Technology and Standards Fall Forum Speakers

Alicia AbellaAlicia Abella

Managing Director, Google

Dr. Alicia Abella is the Managing Director of the Telecom, Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions organization, for Google Cloud leading the North America and Latin America regions. She has responsibility for building the go-to-market approach for Telecom, Media & Entertainment, partnering with the Product, Engineering, and Sales teams to deliver end-to-end solutions for customers. Prior to joining Google Cloud, Dr. Abella was VP of the Integrated Systems Engineering and Realization organization of AT&T Labs driving the company’s network infrastructure deployments, SDN, Edge, and 5G programs. In her 25 year tenure with AT&T she also led multiple highly technical organizations specializing in cloud computing, software-defined networking, human-computer interaction, mobile services, big data analytics, and Internet of Things.

JD Beltran JD Beltran

Director & Founder, Center for Creative Sustainability

JD Beltran founded and is the Director of the Center for Creative Sustainability in San Francisco, California. For more than fifteen years, Beltran has been an impact and cultural lead, creative strategist, designer, and technologist, and is herself an award-winning filmmaker, artist, educator, and journalist. She has deep roots in advancing watershed creative projects, groundbreaking solutions, and organizational initiatives that address cultural, social, environmental, and economic challenges. Beltran has deep roots in developing infrastructure and sustainable urban solutions for the creative arts industry, having served as the President of the San Francisco Arts Commission from 2011-2018 (she currently remains a City Commissioner, 2009 to the present) and having overseen the city’s $22M+ budget in public art and grants. San Francisco Mayor London Breed lauded Beltran for her exceptional public service and dedication to the creative arts sector by declaring December 3, 2018 "JD Beltran Day in San Francisco."

Beltran also founded and directed the Center for Impact environmental and social impact 2-year pilot at California College of the Arts, fostering sustainability through the lens of art & design with multiple ground-breaking, award-winning projects. A longtime arts educator and education advocate, Beltran has served as faculty in Art, Design, Film & Technology at both the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of the Arts, mentoring the next generation of artists, filmmakers, and creatives. She also served as Director of the City Studio Youth Education Project for over 8 years, providing underserved youth with a curriculum of career-driven courses and instruction by taught at community centers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area by professional working artists.

James A. BuczkowskiJames A. Buczkowski

Interim Vice President, Research and Advance Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Jim Buczkowski is a Henry Ford Technical Fellow, Electrical and Electronics Systems Research and Innovation. He is responsible for the research and design of electrical and electronic systems including in-car information and entertainment, telematics, driver information, and active safety systems for Ford vehicles globally. Jim also leads Fords annual Technology Trends efforts that inform Ford’s corporate technology strategy.

Buczkowski is active in various innovation forums and is eager to network inside and outside the auto industry to stay on top of trends and stay informed of the latest in innovation.

To say Jim Buczkowski is an early adopter is an understatement. He’s always anxious to experience how technology can change our lives and his home is filled with gadgets ranging from Amazon, Apple and Nest products, and has a 4K, Dolby Atmos dedicated home theater he outfitted himself. He is an avid Beta tester and experiments with Arduino, Raspberry Pi and satisfies his thirst for continuous learning through hands on software coding and home automation projects. He says the best way to evaluate technology is hands on. “It’s easy to envision what technology can do, but I’ve learned that you really don’t understand it until it’s in your hands and you are using it.” He believes a quick prototype, even if it’s not elegant, demoing the experience is extremely powerful and necessary before one can really decide whether the technology can deliver a valuable consumer experience.

Buczkowski is active in the Electrical Systems Group within the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) International’s Motor Vehicle Council, helping to develop standards for current and emerging technologies and act as a bridge to the high tech consumer electronics community. Also with SAE he both leads and participates in technical sessions at the Connect2Car event. Jim is also an SAE Fellow.

Jim is also active in the Consumer Technology Association as a member of its Board of Industry Leaders and the Technology Advisory committee which is part of the CTAs standards activities.

Buczkowski has been with Ford for 41 years and has experience in electronics design, electronics manufacturing (including manufacturing assignments in Spain as well as the United States), Product Development quality, and manufacturing and supply chain information technology. He’s been involved or led key projects including Ford SYNC and MyFord Touch connectivity systems, Ford’s Common Global Electrical architecture and early in his career, Ford’s first 16 and 32 bit powertrain controls electronic designs. Jim was also key in establishing Ford’s Palo Alto and Israel Research facilities where he stays closely involved in scouting for new technology and innovation.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, both from the University of Michigan.

Buczkowski lives in Troy with his wife. He has two daughters. He enjoys playing basketball, bicycling and volleyball with his daughters, home automation, and home video.

Steve KoenigSteve Koenig

VP, Research at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®

Steve Koenig is VP, Research at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies and which owns and produces CES® – The Global Stage for Innovation.

He leads CTA’s industry research including consumer and business studies, technology forecasts and business intelligence. Koenig speaks and writes frequently on technology trends and their impact on consumer behavior, business opportunities and economies.

