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CONNECTIONS™ Summit Speakers


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Speakers


Steve Chazin Steve Chazin, VP, Product Management, Alarm.com


Rob Conant Rob Conant, CEO, Cirrent
Twitter ID: @cirrent

Rob Conant, 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 for the company and set the product direction as the company enabled a new market for wireless connected products in the industrial markets. 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 (ran sales and marketing at multiple companies) 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.


Steve Dimmitt Steve Dimmitt, VP, Sales and Marketing, Sears Home Services


Ed Doran Ph.D. Ed Doran Ph.D., Co-Founder Cortana, Principle Program Management, Artificial Intelligence & Research, Incubations, Microsoft

Ed leads new product incubations for Microsoft Research Artificial Intelligence. Ed joined MSR from the Cortana team where he co-founded the product, lead product planning, and lead targeted AI innovation and ecosystem projects.  Prior to Microsoft, Ed lead insight strategy teams for Yahoo!, helping build new products and better businesses across search, browse, rich media, and ecommerce. And even before that, Ed lead market research, user research, business intelligence, and management consulting teams focused on applying research to make the organization smarter and better.  Ed holds a Ph.D. and a deep love of coffee.


Robert Flippo Robert Flippo, CEO, MobileHelp
Twitter ID: @MobileHelpCEO

Rob Flippo is co-founder and CEO of MobileHelp. For the past 25 years, Mr. Flippo has worked in both start-up environments as well as fortune 50 companies, holding executive roles at high-tech companies including his current position with MobileHelp, as well as Motorola, Emergin Incorporated, and Boca Research. In his current role, he has been responsible for growing MobileHelp from two to more than 200 employees, with a current customer base of nearly 250,000. In his tenure as CEO, he also successfully negotiated the sale of the company to ABRY Partners in 2017. Prior to his role at MobileHelp, Mr. Flippo was the Vice President of Operations at Emergin, Inc. where he was responsible for all aspects of company operations, including the functions of CFO and COO. In 2007, he successfully negotiated the sale of Emergin to Philips Medical Systems. At Motorola's Wireless Messaging Division, Mr. Flippo served as Director of Product & Business Development, and was responsible for managing Motorola's advanced messaging product lines, patent licenses, and contract negotiations. Mr. Flippo holds an MBA from the University of Miami, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida, and has completed executive studies in business management at Harvard Business School. He is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Medical Alert Monitoring Association. Mr. Flippo holds 8 US patents for communications systems.


Bernd Grohmann Bernd Grohmann, Executive Vice President, 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.


Geoff Gross Geoff Gross, Founder and CEO, Medical Guardian
Twitter ID: @Geoff_Gross

Geoff Gross founded Medical Guardian in 2005 and has since turned it into a leading provider of in-home, mobile and wearable medical alert systems. Empowering older adults to live a life without limits, Medical Guardian helps older adults comfortably and independently age in place—and on-the-go. Through understanding the needs and challenges of today’s seniors, Geoff has led the development of advanced product innovation and brand strategy, protecting over 100,000 active customers nationwide.
 
Medical Guardian was named as one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Philadelphia Business Journal in 2015 and 2018, included in the "Philly 100" fastest growing companies in Philadelphia, and listed in Inc. 5000's list of fastest growing companies in America for the sixth consecutive year in 2018.
 
Geoff was named a Glassdoor Top CEO in 2018, ranking #38 out of 50 in the U.S. small-and-medium-sized business category. In 2016, Geoff was named to the "Most Admired CEO's" list by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He has also been named a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, a "40 under 40" by the Philadelphia Business Journal and Direct Marketing News, and Smart CEO Magazine’s "Future 50".  Geoff sits on the Board of Directors for the Medical Alert Monitoring Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of the Delaware Valley and the Please Touch Museum. 


