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CONNECTIONS™ Summit Speakers

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Amena Ali Amena Ali, CMO, Earth Networks
Twitter ID: @amena_onweb

Amena Ali is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Earth Networks, the parent company of WeatherBug and WeatherBug Home. In this role, Amena oversees the development and implementation of worldwide product, market and go-to-market strategies for the company’s consumer, commercial and public-sector markets. She also guides corporate communications and actively directs product planning and marketing initiatives both directly and through partners. Amena brings to Earth Networks more than 20 years' management experience with high-tech firms ranging in size from $10 million to $30 billion. Prior to Earth Networks, she served as CMO at Arxan Technologies, a leading developer of application security solutions. Earlier, she held the position of senior vice president of marketing at Softek Storage Solutions, a major provider of data migration and replication software (acquired by IBM in 2007). Her prior experience includes senior marketing positions at EMC Corporation, Legato Systems (acquired by EMC in 2003), and OTG Software (acquired by Legato in 2002). Amena’s experience also includes executive-level consumer marketing and finance positions at MCI, and several years with Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm. She holds a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Yale University.

Rich Cusick Rich Cusick, General Manager, Video, Gracenote

As General Manager for Gracenote Video, Rich Cusick is responsible for building all aspects of the video and EPG business. He has a strong background in digital media, serving most recently as vice president of entertainment and women’s lifestyles at Yahoo! Prior to Yahoo!, Rich was founder and general manager of Swirl by DailyCandy and SVP and general manager for digital media at Gemstar-TV Guide.

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

Since joining Sutherland in 2007 Ratul has worked as an Intrapreneur driving technology enabled transformation. His leadership on developing creative engagement models and implementing business strategy has led to positive business impact for clients through increased efficiencies and significant new revenue streams.
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 led Sutherland’s SmartLeapTM practice – next generation technology enabled services and platform solutions that helps clients reduce services cost, increase end-customer satisfaction, customer stickiness and revenue realization from in-scope and out-of-scope technical support.

SmartLeap was presented the Frost & Sullivan 2013 Customer Value Enhancement Award in Customer Care and Technical Support Services.
Ratul’s previous experience includes HCL Technologies in roles encompassing finance, inorganic growth strategies and BPO operations including spearheading HCL BPO’s first steps into business consulting. Before HCL, Ratul worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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 Dallas, Texas with his wife Anuradha and together they have 3 daughters. 

Paul Weichselbaum Paul Weichselbaum, Executive Vice President, PlumChoice

Paul Weichselbaum, Executive Vice President As Executive Vice President of PlumChoice, Paul is chartered with accelerating the execution of the company's strategy to expand its Technology Services Solutions leadership role. He leads the go-to-market strategy for the company including market assessment, business definition, market segmentation and coverage strategies, business model optimization, technology development, product management, strategic pricing and corporate messaging. Before joining PlumChoice, Paul was the Executive Vice President of LoJack Corporation®, where he was instrumental in a 2010 restructuring that returned the company to profitability and growth. Prior to that, Paul held multiple senior executive roles that included Strategy, Engineering, IT, Marketing and Sales Operations at One Communications, a private equity-financed roll up between 2004 and 2008, and served as CEO of OpenReach, a venture-backed managed services software company from 2001 to 2003. He also spent 15 years at MCI Communications in a variety of executive roles in Operations, Commercial Sales and Service, National Accounts, Data Marketing and Business Development Paul received his Bachelor's degree from Stanford University with Distinction and his MBA from Harvard Business School with Honors.

Nate Williams Nate Williams, Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Business Development, Greenwave Systems

Nate Williams currently serves as CMO and EVP of Business Development of Greenwave Systems. In his role, Nate leads the worldwide marketing team and he is also responsible for driving all strategic business development efforts. Mr. Williams joined Greenwave Systems from Motorola Mobility (a division of Google) where he lead the Software product marketing and business development teams as part of their $3.7B Home business. In December 2010, Nate joined Motorola through the acquisition of 4Home where he was CMO and Head of Business Development. 4Home was an early pioneer of Connected Home software backed by Verizon and Pond Ventures. Earlier in his career, Nate served in leadership positions in Business Development, Product Marketing and Corporate Finance at Intel Corporation and JPMorgan & Co. In 2011, Mr. Williams was named one of the Silicon Valley’s rising stars via The SV Business Journal “Top 40 under 40”. Nate received his bachelor’s degree in Communications Science from The University of Connecticut and earned an MBA degree in Marketing and Technology Management from UCLA.

Parks Associates Analysts / Moderators

Glenn Hower Glenn Hower, Research Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @GlennatParks

Glenn Hower currently studies entertainment content and delivery services. Glenn is experienced in entertainment content production and distribution systems with a particular emphasis on radio, television, and film content.

Glenn earned his BA in music with a focus on the music business and industry from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his MS and MBA from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.

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.

Barbara Kraus Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

Barbara Kraus joined Parks Associates in early 2013 and currently studies the connected consumer electronics field. Barbara’s expertise is delivering and monetizing consumer insights through the provision of compelling product and service technologies and experiences.

Barbara’s background includes more than 10 years with technology service providers in the telecom and home security industries in marketing, strategy and insights, operations, and business development. She also worked for EDS, now HP Enterprise Services, in market intelligence and large-deal sales support. Barbara received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Kansas and MBA from WSU.

Patrice Samuels Patrice Samuels, Research 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

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