James Phillips is a Microsoft corporate vice president and leader of the company’s business applications group, a product development organization with more than 5,000 team members globally. His teams build and operate Microsoft’s business applications and services, as well as the application, integration, and intelligence platforms beneath them, all of which collectively power the digital transformation initiatives of the world’s largest organizations. Phillips joined Microsoft in 2012 as a strategy advisor to Satya Nadella, prior to which he was founder and CEO of multiple software companies; held various leadership roles at Intel, VMware, and Synopsys; and spent two years as a technology investment banker with UBS PaineWebber. Phillips holds a bachelor’s in mathematics and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
James Phillips, '97
John Kim is President of HomeAway, responsible for the overall strategy and management of the world leader in vacation rentals, with direct oversight of the company’s product, marketing Jand information technology organizations. Prior to joining HomeAway in 2016, Kim served as the chief product officer for Expedia, where he led the company’s overall global product development efforts for Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Wotif, AirAsiaGo brands and end-to-end Hotel, Air, Car, and Activities supplier systems. Kim is a seasoned and accomplished product and marketing executive with over 20 years of digital media expertise. During his career, he has held executive positions at Expedia Group, Pelago, Medio, Yahoo!, Accenture and Bank of America.
Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
John "JK" Kim, '99
Annie is the co-founder and CEO of Omnee, a predictive analytics platform for offline audiences that combines AI and a network of sensors to generate insights about customer journeys in the physical world. She brings her expertise for product and data analytics to help businesses make better decisions in the real world. Prior to co-founding Omnee, Annie managed strategic partnerships in web and mobile app advertising at Google and worked with leading channel partners to scale Google's products on the publisher side. Prior to joining Google, she worked at NASDAQ across market data and index products. Annie received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and her Bachelors in Finance and Music from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Co-founder & CEO, Omnify.ai
Annie Hu, '16
An Executive Portfolio Director in Chicago, Justin Massa focuses on how to magnify the impact of human centered design through new collaborations, disciplines, and methods. He is part of teams focused on scaling data science (a discipline) and strategy (a competency) across IDEO. His consulting work centers on how these approaches can create entirely new ventures for large companies. , a venture-backed big data.
Justin was previously the founder and CEO of Food Genius: an analytics company in the food industry whose customers included US Foods, McDonald's, Safeway, Coca-Cola, Little Caesar's, and Kraft. Food Genius has been named to Entrepreneur Magazine's “100 Brilliant Companies” list and was the recipient of a Chicago Innovation “Up and Comer” Award and a Core77 Design Award. Food Genius was acquired by US Foods (USFD) in March 2016. Justin first met IDEO in the early days of Food Genius - when the company was just months old, they were the first ever Startup-in-Residence.
Early in his career, Justin was a radio DJ, a fair and affordable housing advocate, a kindergarten teacher, and an undercover civil rights researcher (although not all at the same time). He is a long-time resident of Chicago's South Loop with his wife and daughter.
Executive Portfolio Director, Design for Augmented Intelligence , IDEO
Luna Rajbhandari, on the Analytics panel, is the Senior Director of Data at Cars.com. As a technologist, her interest lies at the intersection of business, data and technology. She is responsible for leading Data Engineering and Data Science teams at Cars, and building data enabled consumer experiences online as well as insights products for the automotive retail system.
Prior to joining the company in 2016, she led data management and software engineering teams at Orbitz Worldwide, Northwestern University and Encyclopedia Britannica. Luna has an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University of Leeds, United Kingdom and a MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Senior Director, Data, Cars.com
After receiving a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, Zach began his career in the same field learning to retrieve, clean and manipulate vast amounts of data using code and database structures. Tired of having to manually extract signals from data sources, he began to explore machine learning and moved into Data Science. In 2017, Zach joined a Kaplan machine learning education company called Metis with a curriculum focused on breaking down and teaching how machine learning works and how to use it to solve problems. Zach is now a Senior Data Scientist for a fin-tech startup called CreditNinja, where he applies Data Science techniques to make smarter decisions about which customers to work with.