Mike Harris Mike Harris, President, Ring Solutions, Ring, an Amazon Company

As a successful serial entrepreneur, Mike Harris has founded or led numerous venture-backed technology companies to successful exits, including a NASDAQ IPO. As the President of Ring Solutions, Mike built and continues to manage the team behind Ring Alarm, harnessing his years of experience and skill. Mike’s start-up, AnySource Media, was acquired by DivX in August of 2009. The original embedded software developed by AnySource still serves as the foundation for DivX TV, which can be found on LG’s line of connected Blu-Ray players. Just as AnySource provided core technology for “connected TV,” Mike’s vision for Ring is to provide the core technology for the “connected smart home” to expand Ring customer's Rings of Security. Early in Mike’s career, he was the founder and CTO of Ravisent Technologies Inc., a technology pioneer in the DVD industry. Mike oversaw the development and adoption of Ravisent’s technology by leading PC and consumer electronics manufacturers, ultimately achieving a $1B valuation on the NASDAQ market. Ravisent was ultimately acquired by STMicroelectronics, and Mike became its Group Vice President, Global Software Strategy. After STMicroelectronics, Mike served as President of Digital 5, a venture backed software provider enabling streaming media content within the connected home, and later became President of OpenPeak, a provider of software for home media control. Mike is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering and enjoys spending his time with his family at home in Phoenixville, PA.


Yuval Harry Yuval Harry, Head of Partnerships, Hippo Insurance

Yuval Harry is joining Hippo Insurance as Head of Partnerships, and will focus on accelerating growth through Hippo's partnership distribution channel.  Yuval is passionate about building companies and brings significant experience in leadership roles helping organizations scale and manage sales and operations.  

Prior to Hippo, he was Head of Sales at Shift, a startup re-imagining the used car space, where he built and led the sales team, as well as managed customer service and financing teams. Earlier, Yuval was Director of Business Operations for Linkedin's largest sales team, leading sales and go to market initiatives. Prior to that, he was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company, and an Engineering Lead with Intel. 

Yuval holds and MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the Technion Institute of Technology.


Jeremy Hitchcock Jeremy Hitchcock, Founder & CEO, Minim

Jeremy Hitchcock is the founder and CEO of Minim, an IoT platform company that enables and secures a better connected home. Previously, Jeremy Hitchcock founded Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company. Established in 2001 from his college dorm room, Dyn grew to become a DNS, data, analytics, and traffic routing service provider for 20% of the Fortune 500 and Alexa 1000 and was acquired by Oracle in 2017. Jeremy's achievements as founder/CEO at Dyn included: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (northeast), Inc. 500, Deloitte Fast 500 rankings, and many best company to work for accolades. For his efforts in workforce development, he received an honorary doctorate from the University System of New Hampshire. Jeremy is also a trustee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Community College System of New Hampshire. Jeremy graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Management Information Systems.


Jay Holley Jay Holley, Head of Partnerships, Uber Health

Jay Holley is the Head of Partnerships for Uber Health, where he oversees Uber's relationships with health care organizations, ensuring that they have reliable, HIPAA-compliant health care transportation for patients and caregivers. Prior to joining Uber, Jay was the Head of Sales and Marketing at TrueSkills. Jay graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder with a BBA in Finance.


David Kaiserman David Kaiserman, President, Lennar Ventures, Lennar

David is the founder and Chairman of SunStreet as well as President of Lennar Ventures, which drives Lennar Corporation innovation, government affairs and strategy. With more than 15 years of experience in the homebuilding industry, David is a go-to expert for national media on trends and innovation in homebuilding and residential real estate. He is the past Chairman of RESNET Industry Advisory Committee and is a founding principle liaison of Leading Builders of America. Prior to joining Lennar, David was a member of Saybrook Capital, LLC, where he co-founded the investment firm's merchant banking group and its private equity investments. David is based in Miami at Lennar corporate headquarters and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Charlie Kindel Charlie Kindel, Senior Vice President of Products & Services, Control4

