Dr. Anthony Townsend is an internationally-recognized expert on urbanization and digital technology. He is the founder of Bits and Atoms, a smart cities strategy consultancy and planning studio that works with industry, government and philanthropy on economic development, digital placemaking, and strategic technology forecasting.

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His first book, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for A New Utopia was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 2013. In 2001, Anthony co-founded NYCwireless, a pioneer in the community and municipal wireless movement. Anthony holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in urban planning from New York University, and a B.A. in urban studies with a minor in physics from Rutgers University. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Angela Siefer envisions a world in which all members of society have the skills and the resources to use the Internet for the betterment of themselves and their communities. She is the Founder and Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, a unified national voice for local technology training, home broadband access and public broadband access programs.

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Angela has been working on digital inclusion issues since 1996. Beginning with a University of Toledo sociology graduate school assistantship coordinating a regional community technology network, Angela then moved onto serving as the Executive Director of the Ohio Community Computing Network distributing funds to and supporting community technology centers. Angela was involved with multiple projects of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program of the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA plus researching and writing best practices for the NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit. A profile of her written work is at angelasiefer.com.


Gordon Feller is the Co-Founder of Meeting of the Minds, a global thought leadership network and knowledge-sharing platform focused on the future of sustainable cities, innovation and technology. He serves as a consultant to Cisco focused on Internet of Things and Talent.

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Gordon has worked in the area of emerging technology for three decades, most recently consulting on projects which harness the power of data (whether in the cloud, pulled via mobile networks from IoT-enabled end-points, or other advanced technologies) for solving complex problems. From 2010-2016, Feller was the Director of Urban Innovation at Cisco Systems headquarters in Silicon Valley where he served in an executive capacity within the company’s programs focused on cities. Prior to joining Cisco, Feller was the CEO of Urban Age Institute, an international non-profit research and training organization which began inside the World Bank and spun off in 2001. For 30 years, Gordon has advised on economic and technology issues with leaders of multinational companies, cities, NGOs, foundations, and national governments. His clients have included The World Bank, UN, German and Canadian national governments, The Rockefeller Foundation, IBM, Reuters, Metropolis, United Cities & Local Governments, among others. Gordon advises leaders on harnessing the power of advanced technologies which can enable them to solve complex problems with a special focus on practical solutions where economics, technology, and sustainability intersect. Gordon’s work has had broad and deep impacts. He’s published hundreds of articles including in CFO Magazine, Urban Land Magazine, TIME, Financial Times. He was appointed as an Abe Fellow by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. He was formerly the Editor of Urban Age Magazine. Columbia University awarded him a Bachelors and a Masters (cum laude). At Columbia he served as a Lehman Fellow, a Wallach Fellow and a Dean’s Fellow. He serves as a Fellow at the Urban Sustainability Lab within the Smithsonian Institution’s Wilson Center.


Dr. Karen Stephenson was classically trained as an anthropologist at Harvard. She was appointed the H. Smith Richardson Fellow by the Center for Creative Leadership, which operates on five campuses in the Americas, Europe and Asia. She was also the first appointee of the Kathryn Hepburn Fellowship at Bryn Mawr College in recognition of her ground-breaking work in the social sciences.

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Karen has been hailed in Business 2.0 magazine as ‘the organization woman’ and named as one of only four women in Random House’s Guide to Management Gurus. Her innovative research on the workplace and the corporate office was featured by Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker. She is a pioneer in the field of social networks, an expert on network theory and on the tradecraft of network management. With over two decades of teaching at UCLA and Harvard and Yale University, she lectures at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.  Dr. Stephenson speaks on many topics related to network science. Network science is an interdisciplinary academic field that studies complex networks in biological, physical and social phenomena. This new science has consequences, both intended and unintended, for leadership, governance, and civic engagement.

Kevin Honomichl, P.E., P.S. is President and co-founder of BHC RHODES, a civil engineering and surveying firm head­quartered in Overland Park, Kansas. He received his Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University in 1986 and received a Master of Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas.

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Kevin is a graduate of the 20 II class of Leadership Kansas. He served on the Board of Directors of American Council of Engineering Companies Kansas including a term as National Director, and is currently the ACEC National Political Action Committee Chair for Kansas. He is active in several economic development organizations in Kansas City and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wyandotte County Economic Development Corporation. Kevin served 13 years on the De Soto, Kansas Planning Commission including three years as Chairman. He currently serves on the K-State College of Engineering Advisory Council and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the KSU Foundation. Kevin received the Professional Progress Award from the KSU Department of Civil Engineering and the Distinguished Service Award from Kansas State University.


Gerald Smith is Founder and CEO of Plexpod, a coworking brand that launched in 2014. “Plex”, means multiple units, and “pod”, protective housing. Plexpod is expanding locations, including Kansas City’s Westport Commons, which is expected to be the world’s largest coworking campus once complete (as much as 360,000 sq.ft.).

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Plexpod is part of the new sharing economy, resourcing entrepreneurs, startups and growth-stage companies with access to world-class facilities, including conference rooms, meet-up enclaves, event spaces, theater, digital maker space, coffee shop, fitness & gaming, daily programming – all within a next-generation collaborative workspace. Best known for fostering a culture of innovation, Gerald describes his success as “riding the digital wave”. He has spent 25 years consulting global brands in marketing, publishing and communications through a unique blend of strategy, creativity and technology. A musician, golfer, sailor and photographer, Gerald’s entrepreneurial tendencies have emerged in a wide variety of ways, including riding a Harley from South America’s tip to Kansas City as a charitable fundraiser. His travels have taken him to 100+ countries, including volunteering at many global disaster sites. Gerald has served on many boards and committees of philanthropic efforts. He is a lifetime member of the Media Communications Association International (MCAI) and past Board member of Governors for the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). His work has earned him Telly, Addy, Aurora and BMA awards. Gerald holds Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business and was awarded an honorary Doctorate in 2013. He and his wife Dianna have four children and reside in Kansas City.


