October 2017 Speakers

Scott Penberthy

Director of Applied AI, Google

Scott is the Director of Applied AI at Google. In this role, he leads a team of AI engineers and PhDs who help VIPs reimagine the production of goods and services and how value is exchanged in free markets. ​His team applies current and upcoming AI technologies to materialize proofs of concept and drive long-term transformations.

Prior to this role, Scott was a Technical Director in the Office of the CTO, a group at Google dedicated to helping customers thrive in the world of cloud computing. Scott kept one foot in the AI labs of Silicon Valley, the other in Wall Street and board rooms. Demand skyrocketed and he was asked to build a team focused on AI.

Scott has a rich background in financial services and enterprise computing. He was recently Managing Director in the CEO’s office of PwC, leading transformation of PwC’s technology from on-premise, waterfall computing to public cloud with devops. Scott has many raucous stories from selling public cloud amid the Snowden scandal; coordinating leaders across Europe, Asia and the Americas; debating regulation bodies and lawyers; aligning vendors,clients and partners on a common mission; and, finally, educating boards and accountants on the wonders of public clouds and AI. Before that Scott played his hand as CTO at several Web startups after rising from IBM Research to the IBM Chairman’s office in the 90’s.

Scott is a passionate triathlete and a proud father of two smart, beautiful daughters. Outside work, he believes in STEM education and preparing the world for a new blend of human and machines. Scott is a mentor in Udacity’s Machine Learning and Self-Driving Car NanoDegree programs. He’s an avid reader and loves studying history, economics and the eminent dead. Scott has a PhD in AI and Computer Science with multiple degrees from MIT and the University of Washington.

Josh Gordon

Developer Advocate, Google

Josh Gordon is a Developer Advocate at Google working on TensorFlow. He’s interested in teaching and computer science education. He can often be found exploring central park on his bike.

Mary Iafelice

Co-Founder, humble ventures

Mary has experience in a logistics/SaaS startup, co- built an accelerator, has created proprietary growth hack methods, and has delivered a few thousand hours of business coaching using lean startup and design thinking. She has a BA from Holy Cross, was an inaugural corp HBX grad, and Smart.ly MBA select.

Laura Walker McDonald


Laura helps people to solve complex problems using evidence-based design, collaborative writing and co-creation processes, and consultative research.

With over a decade of non-profit experience, seven years at the forefront of social change technology practice, knowledge of humanitarian aid, international development, human rights and humanitarian law, and a track record leading software development at a successful, global non-profit platform, Laura specializes in inclusive technology and practitioner-friendly thinking that puts communities at the heart of social change work.

As CEO at SIMLab, she has lead the field of inclusive technology for social change; supported projects all over the world; developed and piloted frameworks for evidence-based design and effective evaluation of technology in social change work; researched responsible data practice and advocated for principled digital work in our field. She will continue to work with SIMLab’s clients and partners until the organizations formally closes late this year or early next; and then is in search of her next challenge. You can follow her work on her personal website.

Laura holds an LL.B (Hons) in Law, French and German from the University of the West of England, Bristol, and an LL.M in International Development Law and Human Rights from Warwick University.

Ray Tsang

Developer Advocate, Google

Ray is a Developer Advocate for the Google Cloud Platform. Ray had extensive hands on cross-industry enterprise systems integration delivery and management experiences during his time at Accenture, managed full stack application development, DevOps, and ITOps. Ray specialized in middleware, big data, and PaaS products during his time at RedHat while contributing to open source projects, such as Infinispan. Aside from technology, Ray enjoys traveling and adventures.

Mike Traverso

iOS/Android Developer & Founder - Traversoft

Mike traded in a decade of full stack development for Wall Street for mobile development. Since then he has worked on native iOS & Android apps for large corporations and startups. Developing Hillary 2016 for Android, games for Ringling Bro’s Circus Android app and more cool projects. Currently working on enterprise iOS apps for the New York Yankees. He’s beat stage 3 cancer twice and always looks to give back to the tech community by speaking at local meet-ups or organizing DevFest Florida.

Noble Ackerson

Product Director

Noble is a senior technical product executive with over a decade of shipping products that meet the needs of millions of users in the higher-education, enterprise, higher-ed, and consumer space. He led the award-winning DC-based Augmented Reality for fitness startup, LynxFit. With that background, he advises startups and nurtures startup communities to bring ubiquitous and pervasive technologies to market.

