Smart Communities and Transportation Workshop - Speakers

Jeff Abramowitz
President and Board Director

Jeff Abramowitz, President and Board Director of Cloud4Wi, is a pioneer in the wireless networking industry with more than 25 years of executive experience. Jeff founded and served as CEO of PowerCloud Systems, the industry’s first cloud-managed networking company, which was acquired by Comcast in 2014. At Broadcom, Jeff led the wireless marketing and business development team that grew revenue from $0 to $250 million and established enduring market leadership. He held key positions at 3Com Corporation and Intersil Corporation and played primary roles in the success of startups Azimuth Systems, NoWires Needed, CellNet Data Systems and REMEC. Jeff founded the Wireless LAN Association and co-founded the Wi-Fi Alliance. Jeff’s oral history of Wi-Fi is cataloged in the Computer History Museum. He currently serves as an advisor to startups in the robotics, mar-tech and consumer IOT markets. Jeff earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MSEE from MIT and a BSME from the University of Pennsylvania.

Deborah Acosta
Chief Innovation Officer
City of San Leandro

As the City of San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Ms. Acosta’s task is twofold: (1) develop the Lit San Leandro 10 gbps fiber optic network as a unique infrastructure tool to attract, expand and retain innovative tech businesses and businesses in need of fast connectivity; and (2) to cultivate a healthy tech and innovation ecosystem designed to attract investment, companies and jobs to San Leandro.

Ms. Acosta has focused on developing public/private partnerships to achieve City Council goals regarding economic, technology and environmental resilience. The most visible signpost of this strategy is The Gate, the transformation of 400,000+ sf of former Chrysler Dodge auto plant into the largest Bay Area business accelerator for advanced manufacturing and software technologies. Ms. Acosta has been charged with leading the City’s transformation through deployment of “Smart City” technologies. Additionally, the recent arrival of Marco Cochrane’s Truth Is Beauty sculpture has inspired a collective push by San Leandro women entrepreneurs to found a business incubator designed by and for women and youth, an effort for which Ms. Acosta is a champion.

Ms. Acosta is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley. Her 26-year career spans both public and private sectors in banking (commercial construction financing), municipal economic development (technology and international trade) and as a business consultant. She became the East Bay and San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer in February 2013, where she now lives with her artist/entrepreneur husband, Gary Branchaud.

Diana Adachi
Global Blockchain Offers Lead
Accenture Digital

Global executive , blockchain and payments industry expert with over 20 years of experience. In Financial services, she has worked in banking including channel management and strategy, product/service launches, operations, organization alignment, technology services, and market strategy. Knowledgeable in the Asia Pac market and skillful in developing sound executable strategies that scale operations and drive revenue. Effective change agent.

Will Barkis, PhD
Smart City Lead
Orange Silicon Valley Innovation Lab

Will Barkis, PhD, leads the Smart Cities portfolio at Orange’s Silicon Valley innovation lab and previously co-led the Orange GigaStudio, an innovation program aimed at benefiting consumers with super-fast networks.

Will currently serves as Volunteer Technology Advisor to the SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation developing strategy on Smart Cities and the Internet of Things for San Francisco. He formerly served as Director of Mozilla’s Gigabit Community Fund and has worked at the National Science Foundation, where he collaborated with the White House to launch the US Ignite next-generation apps initiative.

Orange is a leading global telecommunications operator with 269 million customers in 29 countries and providing enterprise services for business customers in 220 countries and territories.

Paul Brubaker
CEO & President
Alliance for Transportation Innovation

Paul Brubaker is the Chief Executive of the Alliance for Transportation Innovation. Paul has more than three decades of policy and management experience focused on deploying innovative technologies in government and industry.

He was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the second Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) at the United States Department of Transportation and was also appointed by Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore to serve as Chairman of the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology.

His other roles also included serving as a Senate Subcommittee Staff Director for then Senator William S. Cohen (R-ME); Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Deputy CIO of the Defense Department under President Clinton; served in senior industry positions at Litton Industries, Commerce One, SI International and Cisco Systems in addition to launching two successful technology services firms.

For his service in government, Brubaker was awarded the DoD Distingushed Public Service Medal (with bronze palm) – the department’s highest civilian honor – by Secretary of Defense William Cohen; the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Gold Medal by Secretary Mary Peters; and is a two time winner of Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100. He holds a BA from Youngstown State University and a MPA from the Graduate School of Management at Kent State University. He is active on several non-profit and corporate advisory boards and resides in Washington, DC.

