Human Rights Expert
Amal Clooney is a barrister who specializes in international law and human rights. She represents clients before international courts including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
Ms Clooney is ranked in the leading legal directories Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as one of the top lawyers in the UK in the fields of international human rights and international criminal law. According to the rankings, she is "an exceptional lawyer” and "focused advocate” who “attracts plaudits for her ability to handle complex [international criminal] proceedings in difficult cases”.
Ms Clooney served as a Senior Advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN’s Envoy on Syria and as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones. She has also been appointed to the UK’s panel of experts on combatting sexual violence and to an expert panel established by the UK Attorney-General on public international law. In 2019 she was appointed the UK’s Special Envoy for Media Freedom by the UK Foreign Secretary and she serves as vice-chair of a High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom chaired by the former President of the UK Supreme Court.
Ms Clooney frequently represents political prisoners and journalists around the world. She currently represents the award-winning journalist Maria Ressa, editor of one of leading online news organisations in the Philippines, who faces 63 years in prison in successive prosecutions for her work. She has served as counsel for journalists and media workers such as Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative reporter imprisoned in Azerbaijan for reporting on corruption; Mohamed Fahmy, when he was Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Cairo; and two Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters journalists who were recently released from imprisonment in Myanmar following their reporting on crimes committed against Rohingyas.
She also represents the victims of mass atrocities, including a group of Iraqi women from the Yazidi community who are seeking accountability for genocide and other international crimes perpetrated by ISIS in national courts around the world and before the United Nations.
Ms Clooney is a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she co-teaches the Human Rights course, and she is co-author of a forthcoming book titled ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law’ to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
In 2016 she and her husband George established the Clooney Foundation for Justice to advance justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities around the world. Their flagship initiative –TrialWatch – monitors trials worldwide and advocates for the rights of journalists, LGBT persons, women, religious minorities and human rights defenders whose rights are violated through the courts. Their latest initiative – The Docket – aims to bring individuals and corporations who are complicit in international human rights violations to justice, by gathering and analyzing evidence that can trigger prosecutions and civil actions and advocating for the rights of victims in those trials.
Pop Culture Icon and Entrepreneur
RuPaul Charles is best known as the vibrant host and executive producer of the global phenomenon RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has amassed over 100 episodes on VH1. In 2017, RuPaul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality Competition – the second consecutive year winning the award. RuPaul is also a best-selling author, releasing Lettin’ It All Hang Out and Workin’ It! to wild popularity.
Born and raised in San Diego, CA, RuPaul moved to Atlanta, GA at the age of 15. After studying theatre at the North Atlanta School of Performing Arts, a move to NYC led to later being crowned The Queen of Manhattan.
RuPaul skyrocketed to international fame with the hit song “Supermodel (You Better Work),” and has since gone on to produce 14 solo albums, including a duet with Sir Elton John that reached #7 on the UK charts.This was followed by roles in several movies (The Brady Bunch, To Wong Foo, But, I'm a Cheerleader), The RuPaul Show on VH1, a wax portrait at Madame Tussauds Museum in NYC and San Francisco, and many high profile endorsement deals, including a beauty contract to be the first face of MAC Cosmetics. Through the MAC AIDS Fund, RuPaul has helped raise millions of dollars through a grassroots effort to make a difference in the world with a community outreach for HIV/AIDS.
RuPaul currently lives in Los Angeles and New York.
Chairman and CEO
Chuck Robbins is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco. He assumed the role of CEO on July 26, 2015 and was elected Chairman of the Board on December 11, 2017.
As Chairman and CEO, Chuck is focused on helping companies, cities and countries around the world as they look to Cisco to connect everything and everyone by building the highly secure, intelligent platform for digital business.
Over his 20 years at Cisco, he has served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations, where he led the Worldwide Sales and Partner Organizations, and helped drive and execute many of the company's investment areas and strategy shifts; Senior Vice President of The Americas, Cisco's largest geographic region; Senior Vice President of U.S. Enterprise, Commercial and Canada; Senior Vice President of U.S. Commercial Sales; and Segment Vice President, U.S. and Canada channel organization, where he was instrumental in helping build the industry's most powerful partner program.
Prior to joining Cisco, Chuck held management positions at Bay Networks and Ascend Communications.
Chuck is on the Board of Directors for BlackRock; Chairman of the US-Japan Business Council; a Member of the International Business Council for the World Economic Forum; on the Board of Directors for the Business Roundtable where he serves as Chairman of the Immigration Committee; a Board of Trustees member for the Ford Foundation; and a member of the International Council for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
Chuck holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a computer science concentration from the University of North Carolina.
SVP/GM, Security & Applications
Jeetu Patel is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Security and Applications business. He leverages a diverse set of capabilities to lead the strategy and development for the Collaboration, Security, and AppDynamics divisions and owns P&L responsibility for this multibillion-dollar portfolio. Jeetu combines a bold vision, steeped in product design and development expertise, operational rigor and innate market understanding to create high growth Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses.
A member of the Executive Leadership Team, Jeetu is helping to redefine Cisco's SaaS business and strategy to further accelerate the company's transformation and growth. His mission is to build world class, subscription-based products that solve Cisco customers’ biggest problems. His team is creating and designing meaningfully differentiated products that diverge in the way they’re conceived, built, priced, packaged and sold.
Prior to joining Cisco, Jeetu was the Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Box. He led the company’s product and platform strategy, setting the company’s long-term vision and roadmap for cloud content management in the enterprise.
He currently serves on the boards of HackerRank and JLL, an American commercial real estate services company.
Jeetu holds a B.S. in Information Decision Sciences from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
EVP and Chief People Officer
Francine Katsoudas is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of Cisco. She plays a major role in the company's overall performance, leading organizational strategy, promoting operational effectiveness, and elevating team performance through innovative leadership.
She leads Cisco's business-driven People Strategy and People Deal, both of which support and align to Cisco's overall business strategy and are essential to driving the Company's transformational journey. She also is evolving Cisco's approach to strategic workforce planning with programs highlighting the skills and capabilities that employees need to be innovative in today's technology driven environment. She fosters a culture of full spectrum participation, emphasizing inclusion and collaboration to drive exponential business value.
A 20-year veteran of Cisco, Katsoudas has extensive experience leading organizational transformations, driving large scale growth, talent acquisition, leadership development, and succession planning. Prior to her current role, she was the HR leader and business partner to the Engineering leadership team helping oversee its workforce of more than 25,000 people. She has also held leadership positions in the Service Provider, HR Operations, Customer Service, Acquisition Integration and Services groups.
Prior to Cisco, Katsoudas worked in both the financial and professional services industries with a focus on customer service and operations.
Fran serves on the Board of Directors for Americares, Global Citizen, and ADP.
SVP/GM, Cisco Collaboration
Javed Khan is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Collaboration. He leads Cisco’s multi-billion-dollar Collaboration business which includes the award-winning Webex portfolio of Meetings, Teams, Rooms, Calling, and Contact Center. Javed has a passion for delivering amazing team collaboration experiences and brings 20+ years of enterprise and consumer product leadership to Cisco.
