Liaison Committee

The Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering (AAIE) jointly with the Department Head organizes a liaison committee that serves in the capacity of an advisory board to the department. The committee is comprised of accomplished professionals from business, industry and academia who bring both an applied perspective and an independent assessment to the industrial engineering program at the University of Arkansas.


The members of the 2020 Liaison Committee are:


Photo of Vance ClementVance Clement

Mr. Clement is CEO of Lineus Medical, a start-up medical device manufacturer in Fayetteville, AR. Lineus Medical's flagship product, SafeBreak® Vascular, is designed to prevent IV lines from being dislodged. Mr. Clement has been in the medical device space for over 25 years serving in various leadership positions. He holds a BSIE from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville (1992) and an MBA from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN (1996).  He was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineers and is currently serving as President. Mr. Clement also serves on the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas.

Photo of Jonathon Fite

Jonathon Fite

Mr. Fite is a graduate of University of Arkansas Industrial Engineering program where he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.  He also recently completed his term as the President of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering.  Professionally, Jonathon is a Managing Partner of KMF Investments, a value-oriented investment firm focused on deeply undervalued companies.  Mr. Fite serves on the Board of Directors of TransAtlantic Petroleum, a portfolio holding, and is a director of the University of North Texas Foundation, a $350MM endowment.  Prior to founding KMF in 2008, Jonathon was a strategy consultant at Accenture, advising Fortune 500 clients on matters including merger and acquisitions, supply chain operations, and process reengineering.  Jonathon is also a Lecturer for the College of Business at the University of North Texas and the President of the Professional Development Institute at the University of North Texas.

David Humphrey PhotoDavid Humphrey

Mr. Humphrey is the Vice President of Investor Relations for ArcBest in Fort Smith, AR.  ArcBest is a transportation company that delivers integrated logistics solutions for a variety of supply chain challenges.  David has worked at ArcBest for 34 years and in the Investor Relations Department for 19 years. He was appointed to his current position in January 2010. Mr. Humphrey holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas.

Photo of Karen JewellKaren Jewell

Mrs. Jewell is Vice President of Engineering and Technology at J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.,  where she has worked in the transportation industry for 15 years.  J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that provides transportation services throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  She holds a BSIE from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville (2000) and has been a member of the Academy since 2015. Since induction, she has served as the committee chair for A4U supporting the IE Department through Mock Interviews and Mentor Circles, served as a Board Member for several years, and is the current President of the Academy.  She is an avid supporter of STEM education by organizing an after-school enrichment program at her son's elementary school, Vandergriff Elementary, and by supporting the Vandergriff Engineering Week program for 2nd - 4th graders each year.

photo of Dr. KlimackBill Klimack

Dr. Klimack is Chevron’s Decision Analysis Functional Manager.  A retired U.S. Army Colonel, he was the Director of the Operations Research and Systems Engineering Programs, the Operations Research Center of Excellence, and served as interim Head of the Department of Systems Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Following his Army career, he worked as a consultant supporting the federal government, oil and gas, and the pharmaceutical sectors.  He began working at Chevron in 2012.  He has a BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh University, a MS in applied mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, a MMAS from the US Army Command and Staff College, and PhD in operations research from the US Air Force Institute of Technology.  He is a Certified System Engineering Professional, a licensed Professional Engineer, and a Fellow of the Society of Decision Professionals, the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club.  He is a recipient of the Decision Analysis Society Practice Award and an employee when Chevron received the Raiffa-Howard Award for Organizational Decision Quality and the INFORMS Prize.  He is a past President of the Society of Decision Professionals and a former Vice President of Meetings for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS).  He was Co-Chair of the INFORMS Analytics Certification Task Force which developed the Certified Analytics Professional credential. He also served on the board of the National Speleological Society.

Photo of Willie MontgomeryWillie Montgomery, III

Mr. Montgomery is Senior Director of Data Science in Supply Chain Analytics with Walmart Inc. In his ten year career with Walmart, Montgomery has been promoted several position levels, presently he is leading a team of solution owners, data scientists and software engineers across multiple countries with a strategic portfolio of more than 20 initiatives. Using some of the most advanced techniques in machine learning, optimization and artificial intelligence, he has been able to solve complex problems which realized more than $1 Billion in cost savings in international markets and the United States.

Willie serves as a mentor and speaker for the University of Arkansas Engineering Career Awareness Program (ECAP) and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (funded by the NSF). He is the 2019 recipient of the College of Engineering Early Career Award, and will be inducted in 2021 as a member of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering. Montgomery also served 12 years in the United States Army and is a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism.

photo of Jenn PazourJen Pazour

Jennifer Pazour, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  Jen’s research and teaching interests focus on the development and use of analytical models to guide decision making for logistics and supply chain challenges.   She holds three degrees in Industrial Engineering (a B.S. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas), and was previously on the faculty at the University of Central Florida.   She is a recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research, a National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowship, a Research Start Up grant from the Material Handling Institute, and a Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Project from the National Science Foundation.  She serves on the executive board of the Warehousing Education and Research Council and is involved in a number of programs to encourage youth to pursue engineering and logistics careers.

Photo of Tarek TahaTarek Taha

Mr. Taha began his career in 1993 with ABF Freight System, working in engineering and economic analysis roles. He transitioned to J.B. Hunt Transport in 2004 as an Engineering Manager, providing leadership for a corporate-wide initiative to improve the quote to cash process. In 2008, he was promoted to Director of Rail Carrier Relations where he managed commercial relationships with the Norfolk Southern and Kansas City Southern railroads. He is currently leading process and technology change for J.B. Hunt’s intermodal division as Sr. Director Engineering & Technology. Tarek is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with bachelor's and master's degrees in Industrial Engineering. He is past president of the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering and is currently serving on the AAIE Board of Directors.

Photo of Eileen Van AkenEileen Van Aken

Dr. Van Aken is a Professor and Department Head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is also the founder and director of the Enterprise Engineering Research Lab, conducting research with organizations on performance measurement, organizational improvement methods, lean work systems, and team-based work systems. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society for Quality, and is a member of American Society for Engineering Management and the American Society for Engineering Education. She has been recognized by being named a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science and of the American Society for Engineering Management.