AUTONOMOUS MOBILE ROBOTS & LOGISTICS CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

David B├ęguin

David Béguin

Sales Director – North America
BlueBotics

David is based in BlueBotics’ Swiss HQ, but works most closely with our North American customer base. With a background split between portfolio management and marketing, David generates new customer partnerships before helping these companies move from concept to creation to market launch and beyond.

Kevin Blankenspoor

Kevin Blankespoor

Senior Vice President and General Manager - Warehouse Robotics
Boston Dynamics

Kevin Blankespoor is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Warehouse Robotics at Boston Dynamics. He led and contributed to the development of the BigDog, LS3, Atlas, Handle, and Stretch robots. Blankespoor’s Warehouse Robotics team is focused on building flexible mobile robots capable of taking on all of the box handling tasks in warehouses and distribution centers. He also wrote the control software that first enabled Boston Dynamics’ legged robots to dynamically balance and walk outside in the real world. Blankespoor received his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia and his Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

William R. Boer

William R. Boer

Principal Consultant
Dematic

As a Principal Consultant for one of the leading material handling company's in the world, Bill gets involved with some of the most interesting and unique projects you can imagine.   His concepts are informed by the 30+ years he spent in Operations in the retail and wholesale verticals.  Starting on the docks Bill's has held key leadership roles in Operations Management as well as Information Technology with some Loss Prevention and Human Resources responsibilities mixed in.  He earned an MBA from Western Michigan University, and holds multiple patents for material handling innovations.  In his current role with Dematic, Bill has helped to solve operational challenges and create new capabilities for some of the leading companies in North America.    

Brian Bruce

Brian Bruce

Head of Optimization – America’s Region
Siemens

Brian’s experience has been 20-plus years in Distribution and Manufacturing. Brian is based out of Southaven, MS, and has been with Siemens for 3.5 years and leads the continuous improvement and support roles for Siemens Smart Infrastructure Logistics group. Brian has significant international experience with logistics, distribution, and supply chain; and has worked for several global companies including Caterpillar, XPO Logistics, Oshkosh, Eaton and Siemens.

Walter Buga

Walter J. Buga

CEO
Arendai Inc.

Dr. Walter J. Buga is a serial entrepreneur and strategic thinker with extensive knowledge of high-tech markets, products, and technologies. He is a telecommunications subject matter expert in both wired and wireless networks and technologies, who has designed large-scale systems that have been deployed throughout the world. His new experiences and passions are autonomous and connected vehicles and systems, industrial IoT, robotics, drones and Artificial Intelligence.

Matt Charles

Matt Charles

Sales Director
MiR

Matt is the Sales Director for MiR responsible for Midwest US & Canada.  Over the past 10+ years he has been involved in all aspects of robotic deployments for industrial manufacturing and warehouse automation projects.  His passion is in solving customer's intralogistics challenges with mobile robotics and connecting them with the best partner for the application.

Jett Chitanand

Jett Chitanand

Director, Global Sales
Locus Robotics

Jett has a rich history of advancing critical, innovative automation and software solutions for fortune 500 companies, spanning several industries such as Healthcare, Industrial, eCommerce and Retail.

Honing his skills at global organizations such as SSI Schafer and Swisslog Logistics, Jett has garnered 15 years of experience devising solutions to improve warehouse efficiency and productivity with the latest supply chain technologies.

In his current role at Locus Robotics, Jett advises organizations on how to solve warehouse operational challenges in a competitive and rapidly changing landscape.

Jeff Christensen

Jeff Christensen

Vice President of Product
Seegrid

A perceptive strategist, Jeff oversees Seegrid’s product development efforts. His career spans technology design, information delivery solutions, business intelligence, and analytic software. His expertise is in growing startups into multinational corporations. Jeff studied Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College.

Parker Conroy

Parker Conroy

Global Marketing Director - AMR
OMRON Automation

Parker Conroy has spent almost all his career in robotics since his graduation from University of Utah. His experience of having led both AMR marketing and engineering initiatives at Omron, has brought him a unique view on the strategic design of Omron’s AMR roadmap as well as the practicality of AMR adoptions among manufacturing and warehouse businesses. In his spare time, Parker is advising a Carnegie Mellon University student group in their masters of robotics development project. He currently lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and a German Shepherd named Hanna.

Justin Crump

Justin Crump

Application Engineer
Universal Robots

Justin is a 12-year veteran of turnkey automation, having worked for a robot manufacturer, systems integrator and vacuum end effector producer. For the past three years with Universal Robots, Justin has served as an applications engineer, providing programming, training and troubleshooting support to distributors, integrators and end users. He is based in North Carolina and supports the Southeastern US region.

Denise Ebenhoech

Denise Ebenhoech

Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications
KUKA Robotics

Denise Ebenhoech is Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications for KUKA Robotics. She works with local sales and account management to provide customers with innovative automation solutions utilizing human-robot collaboration and mobile robotics. She holds a Master of Science degree in business administration and economics from the University of Hagan and has spoken at several national conferences, including FABTECH 2019, the 2019 Autonomous Mobile Robot Conference, and 2018 and 2019 International Robot Safety Conferences.

