Bennett Quillen's Blog

Information and Technology Services Professional

Month: August, 2013

Islam is Not a Religion

August 21, 2013

Charlotte Observer

Charlotte, North Carolina

Islam is Not a Religion

The problem facing the individual Arab, of any country, is that he/she remains mentally and emotionally in thrall to a medieval “religion” rife with out of date attitudes that most countries consigned to the dustbin years ago. Until Islam undergoes its own Reformation, the centuries old feuds and blood-letting will continue.

Very sad, but the leaders of the Arab world care as much for their own citizens as the rulers of black Africa care for theirs, despite decades of guilt fuelled “aid”.  To understand this, ask any knowledgeable Muslim the following questions. Is it permitted in an Islamic state to:


  • Allow a husband to beat up his wife? Answer: Yes. (Remind him of Surah 4:34, if his answer is No)
  • Allow a 40+ year old man to marry a girl under 12 years of age, after paying a bride price (Mahr)? Answer: Yes
  • Arrest and punish a born Muslim who leaves Islam? Answer: Yes
  • Ban and criminalize people who want to convert people from Islam to Christianity? Answer: Yes
  • Have a Muslim born girl marry a non-Muslim? Answer: No
  • Punish anyone who criticizes the prophet or Qur’an for blasphemy? Answer: Yes
    And so on.


Clearly, Islam is not really a religion; it is simply a doctrine of enslavement.  It is incomprehensible how any intelligent, rationale person, especially a woman, can willingly subscribe to such an egregiously repressive doctrine.


Bennett Quillen

553 Concord Road                                                                 Office Telephone:   704.907.5235

Davidson, NC  28036-9034                                                          Email:


Results oriented information technology, operations, risk management executive and project manager with over 35 years of strategic and “hands on” experience with domestic and international firms.


Areas of Expertise


  • Broad experience with enterprise-wide operations, infrastructure and applications: financial, deposit, loan, CRM / data warehouse, trust, investment, treasury management, eCommerce, card processing, remittance processing, HRIS, business intelligence, risk management, business continuity planning
  • Extensive knowledge of all bank vendor applications
  • Project manager for diverse, cross-functional  engagements
  • Extensive knowledge of risk management, regulatory compliance and fraud forensics processes and requirements
  • Strong vendor management and outsourcing skills
  • Implement streamlined work and document flow in operations
  • Advanced skill set in all Microsoft Office products


Management Consultant, Charlotte, North Carolina (1998 – Present): Provide consulting and project management services to domestic and overseas companies. 


  • Managing conversion projects, including project plans, risk assessments and mitigation, detailed conversion week activities for banks in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  These projects require extensive coordination with third-party vendors.
  • Developed and implemented processes and documentation to assist a regional bank to receive a satisfactory rating from its regulator in its loan portfolio evaluation, including compliance with Community Reinvestment Act regulations.
  • Managed conversions for regional financial institutions in Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, South Carolina, Washington and Canada.  Conversion for the domestic banks involved all core systems, treasury applications, third-party applications, telecommunications, and infrastructure.  Projects required contract negotiations with third-party vendors.  The MA engagement involved managing multiple conversions during a period that the bank was acquiring other institutions. The Canadian project converted all infra-structure and telecommunications across four provinces into a centralized hosting service. All conversions met tight time frames and budgets.
  • Completed managing the rationalization of three disparate ATM/POS networks for a money center bank: coordination of information security issues, identity and access management, multiple vendors and roll out to the enterprise.
  • Performed IT operational audits for several regional banks, applying CoBIT process objectives and regulatory standards; conducted risk management and compliance evaluations and improvements, applying SOx and GLBA requirements; executed fraud forensic processes and operations to evaluate applications controls and adherence to BSA control objectives.  Developed and established improved control procedures for all firms.



  • Completed cash management requirements, vendor evaluations and systems implementation for a regional bank to expand their treasury management offerings. The engagement encompassed all facets of online banking, wire transfers, account analysis, bill pay, positive pay, remote deposit capture.


