The 2022 Utah ATD Conference Keynote Speakers



Jim Hightower

Jim brings over 30 years of Operations experience.  Over the last 20 years he has held Senior level roles and currently serves as Senior Vice President of International Operations for Global Payments.  

Jim has an unyielding passion for Customer Experience and employs many unique processes in his organizations to achieve this.  He has been a part of four JD Power award certifications including the first ever for Customer Service in the Payment Processing industry.  Additionally, he has overseen transformational success leading to improved Customer Satisfaction and expense savings in all of his Operational leadership roles.

Jim completed his undergraduate work at the University of Central Florida and his graduate studies at The Florida Institute of Technology.  He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's Degree in Management.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Jim now lives in the Salt Lake City area with his wife Toni.  They have two adult children as well.  Jim enjoys golf and loves to read as much as possible.  Only fiction as he feels he gets enough non-fiction every day.


Raghu Krishnaiah

Raghu Krishnaiah is an innovative leader experienced at turning transformative products and business concepts into successful global companies. His career as a seasoned change agent and strategist spans more than 20 years of progressive P&L management, strategy, sales and marketing, product, operations, technology, human resources, and data-analytics responsibilities.

Krishnaiah currently serves as the chief operating officer at University of Phoenix, where he is instrumental in the transformation of the University and responsible for all operating strategy and results. Before joining University of Phoenix, Krishnaiah held the role of chief operating officer at Western Governors University, where he led significant growth in student learning outcomes.  

Prior to Western Governors University, Krishnaiah worked as senior vice president at Kaplan Higher Education Group, and has served in a number of leadership roles throughout his career, overseeing large operational infrastructures at complex global organizations. 

Krishnaiah earned both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

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