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CONNECTIONS™ Summit Speakers


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Speakers


Jennifer Doctor Jennifer Doctor, Senior Director, Product Management, Johnson Controls
Twitter ID: @jidoctor

Jennifer Doctor is the Senior Director of Product Management for Johnson Controls, Tyco's Intrusion detection portfolio. In this capacity, Jennifer leads a global team managing more than 5,000 traditional and smart home security products around the globe in both residential and commercial markets.


Tray Leslie Tray Leslie, Renewable Development Manager - Customer Engagement, Georgia Power
Twitter ID: @GeorgiaPower

Tray Leslie serves as the Manager of Renewable and Resiliency Customer Programs for Georgia Power Company. In this role, Tray leads a team responsible for the development and implementation of all customer renewable programs, distributed energy resources programs, residential and commercial solar analysis and interconnection of customer and company owned distributed energy resource projects.

Prior to this role, Tray served as the Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President of Metro Atlanta. In this position, Tray was responsible for assisting the Metro Atlanta leadership team with a variety of strategic projects and initiatives within the Region External Affairs organization.

Tray joined Southern Company in 2004 as an Intern student where he worked in the Research and Environmental Affairs organization in Birmingham, AL. Since hiring on full-time in 2008, Tray has held the roles of Region Distribution Engineer, Engineering Supervisor, Distribution Control Center Supervisor, and Area Manager where he was responsible for all Customer Service & Operation activities in his areas, which included distribution, customer service, and sales, while leading the company’s external initiatives.

In the community, Tray serves on the TechBridge, Inc. Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Leadership Rockdale, Leadership Toombs-Montgomery, Leadership Barrow and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

A native of Stone Mountain, GA, Tray received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, as well as his MBA from Mercer University.

Tray resides in Lawrenceville, GA with his wife Talia, daughter Toni Victoria and son Trenton Vaughn.


Vickie Rodgers Vickie Rodgers, Vice President and General Manager, Cox Communities, Cox Communications

As part of the Cox Communications Residential Sales and Marketing executive leadership team, Vickie is responsible for the long-term vision and strategy for the Multifamily and New Build segments. Cox Communities is responsible for building high trust, long-term relationships with builders, owners, property managers, and consultants to act as their the “Trusted Advisor” in supporting them with optimizing rents, occupancy, and net operating income. They accomplish this by conducting joint research, developing specialized technology and automation solutions, and supporting owners in future-proofing their properties with technology.  Her organization consists of Strategy, Operations and Sales Execution while influencing Cox’s specialized product roadmap. Her team is known for innovation, strategic partnering, and growth.
 
Prior to her role at Cox, Vickie held various executive roles leading Strategy, Operations, and Sales at Fortune 500 companies such as Time Warner Cable, BellSouth, and Sprint.


2022 Speakers


Nikki Ahmadi Nikki Ahmadi, Sr. Director of Product, Universal Electronics

Nikki  is the Sr. Director of Product - Cloud & Entertainment at Universal Electronics. She works with a global team of talented engineers, architects and product folks in designing and implementing innovative solutions that help everyday people easily discover and interact with devices and services in their home . After spending over a decade working in product engineering and management for multimillion dollar technology and start-up companies, Nikki believes what truly drives innovation is not only a commitment to technological breakthroughs but also people’s passion in improving everyday lives by building products that leave a lasting impact, disrupt the industry, and are vehicles of change, while providing the best user experience. 
 
When Nikki isn’t working, she is spending much needed time with friends and family discussing the latest politics, or simply the meaning of life. She’s an adventurous traveler who also enjoys capturing moments through photography.


Yaniv Amir Yaniv Amir, President, Essence USA

Mr. Amir founded Essence USA Inc. in 2012 and opened the North American region for Essence. He has over 13 years of experience in the Security and Care markets in management positions at technology companies. In 2013, the Worldwide Who's Who organization proclaimed Yaniv Amir as the Executive of the year representing the Security Solutions Industry. He holds a BA and MSc Summa cum laude in Computer Science both from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel.


