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CONNECTIONS™ Summit Speakers

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Liat Ben-Zur Liat Ben-Zur, Senior Vice-President and Digital Technology Leader, Philips

Liat Ben-Zur is senior vice president and digital technology leader at Philips where she is responsible for driving the connectivity & digital strategy across the company. Her aim is to deliver meaningful digital innovation via connected propositions and experiences.  
As a seasoned mobile technology exec, she believes that the future success of the ‘Internet of Things’ actually revolves around the consumer being the hero, not the technology. Liat was named by Fierce Wireless as one of the seven “Rising Stars of Wireless in 2014.
Prior to her current role, Liat was Chairwoman and co-founder of the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry consortium driving an open-source language for “Internet of Things,” whilst also leading Qualcomm’s AllJoyn business as senior director, Product Management.  
Before driving AllSeen and AllJoyn, Liat Ben-Zur built and led Qualcomm's Developer Ecosystem team and helped bridge the gap between the strongest semiconductor player in wireless with the growing influence of mobile application developers. Liat joined Qualcomm in 1998 working as an ASIC designer. Since then, she built and led the chipset division’s Technical Account Management team and later ran the competitive strategy team, managing tear downs, assessing M&As, and contributing to the division’s long-range planning and technology roadmapping. 
Prior to joining Qualcomm, Liat worked as a hardware engineer at Intel and for a wireless startup in Israel. 
Liat holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UC Davis and a master’s in business administration from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.”

Joseph Bousaba Joseph Bousaba, Vice President, Smart Home & Consumer Businesses, Qualcomm Atheros

Joseph Bousaba is the head of the Internet of Everything (IoE) Business within Qualcomm. In his role, Joseph assumes full responsibility for product management, business development, and business operations for consumer electronics, smart home/control & automation, wearables, and machine-to-machine/smart cities within IoE.

Prior to this, Joseph was responsible for Qualcomm Atheros’ strategy office and emerging businesses which covered strategic planning, roadmap and portfolio management, and the incubation of new connectivity businesses (e.g. expanding Qualcomm Atheros connectivity position in cars and home automation). Before moving into the emerging businesses division, Joseph was a part of the consumer business unit, responsible for product management and marketing for wireless connectivity in consumer electronics.

Before joining Qualcomm, Joseph was at Philips Semiconductors (currently NXP) where he held leadership positions in marketing of products including WLAN, WLAN/BT combos and ASIC/ASSP RF. He also held engineering roles working on the development of integrated circuits for TDMA and CDMA cellular phone applications as well as BiCMOS devices and processing.

Joseph earned both a Masters of Science and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Carolina, in addition to a tailored MBA (for Philips Semiconductors) from Ashridge College in the United Kingdom. 

Chester Chen Chester Chen, DIrector of International Market, Galaxywind Network Systems Co., Ltd.

As Chief International Marketing Officer of Galaxywind Networks, Mr. Chen leads product development and marketing initiatives. Using his 10 years’ experience in the industry, he has made Galaxywind one of the leading home automation companies in China and beyond. Guided by his vision, Galaxywind has developed smart energy management, comforts and security management products, some of the product received 2016 CES innovation awards and Red-dot design awards. Prior to Galaxywind, Mr. Chen had also served and formed companies in Europe and Asia. Mr. Chen was trained as a computer engineer at college and received his master degree from Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Rob Conant Rob Conant, CEO, Cirrent

Rob Conant, the CEO of Cirrent, has a long history in the Internet of Things and connected products. Rob was a pioneer in the Internet of Things as a co-founder of Dust Networks in 2002 where he ran sales and marketing and set the product direction as the company enabled a new market for wireless connected products in the industrial market. After Dust, Rob joined Trilliant to bring the benefit of connected products to the energy industry, where he delivered smart meters and energy management to millions of customers across the US, Europe, and Asia. Rob first ran the engineering team to ensure the company had market-leading products, then took the position of Chief Marketing Officer to drive the company’s growth. Rob’s deep technical background and business orientation gives him a unique perspective on the interactions between business models, technology, and consumers. Rob has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Terry Duesterhoeft Terry Duesterhoeft, President and CEO, A&D Medical

