Archives

Mike Edmonds

Mike is the Managing Director and VP of Product at Moonshot by Pactera, a digital product studio based in Chicago. Mike leads a team of product managers, experience designers, empathy researchers, and software engineers helping brands use design thinking and lean innovation to discover, design, and scale lovable products based on emerging technologies. Mike is also an Adjunct Professor of Digital Product Management at Northwestern’s Segal Design Institute and DePaul’s School of Computing and Digital Media.

Marc Blaskey

Marc Blaskey is the Senior Vice President Account at Wunderman Thompson

With more than 16 years of experience in consumer technology and integrated digital marketing across Europe, China and America, Marc has built and led agency teams to design and deliver world-class digital customer experiences for brands such as: Apple, Dyson and Land Rover.

Marc also loves to bake and play the drums. Rarely together.

Destry Sulkes, MD, MBA

Destry Sulkes, MD, is Chief Experience Officer at WPP’s Wunderman Thompson Health, where he leads efforts to uncover human truths around health, then delivering the best experiences. The backbone of this model includes 360 degree views of clinicians and patients as ‘people’, not just healthcare participants. He helped design and now stewards the health intelligence engine which is grounded in behavioral economic principles. The engine provides continuous guidance on holistic creative and media strategies that humanize and personalize customer engagements with client brands.

Prior to WPP, Dr. Sulkes built long-term value in a series of start-ups serving life science companies that invest in innovative uses of data, analytics and communications to improve healthcare quality. With an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth, and a joint MD/MBA degree from Tufts, he helped Zeiss launch the OCT device globally, led two medical communication groups through rapid growth and acquisition, guided strategy for WebMD/Medscape, and co-founded a healthcare analytics company, Prognos.ai. In a voluntary capacity, he also serves as Past President of the Board of Directors at the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Healthcare Professions.

Atif Rafiq

Atif was the first chief digital officer in the Fortune 100.

He possesses significant experience with culture change, organizing a company around customers, recruitment of new tech-savvy talent, and business model evolution. His most recent roles have included CDO & Global CIO of Volvo Cars and Global CDO of McDonald’s.

Atif has been at the center of Internet and digital disruption for over 20 years, building on 15 years experience in pure play tech companies such as Amazon, Yahoo! and AOL during their primes. Atif has also been the Founder / CEO of a Silicon Valley start-up.

Atif has been on all sides of industry disruption from the garage to the C-suite.

He’s both disrupted as a new technology entrant into various spaces, and helped reposition large incumbent companies for the next generation of customers. He provides strong vision for new consumer experiences / products with relentless customer focus and high business discipline around execution.

In May, he will start at President, Commercial & Growth for MGM Resorts, a Fortune 300 company in the hospitality / entertainment sector. This is a newly created role with significant ownership for the company’s P&L, growth plans, strategy and customer offering.

Jeff Sporn

Jeff Sporn guides the Digital vision and strategy for Data-driven Marketing services from Equifax, overseeing the development and proliferation of digital solutions. He has led the development of a best-in-class database that integrates Equifax marketing data into the digital ecosystem for use in optimizing display advertising targeting. Before transitioning to Equifax’s digital business, Jeff led product management efforts for consumer markets within the IXI Services division of Equifax. He developed marketing solutions to serve industries including travel, retail, telecommunications and automotive. Prior to joining IXI Services, Jeff was Executive Director of Marketing at Verizon where he led the Marketing Analysis / Closed Loop Marketing team. He also previously worked at MCI as Director, eventually leading Product Marketing and Strategy for the Mass Markets business. Jeff holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from Wesleyan University.

Julia Bardmesser

Julia Bardmesser is a Senior Vice President, Head of Data, Architecture and Analytics at Voya. In her role Julia is leading the transformation of Voya’s enterprise data, architecture and analytics to increase agility and speed to market by eliminating redundant data silos and consolidating data processes; to deliver key insights from proprietary data; and to reduce costs through re-use and infrastructure simplification.

Prior to joining Voya Julia was a Global Head of Data Integration at Deutsche Bank, where she led the implementation of global metadata management platform that enabled data lineage and robust front to back data quality measurement.

Julia has over twenty years of experience in data management, data governance, data architecture and cross-platform solution delivery in the financial industry. She also worked at Citi, FINRA, Freddie Mac, Thomson Financial Services, Bear Stearns and Bloomberg L.P.

Julia has a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the New York University.

Karl Hightower

Karl Hightower is an innovative technology executive with a focus on differentiation through data access
and cognitive computing.

Karl joined Novant Health in 2018 as Chief Data Officer. In this role, he works with leaders from across
the system to provide the digital products and services required to deliver remarkable care to the patients
and communities we serve.