Sara Carlson
IBM iX, Connected Car

Sara Carlson is an IBM Partner & Executive with more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing as an entrepreneur, technologist and consultant. Her passion for leading clients through major business and digital transformation collaborations is currently focused on the Connected Car Consumer Engagement, enabled by the latest cognitive, cloud, and data science technologies from IBM Watson, salesforce, Zuora, and XEVO. Sara’s expertise extends to Connected Vehicles, Conversational Commerce, Smarter Marketing, Digital Transformation, as well as Integrated Marketing and Sales Transformation. She is currently leading the IBM GTM Connected Car initiative for IBM’s Industrial Sector. Previously, she has led transformation programs for major automotive and electronics firms, including General Motors, Honda, other automotive OEMs, Intel, Cisco, and NetApp. Sara is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

Chris Drake

Chris Drake, Chief Technology Officer at iconectiv, is responsible for internal and external technology initiatives at iconectiv including emerging opportunities in mobile content, CyberSecurity, mobile identity, virtualization and M2M/IoT. As the authoritative partner of the communications industry for more than 30 years, iconectiv’s market-leading solutions enable the interconnection of networks, devices, and applications for more than two billion people every day. A US-based company, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., doing business as iconectiv, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ericsson.

Drake began his career at Bell Northern Research and has over 25 years in the Telecommunications industry. Prior to iconectiv, Chris held executive positions at Aricent Group, Neustar, Sonus Networks, Telcordia Technologies and Advanced Switching Communications. Drake is currently a TIA board member. Drake also serves as an advisor to a number of technology startups and the Canadian Consulate Tech Accelerator @ NYC. Drake is also on the board and executive committee of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and has served on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Security and Software Engineering Research Center (S2ERC IAB) through Georgetown University and the National Science Foundation.

Drake holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa.

Chris Greer
Senior Executive for Cyber Physical Systems
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Chris Greer is Senior Executive for Cyber Physical Systems, Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, and National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His responsibilities include promoting the emergence of a globally interoperable Internet of Things and coordinating the development of a framework for smart grid interoperability.

Prior to joining NIST, Chris served as Assistant Director for Information Technology R&D in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Cybersecurity Liaison to the National Security Staff. His responsibilities there included networking and information technology research and development, cybersecurity, and digital scientific data access. He has also served as Director of the National Coordination Office for the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. This program coordinates IT R&D investments across the Federal government.

Jessica Groopman
Industry Analyst & Founding Partner
Kaleido Insights

Jessica Groopman is an industry analyst and strategic advisor specializing in automation technologies including IoT, AI, and blockchain. She concentrates on the application of sensors and machine learning with a focus on user experience and data integrity. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jessica works with innovative companies in Retail, Smart Home, Health, Technology, Agriculture, and Media to develop research, content, and digital strategies.

Groopman is a regular speaker, moderator, and panelist at IoT industry events. She is also a frequent contributor to numerous 3rd party blogs and news/media outlets. Jessica has been principal analyst with Tractica where she contributed to their automation and robotics practice. She has also served as contributing member of the International IoT Council, the IEEE’s Internet of Things Group, IoT Guru Network, and FC Business Intelligence’s IoT Nexus Advisory Board. Jessica was also included in Onalytica’s list of the 100 Most Influential Thought Leaders in IoT.

Jessica has also served as research director and principal analyst with Harbor Research where she headed research and content strategy and helped lead Harbor’s Smart Systems Lab program. Prior Jessica was an industry analyst with Altimeter Group where she covered Internet of Things and contributed to research around other disruptive technological trends such as real-time marketing, social media, and mobile commerce. Earlier, Jessica lead research at Focus Research and was a research analyst at Tippit Research.

Before she worked in business and technology research, Jessica’s research experience was based mostly in academic anthropological fieldwork, specifically in ethnographic, linguistic, and archaeological research both in the United States and abroad.

John Jacobs
Vice President, Market Intelligence and Research

John Jacobs joined TIA in January 2010. An accomplished, international marketing executive, John brings extensive global marketing, product management, and business development experience to TIA; providing thought leadership for the association as it works on behalf of the continually evolving information and communications technology industry. John also oversees TIA's member services activities.

Prior to joining the TIA leadership team, John was Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager, Americas Region of Decisive Media, Ltd., and its cutting-edge online industry media network, TelecomTV.