Gary Eliasson

Gary Eliasson

Sales Director, Eastern US
MiR - Mobile Industrial Robots

Gary was born in New York State and studied electrical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. He has had an exciting career entirely focused on factory automation. He started out working for Allen Bradley (now Rockwell International), then joined a small rep firm and transformed that into a high technology distributor before eventually becoming the owner. This company was one of the first UR distributors in NA. The business was sold in 2015, and since then, Gary has worked with two European start-up companies and set up their distribution channel across the continent. He recently worked as sales manager of a UR CSI and OEM.

Goker Ertunc

Goker Ertunc

Co-Founder & CIO
Milvus Robotics

Goker Ertunc is the Co-Founder & CIO of Milvus Robotics, an innovative company leading the charge in the future of robotics through the design and development of some of the world’s most advanced Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). Goker leads strategic design and development of mission critical IT system architecture and software stack of its world-renowned AMR projects. Through his dedication and never-ending question for innovation, Goker helps create a competitive advantage for Milvus within the robotics industry and beyond. Prior to founding Milvus Robotics, Goker established his business savvy and technical skills while working software director roles at startup organizations. Goker received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Engineering from Middle East Technical University.

Thomas H. Evans

Thomas H. Evans

Sales Director, Eastern US
Honeywell Intelligrated

Dr. Thomas Evans serves as Honeywell’s Chief Technology Officer for Robotics and Integrated Storage. In this position, Evans leads engineering R&D for robotic product development and autonomous system solutions. Evans previously held positions as a professor and research director supporting space robotics mission development and execution. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University.

Carole Franklin

Carole Franklin

Director of Robotic Standards Development
Association for Advancing Automation

Carole Franklin is the Director of Standards Development for the Robotic Industries Association. She leads RIA’s standards development activities in developing the ANSI and ISO Robot Safety Standards. Before joining RIA, Carole spent over four years with management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led projects on business process improvement, internal communications, and executive communications. Prior to Booz Allen, Carole worked for Ford Motor Company for ten years in the market research department. Her career has been spent translating the needs of end-users into actionable guidance for engineers and leaders – and vice versa. Carole holds BA and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan.

Scott Gurley

Scott Gurley

General Manager
Foot Master

Scott is a trained public speaker passionate about motivating and empowering people to achieve success in their lives and careers. With an affinity for innovative ideas, Scott believes the most effective solutions are those born from the adversity of being challenged and hitting roadblocks. His manifesto is that our best is always yet come and offers practical guidance to developing the mindset necessary to solve problems. 

Hank Heupel

Hank Heupel

VP, Sales
OTTO Motors

Hank Heupel is the Vice President of Sales for North America for OTTO Motors, a leading provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Over the last four years, he’s helped customers achieve Industry 4.0 through automation of their material handling solutions. Working with Fortune 500 companies in Automotive, CPG, and Industrial Manufacturing. Hank as been part of many of the largest deployments of AMRs at scale in North America. Prior to OTTO Motors, Hank spent more than a decade in enterprise software sales for Siemens PLM. Hank served in the US Army with deployments in Serbia, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today he lives near Chicago with his wife and four kids.

Franz Humer

Franz Humer

CEO and CoFounder
AGILOX

CEO and CoFounder of AGILOX Group based in Neukirchen / Austria with Subsidiaries in the US, Switzerland, China. Studied Automation and Supply Chain Management at University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. 25yrs. experience in various fields of Logistics Automation. Married and 2 kids.

Marco Majoli

Marco Majoli

VP of Sales
Robopac USA

With over 20 years in the packaging including working for 3 of the top 10 largest packaging companies in the world, Marco Majoli is considered a leading expert in the secondary packaging industry.

For the last 5 years, Marco has led improvements for Robopac USA's after-market division. Marco is now the LGV Internal Logistic Solution Sales Manager where he brings his wealth of knowledge and passion for automation to the laser-guided vehicle industry.

Sev McMurtry

Sev McMurtry

Corporate Vice President Operations and Service Support
FedEx

Sev McMurtry is Corporate Vice President of Operations and Service Support at FedEx Corporation headquartered in Memphis, TN. Sev has more than 34 years of experience with the company. Prior to his current position, he had the role of Senior Vice President, Operations Planning and Engineering at FedEx Ground. Sev earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and his master’s degree from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has received multiple awards from the company, including the prestigious FedEx Ground Five Star Award. Sev serves on the Board of Directors for the Carnegie Science Center, the Josh Gibson Foundation and the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership.

Samir Menon

Samir Menon

CEO
Dexterity

Samir is an entrepreneur working to transform robots from hard-wired automatons into collaborative helpers. He has worked on all aspects of robotics---machining metal to control theory---and has designed and built numerous robots. At Dexterity, Samir has worked to build a customer-first culture with products that clearly solve customer problems and produce strategic leverage. He hopes to use technology to first delegate repetition to robots, and then delegate scarcity to the history books. Samir was trained as a computer scientist; he received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Information Technology.