Prior to this position, Javed was running Cisco’s Cloud Calling business as the Vice President and General Manager. He and his team were responsible for the strategy and execution of product management, development and partner operations for the Cisco Cloud Calling Portfolio. This includes Webex Calling, Cisco BroadWorks-based solutions, Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) and Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) Cloud.
He previously led the Webex Meetings business unit, where his team was responsible for several transformative initiatives, including the development of a single meetings platform architecture and modernization of the Webex experience.
Mr. Khan came to Cisco from Symantec where he served as Vice President of Enterprise and Consumer Security products.
Javed holds an MS in Computer Science and an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. When he's not working, he enjoys spending time with his family in the San Francisco bay area.
CMO & VP Global Marketing, Cisco Collaboration
Aruna is a global marketing leader who is passionate about digital transformation, workplace transformation, and DevOps. With her 20+ years of experience in Marketing and management background, she is passionate about elevating marketing into an engine that drives thought leadership and demand generation, with a direct impact to a company’s growth. Aruna specializes in SaaS and digital marketing leading with data driven omni-channel marketing that contributes to the company’s revenue and profitability.
She is currently the VP/CMO of Cisco’s market leading Webex Collaboration business and responsible for all aspects of marketing including demand generation, digital marketing, product marketing, branding and other supporting marketing functions. Before coming to Cisco, she has held other leadership roles at CA Technologies, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard.
VP/GM, Webex Calling and Strategy
Lorrissa Horton is Vice President and General Manager of Webex Teams in the Team Collaboration Group (TCG) at Cisco. TCG creates team empowerment through industry leading collaboration tools that enable employees to work anyplace and anytime. Transforming the workplace experience with best-in-class messaging, meeting, video and calling capabilities, both in the cloud and on-premise. Lorrissa manages Cisco's collaboration portfolio in Webex Teams and is laser focused on creating the next generation tools that will revolutionize how people work together. Creating personalized collaboration experiences with artificial intelligence and unifying the user experience with uninterrupted workstreams. Lorrissa is quite passionate about innovation, and has a track record of thinking outside-the-box with the development of nine patents over her career.
Prior to Cisco, Lorrissa brings more than 12 years of diverse experience in product management, productivity software in Microsoft Office, natural language processing, and machine learning with search and NUI experiences, hardware development for sound and video, analytics with Microsoft PowerBI, and business applications for human capital management.
VP/GM of Webex
Abhay Kulkarni is the Vice President and General Manager of Webex Meetings in the Cisco Team Collaboration Group. Abhay and his team are laser focused on creating the best meetings experiences in the industry. His team is responsible for development, product management, support and customer success for the Webex Meetings business line, one of the world’s largest SaaS businesses.
At Cisco, Abhay previously led the Webex Platform that powers Webex Teams, Meetings and Devices. A technologist at heart, his work on the platform delivered highly available, world class performance at scale and enables amazing developer experiences via developer.webex.com.
Abhay brings 20+ years of industry experience in building and scaling large cloud SaaS platforms. Before joining Cisco, Abhay was head of engineering at cloud security startup Netskope. Prior to Netskope, Abhay led engineering for Norton Cloud - one of the largest Enterprise clouds managing many petabytes of data for 40M+ users. Abhay holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from University of Pune.
Head of Cisco Webex Platform & Infrastructure Engineering
Known for spearheading innovation that accelerates business outcomes, Radhi Chagarlamudi leads the global Platform &Infrastructure Engineering team at Cisco Webex. She and her team oversee the strategy, building, and operation of the infrastructure that supports Webex Cloud.
Radhi is passionate about building high performing teams and has led multiple, complex initiatives, including Cisco’s Data Center transformation to software-defined infrastructure and an AIOps foundation. In her current role, she leads a global team whose charter is to grow the Webex Cloud Platform into new markets supporting innovative ways of working and learning.
Radhi is an active community volunteer using her passion for collaboration, inclusion, and diversity to lead regional STEM programs through Cisco’s Connected Women’s affinity group, and her membership at the Orchid Giving Circle at the Texas Women’s Foundation, which provides large community grants supporting social change and services for the North Texas Asian community.
She holds an electrical and systems engineering bachelor’s degree from Carleton University and an engineering management master’s degree from Southern Methodist University.
VP/GM, Webex Devices
Snorre Kjesbu is Vice President & General Manager of Webex Devices at Cisco. He is a global citizen leading a worldwide organization responsible for the collaboration devices business ranging from IP phones to immersive video systems. Snorre’s passion for design with over 20 years of engineering experience are at the core of his belief in always providing authentic user experiences.
Prior to his return to Cisco, Snorre was Executive VP of Design, Creation and Fulfillment at BANG & OLUFSEN in Copenhagen. His résumé also includes SVP at Tandberg and being responsible for R&D on wireless communication at ABB. He and his team at ABB were awarded the Wall Street Journal Innovation award for their work on wireless sensors in 2002.
Snorre holds a Master of Science from the University of Bristol and has been a guest lecturer at the Stanford Network Research Center in Stanford University. He has obtained more than 20 patents in the areas of communications and video conferencing and is on the board of directors for several IT companies. When not working, Snorre can likely be seen on a pair of skis – whether on snow or water.
VP/GM, Cisco Contact Center
Omar Tawakol is the VP & GM of the Cisco Contact Center Business Unit. Prior to joining Cisco via the acquisition of Voicea in 2019, Omar was the founder and CEO of Voicea. Voicea built an enterprise voice AI that was used as a meeting assistant in over 10,000 companies. Voicea started in 2017 and was backed by a variety of corporate investors including Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.
Prior to Voicea, Omar Tawakol was the founder and CEO of BlueKai which was the leading Data Exchange and Data Management Platform company in the advertising industry. Oracle acquired BlueKai in 2014. At Oracle, Omar was the SVP & GM of the Oracle Data Cloud (ODC). Through organic growth and acquisition, the ODC became the largest Data-as-a-Service business in the marketing industry serving 97 of the top 100 US digital marketers.
He earned an MS in CS from Stanford University and a BS from MIT.
Director of Operations
April Weatherly has more than 15 years of diverse hospitality management and contact center management experience along with in-depth system experience supporting the industry.
Most recently, April was the Sr. Director of Telephony Optimization and Data Analytics for RLH Corporation, supporting telephony, artificial intelligence development, call flow interface setup, offshoring development and efforts, contact center management and data analytics and management. April has supported multiple areas and departments within the organization ranging from distribution and central reservation systems, information technology, data services, revenue management and hotel onboarding.
Prior to RLH Corp, Weatherly was the Sr. Director of Operations for Customer Direct, a contact center based out of St. Louis, Missouri for over 11 years, directly following several years with Convergys, Corp. During her tenure at Customer Direct, April oversaw operational efforts related to WFM, employment, call center strategies and efficiencies and systemic process development.