Earlier John worked at Yankee Group Research as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management. John has also served as Head of the Marketing and Business Development Division for the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Prior to this John worked at MCI Communications Corporation, where he was Director of Marketing for the Wireless and Prepaid Communications Groups.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The American University in Washington, DC and a Masters of Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Derek Kerton
Managing Partner
Kerton Group

Derek Kerton and the Kerton Group have been delivering insight on the communications industry for 20 years and publishes both public and private analysis on change and innovation at every layer of the network. Since 2001, Derek has been Chairman at the Telecom Council, a community of innovation executives focused on building the next generation of communications services. In 2012, he founded the Autotech Council - which connects car companies to startups. And most recently, he started the IoT Forum to match buyers and sellers of IoT innovation.

Rich Lechner
Consultant & Lecturer
Stanford University

Rich Lechner is a consultant focused on assisting organizations who are transitioning to delivering their capabilities as a service and turning insight into income. Areas of expertise include monetizing data, IoT, cloud, service delivery, go to market strategy, and business planning.

He is a lecturer at Stanford University within both the School of Engineering and the Urban Studies program. His courses on Smart Cities and Communities explore how a nexus of forces - IoT, data, systems of insight, and systems of engagement - present an unprecedented opportunity to increase the efficiency of urban systems, improve the efficacy of public services, and to assure the resiliency of the community against both chronic stresses and acute shocks.

Prior to this, Rich was a serial entrepreneur and turnaround artist at IBM in a career that spanned the breadth of the IT industry from software to systems to services. He held numerous senior leadership positions in business development, marketing, sales, and product development. He has had the privilege of working with hundreds of organizations globally to leverage technology to transform the way companies, industries, and the world work.

Rich holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles.

After living in many regions in the US and Europe, Rich has recently returned home to California and currently resides in San Francisco.

Bryan Lee
Threat Intelligence Researcher
Palo Alto Networks Unit 42

Bryan Lee is a Threat Intelligence Researcher with Unit 42 at Palo Alto Networks. His areas of expertise are in espionage threats, cyber security operations, and threat collection. Prior to joining Unit 42 at Palo Alto Networks, Bryan was with the NASA Security Operations Center, beginning as a real time detection analyst, transitioning into threat intelligence, and ultimately moving into a lead role for the NASA SOC. Bryan’s diverse set of experiences provides a unique perspective on the viability of people, processes and technology from both an operational and theoretical standpoint.

Linus Lundberg
Head of Enterprise Partnerships
Nest Labs

Mr. Lundberg has over 20 years experience in commercializing new technologies and bringing innovative solutions to market. Currently, Mr. Lundberg is the Global Head of Enterprise Partnerships at Nest Labs, Inc. with a focus on the Insurance, Telecom, Security & Home Automation sectors. Previously, Mr. Lundberg was a co-founder of the Business Sustainability Network, working with Fortune 100 corporations on energy and resource efficiency initiatives. Prior to that, Mr. Lundberg was a venture capital investor at Vision Capital where he made investments in IT and telecom startups in Europe and the US, while supporting his portfolio companies as a business development executive. At McKinsey & Company, Mr. Lundberg assisted large corporate clients with strategy and operational improvement initiatives across a broad range of industries, including telecom, aerospace, automotive, consumer products and banking.

Mr. Lundberg holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, with a major in Aeronautics from Imperial College, UK.

Ryan Manfred
Global Account Director
Telefónica USA, Telefónica Business Solutions

Ryan has over 25 years of global telecommunications experience, with the last 7 years focusing on enabling multinational Enterprises to better plan and execute their global IoT projects. Having taken the best practices and methodologies from the largest companies in the world, and combining them with the speed to market of today’s growth companies, Ryan is able to increase his Partner’s time to market. In his spare time, Ryan is an avid golfer and he just added a new French Bulldog, Magnet, to his family.

Jim Misener
Senior Director, Technical Standards

Jim Misener leads automotive standards activities for Qualcomm. In this role, he participates externally in many standards fora, to include being immediate past Chair and current Vice Chair of the SAE DSRC Technical Committee and participation as US ISO TC204 expert and in with IEEE 1609 and with LTE technologies 3GPP. Recently, Jim was instrumental in founding and is on the Board of the 5G Automotive Association, with other founding members Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel and Nokia. This year, Jim founded a new SAE standards committee, the SAE C-V2X Technical Committee. As part of his daily activities, Jim also provides broad internal consultation and support with automotive and transportation matters on emerging technologies, standards, deployment and spectrum issues.