Ian Bryant Ian Bryant, Residential, Commercial, & IoT Technology Specialist
Twitter ID: @CEDIAian

Ian Bryant started in the AV/Integration industry in the live sound and stage sector in 1998. He migrated into residential integration in 2001 and then into commercial, government and higher education integration in 2010 with his company ZenArray specializing in consulting, system design, control system programming and DSP configurations. Ian has volunteered through his career as a subject matter expert, has sat on numerous panels and working groups, mostly with CEDIA where he was awarded volunteer of the year in 2011 and 2016.


Laura Buffard Laura Buffard, Sr. Director Connected Home Product Line, NAGRA

Laura Buffard is spear-heading the Kudelski Group’s Connected Home proposition which blends elements of the Group’s payTV, IoT and CyberSecurity business units. Through the NAGRA Scout proposition, Laura is engaging with operators worldwide who, focussed on digital home propositions, are looking to strengthen their ARPU and offer greater value as their subscribers increasingly lead often complex digital lives.


Tali Chen Tali Chen, Co-founder, 2Seas
Twitter ID: @ChenDsp

Tali brings nearly two decades of executive management experience to DSP Group as a strong voice in the semiconductor industry. With a keen ability to multitask, strategize and oversee worldwide teams and customers, she lends her expertise and passion to her position as Chief Marketing Officer, where she manages also the IoT business line, European business development, sales and marketing, heads up DSP Group's US operations and corporate management. Prior to this role, she was the CVP Corporate Development. Before joining DSP Group, Tali was Director of Commercial Legal Affairs at RADA Electronic Industries, a Major in the Israeli Defense Forces, the founding manager of the "Atidim for Industry" program, and an intern at the IDF Ombudsman's office. Tali holds an LLB in Law and Government with honors from the prestigious Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) of Herzliya and an MBA from Technion Israel Institute of Technology.


Jennifer Doctor Jennifer Doctor, Senior Director, Product Management, Johnson Controls
Twitter ID: @jidoctor

Jennifer Doctor is the Senior Director of Product Management for Johnson Controls, Tyco's Intrusion detection portfolio. In this capacity, Jennifer leads a global team managing more than 5,000 traditional and smart home security products around the globe in both residential and commercial markets.


Jean-Marc Druesne Jean-Marc Druesne, Founder-CEO of Bbalance; CMO of Baracoda Daily Healthtech, Baracoda Daily Healthtech
Twitter ID: @BaracodaGroup

Jean-Marc Druesne is CMO of Baracoda Daily Healthtech, a company working to improve the lives and health status of people around the world with technology as the driver.
 
As part of this mission, Jean-Marc leads the team at Baracoda Labs (BLabs), an incubator and accelerator, for new startup projects, with a speed-to-market open innovation strategy. He is also responsible for building the identity of Baracoda Daily Healthtech, and is the founder and CEO of BBalance, the world’s first smart bath mat.
 
Jean-Marc has been working in the tech and creative industries for more than 20 years, building and helping startups to scale projects through his company Octoly, a micro-influencer marketing SaaS platform with a fully-integrated product marketplace. Before that he held senior management positions at Google and, earlier in his career, Jean-Marc worked as managing director for EMI Music.
 
Jean-Marc continues to support the arts and Paris’ cultural scene, collaborating on artistic direction projects. In 2018 he launched Leroy République, an art project documenting skateboarding culture and modern families.
 
Jean-Marc earned a master's degree in International Marketing and Business Management at EDHEC. He thrives on new challenges, and creates high-performing teams capable of disrupting the status quo by working step-by-step to reach ambitious goals.


Jason Elliott Jason Elliott, Head of Portfolio and Partnership Marketing, Nokia
Twitter ID: @jre_elliott

At Nokia, Jason works with multi-disciplined teams and industry partners to promote our vision and technology leadership. Inspired by the power of people and technology he strives to ensure that all types of audiences from consumers to technology professionals to board members have the knowledge they need to be successful.
 
