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Keynote Speaker:


Jennifer Preston - VP Digital Technology - Hasbro



Jennifer Preston is responsible for the strategy and execution of Hasbro's global digital asset management, digital marketing, eCommerce and collaboration solutions. Partnering with our global brand, digital marketing, studio, sales and corporate communications teams to define current and future needs, build the technical roadmap that supports Hasbro's brand blueprint. Lead the combined 50 plus Hasbro staff and managed service relationship, leveraging agile methodologies for both SaaS and internally built solutions hosted in the cloud and on premise. Organization includes, front and back end development, scrum masters, digital producers/project management, digital compliance, QA and content specialists.


Twitter: @Jlponnet


Facebook: @HASBROgaming



Ambassador Speakers:


Kimberly Kowal Arcand - Visualisation Lead - NASA



Kimberly Kowal Arcand is the Visualization Lead for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has its headquarters at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Arcand is an award-winning producer and director. She is a leading expert in studying the perception and comprehension of high-energy data visualization across the novice-expert spectrum. As a science data “story teller” she combines her background in molecular biology and computer science with her current work in the fields of astronomy and physics.  


Instagram: @kimberlykowal



Kathleen Malin - VP Technology & Operations - RI Foundation



Kathleen Malin is an experienced Vice President Technology Operations with a demonstrated history of working in the philanthropy industry. Skilled in Event Planning, Organizational Development, Higher Education, Community Outreach, and Editing. Strong operations professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Strategic Leadership from New England College.



Suma Gaddam - Sr. Vice President & CIO - Care New England



Suma Gaddam, the new CIO for Care New England, transformed its technology team in her first year on the job, and she’s just getting started.


Twitter: @carenewengland


LinkedIn: @Suma Gaddam


Facebook: @CareNewEngland



Laurie White - President - Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce



Laurie White is Chief staff executive for Rhode Island's largest business association and economic development foundation.  The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is the leading voice of business in Rhode Island. Focused on pro-business advocacy and activism, the innovation economy, knowledge economy start-ups, small and middle market business development, relevant business connections and advanced professional education.


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Amanda Roman - Marketing Program Manager - Tech Collective



Amanda Roman is the Women in Tech (WIT) Program Manager at Tech Collective. She’s developed a robust offering over the past 4 years to inspire and advance women in their careers through education, mentorship, networking, and peer support activities. She collaborates with industry, education partners, and community organizations to create growth opportunities for individuals as well as their greater organizations. Her purpose is to develop and support women and their companies on how they can create a more unbiased and diverse workforce – diversity being key to innovation. In addition to her role leading the WIT program, Amanda manages the marketing and communications strategy for Tech Collective.


LinkedIn: @Amanda Roman


Facebook: @TechCollectiveRI



Jen Silbert - Senior Project Manager - Tech Hire RI



Jen Silbert has an unshakable belief that everyone - as in all human capital - is worthy of working, earning and learning to their full potential. She brings over 20 years in strength-based community facilitation and workforce development in cities, schools, Fortune 500 companies, and indigenous villages around the world. Devoted to promoting inclusion and equity in education and in the labor market, Jen leads employer engagement for TechHire Rhode Island (www.TechHire.Careers), a program of Opportunity@Work that connects employers to quality entry-level tech talent.


Twitter: @jhsilbert


Instagram: @TechHireRI



BJ Murray - Executive VP - Business Focus



BJ Murray is an IT Professional with Program/Project Management experience and a certified Six Sigma Black Belt with a successful track record of managing delivery of enterprise technology solutions to public and private sectors.  Her experience includes governance, customer satisfaction, planning, staffing, vendor management, and oversight of large scale, complex, and system integration projects.  In addition to being a self-starter, I am also a detail-oriented individual who conveys a positive and approachable demeanor.

BJ is creative and passionate about the pursuit of excellence and strive to lead by example. 

Specialties: Healthcare, Insurance, Health and Human Services, Infrastructure, Process Re-engineering for ROI



LinkedIn: @BJ Murray



Deb Ricci - Director Business READINESS Champion - Carousel



Deb Ricci is a Director at Carousel, and her career spans expertise from Avaya, Lucent, AT&Tand Verizon. Her roles have varied over the years, yet mainly the focus has been on customerexperience and employee development.  Preparing Carousel employees for cultural changes within our environment, Workforce readiness and acceptance, and provide training on soft skills.


