Jean Graef, founder of The Montague Institute, has been developing and conducting seminars about cutting edge information technology since the early 1980's, when she introduced the mysteries of disk accessing and indexing to the sales staff of CL Systems, a pioneer in automated library systems. She then moved on to demonstrate the use of microcomputers in college science teaching. Since 1991 her focus has been how to apply traditional techniques of journalism and library science to a business environment dominated by the Internet.
Jean can best be characterized as a boundary spanner who works with the engineers that produce new information technology, the entrepreneurs that fund it, the information professionals that organize it, and the decision makers that use it. Throughout her career she has helped:
- business owners and managers identify new opportunities in information technology;
- hardware and software development teams understand and document user needs;
- sales and marketing teams understand and communicate the features and benefits of information products and services.
After seven years as a university library automation analyst and an executive for two pioneering library automation vendors, Jean left the field to launch the for-profit division of a nonprofit, educational research firm. Through books, seminars, and a catalog of innovative products, the new company helped university-level chemistry, biology, and physics professors learn to use microcomputers in their classrooms and laboratories. Next, she established her own marketing communications company and became a partner in a new employee benefits business, to which she contributed communications and computer expertise.
In 1990, Jean returned to her information technology roots by conducting a pilot project for a fee-based business information service at a municipal university. By 1991, her seminar and consulting activities had become focused on business uses of the Internet under the name The Montague Institute. See Articles and conference papers.
Jean holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and has done additional graduate work at the University of Kentucky and the Ohio State University.