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NUvention: Web + Media Advisory Board

Photo of Rich  Padula - Co-Chair

Rich Padula - Co-Chair

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Syclo LLC

Rich Padula is a successful entrepreneur with a background in technology, business process improvement, mobile software and solutions, systems integration, and technology education. Padula is a seasoned executive with deep experience in start ups, international expansion, and customer satisfaction. He founded Syclo, one of the leading providers of enterprise mobile solutions and led the company thru its successful acquisition by SAP in 2012. 

Photo of Todd Warren - Co-Chair

Todd Warren - Co-Chair

Managing Director, Divergent Partners

Todd Warren is an adjunct professor in computer science at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and teaches NUvention Web. He is also an advisor to and an investor in Divergent Ventures, focusing on early-stage companies. He also serves on the board of Pcubed, a global consulting firm focused on large scale program and project management. To co-chairs NUvention Web and Media and is a faculty member for the class.

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Elisa All

Founder & President/CEO, 30Second Mobile

Elisa All is founder/CEO of 30Second Mobile, a women-focused media company creating authentic snackable content for consumers, and engaging branded content for corporate clients. Previously, All founded iParenting, a highly-regarded dotcom acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2007. All earned her bachelor’s in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. She was recently recognized by UW-Madison with its Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, and she serves on Northwestern University’s Council of 100, a mentoring organization made up of NU’s leading alumnae.

Photo of Adarsh J. Arora

Adarsh J. Arora

PHD ’78 (Computer Science)Founder, CEO & President, Lisle Technology Partners

Adarsh is a founder and CEO of Reputada and Lisle Technology Partners. He was a founder and CEO of Athena Security which was acquired by Solarwinds (NYSE:SWI) in August 2012. Prior to Athena, Adarsh has created, managed and nurtured multiple successful start-ups (Peritus Software Services and Vista Technologies) to maturity, including an IPO that created a $500 million market capitalization.

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David Beazley

Managing Partner, Synergy: Capital, Advisory, Development, Chicago, IL

Mr. Beazley has worked with multiple private equity firms, operating and investing in the lower middle markets, early stage venture tech, energy and real estate. In addition to the consulting work, Synergy Financial has funded more than 50 transactions totaling more than $200M. Mr. Beazley has also personally participated in the formation, growth and mentoring of dozens of startups in his career, and has authored numerous business plans. For the past few years, Mr. Beazley has been immersed in early stage tech, first consulting for multiple niche social media tools, sites and networks, then helping to start an online social style site called INESQUE, set to launch in 2017.

Mr. Beazley has an undergraduate and a graduate degree from Northwestern University. Mr. Beazley played for the two-time Big Ten Championship Northwestern Wildcats Football Team and continues to stay active with the Northwestern Alumni Association.

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Jeffrey Beir

Managing Partner, seed2A

Jeffrey Beir is currently the Managing Partner of seed2A, a product UX firm that helps early-stage companies elevate their cloud and mobile products. He is a founding mentor and EiR at the Harvard iLab and speaks frequently on entrepreneurial topics. Jeffrey is also the Chairman of the National Center for Technology Literacy at the Museum of Science and is passionate about early engineering education. Jeffrey is the founder and CEO of RoadAhead, developers of a mobile app that helps you find the best exit ahead on the highway for all your travel needs. 

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Viresh Bhatia

Founder, Installshield

Viresh Bhatia co-founded Installation Software Technologies, Inc. (doing business as InstallShield Software Corporation) in 1987 and served as its chief executive officer. Bhatia has received multiple industry awards including KPMG's "Illinois High Tech Award," Ernst & Young's "Software Entrepreneur of the Year Award" and a mention in Silicon India Magazine's "Top 100."

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Bill Bliss

Partner Architect/Strategist & Partner Group Program Manager, Microsoft

Bill Bliss has extensive experience in developing new products for the web. He has been a part of three start-ups: Gomez, Inc. (now a division of Compuware), where he was VP of emerging technologies, Klir Technologies, where he was CTO, and now his own consulting company, Roadmap Integrity. Before pursuing his own business venture, Bliss was VP and GM of search and recommendations for Myspace, a division of Fox Entertainment and News Corporation. He earned a BS in computer science from Northwestern University.

Bill has spent over 16 years at Microsoft in a variety of senior technology and management roles. 

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Vlada Bortnik

Founder, COO at Joya Communications Inc.