LinkedIn: @Deb Ricci


Twitter: @Carousel_Ind



Erin Darmetko - Information Systems Officer - AMica



Erin Darmetko is a Project and Program Management, Portfolio planning, Budgetary and Resource Capacityplanning, Agile, Business Analysis, Change Management, Document Production, Mainframe codingand applications, Development and implementation of project and product specifications


Twitter: @Amica


LinkedIn: @Erin Darmetko


LinkedIn: @Amica



Linn F. Freedman - Partner - Robinson+Cole



Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, and complex litigation. She is a member of Robinson+Cole's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. Ms. Freedman focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations, as well as emergency data breach response, mitigation and litigation. She also counsels clients on state and federal data privacy and security investigations. 

She has been ranked nationwide by Chambers in the field of Privacy and Data Security since 2012, is CIPP/US certified and JD Supra's #1 Top Author in Cybersecurity since 2016.


Twitter: @RobinsonCole


LinkedIn: @Linn Freedman


Facebook: Robinson+Cole



Carol Giuriceo - Director - RI STEAM Center



Carol M. Giuriceo is the director of the Rhode Island STEAM Center located at Rhode Island College where she works to increase science, technology, engineering, arts + design, and mathematics (STEAM) literacy among all Rhode Islanders.  Her background includes experience in television research, media production, and museum exhibition development and design.  Currently, Carol’s focus is on broadening participation in STEAM.  Key projects include serving on the Computer Science for Rhode Island (CS4RI) Core Team and building awareness for women and girls through participation on the State Leadership Team of Million Women Mentors.0

Carol believes that STEAM is exciting, thought provoking, challenging, and fun – most of all she believes STEAM should be accessible to everyone.



Twitter: @RISteamCenter


LinkedIn: @Carol Giuriceo


Facebook: @STEMRI



Gayatri Sarkar - G.P. Venture Capital  - SportVEST



Gayatri Sarkar is Blockchain VC and Investor in crypto market since 2011. Currently a General Partner at a global Sports VC Fund on Blockchain called SportVEST,  disrupting the $500B traditional sports market by investing in future of sports and crypto sports and created a new venture investment algorithm to invest in ICO fundraising protocols.

She was a manager at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston managing US military, navy global payment system highly confidential biggest fintech project. Have 12 yrs of experience managing big data strategy multi-million dollar fintech projects working for HP, IBM, Goldman Sachs, EU Bank. She is a Blockchain VC focussed Hackernoon writer and author of Word from the Block. She is also a co-founder of think tank (currently in stealth mode). She is an accredited investor and has been angel investing since 2015. Had two startups. She is in the board of many non-blockchain and blockchain companies working on AI, ML, healthcare, renewable energy and investment management platform. She has Physics and Math background with MBA. As a HKS alum, she chairs multiple development board of Harvard Kennedy School alumni board.


LinkedIn: Gayatri Sarkar


LinkedIn: SportVEST



Kristen Ragusin - Sr. Vice President  - Merrill Lynch



Kristen Ragusin is a Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch, investing over $150 million.  She helps clients navigate markets and achieve financial goals. She is a certified digital currency professional and earned her Masters Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Kristen holds certificates in FinTech from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Sustainable Exchange from the University of Cumbria, London. She is currently building a producer backed credit for farmers and other producers to self issue in villages in India. She loves the adventure of Life and everything it brings from the many kinds of people to the wonders of Nature. She has traveled throughout the world. Her many journeys include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, hiking through the Sahara desert and studying at a spiritual school located in the foothills of Southern India.


LinkedIn: Kristen Ragusin


Twitter: @MerrillLynch


Youtube: MerrillLynch



Rana el Kaliouby - Co-Founder & CEO  - Affectiva



Rana el Kaliouby is a scientist, innovator and entrepreneur. As Affectiva's co-founder and CEO, she is on a mission to bring artificial emotional intelligence to our digital world, creating a new paradigm of data & interactions that will improve how people interact with technology and each other. Emotion AI is the next frontier of artificial intelligence, with commercial applications in several industries.  She is responsible for the vision and translating that into an executable strategy that drives emotion recognition to ubiquity.  She is Chief Evangelist for the Emotion AI space, a term that we coined at Affectiva. We've raised $25M+ capital from top-tier investors and non-dilutive funding.

She leads the company’s Emotion AI team, applying machine learning, deep learning and data science to mine the world’s largest emotion repository to understand people's feelings and behaviors.  A demonstrated track record of translating science innovations into products that have huge markets. 

As one of the few women leading an AI tech company, she is very passionate about women in tech. 
Previously, as a Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab, she built emotion technology with a focus on autism.