Senior Data Scientist, CreditNinja
Elizabeth, on the Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Panel, is responsible for Arrive's suite of products including website, mobile apps, and platform integrations. From discovery and user research to design and execution, her team is there to make Arrive's products thrive. Previously, Elizabeth was co-founder and head of product for Alula (later Coinstar Exchange), helping consumers trade in gift cards for cash. Elizabeth got her degrees in Commerce and Sociology from the University of Virginia.
Vice President of Product, Arrive
Gerod Carfantan, Chief Operating Officer of Sente Foundry, works with investors, corporate innovators and startups for Mobility, Smart City, AI / Big Data, FoodTech and ConstructionTech programs. He is an investing partner and operational head of investment programs, advisor & board member to portfolio companies, and scouts for innovative startups on behalf of multinational corporations. Prior to his role at Sente Foundry, Gerod was a management consultant and business development manager at Cisco Systems, and worked on partnerships, solutions and IT services engagements at VMware, Siemens and EMC.
Gerod received his MBA from Chicago Booth.
Chief Operating Officer, Sente Foundry
Gerod Carfantan, '05 (Moderator)
Morgan Brewster, panelist for the Autonomous and Connected Vehicles Panel, serves as the Head of Business Development and Strategy at autonomous trucking start-up, Ike, whose mission is to make trucks safer, more efficient, and make truckers more valuable. He has over a dozen years of experience in roles spanning business and product development, operations, strategy, hedge fund investing, and investment banking. Prior to joining Ike, he led business development at ThousandEyes, the leading SaaS-based solution for providing visibility into the digital experience for the cloud, internet, and enterprises. He has also worked at Cisco, Apple, Stamos Capital Partners, and Deutsche Bank. Morgan has an AB in History (2006) from Brown University and an MBA (2013) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Head of Business Development and Strategy, Ike
Morgan Brewster, '13
Patrick Cadariu has over 15 years of experience helping build businesses, organizations, factories, products and teams. As a leader at Waymo, Patrick gets to work every day with incredible people that are passionate about building the worlds most experienced driver. As an angel investor and advisor to early-stage companies, he loves sharing his operational expertise with founders and teams as they bring ideas to life and scale.
Prior to joining Waymo, Patrick held a number of global leadership roles in the consumer electronics and automotive industries. At Apple, he led teams supporting the iPhone and Apple Watch with broad responsibilities covering most commercial, supply and operational activities. Patrick also spent three years on an international assignment in China designing supply chains, developing operational capabilities and scaling manufacturing. Patrick started his career in the automotive industry, learning the ropes at Visteon.
Patrick has an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BBA in Marketing and Logistics from Central Michigan University. He currently splits time between Silicon Valley and Detroit.
Head of Vehicle Supply Chain Operations and Supplier Partnerships, Waymo
Victoria is on the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Panel. Stay tuned to learn more about Victoria.
VP Product Management, Sirius XM Radio Inc.
Motorola's Global Marketing team is responsible for managing the reputation, positioning and promotion of the Motorola Solutions brand, and its products, software and services around the world. Anna's team is responsible for leading the company's global digital presence by establishing the customer experience vision and implementing the processes and technology architecture to better engage customers and to optimize sales conversions. She has over 20 years of experience in creating, executing, and managing data-driven marketing strategies, programs and campaigns that drive awareness, customer acquisition and retention. Anna received her Executive MBA from the University of Chicago Booth (XP-79), and currently resides in Park Ridge with her husband, Brian, and 3 small children (Carter, Jackson and Reagan).
Digital Director, Global Marketing, Motorola Solutions
Anna Miller, '10
Bryan is Tovala's co-founder and CTO. He was raised on a farm and grew his own fruits and vegetables. Maybe that's why his favorite ingredient is Jonathan apples. Bryan worked on appliances at GE and Whirlpool before earning his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. After his Ph.D., Bryan launched his own product development firm – The Product Manufactory..