An effective marketing leader with 20 years in the health care industry, Terry Duesterhoeft has the skills and experience to effectively lead organizations and deliver profitable growth via innovative new product development, process improvement and cost productivity. Mr. Duesterhoeft is a media-savvy professional whose work is widely published, and he is an effective speaker at industry conferences. In addition to specialized training within the industry, Terry Duesterhoeft holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Terry Duesterhoeft began his career in the health care industry as a project manager for digital detector systems at GE Medical Systems Global X-Ray business. In this role, Mr. Duesterhoeft guided the company through design and introduction of the industry's first flat-panel detector for X-ray imaging, and he integrated the technology into mobile radiology systems and digital mammography. After two years, he went to work for GE Medical Systems ultrasound business, where he remained for 10 years, progressing through product development and marketing positions of greater responsibility. Terry Duesterhoeft has continued to work in positions of leadership with well-known health care organizations, maintaining a track record of guiding companies towards impressive sales growth and increased profitability.

Alex Dunn Alex Dunn, President, Vivint Smart Home

As President of Vivint Smart Home, Alex oversees the strategic direction of the company and manages Vivint’s revenue growth and future expansion plans. Since joining the company, Alex has taken Vivint from a local, direct-to-home business to a leading smart home company with 9,000 employees and more than a million customers. In 2006, Alex played a critical role in bringing on equity partners including Goldman Sachs, Jupiter Partners, and Peterson Partners, and securing an $800 million credit facility with a syndicate of 13 financial institutions. In 2012, he spearheaded the company’s acquisition by the Blackstone Group for more than $2 billion, positioning Vivint for further growth. Before joining Vivint, Alex started and ran two successful venture-backed companies, and served as Chief of Staff and COO to Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Alex has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University.

Grant Erickson Grant Erickson, President, Thread Group

Grant Erickson is the president of the Thread Group, as well as a principal engineer at Nest, where he oversees the technical development of software designed to support Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, WiFi, and Nest Weave. In his role, he was also an early contributor to the formation of the Thread Group and Thread networking protocol.

Pierre Fitzgerald Pierre Fitzgerald, Global Energy & Utilities Industry Lead, Ericsson

Mr. Fitzgerald brings over 25 years of experience in the ICT industry, having led sales, delivery and consulting teams in different sectors such as the Energy and the Utility space, Governments, Transportation and the Manufacturing industries. Pierre held various management and consulting roles with major ICT organizations before joining Ericsson in 2011. With an experience spanning in operations and management, in both private and public sectors, he worked with clients over the years to bring expertise in many areas, such as Strategy and Corporate Development, Organizational Transformation and Management, including involvement in building smart metering programs for large Utilities. He is now part of the Ericsson Global Energy & Utility Team with a focus on working and supporting the Ericsson teams and clients in North America.

François Girodolle François Girodolle, Head of Product Partnerships, Nest Europe, Nest Labs, Inc.

Francois is the head of European product partnerships at Nest, working closely with iconic brands including Whirlpool, Mercedes-Benz, and Philips Hue to create meaningful and thoughtful product integrations. Through the Works with Nest developer program, Nest and partners can build connections that anticipate people’s needs to make their lives easier.

Prior to Nest, Francois held senior product, marketing and business development roles at several major European tech players, as well as being an advisor to technology start-ups, and a judge and mentor in various globally-recognised innovation accelerators and competitions.

François holds a Master's degree in Engineering from Supelec, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management (Sloan Fellows).

Asit Goel Asit Goel, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Business Line Secure Monitoring & Control, NXP Semiconductors

Asit joined NXP in January 2015 as SVP GM for Secure Monitoring and Control business line to drive opportunities for NXP in the Internet of Things domain. He brings strong leadership capabilities with 20+ years of experience in the tech industry, deep expertise in formulating and implementing technology strategies – particularly in the IoT sector, and a track record of driving growth in large technology firms. Before joining NXP, Asit Goel was a Partner at Bain & Company, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. While there, he orchestrated and led several multi-year engagements focused on driving growth in new technology sectors, and leading M&A and post-merger integration for large multi-billion dollar deals. Prior to Bain, Asit held several technical and business management positions at ST Microelectronics and Memec LLC. He holds an MBA from Anderson School of Business, UCLA, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Bangalore University, India.

