Our Insightful & Visionary Speakers

For information on becoming and/or nominating a speaker, please contact Caryn Brown at 212-967-2519, or email her at
Caryn.Brown@frost.com

Keynote Speakers

Lou Von Thaer

Lou Von Thaer

President and Chief Executive Officer, Battelle

Lewis “Lou” Von Thaer was appointed President and CEO of Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, effective October 1, 2017. Formed in 1925 as a charitable trust and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle delivers technology solutions for the national security, healthcare, energy, and environmental markets.

Full Bio

The company has a storied history of innovation and technology advances and is highly regarded for its role in managing seven national laboratories in the United States.

Most recently, Lou served as CEO of DynCorp International, a $2 billion company with 12,000 employees. There he was responsible for driving growth across several federal market sectors including aviation services, intelligence solutions, logistics and contingency operations, and operations and maintenance support.

Von Thaer began his technology career with AT&T Bell Laboratories, serving in a number of engineering and management roles with increasing responsibilities over 14 years, until the purchase of his division by General Dynamics. During his 16 years at General Dynamics, Von Thaer rose to the position of President, Advanced Information Systems and was named a Corporate Officer. In 2013, Von Thaer joined Leidos, Inc. as President of the company’s National Security Sector, a $4 billion business focused on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, logistics, and systems solutions.

Cate Gutowski

Cate Gutowski

World Wide Head of Sales Enablement, Amazon Web Services

Cate Gutowski’s mission is to proactively lead the transformation of the worldwide salesforce at Amazon Web Services. As the market leader in cloud infrastructure and services for the past 8 years, AWS has been an innovator, pioneering the development of new cloud products and services. The appointment of Gutowski signals an equal focus by AWS on commercial innovation as they continue to scale their growing global business.

Full Bio

Prior to this, Cate worked in the aviation industry as the senior vice present of sales and services at Panasonic Avionics.  Cate spent the majority of her career at GE, where she was most recently the vice president of commercial.  Gutowski led the company’s effort to transform how the GE global sales force utilizes technology to drive customer success across all GE businesses. In that role, she guided teams that were innovating new technologies in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to drive productivity, and enhance the customer experience. Cate is a passionate advocate for women in Leadership, serving as the President of a non-profit she founded, “If You Can See It, You Can Be It,” which focuses on enabling women grow their leadership skills in STEM roles by teaching them the art and science behind strategic storytelling.

Previously, Gutowski held corporate general manager and operational leadership roles for a variety of GE businesses in the United States and Europe.

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper

Founder, Innovators + Influencers

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper is an internationally recognized executive coach, advisor, facilitator and trainer who specializes in working with executive teams to develop the leadership skills, alignment and strategies to grow and thrive in a constantly changing environment.

Full Bio
Coop has 23 years of experience as a coach, management consultant, strategist and project leader with Fortune 1000 companies and small businesses in over 20 countries. He has worked with leaders at Accuray, eBay, Genentech, Google, Novell, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Southwest Airlines, TeleNav, Wells Fargo, Yahoo, Yammer and hundreds of other organizations large and small. He co-lead the teams to develop the world’s first wireless web platform for Vodafone and Verizon deployed in 27 countries and developed the specifications for the first custom internet car-ordering system for Honda. He has facilitated global summits for Sony corporation and a conference on managing Millennials for the Northern California Human Resource Association. For the past 12 years, he has coached and advised Eric Rodenbeck, CEO & Creative Director of Stamen Design, named by Fast Company as one of the 50 Top Innovative Companies in America and one of the Top 50 Designers in America. He has also been selected to coach the prestigious TED Fellows.

Coop is a contributor to Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Wired Innovations. He was the founding president of the International Association of Coaching, has served on the faculty of Sony leadership programs, CoachVille, Thomas Leonard School of Coaching and the Graduate School of Coaching. He completed coach training at Coach U, CoachVille and the School of Shadow Coaching. He received an MBA from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University with a concentration in Information Systems and a special emphasis in Global Strategic Management and degrees in History, Communications Studies and Technology Education at Virginia Tech. He received the (Shop Local / Consulting) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006 from San Francisco where he lives with his partner and dog. He is an active supporter of the arts and Burning Man community.

Speakers

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew Ackerman

Managing Director, UrbanTech, Dreamit Ventures

What inspires you?
Startups founders with hustle

Full Bio

Andrew is recovering consultant turned serial entrepreneur, startup mentor and angel investor. He is the Managing Director at Dreamit, currently in charge of the UrbanTech accelerator program. Andrew has also written for Fortune, Forbes, Propmodo, CREtech, AlleyWatch, Edsurge, The 74 Million, et. al.

Andrew began his career at Booz & Co consulting on strategy and operations for Fortune 100 clients. After a brief stint at Kaplan helping transition their traditional classroom test prep services into online products, he then joined Bunk1.com as COO/Head of Product where he spent eight years building it from scratch to the leading provider of web services to the summer camp industry. After being bought out of Bunk1 in 2008, Andrew managed a family office where he was responsible for both incubating new ventures and for managing over $50M of alternative assets including hedge, private equity, and venture capital funds as well as a number of direct investments in private companies. Andrew was also the founding CEO of Layercake.com and has a keen appreciation for how hard it is to build a successful startup, even under the best of circumstances.

