Academy Founders

Mike Forster - Mississippi Coding Academies

Mike Forster


Mike Forster is a retired executive with more than 50 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience in the information technology industry. Most recently he served as the CEO and Chairman of CommerceQuest, Inc., a SaaS (software as a service) company located in Tampa, FL. He’s currently Chairman of the Innovate Mississippi board of directors.

Deborah Bailey


Well known for her turnaround expertise, Deborah has consistently positioned businesses for accelerated growth. She has diagnosed and remedied problems for over 60 corporations plus furthered growth of nearly 30 ventures, including her own. Deborah is Vice Chairwoman the Innovate Mississippi board of directors.

Joe Donovan


Joe Donovan runs the Entrepreneur Center @ MDA, a bureau within the agency’s Minority & Small Business Division. For entrepreneurs seeking resources to start a new venture or for a seasoned business owner wishing to expand, The Entrepreneur Center is the “one-stop shop” for the Mississippi entrepreneur.

Richard A Sun


Richard Sun has focused on start-up and high-growth companies, as a private equity investor, adviser, board member and executive. He has played a key role in nine startup companies, has invested $230 million in four early stage companies for institutional private equity investors and personally invested in thirteen others. He’s the Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovate Mississippi.