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CONNECTIONS™ Speaker Biographies


QUESTIONS ABOUT SPEAKING?
Please contact Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein at Parks Associates or call 972-490-1113. Submit to Speak.

Visionary Speakers


Gene LaNois Gene LaNois, Head of Professional Partnerships, Google

Gene LaNois is the Head of the Professional Industry Partnerships for Google Nest Devices & Services and for the Americas. He is responsible for leading all of the business across a multitude of professional trades including HVAC, Custom Integration, Security, Electrical and more, as well as the organizations and businesses affiliated with those trades. These partnerships are formed with the installing contractors, wholesale supplier networks and manufacturers involved with connected product solutions. Gene was an owner and President of his own HVAC mechanical business in New England selling his business to a Fortune 500 company. He brings more than 3 decades of experience in channel sales, distribution and installation within the trade businesses. Prior to joining Nest, Gene also served in leadership positions for teams at Honeywell and Watsco. Gene joined Nest as a startup in August of 2013, prior to the acquisition by Google. Today, Gene is considered and utilized as a B2B expert and advisor, bringing consumer technology into trades and channels. Focusing on developing the business opportunity for the "helpful home" and leading traditional trade businesses into the future opportunities with the Google Nest and 3rd party Google Assistant enabled products and services.


Todd Mozer Todd Mozer, CEO, Sensory

Todd Mozer is President and CEO of Sensory, which has played a pioneering role in bringing speech recognition into consumer products over the past 20 years. Sensory has enabled hundreds of products with speech recognition by companies such as Ecobee, Huawei, Garmin, GoPro, Motorola, Plantronics, Samsung, Sony, and many, many others. Mr. Mozer hold over 20 patents issued in speech technology and related fields, and holds an MBA from Stanford University.


Christian Nascimento Christian Nascimento, VP of Product, Comcast Business

Christian Nascimento is Vice President of Product Management & Strategy for Comcast Business, where he is responsible for developing, launching and managing multiple product lines and service offerings used by businesses of all sizes.
 
Christian joined Comcast in 2006, and has held roles in both Consumer and Commercial services. He is currently responsible for the entire suite of Commercial Connectivity and Data solutions, including Internet, Metro-Ethernet, Wi-Fi and LTE. He also has responsibility for Commercial TV and Video Surveillance products. He manages all aspects of the product life cycle, from business development to launch, to analysis and enhancement to ensure growth.
 
He is married with four children, and lives in suburban Philadelphia. Christian holds a Bachelor of Science from Widener University and an MBA from Villanova University. He serves on the Board of Directors of Savi Solutions, Inc, and on the Board of Trustees of Widener University.


Vaidhi Nathan Vaidhi Nathan, CEO, IntelliVision Technologies Corp

For over 30 years Vaidhi has been an entrepreneur and business leader who has successfully created and grown technology companies in Silicon Valley.  He was the founder/CEO of IntelliVision, an AI/Analytics-focused technology company for videos and cameras. IntelliVision was acquired by Nortek Security and Control where Vaidhi is currently SVP Cameras and Analytics. IntelliVision is consistently ranked as a leader in smart cameras, AI and video analytics and the company has powered AI in over 5 million cameras. In 2014 Vaidhi was named as one of the top 12 industry leaders and influencers in the security and surveillance market. He has 30 years of industry experience and a broad background in technology, video, cameras, analytics and software, and has successfully sold solutions to top brands and Global 2000 companies.  Prior to IntelliVision, he was the founder and CEO of Sirius Systems and ePeople Technologies. He provides guest lectures at local universities, and was an adjunct professor and taught graduate classes at Santa Clara University.


Razvan Todor Razvan Todor, Director of Connected Home Security, Bitdefender
Twitter ID: @bitdefender

Razvan Todor is currently the Director of Connected Home Security at Bitdefender, a global security technology company that provides cybersecurity solutions and advanced threat protection services to over 500 million users in more than 150 countries, from private individuals to the world's largest corporations. Razvan has 11+ years experience in managing large, cross-functional and distributed teams. He comes from a strong product management background with roots in agile methodologies and UI experience & design. He has overseen or was directly involved in launching Bitdefender's top-of-the-line B2C and B2B2C products for the past 5 years, including Bitdefender BOX and the Bitdefender IoT Security Platform, as well as co-branded solutions such as NETGEAR Armor powered by Bitdefender. His current focus is on building and expanding Bitdefender's technology reach through strategic partnerships with leading companies in the IoT & smart home cybersecurity markets.