Andrew received his MBA in Operations & Marketing from Chicago Booth (Beta Gamma Sigma) and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (Phi Beta Kappa). He speaks Hebrew fluently as well as some Spanish, French, Japanese and JavaScript.

Eric Agdeppa

Eric Agdeppa

Executive Director, Innovation and General Manager, Hill-Rom

Bio is forthcoming.

Mike Arterbury

Mike Arterbury

Vice President, Global Technology Alliances, Dell EMC

Bio is forthcoming.

Ron Baker

Ron Baker

Director of Geospatial Content & Analytics, Smarter Cities Strategist, IBM

Ron is an IBM Distinguished Engineer in the Watson Cognitive Applications organization, which includes the Internet of Things and Weather Company. In this role, he leads the design and delivery of the Watson IOT Platform, and the expansion of AI and Analytics on IOT content.

Full Bio

Prior to this, he was the Director of Geospatial Content & Analytics in the Weather Company, leading the curation of global location data from our mobile and web properties and their use in industry and consumer applications. This global data lake is one of the largest IOT platforms in the world, with world-class spatial-temporal analytics capabilities. Ron was the technical executive leading the IBM Smarter Cities software portfolio, and its corresponding domain products in Transportation, Water, City Planning & Operations, Video Analytics, and Energy. This software supports cities, regional municipal entities, stadiums, airports, and other operations-based organizations. Bringing together different agencies into a single view, these products were named the industry leader for three straight years by Frost & Sullivan, IDC, and Navigant for their vision and breadth of features. He holds over a dozen software patents.

Ron is currently the President of the Board of Austin CityUPTM, a non-profit organization that works to bring technology to the City of Austin to improve citizen services and the effectiveness of city agencies. He is the cochair of the Housing Committee, where he is working to ease the effects of rapid growth on people that need affordable housing.

Rich Berens

Rich Berens

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Client Fanatic, Root Inc., Author of What are your Blind Spots?

Bio is forthcoming.

April Bertram

April Bertram

Senior Business Development Director, GOJO Industries

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

April Bertram is the Business Development Director of SmartLink Solutions at GOJO Industries. April joined GOJO in 2002 to lead the product development efforts for the Healthcare vertical market.

Full Bio

Since then, she has reinvented the GOJO innovation process, from the front end of innovation, to market and product development, through to strategic portfolio management. Most recently, April was tasked with creating new IoT business models in healthcare, commercial building and other core vertical GOJO markets. She develops and cultivates new partnerships in emerging ecosystems to support strategy execution.

April holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication and an Executive Masters of Business Administration. She has earned a GE Green Belt Six Sigma Certification, Innovation Engineering Black Belt Certification, a Certificate in Strategic Design Capability and the VentureWell Lean LaunchPad Facilitator. She has written a number of publications on product innovation and IoT, including several for the Frost & Sullivan Quarterly eBulletin.

Prior to her role at GOJO Industries, April was a small business owner and served in Product and Market Development positions for market-leading brands for The Hygenic Corporation (TherabandTM and Biofreeze®), GE Lighting and CompuServe Network Services/UUNet. Several patents have been awarded through these development capacities.

About GOJO

The GOJO story is one of entrepreneurship and innovation. Notable inventions include the first waterless heavy duty hand cleaner; the first portion-controlled soap dispenser; PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer; PURELL® Surface Sprays, and our latest inventions, PURELL® Brand HEALTHY SOAP® products with CLEAN RELEASE™ Technology and PURELL® ES8 Dispensing Systems with energy on the refill.

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter

Senior Investment Director, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures US

What inspires you?
Funding great teams + making business happen

Daniel has over 23 years of experience financing and investing in the energy sector across the value chain.  He has been Investment Director at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) for 5 ½  years responsible for growth equity and venture capital investments in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors for Aramco, as well as commodity trading and fintech. Daniel represents Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures on the boards of three companies in its portfolio.

Full Bio

Daniel started his career at Salomon/Citigroup for 8 years in the Investment Banking Division, advising utilities and renewable companies, as well as power generation OEMs (in London, Frankfurt, Australia and NYC) and co-founded the Energy Technology investment banking practice.  Prior to SAEV, he worked 9 years in a venture capital fund focused on energy efficiency with investors including Goldman Sachs, Shell, Kuwaiti Petroleum Company.  Daniel holds MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School and is President of the Columbia Business School Club of Houston.  He earned a B.S. degree from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.  Daniel is Chair of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Investment & Finance Initiative and is President of the London Business School Alumni Energy Club.

Svetlana Dimovski

Svetlana Dimovski

Vice President, Transformation Lab, Pact

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

Svetlana is a VP of Transformation Lab at Pact, an impact and growth engine looking to position Pact as a 4th sector organization. She’s also a leadership and business coach, Kellogg Executive Scholar in Leadership, and Founder of Dharma Growth LLC coaching and consulting company from Arlington, VA.

