Curtis A. Hite, CEO and Chairman of Improving Holdings, LLC. (Improving) graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a B.S. and M.S. in computer science. At Texas A&M, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, serving as commanding officer of Squadron 6 and as a member of the Ross Volunteers. In 2007 Curtis was honored by the Department of Computer Science as a CSE Distinguished Former Student and later in 2013 he received the inaugural Outstanding Early Professional Achievement Alumni Honor Award from the Dwight Look College of Engineering.
Curtis began his career as a software engineer building systems in the Defense industry – first with Rockwell International and then at E-Systems (later acquired by Raytheon). In 1998, Curtis and several partners founded Expede, a software development consulting and training company. Its quick growth drew the attention of a French company, Valtech, which acquired them in 1999. Curtis soon became CEO of Valtech’s North American operations and remained in that position until late 2006. In early 2007, Curtis and many of the same partners established the Blue Ocean Group, which quickly acquired a small training company called Improving Enterprises and adopted the Improving name. The company has been blessed with continued growth since then — repeatedly receiving accolades including the Inc500/5000, Dallas 100, and Aggie 100. More importantly, the company has received recognitions from its employees as one of the best work places in Texas as noted by the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, and Texas Monthly.
As Chief Acquisition Officer, Ric is responsible for identifying M&A target companies that share a similar focus on company culture and delivery excellence. He oversees the due diligence process as well as the coordination of all necessary documents. He is a founding member of Improving and currently serves as a board member for the company.
Prior to joining Improving, Ric co-founded Expede, Inc. in 1998, that later merged into Valtech Technologies, Inc. in early 1999. Here he served in various senior level positions, culminating in Vice President of North American Operations.
When not at work, Ric enjoys spending time with his children, Noah, Daniel, Gabriel, and Jon and his wife Vicki. He is heavily involved in the local Boy Scouts and participates as an Assistant Scout Master with Troop 219.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He began his professional career as a computer hardware engineer at IBM, but soon moved into the emerging field of object oriented programming in the early 1990’s. His curiosity to explore the rapidly expanding world of software engineering led Chris from IBM to pursue consulting, and ultimately to co-found Object Partners, Inc. (OPI) in Minneapolis in 1996. OPI’s culture formed from its employee’s passion for using best of breed software technologies to create world class solutions for its customers. It was this culture that allowed consultants to grow their skills, and attracted many of the best and brightest software developers in the Twin Cities to OPI.
OPI’s customer base expanded quickly in the early 2000’s, leading to the opening of an additional office in Omaha, NE. Over the years, OPI won numerous Best Places to Work awards as well as Fast 50 awards for growth. OPI was acquired by Improving in 2020, where Chris stayed on as President of the Improving Minnesota enterprise. In his current role of CIO with Improving, Chris oversees the processes and technologies that support the goals and vision of the company.
In his time away from work, Chris is the father of five mostly grown children and husband to Gwen (OPI’s other co-founder). He spends time on many hobbies from wood working and home projects, to hunting, fishing, grilling and getting outdoors with friends and family whenever possible.
As Senior Vice President of Operations, Susan is responsible for all aspects of the operational and legal affairs of the company. She will drive strategic initiatives through enhancing and centralizing operational maturity across all company enterprise offices.
She joined Improving as a founding member in 2007 and is a member of the company’s board of directors. Previously, she was a leader of the Dallas enterprise, serving as VP of Consulting, and has over 20 years of experience in consulting.
Susan started her career as a software engineer at Raytheon E-Systems, and later worked as principal consultant and director of global sourcing for Valtech Technologies.
Susan earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and a B.S. in computer science from Texas A&M University. She serves as vice-chair of the Texas A&M Computer Science & Engineering Department Advisory Council. She recently was named a silver Stevie Women in Business honoree for Maverick of the Year.
Susan enjoys spending time with her family & friends, participating in outdoor activities, and traveling to new places.
Kristin Johnson serves as the Vice President of Marketing for Improving and has overall responsibility for all marketing initiatives and campaigns within the company. She concentrates on the support of the sales teams with lead generation and revenue growth through the success of comprehensive marketing programs while continuing to find ways to further build the Improving brand.
She is a Gold recipient of the Stevie Women in Business award for Employee of the Year and has served on the board for the American Marketing Association – Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter. She is heavily involved with the Dallas Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and is always looking for ways to engage with the community. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time as a newlywed with her husband, Brooks, exploring Dallas and traveling.
Jorge joined Improving in 2022, and serves as its CFO. He is responsible for the development and execution of the corporation’s financial strategy, and for supporting the organization’s organic and inorganic growth initiatives.
Jorge joined improving from Agile Thought, where he was part of the team who make that company Public in 2021. Before Agile Thought, Jorge spent over 30 years in large FMCG’s like Diageo, Avery Dennison, Kellogg’s, Sara Lee and Procter & Gamble.
Jorge is an avid golfer, and sports fan, and also serves in the Board of Unidos Somos Iguales. A Mexico-based organization devoted to inclusion and support for people with disabilities.
Devlin Liles, Chief Consulting Officer and President of Improving - Houston is a business leader with a deep technical background. His passion and expertise are around leveraging technology to solve the problems facing business. Devlin has an entrepreneurial mindset and has been a core contributor to growth and success of Improving for the past 12 years.