Jeannette Eicks is managing director of the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School where she teaches eLawyering, Building Legal Apps for Social Justice and eDiscovery.

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She engages law students in collaborative legal technology projects with industry partners such as her current computable contract work with Exari, Inc. Professor Eicks authored the “Evidence Challenge,” a serious game published by LexisNexis in 2014. She has been a CEO, CIO and the Chair of a Computer Science department. Professor Eicks received a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., a J.D. from Vermont Law School, and a Master of Science in Internet Strategy Management from Marlboro College. She enjoys hiking, gardening and winemaking in her spare time.


Dominic Papa is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Digital Progress (iDP), a not-for-profit organization designed to transform Arizona into a global hub of Smart City/IoT technology driven by collaborative civic innovation.

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iDP’s Smart & Connected AZ Council provides cities with an “Innovation as a Service”(IaaS) model, a platform that allows local governments and the private sector to collaboratively design and develop new innovative technology pilots that advance solutions to public challenges, have a measurable impact, and the potential to scale. This multi-party innovation process generates customized technology solutions to solve specific city issues and real citizens’ needs. All without relying on city or agency budgets. Dominic founded iDP after working for two years with the city of Phoenix. Prior to the city of Phoenix, he was at the Alliance for Innovation and ASU’s Center for Urban Innovation, where he worked hand in hand with city managers from across the county, helping them to challenge and transform their organizations in the midst of severe fiscal constraints. Dominic has a B.A. in Political Science and Italian, a M.A. in Public Administration, and is currently a J.D. candidate at Arizona State University.

Mehan Jayasuriya is a Program Manager at Mozilla, where he oversees the Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society (WINS) program, a series of wireless innovation challenges which are being sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He has previously worked at start-ups, non-profits and academic institutions, including NYU, Tumblr, General Assembly and Public Knowledge. @mehan_j


Doug Hohulin is a rational futurist with a passion for leveraging technology for making a safer world. He works at Nokia developing next generation 4G/5G mobile technology for the IoT, Smart Cities and Self-Driving Car and Drone Communication.

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As Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri said “Using technology, we now have a better chance than ever before to tackle some of the world’s cruelest injustices.  And there can be no greater injustice than when someone dies before their time.” Doug was on the editing team for the 5GAA and NGMN response to the US DOT/NHTSA V2X NPRM. This AV technology can significantly reduce the injustice of lives lost each year. He is part of an Industry Drones Interest Group and is a sUAV Commercial Pilot. He has spoken at the Trillion Sensor Summit and to government officials, community groups and students from 4th grade to college on the topics of Smart City/IoT, the Information Age, as well as the future of transportation and communication.  He graduated from Purdue University with a BSEE degree.  He worked for Motorola where he was at the beginning of the cellular communication revolution and he is excited about being at the beginning of the AV transportation revolution.


Chelsea Collier fosters collaboration between public and private sectors to solve civic challenges, leveraging her experience in tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement and entrepreneurship. Chelsea is the Founder of Digi.City, Editor-At-Large for Smart City Connect, Senior Advisor for Texans for Economic Progress, and Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, one of 84 community spaces around the world committed to social and civic good.

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Chelsea is a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow (2016) and became a contributor to Inc.com in March 2017 where she writes about innovation and smart cities. Chelsea is active in her local and state community and serves on the St Edwards’ University’s Dean’s Advisory CouncilThe Seton 50 and is an advisor to the Austin Chapter of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers.  She was recently named to the Advisory Committee for the 2018-2022 (Texas) State Strategic Plan for Information Resources, is a founding Board Member of the Austin Technology Alliance and the Austin Technology Council’s Policy Coalition. From 2013-2015 she served as Vice Chair and Commissioner for the City of Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission. Chelsea is an Austin Under 40 Award recipient in Science & Technology (2015) and Leadership Austin graduate (2010). She received her masters and bachelor degrees in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Chapman is the Managing Principal of Chapman and Company, a Nebraska-based management consulting firm. Tom has worked extensively in the startup community in the Midwest – including time as the business lead of Beehive Industries, a small and medium-sized city asset management software.

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Mr. Chapman has also been an investor, founder and funder of multiple startup software companies.  Prior to these roles, he worked for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce in an economic development role and helped build power plants for two large utilities. He has a J.D./M.B.A from the University of Nebraska and undergraduate degrees from Creighton University.


Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) in Minneapolis. Mitchell is a leading national expert on community networks and Internet access.

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Within his ILSR capacity, he also serves as policy director for Next Century Cities, a national collaboration of mayors and CIOs seeking universal access to fast, affordable and reliable Internet connections. On a day-to-day basis, Mitchell runs MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online information clearinghouse about local government policies to improve Internet access. Their interactive community broadband network map tracks over 450 such networks. He also hosts podcasts, including Community Broadband Bits and Building Local Power. In 2015, the White House used Mitchell’s research as building blocks in a National Economic Council report encouraging community networks. He was honored as one of the 2012 Top 25 in Public Sector Technology by Government Technology, which honors the top “Doers, Drivers, and Dreamers” in the nation each year. That same year, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors named ILSR the Broadband Organization of the Year.