Full Bio

Dr. Dimovski brings two decades of professional experience in strategy and change management, innovation leadership, business development, R&D, analytical discovery and product development roles in the lead Fortune 500 companies and academia. Her work on creating space for innovation and growth was recognized with the Best Open Innovation program award at the Chief Strategy & Innovation Officers Summit in 2016. She also appeared in a documentary movie “Experiment 150” in 2016. Svetlana is the Amelia Earhart Fellow, Dragomir Nikolitch Trust Scholar, and Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Young Talents Research Fellow. She is a member of the International Coach Federation, Squad Moderator and an Innovator member of the Ellevate Network, Member of the Materials Advisory Board at Drexel University, Advisory Committee Member for TechConnect World, and grant proposal reviewer for National Science Foundation. She holds PhD in Materials Science and BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering. Her interests include artificial intelligence, learning, performing arts, and meditation. Personal style: Futuristic, Strategic, Maximizer, Learner, Connectedness (Gallup StrengthFinder profile); ENTP (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator); Inspirer (Insights Discovery profile), Conceptualizer (Basadur profile)

 

Angela Femmer

Angela Femmer

Director Competitive Positioning, Brewer Science

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

What inspires you?
Enabling Growth

After earning her BS in Business Management from Bradley University, Angela worked for a label manufacturing company and earned her MBA from Webster University before joining Brewer Science in 2001.

Full Bio

Her experience included roles ranging from Inside Sales to Label Converting Group Manager. Angela has worked in several positions while at Brewer Science from Quality Analyst to Global Intangible Assets Manager. She has been directing competitive positioning strategies since 2014, aligning competitive intelligence, intellectual property, and marketing to facilitate forward-looking, ecosystem-level solutions for positive impacts and growth.

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick

Partner, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Events Division, Frost & Sullivan

Brian Fitzpatrick is a Partner at Frost & Sullivan and the Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Events division. He is responsible for the Best Practice creation and execution of Frost & Sullivan Events globally. Prior to joining Frost & Sullivan in 2002, Brian leveraged his 20+ years of management and leadership experience to manage over 300 global events, within North America, South America and Europe.

Full Bio

During his tenure, Brian has chaired more than five dozen events, provided both budgeting and financial management expertise to turn departments around from a loss to profit and successfully launch new business units, product lines and offices around the world. Brian holds an MBA in International Finance.

Raleen Gagnon

Raleen Gagnon

Managing Director, Global Market Intelligence, ManpowerGroup Solutions

Bio is forthcoming.

Viv Goldstein

Viv Goldstein

Vice President, Bionic

What inspires you?
My kids, a deserted beach

Viv Goldstein is Vice President, Organizational and Executive Development for Bionic Solution, an exciting and dynamic startup which installs a proprietary operating system that enables new growth and competitiveness in some of the world’s largest enterprises, using the models, methods, and tools of venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Full Bio

Viv is specifically responsible for identifying and developing organizational structures, identifying and developing enterprise talent to build an “always on” growth capability,

Prior to Bionic, Viv spent 29 years at GE, most recently as Director, Innovation Acceleration. She was the co-founder and co-leader of FastWorks, a platform that applied entrepreneurial tools, processes and culture across GE.  By providing additional resources, capabilities and coaching for critical growth initiatives, she focused on driving impact and competitiveness to support of GE’s need to deliver better outcomes for their customers faster.

Prior to this, Viv was Director of Commercial Learning & Transformation, GE Corporate with responsibility for building commercial capabilities across GE globally.  She led the commercial curriculum development and supported the businesses and the various emerging markets to continue to drive the commercial skills.

With GE Capital from 1991 to 2007, Viv held various marketing and client management roles both in America and Europe, including VP Marketing, led the Customer Centric transformation, and developed and implemented value proposition strategies for the private and co-brand credit cards for leading retailers and clients.

Her previous employment includes Bass, Johnson Wax and 3M Companies. Viv balances her busy work schedule with her 3 adult children, traveling and community work.

Mark D. Gordon

Mark D. Gordon

President and Chief Executive Officer, Odyssey Marine Exploration

What inspires you?
Those that pursue their passions

Mark Gordon believes in following one’s dreams.  Starting in childhood he dreamed of a career in ocean and shipwreck exploration.  Today he is among the fortunate few who make their living pursuing their passion.

Full Bio

Mark is the Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Marine Exploration (www.odysseymarine.com), a NASDAQ traded company engaged in seafloor mineral exploration and the archaeologically-sensitive recovery of deepwater shipwrecks. Odyssey utilizes innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive deep-ocean search and recovery operations.

Mark knows the passion and thrill, and the success and failures that can come with following your dreams. As one of the world’s foremost deep-ocean explorers, he has utilized all of these tools, and experienced all of these emotions, to make startling discoveries underwater. As wonderful as major discoveries can be, Mark also knows that it is often the explorations that come up empty handed where the most valuable lessons can be learned.

Discovery Channel’s “Silver Rush” featured Mark and Odyssey in their three-part series that showcased Odyssey’s work on the SS Gairsoppa, SS Mantola and HMS Victory during their 2012 recovery season. Odyssey recovered 110 tons of silver bullion from the SS Gairsoppa, setting a world record for the heaviest and deepest recovery of valuable cargo ever performed on a shipwreck site.

