 13 years of employment with the Systems Division of MBS Textbook Exchange.
Hank lives in Columbia, Mo., with his wife, daughter and son. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Columbia College.