Bob Bennett became the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, in January 2016 after a 25-year career in the US Army. Bob leads the Smart City initiatives, a suite of projects including: data analysis, Public Wi-Fi, digital kiosk installation, dynamic traffic light control and smart lighting programs in the city’s downtown core.

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He is currently working on plans to extend Smart City infrastructure throughout the 318 miles of KCMO. Or, as he puts it: Bob is a former army guy who now passes the time by wandering around city hall looking for problems (and frequently finding them) and running all over the city and world looking for innovative solutions.


Deb Socia is the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, a nonprofit that strives to support community leaders across the country as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.

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More than 150 cities strong, Next Century Cities is committed to celebrating city successes, demonstrating the value of truly high speed broadband, and elevating the importance of next generation broadband as essential infrastructure. Prior to her role as the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, Deb was the Executive Director of the Tech Goes Home program whose mission is to ensure digital equity. Tech Goes Home provides training, hardware, and low cost Internet access to Boston residents and supported nearly 14,000 participants during Deb’s tenure. Previously, Deb spent 32 years as an educator and administrator.  She was the founding principal of the award winning Lilla G. Frederick Middle School, a Boston Public School where she led the one-to-one laptop initiative. Deb has been the recipient of many awards for her work, including recognition as the NATOA Community Broadband Hero in 2013, the 2013 Pathfinder Award from MassCUE (Mass Computer Using Educators), and the 2010 Leadership and Vision award from CRSTE (Capitol Region Society for Technology in Education).


Lev Gonick is an educator, technologists, and smart city architect. He has been teaching, working, and living on the Net for more than 25 years. He is co-founder and CEO of OneCommunity, the award-winning non-profit organization enabling and celebrating innovation, collaboration, and productivity through next generation broadband networks and services throughout Northeast Ohio.

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Lev was CIO at Case Western Reserve University from 2001-2013. He and his colleagues were internationally recognized for technology innovations in community engagement, learning spaces, next generation network projects, and organizational development. Lev’s innovations, including the Case Connection Zone catalyzed national projects, including US Ignite and Gig.U. Inside Business Magazine named Lev one of their Power 100 in 2015. In 2011 Government Technology awarded Lev one of their “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers in Public-Sector Innovation.”​ In the same year Crain’s Business Cleveland named Gonick one of its “10 Difference Makers”​ in Northeast Ohio and Broadband Properties honored him with their Cornerstone Award for “using fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals.”​ In 2010 he received recognition as “Visionary of the Year” from NATOA. Lev has been recognized by ComputerWorld as a Premier 100 IT leader and honored by CIO magazine with a CIO 100 Award.


Andy Huckaba is a four term City Councilmember in Lenexa, Kansas. He has been on the forefront of Internet technologies, development, social media, and technology trends for two decades. He is the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee advising the FCC on issues around broadband deployment and adoption.

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He is a Past-Chair of the Information, Technology and Communications committee for the National League of Cities. Andy is the President of Huckaba & Associates, a management consulting firm focusing on strategy, management, technology and leadership. He is also an instructor with the KU Public Management Center and is a member of the Coaching Faculty for the Kansas Leadership Center.


Allen Meyer is co-founder and CEO of Sherpa Fiber LLC, a company dedicated to bringing high speed broadband services to communities across the United States. Sherpa Fiber is actively researching municipalities where it will build, own, and operate open network fiber networks that are then leased to city and county governments and wholesale providers.

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The goal of Sherpa Fiber’s model is to reduce the cost of entry into new markets for wholesale providers so these companies can increase revenue more quickly and cost-effectively while simultaneously increasing the service and provider choices for community businesses and residents. Allen’s career in telecommunications spans more than 25 years back to the early days of cellular and paging systems and T1 data lines. Throughout this time, he has worked in various roles and actively worked with new technologies that continue to evolve. Prior to launching Sherpa Fiber, Allen most recently served as a key member of a telecom engineering firm working closely with dozens of carriers including a very large and visible initiative to deploy Gigabit to the Home networks to communities in multiple markets around the country.


John Burchett is the Head of Public Policy for Google Access and Google Fiber. Before moving to Access/Fiber, John led public policy for Google in the U.S., Latin America and Canada. He is based in Google’s Washington, DC office.

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Prior to Google, he was Chief of Staff to Gov. Jennifer Granholm where he acted as the COO for the State of Michigan. He has also served Governor Granholm as Director of Michigan’s Washington, DC Office, and as the Deputy Director of her Transition Team in 2002. A Michigan native, John has lived in DC for most of the last 19 years. He was a White House Fellow in 1997-98, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Assistant Management Officer for the DC Control Board, and management consultant, specializing in state and local government, business planning and business process reengineering. Before moving to DC in 1997, John was Assistant Wayne County Corporation Counsel. At Wayne County he focused on county real estate and economic development projects. He was heavily involved in the negotiations and development of the two new stadiums in downtown Detroit. Before joining Wayne County in 1994, John was a real estate lawyer for Little Caesars Enterprises and Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn. He also was a law clerk to the Hon. Cornelia Kennedy on the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. John received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Alexandra Camesas is the Associate Director of Catalyst @ Health 2.0 where she leads a team that manages pilot programs and innovation challenges to connect technology startups with enterprise healthcare organizations.

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Alexandra consults on global innovation projects for a variety of clients including government departments, charitable foundations and for-profit companies. She is passionate about connecting healthcare organizations with leading technologies and has first hand experience in facilitating sustainable partnerships at the local level in under-served communities. In her previous role in the healthcare division of DigitasLBi, she managed personalized marketing strategy on behalf of Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies. Alexandra has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Brown University with a concentration in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations


Patrick McKeehan is the Director of Economic Development for the City of O’Fallon, Missouri and responsible for the business attraction, retention and expansion for the second largest city in the St. Louis MSA.