With two decades of I.T and wireless communications expertise he has made several notable contributions, delivering many industry firsts. He works to educate and collaborate on how technology can be used to realize new business opportunities, and address sustainability goals towards a better future for all. 
Prior to joining Nokia, Jason held several lead roles in the CIO organization at Lucent technologies/Alcatel Lucent, overseeing large I.T infrastructure deployments and then moving into the wireless division developing 3G and 4G proof of concept systems.
 
Enjoys traveling the world and experiencing different cultures. When he is at home you’ll find him in the Boston, MA area either trying out a new restaurant or running to offset his latest dining experience! 


Stephen Eyre Stephen Eyre, VP, Partner Community, Calix
Twitter ID: @TheCalixNetwork

As VP Calix Partner Ecosystem, Stephen is responsible for coordinating the various partner activities and initiatives across Calix into one coherent ecosystem that is beneficial for all participants.
 
A veteran of many aspects of the ITC industry including 10 years in banking, 10 years in telecommunications and 15 years at Microsoft,  Stephen's 25+ year career has encompassed phases as varied as expert system programming, IT and capital markets consulting, systems architecture, alliance creation and management,  IoT Solutions Ecosystem creation, and, most recently, three years helping to build the Calix Cloud and Smart Home business at Calix. Stephen has three wonderful daughters aged 29, 37 & 38, plays as much soccer and golf as possible, and is an avid supporter of the Toronto Blue Jays & Raptors, the New York Islanders, and most of all, Chelsea FC.


Samantha Fein Samantha Fein, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing , Samsung SmartThings

Samantha Fein is an Internet executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in scaling brands from early stage through explosive growth with a focus on marketing, GTM strategy and business development. She is currently Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Samsung SmartThings, and is responsible for developing innovative go-to-market strategy and forging partnerships that will help shape the future of smart home. Samantha serves on the Board of Directors for the Connectivity Standards Alliance, is a board member of Thread Group, and is a leading sponsor of the Matter initiative.


Jonathan Freeland Jonathan Freeland, VPGM, Cox Homelife

Jonathan Freeland is the VP/GM, Cox Homelife at Cox Communications in Atlanta. Freeland is responsible for driving the overall subscriber and revenue growth of Cox Homelife which provides residential monitored security and home automation services within Cox's national footprint. Freeland joined Cox Communications in 1995 as a sales representative in Hampton Roads, VA. He successfully performed in a variety of sales and marketing roles and has over a decade of senior leadership experience at Cox as a regional vice president of marketing and sales in three different Cox regions. Freeland earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and an MBA in marketing from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He graduated from Cox's Executive Development program, and he has also completed CTAM U at Harvard Business 


Michael Don Ham Michael Don Ham, Co-Founder & President, RePure

Michael Don Ham is the Co-Founder and President of RePure, a leading supplier of best-in-class wellness technology solutions for residential applications available through professional installers. Ham has a degree majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition and has spent the past two decades in the field of health and wellness, serving in leadership roles within the non-profit, organic farming, custom integration and consumer packaged goods sectors. Michael is part of the International WELL Building Institute as an Accredited Professional and Faculty member as well as with Fitwel as an Ambassador to increase awareness of how the spaces where we live, work, study and play can impact our health and to share his passion for continuous improvement through people and planet-centric design and technology. He has a deep background in regenerative organic agriculture, indoor air quality, water quality and other important aspects of wellness technology for the home. Michael has been invited to speak about wellness and technology at IAQA, TecHome Builder Summits, Housing Innovation Alliance, GreenHome Institute, LivABLE Design Summit, CES 2021, CES 2022, CEDIA, Science in Design Summit and the World Tea Expo.


Warren Hill Warren Hill, VP Marketing and Partner Development, Alula

Warren Hill has spent 15 years in the security industry with experience in Marketing, Product and Program Management. He is currently the VP of Marketing and Partner Development for Alula. Prior to joining Alula he spent time with GE Security and Interlogix. He enjoys hiking, biking, golfing and a number of other outdoor activities.