Twitter: @kaliouby


Facebook: @Affectiva



Nina Nichols - Founder & CEO - Resolution Research & Marketing



Blockchain and market research expert and consultant involving enterprise solutions and ICOs for supply chain, law, fintech, health, IoT, insurance, data, identity, energy and real estate.  Promoting women and gender-diversity for Blockchain innovation globally.   Life-long entrepreneur with central Denver premier event and office space for focus group facilities, MeetUps, meetings, product tests and distribution, private parties & more.



Rajiv Kumar - President / Chief Medical Officer - Virgin Pulse



Rajiv Kumar launched a community non-profit organization (Shape Up Rhode Island) and a for-profit company (ShapeUp), and dedicated his life to helping people reverse and prevent obesity-related illnesses through group behavior change models.  Our goal is to build the largest online social application that connects people around the world to improve their health.

Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, designs technology that cultivates good lifestyle habits for your employees. Configured to complement your culture, our technology, and the overall well-being experience we deliver, drives superior outcomes for your people and your business.  We take those values to heart at Virgin Pulse. We drive more meaningful habits, for more employees, than anyone else. And we’re proud to say we’re changing lives.


Twitter: @RajivKumarMD


LinkedIn: @Rajiv Kumar


Facebook: @VirginPulse



Adam Kostecki - Sr. Assistant VP - Amica Mutual Insurance Co.



Adam Kostecki


Twitter: @Amica


LinkedIn: @Adam Kostecki



Tim Hebert - Chief Client Officer - Carousel



Tim Hebert is Carousel’s Chief Client Officer,and is committed to ensuring that our clients receive the ultimate experience, one characterized by a people-first approach and sharp focus on business outcomes, not just technology solutions. As IT leaders grapple with not only today’s challenges, but the obstacles ahead months and years from now, we help our clients gain more confidence and clarity with their IT decisions.


Twitter: @thebert


LinkedIn: @TimHebert



Etahn Bagley - Innovations Program Manager - Amica Mutual Insurance Co.



Ethan Bagley  is empowering collaborative innovation, creating products, and designing services to improve how we live and work.

A mix of creative and analytical, with an intuition for opportunities otherwise unseen. Practicing a philosophy that puts people at the center of value creation, while supporting lean methods of innovation using design thinking. Possesses a broad range of skills that support collaboration across boundaries, and across contrasting tasks.

More than a facilitator of innovation: a resource for project progress who understands the necessity of failing fast while moving forward. Excellent communicator, whether verbally, in writing, or visually. Promotes a culture of innovation through action and programming, including train-the-trainer workshops. Passionate about creating and leading events that inspire collaboration.

Knack for synthesizing recommendations and plans of action from feedback. Empowering entrepreneurs to develop themselves and their ideas by organizing time, space, and other necessary resources. Helps establish a safe space for the sometimes messy and chaotic processes of innovation. A consistent, confident, and honest teammate. Brings best effort to every task, in order to complete them on time and with the highest quality.


Twitter: @Amica


LinkedIn: @Ethan Bagley



Christopher Mellon - Director, IT Risk & Assurance Services - Marcum, LLP.



Christopher Mellen is currently a Director in IT Risk and Assurance Services with Marcum LLP. He is a former U.S. Marine and White House cyber executive having more than 20 years of public-and-private-sector Information technology experience. Christopher has significant experience advising organizations on the alignment of IT strategy, information security and data protection in the government, financial services, natural resources, healthcare and technology sectors. 

Chris’ background includes leading and managing IT and security teams to include security operations, threat intelligence, insider threat, Identity Access Management, mainframe security administration, active directory administration, vulnerability management, system hardening, and applied cryptography. He was also a computer crimes specialist at the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) providing cyber security training both nationally and internationally.


Twitter: @MarcumLLP


Facebook: @MarcumLLP



Tino Chow - Founder & CEO - Giant Shoulders



Tino Chow founded Giant Shoulders because he believes that creativity and collaboration can disrupt the status quo for the better. He believes that creating things together is never a straight-line process: it twists and turns, shapes and changes, frustrates and inspires, but the synergy of collaboration multiplies productivity in a way that far surpasses what each of us can do alone. Tino spent a large part of his career building creative cultures and leading collaborative teams at agencies in New York and startups in Silicon Valley.

Before design, Tino served as an officer in the Singapore military. He then attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he co-founded a conference called Better World by Design, and went on to be selected as a TED Fellow. Tino also rode across the country on a bicycle for affordable housing, and occasionally you’ll find him speaking at conferences and schools.