David Wechsler David Wechsler, VP, Growth Initiatives, Hippo
Twitter ID: @hippo_insurance

Dave Wechsler leads Hippo’s initiatives that fall at the intersection of all-things Smart Home and home protection. As a 20+ year Smart Home aficionado, Dave has been at the forefront of helping build B2B ROI for products often seen as too expensive, too frivolous or too early for the mainstream. So unwavering have Dave’s beliefs been that insurance would be the benefactor of the “connected world”, Dave went and became a licensed insurance producer for Property and Casualty, Flood and Life and Health insurances.
 
Prior to Hippo, Dave lead Comcast’s emerging markets initiatives focused on connected home insurance, maintenance and warranty. In this role he was responsible for creating the company's vision and strategy around these initiatives as well setting up a national insurance agency to leverage Comcast customer's broad adoption of connected device/IoT technology.
 
Prior to joining Comcast, Dave was a serial entrepreneur and had 25 years of experience working at start-ups focusing on new internet technologies, ecommerce and Smart Home.


Speakers


Jake Alamat Jake Alamat, Vice President and General Manager, IoT Home and Consumer Products, Silicon Labs

Jake Alamat is Vice President and General Manager of IoT Home and Consumer Products at Silicon Labs. With more than 19 years of industry experience at NXP and Texas Instruments, Jake has served in multiple leadership roles focused on embedded processing and analog semiconductor solutions. His career experience spans consumer, mobile, automotive, industrial and infrastructure end markets. Prior to joining Silicon Labs in September 2019, Jake served as Vice President and General Manager of Automotive Connectivity and Security processing products as well as General Manager of Microcontroller products at NXP Semiconductors. Prior to NXP, he held various executive and management roles at Texas Instruments including General Manager of Singlecore Digital Signal Processors and Director of Marketing for Arm Microprocessors. Jake holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in computer engineering from Michigan State University.


Peter Butler Peter Butler, Senior Program Manager, Everise

Peter Butler uses his unique background in customer experience, engineering, behavioral coaching, analytics and team building to lead the Systematic Insights® group at Everise. He joined the company in 2018 as part of the acquisition of nationally recognized connected device support firm Trusource Labs.
 
Systematic Insights, which Peter helped to develop, is a methodology for identifying customer support data across channels to isolate and identify product or service shortcomings at their root, for the purpose of greatly improving the user experience.
 
Peter also leads the Everise Beta Support and Technical Engineering teams, working to build outstanding product experience functions for some of the world’s foremost smart home device companies. 
 
Previously, Peter developed and led specialty programs for several well-known companies, including Apple.


Keith Davis Keith Davis, Executive Director, Product Development & Management, Cox Communications
Twitter ID: @CoxComm

During his 17-year tenure with Cox Communications Keith Davis has held a variety of leadership roles across the company’s marketing and product & technology organizations. In his current role as Executive Director of Product Management and Development, Keith is responsible for defining and executing product strategy for company’s core Internet, Voice, Automation and Home Security products. 
 
Keith holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications from Kennesaw State University and received his MBA from the University of Georgia.


Jan Dawson Jan Dawson, Senior Director of Research and Insights, Vivint
Twitter ID: @jandawson

Jan Dawson is the Senior Director, Research & Insights at Vivint. In that capacity, he leads a team which conducts primary and secondary customer and consumer research on behalf of Vivint’s product, design, and engineering teams. He has spent over twenty years in research and product strategy in the technology industry.


Alice DeBiasio Alice DeBiasio, Vice President and General Manager, Global Security, Resideo

Alice DeBiasio is vice president and general manager of Pro Security Products for Resideo, where she leads our portfolio of security and safety solutions.

Prior to Resideo, DeBiasio spent five years in increasingly high-profile roles at Honeywell, most recently as the vice president general manager of Honeywell Homes Global Residential Security businesses with P&L responsibilities across the Americas and EMEA Residential Security portfolio. Her primary focus was driving business growth through sales and channel strategies focused around customers and their success.

DeBiasio also served as vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s Health, Fire and Security Software business, accountable for the overall success of software-as-a-service offerings in the North America region for Honeywell’s AlarmNet and LifeCare businesses.

