Audio, Voice, and Cloud Interoperability Sessions at CEDIA

CEDIA - Parks Associates 2016 IoT and smart home sessions

September 7-8, 2017
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California

Parks Associates is hosting three sessions at CEDIA EXPO 2017:

Registration is available only through the CEDIA EXPO site.

September 7

10:00-11:30 a.m.- Room 33 AB - CEDIA Training

The Future of Interoperability: Convergence, Divergence, or Parallel Paths

More and more smart products are entering the market, with cloud integration rather than local integration. This session addresses how the shift to the cloud changes the competitive dynamics and impacts the CEDIA channel.

Moderator: Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates


Oliver Cockcroft, Product Architect, Ayla Networks

Jean-Michel Orsat, CTO ICT Standards & Connectivity Solutions, Somfy; Board Member, ZigBee Alliance

Brett Price, CEO, Clare Controls

Paul Williams, Vice President of Product Management, Control4

Gordon van Zuiden, Owner, cyberManor

Session Registration

September 7

1:00-2:30 p.m.- Room 28 B - CEDIA Training

Wireless and Streaming Audio: Growth and Outlook

The connected audio landscape is marked by the disruptive effects of smartphones, digital music players, and streaming media devices, which have increasingly challenged sales of traditional, non-connected home audio devices. This session addresses the growing wireless and streaming audio category, providing compelling value propositions for consumers who increasingly want to enjoy the connected, wireless experience of mobile devices in the home.

Moderator:  Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates


Dr. Petros Belimpasakis, Director of the Sound Category, Bang & Olufsen

George Katsiris, VP, Product Evangelist, Savant

Jeff Lubitsky, VP, Sales & Business Development, DTS, Inc.

Elyse McKenna, CEO, THIEL Audio

Greg Stidsen, Director of Technology and Product Planning, BlueSound

Ryan Taylor, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sonos

Session Registration

September 8

8:30-10:00 a.m. - Room 33 AB - CEDIA Training

Voice Controls: Next-Gen User Interfaces

A major transformation in the user interface experience is the addition of voice controls, specifically through natural language interaction. This session addresses the impact that voice will have on user interfaces and specifically new partnerships within the smart home that are creating new use case scenarios and valuable communication solutions for consumers.

Moderator: Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates


Alex Capecelatro, CEO & Co-Founder,

Kenn Harper, Vice President, Devices & Ecosystem, Nuance Communications, Inc.

Rich Kennewick, President, Voicebox Technologies

Charlie Kindel, Director of Alexa Smart Home Amazon, Amazon

Mark Spates, Product, Google

Session Registration


Dina Abdelrazik Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @DinaAtParks

Dina Abdelrazik joined Parks Associates in 2016 as a part of the Consumer Analytics research team. She currently studies market trends and consumer behavior, focused in emerging technology products and services.

Dina earned her MS in Marketing, with a concentration in Marketing Analytics, from the University of Texas at Dallas and a BA in Advertising from Southern Methodist University.

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Petros Belimpasakis Petros Belimpasakis, Director of the Sound Category, Bang & Olufsen

Dr. Petros Belimpasakis is the Director of the Sound Category at Bang & Olufsen, responsible for the overall business and Product Management of the sound products, which includes all the Connected Audio and non-connected speaker products. Prior to joining Bang & Olufsen he was with Nokia Research Center (2000 - 2011) with his latest role being Principal Researcher, in the area of smart home. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics as well as an M.Sc. and a PhD degree in Information Technology. He has authored 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and he is the inventor/co-inventor in more than 20 filed patent applications.

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Alex Capecelatro Alex Capecelatro, CEO,
Twitter ID: @alexcapecelatro

Alex Capecelatro is the founder and CEO of, a voice controlled home automation system with a focus on artificial intelligence. utilizes a proprietary natural language understanding (NLU) engine with state of the art home control integrations for a powerful smart home experience. Alex started his career as a research scientist for NASA, the Naval Research Lab, and later Sandia National Laboratory. He then ventured into consumer technology first with electric car manufacturer Fisker Automotive, then through founding two social software products "At The Pool" and "Yeti" with members in more than 120 countries. Alex's focus is at the intersection of elegant design, cutting-edge software, and purposeful hardware to offer transformational experiences. Alex received his engineering degree from UCLA and currently splits his time between LA and Denver.

Oliver Cockcroft Oliver Cockcroft, Product Architect, Ayla Networks

Oliver Cockcroft is Ayla’s product lead for platform level features, managing the development of large scale projects the affect multiple parts of the Ayla Platform.  Oliver is also responsible for developing Ayla Networks' relationships with members from cloud partners such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit. Oliver works closely with Ayla Networks' potential customers and clients to help define their connected product strategy and product development plans and then execute them on aggressive schedules.

Before joining Ayla, Oliver held numerous management roles at eBay over his ten years. He most recently was Senior Product Manager and the lead for eBay’s tablet websites, working on new designs and ideas relating to browser-based touch interactions and coordinating a team encompassing design, development and testing. Earlier, he managed eBay’s global websites for mobile and was product manager for eBay on Blackberry and lead mobile product manager for the launch of the Stubhub iPhone application.