Charlie Kindel joined Control4 in 2018 as Senior Vice President, Products & Services. Charlie has extensive and proven connected home experience, with a focus on creating world-class consumer and developer products, platform technologies, and partner ecosystems. Previously, Charlie spent five years at Amazon, where he created, led, and grew the Alexa Smart Home division. For over 20 years he has led the industry discussion on the connected home and innovative product development, frequently presenting at events and trade shows including CES, SXSW, Connected World Summit, CEDIA, AWS re:Invent, and the Smart Kitchen Summit. Prior to Amazon, Charlie founded two tech startups in the Seattle area and from 1990 to 2011 he helped create some of Microsoft's most loved products. He drove the creation of the application and game ecosystem for Windows Phone 7 as the general manager as well as Premier Support, Internet Explorer, COM/ActiveX, Windows NT, Windows home networking, Windows Media Center, and Windows Home Server. Charlie earned his Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1990.


Jon-Michael Kowall Jon-Michael Kowall, Assistant VP of Insurance Property Product Development & Innovation, USAA

Jon-Mike Kowall leads Product Development for USAA’s Property Insurance portfolio. With 20+ years of financial industry experience ranging from actuarial, underwriting, product development, finance, and emerging analytics, Jon-Michael is currently the Assistant VP of Property & Casualty Product Development for Property Insurance at USAA. His team is responsible for national product strategy, innovation, design, and implementation of new ways to create value for the 12 million members of USAA. This includes leveraging new and emerging technologies, creating strategic partnerships, and thinking outside the box to serve our unique membership.


Jennifer Mallett Jennifer Mallett, CEO/President, Level Up Your Home

Jennifer is the CEO and President of Level Up Your Home, a national Smart Home Automation company specializing in bringing connected products into 25 US major markets for both residential and commercial clients. Prior to founding Level Up Your Home in 2016, for over a decade she led the Home Automation business unit at Bose which included the oversight of 100+ high end custom integration companies installing and selling products in the US and Canada. Her Blog, 60 Seconds of Smart has been awarded one of the Top Smart Home Automation Blogs on the Planet by Feedspot. Jennifer is an active member of CEDIA, AVIXA, NAHB, NARI, ESA and Women in CE.


Patrick Maloney Patrick Maloney, CEO & Founder, Inspire


Alton Martin Alton Martin, Co-Founder/Chief Evangelist, Trusource Labs
Twitter ID: @altonmartin

For over 25 years, Alton Martin has been a globally-recognized expert in defining performance standards & metrics within service operations. In July 2013, he co-founded Trusource Labs, a contact center focused on supporting products and services that are complex, risky, or both. In 4.5 years, the company has grown rapidly to over 500 employees worldwide and has supported over 20 leading-edge Smart Home companies. Prior to founding Trusource Labs, he helped launch COPC Inc., a leading contact center consultancy and training organization. He led their international expansion initiatives, as well as the development of the COPC-2000 Vendor Management Organization Standard. He served as CEO until June 2009, when he started another consultancy firm focused on applying Vested Outsourcing techniques in outsourced service operations. He has worked with a number of leading organizations throughout his career, including Accenture, American Express, Apple, CapitalOne, Convergys, Dell, DirecTV, Microsoft and others in over 40 countries.


Katie McMahon Katie McMahon, VP and GM, SoundHound Inc.

Katie McMahon is general manager at SoundHound Inc., where she is responsible for building the company's consumer businesses, strategic partnerships, and helping to shape the emerging voice-interface era, at large. A mobile tech industry pioneer, she has been at the forefront of emerging technologies, previously working at Shazam in London, before that as a founder of a mobile tech company in Tokyo. At SoundHound Inc., the Silicon Valley-based company creating and productizing Voice AI technologies, Katie has driven the launches of Hound, the voice search and assistant app, and the Houndify platform, which enables a natural, conversational voice interface for connected devices.


Claire Miles Claire Miles, Managing Director, Centrica Hive Ltd

Claire joined Centrica in August 2010 after 14 years’ experience working in financial services where she led credit card businesses for HSBC, General Electric and Santander. 
 