Before joining Honeywell in 2013, she worked as a lead design engineer for Northrop Grumman Corporation directing large scale, complex commercial and military programs.

DeBiasio earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with an aerospace concentration and a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of Miami. She has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and MBA from The State University of New York at Stony Brook.


Anne Ferguson Anne Ferguson, Vice President of Marketing, Alarm.com

Anne Ferguson is Alarm.com’s Vice President of Marketing. Her responsibility for developing and directing the company’s marketing strategy includes overseeing our partner marketing programs, consumer advertising, creative direction, branding, and corporate communications. She joined the company in 2011 and has also served as Director and Senior Director of Partner Marketing where she led programs to drive growth through Alarm.com’s service provider and IoT ecosystem partners. Anne’s breadth of experience and leadership role on Alarm.com’s management team give her extensive knowledge of consumer technology trends, the smart home and business markets, and service provider channels.
 
Anne previously held consumer and commercial marketing leadership roles in other publicly traded and private companies, including Online Resources from 2003 to 2011 and MCI from 2000 to 2001. She holds a B.A. in history from Duke University and an MBA from American University.


Andrew Goldberg Andrew Goldberg, VP of Strategic Planning & Analysis, Cox Communications

Andrew Goldberg is a Vice President and corporate officer at Cox Communications, Inc., the largest, privately held broadband and communications services provider in the U.S.  Andrew leads corporate strategic planning in addition to strategy development for Cox’s B2B divisions.  He is also responsible for Cox’s health care business, with a mission to connect patients’ homes to the care continuum, improving outcomes, efficiency and experience.
 
Andrew began his career at an M&A and strategic alliances advisory boutique serving the software industry. From there, he joined a marketing firm specializing in positioning strategy, customer acquisition, and loyalty.  After receiving his MBA, Andrew joined Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm, where he worked with small, medium and Fortune 500 clients to drive revenue growth, improve operating efficiencies, and grow management capabilities.  Andrew entered the communications and media industry through AOL, where he held various leadership roles in its Broadband and Corporate divisions.
 
Andrew is privileged to support and volunteer for several community organizations, including the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation as well as the Future Foundation, which seeks to level the playing field for youth caught in the cycle of generational poverty.
 
Andrew earned an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and received his undergraduate degree from Emory University.  Andrew, his wife, and two sons live in Alpharetta, GA.


Nicole Hayward Zheng Nicole Hayward Zheng, Founder & CMO, Minim
Twitter ID: @nicolechirps

Nicole Hayward Zheng is the CMO of Minim and Advising CMO at Aliro Quantum. While at Minim, she has been recognized by Entrepreneur as a Top Female Founder in the United States (2020). Prior to Minim, Nicole held the position of Chief Marketing Officer at cloud software companies Antidote Technologies and OnSIP (ACQ: Intrado). She has served as a board member of Alliance of Channel Women, a nonprofit on a mission to advance careers for women in the telecom and broadband services sector. Nicole holds a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering and B.S. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as business certifications from The Wharton School Online. She currently resides in Southampton, NY.


David Henry David Henry, Senior Vice President of Connected Home Products, NETGEAR

David J. Henry serves as our Senior Vice President, Connected Home Products and Services. He has worldwide responsibility for both Product Marketing and Engineering of our home networking products, encompassing product strategy, development and delivery. He has been with NETGEAR since July 2004, most recently serving as our Vice President of Product Management of our Retail Business Unit from March 2011 to January 2016 and as our Senior Director of Product Marketing from October 2010 to March 2011. Prior to NETGEAR, Mr. Henry was a senior product manager for the high technology vertical application at Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle Corporation). His professional experience also includes business process and information technology consulting with Deloitte Consulting. Mr. Henry received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on Signal Processing, from the University of Washington and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


David Ilardi David Ilardi, General Manager, Allegion Home, Allegion


Adam Kornick Adam Kornick, President, Insurance Division, Porch


Scott Lever Scott Lever, Founder and CEO, Zobi
Twitter ID: @scott_lever_

Over 25 years experience in technology and cybersecurity across multiple sectors. Founded zobi in 2018 to create digital guardians that put your privacy first.