Mitchell Klein Mitchell Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance
Twitter ID: @Mitchell_Klein

Mitchell Klein is a leader in smart home and IoT, dedicating his career to educating the industry, creating and implementing strategic business programs and leading companies that helped bring smart home and custom installation into the mainstream. Mitch’s career has included systems integration management to business strategy and development, but above all he is a 30+ year industry veteran in IoT, consumer electronics, home automation, and the integrator market. In his current role as executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, he leads a member consortium of global companies supporting the Z-Wave smart home standard. Mitch is a CEDIA Fellow and committee chair – in 2019, he was awarded the CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of work supporting the custom integrator channel. Mitch is a regular contributor to trade and technology publications, podcasts, and a presenter and panelist at key industry events including CES, CEDIA, ISE, Parks CONNECTIONS Summit, and many more.


Kabir Maiga Kabir Maiga, Co-Founder, PassiveBolt

Kabir Maiga is the Co-Founder of PassiveBolt, a technology company looking to pioneer a proper Tier 1 supplier class in access control and security, similar to the automotive industry. He is a devout innovator and envisions an entirely keyless future. Lock manufacturers and platforms (e.g. home security) are poised to build the keyless future. PassiveBolt supports them by supplying the picks & shovels. Kabir Maiga and his team invented and patented several smart access technologies and innovations. They have also won CES 2020 Innovation Awards, CES 2021 Innovations Awards, IoT World Best Consumer Technology nomination and more. He was recognized by Forbes in 2021 in the Forbes Next 1000 list. Kabir Maiga was formerly Technical Lead at Continental Automotive were he and his team developed keyless entry technologies currently deployed in over 120 million cars globally. He started the PassiveBolt project within Continental and later spun off – with Continental as lead investor. He has over 13 years of business and engineering experience. He worked in engineering in the auto industry, in finance on Wall Street, and built technology companies. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Masters Degree in Business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.


Tyson Marian Tyson Marian, Chief Commercial Officer, Plume Design Inc.
Twitter ID: @plume

Tyson Marian is Chief Commercial Officer at Plume. Bringing over 20 years of experience in the fast-moving technology sector, he drives the growth, core business strategy and P&L for the company. Having held a number of senior management and board-level positions at leading media and telecommunications companies, Tyson initially served on Plume’s Board of Directors before joining full-time to spearhead the company’s commercial operations.
 
Having developed a strong commercial acumen as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in New York, Tyson’s most recent appointment, prior to joining Plume, was at Comcast Corporation where he was responsible for identifying, deploying and commercialising emerging technologies primarily for Comcast’s consumer services portfolio. Tyson holds a bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Southern California.


Cristina Martinho Cristina Martinho, Vice President, Performance Marketing, Minim, Inc.

Cristina Martinho is the Vice President of Marketing Performance at Minim. She is responsible for all aspects of Minim's omni channel marketing and Ecommerce business and has successfully grown Minim's ecommerce and international market presence. Before joining Minim, Cristina has worked in various roles including, brand management, category management, customer marketing and ecommerce for L'oreal, COTY and DS Laboratories. Cristina has served on the board of directors for the YWCA of South Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Northeastern University, a Digital Marketing Degree from NYU and an MBA from Florida International University in Miami Florida.


Blake Miller Blake Miller, Founder & CEO, Homebase
Twitter ID: @HomebaseAI

Blake Miller is the Founder of Homebase.ai a resident experience and connected building solution for the multi-family housing industry. Blake is also the host of The Future of Living Podcast. Prior to Homebase Blake was a Partner at Think Big, a startup incubator in Kansas City, MO. At Think Big, Blake led the incubator program investing in and advising early stage startups. In 2012, Blake led the Kansas City Smart City Initiative, a public private partnership led by Cisco, deploying smart city technologies in Downtown Kansas City, MO, creating one of the worlds largest smart cities and winning a 2017 Edison Award for innovation.