Vlada Bortnik is a Northwestern University alumna who graduated in 2001 with a BS degree in Computer Science. She has served as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, was a Co-Founder and VP of Media Products at AdNectar, a computer software company. After working as a partner at Bortnik Labs, Bortnik joined Joya Communications, the makers of, in 2012, where she is the COO and Co-Founder. Marco Polo Video Walkie Talkie is a free and unlimited video messaging app available through iTunes and Google Play.

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Julian Cheng

Partner, Illinois Ventures

Julian is a Partner at Illinois Ventures focusing on software, hardware, and technology investments. He helped raise, invest, and manage investments in over 70 portfolio companies with investments in areas such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, computer vision, space, VR/AR, connected car, healthtech, fintech, insurance, agtech, and others. Julian is passionate about supporting and mentoring founders to help them build world-changing businesses. Before becoming a venture capital investor, he managed and developed software and hardware for enterprises, microprocessors, satellites, and co-founded two start-ups in the Internet of Things and consumer education spaces in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and New York. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied engineering management at Stanford and Northwestern University.

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Bracken P. Darrell

CEO, Logitech

As president and chief executive officer of Logitech, Bracken P. Darrell is responsible for Logitech’s strategy for growth and profitability. Darrell joined Logitech as president in April 2012, and assumed the role of chief executive officer in January 2013. Darrell has more than 20 years of experience in business management and brand management in successful global consumer companies, including Whirlpool, Procter & Gamble, and General Electric. Bracken holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a BA degree in English from Hendrix College in Arkansas.

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Scott Gerlach

Senior Director of Product Management, GoDaddy

Scott Gerlach leads collaboration across design, engineering, and business disciplines. He has created empathetic new products at Disney, Microsoft, NBC, and elsewhere. Gerlach has driven startup efforts inside of major enterprises and also has led acquisitions on behalf of those companies. Most recently, Gerlach has co-founded the product development and consulting company Model 10 Electra. M10E is incubating new digital products while also assisting a select few VCs and major corporations with their own product portfolios.

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Grant Gochnauer

Co-Founder & VP of Products, Vodori

Grant Gochnauer is a co-founder of a small Chicago based e-marketing consultancy, Vodori Inc., which helps companies shape and execute their online marketing strategy.

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Gabe Greenbaum

Venture Capitalist, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Gabe Greenbaum joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital (f.k.a. New World Ventures) in 2012. During his venture capital career he has led or participated in numerous technology investments. Greenbaum assists management teams in building businesses, in raising capital, in helping to set strategy and to execute operationally, with a goal towards value creation.

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Suneel Gupta

Head of Mobile Business, One Medical Group

Suneel Gupta is currently the head of mobile business for One Medical Group. Before that, he was the CEO and founder of RISE Labs, which was acquired by One Medical Group in early 2016. Prior to these roles in healthcare, Gupta was the first vice president of product development for Groupon. He has also served as the director of product for Mozilla Labs and completed development projects at Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai, India, as well as Accenture and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Gupta has a JD from Northwestern University’s School of Law and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan with a degree in information systems.

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P.J. Hasleton

Vice President of Information Technology at Andreessen Horowitz

P.J. Hasleton has spent 16+ years building companies across several industries and currently leads information technology operations at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to Andreessen Horowitz, he held a number of technology leadership positions at both start-ups and with the Fortune 500 including, Ingenuity Systems, Kno, Hewlett Packard, and Opsware. He is an advisor to numerous companies, from start-ups to venture capital and law firms. Hasleton earned a BA in economics from Brigham Young University and an MS in communication systems from Northwestern University.

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Timothy K. Krauskopf

CEO, Arrington Performance IndustriesPrincipal, Round Lake Designs, LLC

Timothy K. Krauskopf is the CEO at Arrington Performance Industries, a premier manufacturer of specialty products that are used to get more out of Chrysler HEMI engines. He also operates his own technology and development consulting firm, Round Lake Designs. In transportation, he founded Freight Zone, a software/technology company and Round Lake Freight, a truckload freight company. He was previously VP in the Internet Software and Content Group at Motorola, Inc., held leadership positions at startup companies Parlano, Inc., and, Inc., and Head of Information Services at The Field Museum in Chicago. Krauskopf was also a co-founder of Spyglass, Inc., which produced the forerunner to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, Spyglass Mosaic.