CEO and Co-founder
Co-Founder and CEO of BluIP, a Las Vegas based global, Unified Hosted Communication Service provider, with Offices in Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Denver CO, Manila Philippines, and Yerevan Armenia. He has over 25 years of experience in Strategy, Growth Hacking, making IT profit center for large multination global organizations. BluIP customers include RLH, Netflix, Marriott, Hilton, AT&T and other major national brands.
Prior to BluIP, Armen built and sold large India based software development companies, and had various executive roles from CTO, to President at both private and public companies. Other experience includes several years collaborating with Deloitte Consulting Group working with companies such as Microsoft, Callaway Golf, and Nestle. Armen is an active Angel investor and advisor to a number of US and Armenia based startups.
Barbara J. Nesbitt
Assistant Superintendent, Technology Services
School District of Pickens County, SC
Dr. Barbara Nesbitt is a lifetime educator with more than 30 years in education. Barbara has been a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, and consultant with broad experiences in school districts in Virginia and South Carolina. Barbara is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services for the School District of Pickens County in South Carolina. In this role, Barbara led the district’s transformation of instructional technology from a Bring Your Own Device district to a 1:1 district with a fully interoperable digital ecosystem implementing the IMS Global standards. Under Barbara’s leadership, Pickens received federal funds for a leased dark-fiber ring network, which is expected to future-proof the district’s broadband needs for decades.
Barbara has worked extensively with IMS Global Learning Consortium’s K-12 Institutional Board where she led efforts to extend the adoption of open-source interoperability standards. Barbara currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors for IMS. She has been a presenter, panelist, roundtable leader, and keynote speaker at various state and national conferences. She has served on various vendor advisory panels including Steelcase Inc., Classworks Advantage, and Securly, as well as on non- profit boards including the Education Foundation of Pickens County and the National Council on Digital Convergence. Barbara has written several grants for her district including an AT&T ConnectEd grant and a National Science Foundation grant totaling over $10 million.
In addition to her work in PK-12 public school leadership, Barbara is involved in post-secondary educational leadership as a visiting professor at Clemson University and a member of the advisory board for Anderson University’s M.S. in Instructional Design and Learning Technology.
Barbara received her Ph.D. from Clemson University, her master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and her undergraduate degree from Liberty University. Barbara lives in Easley, South Carolina with her husband of 34 years. Together they have three sons, are very active in their community and church, and enjoy hiking and traveling.
ManpowerGroup, North America
In July 2017, Becky Frankiewicz joined ManpowerGroup as the President of ManpowerGroup North America. In January 2020, Frankiewicz was appointed as a Board of Director for Energizer Holdings, Inc. She brings high energy and passion, coupled with strong P&L experience from a large and complex global business.
Prior to ManpowerGroup, she led one of PepsiCo’s largest subsidiaries, Quaker Foods North America. In that role she was responsible for the $2.6B business, leading all functions, sales and manufacturing. Under her leadership, Quaker Foods delivered impressive growth as she led the transformation of that brand to be known as America’s ‘best start to everyday’. She was also named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in the industry, anticipating and adapting to fast changing consumer demands.
Prior to Quaker Foods, she held a variety of senior leadership roles at PepsiCo across the portfolio of brands. Her experience in these roles, which included leading Innovation, Finance, Strategy, Sales and Marketing across the PepsiCo portfolio, positions her well to lead ManpowerGroup’s strong and connected brands -- Manpower, Experis, Right Management and ManpowerGroup Solutions. Prior to PepsiCo, Becky worked in strategic consulting with Deloitte and Andersen Consulting. Becky earned an MBA in finance, and a BA in Marketing from the University of Texas.
Director of Enterprise Technology Services
Carlos Cong is the Director of Enterprise Technology Services at Paychex. In his role, Carlos leads the technology direction and operations for our Unified Communications, Network, Data Center and Field, End Point and Paychex PEO IT Network and Infrastructure engineering teams. Mr. Cong also oversees the company's communication budget planning and execution.
Mr. Cong has developed and implemented a wide array of technologies nationwide on both carrier grade and enterprise grade environments including Data Centers, VoIP networks, IP Networks, Infrastructure environments including compute, storage, web and application layers, and Unified Communication’s; including video and interactive collaboration technologies. He has also, through leading departments of over 200 employees, developed employee retention programs, trained staff in new technologies, and developed career advancement programs. Mr. Cong has served as Director and Sr. Director in two companies prior to joining Paychex.
VP, Product and Technology
Craig Thomas is a proven technology executive, thought leader, and change agent with 25 years of experience providing transformational IT leadership, spearheading critical technology initiatives and aligning technology with business goals. He currently serves as VP of Software Development at TMobile where he has responsibility for supply chain, financial, payment processing, and workforce productivity solutions. In addition, Craig leads a team driving enterprise-wide change with the Workforce Transformation Program.
Craig specializes in managing companies undergoing rapid growth and technology-assisted business transformation. He has experience defining and delivering strategic business initiatives, operating technology solutions and IT turnarounds. Over the past eight years, his focus has been leveraging digital transformation to enable rapid growth while sustaining industry-leading cost efficiency.
Prior to joining T-Mobile, Craig spent six years leading customer experience and billing development for MetroPCS, a provider of no contract, unlimited wireless communications service and the fifth largest facilities-based wireless carrier in the Unites States. Craig contributed to the company’s strategy as a member of the leadership team and drove tactical initiatives including implementation of the core customer service and billing platform, the evolution of MetroPCS into a tax-inclusive product model and the nation’s first LTE deployment.
Earlier in his career, Craig was a senior consulting leader in the Dallas area leading large development programs and eCommerce initiatives in the retail, travel and transportation industries. He began his IT career with Ernst & Young LLP. Craig earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and a Master of Business Administration degree from Baylor University.
VP, Contact Center Services
DeAnna Woody is Vice President of Contact Center Services for OceanX. DeAnna is a proven leader in acquisition and customer care industry with responsibility for 20+ direct-to-consumer beauty and health brands. DeAnna specializes in innovative management and technology solutions to support best in class customer care and retention strategies. DeAnna has over 25 years of experience in the direct-to-consumer space and spent most of her career in leadership positions of increasing responsibility with Guthy-Renker and OceanX before being promoted to Vice President.
In 2010, DeAnna was a key business stakeholder and core member of the team that transitioned the OceanX contact center to a cloud-based solution. As early adopters of the “cloud,” OceanX was instrumental in providing meaningful feedback and user experience perspective to Cisco to be leveraged in future innovation of the Cisco Contact Center platform.
Doug Jones, Vice President Voice and Collaboration Services, currently has product management responsibilities for AT&T’s Cisco meetings, voice and collaboration services Doug has worked in the communications industry since beginning his career with AT&T in 1986 as a hardware developer in Labs. He has held numerous positions in product management, business development and technology development. Prior to his current role, Doug was responsible for business development of AT&T’s first web collaboration services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications from Stevens Institute of Technology. Doug also holds two telecommunications related US Patents. Doug and his wife reside in Southlake Texas with their three children.