Prior to joining Odyssey, Mark owned and managed four different start-up companies, selling his last venture, Synergy Networks, to the Rockefeller Group. The experience of building, operating and selling multiple business ventures contributes significantly to Mark’s management and leadership style.

Ken Hallman

Ken Hallman

Vice President, Offer Launches, Global Marketing, Schneider Electric

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

What inspires you?
We’re a work in progress

Ken Hallman currently leads Schneider Electric’s global initiative to elevate the performance and return on investment of their new products.  With a global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider Electric is the leader in power management – leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.

Full Bio

Ken has over 30 years of experience in general management, strategic planning and product management & development.  He previously held senior leadership positions at various global companies including Motorola/Google, Verizon, Sears Holdings and Verisign.  He has led several multi-billion-dollar product families, including the Kenmore brand and the Motorola Droid product family.

Jim Haudan

Jim Haudan

Co-founder and Chairman, Root Inc., Author of What are your Blind Spots?

Bio is forthcoming.

Vincent Higgins

Vincent Higgins

General Manager, Honeywell Connected Plant, Honeywell

Bio is forthcoming.

Peter Hofstee

Peter Hofstee

Distinguished Research Staff Member, IBM Power Systems Performance, Professor Big Data Systems, TU Delft, Netherlands

Bio is forthcoming.

Kevin Ilcisin

Kevin Ilcisin

Vice President of Corporate Strategy, National Instruments

As vice president of corporate strategy, Kevin Ilcisin is responsible for ensuring cross-functional alignment of NI’s strategy planning and execution activities, including the use of partnerships and acquisitions to accelerate NI’s platform-based strategy.

Full Bio

Prior to joining NI in 2015, Ilcisin served as the vice president and chief technology officer at Tektronix, where he was responsible for the core technology development, R&D strategy, and portfolio processes governing R&D investments. He has also held leadership roles at Novellus Systems (Lam Research), Zight Corporation, and Technical Visions.

Ilcisin is the inventor or coinventor of 42 U.S. and foreign patents. He has been recognized with five postgraduate and two postdoctoral awards including the Princeton Merit Award and Killam Memorial Award.

Ilcisin holds doctorate and master’s degrees in plasma physics from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with distinction from the University of Alberta.

Dr. Suraj Kapa

Dr. Suraj Kapa

Director, Augmented and Virtual Reality Innovation, Mayo Clinic

Bio is forthcoming.

Joe Kirgues

Joe Kirgues

Co-Founder, gener8tor

What inspires you?
Mission, Creativity, Achievement

Joe cofounded the gener8tor program where he manages the company’s efforts along with his business partner Troy Vosseller.

Full Bio

gener8tor’s four programs include (1) its startup accelerators including the nationally-ranked gener8tor and The Brandery programs, which operate in Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati; (2) its gBETA program, which consists of a free, seven-week accelerator that most recently expanded into Social Impact with American Family Insurance and Musictech with Capitol Records; (3) its corporate programming including its OnRamp Conference series in insurance and manufacturing; and, (4) its cultural accelerators including the Backline accelerator program for musicians and Fellowship.art for artists.

The 75+ startup graduates of the gener8tor accelerator have raised over $200 million in follow-on financing and created thousands of jobs.

Gil Klinger

Gil Klinger

Vice President Space and Intelligence, Raytheon Company

Bio is forthcoming.

Su Le

Su Le

Managing Director, IoT Incubation Services, Cisco

Bio is forthcoming.

Karen Leeker

Karen Leeker

Director of Innovation Services, Wright Brothers Institute

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

Karen is a visionary leader; she finds opportunities to develop and grow businesses; has the unique ability to “make something from nothing” and has developed new businesses in excess of $1 billion during her career.

Full Bio

She is an innovation expert with diverse experience developing new products, new technologies and new business models for Procter & Gamble, Solo Cup Co. and Velcro.  She has also taught entrepreneurship at Purdue University.  Karen holds a B.S. Industrial Engineering degree from Purdue University and is an inventor with 4 patents.

Karen currently leads the Innovation Services Group at Wright Brothers Institute (WBI), a cutting-edge innovation and technology commercialization center for the Air Force Research Laboratory, with facilities located just outside of WPAFB in Dayton, OH. WBI drives fast, agile innovation that enables successful technology development to solve the Air Force’s most complex challenges by leveraging resident experts, unique facilities, disruptive innovation processes and extensive networks. WBI leverages subject matter experts and intellectual property from AFRL and SBIR companies to unlock the right problem, connect to new partners and synchronize transition pathways through our commercialization partners.

Gwen Lighter

Gwen Lighter

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, GoFly

What inspires you?
Innovation Perseverance, Kindness

Gwen Lighter is the CEO and founder of GoFly. She leads a team of over 3,700 innovators from 103 countries creating a multitude of personal flying devices. Supported by Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and 20+ aerospace organizational partners, GoFly is catalyzing the creation of jet packs, flying motorcycles, and personal flyers to make the dream of human flight a reality.

Susan Lucas-Conwell

Susan Lucas-Conwell

Executive Vice President, CSIRO US

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

What inspires you?