He is a publicity chair person for Ubicomp and the International Symposium on Wearable Computers (“ISWC”) and sits on the Alumni Leadership Board for the leading online education startup, Udacity. Acts as a member of the Alumni Board at Lynchburg Colleges where he empowers underserved student developers through lectures, and material to empathically validate, develop and ship innovative products that meet user needs.

When Noble is not focused on product innovation, he is spending time with his daughters, running with bulls in Pamplona, Spain, running a marathon, training for and quantifying his fitness whilst competing in a Spartan Race.

Mariya Ilina

Vice President, comScore

Mariya Ilina is Vice President of Advertising Analytics group in comScore, Inc. In her 13 years with comScore, Mariya has lead various products and initiatives including comScore’s vCE and MediaMetrix products as well as core solutions infrastructure for comScore’s Pharma, Financial and Ecommerce customers. Her analytic insight and leadership helped evolve how comScore measures, analyzes and reports on more than 2.5 trillion events that are captured every month.

Mariya graduated summa cum laude with a double degree in Finance and Information Systems from University of Maryland. She also has an MBA from RH Smith School of Business.

Chris Esplin

Google Developer Expert & Web Designer

Chris is a Google Developer Expert for Firebase and Web Technologies. He started out in economics and finance, but after the 2008 crash he taught himself how to code and launched a new career.

Chris own Calligraphy.org with his wife Melissa. He’s been full-time on the project since 2013, which was about the same time that he forsook his relational-database ways, switched to Firebase, and never looked back. His preferred stack is Firebase, Node.js and Polymer.

Chris publishes HowToFirebase.com and maintains a YouTube channel focusing on Firebase. His inbox and Twitter DMs overflow with Firebase-related questions.

Pindar Van Arman

Artist & Software Engineer

Pindar Van Arman is an artist that attempts to build creative painting robots. His current project, CloudPainter, is a network of interconnected robots that use feedback loops, TensorFlow, and a variety of computationally creative algorithms to paint abstract portraits.

Srini Karlekar

Director of Software Engineering, Capital One

Srini Karlekar is a cloud architect & servant leader passionate about Serverless Architecture, Computer Vision, Machine Learning & IoT.

Alexis Lavi

Senior Advisor, Cyber Risk & Strategy, Fortalice

Alexis Lavi is a cybersecurity technology and policy expert with nearly a decade of experience supporting multinational companies mature their cybersecurity programs. At Fortalice, Alexis manages the Cyber Risk portfolio for a range of commercial clients.

Strategic Technology Consultant

Senior Advisor, Cyber Risk & Strategy, Fortalice

Mike is working with leading companies in the media and technology areas on their technology initiatives.

Mike was a founding member of comScore, Inc. in 1999, and lead that company’s technology efforts until 2017. comScore captured over 2 ½ trillion events per month in a big-data environment and processed over 50,000 analytical reports per day.

Mike also has been responsible for 25+ patent applications which resulted in 15 issued patents.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland University College and a Master’s degree from Hood College in Computer and Information Science.

Todd Burner

Developer Advocate, Google

Todd is a developer advocate at Google for Fabric and Firebase in Boston. Prior to working at Google, he was on the team at Twitter helping build and grow Crashlytics and had his own startup. He has a deep interest in entrepreneurship and futurology.

Mike was a founding member of comScore, Inc. in 1999, and lead that company’s technology efforts until 2017. comScore captured over 2 ½ trillion events per month in a big-data environment and processed over 50,000 analytical reports per day.

Mike also has been responsible for 25+ patent applications which resulted in 15 issued patents.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland University College and a Master’s degree from Hood College in Computer and Information Science.

Vish Viswanathan

Solution Architect, Google

Vish is a Solution Architect and technology evangelist at Google Cloud Platform focusing on API Platforms. Prior to Google, Vish worked at Salesforce, Oracle, BEA and Netscape and has been advising customers on major technology solutions and architectures.

Giselle Lopez

Technology Associate, Communities in Transition

Giselle works for the Creative Development Lab at Creative Associates, supporting the organization’s Communities in Transition team. She has more than three years of experience working directly in the peacebuilding and technology space with PeaceTech Lab at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has led several programs applying data and social media analytics to the practice and study of peacebuilding, including the development of the Open Situation Room Exchange, a program designed to make data more accessible to the peacebuilding community, and the use of social media analytics to monitor hate speech online surrounding the South Sudan conflict. She has also organized and served as a trainer for exchanges in India, Myanmar, Turkey, and Egypt to build capacity for peacebuilding organizations to incorporate low-cost, easy-to-use technology solutions to support their efforts. Giselle received an MA in international peace and conflict resolution from American University’s School of International Service and a BA in international studies at the University of Washington. Previously, Giselle worked for the National Democratic Institute’s Information and Communication Technologies program and Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company in Boston, where she managed the Social Impact Program to extend access to the technology for nonprofits. Giselle is also a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action.