Jim was early pioneer in vehicle-highway automation and vehicle safety communication at the California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) at UC Berkeley, beginning in the mid 1990s. He has served as the PATH Executive Director, Executive Advisor to Booz Allen Hamilton, and an independent consultant with clients ranging from Silicon Valley startups, the automotive industry and Federal and State government agencies. Jim holds BS and MS degrees from UCLA and USC.

Dr. Anton Monk
VP Strategic Alliances and Standards
Cohere Technologies

Dr. Monk is currently VP of Strategic Alliances and Standards at Cohere Technologies, which has developed a groundbreaking wireless modulation technique ideally suited for next generation 5G cellular communications. The technology has been validated by the academic community and through worldwide field trials with Tier-1 network operators. He was a co-founder of Entropic Communications, a publicly traded semiconductor company that invented the home networking solution used by Pay TV service providers for multi-room DVR throughout the U.S. At Entropic he led the engineering and standards development of Entropic's coax-based technology, which was standardized by MoCA, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance, where he held the position of CTO. He holds more than 25 granted and pending patents and has been an invited keynote speaker at global technology conferences in Europe, North America and Asia. Prior to co-founding Entropic he was involved in the development of cable, satellite and wireless integrated circuits at Conexant and ComStream Corporation and was a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He sits on various industry, advisory and academic boards. Dr. Monk earned a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Kali Nooney
Senior Design Engineer
HMI Technical Solutions

Kali Nooney is a telecommunication industry expert with over 10 years of experience, and joined HMI Technical Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of Henkels & McCoy Group, Inc., in 2014 as a senior design engineer. In this capacity Mr. Nooney specializes in engineering design, implementation, and delivery of wireless technology projects as a premier national integrator of DAS, small cell, and WiFi solutions.

Prior to joining H&M, Mr. Nooney was a systems solutions engineer with a focus on large venue solutions and in-building design for Nokia USA in Columbia, Maryland, where he supported the testing and initial deployment of Nokia’s first generation small cell products. Prior to that he held a position with Acela Technologies Inc. in Frederick, Maryland as a RF engineer specializing in in-building design.

Mr. Nooney is an iBwave® Design Level 2 certified professional, has substantial experience in Corning/Mobile Access, Commscope, Solid, Teko Telecom, ADRF, SpiderCloud and Ericsson D RAN DAS platforms, as well as 4G, LTE, EvDO, UMTS and Public Safety trunked radio wireless technologies.

Mr. Nooney earned a master of business administration from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a master of science in electrical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a bachelor of engineering in electronics from the University of Madras in India.

Leslie Nooteboom
COO and Co-Founder
Humanising Autonomy

Leslie Nooteboom is co-founder and COO of Humanising Autonomy. He is intrigued by the way humans interact with technology. The realisation that there is no way for people on the streets to interact with autonomous vehicles led to founding his own company together with fellow graduates. He became world champion in solar racing and built a robot that can sense pressure like a human. Working experience in design engineering, marketing and management on three continents of the world, he holds an MSc from Imperial College London and an MA from the Royal College of Art.

Jill North
Innovation Program Manager, Department of Transportation
The City of San Jose

Although Jill is new to the public sector in her role as the Innovation Program Manager for the Department of Transportation in San Jose, she is no stranger to how emerging technology can change the way people experience the world around them. After 5 years as a Program Manager for Streetview at Google Maps, Jill is looking to bring her expertise leveraging technology to make San Jose the most innovative city in America.

A native of Illinois, Jill earned her Bachelor of Business Administration at Illinois State University in 2007. In 2014, she was granted the National CEO Award of Excellence for her Streetview collaboration with Parks Canada. Beyond her professional life, Jill enjoys footgolf and the Oakland A's.

Nick Pudar
Director of 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.

Pierre Pujol
Rimalu Technologies

Pierre Pujol joined Rimalu Technologies in 2016 as VP of Business Development . After a successful international career in Pharma/Biotech, in commercialization and corporate development positions (Aventis, GSK and Chiron), Pierre embraced the Silicon Valley's adventure and became an entrepreneur/investor/advisor to biotech and cleantech start-ups. Over the last 10 years, he co-founded two companies and, until recently, was CEO of one them, Oakbio Inc., a carbon capture and conversion company. Pierre holds a MSc. from AgroParisTech and a MBA from INSEAD, France.