Twitter: @tinochow


Instagram: @TinoChow


LinkedIn: TinoChow



AJ Perez - General Manager - Cincinnati Inc.



AJ (Alfonso) Perez is the General Manager of Cincinnati Incorporated’s NVBOTS business unit. AJ was previously the Chairman, CEO, and Founder of New Valence Robotics Corporation (NVBOTS), an MIT 3D printing spin-off that invented automated 3D printing, cloud 3D printing, and ultra-high speed multi-metal 3D printing (spun off to form Digital Alloys). AJ holds a BS '13 in Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing '14 from MIT. His academic interests, lectures, and research focus on mechanical design, manufacturing processes automation, robotics, and entrepreneurship. AJ has developed and taught several classes during his career. Most recently, he co-developed the first graduate level 3D printing / Additive Manufacturing class for the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

AJ is the final Lemelson-MIT Inventor Fellow, was selected as one of Boston Globe’s 25 under 25, and won the prestigious Lemelson-MIT “use it” student prize.  AJ is the primary inventor on 30+ inventions in the fields of additive manufacturing, mobile manufacturing, industrial IoT, and surgical devices. AJ chases opportunities that leverage his MIT engineering background, expertise in intellectual property, management experience, and international network of investors.


Twitter: @AJPerezMIT


LinkedIn: AJ Perez


Instagram: @cincinnati_inc



Nicholas Napp - Co-Founder - XMark Labs



Nicholas Napp Co-Founded Xmark Labs, which is a technology development and consulting company focused on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Our team has a strong history of innovation in gaming, entertainment and technology development, including early adoption of VR as an animation production tool in the 1990’s.

Founded in 2014, the Xmark team has created hardware and software for a wide range of consumer, enterprise and government markets. Our team members have previously delivered projects for Apple, Dell, Hasbro, HTC, Intel, Lego, Microsoft, multiple divisions of Sony and many others.


Twitter: @nicholasnapp


LinkedIn: Nicholas Napp


LinkedIn: XMark Labs



Mark Huang - Co-Founder Managing Director - SeaAhead



Mark Huang leads SeaAhead, an organization whose mission is to Catalyze the Intersection of Sustainability + Oceans + Innovation.  SeaAhead collaborates with ocean clusters around the world with initial plans to launch incubation, corporation facilitation and programming.  A venture investment vehicle would soon follow.

Over 15 year of experience in making financial and strategic cleantech venture investments. Co-founded, raised and closed Novus Energy Partners: a 2008 vintage first time cross-Atlantic cleantech VC fund.  Senior Vice-President at GE Energy Financial Services - Naval Architect and Marine Engineer - Econ Dev: Former Econ Dev Officer for Providence and Former US Army Reserves officer primarily function focused on civil affairs/ nation-building.  Experience in the developing worlds to include SE Asia and a year in Baghdad, Iraq working on basic nation-building at the neighborhood level. Later transferred to the Green Zone to focus on the economic restructuring of Iraq's moribund State-Owned Enterprises and to develop programs to help stimulate the private sector.


Twitter: @SeaAhead


LinkedIn: Mark Huang



Rob May - Founder & CEO - Talla



Rob May develops Talla’s AI-powered knowledge base to bring business teams into the future of automation and insights. The Talla platform uses machine learning to surface relevant information in the right context, and keeps regularly changing information up-to-date.

I love solving complex problems and am particularly fascinated by two topics.  1. How Things Get Valued  2. How the Brain Works.  I think economies and brains are both fascinating complex systems. I'm really interested in almost anything that even loosely relates to economics, brains, and computers. In particular, I like Machine Intelligence, and Brain-Machine interfaces.   He co-founded Backupify, the world's first cloud to cloud backup company, raised $22M in venture capital, and had a successful exit to Datto. Now I run Talla, which is focused on building bots for knowledge workers using machine learning and natural language processing.


Twitter: @tallainc


LinkedIn: Talla


Facebook: @TallaInc




John Hargrave - CEO - Media Shower, Inc.



SIR JOHN HARGRAVE is the CEO of Media Shower, the media company that helps great blockchain companies reach quality blockchain investors. He oversees a global team of analysts and journalists who rate and review blockchain projects, then present their findings on the premiere investor website, Bitcoin Market Journal ( He is the author of the forthcoming bestseller BLOCKCHAIN FOR EVERYONE (Simon & Schuster, 2019), and a frequent speaker, lecturer, and leader of the New Finance revolution.


LinkedIn: @JOhn Hargrave


LinkedIn: @Media Shower