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Tom LaMantia

Managing Director, Magenium Solutions, LLC

Tom LaMantia is an investor and serial entrepreneur who has built and led multiple award winning National IT Firms. He has held various roles in his career from CEO, CIO, CTO and serves as an advisor to a number of fortune 500 leaders. LaMantia has extensive experience in various vertical markets with an emphasis on leveraging information technology within the financial drivers of a corporation. LaMantia is a member of The Society for Information Management and the Economic Club of Chicago.

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Bret Maxwell

Managing General Partner, MK Capital

Bret Maxwell is a managing general partner at MK Capital. He is also the managing general partner on three of the Productivity Funds totaling $200 million in committed capital. Maxwell has been a decision-making partner in six other fully invested funds, representing over $300 million in committed capital. Prior to founding MK Capital, he was the co-founder of First Analysis' venture capital practice in 1985.

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Kristin McDonnell

COO, Rednote

Kristin McDonnell is a digital tech executive who works at the forefront of innovations in mobile, marketing, advertising, social media, and SaaS. Drawing upon her significant experience, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Rednote, the music messaging platform. As an entrepreneur, CEO, COO, CMO, and VP Content, Kristin has worked for and in partnership with a wide range of companies from Fortune 500 corporations to Silicon Valley start-ups including AT&T, Google, Apple, Electronic Arts, Verizon, NBCU, LimeLife, Mplayer, McKinsey, Aisle411, and TaskRabbit. 

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Jon McNeill

President of Global Sales and Services, Tesla Motors

Jon McNeill's experience as an entrepreneur earned him a reputation as both an innovator and implementer. He is the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2013 he was named "Most Admired CEO" in the midsize company category in Boston. Jon has founded eight companies, led teams creating more than 3,000 jobs and over a half-billion dollars of value for investors. He co-founded Enservio in 2006, a leading SaaS (software as a service) platform for insurers, employing over 400 people. McNeill is a graduate of Northwestern University. He is currently the President of Global Sales & Services at Tesla Motors.

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Dinesh Moorjani

Founder & CEO, Hatch LabsCo-founder, Tinder

Dinesh Moorjani is a technology executive, CEO, and investor. He was the founder & CEO of Hatch Labs, where he built ten mobile enterprise software and consumer companies from the ground up.  Dinesh Moorjani cofounded Tinder in 2012.  He has held leadership roles at IAC/InterActiveCorp and Samsung Electronics in the U.S. & Asia. Moorjani cofounded Saffronart, a Sequoia Capital-backed global fine art marketplace and auction house. Moorjani serves on the faculty at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and USC and sits on the Harvard California Research Center Advisory Board. Moorjani is an advisor to American Express, Assurant, and the global private equity firm, Warburg Pincus. He serves as an independent board director at numerous companies, including Alight. Moorjani earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and his MBA from Harvard.

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David Nguyen

Chief Technology Officer, Shmoop

David Nguyen has been Shmoop's chief technology officer since 2009. He received his MS and BS in computer engineering at Northwestern University. During his graduate program he was recognized as a member of the Walter P. Murphy Society and has published work in network intrusion detection. Previously he has held leadership and engineering positions at startups as well as larger scale companies including Peanut Labs (acquired by ResearchNow), Racevine, SanDisk, Sandia National Labs, and G.E. Healthcare.

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Steve Olechowski

Founder of Blinkfire Analytics, Inc.

Steve Olechowski is a serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and the founder of Blinkfire Analytics in Chicago. Prior to that, he was co-founder and COO of Feedburner. Steve negotiated its sale to Google, from negotiations to term sheet to close, and led its integration into the Google AdSense product line. He is currently working on Google social and monetization products. Olechowski has also worked as an investment principal, technical marketer, lead architect, and consultant in the online space. He earned his BS in computer science and economics from Northwestern University.

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Hema Padhu

Founder, Padhu Consulting

Hema Padhu has 18+ years of business and marketing experience in the high-tech industry. She has served in leadership position for startups like Snapfish (acquired by HP), ModCloth, HoneyBook and Inkling, where she’s helped hire, build, and lead teams that were responsible for revenue and growth. Today, she works with CEO’s and founders of early stage startups to help them build and establish a marketing function from ground up. She received her master's degree from Northwestern’s Medill IMC Program. Originally from India, she lives and works in San Francisco.