Claire began her career as Commercial Director for British Gas Services business and in January 2013 she became Managing Director of British Gas Energy Efficiency (BGEE), where she was responsible for delivering consumer energy efficiency obligations set by the government.  
 
At the end of 2014, Claire became Managing Director for HomeCare and led the integration of the gas and electrical service and repair businesses. In July 2016, she was appointed to the role of managing director of UK Customer Operations for Centrica Consumer, with a clear focus on delivering a better service for customers. She led the establishment of a new customer operations model, making significant improvements in customer service performance and introduced new channels such as self serve. 
 
In January 2018, Claire was appointed as Managing Director of Centrica Hive Limited. Her focus is to lead the growth of the Hive business and its range of smart home products and services through the next phase of its journey, moving it from start up to scale up and expanding into new markets and geographies as it continues to transform and innovate.  
 
Claire is on the Board of Northgate PLC, the leading commercial vehicle rental business in the UK and Spain. She studied Mathematics at Aston University and has an MSc in Mathematical Modelling from Cranfield.


Sujata Neidig Sujata Neidig, VP, Marketing, Thread Group; Director, Product Marketing, Microcontrollers & Connectivity, NXP , Thread Group / NXP
Twitter ID: @SujataNeidig

Sujata Neidig has over 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and has served in a variety of roles ranging from product engineering to marketing and business development. She is currently a Business Development Manager responsible for driving NXP's processors and connectivity leadership and growth in the consumer market. Prior to this role, Sujata worked in business development and product marketing for NXP's i.MX applications processors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Paul Palmer Paul Palmer, Global Director of Business Development, Consumer Business, F-Secure

Paul has been with F-Secure for 4 years and is currently leading Business Development activities primarily related to Connected Home Security and partnerships within this ecosystem. Paul previously managed Sales and Marketing teams in Europe and also APAC, and has over 25 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to joining F-Secure, Paul held sales management positions in both Europe and APAC with startups as well as larger multinational companies such as Lucent Technologies.


Marcus Scheiber Marcus Scheiber, CEO & Co-Founder , ROC-Connect, Inc.

Marcus Scheiber is Co-Founder and CEO of ROC-Connect, a leading IOT company providingSmart Home as a Service. ROC-Connect delivers full-end-to-end connected brands in the Smart Home space for channels as Retailers, Insurances & Financial Industries, as well as for Service Providers. Before starting ROC-Connect in 2012, Marcus founded the ms.GIS group of companies (Austria nd US), a leading geospatial technology provider. Marcus held various positions as Co-CEO, board member, and investor. Earlier in his career, Marcus was working as a technical consultant with Prime-Computervision, and in C.S. research at the AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology).  Marcus holds a Masters of Science in Management (Sloan Fellow) and a Master’s Degree of the University of Economics and Business Administration of Vienna, Austria.


Cory Sorice Cory Sorice, VP GM Emerging Business, Chamberlain Group Inc

Cory Sorice leads a Line of Business for the identification and incubation of new business initiatives for the Chamberlain Group (CGI). 
 
Sorice has most recently led CGI’s Connected Platforms SBU responsible for the growth of MyQ to its first million registered users, formal announced partnerships with Apple, Google/Nest and Samsung, creation of industry leading MyQ Garage smartphone control accessory recognized by Home Depot as top ten innovative product at launch, and cultivated and sponsored a growing, innovative cross-functional team following agile development methodologies at the company.
 
In a newly created role, Sorice is responsible for coordinating with CGI’s Global Innovation Group and the Chief Marketing Officer’s team to launch meaningful product, service and partnership innovations across the Chamberlain and LiftMaster brands.
 
Sorice has more than 20 years of experience in consumer and commercial durables industry, and has held leadership positions with Newell Rubbermaid and Stanley Black & Decker. He also co-founded and later sold a start up in the web and innovation services market, which exemplifies his entrepreneurial passion for developing new products and industry partnerships. 
 