Since 2007, he has been presenting and teaching classes on business practices, building company culture, software development, and deep technical topics for large and small audiences around the world, including user groups, conferences, and community events.
Devlin’s technical career gained him recognition from some of the top technology companies in the world and was awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP Award for 6 consecutive years. The MVP award is only awarded to 3,000 technologists’ annually. In addition, he is the co-author, along with his good friend and fellow Improver Tim Rayburn of Entity Framework 4.1 Experts Cookbook.
After shifting to a business centric focus, Devlin has been awarded multiple awards, including the Vistage Leadership Award, finalist for the CEO Impact award, and one of the Most Admired CEOs in Houston in 2019. His organization has won over 100 best places to work awards across North America and been #1 in Houston 4 years consecutively.
When he is not in front of a crowd, at his company, or behind a computer, Devlin is an avid soccer player and hobbyist gamer.
Amber Robinson serves as Corporate Counsel to Improving. She provides a broad range of legal advice and business counsel to all Improving enterprises as well as ensures regulatory compliance. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing any outside legal teams, and provides strategic insight to senior leadership. Additionally, Amber works closely with the transaction team at Improving to continue to facilitate Improving’s approach to rapid growth.
Previously, Amber began her career in corporate and civil litigation, with a focus on breach of contract disputes. She found that her true passion was not with litigation, but rather to proactively guide her clients toward more efficient solutions. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Texas (“Hook ‘Em”!) and went on to obtain her J.D. from Southern Methodist University. It is her priority to utilize her creativity, former courtroom experience and judgment to consciously provide counsel to all Improvers while maintaining a focus on our guiding principles.
Amber is active in community outreach and has a passion for charitable causes. She has served on many local non-profit boards and enjoys donating her time. When “off the clock” she is an avid traveler sometimes visiting her native country of Puerto Rico with family and friends.
As the Managing Director of the North US Region, Mark is an international leader in delivering technology consulting and training. He is responsible for all international operations, execution, corporate integration, and implementation of Improving’s vision and purpose. In addition, he is a member of Improving’s Board of Directors, and is responsible for strategic mergers and acquisitions. Through a combination of leadership, excellence and teamwork, Improving has enjoyed great success becoming an nine time recipient of the Inc. 500 award. Based in Columbus, Mark’s efforts led the Columbus enterprise to nine Best Places to Work (2008-2015, 2017, #1 in Small Business Category in 2012) and six Fast Fifty awards (2009-2011 & 2013-2016) from Columbus’s Business First. Additionally, Improving was honored to be named the 2017 Business First Corporate Caring Award winner in the category of Education.
Mark is very active in the Columbus philanthropic community, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Columbus Speech and Hearing, Alvis 180, The Goodwill Business Advisory Council, the Central Ohio Conscious Capitalism chapter and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. He is also a recipient of the Business First’s 40 Under 40 Award. A proud graduate from The Ohio State University, Mark enjoys spending time with his wife, two girls and watching the Buckeyes deliver another win against Michigan.
Scott McMichael serves as Managing Director of the South US Region, supporting with the executive leadership in our Atlanta, Dallas, Frisco, and Houston enterprises and oversight of our strategic training service offerings. His primary focus is growing and positioning Improving for greater impact across North America to change the perception of the IT professional. This includes business development, delivery excellence, plus attracting and growing technology professionals by creating a great work culture.Scott also serves as President of the Improving-Atlanta enterprise, providing general management in the areas of Sales, Culture, Recruiting and Delivery.
Prior to working with Improving, Scott held multiple leadership positions for consulting organizations – President and COO at Innovative Architects, which was acquired by Improving in 2018, and VP of Operations & Delivery at American System Corporation / Thoughtmill. As an energetic technology leader, Scott is passionate about assembling dynamic teams that deliver enterprise platform solutions.
He is a Georgia native, having served the client and his community of North Metro Atlanta for his entire career. He serves on the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is an active member of Conscious Capitalism’s Senior Leaders Network. Scott is a graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University and resides in Milton, Georgia with his wife and four kids.
Anurag Kumar presides as the Managing Director and President of the Improving Nearshore offices. His primary focus areas are to ensure delivery excellence within the Guadalajara, Aguascalientes and Austin offices, drive and nurture strategic growth, and attract and engage recruits and employees for a top company culture. Anurag is passionate about providing leading edge software development services to companies looking to digitally transform their businesses, using a unique hybrid of onshore and nearshore delivery model.
Prior to Improving, Anurag was the Co-Founder and CEO of iTexico, established in 2010, which was acquired by Improving in 2020. He has been a Founder, President and CEO of several other US and international firms over the years as well as holding a variety of leadership development/coaching CEO roles for the Austin Business Board and Vistage, a global business coaching and advising firm.
Anurag holds an MBA from Michigan State University, an M.S. Computer Engineering from Wayne State University, and a B. Tech Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He is a Charter Member, Founder and former President of TIE Austin and an active executive mentor and angel investor. He currently is a board member of the Austin Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. Anurag has been married to Vandana, a former IBM executive and fellow distinguished alum of Wayne State, for over 34 years. They have two adult children.