Sean Miller Sean Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Griot Technology
Twitter ID: @Sean_T_Miller

Sean Miller is the CEO and co-founder of Griot, a startup focused on delivering AI-powered communication and knowledge-capture tools specifically designed for field technicians. Griot helps skilled trades get jobs done right and on time.
 
Before Griot, Sean was the President of PointCentral, a subsidiary of Alarm.com, since January 2017. During his time at PointCentral, Sean grew the company by over 700%, while building the team to over 40 people and driving the business unit to profitability. Prior to PointCentral, Sean led global sales and business development for WeMo, Belkin’s IoT business unit, where Wemo grew the total number of households that had a WeMo by over 3x in less than 24 months. Before WeMo, Sean held several positions with Generac, including leading the creation of a new IOT/M2M business unit called MobileLink that connected the company’s standby generators to customers, dealers and Generac corporation.
 
Sean has an MBA from Kenan-Flagler at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Occidental College. Sean resides in the Los Angeles area of California with his wife and their two lovely daughters.


Dr. Ann Marie Olivo Dr. Ann Marie Olivo, Marketing Director, North America, Tuya Smart

Ann is the Marketing Director for North America for Tuya Smart. She is responsible for driving localized initiatives in public relations, strategic partnerships, lead generation, and branding in the North American region. Previously, she served as the Marketing Director for the Connectivity Standards Alliance where she brought IoT solutions to market with global smart home industry leaders and helped to launch the Matter initiative. She also holds a PhD in Linguistics from Rice University.


Wannie Park Wannie Park, CEO, Zen Ecosystems
Twitter ID: @HelloInspire

Wannie Park is the CEO of Zen Ecosystems, an energy management platform that helps small to medium businesses take control of their energy usage while meeting sustainability goals. Wannie is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in energy, renewables, IoT and SaaS. He's passionate about leveraging technology to make a tangible impact against climate change by redefining the way businesses interact with energy. Prior to Zen, Wannie was Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Inspire Energy where he was responsible for growth and partnerships. Prior to joining Inspire, Wannie was SVP of Business Development at CEIVA Energy, a SaaS-based demand response and energy efficiency provider. Wannie graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Economics and earned his Master's in Business from USC and Environmental Law degree from the UCLA School of Law.


Rick Plummer Rick Plummer, Director, Home Services, CenterPoint Energy

Rick Plummer is CenterPoint Energy’s Director of Home Services. He leads a unique Home Services P&L including CenterPoint Energy's own Home Service Plus in Minnesota and similar partnership-based programs in Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, and Texas. Rick joined the company in 2018, previously heading up Home Services’ businesses at Nicor Services and Direct Energy.


Bethany Schoengarth Bethany Schoengarth, Marketing Director, Healium XR

Digital marketing and communication strategist who leads the marketing strategy for the world’s first immersive media channel powered by wearables.


Oz Yildirim Oz Yildirim, EVP & General Manager of North America, Airties Wireless Networks
Twitter ID: @Airties

Oz Yildirim is the Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Americas Business Unit of Airties.  Prior to this role, Oz served as CMO, where he oversaw the company’s significant expansion with leading U.S. service providers (including AT&T), new distribution partners, and office opening in Texas. He joined Airties in 2004 and was one of the first employees in the company. Oz served in numerous leadership roles across product management, R&D, and customer services management and previously oversaw Airties’ product portfolio. 
 
Mr. Yildirim holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul.


Rafi Zauer Rafi Zauer, Head of Marketing, Essence
Twitter ID: @Essence_grp

Rafi Zauer is Head of Essence's Marketing, overseeing the company's global positioning and brand, product marketing, market strategy and supporting Essence customers with go to market services. Rafi has 15 years of experience in market and business analysis, defining technology companies' market vision and executing business strategies. Prior to this, Rafi held various positions in strategic marketing in a leading international security electronics company and has also managed to be part of the renewable energy revolution, developing distribution channels and investments in Solar Photovoltaic plants around the world.