« ParksAssociates.com Hosted by Parks Associates

2015 Speakers


Christian Kurz Christian Kurz, SVP Research, Insights and Reporting, Viacom International Media Networks

Christian Kurz is Senior Vice President of Research, Insights and Reporting for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). Based in New York, Mr. Kurz is responsible for providing VIMN’s businesses and operations with strategic consumer-based research, as well as maintaining a consistent and strongly aligned research organization across VIMN. His guidance is used to inform international business decisions across all brands of the VIMN portfolio, such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, on all platforms.

Mr. Kurz holds more than 15 years of experience in research in the media industry. He first joined VIMN in January 2011 as Senior Director, Nickelodeon International Research and Insights, where he aligned Nickelodeon’s international reporting processes and launched key insight initiatives, including The Power of Kids’ Influence under the Nickelodeon Kids & Family GPS banner. Prior to joining VIMN, Mr. Kurz worked at Discovery Networks as Insights Director, Emerging Markets. Before that, he was Director of Brand Strategy and Marketing Research in EMEA for Disney-ABC Networks Group. He has also held research roles at Warner Bros., Interpublic Group and ITV in the UK.

Born in Austria, Mr. Kurz holds degrees from the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, Westminster University in London and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Until his move to New York, he also lectured part time at the University of London’s Birkbeck College in the fields of business, marketing and media. 

Lionel Paillet Lionel Paillet, General Manager of Europe, Nest Labs, Inc.
Twitter ID: @nest

Lionel Paillet joined Nest Labs as General Manager of Europe in January 2014 to oversee operations and expansion of the company within the European market.

Since joining Nest, Paillet has led the expansion of Nest into brand new geographies, developed new routes to market for example in the energy and insurance sectors, and played a key role in the promotion of the concept of the ‘thoughtful home’.

Prior to joining Nest, Paillet held senior roles at Apple for over 13 years, most recently as a Channel Sales and Development Director across Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. Lionel holds degrees from Université René Descartes and Université Paris Sorbonne, as well as masters from CELSA Paris-Sorbonne University.

Greg Roberts Greg Roberts, Vice President, Marketing, Icontrol Networks

Greg Roberts serves as the vice president of marketing for Icontrol Networks. Roberts started with Icontrol in 2006 and leads all corporate marketing and marketing communications initiatives for the company. Roberts’ career features a celebrated track record of leadership and success in strategic branding and management for a range of tech companies. He has been instrumental in the successful launch of numerous consumer and B2B marketing campaigns. During his time at Icontrol, he has driven notable business results focused on customer acquisition and retention, leading to increased market share and international expansion. Previously, Roberts was vice president of marketing at Helio, a MVNO startup, where he led all marketing initiatives and brand management, and helped expand and broaden the company’s customer portfolio. He also played a critical role in the launch of Helio and Helio Powered By SK Telecom, which received critical acclaim from the industry. Prior to Helio, Roberts was the vice president of marketing for Disney Mobile, an MVNO project by The Walt Disney Company. He also served as the director of national marketing at SBC Wireless. There, he developed and led award-winning marketing initiatives to help launch Cingular Wireless (now AT&T). Roberts was recognized by Wireless World Magazine and Brandweek for the campaign’s pioneering approaches to youth marketing, which have since been adapted as best practices by the mobile industry. Roberts began his career with top brand marketing and design companies including The Richards Group, Tracy Locke, DDB Needham and GSD&M. He received a Master of Arts in communications from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from University of North Texas.


Holger Knöpke Holger Knöpke, Vice President Connected Home, Deutsche Telekom AG

Holger Knöpke, born in 1966, has been in charge of Deutsche Telekom AG’s QIVICON Smart Home platform business since the beginning of 2011. He previously worked for Deutsche Telekom in various management positions in Strategy, Products & Innovation, and Customer Marketing in Germany and the United States. Earlier stages in his career included consulting work in communications, computing and the media business with management consultants Booz Allen & Hamilton in Düsseldorf and Frankfurt and several positions in Product Management with Unilever in Hamburg.