As IBM's Chief Information Officer, Fletcher Previn leads a global team of 12,000 whose mission is to prioritize the user experience and provide secure, global IT at scale for ~350,000 IBM employees worldwide. Fletcher defines the IT strategy, tools, devices, and infrastructure that create a productive internal environment. Under his leadership, IBM has pioneered new ways of delivering IT by establishing an agile culture and operationalizing design to better enable IBM's transformation to a cognitive enterprise.
Chief Enterprise Architect
Gary has over 25 years of Fortune 500 information technology experience in the biotech, entertainment and retail industries. Since joining Amgen in 2007, he has held leadership roles in architecture, service management and information security, and has led Enterprise Architecture since 2017. His primary responsibilities include global technology strategic planning, IT strategic partner liaison, program leadership of CIO digital transformation initiatives, and leadership of Amgen’s global platform, solution and enterprise architects.
He is the Chairman of Amgen’s Global Architecture Review Board, a member of the IS Leadership Team, and sits on Amgen’s Commercial, Manufacturing, Research & Development and G&A Technology Councils. He is also a member of numerous strategic partner Customer Councils and the TOGAF and AES societies.
Gerald Charles, Jr.
VP, Global IT Strategy and Operations
Gerald Charles, Jr. is an innovative technology strategist, recognized thought leader, and C-Suite advisor building strategies and business models that create markets, generate revenue streams, improve customer experiences, and inspire corporate campuses of the future.
Mr. Charles is a published McGraw-Hill author and author of multiple industry-changing POV platforms on topics including the 21st Century work force/work space, Collaboration, Cybersecurity, and innovation in
the Public Sector. He is a noted speaker and has run annual workshops at the Nobel Public Services Summit in conjunction with the Nobel Peace Conference.
As Under Armour’s VP of Global IT Operations, Revenue, and Strategy, he rebuilt their Global IT Infrastructure, Cyber Security, and Retail IT Operations and now is leading their development of Omni Consumer Engagement and Commerce services, enabling their brand and Connected FitnessTM platform. This follows a decade of leadership in Cisco Systems elite strategy teams, formed to be advisors to C-suite executives of their top global customers to dramatically move their businesses.
Previously, Mr. Charles served as VP and Chief Technologist for OAO Technology Solutions and VP, Systems Integration for Engineering at BDM/TRW, where he was one of the chief architects of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR System.
Mr. Charles is a Board member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), NPower’s Maryland Advisory Board, AT&T’s Business Advisory Council, and Brighton Park Capital’s Special Advisory Group. He is a past Board member of the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC) and advisory boards of the Federal Computer Week /e-Gov Institute for their Annual Security & Enterprise Architecture Conferences and Boy Scouts of America (Troop 96).
Mr. Charles is an alumni of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM), and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).
He won the Congressional Medal for Outstanding Service and Achievement in college, holds a M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and Illinois Institute of Technology, respectively, and CISSP (ISC2) certified (2004 – 2013).
VP, Member Experience
Clearview Federal Credit Union
Janet Preteroti, Vice President of Member Experience at Clearview Federal Credit Union, began her career with the Credit Union in 2004 leading the organization’s Contact Center operations.
Ms. Preteroti was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Operations in 2011. In that capacity, she oversaw the continued growth in the Contact Center, while adding responsibilities related to sales, servicing of debit and credit cards, and deposit operations. In 2013, she added the branch network to her team. In recent years, her focus has narrowed to the Contact Center and the network of 18 financial centers, with the member experience of upmost importance. Ms. Preteroti was promoted to Vice President of Member Experience in June of 2020. In this role, she provides leadership in connecting MX to strategic goals and partners with other leaders to ensure a cohesive experience over the various channels available to members.
Prior to joining Clearview, Ms. Preteroti’s background included call centers in the banking, health care, and car rental industries.
Ms. Preteroti holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Studies from Duquesne University and a Masters of Leadership and Liberal Studies, also from Duquesne University.
She grew up in Bethel Park, PA and presently resides in Washington, PA with her children, Anessa and Nick.
Contact Center Operations Manager
Jared Myers is Contact Center Operations Manager at OceanX. Jared graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with a BA in Communications and has 18 years in the direct to consumer space, working with a variety of clients ensuring customer retention, satisfaction, and growth. His passion is empowering his team with tools and technology that allow them to deliver results that surpass client & customer expectations. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors, especially hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains around Asheville, NC.
CIO & SVP
Jason is the Customer Strategy & Applied Design (CS&AD) Offering leader for Deloitte Consulting LLP’s US Government & Public Services (GPS) practice which helps clients discover, design, and prototype strategies for customer growth and innovation. A core mission of the CS&AD practice, and one of Jason’s personal drivers, is to help clients and Deloitte’s talent elevate the human experience in everything they do.
With more than 10 years of experience, Jason applies his deep knowledge from the global private sector to help public sector leaders develop and launch innovative programs, products, and services. Through creating differentiated experiences and marketing strategies, and harnessing authentic storytelling and human centered design, Jason enables clients to better deliver their mission and more effectively meet customer and citizen needs.
Memorial Healthcare System
Jeff Sturman is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Memorial Healthcare System/South Broward Hospital District. Previously he was a Partner with Cumberland Consulting Group, a national healthcare IT consultancy, as well as Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Consulting practice. Mr. Sturman has over 25 years of healthcare experience, specifically in the planning, management and facilitation of digital transformation, organizational change, operational impacts, and overall governance. He is an accomplished, results-driven executive with demonstrated success leading healthcare digital initiatives.
Senior Head of Retail
Jérôme Rouch-Sirech has over 15+ years of international work experience across retail, consulting and marketing. His various assignments have always revolved around building, expanding and turning around businesses and brands, as well as growing market share (L’OREAL, PRAMEX, PUMA). He is currently based in Singapore, being responsible for PUMA’s Direct to Consumer business (O&O stores and e-commerce) in South East Asia, and the alignment of PUMA’s local franchise partners. Prior to moving to Singapore, he was responsible for PUMA’s retail business in India. He holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Director of Global Network & Satellite Engineering
Royal Caribbean Group
Forward-thinking IT visionary and strategic planner with a reputation for challenging the status quo, driving change and innovation while simultaneously leading mission-critical operations and teams’ necessary for a 24x7 global service-oriented company. The proven
ability to build high-performing teams and form strategic partnerships has resulted in a very strong record of success delivering technology that transforms businesses that spans over a 20+ year career.
Malcolm Fraser is a Product Manager working for Tetra Pak and have worked within technical infrastructure service for the past +20 years. Providing the best internal IT experience for our 25 000 end-users daily where collaboration tools like video meetings never been more important than today. Tetra Pak is a world leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 160 countries.
Marc Mancher is an innovator that has spent the last 25 years advising, running and operating front and back office technology and operations. In today’s convergence of AI and operations, Marc’s focus is on how to improve service to citizens while maintaining a close eye on the bottom line. In this capacity, as a Principal in Deloitte Consulting, he leads its Federal, State, Local, and Contact Center and Intelligent Automation business lines. Marc’s clients have included household names such as Google, IBM, T-Mobile, USAA, Anthem, the US Navy, and various government entities. Marks blend of expertise across industries and initiatives make him an asset to coordinate work across State agencies and identify common threads and efficiencies to deliver on the State’s enterprise solution vision.