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Bill Pescatello

Partner, Lightbank Ventures

Bill Pescatello joined Lightbank as a principal in May 2011. While at Lightbank, Bill led the firm’s investments in Centzy, Locu (acquired by GoDaddy), Ovuline and Contently (co-lead), while also sitting on the boards of Udemy, Snapsheet, Fooda, Lifecrowd, and Whoshere. Pescatello joined the team from NBCUniversal, where he was a vice president and founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250m venture arm for NBCUniversal. While at Peacock Equity, he served as board representative at Greystripe, Ramp, and Vivox. Pescatello is a chartered financial analyst, holds a bachelor degree from Northwestern University and graduated with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Bob Plaschke

President and CEO, Sonim Technologies, Inc.

Bob Plaschke currently serves as president & CEO of Sonim Technologies, pioneer of the world’s toughest GSM phone, the Xtreme Performance 1. One of the youngest CEOs in the mobile industry, Plaschke has led Sonim in this role for four years. Prior to this, he served as entrepreneur-in-residence at Sutter Hill Ventures. Before joining Sutter Hill, Plaschke was senior VP of worldwide client services at Infospace. He also served as CFO and VP for business development at Prio, a wireless and wireline promotion infrastructure company that was later acquired by Infospace. Plaschke was inducted into the Young Presidents' Organization in September 2008.

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Alexis Prousis

Customer Success Manager at Blinkfire Analytics, Inc.

Alexis Prousis is an entrepreneurial, hands-on digital marketer with a strong track record of growing businesses through branding, social media, content development, and analytics. Prousis has proven success in leveraging consumer insights, cutting-edge technology, and digital trends to develop and activate highly targeted marketing strategies and campaigns.

Prousis is a double alumna of Northwestern University, first graduating from the university in 2007 with a Bachelors in Communication and Media Studies. Prousis then obtained her MS in Journalism from NU's Medill School in 2014. Prousis was also an award-winning Big Ten athlete while at NU, having been named All-Big Ten the last three years of her college sporting career.

Prousis is currently the Customer Success Manager at Blinkfire Analytics. She has previously held positions at Jan Anne Dublin Consulting and JMB Financial Advisors, LLC.

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Kathy Seegebrecht

Chief Marketing Officer at UL

Kathy Seegebrecht is Chief Marketing Officer for UL. UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to advance smarter choices and better lives. To learn more about us, visit

Prior to joining UL in 2015, Kathy spent the previous 6 years at Navistar, Inc., where she most recently served as Vice President of Global Marketing. Before her time with Navistar, Kathy spent 15 years with BP in a variety of sales and marketing roles. She holds a Master’s degree in Marketing from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Northern Illinois University. Kathy lives in the Chicago area with her husband and their two teenage boys.

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Jeremiah Seraphine

Co-Founder at Get Loud Now

Jeremiah Seraphine (NU '12) is a NUvention: Web + Media alumnus and the Co-Founder of Get Loud Now, a platform for creates political pressure by enabling users to easily send postcards to officials at all levels of government.

Prior to founding Get Loud Now, Seraphine worked at Dao Innovations, 18 Coffees, Revolutionary Music, Inc., Vokal, GrooveBug, and desirelist. Seraphine has also served as a business mentor at 1871, Chicago's entrepreneurial incubation hub. He is a product and marketing specialist.

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Nikhil Sethi

Co-Founder and CEO, Adaptly

Nikhil Sethi is the co-founder and chief executive officer of one of the most successful start-ups bred in the Farley Center's NUvention:Web course: Adaptly. His company got its start in 2010 when he met his business partner, Garrett Ullom, during the NUvention course. Sethi is growing as Adaptly's business leader and visionary, but he's not new to the start-up world. He previously co-founded Blurtt, a service that allows people to make, upload, and send real postcards to friends around the world. Sethi received his bachelor's degree in in electrical engineering from Northwestern University. While originally from the Bay Area, he currently resides in Manhattan, New York.

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Rob Shurtleff

Managing Director, Divergent Ventures

Rob Shurtleff is currently a Managing Partner at Divergent Ventures and sits on boards for multiple other companies. He has more than 20 years of software design, development, product marketing and management experience in high-profile, fast-growth technology companies. Shurtleff has also been active in the venture community as an angel investor since 1996. In 1999, he founded Sightline Partners, a strategic consulting group focused on early stage companies in conjunction with a number of Venture firms in Seattle. Shurtleff has a bachelor of arts degree in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Ben Slivka

Trustee, Wissner-Slivka Foundation

Ben Slivka previously served as co-founder and chairman of DreamBox Learning (acquired by Charter Fund), a director of TeachFirst (teacher training), Vizrea (photo sharing) and (online donations), and on the Advisory Board of UIEvolution (acquired by Square Enix). Slivka spent 14 years at Microsoft, where he worked on OS/2, MS-DOS 6, Windows 95, the Java VM, and MSN. He started the Internet Explorer team in 1994 and led it through the release of IE version 3.0 in 1996.