Karl has held executive roles in large retail and energy trading companies, and has held pivotal roles in
telecommunications, manufacturing, supply chain, insurance, government, banking and finance, and food
and beverage. In these roles, Karl set strategic direction and created alignment to direct structures during
the pivot years of these industries, devised and led game-changing initiatives, increased revenue by
millions – and in one case billions – of dollars, became an early champion and expert in cloud adoption,
personalization through social media data, real-time pricing structures, and extreme automation through
machine learning and AI-based algorithms.

Karl has an undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Political Science,
and was in the first class to go through Carnegie Mellon’s prestigious ISRI Enterprise Architecture and
Strategy program.

Karl is the son of two college professors, and is from a long line of educators. This upbringing instilled a
continuous thirst for learning and creating opportunities for others to learn. While in Dallas, Karl helped to
found and build the STEAM education program for the district. The program included one entirely Spanish
immersive middle school as well as associate degree paths in the high schools. Karl was heavily involved
in the Texas Amateur Golf Association as well as the Dallas LPGA events. In Charlotte, Karl has joined
the District Advisory Board for Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the Charlotte Mecklenburg
School district.

Karl lives south of Charlotte with his wife, Mary Ann, his daughter Kayla and son Aidan, and four dogs.

John Minardi

John Minardi is a Senior Director Healthcare and Connected Commerce Technology Services with a true passion for delivering creative IT solutions that serve as foundation for technology advancements and innovation in the healthcare and retail industries. With over 27 years of IT leadership experience, John seamlessly applies his keep strategic vision and extensive business acumen to drive operational excellence, while ensuring alignment with organizational needs. Through collaboration and leadership, John has successfully engineered core transactional websites, Retail/Omni-channel applications, as well as mobile/tablet innovations that win and retain customers within a rapidly changing landscape.

Specializing in digital technologies and the Omni-channel experience, John uses his extensive industry knowledge to master complex data. Most recently, John leads an organization whose goal is to generate technical solutions that drive an optimal user experiences across multiple lines of business within Johnson & Johnson.

John’s primary interests include collaborating with business and IT partners to influence new and innovative solutions, providing consultative support to all levels of the organization on IT-related activities, and identifying areas where business process improvements can be made to increase overall efficiencies for the organization.

John holds a BS in Computer Science from William Paterson University of New Jersey and enjoys spending time with his family in New Jersey.

Lili Gil Valletta

Lili is a recognized cultural intelligence™ expert, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an award-winning entrepreneur. She came to the U.S. at the age of 17 without speaking English, leaving her entire family behind in Colombia, and managed to become a recognized corporate executive turned entrepreneur. After a successful corporate career including a 10-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson, where she pioneered various diversity strategies and co-founded the Hispanic business resource group “HOLA”, Lili co-founded CIEN+ and CulturIntel. Her firm, based in New York City with offices throughout the U.S. and Latin America, offers big-data analytics, business consulting and marketing strategies for companies to successfully turn cultural trends into innovation and profits. Her proprietary methodologies of Cultural Intelligence™ and ability to use big data, machine learning and A.I. tools to discover cultural insights globally, have been presented and featured by The United Nations, The World Economic Forum, Harvard University, among others.

She is a regular TV commentator seen on Fox News, Fox Business and CNN en Español, and has been featured by Forbes, CNN Money, The Huffington Post, The NY Daily News, MM&M, among others. She is also the recipient of many recognitions including being selected as the 2018 Hispanic Businessperson of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Listed in the 2018 Power Women 100 as one of the most powerful women in New York, 2018 Women of Excellence Award, Top 50 Healthcare Influencers by PRWeek, among others. Lili is an advocate to minority and women-owned businesses contributing to initiatives at The United Nations, The World Economic Forum, The White House and around the world. Lili serves as a board member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, National Board of Directors of the YMCA USA and mentor to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program. In 2017 she was appointed by Governor Cuomo to join the New York State Council on Women and Girls and Mayor Bill de Blasio to join the NYCx Technology Leadership Council. Lili is also the creator of the entrepreneurship platform Dreamers Ventures designed to empower minorities and women in the U.S. and Latin America. She holds a degree in Business Administration from Southwestern Adventist University, completed foreign studies at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado and an executive degree from the Harvard Kennedy School in Global Leadership and Public Policy. She lives in New York with her husband Chris Valletta and her two sons.

Emi Horcada

Emiliano is currently the Global Head of Design and Digital Transformation Partner at Globant, where he leads the company’s consulting practice. Emi’s extensive background in experience design is rooted in a human-centric methodology that combines behavior and technology together to power sustainable digital transformation programs for today’s leading organizations.