Matt Messick is the Chief Information Officer for the Dallas Cowboys. In his role, Matt leads the team responsible for the technical operations of AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys Headquarters at The Star, and all Jones Family related entities. Matt oversees a team of IT professionals dedicated to maintaining the Cowboys reputation as the leading franchise in professional sports.
Joining Rent-A-Center in 2016, Mike held numerous leadership positions before being promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. As the CIO, Mike has been responsible for transforming the Rent-A-Center technology team into a world-class technology organization that fosters innovation and operational excellence to evolve the customer experience and value proposition for their consumers.
His efforts also included the rebuilding of the Rent-A-Center Information Security practice to be fluid, flexing to address the evolving threat landscape. Modernizing the End User Computing capability, promoting a proud and productive workforce within the RAC corporate environment and the creation of their Experimentation-as-a-Service practice in which provides innovation and experimentation support to the organization.
Prior to Rent-A-Center, Mike held senior leadership positions within logistics, pharmaceutical, information security, and innovation firms.
As a dedicated technologist, Mike stays close to the world of disruptive innovation to challenge conventional delivery methodologies and gain competitive advantage. Mike lives in McKinney Texas, where he and his wife, Dawn, of 20 years are raising their two daughters.
CTO & SVP of Information Technology Platform Services
Rajeev Khanna is Chief Technology Officer and SVP of Information Technology Platform Services for Aon. Since joining Aon in April 2015, Rajeev has been responsible for all IT platform services, including hosting services, cloud, databases, middleware, data center, end user services, collaboration network, devsecops and testing platforms. Rajeev is also responsible for enterprise architecture to lead Aon technology strategy. Additionally, Rajeev is head of technology for Aon data and analytic services to deliver products and solutions that enable industry distinguishing, insightful decision-making, and to accelerate digital transformation.
In a career spanning nearly three decades, Rajeev has held various leadership roles across industries. Prior to joining Aon, Rajeev was Vice President of Global Infrastructure Services at Expedia. At Expedia, Rajeev led the implementation of innovative solutions based on emerging technologies including private cloud implementation to support faster launches of new products and capabilities. During his tenure at Asurion, a rapidly growing electronic device protection insurance company, he led their global infrastructure production services. Rajeev spent fourteen years with UBS AG in various leadership roles supporting all business divisions across the bank’s global portfolio of services. He has also held various technical and business leadership positions with Pencom Systems, Bankers Trust, and Ingersoll-Rand.
Rajeev serves on several advisory boards and councils to lend his expertise and insight in order to advance and shape the future of technology. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from Seaton Hall University.
Shelly is a Managing Director in Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice, bringing over 20 years of experience as a technology transformation leader. Her work includes implementation of large statewide applications, customer and technology strategy development, contact center implementations, and human-centered design. Her passion is understanding people – their actions, decisions, and feelings – and leveraging those insights to guide decision-making, generate ideas, improve experiences, and ultimately deliver better solutions.
Shelly joined Deloitte in 2007 and has held a variety of roles within the Deloitte US member firm and Deloitte Global firm. Before her current role, Shelly lead a global infrastructure organization that was responsible for delivering enterprise products & solutions, developing technology strategies, and transforming the delivery of infrastructure services through cloud technologies and DevSecOps processes.
Shelly attended the University of Texas at Austin for undergrad and completed a global MBA at TRIUM (NYU Stern School of Business, London School of Economics, and HEC Paris).
Head of End-User Services and Experience
Stanley Toh has over 20 years of experience in end-user service delivery and new technologies that changes the end-users experience landscape. Stanley has an excellent leadership track record managing diverse global teams in successfully multiple M&A transformation; executing global IT operations transformations; implementing leading edge & cloud technologies; enhancing end-users experience with AI, ML & automation workflows; plus managing IT outsource & service partners. He successfully uses matrix management style to promote initiatives that embrace forefront technologies with calculated risks within the organization and externally with outsource partners.
Senior Technical Product Manager
Tamara Jensen is a Senior Technical Product Manager specializing in the strategic vision for the Customer Contact Experience team at T-Mobile. Tamara has a demonstrated history of highly innovative solutions in the telecommunications industry. Most recently she coordinated the COVID response to enable more than 12,000 T-Mobile Care Experts to work from home - in less than two weeks. The pandemic interrupted the very tail end of a two-year effort to help integrate Sprint and T-Mobile into the New T-Mobile. Tamara was responsible for leading the telephony and call routing projects for the merger. The first phase was to bring unified experience to the combined customer base. As that was completed in August, the second phase of the effort kicked off and she is now leading highly talented project teams to consolidate two world-class platforms into one.
Tamara holds a BA in Management Information Systems from Western Washington University, and Master of Science, Information Technology, Business Intelligence and Analytics from Purdue University Global.
CEO, Co-founder and Chairman
Aaron Levie is Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and Cofounder Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind the Box product and platform strategy, incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience, suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served on the Board of Directors since April 2005.
CRO of Salesforce Anywhere and Strategic Partnerships
Alyene is a connector, gifted at bringing the right people together to unlock new possibilities. Throughout her career she's delivered a variety of successful business, customer, and organizational transformations, holding leadership positions in Strategy, Partnerships, Professional Services, and Human Resources. An 11 year veteran of Salesforce, Alyene now leads Salesforce's most Strategic Technology Partnerships including Google, Amazon, Apple, and IBM. Most recently, she's taken on an additional role as CRO of Salesforce Anywhere to help our customers succeed in a work-from-anywhere world. She's a trusted advisor, advocate & coach to many, and truly enjoys helping others!
CEO and Co-founder
Drew Houston is co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. Since founding the company in 2007 with Arash Ferdowsi, Drew has led the company’s growth from a simple idea to a service used by 600 million people around the world. Drew received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2006. After graduating, he turned his frustration with carrying USB drives and emailing files to himself into a demo for what became Dropbox. Today, Dropbox is one of the world's leading business collaboration platforms, with over 14 million paying subscribers and nearly 3000 employees around the world.
VP, Head of Workplace
Karandeep is an experienced product leader with specialization in building Enterprise SaaS, multi-sided marketplaces, developer platforms, monetization & growth hacking. As Head of Workplace for Facebook, he runs the product and business that is transforming the future world of work. Before leading Workplace, he helped build and scale Facebook’s Marketplace and Payment ecosystem of over 800M people and businesses. Prior to that, he was responsible for several products and multi-billion dollar businesses at Facebook over the last 4 years, including Facebook’s developer platform, gaming, and mobile app ads. He joined Facebook from Microsoft, where he spent 14 years and helped incubate and build their cloud business, Azure. Outside of work, he helps mentor startups and spends time working with entrepreneurs who are working to bring access to technology in emerging markets and to the next billion people on the planet.
