Meet the Speakers

Ripped from the headlines, this year's ECIA Executive Conference is all about security. Because when all is said and done, you can’t do business unless your company, your employees and your customers are secure. It’s the bedrock of growth and prosperity and threats coming from global political uncertainty and new data technologies have undermined confidence throughout the global economy. The 2018 ECIA Executive Conference focuses on solutions and strategies to keep those assets secure. The industry’s premier executive networking event of the year, this one and a half day conference provides plenty of networking opportunities coupled with thought-provoking sessions. Join the senior management teams of leading electronics companies for an informative, results-oriented experience.

Ayanna Howard

Dr. Howard is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering where she functions as the Director of the Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS).

Chuck Brooks

Principal Market Growth Strategist, General Dynamics Mission Systems.  Chuck Brooks is the Principal Market Growth Strategist for General Dynamics Mission Systems for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies.. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn” out of
their 550 million members.  He is also an advisor to LinkedIn on cybersecurity and emerging technology issues. In both 2017 and 2016, he was named “Cybersecurity Marketer of the Year by the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards. He is also  a Cybersecurity Expert for “The Network” at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, and Executive Editor of a forthcoming Newsweek publication on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence

Evan De La Torre

Evan de la Torre has spent years working at research companies like CEB, Gartner, and now Challenger, Inc.. While at these companies Evan has helped hundreds of commercial organizations improve their sales and marketing efforts
through globally-sourced research, quantitative analysis, and industry-proven best practices. Prior to Challenger, Inc. Evan worked in sales, marketing, and operational consulting so he brings practical experience in addition to industry-renowned research. Evan received his BA in International Relations at Stanford University and while there taught public speaking at the Engineering School and Stanford Business School.

Dominik Boesl

Vice President, Senior Corp. Innovation Mgr. & Technical Fellow at KUKA Robotics. Dominik has been responsible for Innovation and Technology Management at KUKA since he joined KUKA Laboratories in 2011 as Head of Corporate Strategy and Member of the Board.
Since 2012, he worked as Corporate Innovation Manager in the CTO Office at KUKA AG and has the responsibility for all innovation efforts for the whole KUKA group. As one of KUKA’s Technology Owners (equivalent to other companies’ Technical Fellows or Distinguished Engineers) he defines the group’s strategy for “Apps & Cloud”.

James Ellis

James Ellis is a employer brand and recruitment marketing strategist working in Chicago. He spends his time mostly helping Fortune 1000 companies develop recruitment marketing strategies to find and attract the best talent.

Phil Gallagher

Phil Gallagher is president of Avnet’s core distribution business. He leads the company’s broadline distribution business globally with three regional presidents reporting to him -- spanning the
Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Gallagher also has responsibility for supplier management, global procurement and supply chain services teams. Gallagher reports directly to CEO William Amelio.

Bill Bradford

Bill Bradford has over 30 years of experience in the electronic components industry, having led the global sales organizations for Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Entropic Communications.
He also served as President and CEO of Minco Technology Labs, a Hi-Rel die processing, assembly, test and distribution company. He began his career in sales at Texas Instruments, followed by Cypress Semiconductor.

Rebecca Gott

Dr. Rebecca Gott is a Distinguished Engineer at IBM in Poughkeepsie working in IBM Z and LinuxONE. Dr. Gott received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University in 1995, where she developed signal processing
techniques to process multi-beam sonar data. She joined IBM in 1999 and served as the verification lead for the processor cache subsystem for the last five generations of IBM Z. Currently, Dr. Gott is an architect for LinuxONE, the platform on which IBM runs our Enterprise Blockchain networks, focusing on optimizing the platform for this emerging technology.

Grant Imahara

For almost a decade, Grant Imahara was one of the hosts of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. Using a blend of science and fun, he put urban legends to the test, sometimes with explosive results. Grant
tested hundreds of myths, and in the process swam with sharks, hung from the skids of a helicopter, fired cheese out of a cannon into the San Francisco Bay, allowed 25 tarantulas to crawl on his head, dropped a BMW from an aircraft, sliced a car in half using a rocket sled, destroyed so many cars he's stopped counting, and built many, many robots, all in the name of science. Grant has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has been on the cover of ROBOT Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, and MAKE Magazine. Over the years, he has garnered numerous official commendations from various organizations, including the City of Los Angeles, the City of San Francisco, and The White House.

Lesli Jennings

Lesli Jennings is a Director in Willis Towers Watson's Talent Management & Organizational Alignment practice in Chicago. She leads client engagements to create and deliver solutions to attract, engage, develop and
reward talent. Her primary goal is to provide innovative - yet tangible - solutions aligned to business strategy that drive organizational, cultural and business success. Lesli brings 18 years of experience across talent and rewards within both consulting and industry. Her areas of expertise range from broad-based compensation and rewards to business transformation to talent management and talent strategy.

Patricia O'Connell

Patricia O’Connell is president of Aerten Consulting. Her interest in service design expresses a lifelong pursuit of the idea that “there’s got to be a better way.” She is the writer, with author Neil Smith, of the
New York Times bestseller How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things Breaking the Eight Hidden Barriers that Plague Even the Best Businesses. Through Aerten Consulting, she advises companies and their senior management on thought leadership and helps develop brand-appropriate content. Patricia has worked with such organizations as the Project Management Institute, the Association of Management Consulting Firms, Strategy&, Boston Consulting Group, Hay Group (now part of Korn Ferry), Stephens Inc., Savannah College of Art and Design, Stephens Inc., and T. Rowe Price.

Wes Odom

Wes joined The Ackerman Group in 1990, following a 15-year career in the CIA's Clandestine Services. At the CIA, he had specialized in foreign intelligence operations and counterterrorism and garnered extensive experience in technical surveillance. He had
tours in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and served as an instructor in the Agency's operational training program. A fluent Spanish speaker, he holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of West Florida and served with a US Navy Seabee battalion in Vietnam.

Tom Stewart

Thomas A. Stewart is the Executive Director of the National Center for the Middle Market, the leading source for knowledge, leadership and research on mid-sized companies, based at the Fisher
College of Business at The Ohio State University. Before joining the National Center for the Middle Market, Stewart served as Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer for international consulting firm Booz & Company (now called Strategy&). Prior to that, he was for six years the Editor and Managing Director of Harvard Business Review, leading it to multiple finalist nominations for a National Magazine Award. He earlier served as the editorial director of Business 2.0 magazine and on the Board of Editors of Fortune magazine.

Eric Zwick

Eric is an Associate Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in business economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics and mathematics
with high honors from Swarthmore College. Prior to grad school, he worked as a research assistant at the National Bureau of Economic Research and as a web and software developer for several start-ups and non-profits. He studies the interaction between public policy and corporate behavior, with a focus on fiscal stimulus, taxation, and housing policy. His research draws insights from finance and behavioral economics while using a variety of methods: new data, natural experiments, theory, and anecdotal exploration.

Magnus Egerstedt

Magnus Egerstedt is the Executive Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Professor and the Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems and
Controls in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received the M.S. degree in Engineering Physics and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, the B.A. degree in Philosophy from Stockholm University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt is a Fellow of the IEEE and a recipient of a number of research and teaching awards, including the Ragazzini Award from the American Automatic Control Council.

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