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McKeehan started his professional community/economic development career in 1985 and received his Certified Economic Developer designation from the International Economic Development Council in 1992. Before joining the City of O’Fallon, McKeehan worked at the state and regional levels, including the Missouri Department of Economic Development, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Ford Hazelwood Taskforce, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and the Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIU Edwardsville. Over the past five years, McKeehan has become a thought leader on assessing the economic impact of broadband deployment initiatives at the county, community and neighborhood levels. He has advised and/or consulted on a number of broadband deployment projects, including University City (MO), Carbondale (IL), New Market (ON), and Jersey County (IL).


Jeffrey Gavlinski is currently Senior Director of Business development for eX2 Technology, and Co-Owner of Mountain Connect LLC, a company facilitating Mountain Connect Broadband Development Conference for the Rocky Mountain Region.

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He also serves as the Chair for Southwest Colorado Local Technology Planning Team, is Board Treasure of Pagosa Community Development Corporation, and Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Prior to eX2, Jeffrey served as a Executive Consultant to Fujitsu Network Communications as well as owned and operated multiple startup companies focused on Telecommunications infrastructure strategic planning for Governments, Marketing/Advertising, and Economic Development feasibility planning. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Jeffrey served, in a consulting role, as Senior Business Architect for Infonet, a British Telecom Company, and had global responsibilities for systems product design and implementation. He also was Chief Architect for a global Siebel CRM implementation and principal director of an international infrastructure merger and acquisition over a two-year period in Europe. Jeffrey began his career in Software Development and is a business executive with multi sector experiences with Fortune 500 as well as startup, small, and medium sized companies.


Tony Luppino is a Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the UMKC School of Law and a Senior Fellow with the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UMKC. In February of 2017, he was named the recipient of the University of Missouri System’s inaugural Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award.

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Prof. Luppino teaches business, tax, and entrepreneurship courses, and co-teaches several interdisciplinary entrepreneurship courses. His scholarship and conference presentations focus primarily on legal and policy issues significantly affecting entrepreneurs, and on entrepreneurship education. He was the principal organizer of the Law & Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), and has served for several years as lead editor of the Entrepreneurship Law website powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. As outgrowths of his work in urban innovation and civic entrepreneurship through an interdisciplinary Law, Technology & Public Policy course, he has become one of UMKC’s principal contacts with the MetroLab Network and a leader of the Legal Technology Laboratory. Prof. Luppino earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Dartmouth College, his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and an LL.M. in Taxation from the Boston University School of Law.


Rachel Hack Merlo is Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber Kansas City, where she manages community affairs initiatives in the company’s first Google Fiber city. In addition to leading strategies related to digital inclusion, entrepreneurial community engagement, and STEM education, she serves as a primary point of contact for several city partners involved in the deployment across the metro.

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Rachel serves on the boards of directors of Central Exchange, Visit KC, Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas & Northwest Missouri, and the Women’s Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She currently chairs the advisory board of LaunchKC, a grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs locally, regionally and nationally. Rachel was an honoree in the 2016 class of 40 Under Forty and the 2016 Emerging Volunteer of the Year award from Nonprofit Connect. She was a member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurions class of 2016. She was recognized in 2012 by KC Business Magazine as a Rising Star among Kansas City leaders under age 40, then again in 2014 as an Influential Women honoree, celebrating local women in the creative, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit communities. She was named to the 2015 Kansas City Techweek 100, which identifies community leaders who have made a significant impact on the technology and innovation ecosystem. Rachel was also recognized as a 2013 Verizon Nueva Latina Estrella Community Service Award winner, recognizing emerging professional leaders who embrace diversity, integrity, and creativity while achieving success. Rachel is a proud lifelong Kansas Citian who lives with her husband in the Brookside area. She makes a habit out of surprising herself on a regular basis. Rachel Merlo’s passion lies in making Kansas City better every day.

Jase Wilson is Founder and CEO of Neighborly, the San Francisco-based fintech startup modernizing access to public finance — the billion dollar per day market that funds vital public projects like schools, parks, and next-generation infrastructure.

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Prior to Neighborly, Jase founded and operated Luminopolis, a civic software firm focused on saving local governments millions of dollars annually by replacing legacy enterprise software with modern open source equivalents. A technologist and urbanist, he studied city planning at MIT and UMKC.

Andrew Rodgers focuss on strategy and technical vision for the Research and Applications Development initiative at The Enterprise Center, a quasi-governmental organization charged with driving innovation in economic development, social equity, and advanced infrastructure in Chattanooga, TN.

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His work at The Enterprise Center involves organizing technical and human resources around initiatives ranging from advanced academic networks to closing the digital divide. Andrew, along with his colleagues in the RAD initiative, are responsible for coordinating technology initiatives across various entities in the greater Chattanooga community. These initiatives support The Enterprise Center’s efforts to elevate Chattanooga’s position as a vanguard of transformation among mid-sized cities.

Raj Jain is a Life Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of ACM, a Fellow of AAAS, a winner of 2017 ACM Life-Time Achievement Award, 2015 A.A. Michelson Award, ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time award 2006, CDAC-ACCS Foundation Award 2009, IISc Distinguished Alumnus Award 2014, WiMAX Forum Individual Contribution Award 2008, and ranks among the Most Cited Authors in Computer Science.