Chief Product Officer
Chirantan “CJ” Desai serves as chief product officer at ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW).
Desai is responsible for all of ServiceNow’s products, platform, design, engineering, and cloud infrastructure operations.
Prior to joining ServiceNow, Desai was the president of the Emerging Technologies Division at EMC where he had a full P&L responsibility for emerging technology products with a focus on launching and growing new businesses.
From November 2004 to September 2013, Desai held several product leadership roles at Symantec Corporation, including executive vice president of Information Management and senior vice president of Endpoint and Mobile Security.
Desai began his career with Oracle Corp and was a key member of the team that launched Oracle’s first cloud service. Desai has a master’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is on the board of directors at Zebra (NASDAQ:ZBRA).
Co-Founder and General Partner
Soraya Darabi is an experienced entrepreneur and investor; the Founder of TMV, a successful early-stage holding company overseeing two venture funds and three investment vehicles all focused on ideas that will transform industries and inspire new ones. At TMV, Soraya serves as General Partner where she leads impact investments across the future of work, healthcare and education technology.
Over the years, she has been named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” for which she was featured on the cover of the magazine. She has also been featured on the cover of Brand Week’s “Digital Best” issue. Other honors include being named an Inc. Magazine "30 Under 30" (2012), Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40: Women to Watch" (2015).
Soraya sat on the first digital advisory board of General Electric, is a World Economic Forum "Young Global Leader," and a six-time mentor to TechStars New York for which she’s been named a three-time "Mentor of the Year."
She is the host of "Business Schooled - a Podcast by Synchrony," a "Top 20 Business Podcast" where she interviews persevering founders who have made it past their startup days and reached new heights of success.
Soraya graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude from Georgetown University and completed the Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century program at Harvard Kennedy School.
Global Industry Analyst, Dean
Josh Bersin Academy
Josh Bersin founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. He expanded the company’s coverage to
encompass HR, talent management, talent acquisition, and leadership and became a
recognized expert in the talent market. Bersin sold the company to Deloitte in 2012.
In 2019, Bersin founded the Josh Bersin Academy, a professional development academy which has become the “home for HR” in past months. He is frequently featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, HR Executive, The Wall Street Journal, and CLO Magazine. He is a popular blogger and has more than 800,000 followers on LinkedIn.
VP, Principal Analyst
As vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Art Schoeller supports Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) Professionals who plan, build, and run unified communications and contact center workloads for enterprises.
Art Schoeller's 35 years of experience span the computer, communications, and software industries. Art was an early member of the call center product management team at AT&T. He is best known in the contact center industry for his accomplishments with CTI by helping establish standards and solutions to grow the market in its early stages while at AT&T/Lucent.
In addition, Art has had vice president and director level roles in product management and marketing for conferencing, collaboration, and unified messaging products while at AT&T/Lucent and Dictaphone. Art also filled leadership roles in analyzing these markets while holding director-level positions at Gartner Group, Yankee Group, and now Forrester Research.
Art has a dual B.S. degree in computer science and computer engineering from Brown University.
Senior Analyst & Partner
Bill Haskins is a Senior Analyst & Partner at Wainhouse with a strategic focus on unified communications products and services. Bill has over 15 years of experience supporting, delivering, and designing converged Collaboration services in a global communications environment. He has authored multiple white papers and articles detailing the keys to a successful UCC implementation and delivered various UCC presentations, highlighting his experience integrating Collaboration solutions into business process and enterprise applications. He can be reached at email@example.com.
President & Principal Analyst
Co-founder of BCStrategies
Blair Pleasant is President & Principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC and a co-founder of BCStrategies (formerly UCStrategies). As a communications industry analyst, she provides strategic consulting services and market analysis on business communication applications, technologies, and markets, aimed at helping end-user and vendor clients both strategically and tactically. Her primary areas of focus are Unified Communications and Collaboration, contact center and customer engagement. Blair provides clients with a variety of custom consulting services, including market analysis, surveys and research, white papers, product assessment, competitive analysis, strategic development, vendor analysis, marketing and product positioning, partner development, and more.
She is a frequent speaker and participant in industry conferences, webinars, podcasts, and other events to help educate customers, solution providers, channel partners, investors, and others about the evolving Unified Communications and Collaboration and contact center markets.
Blair’s blogs and articles can be found on www.bcstrategies.com and www.commfusion.com. She also tweets on Twitter as blairplez, and you can find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Ms. Pleasant received a BA degree in Communications from Albany State University, and an MBA in marketing and an MS in Broadcast Administration from Boston University.
Founder & Principal Analyst
Dave Michels, a self proclaimed communications protagonist, is the founder of TalkingPointz which offers commentary and research including a well known monthly Insider’s Report. Dave’s unique perspective on enterprise communications and collaboration comes from a career involving communications and IT leadership positions. A published author, Dave posts opinions and research at TalkingPointz.comand also contributes regularly to multiple news and analysis sites including No Jitter.
E. Brent Kelly, Ph.D.
Principal Analyst and Consultant
Dr. E. Brent Kelly is President and Principal Analyst at KelCor, Inc. where he provides strategy and counsel to CxOs, investment analysts, VCs, technology policy executives, sell side firms and technology buyers. He has made measurable real-world contributions in telecommunications, manufacturing, electronics, oil field services, chemicals, and mining. Brent has a strong background in numerical methods and applied artificial intelligence with significant experience developing IoT and AI solutions. He has written hundreds of articles and reports in the unified communications and collaboration industry and regularly delivers webinars and thought leadership addresses at public and private events. He is a regular presenter at Enterprise Connect, the communications industry trade show where his well-respected tutorials and technology sessions have covered topics such as AI in the Contact Center, Cisco versus Microsoft for communications and collaboration, WebRTC, and cloud-based unified communications services. Brent has taught technical seminars in North America, Europe, Australia, and South America. His articles on NoJitter.com have often ranked among the most widely read in the industry. Dr. Kelly has a Ph.D. in engineering from Texas A&M University specializing in thermodynamics and artificial intelligence and a B.S. in engineering from Brigham Young University. Dr. Kelly has served two terms as an elected official in his Utah community and is co-owner, with his wife, of a gourmet chocolates manufacturing company.
Irwin Lazar CISSP
VP and Service Director
Irwin Lazar develops and manages research projects, conducts and analyzes primary research, and advises enterprise and vendor clients on technology strategy, adoption and business metrics, Mr. Lazar is responsible for benchmarking the adoption and use of emerging technologies in the digital workplace, covering enterprise communications and collaboration as an industry analyst for over 20 years.
A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and sought-after speaker and author, Mr. Lazar is a blogger for NoJitter.com and contributor for SearchUnifiedCommunications.com writing on topics including team collaboration, UC, cloud, adoption, SD-WAN, CPaaS, WebRTC, and more.
Mr. Lazar’s earlier background was in IP network and security architecture, design, and operations where he advised global organizations and held direct operational responsibility for worldwide voice and data networks.
Mr. Lazar holds an MBA from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Radford University where he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, Ordnance Corps.