Hardy Schmidbauer
CEO & Co-Founder

Hardy Schmidbauer is CEO and co-founder of TrackNet focusing on marketing and strategy. Previously he was the Director of Wireless and IoT at Semtech Corporation where he successfully positioned the wireless division to be a leader in IoT and LPWAN with LoRa defining the LoRa strategy and product definition. Hardy was a key contributor to the formation of the LoRa Alliance as the marketing committee chairman, increased Semtech revenue 50-100% each year under his management, and constructed the original LoRa ecosystem under his business development efforts. Prior to Semtech, Hardy held marketing and design manager positions at Silicon Labs, Integration Associates, and DSP Group playing an instrumental role in successful product introduction through wireless product definition, design, and key customer acquisition. He holds a MBA degree from Santa Clara University, MSEE and BSEE degrees in electrical engineering from Oregon State University.

Balaji Sundaram
Verizon's Connected Cities

Balaji Sundaram is a Principal at Verizon's Connected Cities practice and is based out of San Francisco Bay Area. He leads strategic Smart Community & Venue engagements with municipal entities like cities, counties, transit agencies, and large venues like university campuses, sports & music venues, airports etc.

He takes a consultative approach to engage his clients to understand their key urbanization challenges and objectives in the following areas: Public Safety, Sustainability, Traffic Congestion, Traffic Safety, Mobility, Citizen Engagement, Digital Divide, Open Data to name a few. Balaji uses a combination of innovative technology solutions, new revenue models, strategic partner ecosystem and alternate procurement models like Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to meet emerging client needs. While addressing the urbanization challenges and needs of his clients, the charter for Balaji's role also includes advancing

Verizon's next generation wireline and wireless network rollout across multiple cities.

Before Verizon, Balaji worked in Corporate IT with the leading global interactive entertainment company, Electronic Arts and prior to that in Deloitte Consulting, a Big-5 consulting & advisory firm leading technology strategy engagements for a wide range of clients across multiple industries.

Balaji holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from State University of New York at Binghamton.

Steve Schwinke
Director of Advance Development and Concepts
General Motors

Steve Schwinke is currently the director of advanced development and concepts for GM’s Global Connected Consumer Experience business unit. In this role, Schwinke leads a team of vehicle engineers, developers and data scientists tasked with harnessing the power of the connected vehicle. His team utilizes data from the vehicle in numerous ways including quality improvements, predictive analytics and customer facing services. Additionally, his team is responsible for the platform enabling over the air delivery of software to millions of GM vehicles. Recently he has been active in providing solutions for the connected Autonomous Vehicle.

Previously Schwinke was the director of the developer ecosystem and application development responsible for creating an environment within GM vehicles that allowed developers to work with GM in a secure and controlled manner to design, test and deliver the most relevant, customizable and seamlessly integrated automotive apps. He was also in charge of defining a full certification process and business model for applications and for GM’s internal application delivery, such as OnStar’s RemoteLink mobile app.

Schwinke has been with OnStar for more than 20 years, where he has led various teams of engineers and developers that invented, designed and piloted many of the industry’s first telematics services.

Prior to joining OnStar, Schwinke worked at Ford Motor Company and GTE Government Systems in Mountain View, Calif. During that time, he designed a variety of wireless communication subsystems and components. Schwinke received a bachelor’s degree in wireless communication from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his master’s degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in radio frequency and microwave communication systems from Santa Clara University. He holds 25 patents in the area of Telematics and serves on TIA’s Board or Directors.

David Tennenhouse
Chief Research Officer

David Tennenhouse is VMware’s Chief Research Officer. He leads research & innovation activities that are accelerating and extending VMware’s technology leadership. These include: formation of a new VMware research group; a portfolio of advanced development and incubation activities; joint research projects with VMware’s technology partners, customers and relevant startups; and the VMware academic program of engagements with university researchers. David also leads global technology strategy activities related to the public sector.

David has a strong track record of driving innovation, both in academia and industry. He joined VMware from Microsoft, where he was a Corporate Vice President and led their technology policy and environmental sustainability activities. David was previously a Partner at New Venture Partners, where he focused on the creation of spin-outs from corporate R&D teams. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Platform Strategy at Amazon and CEO of its subsidiary. Before Amazon/A9, David was Vice President and Director of Research at Intel Corporation where he pioneered an "open collaborative" approach to corporate research. This was, in part, based on his earlier work as DARPA's Chief Scientist and Director of its Information Technology Office.