Creating innovation ecosystems that bring entrepreneurs, academic researchers and large companies together to either create new markets or address significant issues facing our planet and populations. Seeing the results of these collaborations and being a part of making them happen inspires me.  The opportunity to make an impact on our world and guide companies to achieve aspirational goals has been a life-long purpose.

Full Bio

In 2017, Susan Lucas-Conwell, Executive Vice President of CSIRO, opened the North American innovation center in Silicon Valley. CSIRO (www.csiro.us) is Australia’s pre-eminent national science organization with partners across diverse science sectors including Space (NASA), Agriculture (The Gates Foundation, UC-Davis), Manufacturing (Boeing) and Energy (DARPA).

Susan is a global business executive, independent Board Director and NACD Fellow, recognized for her successful track record of driving innovation and accelerating revenue growth both in the US and in Europe. She sits on private as well as not-for-profits boards including Women in Sports Tech (www.womeninsportstech.org), Growth Resources, Inc. (www.gri.co) and Wharton Club of Northern California (www.whartonclub.com).  She is also a board advisor to REDF (www.redf.org) Tiatros (www.tiatros.com) and Singularity U (www.su.org). Over the past two decades Susan has advised hundreds of early stage start-ups and founders in cleantech, IoT, and health tech; venture firms including Sapphire Ventures; and spoken on innovation at conferences including TedX and GCVI.

Susan has won numerous awards including Frost & Sullivan’s “Innovator Spotlight”, Watermark’s “Women Who Made Their Mark” and Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Women of Influence”. She earned an MBA in Marketing and International Business from the Wharton School of Business, a MA in Economic History from The Johns Hopkins University, and a BA with Honors in Economic History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   In addition to her professional accomplishments, she is a competitive rower with the Bair Island Aquatic Center.

Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin

Head of Strategy, Cloud Artificial Intelligence, Google Cloud

Bio is forthcoming.

Kristi Martindale

Kristi Martindale

Chief Marketing Officer, Sarcos Robotics

What inspires you?
Technologies positive impact on humanity.

Kristi Martindale serves as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President for Sarcos Robotics. In this role, she oversees all aspects of marketing, including branding, product marketing, marketing communications, market research and public relations.

Full Bio

With more than 20 years of brand-building experience, Martindale’s passion is developing performance-driven global marketing campaigns, and has created, developed and deployed successful industry-leading products and strategies for startups, mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to joining Sarcos, Martindale spent more than 13 years with Qualcomm Incorporated as Vice President, Global Marketing. In this role, she led marketing for many of Qualcomm’s business units, including software, services, emerging technology and licensing businesses worldwide. She was charged with bringing to market products, services and solutions that spanned a multitude of industries, including augmented reality, proximal communications, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), transportation and wireless charging. Martindale also led many notable wireless and mobile initiatives, including the launch of several industry-leading consortia, developer programs, the first smart watch reference design and several other products into the B2B and B2C markets. Martindale previously achieved early career success in executive marketing roles for technology and software companies in e-commerce, supply chain management and wireless communications.

Martindale holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of La Verne.

Josh Mason

Josh Mason

Competitive Analysis Lead, IBM

A veteran of IBM, Samsung, and General Motors, Josh has built his career solving complex business problems with an evolving toolset, from financial analysis and stakeholder interviews to competitive intelligence and strategy frameworks. He has been able to pair these skills with the Enterprise Design Thinking practice to help teams and organizations make better decisions.

Full Bio

Josh has lived all over the US – Portland, Salt Lake City, Detroit, and Dallas – and currently resides in Austin with his wife and four children. When he’s not in the garage or exploring with his wife, he is focused on teaching his kids important life skills by volunteering for disaster cleanup, starting their own business, or learning to drive a manual transmission.

Joe Meersman

Joe Meersman

Director of Design Strategy, IBM

Joe Meersman has researched and designed a variety of experiences throughout his career. His work has ranged from Bluetooth headsets and office furniture to first-responder centers and artificial intelligence.

Full Bio

Joe has led teams of designers in the delivery of cognitive-enabled applications and services across IBM’s Cloud and Watson portfolio. He currently serves as the design strategy director for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud organization.

Jane Moran

Jane Moran

Senior Vice President, Data & Technology, LoyaltyOne

Member – Growth Innovation Leadership Council

Session: Implementing the Best, Brightest, and Boldest Ideas

Bio is forthcoming.

Jay Nakagawa

Jay Nakagawa

Director, ISG Competitive Intelligence, Dell EMC

Jay is currently Director of Competitive Intelligence at Dell Technologies.  He and his team support the multi-billion Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) within Dell Technologies, providing realtime competitive intelligence and strategic insights on the competition and their offerings.

Full Bio

Additionally, Jay and his team provide realtime in-depth analytics of the business relative to the competition and have a number of projects underway identifying monetization opportunities through big data business analytics.

Jay has held a number of positions in product management, marketing, business development, sales, systems engineering and executive positions over his 20+ years in the business with enterprises, startups, and growth companies including IBM, McDATA, Compuware, Datasonix, Spectra Logic, ADIC, BEZ Systems, eNetica, Sun Microsystems and others.

Living in Colorado, Jay and his wife, Veronica, enjoy summer and winter camping, ATVing, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities.  Jay is a professional trumpet player and has led several jazz and rock bands in the Denver-metro area.  He is also a competitive BBQ-er and his team has received awards competing locally.

