2017 AQAA Board


Ken Riley, CTFL
Automated Test Lead, Nuance Communications
With over 18 years of QA experience, Ken is familiar with all phases of software life cycle. Software Quality Assurance represents Ken's third career change. Prior to becoming a QA analyst, Ken was an experienced CADD manager and designer. With his in-depth knowledge of AutoCAD, Ken was hired by Autodesk as a QA Analyst. Autodesk trained Ken in QA manual testing, computer programming and automated testing. Since that first QA opportunity, Ken has worked as a QA Analyst or Manager for companies in varying industries, Public Safety, Property Insurance, Health Care Staffing, Nuclear Power, Marketing Automation, CRM integrations and Website redesign.

Ken’s role at Nuance is to lead an automation team using FitNesse, Selenium and Java. He is also responsible for developing automation standards and frameworks. As well as extensive Manual Testing experience, Ken has expertise in Automated Testing with Silk Test, Quick Test Pro, Selenium and FitNesse. Ken is a Certified Tester (Foundation Level) through ASTQB.

Ken has been on the Atlanta Quality Assurance Association board for over 5 years, serving as Secretary, Membership Director, Vice President and now President. He is also active in the Atlanta Scrum User’s Group and Ministry of Testing Atlanta. Ken spoke at STAC 2014 Conference on A Manual Test in an Agile World and facilitated Exploratory Testing Workshops at the June 2015 AQAA meeting and STAC 2015 conference.

Vice President

Joyce Reid, CSTE, CMST, CSM, CSP
Automated Test Development Manager, Columbian Financial Group (CFG)
Joyce has a wealth of QA knowledge spanning over 20 years with experience in all aspects of software development, including SDLC, Agile, Automated Testing, Project Management, Business Analysis, System Design, Start-Ups, Test Execution, Test Strategy, Test Planning, Integration Testing, Test Lab start up and maintenance, Process and Procedure, Management and Direction. She has worked as a QA/Release Manager, QA Manager, Automated Test Development Manager, Sr. QA Analyst, QA Analyst and QA Lead. She also has experience in the fields of testing robotics, firmware, financial services, health care, insurance, transportation and manufacturing applications for software projects used internally, and being sold via company services and resale applications.

Her current position has her improving quality for CFG products using Agile methodologies and automated testing tools to enhance the testing experience for the QA testing group as well as CFG internal and external customers. Joyce received her CSTE certification in 2012, and received her CMST and CSM certifications in 2014 and her CSP certification in 2015. She believes in practicing what she preaches, and as such is leading several QA initiatives that have company-wide implications.


Diane Walker, CSQA, CSTE, CSQE, CSM
Senior Director, Equifax

Diane Walker; CSQA, CSTE, CSQE, CSM has over 25 years of experience in Information Technology. Her experience ranges from software development architecture to leading software quality efforts for financial services, health care, transportation and manufacturing applications for both internal software packages and resale software packages. Current focus is improving quality for financial products using Scrum methodology and multiple automated tools.

Diane has long been a recognized leader and supporter of Quality Assurance (QA) best practices. She has served as a member of Atlanta Quality Assurance Association’s Board of Directors for over 15 years. She has promoted growth in the QA field by mentoring study programs for the QAI exam as well as proctoring the QAI exams.

Diane graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Management. She has more than 25 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) field. She currently holds certifications in the field of quality from the Quality Assurance Institute and the American Society for Quality.


Deb Balai
CRM Support Analyst, Oldcastle

Deb has over 30 years of IT experience including over 20 years in Quality Assurance. Her experience includes Functional, Regression, System Integration and Back End testing as well as Process Improvement and Requirements Analysis. Deb has worked for various sized companies from startups to Fortune 500 in the following industries Finance & Accounting, Insurance, Telecommunications and Real Estate. She is currently part of the CRM team at Oldcastle.

Deb graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Business Administration.

Public Relations


Mamie has twenty years in the Quality Assurance field. Her test experience spans small Start-up companies to large Fortune 500 companies where she has had the opportunity to perform various types of Quality Assurance testing, and serve in leadership roles, as a Senior QA tester and as a QA analyst. She has performed systems, integration, compliance, performance, user acceptance testing, manual and automation testing, using both Waterfall and Agile testing methodologies. Industry experience includes; Telecommunications, E-commerce, Email/Internet Security, Business Process Management, and Financial Services.

Currently, Mamie is performing User Acceptance testing for clients in financial services, as a member of a Testing Practice Organization, with one of the largest international professional services firm. She holds the following certifications in IT; CTFL, PEGA Certified System Architect and PEGA Certified Business Architect from Pegasystems Inc.

As a member of the Atlanta Quality Assurance Association’s Board of Directors, her participation in the organization serves as a catalyst for continued growth, service, and promotion of Quality Assurance standards.

A. Fitzgerald Breland

A. Fitzgerald Breland works with Quality Assurance & Testing initiatives, supporting their implementation, growth and development within organizations. He is recognized as a highly skilled leader in client relationship development and has worked with Fortune 500 clients on their QA & Testing visions. He started his career in Technology leading the charge in developing key client relationships, honed his skills driving business growth in Silicon Valley and brought those talents into the Southeast.

He graduated from Kentucky State University and Arizona State University with a BA & Master’s respectively. After attaining his Master’s Degree, he began his career in the private sector, honing his business acumen in the Healthcare, Information Technology & Real Estate industries.


Gretchen Iler

With over ten years of Information Technology experience, Gretchen has expertise in Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Auditing and Security, Compliance, Technology Risk Management and Quality Assurance. She has significant knowledge in requirements definition, deployment of business requirements, SDLC, Agile, Waterfall, Testing, UAT, and User Training. She has a Diploma in Information Security and Certificate in Business Analysis from Duke University.

Gretchen has worked in: Global Banking, Financial Services, Internal Audit, Technology Manufacturing, Pharma, Health Care, and IT Consulting. Additionally, she is a host of the Technology and Innovation Showcase Radio Show broadcast on Business Executive Radio EXE. Gretchen is also a Tea Expert (the beverage you drink), one of the first fifteen people globally to obtain the Certified Tea Specialist designation. She is Executive Director and Board of Governors Member of the Risk Compliance Governance Sciences Alliance.

Board Member at Large

Leslie Brooks

Leslie has done automation in every job he has had for the past twenty years, in a broad variety of areas including testing (web, performance, API, hardware, RF), service virtualization/simulation, and DevOps.

He has been heard to say "If your company has no plans to move to an Agile development methodology, then you should put a tombstone in the lobby with your company name and date of founding on it."

He is a Certified Scrum Master and a strong proponent of Agile and SBE/BDD/TDD. He has worked in many industries including video distribution and ad management, entertainment, manufacturing, wireless, cable, telecom, and IoT, at every kind of company from barely-started-up to Fortune 20.

Costa Avradopoulos
CEO, Avracom Consulting
Costa is a recognized thought leader with over 25 years experience in software development, from requirements, to delivery & process engineering. His former roles include Developer, Tester, Automation Engineer, QA Director, Product Manager, and CTO. A visionary innovator, he has devoted much of his career to the mobility space, culminating with a breakthrough invention, a patented mobile technology. Costa is a frequent speaker, and is writing a book due to be published soon, titled “Winning Mobile Strategies – Bridging the Quality Gap”.

Costa is currently CEO of Avracom Consulting and formerly the Mobile Testing Practice Leader for Capgemini. As a trusted advisor, he enjoys transforming organizations by creating winning mobile strategies to develop best of breed applications. Costa is certified Six Sigma and TPI.

Michael Cooper

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