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Dr. Jain is currently the Barbara J. and Jerome R. Cox, Jr., Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, he was one of the Co-founders of Nayna Networks, Inc – a next generation telecommunications systems company in San Jose, CA. He was a Senior Consulting Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation in Littleton, Mass and then a professor of Computer and Information Sciences at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of “Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis,” which won the 1991 “Best-Advanced How-to Book, Systems” award from Computer Press Association. His fourth book entitled ” High-Performance TCP/IP: Concepts, Issues, and Solutions,” was published by Prentice Hall in November 2003. He has recently co-edited “Quality of Service Architectures for Wireless Networks: Performance Metrics and Management,” published in April 2010.

David Sandel is an accomplished Smart City architect. Recently, David was recognized as the lead author for the St. Louis chapter of the book Smart Economy in Smart Cities; a collaborative effort between ten cities in thirteen countries.

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David also served as an adviser to the Kansas City Google Fiber Mayors Bi-state Innovation Team MBIT, the Mid-America Regional Council MARC of Kansas City and was the co-author of Playing to Win – the Kansas City Google Fiber Playbook. This playbook outlined the civic infrastructure necessary to make a successful Gigabit City and has since become an industry standard for mapping the development of fiber internet communities, Smart and Gigabit cities. David is the co-founder of The Gigabit City Summit. The Gigabit City Summit is a Telepresence based global round-table which explores the issues of leadership, funding, economic development and collaboration that are central to the success of all Smart and Gigabit City initiatives. Cities that have participated in the global round-table have included San Francisco, Kansas City, St. Louis, Toronto, Amsterdam, Moscow, Barcelona and Singapore. David was also the co-founder of Datotel, a managed services and Cloud provider. As a result of these combined work experiences, David has significant business development and contractual experience in both the Smart and Gigabit City public and private sectors including utilities, municipal government, education, public safety, healthcare, energy management, data center and service provider infrastructure. Before returning to St. Louis, David was a senior systems engineer in the Cisco Service Provider division located in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he worked in the product development labs of WorldCom, Williams Communications and Brooks Fiber. During this period, David was the lead designer of WorldCom’s MAE East and MAE West exchange points and Williams Communications private line backbone. David received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis where he also attended graduate school. While at Cisco Systems, David received several awards for Excellence, Product Development and Innovation. He has also served on a variety of state and local government, economic development and public safety councils, as well as regional entrepreneurial planning boards.

Amy Zents PMP is a project manager in the wireless division of BHC RHODES, a civil engineering and surveying firm headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. She received her Masters in Project Management and has a Masters in Information Systems.

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She has 12 years of experience in telecommunications which includes RF Engineering design, analysis, capacity planning and engineering. She has managed many telecommunication projects including public venue DAS and small cells. She is a member of the Project Management Institute, Women’s Wireless Leadership Forum and Toastmasters.

Elizabeth Reynoso is an Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation at Living Cities where she works on the development of public sector strategies to foster promising public practices and accelerate the uptake of innovation across the country.

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With a background in human rights, workforce development, and farming, Elizabeth served as the first Food Policy Director for Newark, NJ under Mayor Cory Booker to develop policies and programs to increase food security for residents. She continued to serve the City of Newark as the Acting Sustainability Director in the Ras J. Baraka administration. Before municipal government, Elizabeth worked with international, national, and local nonprofits beginning her career in international human rights with Human Rights Watch and then later focused on criminal justice issues with the NJ Institute for Social Justice and her media work. In particular, a Frontline documentary, “The Drug Wars”, earned a Peabody for its telling of the 30-year history of US drug policy and its effect on the world economy and US foreign policy.

Harrison C. May launched his technology career in 1981 at a Department of Energy research lab. He is now Senior Solution Architect for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Center for the Advancement of Data and Research in Economics (CADRE).

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Since 1992, Harrison has volunteered at the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC), serving as Computer Science director, mentoring youth and preparing under-skilled adults for technology careers. 20 years ago, the Department of Commerce released a report, “Falling through the Net”, which focused on citizens having greater access to the digital economy. DLC Founder Leon Dixon challenged Harrison to construct a plan giving local residents access to electronic tools needed for full digital inclusion, which led to DLC Telehub’s creation. The initial mission was to cover the community, STEP-BY-STEP, with a networked “Satellite Center” where DLC students and neighbors would have access to the latest computer technology within walking distance of their homes.” Today’s digital revolution has created a caste system—creators, maintainers and consumers. Communities lacking key technology skills are relegated to the consumer category. Harrison drives DLC Telehub’s vision of community transition into a skilled community—“empowered for innovation with access to technology and training to equip them for future opportunities.”

Alan Howze is working to advance innovation, open government, and operational improvement as the Chief Knowledge Officer of the Unified Government.

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As CKO, Alan leads the Information Technology, 311 Call Center, Geospatial Services (GIS), and a new Performance and Innovation team. Working across teams, the Knowledge Department brings together analytic and data management capabilities to deliver smarter government. His team works across Unified Government departments to make data available to the public and that helps residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations address community challenges. He is focused on using data to create greater efficiencies, improve employee satisfaction, deliver improved services. Prior to joining the Unified Government, Alan was a Fellow with the IBM Center for the Business of Government where he focused on research designed to promote effective government management at the Federal, State and Local level.

Mitsuko R. Herrera handles Planning, Policy, and Special Projects for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Technology Services, and is Director of the County’s ultraMontgomery program.