Jay is a member of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), IEEE, and KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society).  Jay graduated with a Bachelors degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Masters degree from Regis University.

Lee Ng

Lee Ng

Vice President, Innovation, Travelers

What inspires you?
Passionate about creating new businesses

Dr. Lee Ng is an innovation management executive with over 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley, scouting for new technologies and creating new businesses for large tech corporations like HP, Agilent and Siemens corporation. She got into the insurance industry when she was recruited as the COO for Singapore-based MetLife Innovation Centre in 2015, and returned to the US to join Travelers in 2018.

Full Bio

Lee has an engineering background with Master and PhD degrees from MIT, and she had to learned most of her business acumen by making mistakes in real life through launching new product & services and serving real customers.

Charlie Plauche

Charlie Plauche

Partner, S3 Ventures

What inspires you?
Creating jobs in growing companies

Charlie Plauche is a Partner at S3 Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm in Austin, TX with $500 million under management. S3’s focus is investing in Texas-based B2B software companies at seed, Series A, and Series B stages but we have also invested in consumer/med-tech and outside of TX.

Full Bio

Charlie currently serves on the boards of S3 portfolio companies Alkami Technology, AtmosphereTV, Interplay Learning, Levelset, Liveoak Technologies, OutboundEngine, and Tango Health. Previous board duties include Favor Delivery (acquired by H-E-B), Kimbia (acquired by GiveGab), Pristine (acquired by Upskill), and TVA Medical (Observer – acquired by Becton Dickinson, NYSE:BDX). 

Prior to S3, Charlie was with Harbert Private Equity Funds, a subsidiary of Harbert Management Corporation.  At Harbert, Charlie analyzed and structured leveraged buyouts in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors and assisted with portfolio management.  He received his MBA from the McCombs School at the University of Texas in Austin and his BS in Finance from the University of Mississippi, where he was a Holmes Scholarship recipient and a Mississippi Eminent Scholar.

Cate Prescott

Cate Prescott

Vice President of Global Human Resources, National Instruments

What inspires you?
Seeing people discovery their potential.

Executive human resources leader and system & solutions focused thinker recognized for adding significant value on high-impact organizational transformation initiatives and human capital strategies.

Full Bio

As Vice President of Global Human Resources, Cate Prescott partners with the C-suite Executive Leadership team and the Board of NI to enable HR as a strategic change agent that collaborates with the business in delivering its results. With a strong commitment to drive philosophies and programs that bring NI’s culture to life, Cate and her global HR team have built the company’s People Platform as a foundation for ensuring employees remain core to NI’s success and she is  passionate about enabling business strategy by helping individuals, teams and organizations be their best and do their best work in service of employees, customers and the community.

Prior to this role, Cate served as HR Director of NI’s global sales and marketing organizations across the EMEIA, APAC, and the Americas Regions from 2013 to 2016 and was based in the UK travelling extensively in Europe and Asia.

Before joining NI, Cate was Head of HR for Business, Information and Transformation working in the Industrial Capability area the Military Air and Information Sector (2005–2013) and Head of HR for MVC, a subsidiary of Woolworths Group (2002−2005).

Cate holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in strategic HR and an advanced diploma in coaching from Oxford. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and former UK regional government ambassador for Engage for Success.

Outside of work, Cate enjoys spending time with her family, Scuba diving on holidays and hitting the hiking trails and discovering all the fun and “weird” things to do in Austin which she now calls home.

Bernhard Ries

Bernhard Ries

Senior Director of Corporate Strategy, Intel Corporation

What inspires you?
Using Technology to Maximize Human Potential

I sit happily at the intersection of strategy, communications and organizational development. My 30 year long career in the tech sector has covered roles in software engineering, product marketing, business development, brand marketing, market research and corporate strategy.

Full Bio

I’ve benefited from assignments in diverse areas operating on three continents (Europe, North America & South America) that have allowed me to learn about different facets of business and how to best work in diverse cultural settings. My strong belief is that business performance always comes back to developing people and activating the power of good leadership.

In my current role as Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Intel I lead a team responsible for researching and synthesizing key market trends across Intel’s business and bringing them to the attention of Intel’s executive management. The team also engages in industry analysis projects to analyze business and ecosystem forces in specific segments of the market to inform Intel’s business strategy in those segments and provides strategic consulting to the CEO and the Board. One of my key current areas of interest in this space is to push the envelope on how advanced data analytics and machine learning techniques can lead to better strategic insights and actions.

John Ruggles

John Ruggles

Senior Vice President, Frost & Sullivan

Bio is forthcoming.

Richard Sear

Richard Sear

Partner & Senior Vice President: Visionary Innovation, Frost & Sullivan

As Partner & Senior Vice President of Visionary Innovation of Frost & Sullivan Richard Sear oversees our practice focused on mid to long term growth strategies. Richard works with a team of global consultants that are focused on understanding how future transformative developments will impact them and what may sustain long term growth.