Oliver holds numerous patents in mobile technology. He earned his BSc degree in computer science from the University of Hertfordshire (UK).

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Kenn Harper Kenn Harper, VP, Devices & Ecosystem, Nuance Communications
Twitter ID: @NuanceInc

Kenn Harper has been working in the voice industry for over a decade, helping to shape voice experiences across mobile phones, TVs, automobiles, and other IoT devices. He’s worked with a broad portfolio of speech assets including voice recognition, natural language understanding, text-to-speech, and voice biometrics. Most recently, Kenn has been running product management for Nuance Mix, which is Nuance’s new platform that allows developers to build specialized voice interactions for any hardware device or software application.

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George Katsiris George Katsiris, VP, Product Evangelist, Savant

George Katsiris has been with Savant for over 12 years and currently works in both Sales and Product Development.

Mr. Katsiris has led the implementation of several Savant products and helps serve as the bridge between Integrators and the Savant Roadmap.

Before joining Savant, Mr. Katsiris worked for a systems integration firm in New York City where he gained valuable industry knowledge about consumer habits in the luxury home automation space.

Prior to being a systems integrator, Mr. Katsiris performed as a musical artist and owned a successful independent record label in New York City.

Mr. Katsiris graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in music and philosophy. He holds several patents as a result of his 16 years in the home technology industry. He is a frequent speaker at media and technology conferences.

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Rich Kennewick Rich Kennewick, President & Co-Founder, Voicebox Technologies

Rich Kennewickis a co-founder and President of Voicebox Technologies. He helped establish Voicebox as one of the top voice technology leaders in the connected car, mobile and emerging IoT markets. With customers like Toyota, Chrysler, Renault and Samsung, Voicebox currently ships in over 200 million devices covering 23 languages. Voicebox's most recent breakthrough is Conversational Voice AI, which integrates Artificial Intelligence techniques with its context-driven technology. The company is building a unique multi-user, cross device, conversational user experience to meet the demands of the quickly emerging world of many connected "things."

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Tom Kerber Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @TomAKerber

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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Charlie Kindel Charlie Kindel, Director of Alexa Smart Home Amazon, Amazon

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Jeff Lubitsky Jeff Lubitsky, VP, Sales & Business Development, DTS, Inc.

A 20-year veteran of the CE industry, Jeff Lubitsky is currently the vice president of Xperi’s North American sales and business development efforts. He has leveraged his experience and relationships with CE manufacturers and retailers to lead worldwide efforts associated with establishing and proliferating the DTS Play-Fi ecosystem for Xperi, the parent company of DTS. Jeff’s previous work experiences include ViewSonic, Richard Gray’s Power Company and SRS Labs. With responsibilities ranging from big box retailers to independents throughout his career, his early engagements in the CEDIA channel resulted in the development of partnership between Crestron and ViewSonic, which led to the creation of the TPMC-10, 2004 CEDIA product of the year. He then concentrated on the specialty retail as vice president of sales and marketing for Richard Gray’s Power Company prior to joining SRS Labs, which was acquired by DTS in 2012.

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Elyse McKenna Elyse McKenna, CEO, THIEL Audio

Elyse Michael McKenna is the CEO of Thiel Audio, a technology and entertainment company that has led the charge in producing some of the most innovative loudspeakers for 40 years.

A longtime music marketing and management executive and entrepreneur, she first joined Thiel Audio as Director of Strategic Partnerships in early 2017. In that role, her focus was creating innovative and forward-thinking partnerships that are mutually beneficial for the brand while serving the needs and goals of Thiel's partners and the industry as a whole.

Prior to joining Thiel Audio, McKenna led business development initiatives for Applauze, a direct-to-fan ticketing platform, in charge of partnership opportunities, brand expansion, and marketing strategies. Prior to that, she oversaw business development for concert tracking platform Crowdsurge (later acquired by Songkick), where she was responsible for over 100 multi-genre client relationships, creating unique ticketing and marketing campaigns, advancing platform integrations, and building overall awareness for products and services. Before Crowdsurge, McKenna was the Nashville representative for the direct-to-fan sales and marketing platform Topspin Media prior to the Beats acquisition, driving new revenue relationships and implementing national campaigns for artists, personalities and brands such as Duck Dynasty’s Robertson Family, The Fray, Luke Bryan, Ke$ha, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi, Blackberry Smoke, and Southern Ground.

In 2009, McKenna founded and served as president of Welcome Mat Entertainment & Modern Family Music, where she managed top clients including multi-platinum rapper Young Buck, and also established the Nashville office of Sparkart South, a web development agency headquartered in Oakland, California. She additionally held marketing and publicity positions at Third Coast Artist Agency, Brite Entertainment, Greg Oliver Agency, and L.A.B. Media following her move to Nashville in 2002.