Founder, CEO, and Lead Analyst
Jim Lundy is the founder and CEO of Aragon Research. Jim also serves as the lead analyst for collaboration, content management, content analytics, digital workplace, learning and sales engagement.
Jim has over 30 years of technology and management experience as a vendor, user, and analyst. Jim spent 12 years at Gartner, where he formed and led the collaboration and social software research team and also served as lead analyst for enterprise content management (ECM) and corporate learning. Jim has extensive experience in product strategy, development, and go-to-market plans.
Prior to founding Aragon Research, Jim was the VP/general manager of the collaboration business unit at Saba Software. Jim also spent 15 years at Xerox in a variety of software and hardware sales and marketing positions. Jim has a B.S. in finance from Penn State University.
Marc F. Beattie is a Senior Analyst & Partner at Wainhouse where he focuses on workplace communications & collaboration. He has authored public and private reports on product strategies, distribution structures, emerging technologies and industry applications. He regularly consults with end users, established vendors, emerging companies, and the financial community. Prior to founding Wainhouse, Marc was an early member of PictureTel and Polycom - holding positions in product management, business development and sales management - and spent 13 years working within the industry. He has been an independent analyst and consultant since founding Wainhouse in 1998. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President and Founder
Robin Gareiss is President and Founder of Nemertes Research, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises leading enterprises, vendors, and carriers. She serves as chief financial officer, as well.
For 25+ years, Ms. Gareiss has advised hundreds of senior IT executives, ranging in size from Fortune 100 to Fortune 1000, developing technology strategies and analyzing how they can transform their businesses. She has developed industry-leading, interactive cost models for some of the world's largest enterprises and vendors.
Before joining Nemertes, Ms. Gareiss shaped technology and business coverage as Senior News Editor of InformationWeek. She also served in a variety of capacities at Data Communications and CommunicationsWeek magazines, where helped set strategic direction, oversaw reader surveys, and provided quantitative and statistical analysis. In addition to publishing hundreds of research reports, she has won several prestigious awards for her in-depth analyses of business-technology issues. Ms. Gareiss also taught ethics at the Poynter Institute for Advanced Media Studies. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, and American Medical News.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois.
Contact Center Industry Analyst
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the contact center and enterprise communications markets. She has a proven track record of accomplishment in new product development, competitive assessment, market research, and sales strategies for communications solutions and services.
McGee-Smith Analytics works with companies ranging in size from the Fortune 100 to start-ups, examining the competitive environment for communications products and services. Her professional accomplishments include authoring multi-client market research studies in the areas of contact centers, enterprise telephony, data networking, and the wireless market. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, user group and sales meetings, as well as an oft-quoted authority on news and trends in the communications market.
Founder and Principal Analyst
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice. Kerravala provides research and advice to the following constituents: End user IT and network managers, vendors of IT hardware, software and services and the financial community looking to invest in the companies that he covers.
Between sessions we’re excited to present some of Broadway’s best with special thanks to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and magician Kevin Blake.
Tony Award for Miss Saigon, Allegiance, voice of Disney’s Mulan and Jasmine in Aladdin
Multiple award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga is renowned across the world for her powerful voice and perfect pitch. She is best known for her Tony Award winning role in Miss Saigon. In addition to the Tony, she has won the Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards, in the field of musical theatre. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway and returned to the beloved show as Fantine in the 2006 revival. Many fans of all ages recognize Lea as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II. For her portrayal of the beloved princesses, the Walt Disney Company bestowed her with the honor of “Disney Legend”.
Currently, Lea serves as a judge on the Philippines hit version of The Voice including the ratings juggernaut The Voice Kids. Mitoy Yonting, a member of Team Lea, was named the first season winner.
Lea’s 2019 The Human Heart Tour saw sold-out audiences and record-breaking sales across North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. On Broadway, Lea most recently starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of Once on This Island as the Goddess of Love, Erzulie. The show’s return to the Broadway stage earned a Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical” and also garnered Lea and the cast a Grammy nomination for “Best Musical Theater Album.”
In late 2017, Lea released “Bahaghari,” an album of traditional Filipino songs. The album serves as a reflection of all the intricate and different languages found in the Philippines and aims to help preserve the island nation’s dynamic culture.
Lea also released her electrifying live album “Blurred Lines” in the spring of 2017. The album was recorded during her sold-out run at Feinstein’s / 54Below the year before. The original six-date showcase was received with overwhelming accolades from fans and critics alike. So well received in fact that Lea returned to the famed venue for a record-setting 15-show encore performance in the late spring (2017).
In the fall of 2015 Lea began her critically acclaimed run as Kei Kimura in the Broadway production of Allegiance. The musical, inspired and developed by legendary actor George Takei, tells the story of a Japanese American family forced into an internment camp during World War II. Lea garnered a Craig Noel nomination for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for her performance in the Old Globe production and can be heard on the show’s original cast album. Following this, Lea made a guest appearance on the hit CW television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
For much of 2014, Lea performed with legendary popera quartet Il Divo, accompanying them in Asia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and all through Eastern and Western Europe on their A Musical Affair tour, celebrating the band’s 10th anniversary. She can be seen on their latest DVD and CD bearing the same name.
Lea made her debut in the world of Cabaret in 2010, performing a sold out, three-week engagement at the Café Carlyle in New York City. She returned in June 2011 to delight audiences in another multi-week engagement and released a live version of her 2010 concert “Lea Salonga: The Journey So Far,” her 26th career CD, in August 2011. The CD rose to the #3 spot on iTunes Jazz Charts. In 2013, she did a third engagement titled “Back to Before,” which was lauded by the New York Times.
Lea has toured all over the world, performing sold out concerts in such locations as the Sydney Opera House, 02 Arena, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Singapore’s Esplanade , Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Hong Kong Cultural Center ), Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok and Carnegie Hall in New York.She was also the first artist to sell out two shows at Brigham Young University’s deJong Concert Hall in Provo, Utah since The Kings Singers in 2009.
In 2010, she participated in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables to sold out crowds at the UK’s O2 arena having appeared as Eponine in the show’s 10th Anniversary concert. She also dazzled as the hauntingly tragic Grizabella in a limited run of CATS in her hometown of Manila. Lea also teamed up with legendary Grammy winner, Patti Austin, to perform the concert series, ‘Heart and Soul,’ at venues throughout the United States.
Honored with an appointment as a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Goodwill Ambassador in October of 2010, Lea vowed to act as an advocate for the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance initiative led by the FAO. The same year, she also joined forces with Avon as a celebrity judge for Avon Voices, alongside such artists as Fergie, Natasha Beddingfield and Diane Warren, in the first ever global, online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for men and women.
In her 40-year career, Lea has performed for six Philippine presidents (from Ferdinand Marcos to Benigno S. Aquino III), three American Presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush), and for Diana, Princess of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She began her career as a child star in the Philippines, making her professional debut in 1978 at the age of seven in the musical The King and I. She went on to star in productions of Annie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof, The Rose Tattoo, The Sound of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon, The Fantasticks and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song on Broadway.