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ultraMontgomery is part of the County Executive’s 6-Point Economic Development Plan to ensure businesses and residents have access to reliable and robust broadband to support daily living, job growth in broadband-dependent industries such as biohealth, cybersecurity, managed IT services, corporate headquarters, financial services, entrepreneurship and innovation. Ms. Herrera provides expertise on broadband deployment and adoption, advanced wireless technologies, telecommunications taxation and rights-of-way policies, and related consumer issues. Ms. Herrera has been a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee since 2011, provides member staff support for the FCC Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, was a member of the Maryland Communications Tax Reform Commission and is the former Montgomery County Cable and Broadband Administrator. Prior to joining Montgomery County, Ms. Herrera served as Director of Communications Policy and Regulation for Fairfax County, Virginia, and as an associate at Miller and Van Eaton, PLLC, where she represented municipal clients in cable, wireless and wireline telecommunications, right-of-way, and broadband matters.  Ms. Herrera is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of California at San Diego. Ms. Herrera provides expertise on broadband deployment and adoption, advanced wireless technologies, telecommunications taxation and rights-of-way policies, and related consumer issues. Ms. Herrera has been a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee since 2011, provides member staff support for the FCC Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, was a member of the Maryland Communications Tax Reform Commission and is the former Montgomery County Cable and Broadband Administrator. Prior to joining Montgomery County, Ms. Herrera served as Director of Communications Policy and Regulation for Fairfax County, Virginia, and as an associate at Miller and Van Eaton, PLLC, where she represented municipal clients in cable, wireless and wireline telecommunications, right-of-way, and broadband matters.  Ms. Herrera is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of California at San Diego.

Bob Berkebile, BNIM Architects, focused his career on improving quality of life, vitality and resilience in our society with the spirit of BNIM’s design work.

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BNIM is the 2011 AIA National Firm Award recipient. Bob was the founding chairman of AIA’s Environment Committee and part of the team that created the US Green Building Council, LEED rating system and Living Building Challenge. Bob has received numerous awards including Metropolis Magazine’s “Game Changer Emeritus” and national leadership awards from the Heinz Foundation, American Institute of Architects, Environmental Design Journal, U.S. Green Building Council, 2014 Hanley Award and 2015 Urban Land Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is a Top 5 U.S. Individual Role Model for green and sustainable design in the 2009 and 2010 Design Intelligence Sustainable Design Survey. He is a current partner in KC Sustainable Development Partners and Commerce Tower Group; both engaged in Urban Acupuncture (a strategic investment of leadership, design and capital to stimulate catalytic positive change).  This approach builds on Bob and BNIM’s experience in rebuilding 12 communities following natural disasters which has been recognized by The Urban Land Institute, Financial Times and presidents Bush and Obama.  Urban Acupuncture’s central goal:  Increase health, vitality and resilience of the development and community.

Dominique Davison founded DRAW Architecture + Urban Design in 2005 with the desire to explore the intersection between research, resourcefulness, and simple, clean forms.

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Her award-winning practice is a recognized leader in sustainability and was named Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter in 2014. She has taught at the University of Kansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City. Since 2013 Dominique has been developing PlanIT Impact, a web application solution that allows building professionals to understand environmental resource impacts at the early stages of the design process. Linking Open Data with a development’s location, PlanIT Impact provides visually immersive feedback related to water, energy, storm water, transportation and potential ROI. The tool has attracted national attention and launched its Beta version in late 2016. Before relocating to Kansas City, Dominique honed her design skills in the offices of Pelli Clarke Pelli in New Haven after earning her Master of Architecture at the Yale School of Architecture. She received a Bachelor of Art in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley and launched her career working with the New Urbanist Visionary Daniel Solomon FAIA.  


Sean Stokes is a Principal of Baller Stokes & Lide, PC, a national communications law firm based in Washington, DC. The only U.S. law firm named to Broadband Community Magazine’s FTTH Top 100 each of the last four years, Baller Stokes & Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters nationally.

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Sean served as co-counsel for Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC in their successful challenges before the FCC of state laws that impaired community broadband initiatives (FCC’s decision was reversed on appeal). He regularly works with multi-disciplinary teams of experts, assisting clients in making comprehensive telecommunication and broadband plans. Sean has significant experience developing and negotiating agreements involving wireline and wireless access to infrastructure, and is principal author of a guidebook and model pole attachment agreement for the American Public Power Association and approximately 2,000 public power utilities that it represents.  He has represented several municipal utilities in complex negotiations with Google Fiber and other entities developing city-wide fiber-to-the-home networks. Sean recently advised the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee on issues surrounding pole and conduit attachment regulations. Seas is a  George Washington University National Law Center graduate and holds an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.


Ruthbea Yesner Clarke is the founder and global director of the Smart Cities Strategies practice at IDC. In this practice, Ms. Clarke coordinates the worldwide Smart City research on the strategies and execution of relevant technologies and non-technology best practice areas, such as governance, innovation, partnerships and business models essential for Smart City development.

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Clarke contributes to consulting engagements to support state and local governments’ Smart City strategies and IT vendors’ overall Smart City market strategies. Ms. Clarke is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events and contributes to publications such as Government Technology, Government Computer News, CivSource, M2M Evolution, CIO magazine, SmartGrid News, Connected World and FedTech magazine. Ms. Clarke’s publications include a chapter on the first developmental model for smart cities in Smart Cities for a Bright Sustainable Future: A Global Perspective. Her latest publication is on smart city measurements was published in February 2017 in Managing for Social Impact: Innovations in Responsible Enterprise, by Springer. Ms. Clarke holds a BA from Wesleyan University, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston College with an MBA and MSW joint degree.