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His teams approach is grounded in research, taking key developing indicators to more credibly assess what the future will bring us and how to act on that information. In his role Richard has worked with some of the world’s leading companies such as GE, Intel, Henkel, Agilent, Schneider, Cisco, Boeing, Verizon and many more.

Richard has also served as Vice President of Corporate & Executive Development for Frost & Sullivan. His work covered all aspects of learning and development which focused on corporate education. In this role Richard drove the alignment of strategic initiatives within our client’s workforce. This led to significant experience consulting with Fortune 500 companies on successful implementations in marketing, sales, product management and research development, to name a few.

Richard’s seventeen years at Frost & Sullivan has led him to work in virtually every industry, from Energy, Healthcare, to IT and Chemicals giving him a truly rounded perspective of the global business environment and the trends driving change ranging from Social issues to Mass Urbanization.

Prior to this Richard worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Consultant focusing on the future of wireless technologies. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Middlesex, England and Master’s degree from Cambridge University, England, where his main concentration was looking at the future events that would impact the growth of Southern European countries.  Richard is a frequent and well known speaker at global conferences and corporate events to drive awareness of long term strategic planning and the macro forces shaping our future.

Chris Shonk

Chris Shonk

Partner, ATX Venture Partners

What inspires you?
Solving difficult and noble problems, building partnerships, navigating innovation at scale.

As the oldest of 8 children, Chris started his first business at fourteen and has been financially self-sufficient from that day on. Chris served in the US Army to provide money for college and attain leadership and strategic execution skills from the world’s most elite operators.  He won the highly prestigious Special Operations Soldier of the Year award in 1996 and worked as an analyst at Merrill Lynch to begin his post-military career.

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Chris cofounded Virtus Financial Group (now Virtus Real Estate a $3.5B private equity fund),  and served as managing director of the private equity unit. Chris sold his interests in 2006 and cofounded EZ Money Pawn bringing technology and ecommerce to the secured lending and pawn business.  There after he cofounded Sneaky Games and was also their lead investor taking that to a successful exit via IPO.  Chris and his wife Myrna were among the first investors and largest franchisees in Massage Envy where they continue to own numerous clinics in Central Texas.

Chris is currently the General Partner of ATX Venture Partners, a founder-focused early stage venture fund based in Austin, Texas. Known as a numbers based operator Chris is a sought after director and advisor in the technology and venture industries, currently serving on the boards of: Bractlet, Olono, SourceDay, Slingshot Aerospace, MonoDrive and GoCo.   Chris has taken companies he has operated and invested in to exit via acquisition, merger, recapitalization and IPO. 

Chris earned his B.A. at in Business Administration & Economics and his M.B.A. from the Acton School of Business.   He was the first alumni to start an endowment for the Acton MBA to afford other deserving entrepreneurs the opportunity to change the world.  Chris is on the board of the Boys & Girls Club and focuses on their STEM efforts for underprivileged children.  He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Myrna and their son Asher and their giant schnauzer Princess Leia.

Chris Spanton

Chris Spanton

Principal Architect – Blockchain, T-Mobile

What inspires you?
I’m passionate about learning!

Christopher Spanton is known for his innovative work in emerging technology and his leadership in the broader technology community. A long-time veteran of the healthcare and telecom industries, Christopher is a hands-on leader who holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Healthcare and Technology Management and has a portfolio that spans many years in both start-up and enterprise environments.

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Recently named a T-Mobile “Creative Genius”, Christopher is T-Mobile’s blockchain lead. His related research has led to both open source software development and patent filings spanning disciplines from advertising and content management, to IoT and device security, and beyond. His position as an early leader in the development of enterprise blockchain technologies has earned him opportunities to provide expert testimony for the Joint Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations in Washington, and to provide insights for the Office of the Directory of National Intelligence report Blockchain Suitability for Government Applications. Christopher is engaged in standards and certification development with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Hyperledger Project, and the Linux Foundation. He was the founding Vice President of the Seattle Government Blockchain Association and is a co-founder and Board Member of the Cascadia Blockchain Council.

Outside of work Christopher is a husband, father, and accomplished ski-mountaineer. Skilled in advanced mountain rescue and emergency medicine; he has studied – and lived – leadership in high-risk environments through climbing and skiing many of North America’s most prominent peaks. He is passionate about passing on his experience and knowledge as a volunteer mountaineering instructor and mentor.

Christopher has shared his deep multi-disciplinary experience and insights with dozens of audiences around the world and is thrilled to join the speaker roster at the Frost & Sullivan 15th Anniversary Growth, Innovation and Leadership Executive MindXchange.

Krishna Srinivasan

Krishna Srinivasan

Global President & Managing Partner, Frost & Sullivan

Mr. Srinivasan, Global President and Managing Partner of Frost & Sullivan, has been with the company for over twenty five years. Over the years, he has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, culminating in the role of President in the year 2000. He has played a key role in reshaping the company from its early days as a market research company to a full-fledged global growth consulting company focused on solving client challenges with customized business intelligence, growth strategies and training & implementation support.

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He is also the architect of Frost & Sullivan’s proprietary Growth Model and Growth Pipeline process, a structured, robust and continuous process that helps clients generate, evaluate and implement growth strategies. He brings to his role a unique blend of technology and business expertise, combined with several years of business research and strategy consulting experience.

Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor

Principal Consultant: Visionary Innovation, Frost & Sullivan

What inspires you?
Sharing innovation insights across industries

Lauren has worked in strategy and innovation for over 12 years, with the last five spent as a Principal Consultant with Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Group.  As a member of the Visionary Innovation Group, Lauren helps companies prepare for the transformations and disruptions that Mega Trends will usher in to their industries. Highlights from her work at Frost & Sullivan include futurecasting growth opportunities for Fortune 5 companies, corporate scenario planning for industries facing disruption, and innovation process evaluation and development for global leaders. Lauren holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

Dr. Ahmed Tewfik

Dr. Ahmed Tewfik

Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering and Chairman, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Ahmed Tewfik received his B.Sc. degree from Cairo University, Cairo Egypt, and his M.Sc., E.E. and Sc.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. He is the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering and the Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. 

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He was previously the E. F. Johnson professor of Electronic Communications with the department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and worked at Alphatech, Inc., Burlington, MA. He also served as a consultant to several high tech, industrial measurements and medical tech companies. From August 1997 to August 2001, he was the President and CEO of Cognicity, Inc., an entertainment marketing software tools publisher that he co-founded, on partial leave of absence from the University of Minnesota. His current research interests are in man–machine symbiosis, brain computing interfaces and applied machine learning. He has made seminal contributions in the past to food inspection, watermarking, multimedia signal processing and content-based retrieval, wavelet signal processing and fractals.  Past research contributions also include low power multimedia communications, adaptive search and data acquisition strategies for World Wide Web applications, radar and dental/medical imaging, monitoring of machinery via acoustic emissions, industrial measurements.

Prof. Tewfik is a Fellow of the IEEE. He received several awards and honors, including the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award in 2018, IEEE third Millennium award in 2000 and Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 1997 – 1999. He was elected to the post of President-elect of the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2017 and will serve as President in 2020. He was previously elected for three year terms as VP for Technical Directions and member of the board of governors of that society in 2009 and 2005 respectively. Prof. Tewfik delivered plenary lectures at several IEEE and non-IEEE meetings and taught tutorials on bioinformatics, ultrawideband communications, watermarking and wavelets at major IEEE conferences. He was selected to be the first Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters from 1993 to 1999.

Ingrid Vanderveldt

Ingrid Vanderveldt

Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, EBW2020 & Vanderveldt Global Investments

Bio is forthcoming.

Jillian Walker

Jillian Walker

Principal Consultant: Visionary Innovation, Frost & Sullivan

What inspires you?
Innovation for the greater good

My work as a Principal Consultant with Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Group (VIG) concentrates on a deep understanding of the socioeconomic, technological, and demographic megatrends that will impact business, government, and societies through the coming decades.

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Specifically, in my role with VIG, I have worked in areas as diverse as automotive and transportation, financial services, energy, industrial process, public sector, and education. Topics with recently published research include the Future of Work, Gen Z in the US, 5G as an emerging technology investment area, and Smart Cities. At Frost & Sullivan, I am also an active member of GLOW, the Growth & Leadership of Women, program.

Prior to supporting VIG, I worked with Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Team Membership, whose research concentrated on functional best practices in Corporate Strategy, Marketing, and Research & Development. My academic background includes an ABD Ph.D. in English Literature with a focus on Cultural Studies. This concentration has helped infuse my current work with a highly creative and analytical perspective, which I strive to bring to each and every engagement in which I participate.

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker

General Partner, Venture Capital, Baird Capital

Bio is forthcoming.

Lisa Wardlaw

Lisa Wardlaw

Executive Vice President, Global Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Munich American Reassurance Company

Lisa Wardlaw is Executive Vice President, Global Chief Digital Transformation Officer, MunichRe. She is responsible for driving MunichRe towards becoming the first fully digital reinsurer which includes enabling business with new transformative technologies and inventing new and exciting business models for financial services. 

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Her role covers all lines of business and territories in which MunichRe operates giving her unique perspective across the entire industry.  She partners with thought leaders in other industries to bring first-hand disruptive and creative agility to the financial services sector.

Lisa joined Munich Re in 2009 with over 20 years of experience in financial and operational systems implementations. Throughout her career with Munich Re, Lisa has championed dramatic improvements in processes and systems, and has been the driving force behind the future technology platform that MunichRe is building fully in the Cloud.

Lisa is a graduate of the Rhodes College. She is an active in the digital transformation community leading key thought pieces on disruption, generation of new business models and innovation for the insurance sector.

Deb Zell

Deb Zell

Director of Customer and User Experience, Dell EMC

What inspires you?
Identifying unmet customer needs and riding my bike

I accidentally found my way into human centered design, best practice research and journey mapping 10 years ago (long before it became a thing) due to a product I launched for Charles Schwab that was a spectacular failure.

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In the years since then, I’ve grown as practitioner of omni-channel, customer-centric design methods, have worked for and with early stage startups and incubators, and led the customer experience design practice at Deloitte Digital.  I was then hired into my current role to bring together the post-Dell and EMC merger offerings in a way that makes sense to customers; in the process am improving internal and external customer experience around all touchpoints: events, sales, product, support and digital experiences.

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