At both DARPA and Intel, Dr. Tennenhouse was involved in the strategic planning and execution of programs related to a wide range of technologies, including distributed/cloud computing, networking, computer architecture, wireless communications, machine learning, search/data mining, image processing, robotics, MEMs, healthcare, and nano/bio-technology. As a faculty member at MIT, he led research on high-speed networking, active networks, software radio and telecommunications policy.

David holds a B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the FCC’s Technology Advisory Council.

Ulysses Vinson
Chief Smart Communities Officer
County of San Mateo

Ulysses Vinson has over 20 years of government service working for two big City mayors and large government agencies. Currently, Ulysses Vinson is the Chief Smart Communities Officer for the County of San Mateo, California. In this first-of-its-kind role, Ulysses is responsible for leading “Smart and Connected Cities” initiatives for the County with an emphasis on regional collaboration and implementation.

Specifically, he is responsible for creating a blue print from which the County and the 22 Cities within the County can build innovative government services on a potential enterprise IoT platform. The goal is to reduce technology silos and enhance innovation beyond traditional borders.

Prior to joining San Mateo County, Ulysses was the Deputy Director/Chief Marketing Officer of the Department of Technology in the City and County of San Francisco. Ulysses managed the execution of new media strategies that pioneered the local government use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to better engage the community. He was also in charge of web (sfgov), television (SFgovTV) and e-services where he won numerous awards for web content, mobile applications and an Emmy Award for government programming.

Ulysses also managed the implementation of San Francisco’s free public wi-fi initiative (#SFWiFi). The project provided free indoor/outdoor wireless services to thousands of Public Housing dwellers, outdoor coverage to the Market Street commercial and residential corridor, and 35 public parks and plazas throughout the City.

Ulysses also managed $7.9 million federal funds for digital inclusion initiatives that linked thousands of San Francisco’s seniors and at-risk youth to computers, digital literacy and training centers.

Ulysses also worked as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and Deputy Press Secretary for former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. Ulysses also worked as Deputy Press Secretary, for former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell. His career began as a Reporter/Anchor for WVEE in Atlanta, GA.

David Witkowski
Executive Director, Civic Technology
Joint Venture Silicon Valley

David Witkowski is a wireless and telecommunications industry veteran. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and earning his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of California @ Davis, he held managerial and leadership roles for companies ranging from Fortune 500 multi-nationals to early-stage startups. David is Executive Director of the Wireless Communications Initiative at Joint Venture Silicon Valley (, and the Founder & CEO of Oku Solutions LLC ( He serves as Co-Chair of the NIST/USIgnite GCTC Public Wi-Fi SuperCluster, as a Member of the Connected City Advisory Board, as a Member of the UC Davis Industrial Affiliates Council, as a Member of the 21st Century Communications Infrastructure Committee of the Bay Area Council, and is a Senior Member of both the IEEE and the Radio Club of America.

David is the author of "Bridging the Gap : 21st Century Wireless Telecommunications" (Joint Venture Silicon Valley - 2016), co-author of "Carrier & Public Wi-Fi" (Mobile Experts LLC - 2015), lead co-author of "Evaluation of RF Network Testing" (Anritsu, Bird Technologies, CommScope, & Motorola - 2013), and co-editor of "Public Wi-Fi Blueprint" (NIST/USIgnite – 2017.) He has written feature articles for IEEE Microwaves Magazine, CIO Review, MissionCritical Communications, EETimes, Make:Magazine, QST, CQ Magazine, Urgent Communications, Mission Critical, and RCR Wireless. He has presented and moderated panels at CDX Global Forum, APCO, IWCE, CTIA, MWC Americas, TC3, ESC, IEEE IMS, Wireless West, State Of The Valley, IIT Bombay Heritage Fund, MIT Club of Northern California, Alberta Wireless Connections, RCA Technical Symposium, and ConnectivityWeek.

Sena Zorlu

Sena Zorlu is co-founder and CEO of Instapio. Prior to Instapio, she managed an international consulting firm focused on project financing and worked across three continents. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. degree in Development Studies and holds an executive MBA from Koc University in cooperation with Peking University.