Ken Harrington works with, advises, and writes about innovation ecosystems and entrepreneurship. He supports regions, innovation neighborhoods, universities, and organizations that are creating dynamic, high momentum entrepreneurial environments that deliver strong economic outcomes.

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From 2001 to 2014, Ken Harrington served as the Managing Director for the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. During that period St. Louis evolved as one of the US’s fasted growing, up and comer entrepreneurial regions. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Wash U, Ken held senior management positions in seven technology start-up companies. He has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and a BS from the University of Vermont.

Meghan Calabro is an electrical engineer and department manager at Burns & McDonnell. She has planned, designed and overseen installation of Enterprise Meter Data Management projects, along other smart system improvements that are yielding valuable data for utility distribution system operations.

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She has served as a senior consultant for the KCP&L SmartGrid Demonstration Project, a $58 million Department of Energy-funded pilot that has affected 14,000 customers in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri. Meghan participates in a number of working groups within the transmission and distribution industry, focusing on distribution grid management and incorporating emerging standards such as IEC 61850 and IEC 61968-9.


Stephen Hardy is the CEO at mySidewalk and has been with the company since 2014. Last year Stephen spearheaded mySidewalk’s participation in The Opportunity Project, a White House initiative promoting accessible, actionable data for everyone—something Stephen firmly believes in. Recently, he was selected to speak at the 85th Annual United States Conference of Mayors about how smart cities are managing performance in the information age.

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Before mySidewalk, Stephen launched the city planning practice at BNIM (2011 AIA firm of the year). In that role, Stephen developed BNIM’s sustainable community planning practice where he became a highly sought expert for cities rebuilding after disasters. He has also worked for Senator Jerry Moran and The Conservation Fund. Stephen is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is a graduate of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.


Denise Linn is the Program Analyst for Smart Chicago, a funding collaborative bringing together municipal, philanthropic, and corporate investments in civic-driven technology. She manages digital equity and inclusive smart city initiatives like Connect Chicago and the Array of Things Civic Engagement Project.

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She previously worked in spectrum auctions at the Federal Communications Commission and started her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA working to increase broadband adoption in North Carolina. She is an alumna of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the University of Virginia.


David Doll has over 25 years of experience across several high-tech industries. With over a decade in software development, David spent eight years consulting before focusing on the use of real-time data in asset management and analytics for OSIsoft, the world’s leading provider of real-time and event infrastructure and maker of the PI System.

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In his current role as Industry Principal, Facilities and Energy Management, David champions the use of advanced, real-time analytics with customers, partners, and industry members. David is a frequent public speaker, promoting data-driven decision making for smarter facilities and better energy management.


Caroline de Gantes ​is the Head of Business Operations for Google Fiber, Huntsville. Prior to Google, Caroline spent 7 years in Management Consulting with McKinsey and Company in New Jersey and Paris, France. She led Sales and Marketing efforts on behalf of clients in a range of industries including Telcommunications, Consumer Goods, and Pharmaceuticals, specializing in product launches, product strategies, and merger and integration work.

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A Mississippi native, Caroline has lived in Nashville, TN for the last 5 years. She received her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with degrees in Political Science, French and European Studies.


Katie Boody, a native of Kansas City and the daughter of two community organizers, has worked in public education in KCMO since 2008. Seemingly always involved in the “startup” phase of organizations, Katie was a charter corps member of Teach For America Kansas City, a founding member of C.A. Franklin’s middle school team in Kansas City Public Schools, a founding teacher at Alta Vista Charter Middle School School, and eventually a founder of The Lean Lab.

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Katie taught middle school math for five years and later worked as an Instructional Coach. Holding a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in dance, a M.Ed. in Middle School Education, and an Ed.S. in Education Leadership, Katie is interested in exploring the unique intersections of urban education, creativity, community building, entrepreneurship, and the hospitality of Kansas City BBQ.


Joan M. McDonald is the Principal of JMM Strategic Solutions, a consulting firm focusing on sustainability, organizational innovation and economic competitiveness. She serves as Strategic Advisor for the Westchester County Association and Westchester County’s four largest cities as they evaluate strategies for expanding internet access and eliminating the digital divide.  JMM Strategic Solutions is part of a team which is developing a Resiliency Guidebook for State DOT CEOs and has led City of Norwalk, CT Sustainability Workshops.

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In 2015, Joan was appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council and in 2016, to the Policy Committee of the TRB Study on the Future of the Interstate Highway System.

Joan has served in many capacities including: Commissioner positions, New York and Connecticut; Senior Management, City of New York;  Director, Metro-North Railroad; Central Staff, New York State Assembly. In New York and New Jersey, she led Jacobs Engineering’s efforts.

Nationally recognized for expertise in economic competitiveness, sustainable development and organizational innovation, Joan has testified before Congress, State Legislatures and City Councils.  She has keynoted for and been recognized by many national organizations.

Joan received her Bachelor of Arts from LeMoyne College and her Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.


William Wallace is Executive Director of US Ignite. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, most recently as co-founder of DigitalBridge Communications (DBC), a venture-backed startup dedicated to bringing 4G broadband wireless services to underserved portions of the U.S.


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Prior to DBC, William was co-founder and CEO of OnePoint Communications, which was purchased by Verizon Communications in 2000. OnePoint and its successor company, Verizon Avenue, provide bundled communications services to concentrated communities nationwide, including apartment communities, military bases, and rural areas.

Previously, he served as head of the Telecommunications practice and Chief Operating Officer for Gemini Consulting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cap Gemini Sogeti group. In that role, he led teams that developed strategies and improved operations for many of the world’s largest carriers.