Marc Pegulu Marc Pegulu, VP IoT Product Marketing and Strategy, Semtech
Twitter ID: @semtechcorp

Marc Pegulu is Semtech's vice president of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Marc is a recognized strategy and technology expert in sensing and connectivity technology. His focus since he joined Semtech in 2006 has been to disrupt wireless connectivity by bringing LoRa® to market. Mr. Pegulu was instrumental in founding the LoRa Alliance®, which now drives the world leading standard for low power wide area network IoT communication protocol now deployed in 167 countries. More recently, Mr. Pegulu is leading new IoT device to Cloud architectures and an enabling mass adoption of IoT in both industrial and consumer worlds. Before Semtech, he has held positions in chips and systems development at Thomson CSF, Thales, ATMEL, and DibCom. Mr. Pegulu holds a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble, France and is a graduate of the Executive MBA program of ESCP Europe.

 


James Reno James Reno, Sr. Director - Commercial Business, Alarm.com
Twitter ID: @AlarmDotCom

James Reno is Senior Director of Commercial sales at Alarm.com and a member of the sales leadership team for North America. He joined Alarm.com in early 2019, bringing more than 20 years of management, commercial sales expertise, and channel sales leadership experience to his role with the company. Leading the Commercial sales organization for North America, Reno is responsible for sales efforts to the Alarm.com dealer network, focusing on increased the adoption of the Alarm.com commercial platform with SMB clients. A frequent speaker and trainer, Reno specializes in developing sales strategies that build value for channel partners that deliver a best-in-class solution to the SMB market. Reno has an extensive management background in security technology, building both technical and sales teams. He spent most of his career working at HID Global and served in various sales leadership roles, including Director of Channel Sales and Sr. Director of Business Development & Presales before serving as the Americas Vice President of Sales for the Identity and Access Management business unit.


Sean Robertson Sean Robertson, Product Marketing Manager, ADTRAN


Michael Rovito Michael Rovito, CEO, Dwelo


Peter Suica Peter Suica, Director of National and Strategic Accounts, Johnson Controls


JT Taylor JT Taylor, Product Marketing Lead, Synamedia
Twitter ID: @JTTaylor007


Michele Turner Michele Turner, Senior Director - Product Management, Smart Home Ecosystem at Google Nest, Google/Thread Group

Michele Turner Sr. Director - Product Management, Smart Home Ecosystem at Google Nest Michele Turner 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 Google Nest Ecosystem, she's responsible for expanding the range of smart home products that work with the Google Assistant, and for developing rich experiences for consumers who use smart devices in their homes. Prior to this, she was the General Manager of Security Products for Google Nest. Before going to Nest, Michele was CEO of Dictionary.com, a top 100 web property, where she grew users and revenue 20% in less than 2 years. 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.


Andrew Vloyanetes Andrew Vloyanetes, GM of Installed Solutions, Ring
Twitter ID: @Ring

Andrew Vloyanetes has spent the last 20 years in consumer electronics working in both B2C and B2B environments. Currently, he is the General Manager for the Installed Solutions business at Ring, overseeing the go-to-market strategy and execution for the entire Pro Installer business globally, including the custom installer vertical, security vertical, and National Homebuilder vertical. Prior to this role, he spent 10 years at Sonos working across multiple disciplines including sales, marketing, training, and business development. At Sonos, Vloyanetes was given the creative freedom to help lead the future direction of the company, including overseeing the team that manages the Works with Sonos platform, which allows Sonos to partner with thought leaders in the connected home industry on a product and go-to-market level. Andrew has a true passion for IoT products and utilizing them to improve the lives of users and, at Ring, he's able to embrace this passion to work toward the compan's mission of making neighborhoods safer.


Yana Welinder Yana Welinder, CEO, Kraftful Inc
Twitter ID: @kraftful

Yana Welinder started Kraftful based on a problem she identified while leading the product management team at IFTTT, working with hundreds of hardware brands. Most connected hardware has a terrible user experience. While there are now lots of tools for building great software, Yana noticed that there is no platform that makes it easy to build usable connected products. Yana has an ambitious goal to have everything around us be powered by Kraftful. Today, makers of appliances, furniture, toys, clothing, and other things are all working on putting a chipset into their products. The Kraftful platform will help them make these connected products usable (and therefore useful) by everyone. In previous roles, Yana worked on disrupting manufacturing with digital production at Carbon and tackled free knowledge creation on Wikipedia. As a tech policy thought leader, she’s published pieces about AI and biometrics in the New York Times, Harvard Journal of Law & Tech, and a chapter in the Cambridge Handbook on Consumer Privacy. She's given talks at the White House (under the Obama administration), and at Yale, Stanford, NYU, and other universities.