Bernd Grohmann Bernd Grohmann, Executive Vice President and CTO, eQ-3 AG

Bernd Grohmann is Executive Vice President (Vorstand) and CTO at eQ-3 AG, responsible for the OEM plus international business and Corporate Development for the group. According to industry analysts, eQ-3 is the European Smart Home market leader based on the installed base of whole home solutions and a Pioneer with IPv6 based Smart Home products.
Grohmann is a profound expert of the Smart Home and IoT market plus technology. Before joining eQ-3 AG, Grohmann was Vice President Product Marketing at Zensys, the original maker of Z-Wave, where he was responsible for the Z-Wave alliance in its early days.
At Danish industry group Danfoss A/S, Grohmann was leading the Communication Technology Center, a think tank supporting all 26 business divisions. In addition, he greatly contributed to the standardization work, e.g. within IEEE802.15.4, as a Working Group Chair in the ZigBee alliance and as one of the initiators of the 6LoWPAN initiative of IETF.

Gene Han Gene Han, Vice President- Consumer IoT, Head of SF Innovation Office, Target

Gene Han is Vice President of Consumer IOT and leads Target’s San Francisco innovation office. Gene leads the team responsible for Open House, Target’s IOT learning lab in San Francisco, for building relationships with startups and for developing a pipeline of IOT products to Target stores. Previously, Gene worked on Target’s strategy team and led teams responsible for incubating several billion-dollar growth initiatives. He established the company’s retail innovation research lab and is co-champion of its internal design thinking practice. Gene also actively consults with the company’s ecommerce acquisitions, start-up accelerator in India and Entrepreneurs-In-Residence. Outside of work, Gene is an active angel investor and coaches several start-ups. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for Recycle Across America and is the founder of MBA Connect, a Minnesota based philanthropic group supporting local charities. Gene received an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business and holds an Engineering degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Daniel Herscovici Daniel Herscovici, SVP & GM, Xfinity Home, Comcast Cable

Daniel Herscovici is the general manager and senior vice president of Xfinity Home, the next-generation home security, automation, and energy management solution from Comcast. He is responsible for all aspects of the Xfinity Home business, including operations, strategy, partnerships, and product development.

In this role, Dan has been instrumental in growing the business and launching the Works With Xfinity Home partner program, which curates and integrates industry leading products onto the Xfinity Home platform.

Dan joined Comcast in 2007 as vice president of product management for Comcast's high-speed Internet service. In this role, he conceptualized and led the launch of Xfinity WiFi, which today enables Xfinity Internet customers to access 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide. He also helped manage the introduction of DOCSIS 3.0 technology, further solidifying Comcast’s market leadership position as one of the fastest Internet service providers in the United States. In addition, he served as vice president and general manager of Xfinity Signature Support, which offered consumers and small business owners outsourced IT services.

Prior to Comcast, Dan spent nine years at Motorola Mobility and several years with Lucent Technologies and Philips Electronics in various product leadership roles.

An entrepreneurial leader with 20 years of experience in product design and execution, finance, and business operations, Dan has a deep understanding of the development of technology-enabled services and consumer electronics. He has issued four U.S. patents, most recently in 2015.

Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Boston University before continuing his education at Drexel University, where he obtained a Master of Science in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. Dan also holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

A native of New York City, Dan now resides in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Jim Hunter Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist, Greenwave Systems
Twitter ID: @GreenwaveSys

Jim Hunter is the Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems. He is responsible for oversight of technology, architecture and innovation of the Axon platform. As Technology Evangelist, Jim promotes the Greenwave platform and technology message through industry engagement. Prior to joining Greenwave Systems, Jim led Motorola Mobility’s (a division of Google) architecture and strategy for driving the future of the smart, simple connected home. During this time, Jim invented several key patents and served on several patent boards mentoring other inventors. In December 2010, Jim joined Motorola Mobility through the acquisition of 4Home, a company he founded and served as CTO and Chief Architect. Earlier in his career, Jim founded Premise Systems, the first IP-based connected home platform company, which was acquired by Motorola in 2003. Jim’s specialties include Software Architecture, User Interface Design and Development and Intellectual Property Development. Jim is a passionate inventor and futurist, inventing a number of patents across a broad spectrum including data algorithms, user interaction, contextual data and device management. Prior to the advent of the connected home, Jim served in the US Navy as a Nuclear Engineer and Nuclear Certified Instructor.