Sorice grew up in the La Grange area and after living away from Chicago for over a decade, he was personally and professionally excited to return the La Grange with his wife, Becky, and four children.


Linden Tibbets Linden Tibbets, CEO, IFTTT
Twitter ID: @IFTTT

Linden is the CEO and co-founder of IFTTT, a service that inspires people with the confidence to control their connected world. Linden graduated Santa Clara University, where he studied Computer Engineering. Before starting IFTTT, Linden developed his keen interest in all things design at IDEO. He is an ardent fan of radical ideas of all shapes and sizes.


Michele Turner Michele Turner, Sr. Director, Smart Home Ecosystem, Google Assistant/Home, Google

Michele has over 20 years of experience in high-tech product development, product marketing and business management, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. As Sr. Director of the Smart Home Ecosystem for Google, she's responsible for expanding the range of products that work with Google Home and the Google Assistant. Prior to this, she was the General Manager of Security Products for Nest. Before going to Nest, Michele was CEO of Dictionary.com, a top 100 web property that serves over 70 million unique users monthly, where she grew users and revenue 20% in less than 2 years. Prior to Dictionary.com, Michele was Chief Product Officer at mBlox, a leading brand-to-consumer mobile engagement platform which was acquired by CLX. She spent several years as EVP of Products at Cooliris, a Kleiner Perkins portfolio company acquired by Yahoo! that was known for their stunning photo management applications. She joined Adobe in 2006 as Vice President of the Platform Business Unit, where she was responsible for product management, product marketing and developer relations for the Adobe Flash Platform. Additionally she served as Vice President of Product Management and Design at Netflix, and Senior Vice President of Product Management at AOL, where she helped drive product strategy, definition and delivery of AOL's Advanced Communications, Personalization, Mobile and Netscape product lines.


David Wechsler David Wechsler, Senior Director of Channels and Partnerships, Comcast Xfinity

As Sr. Direct of Channels and Partnerships for Comcast Xfinity, Dave leads the company's initiatives with emerging 3rd party partners in areas such as P&C/Home Owners insurance, home warranty and home services. This role includes shaping corporate and product strategy as well as day-to-day execution of these partnerships. Prior to joining Comcast, Dave had a 25 year startup career predominantly focused on internet technologies, and in particular, Internet of Things. Over Dave’s entrepreneurial career, he has been on teams that have raised collectively over $24MM in venture and strategic capital as well as had an exit to a public company. Dave is also a licensed insurance producer.


Raoul Wijgergangs Raoul Wijgergangs, Vice President and General Manager, Z-Wave, Silicon Labs

Raoul Wijgergangs is a veteran in the smart home, IoT industry. He joined Zensys, the founding company of the Z-Wave technology, in 2004, pioneering the U.S. IoT smart-home market, simultaneously building not only a new company, but also an industry. Zensys was acquired by Sigma Designs in 2008, where Mr. Wijgergangs continued his work with Z-Wave as VP of the Z-Wave Business Unit. Prior to working with Zensys, he worked at Philips for ten years in key positions including Senior Director of Global Sales and Marketing for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, he also helped found Arcadyan, a Philips joint venture with Accton. After Silicon Laboratories’s acquisition of Sigma Designs in 2018, Mr. Wijgergangs is the Vice President and General Manager, Z-Wave. He holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science and an M.B.A. from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.


Kellen Xu Kellen Xu, Director of Global Business Development and Partnerships , SmartThings

Kellen Xu is the Director of Global Business Development at Samsung SmartThings, a leading IoT and smart home platform. Kellen and her team are responsible for developing and launching partnerships and strategic initiatives globally. Prior to joining SmartThings, Kellen managed key partnerships at Wink and worked in investment banking looking after technology and diversified industries prior to venturing in the smart home industry.



Parks Associates Analysts / Moderators


Dina Abdelrazik Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @DinaAtParks
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

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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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, Research Director, Connected Home, 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

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