Oliver Lewis Oliver Lewis, Senior Vice President Sky Integration, Sky Deutschland

Oliver Lewis is Senior Vice President Product Management at Sky Deutschland. He is responsible for the coordination of marketing, sales and customer relationship management for existing and new products. He joined Sky Deutschland in 2009 and worked on several key projects, including the launch of Sky Go, Sky’s online and mobile OTT proposition and the renewal of Sky’s Bundesliga rights until 2017. Previously, Oliver held a number of positions at British Sky Broadcasting. After joining in 2001, he was involved in financing and M&A and worked on the acquisition of Easynet followed by the launch of Sky’s broadband service. In 2007, he was appointed Commercial Director at Sky News, with responsibilities including development of new revenue streams, online partnerships and finance. Before joining BSkyB, he studied physics at Cambridge, completed an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, and worked in corporate finance at ING Barings in London and Paris.

Ken Morse Ken Morse, Chief Technical Officer, Video Software and Solutions, Cisco Systems

During the more than 32 years Dr. Ken Morse has been involved in software and hardware development, he has co-founded four companies in the digital video and entertainment space. In his current role as CTO, Video Software and Solutions, Dr. Morse is responsible for ensuring that the company maintains its leadership in video solutions for the Service Provider space by driving the embracement of new technologies, architectures and product categories. Prior to this role he held CTO roles for the Connected Devices Group and the SP Video Technology Group.

Prior to Cisco, Dr Morse was VP, Client Architecture for Scientific Atlanta and responsible for driving the client architecture of Scientific Atlanta's software and hardware solutions.

Prior to joining Scientific-Atlanta, Dr. Morse was a co-founder and the CTO of PowerTV, Inc. Here he and his team, along with their set-top partners, brought the first IP-based digital interactive television system to the mass market, providing the software platform and services for over 60 million digital interactive set-tops in North America today.

Prior to working at PowerTV, Dr. Morse was a member of the team that developed the first Hardware Reference Platform for Multi-media consumer electronics devices at Kaleida Labs, an Apple-IBM joint venture. Dr. Morse was also a co-founder of Ultra Digital Systems and MTL where he developed DSP Development systems and video compression schemes for PC multi-media applications.

Dr. Morse’s first foray into business was in 1981 when he received a Commodore Vic-20 and founded a company offering fast loaders and encryption schemes to the software duplicating industry.

He attended the University of Liverpool and holds a Ph.D in Electronic Engineering and a B.Eng in Electronic Engineering. He is a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Association for Computing Machinery, and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.  

Patrice Slupowski Patrice Slupowski, Vice-President Digital Innovation, Orange
Twitter ID: @slupowski

Patrice Slupowski is Vice-President Digital Innovation running the open-innovation corporate product marketing team of Orange, in charge of several projects around APIs, Internet of Things, mobile applications & mobile OS, personal data aggregation, privacy or emerging technologies.

Patrice Slupowski is a marketing expert in social networks, social & connected TV, wellness & personal data services and mobile multimedia services. He founded a start-up called Waptoo in 1999, one of the first companies to believe in the opportunities around mobile data, creating WAP and mobile services and proposing some automated mobile testing software, for companies and telcos, which has been acquired by Lagardere Group.

Patrice has been involved in digital space from the very first minute, and is permanently connected from 1990. Patrice is a graduate in Information Science and Technology from Paris-Dauphine University.

Ricco Winther Ricco Winther, Director of European Sales, Z-Wave, Sigma Designs
Twitter ID: @Sigma_Designs
Website: http://www.sigmadesigns.com

Ricco B. Winther is the Director of European Sales for Sigma Designs and their Z-Wave technology, the worldwide standard for home control. With over  a decade of experience in wireless technology and Home Area Networks, Mr. Winther is responsible for Z-Wave partnerships and the continuing growth of the Z-Wave interoperable ecosystem (now 900+ products strong) across the European continent.