Jason is Head of Global IoT at Whirlpool Corporation with the responsibility of both strategy and delivery across all categories, brands, and markets.
Over his +15 career, he has gained leadership experiences in product development, category management, marketing, finance, and strategy. Prior to Whirlpool, he worked in management consulting and has worked in retail, automotive, and consumer product goods sectors. He received his MBA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan (his proud hometown city) and also serves on Yummly Advisory Board.
Sr. Director, Global Connected Strategy, Whirlpool Corporation
Pooja heads Product Management for Alexa Smart Home, focusing on Entertainment devices.
Pooja’s role spans from strategy and innovation to delivery, and launch of products and experiences that work seamlessly with Alexa, Amazon’s Digital Voice Assistant and Smart Speaker.
Pooja joined Amazon in 2015, as a Product Leader for building and launching Cloud Security Products for AWS, prior to which she was a co-founder of a start-up in Mobile travel space and held various engineering and product roles at Microsoft and multiple software companies.
Pooja holds a Bachelor’s in Engineering from University of Delhi, India and earned her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Principal Product Manager - Alexa, Amazon
Pooja Ghera, '15
Moderator for the IoT Devices Panel, Quintin heads design at Hologram, a cellular carrier for IoT devices. Previously, he led design research at Flexport in San Francisco, and was a product designer at Quizlet and Inkling. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon's Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Director of Design, Hologram Inc.
Quintin Carlson (Moderator)
David Scott, panelist for the HealthTech panel, is the Chief Product Officer at Tonic Health, the leading patient data collection platform for large US health systems. Tonic's SaaS solution and native apps drive higher patient engagement, increase payment collections, and improve efficiency across front office operations. David oversees all product roadmap, design, and development activities to deliver software that transforms the care experience.
David's passion is product and his superhero power is future-vision. He is a customer centric, design driven product leader who has scaled multiple software companies to successful exits. He’s held executive roles at Intuit, frog design, MarketTools/Survey Monkey, and owns patents in mobile, CRM, search, and financial services. David started his career in consulting roles at Scient, Gemini Consulting, and EDS – having earned an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth and an Engineering degree from Ohio University.
David lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, nine year-old twins, and an energetic oversized Labra-dane named Buster. For fun he travels, hucks himself off cliffs (skis/bikes) and play guitar badly.
Chief Product Officer, TonicHealth
David Scott, '97
Hiro, a HealthTech panelist, serves as Chief Executive Officer of Prescience Health, a leading provider of predictive hospital staffing solutions. Prior to Prescience Health, Hiro served in various commercial functions for GE Healthcare Digital, a $2 billion unit within GE Healthcare that develops and sells imaging and hospital administration software. In his most recent role, he lead all commercial activities for ten strategic hospital clients across the United States. Hiro received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Northwestern University.
CEO, Prescience Health
Moderating the HealthTech Panel, Michael Alter is Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and a recent Entrepreneur in Residence at Booth. Previously, Alter was the Chief Executive Officer of The Tie Bar - the #1 e-commerce destination for stylish men's accessories. Prior to The Tie Bar, Alter was a co-founder and President/CEO of SurePayroll, a SaaS technology company that is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex®. Alter co-founded SurePayroll in 2000 after six years with McKinsey and Company, where he was a co-founder and leader of its Service Operations Practice. Prior to receiving his MBA from the Harvard Business School, Alter worked in various sales positions at IBM. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern University.
Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Michael Alter (Moderator)
Una leads operations at Tempus, a precision medicine focused software company. Tempus generates, structures and organizes large molecular, clinical and outcomes datasets to uncover insights and enable precision medicine for cancer patients. Una was an early employee at Tempus and helped scale it to 700 people across offices in Chicago, New York, Redwood City and Singapore.