  • Directed the evaluations, installations and conversions of major applications. The applications included their core and ancillary applications – deposits, loans, financial, data warehouse, CRM, ATM/POS, Internet Banking, Teller, VRU, call center, document imaging, remittance processing applications, and contract administration.  These conversions included all of the major vendors e.g. Fidelity, Fiserv, Harland, and Jack Henry. The conversions also required expanding network infrastructure, installing hardware and implementing interfaces for nearly three dozen third-party applications such as cash management, trust accounting, loan origination and asset/liability management. The assignments required developing and managing a detailed project plan, assigning client and hardware and software vendors’ deadlines and responsibilities to meet tight schedules.
  • Achieved significant improvements in risk management, data security, incident management and adherence to process standards for an overseas investment bank.  Streamlined procedures and implemented control processes for information technology and funds management departments in the UK and Caribbean to improve productivity and comply with Basel II requirements.  Implemented new systems and control procedures for incident, identity and access management.  Initiated quantification of operational risks. 
  • Developed outsourcing strategy for a national retail company to reduce application maintenance costs by 25%.  The strategy includes a quantifiable model and selection criteria, selecting applications as candidates for outsourcing, and applying it to the company’s systems development life cycle.  The new process also increased applications development capacity without adding costs.
  • Reduced ATM/POS operating costs by 48% for a bank’s ATM/POS processing.  Evaluated and managed the project to convert a bank’s credit card and ATM/POS processing to real-time.  The project included the design and installation of updated communications and applications software, document management, evaluating debit/credit card processing vendors’ features and pricing, negotiating contracts and applying PCI standards.
  • Directed projects for a regional institution to evaluate and install systems and equipment for branch item and remote merchant capture.  Payback was less than 18 months.  A related project involved the evaluation and execution of a remittance processing strategy to improve productivity and additional revenue.
  • Obtained Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for a large property and casualty insurer. Directed SOx compliance activities in an engagement with a budget of over $10 million.  Responsibilities included developing a comprehensive, inter-departmental project plan; developing dashboard reports; preparing procedures for remediation and testing; managing resources across departments to complete remediation tasks on-time and within budget.
  • Managed the evaluations and conversions of major HRIS/payroll projects, with added employees and expanding functionality without increasing operating costs.  The HRIS systems included Fidelity, PeopleSoft, ADP, Ultipro, and Ceridian.  One engagement expanded HRIS capabilities from simply payroll processing to the entire spectrum of HR systems, including employee initiated transactions, pension processing and online job applications.  Another assignment was for a money center bank in its acquisition of a 20,000-person domestic and international credit card operation. The project encompassed enterprise-wide conversions in payroll, training and staff planning and included high level design and low level technical documentation.


  • Performed the role of interim director of information technology and operations for a $7 billion regional bank.  The engagement included evaluating the bank’s technology plans, resources, organization and required actions.  Required a major restructuring within information technology and operations, improving workflows, and focusing on measurement of IT service levels. These actions, coupled with attention to project management, produced immediate results for a dozen major projects completed in a short time frame.



Summary of Responsibilities from 1967 to 1998:


  • Chief Information Officer – Lipper Analytical Services, New York City (1994 – 1998):

Direct responsibility for all applications development, database administration, operations and telecommunications for a mutual fund information processing, accounting and distribution firm locations in the US, London and Hong Kong.  Directed staff of 60 people and operating budget of $8 million.

  • Increased market share by 15% through managing the design, development and deployment of an Internet and FTP based comprehensive relational data base system.  The database provides mutual funds immediate and secure access to a comprehensive array of statistical and historical mutual fund information for financial and comparative analyses. The system design makes extensive use of graphics and dashboard tools.
  • Reduced costs and increased market share by developing and installing one of the first twenty web sites and extranet facilities in the securities industry to provide users with transaction security and interactive “what if” queries using the company’s database.
  • Achieved significantly reduced time to collect and distribute data to clients from days to hours.  The project involved directing the installation and conversion of a new relational database system, developing applications in a client/server environment and converting from legacy systems to the new platform. The results were a 15% decrease in operating expenses and added fee income. 