Kristian Järnefelt Kristian Järnefelt, EVP Consumer Security, F-Secure Corporation

Kristian Järnefelt is the Executive Vice President of Consumer security of F-Secure Corporation. He has been a member of the Leadership Team since February 2016, when he joined F-Secure. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Järnefelt worked for Fujitsu Finland Oy as Sales Director (2014-2015). Previously he has also worked as CEO and partner at Miradore Oy (2010-2014), CEO and partner at Concilio Networks Oy (2006-2009) and in several manager positions at Hewlett-Packard (1994-2006). Mr. Järnefelt holds a Master's Degree in Economics and Business Administration.

Erik Kling Erik Kling, Vice President M2M New Business Development, Vodafone

Erik Kling has more than 20 years of experience in the communication technology field covering hardware, software, services and solution elements of the industry. Erik has held senior sales and product management roles at Siemens Communications and wireless startup companies along with over ten years specifically in the IoT space. Erik joined Vodafone in September 2010 and holds the current position as Vice President IoT New Business Development. His responsibilities include building and developing the IoT domestic new business team including the Latin America region, driving IoT solutions into Vodafone Global Enterprise accounts along with additional customers and markets and defining, developing and nurturing the IoT ecosystem within the market place. Erik’s experience has spanned the globe with multiple roles in Europe, based in Spain and Germany and over 10 years in the Americas. Erik was born in Germany, lived in Spain, Mexico and Canada.

Karen Kosh Karen Kosh, VP Broadband & Mobility Business, OnProcess Technology

Karen Kosh leads the broadband and mobility practices for OnProcess Technology, with full responsibility for P&L and client outcomes. Her deep understanding of clients’ post-sale supply chain challenges and expertise in innovating solutions that improve clients’ ROI and customer relationships - particularly around emerging areas such as connected products - have been instrumental in driving double digit year-over-year growth for the company. Karen’s prior roles at OnProcess included vice president of both solutions engineering and client services. Earlier in her career, she held risk/compliance management and customer service positions at BankBoston. Karen is a certified Lean Six Sigma Champion who was educated at Newbury College and Babson Executive Education program in Massachusetts.

Chris Koverman Chris Koverman, VP of Product & Engineering, Support.com

Chris Koverman is Vice President of Engineering for Support.com. In addition to directing internal software and external SaaS product development, he leads the company’s pioneering efforts to define and influence how the Internet of Things is going to be supported. He has over 20 years of experience in engineering and senior management in the telecom and SaaS support software domains. His most recent position prior to joining Support.com was heading the engineering team responsible for the Citrix line of business whose flagship service was GoToAssist, the global market leader in remote support solutions. Chris holds many patents in support-related technologies, including inventions in distributed systems, business communications devices and a variety of methods and protocols for initiating remote interactive sessions.

Bill Lee Bill Lee, Vice President of Smart Home Product Marketing, Samsung

Bill Lee is Vice President of the Smart Home Product Marketing team at Samsung Electronics America Inc. Bill oversees the overall strategy and product development for Samsung’s smart home division, which includes Samsung SmartThings. Prior to assuming this role, he was the Vice President of Samsung’s award-winning television category, Vice President of Category Management and the Vice President of Retail Strategy and Execution.

Before Mr. Lee joined the team at Samsung, he worked as the Chief Revenue Officer at Quirky.com, Vice President of Retail Marketing at Nickelodeon, Vice President of Electronics and Entertainment at Toys R Us, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at D&M Holdings, and lastly, Vice President and General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Sony Electronics.

Mr. Lee resides in Warwick, New York with his wife and their two children. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Affairs Administration from the State University of New York in Albany.

Bob Marshall Bob Marshall, CEO, Whisker Labs

Robert (Bob) Marshall is CEO of Whisker Labs, a newly formed division of Earth Networks, dedicated to bringing next generation home energy intelligence technologies to market.  Bob is also founder and CEO of Earth Networks, which operates the largest weather observation, lightning detection and greenhouse gas monitoring networks in the world, providing data to energy companies, NOAA, NWS and other global operations.

Bob is passionate about big data from weather and climate observations to complete home energy intelligence and IoT sensors and beyond. By developing groundbreaking technology to find ˜signals'” valuable, meaningful intelligence in this sea of big-data 'noise', Bob believes in improving and protecting people's lives and livelihoods, as well as delivering peace of mind and savings through whole home and comprehensive energy intelligence.