Prior to Tempus, she was the General Manager at Fullscreen Direct, a digital media tech company. She was responsible for business growth, product development and operational excellence. Prior to that, she was the Chief of Staff at Edelman, a global communications firm, where she led key strategy and change management initiatives for the organization. She was also the co-founder and COO of 1871, a co-working space and platform for digital technologies in Chicago.
Una holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance. She also lived in France where she graduated from the American University of Paris with a degree in business and communications.
VP Operations, Tempus
Una Pipic, '08
Emad Saghir is a Director of Product Management at Grubhub and oversees the products and services supporting the courier and delivery network. He started his career as a software engineer and discovered his combined passion for technology and user empathy after he co-founded Hoppit, an app connecting consumers to restaurants through a rich ambiance-focused experience. After successfully selling the startup to XO Group, Emad pivoted into his true calling as a product management leader.
Since then, he has led the development of a wide variety of industry-leading products, from The Knot's consumer facing wedding inspiration and search experience to sophisticated logistics systems that automatically manage the supply and demand of the Grubhub delivery marketplace. When he's not busy building a better future, you can find Emad riding his Onewheel around town with his mirrorless camera in tow.
Director, Product Management, Grubhub
Building on over ten years of corporate finance, strategy, and investment banking experience, Jordan is now putting his interdisciplinary business skills to work for building companies.
As the CFO and COO of Interior Define (ID), Jordan oversees finance, operations, and sales functions as well as leads fundraising efforts. He believes building a successful company is principally about building a world-class team comprised of kind, motivated, and intellectually curious people.
Through his tenure as CFO and COO, he led ID's operations and sales teams in an effort to more than double the gross margin, while maintaining 20% sequential and 3x Y-o-Y growth. With more than $20mm of equity capital raised since inception, ID is well positioned to be the digitally-native vertical brand disrupter of the furniture industry.
COO and CFO, Interior Define
Moderator for the Omni-channel retail panel, Bell has a background in social policy research and corporate communications. At the Kilts Center, she oversees day-to-day operations, guides strategy, and manages a multitude of projects. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana), she launched her professional career at CNA Insurance, where she worked in corporate marketing and communications. Bell then transitioned to the University of Chicago and earned a master of arts in sociology from Loyola University Chicago.
Director, Kilts Center for Marketing
Katie Claussen Bell (Moderator)
Aaron is Director of Product Management and Design at Reverb.com, the leading online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling music gear. Since launching in 2013, Reverb has grown into the most popular music gear website in the world, with total sales on the platform surpassing $1 billion and more than 10 million musicians and music lovers around the world visiting the website each month. In his position, Aaron leads strategy, design, and development of the marketplace’s products, tools, and services. Among other initiatives, Aaron managed the product design and development of Reverb Sites, a free tool that enables sellers to create their own website—synced with their Reverb shop—in a matter of minutes.
Prior to joining Reverb, Aaron was Director of Operations Program Management at Grubhub. While at Grubhub, he lead product design for the launch of Grubhub Delivery in Chicago and New York and managed strategic initiatives as Grubhub Delivery grew to more than 20 markets during its first year. Aaron received his master’s degree in Product Design and Development Management from Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Loyola University. He plays the guitar and piano, and enjoys singing and recording music in his studio basement, but has had less time to do so since becoming a father.
Director of Product Management & Design, Reverb.com
Omer Dvir, on the Omni-channel retail panel, is the General Manager for North America at Fit Analytics, the world’s leading size and fit platform for fashion brands and retailers. Based in Chicago and Berlin, Fit Analytics works with major online giants such as ASOS, Zara, The North Face, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lacoste to help their shoppers find the right size, and personalize the shopping experience.
Prior to joining Fit Analytics, Omer created Aloe, a customer feedback platform designed to help businesses measure and improve customer experience in real-time. Omer is also a strategic advisor to other companies in the space of customer engagement, with a focus on innovation, technological disruption, and product strategy. He previously served as Head of New Product Development for J.D. Power.