·         Independent Consultant, St. Louis (1989 to 1993): Provided a broad range of information technology and operations consulting services to financial institutions, including commercial banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies.

Chief Administration Officer – Community Federal, St. Louis (1986 to1989): Directed information systems, back office operations, marketing and administration for a 50-branch thrift staff of 220 people, and operating budget of $10 million.

·         Chief Information Officer – Boatmen’s Bancshares, St. Louis (1980 to1986): Directed information technology for a super-regional commercial bank and trust company.  The bank grew over five times during this period, requiring constant management and control of systems and conversions.  Responsible for I/T, telecommunications, operations and client services with a staff of 150 people.

·         Managing Associate – Lester B Knight & Associates, Chicago (1975 to 1980): Management consultant to domestic and overseas insurance companies, banks and thrifts on operations, information technology and strategic planning.

·         Manager of Strategic Planning – The Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston (1972 to 1975): Responsible for managing product planning and distribution for worldwide publications.

·         Assistant Vice President, Security Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles (1967 to 1972): Responsible for bank-wide quantitative analysis, development of financial information systems, and internal time-share system operation.



Education and Special Activities:


Master of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with majors in Industrial Management and Finance


Bachelor of Science, The Principia College, Elsah, Illinois with majors in Chemistry and Mathematics


  • Adjunct faculty member for 13 years for Washington University and Webster University, St Louis, Missouri, for courses in information technology, project management and economics
  • Past director of Mid-America Payments Exchange (MAPEX)
  • Speaker at trade organization conferences such as the Bank Administration Institute, Treasury Management Association and Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking
  • Project Management Professional Certification
  • Life Certified Information Technology Professional from the State of California


SKILLS SUMMARY, (#) = Years of Experience, (E) = Exposure Only


Hardware:                     IBM 3090, 390 (10), PC (10), IBM AS and iSeries/400 (6), HP 9000 (4), Unisys (E)


Operating Systems:       IBM MVS/SP & XA (8), OS/400 (6), CMS (4), CICS (4), UNIX (4), Microsoft WinNT &XP (4), Windows 2000 (4)


CRM Systems:              Salesforce (2), Aperio (2), Portrait (1), Siebel (E)

Applications Systems:   Depository, Loans & Financial: Jack Henry  & Associates/Silverlake,  20/20 & Symitar; EDS; Fidelity IBS, Horizon, Profile & InterCept/BancPac, Fiserv/CBS, SourceOne,  Signature, ITI, OSI/Bisys, SUMMIT & USERS; Fincentrix,, Harland/Phoenix, Oracle/iFlex,  Temenos/T-24; Shaw, McCormack & Dodge, Great Plains; Teller/Platform: S1, ViewPoint, Vertex, Passport; eBanking: DI (4), FIS (2); HRIS: ADP, Ceridian, PeopleSoft, Genesys, Ultipro; Securities: SunGard Phase II;  Item Processing: IBM CPCS, VECTOR, NCR Tower Check , GG Pulley


ATM/POS Tools:           SCCM (1), SMS (1), NCR (APTRA) (1), Diebold (Agilis) (1), Altiris  (E),


Languages:                   COBOL (4), CGI (E), HTML (E), Visual Basic (E)


Development Tools:      IBM Visual Age for Java (E)

Office Tools:                 Word (13), Excel (13), VISIO 4.0 (8), 5.0 (6), Microsoft Project (15), PowerPoint (15), Lotus Notes (6), Word Perfect (3)

Databases:                   Oracle (2), Sybase (2), Informix (2), MS-Access (4), DB/2 (2), Fox Pro (E)


Networks:                     LAN (15), WAN (15), Citrix, IBM, Newbridge, Cisco, Lucent, Northern Telecomm (8)

Project Management

Approaches:                    Process based e.g. Agile (5); Traditional e.g. “Waterfall” (20)