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