Omer holds an MBA (with Honors) in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (with Honors) from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion)
General Manager of North America, Fit Analytics
Omer Dvir, '10
J.C. Diaz, panelist for the Augmented and Virtual Reality panel, is a Digital Innovation Manager for The Walt Disney Company in Southern California. He serves as an internal Innovation Consultant and Product Manager and is responsible for delivering high-quality proof-of-concepts, prototypes, and pilots of emerging technologies that complement and rapidly accelerate the Parks, Experiences and Products (DPEP) business segment.
He is very passionate about product and innovation, especially in the Augmented and Virtual Reality spaces. Prior to joining the innovation team, he worked at The Walt Disney Studios, where he developed the go-to-market strategy for the Movies Anywhere platform. While pursuing his MBA at Columbia Business School (’17), he was incubated by Paramount Pictures to develop a digital product idea he pitched and spent a year at Littlstar, a VR start-up in NYC. When he’s not at work, he’s either building his own AR/VR projects or watching Netflix with his miniature schnauzer, Baxter.
Digital Innovation Manager, Disney
Kale Zicafoose is the regional lead for Product Strategy and Marketing at Snap Inc. Snap Inc is the parent company of Snapchat, a camera application that helps people to communicate through short videos and images known as Snaps. At its core, Snapchat is a camera company and believes that reinventing the camera represents the greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. At Snap, Kale is the voice of Snap’s monetizable products to the market, one of which is Snap’s extremely robust Augmented Reality offering called Lenses. As the product expert, Kale works with Snap’s diverse portfolio of clients both to share solution based product enhancements and functionality but also to gather client and market feedback and work with Product Managers and Engineering to improve Snap’s monetizable products. In her free time Kale enjoys exploring the forever exciting carousel of Snap lenses with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Beau.
Product Strategy Lead, Snap Inc.
Entrepreneur, Futurist, Video Game Enthusiast, Panelist for the Augmented and Virtual Reality Panel.
Wanting to be solution oriented as it pertained to diversifying the tech space, Keisha Howard founded Sugar Gamers in 2009. It began as a women's advocacy and networking group for consumers and professionals but eventually blossomed into an organization that advocated for demographics who were underserved or unrepresented within videogames and geek culture.
While her work with Sugar Gamers has taken her all over the country, Keisha has never lost sight of home. Keisha uses the skills acquired and contacts she's made in the tech industry to empower women, minorities, and students as a mentor, influencer and public speaker. In addition to this, she has embarked an exciting adventure working with AR and VR and working on developing video games with the Sugar Gamers team.
Market Development Manager, HTC
Matt, moderating the AR/VR Panel, is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BUNDLAR, an augmented reality solutions company serving individuals, businesses, and institutions. He is the Chicago Chapter President of the VR/AR Association, growing and connecting the immersive technology business community in Chicago and the surrounding area. Matt has delivered cutting-edge technology since the late 1990s, supporting enterprises as large as GE, Kraft, and Northern Trust, as well as start-ups. He spent many years supporting live events in different technical capacities, including project management, logistics, design, technology development, and support. Matt is also a technology adviser to Loyola University Chicago’s Ignite Lab for Entrepreneurship, a Designer/Developer member at 1871 (the World’s #1 Tech Incubator), and founder of the VR/AR Chicago MeetUp (a monthly event that has been connecting and growing the XR community in Chicago since early 2017). In July of 2018, with Matt’s guidance, several local groups joined forces to host the first Chicago XR Summit. Matt has been a VR enthusiast for over twenty years, professionally developing VR & AR applications since 2016. He regularly speaks about immersive technology at events, providing thought leadership on content, strategy, innovation, and the business benefits of virtual and augmented reality technology.
Co-Founder & CTO, BundlAR
President , VR/AR Association (Chicago)
Matt Wren (Moderator)
Autonomous and Connected Vehicles
Virtual and Augmented Reality (presented by VR/AR Association of Chicago)