Prior to founding AWS and launching Earth Networks, Marshall served as a program manager and lead engineer at BBN, where he oversaw the development of several advanced military sensors, signal processing and networking programs.  He has been twice-named to Washingtonian magazine's top 100 Tech Titans. Marshall is a cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland College of Engineering. In 2007, Marshall received the distinction of Outstanding Alumnus in Engineering and Information Technology for his contributions to the University and his professional and personal accomplishments.

Chris McGugan Chris McGugan, GM of Innovation and the Kenmore Brand, Sears Holdings Corporation

Mr. McGugan is the General Manager for Innovation & Kenmore for Sears Holdings. In this capacity he manages the Kenmore brand and drives innovation across the three core brands for Sears - Kenmore, Craftsman, and Diehard. Prior to joining the SHC team, Mr. McGugan was the General Manager for Avaya’s Emerging Products and Technology organization responsible for their forward looking technology roadmap and directed their research and development organization. Previously, Mr. McGugan was Vice President for Belkin, managing their products and engineering organizations. Mr. McGugan has held leadership positions at Motorola, Symbol Technologies, and Cisco Systems and is an alumnus of North Carolina State University. Also, Mr. McGugan is an advisor and board member for a number of technology companies around the world.

Letha McLaren Letha McLaren, Chief Marketing Officer, Icontrol Networks
Twitter ID: @IcontrolNtwrks

As Chief Marketing Officer, Letha leads Icontrol’s product and marketing initiatives, responsible for product investments and corresponding marketing strategies to grow revenue and deliver excellent customer experiences in the emerging connected home market. She brings more than 15 years of diverse marketing, product development, and business leadership experience. Letha came to Icontrol from Landis+Gyr, a leading smart metering and energy management solutions provider, where she was the General Manager of global deployments for Energy Management and Advanced Applications. Prior to that, Letha was the Director of Software Product Management at Cellnet Technology, a leading automated meter reading services provider. She also held roles at Schlumberger in their automated metering division. Letha has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Tech in Marietta, GA and a Global MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.

Kevin Meagher Kevin Meagher, SVP Business Development, ROC-Connect

Kevin Meagher is the SVP Business Development for ROC Connect, a technology company offering an enterprise grade cloud platform to support the IoT and the deployment of smart home products and services.

Meagher is the former VP and General Manager of Lowe’s Smart Home initiative. He led Lowe’s IoT program, including the development of deployment of connected products and services through stores. Kevin founded Intamac Systems, a UK company offering a Cloud platform delivering smart home solutions to the mass consumer market through telecommunications companies and utilities.

Meagher has been recognized as a global pioneer and thought leader in the smart home and IoT. He has lectured on business management and published papers at national and international conferences. Additionally, he is the recipient of numerous awards including Ruban d’Honneur as European Entrepreneur of the Year, and his company won the European Best Business Innovation Award. He has 3 patents. He has also served as a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force.

Meagher is a Chartered Engineer in Aeronautics and holds an MBA from the Open University.  

Dr. Chris Mitchell Dr. Chris Mitchell, CEO and Founder, Audio Analytic

Dr Chris Mitchell is the CEO of Audio Analytic, which he founded in 2010. As well as the holder of multiple patents, Chris is an internationally published author, an associate lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and an accomplished public speaker. Following the completion of his PhD in sound information systems and signal processing, Chris received a prestigious Kauffman/NCGE Fellowship to investigate the commercial implications of his research, which included attending Harvard Business School and a short spell with Cisco Systems in San Jose, USA. Audio Analytic was founded during his fellowship and Chris has gone on to guide the company through funding rounds and now spends his time setting the overall direction and strategy for the company.

Lainie Muller Lainie Muller, Director, Wellness, Alarm.com

Lainie Muller is a 15-year veteran of the technology industry and an emerging voice on Smart Solutions for Aging in Place and Connected Caregiving.

Lainie is Director of Wellness at Alarm.com, a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: ALRM)and the nation’s leading cloud-based platform for the smart home. The Wellness solution leverages Smart Home technology to support Aging in Place and independent living for older adults and those living with disabilities. Wellness, an integrated element of Alarm.com’s comprehensive ecosystem of home management technology, is currently in use in residential homes, senior living communities, schools and in remote caregiving programs funded by Medicare and Medicaid.  The product has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Kiplingers, CNN, NPR and TechCrunch.

In 2010, Lainie joined BeClose, a privately funded start-up company, as the Director of Partnership Sales. In 2015, BeClose was “spun-in” to Alarm.com, an early-stage strategic investor of the company. The BeClose product is now available as Alarm.com Wellness.