An avid techie and gamer, Lea divides her time between Manila, Philippines with her family and the United States.
As seen on America’s Got Talent, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Empire's Street Magic, in his critically acclaimed sell-out show Magic Man, and on stages around the world, Kevin Blake is a San Francisco-based, worldwide-performing magician, mentalist, and illusionist who blends genres of magic and sleight of hand with storytelling, music, and comedy to create unforgettable moments of wonder.
Hamilton, The Lion King, Pippin
Some of Syndee Winters’ noted accomplishments include her work on NBC Live Jesus Christ Superstar with EGOT recipient John Legend. A Broadway veteran, she’s been seen in Motown the Musical, Pippin, and “working it” as The Schuyler Sisters in Hamilton. She made her TV debut as “Ms. Smiley” in NBC’s Law & Order: SVU Season 19 Episode 1, where she interrogated Lieutenant Olivia Benson on her parenting methods. Ms.Winters was most recently seen back on Broadway in the role that made her a Broadway baby, “Nala” in Disney’s The Lion King, where she had the most honorable opportunity to meet Queen Beyonce in 2019 in preparation of The Lion King film. Inspired by the art of storytelling, Syndee’s latest writing project celebrates the life of American Icon, Lena Horne, in a one- woman play with music entitled, LENA: A Moment with a Lady.
Allen René Louis
Sing to Me Instead International Tour and Netflix’s Ben Platt Live from Radio City Music Hall
Allen René Louis is a Haitian-American composer, lyricist, arranger, vocalist, and actor. Allen's diverse musical style is deeply rooted in his soulful background and gospel-filled upbringing. His contribution to artistry is fully exhibited in his developing career. Allen was featured in multi-award winning artist Ben Platt's Sing to me Instead International Tour. Allen can be seen with Ben on Jimmy Kimmel Live as well as on Netflix, Ben Platt Live from Radio City Music Hall. Allen's innovative and passion filled work reflects his heart's desire to inspire, heal, and change the world.
On Your Feet, Leap of Faith, In the Heights, Hair
Broadway: On Your Feet (Jose Fajardo); Leap of Faith (Angel); In the Heights (Piragua Guy); Hair. Off-Broadway: Pirates of Penzance (Delacorte), In the Heights (DRAMA DESK AWARD); Godspell (York); A New Brain (Lincoln Center). Regional: Zorro, The New Musical (Garcia) Alliance Theatre, Little Miss Sunshine (Buddy Garcia), La Jolla Playhouse. Workshops/Readings: The CHER Project (Moore/Elice); Prince of Egypt (Stephen/Scott Schwartz); Havana (Wildhorn/Trujillo), Nightingale (Sheik/Sater). Eliseo has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Centerand Feinstein’s. He's also performed with Sting, Jason Mraz, Vanessa Williams, Sir Elton John , Mariah Carey and John Legend to name a few. Eliseo is a proud member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Tony-nominee for Beautiful, The Cher Show, Jersey Boys
Jarrod Spector was nomi¬nated for both a Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his performance as Barry Mann in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. He made his Broadway debut as Gavroche in the origi¬nal production of Les Miserables, and went on to play a record-breaking 1500 performances as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys. He recently originated the role of Sonny Bono in The Cher Show. National Tours: Les Miserables, Jersey Boys; Off-Broadway: Hamlet (Hamlet); Regional: Roman Holiday (Irving Radovich). He has toured the country with his critically-acclaimed solo concerts and duet performances with his wife Kelli Barrett. Jarrod grew up in Philadelphia, attended Princeton, and trained at the Atlantic Theater Company in NYC. @jarrodspector
Wicked, Getting the Band Back Together, The Royal Family, TV’s Fosse/Verdon
Kelli Barrett has been a principal role in five different Broadway shows: Wicked, Dr. Zhivago, The Royal Family, Baby it’s You! and Gettin’ the Band Back Together. She’s starred in over 26 major television shows and feature films including the recurring roles of “Maria Castle” on Netflix’s The Punisher, “Liza Minnelli” in the Emmy nominated FX series Fosse/Verdon, and “Nadia” on the CW’s Dynasty. Look for her upcoming turn on Apple’s Dickinson. Off-Broadway she originated “Sherrie” in Rock of Ages, and “Frankie” in On Your Toes! (Encores!) Her favorite role to date was playing “Eliza Doolittle” in the Michael Arden directed Bay Street production of My Fair Lady. She’s also a published writer, director, coach and founding member of the non-profit organization The Hysterical Womxn’s Society. See her award-winning duet cabaret filmed with Tony-Nominated husband Jarrod Spector Look At It My Way in Season 3 of The Kate series for PBS. @kelli_barrett.
For the Girls
Honored to do anything for BCEFA at any time! Broadway: For the Girls w/ Kristin Chenoweth. Off-Broadway: R.R.R.E.D., The Marvelous Wonderettes, My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Fav Regional/International/Tours: A Taste of Things to Come, Jawbreaker, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Bare, Into the Woods and Grease. Marissa works as a recording artist and back up singer for some of New York City and Nashville‘s finest! She has had the honor of singing backup for Shoshana Bean, Patti LuPone, Jessica Vosk, Betty Buckley, Marty Thomas & Lillias White to name a few. She is proudly represented by Bloc Talent Agency. Follow her at @themarissarosen!
Shoshana Bean’s three independent solo albums have all topped the iTunes R&B and Blues charts in the US and UK, with her fourth and most recent project, SPECTRUM, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts. She has sold out solo concerts around the globe, lent her voice to countless films and television shows, amassed millions of views on YouTube, and performed alongside Ariana Grande, David Foster, Postmodern Jukebox, Brian McKnight, and Michael Jackson. Shoshana is a veteran of the Broadway stage having made her debut in the original cast of Hairspray, starring as the very first replacement for Elphaba in Wicked and most recently as Jenna in Waitress. She won a IRNE Award for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and earned a Jeff Award nomination for her portrayal of CeeCee Bloom in the pre-Broadway musical production of Beaches.
Aladdin, Allegiance, Godspell, Rent, TV’s Glee
Telly Leung is a New York City native, Broadway performer, recording artist, producer, & theater arts teacher. His Broadway & national touring credits include Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, In Transit, Allegiance, Godspell, RENT (final Broadway company), Wicked, Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in RENT at the Hollywood Bowl. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on Glee, as well as his guest star appearances on Instinct, Odd Mom Out, Deadbeat and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Telly is featured as a coach for the Jimmy Awards in the PBS documentary, Broadway or Bust. He can be heard on many original Broadway cast recordings and has released two solo albums - I’ll Cover You and Songs for You - on The Yellow Sound Label. He holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama. He has taught master classes and courses at American universities across the country and has been a guest teacher at drama programs all over the world, from Edinburgh to Tokyo. His producing credits include the concert series Broadway Back Together, the musical short film GRIND, and the original virtual musical The Nice List streaming free this holiday season. @tellyleung www.tellyleung.com