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Mary Lou Song

BSJ '91, MACEO, FuelX

Mary Lou Song joined eBay in 1996 as the company’s third employee. She led the product management and community teams, helping grow the user base from 15,000 members to more than 20 million globally by 2002. Later she joined social networking startup Friendster. Her love of writing and the news prompted her to launch Tokoni, a story-sharing site, and Ongo, an aggregated news service with The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Gannett. Currently, she is CEO of FuelX. Mary Lou holds a BS in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University and a master's degree in media studies from Stanford University.

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Tim Stojka

CEO, Agentis Energy, Chicago, ILChairman, Fast Heat, Inc., Elmhurst, IL

Tim Stojka is currently CEO of Agentis Energy based in Chicago, IL. Agentis is an energy technology company delivering wireless energy management systems for commercial and industrial applications. In addition to his role at Agentis Energy, Stojka has served as the CEO of Fast Heat Inc, a designer and manufacturer of heating elements, sensors, and controls.

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Steve Subar

Interim CEO, Ubicquia

Steve Subar is currently the interim CEO of Ubicquia, which develops and markets a cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform to deliver IIoT solutions. He is also the founder and former CEO of Open Kernel Labs, a leading provider of mobile virtualization applications and successful commercial spinout from National ICT Australia, which was acquired by General Dynamics. Subar is also a managing partner at z2m4, a management consulting company focused on delivering portfolio company performance for the managers of, and investors in, growth stage technology companies. Subar holds a bachelor of science from Miami University's School of Business with a concentration in computer and information technology.

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Jessica Tan

Junior Associate at 500 Startups

Jessica Tan is currently a Junior Associate at 500 Startups. Tan graduated from Northwestern University in 2017 with a B.S. in Field Of Study Learning & Organizational Change and Political Science and a Minor in Business Institutions. While a Northwestern student, Tan was highly engaged in entrepreneurship activities and societies including Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, Freshmen Emerging Leaders Program, AAIV, Philharmonia Orchestra, Bienen School of Music Non-Major Piano Program, and the Center for Leadership. Tan was also the VP of Business Development for student entrepreneurship group, EPIC, before becoming the group's acting president during her senior year.


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Jordan Timmerman

Software Developer at Deep Dish, LLC

Jordan Timmerman graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Computer Science in 2016. Timmerman currently works full-time on new projects at Deep Dish, LLC, in the areas of web and mobile development and computer vision.

Timmerman was a NUvention: Web + Media TA in 2016, where he reviewed assignments, provided student start-ups with guidance and mentored developers for the course. During his time as a student at Northwestern, he was also a Co-President of Northwestern's student entrepreneurship group, EPIC.

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Doug VanderMolen

Chief of Design and User Experience, Tanium

Doug VanderMolen is currently the Chief of Design and User Experience at Tanium, an endpoint security and systems management company. He was also the former chief UX architect of ClearStory Data. Before joining ClearStory Data, VanderMolen led the user experience for Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and other Google Ads products. Prior to Google, he was a key member of the team at MeasureMap, which was acquired by Google in 2006. He received his MD from the Institute of Design.

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Hon Wong

CEO, Symphoniq

Hon Wong has founded three successful systems management companies including NetIQ, Ecosystems (CompuWare), and most recently Symphoniq. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Scansite, Shiaodu Cloud Technology, Ltd., and Nuage System.

Photo of Harold A. Zeitz

Harold A. Zeitz

President & COO, Wave Broadband

Harold A. Zeitz has served as president and COO of Wave Broadband since August, 2014. Prior to joining Wave Broadband, he served as senior vice president, Core and Specialty Markets at International Game Technology. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Games Division of RealNetworks, a digital media company, from June 2006 until July 2010. Zeitz was chief operating officer and Chief Marketing Officer of ShareBuilder Corporation from March 2002 until June 2006. Zeitz received his BA in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Stanford University.

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