Prior to BeClose, Lainie served as National Sales Manager, Major Accounts Unit (MAU) at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, the online subsidiary of The Washington Post company, where she led a top revenue producing team driving Healthcare, Consumer Electronics and Retail sales.

Lainie has been an active Board Member for the National Capitol Area Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association since 2012. She holds a BS in Business and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. Lainie lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband and two teenage boys.

William Oget William Oget, VP of Engineering, Arrayent

Guillaume (William) Oget leads Arrayent’s Engineering and Product Management teams as the company’s VP, Engineering. William brings to Arrayent more than 15 years of experience in the implementation of IoT/RFID and Cloud based-systems. He joined Arrayent in January, 2015 as the Vice President of Field Operations, where he and his team worked directly with Arrayent’s customers to deploy consumer IoT products across four continents. William has filed nine patents and holds a CISSP certification and M.S. in Computer Science from Mines ParisTech.

Matthew Pine Matthew Pine, Vice President, Marketing, Carrier, United Technologies

Matthew Pine is Vice President of Marketing for Carrier Corporation’s Residential business unit based out of Indianapolis, IN. Matthew has over 20 years of experience including over 2 years with Carrier/UTC.

He came to Carrier from Vestas Wind Systems, who supplies energy from over 52,000 turbines to millions of households on six continents, where he was Head of Power Plant Sales Technology for Europe, living in Hamburg, Germany. Prior to Vestas, Matthew spent 13 years in the HVAC Industry with increasing responsibly in Sales & Distribution, Marketing, Product Management and General Management functions.

Matthew received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from The University of Alabama and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Northeastern University.  

Nick Pudar Nick Pudar, Director GM Strategic Initiatives, General Motors

Nick Pudar, Director of GM Strategic Initiatives is addressing new business growth arenas, and exploring options to leverage new technologies, new mobility business models, and emerging consumer expectations. Prior to this, Pudar was Director, GM Urban Active Solutions focused on new global mobility challenges in urban environments exploring new products, services, and vehicle access business models.

Nick was Director, GM Developer Ecosystem, and led the efforts to enable a new range of connectivity solutions for vehicles, a developer portal for access to a range of APIs, and to engage with the developer community with a comprehensive set of assets and processes to drive third party innovation.

Nick was Vice President of Business Development at GM’s OnStar subsidiary, where he had responsibility for future services development, strategic planning, and for the new business portfolio.

Nick was Director of GM Decision Support Center, an internal strategic consulting team, working on key business activities and innovations.

Nick started his GM career in Manufacturing, spending time in Transmission and Stamping plants. Pudar received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University, and his Masters of Science in Management degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Kian Saneii Kian Saneii, Founder & CEO , Independa

Kian Saneii is a computer scientist and software executive, passionate about bringing innovative technologies to market that transform organizations, lives and entire markets.  Saneii founded Independa in 2009, and is the CEO and Chairman of the company. Independa integrates across the TV and other everyday devices, including sensors and health devices, to provide a true person-centric view of remote engagement and care. As a result, Independa is transforming the healthcare cost curve, along with the lives of its end users and their families, by allowing people stay at their residence of choice longer, safer and more comfortably, to delay or even eliminate the next episode or stage care. This, while also increasing organizational effectiveness and operational efficiencies in home care, independent living, assisted living, memory care, short term rehab communities, and hospitals – literally, across the continuum of care.

Independa has raised more than $11 million in funding, including from strategic investor LG Electronics, and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including CES “Technology for a Better World” and “100 Brilliant Companies” by Entrepreneur.

Prior to Independa, Saneii was General Manager at Websense, a successful (IPO, PE sale) Web security protection company. Earlier in his career, Saneii served in management positions at IMA Inc., AT&T Bell Laboratories, and FileNet Corporation (acquired by IBM). Saneii earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from NYU and his Master of Computer Science from Rutgers University. When he's not working, Kian enjoys outdoor sports like tennis and bicycling, serving a number of charities such as the United Way of San Diego where he sits on the board, and spending time with his family in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

Curt Schacker Curt Schacker, SVP, Connected Products, EVRYTHNG
Twitter ID: @Evrythng
Website: http://www.evrythng.com

Curt has spent over 25 years in the Silicon Valley high tech community, having held a number of senior positions in sales, marketing, and business development, including VP of Worldwide Marketing at Wind River (Intel), Executive VP of Field Operations at Real-Time Innovations, and VP of Sales at Arrayent. He co-founded and served as CEO of Embedded Solution Partners, which was named the 20th fastest growing private company in Silicon Valley in 2006. Curt has spoken and served as a panelist at numerous events around the world, offering education and insight into leading edge embedded and communications software topics. He is a strong advocate for advancement of Web- connected products. Curt began his career developing flight software for the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. He graduated with honors from Wright State University with a degree in Computer Science.