McKenna has proudly lent her leadership skills to her community, serving as an active member of the Summit Series organization aimed at young entrepreneurs and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man/Woman of the Year Campaigns. She also helped establish Nashville’s Mocha Club, which advances education and shelter initiatives for children in Africa, and helped raise awareness of The Sonshine Hacienda. She has spoken at events including NAMM, Americana Music Fest, Music Biz, CEDIA, and more; served as a judge for the American Talent Showcase and Model Jam America competitions; and is co-founder and executive producer of the YouTube channel Skitsofrenic.

McKenna lives in Nashville with her daughter and enjoys the outdoors, yoga, and boxing. She attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, studying Sales & Marketing.

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Rod McLane Rod McLane, Sr. Director Marketing, Ayla Networks

Rod McLane currently serves as Senior Director of Product Marketing at Ayla Networks. Rod has over 20 years of experience in hightech enterprise marketing with industry-leading companies including Genesys, Amdocs, Aspect Communications and Hitachi. Most recently, Rod was the Director of Solutions Marketing for Genesys, a market-leading provider of contact center solutions, where he was responsible for outbound messaging, positioning and go-to-marketing strategy for the Genesys cloud-based contact center solution suite.'

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Jean-Michel Orsat Jean-Michel Orsat, CTO, Somfy

Jean-Michel Orsat has more than 25 years of experience in the home automation business, and involvement with industry alliances and EU regulation bodies. He serves as chief technology officer for ICT Standards & Connectivity Solutions at Somfy, and oversees technical cooperation and wireless networking technology initiatives. His department is responsible for managing transaction processing software, focused on wireless protocols and open standards-based solutions such as Homecontrol and Thread.

Jean-Michel is a graduate of the prestigious French National School of Art (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers), and holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

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Greg Stidsen Greg Stidsen, Director of Technology and Product Planning, BlueSound

Greg is a 40-year veteran of the audio industry, spending the last 20 as head of product development for Lenbrook’s NAD Electronics brand. Greg was instrumental in the development of Lenbrook’s streaming audio brand, Bluesound, which was introduced in 2012. Honored by CE Pro Masters Class and active in the Digital Entertainment Group, Consumer Technology Association, and CEDIA, Greg is a frequent speaker, panelist, and ambassador for all the Lenbrook brands.

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Ryan Taylor Ryan Taylor, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sonos

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Gordon van Zuiden Gordon van Zuiden, Owner, cyberManor

Gordon van Zuiden is the Founder and President of cyberManor, a full service home technology integrator headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley. With over 15 years of experience in the sale and support of personal computer and networking products to corporate accounts, Gordon founded cyberManor in the summer of 1999, one of the nation’s first custom electronic integrators to focus on IP based technologies for the home. cyberManor’s mission is to design, install, and integrate Internet-empowered home networking solutions that enhance the entertainment, communications, and comfort of their client’s homes. cyberManor has been a leader in app and voice based control solutions for the home. Mr. van Zuiden authored a highly acclaimed white paper entitled “Digital Platform Strategies for the Connected Home” in 2014.

Mr. van Zuiden served 6 years on CEDIA’s Board of Directors (CEDIA represents the Custom Electronics Design and Installation trade) and three years as the co-Dean of CEDIA's Electronic Systems Design Track. He also developed the certified CEDIA ESD course on Digital Home Electronic Solutions and has consulted on the development of COMPTIA’s HTI+ Network Certification program. He has been a quarterly columnist on home networking topics for Residential Systems Magazine for over a decade. Mr. van Zuiden has taught courses or been a panelist on Digital Home Entertainment and Networking Solutions at the national trade shows of CES, CEDIA, ehExpo, CEPro Summit, National Kitchen and Bath Association, IEEE, and internationally in Digital Home Expos in Russia, the Netherlands and Mexico over the last decade. He has also been a consultant to industry manufacturers and custom integrators across the United States, teaching full day seminars on the applications and benefits of networked home technologies.

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Paul Williams Paul Williams, Vice President of Product Management, Control4

Paul Williams is the Vice President of Product Management at Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems.  Paul is responsiblefor Control4’s solutions product management and R&D, which includes amplification, audio / video switching, lighting products, thermostat products, blinds & shades, pool & spa experiences and security solutions.  In addition, Paul drives strategic programs in these key business areas. While at Control4, Paul has previously held the positions of; Vice President of Lighting & Comfort Products, Vice President of Security and Communication Products, Vice President of Support Services, Vice President of Hospitality, Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Solutions.

Prior to joining Control4, Paul held the position of Vice President of Utah Operations for SonicWall, after the company where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Operations (Phobos) was acquired by SonicWall in 2000. Before SonicWall / Phobos he held the position of Director of Operations for Harman Music Group (a Harman International company) and held other management positions during his 14 years with Harman Music Group.  Paul is a seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of experience in operational management and R&D in high-tech industries and brings his talents, persona and lively presentation style to corporate, partner, and industry-wide projects.   Paul holds a bachelor of science in business administration.

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