Prior to CTA, Steve held analyst positions at NPD Group, Comscore, and a senior editor post at CMP Media’s former Computer Retail Week. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of North Texas.

Nandhu Nandhakumar Nandhu Nandhakumar

Senior Vice President, LG Electronics Inc.

As Senior Vice President in the office of the CTO of LG Electronics Inc., Dr. Nandhakumar has been leading technology initiatives and partnerships in areas of long-term strategic interest to LG Electronics, such as next gen media, robotics and AI.

As the former founding head of LG’s Silicon Valley based Technology Center of America, he established LGE’s North America Corporate Venture Capital effort, LP arrangements with leading VC funds, and partnerships with university research centers and national government laboratories across a broad portfolio of technologies. Earlier, he served as CTO, VP Engineering and a Board Director of Triveni Digital, which develops and supplies products for the management and monitoring of metadata and data in broadcast DTV signals. He has also served on the faculties of the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville – where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses, and conducted sponsored research in the areas of Computer Vision, Signal Processing, Robotics, and Machine Intelligence.

He has authored more than a 100 refereed journal and conference publications, and holds several issued patents in these areas. Dr. Nandhakumar has a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin, and B.E (Hons) in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Madras, India.

He is active in technology standards development and serves on the board of directors and advisory committees of various industry organizations, startups, incubators, and academic institutions.

Kaki NavarreKaki Navarre

VP, Product Management & Media Technology, Walt Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Kaki Navarre is Vice President, Product Management & Media Technology for Walt Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. She leads a cross-functional team responsible for establishing a unified product vision across enterprise platforms and exploring next generation content creation workflows and tools. Her team is accountable for systems that manage production operations, programming, domestic and international affiliate business, finance and accounting, as well as emerging technology initiatives relating to real-time data visualization and animation, virtual production and content workflow automation. Previously, Kaki worked in Research & Development for Disney | ABC Television Group, managing exploration, prototyping and technology transfer of disruptive innovations in the TV space. Prior to Disney, she worked in product management and producing, including leading early stage development and production for Whistle, a sports media startup. She is passionate about creative industries, digital media, data and computer graphics. Kaki Navarre earned her Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.

Derek PetersonDerek Peterson

CTO, Boingo Wireless

Derek Peterson, Ph.D., is chief technology officer at Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the global leader in connectivity. At Boingo, he is responsible for the company’s technical vision and strategy. Under his leadership, Boingo is pioneering the adoption and deployment of the latest wireless network technologies including 5G, CBRS, Passpoint, network virtualization and convergence. He is directly responsible for building and operating Boingo's core technologies and systems, including web applications, client software, networks, authentication, billing, advertising, IPTV, business intelligence and IT infrastructure. Holding deep telecommunications experience, Dr. Peterson’s career spans positions as a consultant, engineer, product manager and executive. Prior to joining Boingo in 2011, he served in strategic product roles at Oracle driving global launch campaigns for LTE adoption and billing software solutions. Dr. Peterson is a CBRS Alliance and Wireless Broadband Alliance board member, and a founding member of the Wireless Infrastructure Association's Innovation & Technology Council of wireless industry leaders. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Joint Endeavor, serving with the United States Air Force. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, an MA in Education and Technology from the American InterContinental University, and a Doctorate of Computer Science with a focus on Enterprise Information Systems from Colorado Technical University. In 2017, Los Angeles Business Journal named Dr. Peterson CTO of the Year. In 2019, FierceWireless named him a “Wireless Industry Executive to Watch.

Lesley RohrbaughLesley Rohrbaugh

Director of Market Research at ConsumerTechnology Association (CTA)®

Lesley Rohrbaugh is Director of Market Research at Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Lesley is responsible for coordinating and executing aspects of consumer, B2B and strategic research programs across all technology categories at CTA, as well as developing overall research strategy and project planning. With over a decade of market research experience, Lesley has worked with several major corporate and non-profit brands, is a frequent speaker at many industry events, and was recently on the board for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Insights Association. Lesley holds degrees in psychology and sociology from Virginia Tech. 

Bart SpriesterBart Spriester

Vice President and General Manager of Content and Streaming Provider Solutions for Comcast Technology Solutions

Bart Spriester is the Vice President and General Manager of Content and Streaming Provider Solutions for Comcast Technology Solutions. In this role, Bart oversees sales, service, and product management for the business, delivering solutions to hundreds of media and technology companies worldwide. An industry veteran, Bart served as Senior Vice President, Video Products and Solutions for Harmonic, Inc. prior to joining the Comcast Technology Solutions leadership team in 2018. Previously, Bart was the Executive Vice President and General Manager, North America, and CTO for Encompass Digital Media where he improved its market competitiveness and customer support through centralized and standardized business systems. He came to Encompass from Cisco Systems where he was the Vice President and General Manager for the Digital Media Networks business unit. He also served as managing director of Cisco’s EMEA Video Division and was named to the company’s European Operating Committee. Bart earned his MBA at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. Bart is a Six Sigma yellow belt and a graduate of the Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School.