Mr. Wallace received an AB degree in Government and Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Robb Drinkwater is a designer, maker, writer and speculative technologist. As both an academic and an artist his work examines the urban condition, from microscopic to macroscopic, with a focus on the person as the central object of urbanism.

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By considering everything from the “smart home” and “intelligent city” to “personal habits” and the “quantified self” his work strives to create a nexus of ideas around personhood, technology and the symbiosis between the two. Through the use of  technology (wearables, purpose built apps, etc.) he makes himself the primary object of examination, his own life a laboratory, examining issues at a small scale in reflection of them at the scale of society.


Herb Sih is Managing Partner of Think Big Partners, an early stage, technology-focused hybrid business incubator, innovation accelerator and consulting firm with Kansas City and St. Louis offices. Through innovation and entrepreneurial processes, Think Big helps entrepreneurs, companies and cities bridge the gap between the need to grow and the ability to execute.

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Think Big is a creator of the Kansas City Smart and Connected City initiative, one of the largest smart and connected city projects in the world, and is creator and manager of the KC Living Lab, a smart city innovation platform based on IoT technologies. Through the Lab, new technologies can be tested to enhance proof of concept insight, accelerate technology commercialization into the marketplace and provide cities the ability to help co-create the most advanced, useful civic technologies and innovation districts that make a triple bottom line impact to their community.


Prior to co-founding Think Big Partners, Herb spent 14 years in the investment industry.  Additionally, Herb has started and sold numerous companies, several became Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 companies..

Herb is a board member for various KC organizations and private companies. He served in the United States Army and attended the University of Kansas where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree.


Bobby Thompson has a background in data science and software development. He got his start as a data scientist for Aunalytics, a data science and machine learning consulting company in Indiana. Ultimately, he grew to oversee the creation of their data science platform.

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Now, he leads the software and data science teams at Xaqt. Xaqt creates products that transform how organizations and governments use their data. We believe that with data and the right technology, people and institutions can solve hard problems and change the world for the better.


Barrett Sydnor is one of the founders of The Gigabit City Summit and an organizer and facilitator, and co-author of the “Building the Gigabit City 1.0” project in Kansas City. He has consulted on Fiber to The Home and Smart City projects for New Market, Ontario, Carbondale, IL, and Ottawa, Ontario. He was principal author of the “Report on Broadband Access, Usage, and Potential on Missouri’s Farms and in Rural Communities” for MoBroadbandNow.

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A member of The Brainzooming Group, Barrett works with organizations to help them move beyond “interesting conversations” to developing—and implementing—strategies and plans that move the needle on organizational objectives. Barrett has done project for Fortune 500 companies such as Yellow Corporation and H&R Block developing and executing communication and marketing programs for both internal and external audiences.

He holds a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a Master’s in Telecommunication from Michigan State University. Barrett has been an assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and taught at Webster University and Johnson County Community College. He is currently on the adjunct faculty at KU teaching Integrated Marketing Communications and Sales Strategies at the graduate level.


Nigel Jacob  is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall.  Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area.

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He was also previously the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize, and is an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University.

Nigel’s work has been written about extensively in magazines such as Wired, MIT Technology Review, Fast Company and books including The Responsive City, by Stephen Goldsmith and Susan Crawford and Smart Cities by Anthony Townsend.

This ground breaking work has earned Nigel a number of awards including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine, a Whitehouse Champion of Change and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012.



Brian McKiernan, PhD, is a native of Kansas City, Kansas who has served since 2011 as Commissioner of District 2 in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, Kansas. Brian is a physical therapist and educator who has taught for the last 28 years in the physical therapy and occupational therapy programs and the University of Kansas Medical Center, Rockhurst University and the University of St. Mary.

Aaron Deacon is the founder and managing director of KC Digital Drive, a nonprofit civic organization with a mission to make Kansas City a digital leader. He works with mayors, entrepreneurs and civic leaders in Kansas City and around the world to help build ecosystems that connect infrastructure, emerging technology, and social impact.

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He combines a high-level strategic approach with boots-on-the-ground project implementation and management in smart cities, civic tech, digital inclusion, digital health, and education. Through KC Digital Drive, Aaron helps to lead the Code for KC Brigade, the Health Innovation Team, and the KC Coalition for Digital Inclusion. Aaron is a founder and producer of the Gigabit City Summit, an annual conference on how cities build value on technology infrastructure. He also leads Kansas City’s participation in several global initiatives including US Ignite, NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge, the IEEE Smart City Initiative and the MetroLab Network. Aaron’s work in cities and technology began as an instrumental leader in helping Kansas City prepare to be the first market for Google Fiber. He created and led a variety of community engagement initiatives around broadband deployment, including Building the Gigabit City and Give Us a Gig. He continues to help cities develop community playbooks to take advantage of ultra-high-speed broadband. Before working in the civic sphere, Aaron honed his skills in innovation management, design thinking product development, strategic planning and qualitative and quantitative research as a consultant and project director for a variety of Fortune 500 clients. He is the founder and principal of the research and strategic planning firm, Curiolab. He earned a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Dallas and taught high school Latin for two years in between. Aaron was honored as one of Mozilla’s list of “50 People Who Made the Internet a Better Place in 2016,” and in 2017, he was named to a working group on the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee.


Lindsey Frost is a Program Director at the Mozilla, where she oversees a portfolio of technology innovation programs including the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund and the NSF-WINS competitions. A native of the original Gig City of Chattanooga, Lindsey has previously worked with the University of Tennessee, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Education Foundation, and Toshiba America Foundation.  She is a graduate of Columbia University.