Mr Winther has also held senior level positions at Booz & Company (formerly Booz, Allen & Hamilton) and at McKinsey & Co . His academic background includes :Supply Chain Management program, Cranfield School of Management, UK. And an MS. Economics & Business Administration (cand. merc.), CBS. Specialising in Management Accounting as well as related studies at  University of Limerick, Ireland (Bachelor); and  Monash University, Australia (Master).


Tom Kerber Tom Kerber, Director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @TomAKerber
Website: http://www.ParksAssociates.com

Tom leads Parks Associates research in the areas of home controls, energy management, and home networks. Tom authors numerous reports on energy management and home controls covering the evolution of technology, partnership opportunities, and new business models. Tom’s work at Parks Associates includes managing consumer surveys that track trends and market opportunities and enable insightful evidence-based forecasting for energy, security, and home controls. Tom speaks frequently at key industry events, and his views are sought out by national press organizations and publications.

Tom has done extensive consulting with electric utilities operating in a variety of regulator structures and numerous firms within the smart home ecosystem. Recent utility engagements include defining the home area network roadmap for a California IOU, updating the consumer engagement strategy for a traditional vertically integrated IOU, providing consumer and industry analysis to refine EE and DR programs for an IOU in a restructured market, and providing insights on the evolution of the connected home for a large Midwest IOU. Tom has also led projects for many Fortune 500 companies, helping clients refine smart home strategies, develop scenarios of the future of the smart home market, enhance product roadmaps, and refine specific product features.

Prior to working at Parks Associates, Tom worked as director of engineering and director of product management in multiple industries. Tom began his career in the U.S. Navy nuclear power program on submarines. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in systems engineering and a master's in software engineering from the University of Texas.

Brett Sappington Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @BrettsView
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

As a director of research at Parks Associates, Brett Sappington leads Parks Associates services research team, including access and entertainment services, digital media, OTT, cloud media, video gaming, and technical support services. Brett is an expert in worldwide television and broadband services. His personal research focuses on the activities and trends among operators and the market forces affecting their businesses. Brett is a regular speaker and moderator at international industry events.

Brett has spent over eighteen years in the industry as an analyst, executive manager, and entrepreneur. Previously, he founded and served as vice president for Teligy, a software company specializing in software for wired and wireless communications systems. Brett established new divisions for networking and audio/multimedia software for Intelligraphics. He has also been involved in the development and marketing of early-market products for 802.11 wireless networking, VoIP, and other technologies.

Brett holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in high-tech marketing and a BA in physics from Baylor University.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: International Digital Living Trends, Television Services (IPTV, cable, satellite/DTH, terrestrial/DTT), Broadband Services, Multiscreen Services, Value-added Services, Cloud-based Consumer Services, Set-top Boxes, Residential Gateways, Electronic Program Guides, Video Search and Recommendation, Video Metadata, Middleware, Technical Support Services

Stuart Sikes Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @stuartsikes
Website: http://www.ParksAssociates.com

Stuart Sikes is the president of Parks Associates, a market research firm specializing in consumer adoption of technology products and services. Stuart and team assist clients around the world by predicting trends in consumer technologies and identifying evolving business models. The Parks Associates team serves the world’s leading semiconductor, software, consumer electronics, telecom equipment, and entertainment companies, providing them with industry analysis, consumer research, and go-to-market recommendations. Stuart’s recent industry presentations include the outlook for residential energy management, new business models for the connected home, and the evolution of new video services.

Stuart has served technology companies for over twenty years, designing technical service, software, and hardware solutions for companies ranging from global semiconductor manufacturers to one of the nation’s largest airlines. In his positions with companies including AT&T, NCR, OpenConnect Systems, and Intelligraphics, Stuart’s roles have included sales, product marketing, marketing communications, and executive management.

Stuart holds an MBA from SMU and a BA in economics from Vanderbilt University.



Please contact Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein at Parks Associates or call 972-490-1113.