Ratul Sengupta Ratul Sengupta, Vice President, Client Engagement, Sutherland Global Services
Twitter ID: @SGS_Corporate
Website: http://www.sutherlandglobal.com/

Ratul works as an Intrapreneur driving technology enabled transformation. His efforts towards developing creative engagement models and implementing business strategy have led to increased efficiencies and significant new revenue streams for multiple clients.

Ratul manages key OEM clients within Sutherland’s Technology Vertical as Global Client Engagement Lead;where he owns Sutherland’s relationship, business development, service operations and innovation imperatives with these clients.

In addition, Ratul has evangelized, built and leads Sutherland’s SmartLeap(tm) practice – next generation technology enabled services and platform solutions that helps clients reduce cost of services and increase end-customer satisfaction, customer stickiness and revenue realization from in-scope and out-of-scope technical support.

Ratul is an Economics graduate from Delhi University, a qualified Chartered Accountant and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is based in Austin, Texas with his wife Anuradha and together they have 3 daughters.

Isaias Sudit Isaias Sudit, Founder, TROVE

Isaias has spent the last 25 years creating and building high growth companies. Prior to founding TROVE, Isaias had launched and developed three companies in technology and data aggregation service industry. In 2004, he started LOC-AID® Technologies, Inc. to focus on the developing LBS market. Prior to that, he founded Datumcom in 1995, which became the leading international supplier of vehicle-based positioning services and infrastructures. Isaias led the transition of Datumcom into the telematics field, where the company became a leader at the intersection of communications, computing, and vehicles. General Dynamics acquired his first venture, Datumtech, in 1997.

Isaias has raised over $40+ million in investment capital for his ventures, and is an active member in the South Florida entrepreneurial community. He sits on the advisory board of; Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), University of Miami and The Idea Center at Miami Dade College. Isaias holds Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from The Ohio State University. 

Dave Ward Dave Ward, Head of New Technology, Innovation & Connected Home, Dixons Carphone

Parks Associates Analysts / Moderators

Tom Kerber Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, 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.

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Brad Russell Brad Russell, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @bradrusselltech
Website: http://www.ParksAssociates.com

Brad Russell explores leading-edge issues in connected consumer electronics, robotics, IoT data privacy and security, and machine vision applications. He has a background in marketing communications, technology startups, and online media. Brad balances the art and science of marketing research to generate insights that lead to more astute business decision making and value-generating practices.

Brad received his BS degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned MDiv and DMin degrees from two leading seminaries with concentrations in ethics and cross-cultural leadership.

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Patrice Samuels Patrice Samuels, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @PatriceatParks
Website: http://www.ParksAssociates.com

Patrice Samuels studies digital home technical support services across global markets, with a focus on market trends, business models, and provider strategies. In addition to exploring events and disruptions in the technical support space, she examines pay-TV and broadband services in North America and Europe, digital media, and digital music services.

Patrice earned her MBA from Texas A&M University at College Station and BSc. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Television Services, Broadband Services, Technical Support Services, International Markets, Digital Music

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.

Harry Wang Harry Wang, Sr. Director, Research, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @HarryatParks
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

Harry Wang studies the consumer electronics and entertainment service industries with a focus on portable CE hardware, software, and associated applications and services. He is also the lead analyst for Parks Associates’ digital health research program. Harry has presented his research in numerous industry events including CES, Digital Hollywood, Photo Marketing Association Annual Show, American Telemedicine Association Annual Show, World Health Congress, and Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS™ conferences.

Harry earned his MS degree in marketing research from the University of Texas at Arlington. He also holds an MBA degree in finance from Texas Christian University and a BA degree in international business from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, P.R. China.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Digital Health Products and Services, Portable and Mobile Access Platforms and Applications, Digital Imaging Products and Services