Fritz Werder Fritz Werder, General Manager of North America, Tuya Smart

Fritz leads the North American team with two decades of IoT and smart home experience. He spent over 17 years at Legrand, where he propelled the development of sales channels, key customers, products, and brands, including the Home Systems product lines.


Oz Yildirim Oz Yildirim, EVP and GM of Americas Business Unit, Airties
Twitter ID: @Airties

Oz Yildirim is the EVP and GM Americas Business Unit of AirTies. Prior to his role as EVP and GM, Oz served as CMO, where he oversaw the company's significant expansion with leading U.S. service providers (including AT&T), new distribution partners, and office openings in California and Texas. He joined AirTies in 2004 and was one of the first employees in Turkey. He served in numerous leadership roles across product management, R&D, and customer services management. He previously oversaw AirTies' product portfolio, and also previously led the company's expansion efforts in Europe. Mr. Yildirim holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.


Moderators


Kristen Hanich Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @KristenAtParks
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Consumer electronics, mobility services and devices, connected health and wellness

Kristen Hanich heads Parks Associates' consumer electronics and mobility research, with expertise in other verticals including connected cars, mobile networking, healthcare, wellness, and independent living. She leads a mix of custom and syndicated research projects throughout the year, with a focus on major players and emerging trends. Kristen specializes in bridging the gap between data-driven and narrative approaches to understanding the consumer markets via a mix of qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Kristen has dual master's degrees in applied anthropology and public health from the Universities of North Texas in Denton and Fort Worth. She earned her BSc in health at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

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Jennifer Kent Jennifer Kent, Vice President, Research, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @JenniferMKent
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Connected Health, Connected Home Technologies and Services, Connected Entertainment Products and Services

Jennifer manages the research department and Parks Associates' process for producing high-quality, relevant, and meaningful research. Jennifer also leads and advises on syndicated and custom research projects across all connected consumer verticals and guides questionnaire development for Parks Associates’ extensive consumer analytics survey program. Jennifer is a certified focus group moderator, with training from the Burke Institute.

Jennifer earned her PhD in religion, politics, and society and an MA in church-state studies from Baylor University. She earned her BA in politics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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Amanda Kung Amanda Kung, Researcher, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @AmandaAtParks
Website: http://parksassociates.com

Amanda joined Parks Associates as a research intern after graduating from Brown University with a BA in Economics in 2020. She has experience in consulting, influencer marketing, and economic research with companies located in Dallas, California, South Korea, and Brazil. At Parks Associates, she assists with investigating trends, market dynamics, and outcomes for the connected home technologies and services marketplace.


Jason Paris Jason Paris, Director, Business Development, Parks Associates

Jason Paris joined Parks Associates in 2007 as an analyst studying international telephone, cable, and satellite providers and is now a member of the business development team.

Jason graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psychology and government. After working for the Texas House of Representatives, Jason spent the previous seven years in New York City working with portable and enterprise healthcare technologies.


Elizabeth Parks Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates
Twitter ID: @elizparks
Website: http://www.parksassociates.com

Elizabeth leads the marketing team and supports the research and operations teams. Elizabeth manages and directs the integrated strategic communications plan for Parks Associates, including advertising, public relations, and marketing campaigns for research and events hosted by Parks Associates. Elizabeth is the key organizer for all of Parks Associates' events, including CONNECTIONS™. She also supports Parks Associates' Business Development Team with prospective client searches, overall support, and maintenance of Parks Associates' databases.

Elizabeth joined Parks Associates on a full-time basis in 1998 after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in psychology.


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

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

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.

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Chris White Chris White, Senior Analyst, chris.white@parksassociates.com
Twitter ID: @cwhiteinsights
Website: http://parksassociates.com

Chris is a Senior Researcher with Parks Associates, covering the connected home market. He was previously a Director of Insights at PeopleMetrics in Philadelphia and the Data Manager of a youth-serving collaborative in New Orleans. He has performed research for companies in a variety of industries, including the telecom/ISP space.

Chris earned his BBA in Marketing from the College of William & Mary and his MBA in Marketing and Finance from American University.


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