Allen Firstenberg

Senior Project Guru

Allen is a Senior Project Guru at Objective Consulting (https://spiders.com) where he focuses on helping clients improve their workflows and address their users’ needs using new and upcoming technologies from web, to mobile, to ubiquitous platforms. He has been a Google Developer Expert (GDE) since 2012 and currently specializes in, and loves to help others learn about, Google technologies for identity, wearables, IoT, and the Google Assistant. If you’re looking for him around the conference, you can easily spot him by his blue shirt, his blue Google Glass, and his passion for humanizing technology.

David Yang

UX Engineer, Google

David is a UX engineer working on the open source Fuchsia project. He uses Flutter(flutter.io) to bring prototypes and production UIs to life. Prior to Google, David ran product at his startup, Vessel Science. Before that, David was a interaction designer at VMware where he started the UX prototyping team. David graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Design.

Meghan Gaffney Buck

Founder and CEO

Meghan is a founding partner in VEDA Data Solutions and leads business development, partnerships, and fundraising.
Meghan leverages over 15 years working with senior elected officials to identify opportunities for new technology that enables businesses to thrive in our current regulatory environment.

Prior to founding VEDA, Meghan was a founder of MGB Development, a fundraising and operations consultancy based in Washington, DC.

Leo Scott

CTO, WealthEngine

Currently CTO at WealthEngine, Leo has previously founded three technology startups and has guided them from inception through acquisition. In doing so, he has spent the last 20 years building technologies that harness massive amounts of data and enabling businesses and consumers to better understand and more easily interact with that data. He has worked on a diverse array of technologies and development efforts including big data marketing analytics, TV Everywhere, financial portfolio management systems, postal service logistics platforms, telecommunication bill presentment, and satellite guidance and telemetry processing efforts. When not playing with technology, he can be found either traversing the bike paths of DC or traveling to the ends of the earth with his wife.

Sam Stern

Developer Programs Engineer, Google

Sam helps developers make great apps using Firebase and Google APIs. He is particularly passionate about Android development and has published multiple Android apps. Sam maintains a number of open-source libraries and sample applications on Github to help teach best practices and speed up development. He’s been working on Firebase for the past two years and previously worked on Google Sign In, Google Play Games, Project Tango, and more.

Matthew Carroll

CEO, Immuta

Mr. Carroll serves as President and CEO of Immuta, a data management platform providing data scientists with rapid, personalized data access to dramatically improve the creation, deployment and auditability of machine learning and AI. He has spent the past decade analyzing some of the world’s most complex datasets while supporting multiple US Intelligence Community customers. Prior to co-founding Immuta, Matthew served as CTO of CSC’s Defense & Intelligence Group where he focused on the design of analytic systems for the US Government. In addition to his work within civilian sector, he served as an Officer in the US Army and has spent time overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Carroll is married to Kathryn Carroll and has two children, Liam and Hayden. He graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology.

Anne Dalton

Blackstone Technology Group

I’m Anne Dalton and I’m a security engineer with based in Blackstone Technology Group’s Federal practice. I’m the project lead on a mobile security project that aims to enhance mobile security practice across the federal government. After graduating from Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) with a degree in Psychology, I decided to join the dark side and become a software engineer. I have over 5 years of experience in software engineering and project management, and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in IT, with concentrations in software engineering and cybersecurity.

Thad Scheer


Thad leads data innovation for SphereOI’s largest global clients. His innovations are in aerospace, precision agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, and many other verticals. He grew up as a computer scientist and software engineer then developed a deep appreciation for product design and execution.

Advanced analytics with machine learning are powerful but insufficient. Fielding meaningful innovation requires design thinking and a product-oriented mindset. Thad’s design-driven approach to engaging data science in the enterprise helps companies create an unfair competitive advantage. He believes your ability to engage design is directly proportional to your success with advanced technologies like machine learning. He believes enterprise IT doesn’t have a data science deficiency, it has a design deficiency.

Feel free to reach back out with any questions.

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