Stephen J. Myers

Stephen J. Myers

SVP, Operations Planning & Engineering
FedEx

Steve Myers is Senior Vice President, Operations Planning & Engineering for FedEx Ground, headquartered in Moon Township, Pa. Steve has more than 30 years of experience with the company, joining FedEx Ground as a Project Engineer. He assumed his current role in 2020 where he oversees all operations planning and engineering activities for the company. Steve oversees Dock, First and Last Mile & Process Engineering, Service Measurement and SQI, Decision Science, ISP negotiations, Business Agility, Facilities and Technology Innovation, Operations Design, as well as Network and Linehaul Engineering. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been honored with the prestigious FedEx Ground Five Star Award. Steve is a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, an active supporter of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and was one of the Executive Champions for the 2014 and 2015 FedEx United Way Campaigns. He is also a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Supply Chain Management Council Advisory Board. Steve resides in Moon Township with his wife and children.

Florian Pestoni

Florian Pestoni

CEO
InOrbit

Florian Pestoni is the co-founder and CEO of InOrbit, the leading robot operations platform for autonomy orchestration. With over 15 years' of experience leading products at SaaS startups and public companies including Facebook, Microsoft and Adobe, Florian's passion is to bring a data-driven, product-centric approach to robot operations. At InOrbit, he drives the company’s vision that humans, robots, and AI working together can overcome our global challenges to positively impact the lives of billions.

Firdaus Pohowalla

Firdaus Pohowalla

Managing Director
Cascadia Capital

Firdaus is a Managing Director of Cascadia Capital and co-leads the firm's Robotics, Automation and AI (RAAI) practice. He has worked in the intersection of finance and technology for over 25 years in both investment banking and strategy consulting and is passionate about the transformational power of automation and its potential impact on how we work and live. His focus is on supply chain / logistics technology, computer vision and industrial automation. Firdaus has a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Aaron Prather

Aaron Prather

FedEx Express Sr Tech Ops Advisor
FedEx

Aaron Prather has worked for FedEx for 26 years. He started unloading trucks while still in college. He has held numerous position at FedEx including roles in IT and Operations Engineering. He is currently a Senior Advisor for the Technology Research and Planning group at FedEx Express. He is a member of both the R15.06 and R15.08 committees.

Oli Qirko

Oli Qirko

Senior Vice President - US Industrial, Consumer and Energy Division
Cambridge Consultants

Oli has 20 years’ experience of helping leading global corporations to develop breakthrough products and services in a range of markets – from consumer and industrial to logistics and transportation. At Cambridge Consultants, she now partners with Fortune 100 and start-up companies to launch digital transformation and automation initiatives. These leverage global organization capabilities in AI, advanced sensing, robotics and wireless communication. Oli holds a master’s in electrical engineering from WPI and an MBA from MIT. As well as serving on the WPI Engineering Advisory Board, Oli lectures at MIT Sloan School of Management. There, she mentors CXOs and executives on how to manage the most critical and complex organizational challenges in business, technology and global operations.

Thomas Reek

Thomas Reek

Vice President of Sales
SCHUNK

Tom Reek has 25 years experience specializing in robot end of arm tooling for gripping/handling applications. This encompasses a range of technologies from mechanical gripping using pneumatic and electric drives, magnetic, vacuum gripping, and more. Currently, he leads the SCHUNK USA sales team, both advancing automation to new users and maximizing effective applications to skilled users. His passion is empowering organizations to increase their productivity and competitiveness using robotic workpiece handling automation. SCHUNK is a world leader in the development of standard gripping/handling components and custom solutions for a wide range of processes and industries.

Tracci Schultz

Tracci Schultz

Sr Vice President - Strategic Planning, Engineering and Operational Solutions
FedEx

Tracci Schultz Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Engineering & Operations Solutions As Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Engineering and Operational Solutions, Tracci Schutlz is charged with leading the design, development and implementation of engineering processes and technology solutions that keep FedEx Freight positioned as the market leader. She is responsible for fostering a culture of innovation, quality and excellence to enhance service and deliver a superior customer experience. Tracci and her team lead the strategy that supports the nearly 45,000 team members of FedEx Freight, and the larger FedEx enterprise. Prior to assuming her current position in July 2018, Tracci served as SVP, IT Freight Solutions at FedEx Services. Her career at FedEx spans more than 35 years. Tracci completed her executive MBA at the University of Memphis 2010 and was awarded the Outstanding Executive MBA Student of the Year Award. Twice, Tracci has been named a FedEx Services Five Star Award Winner, the highest award an individual at FedEx can receive from the company. In 2017, Tracci was also named to the 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector. Tracci enjoys spending time at the lake with her husband, Mark and their three children, Amanda, Dalton and Dillon. And most recently, enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren, Easton and Emma Grace.

Steven Schwartzberg

Steven Schwartzberg

Principal - Robotics Strategy
FedEx

Steven leads the FedEx Robotics forum, highlighting key areas of focus across operations and identifying best practices for implementing robotics in the warehouse. He took on this role after leading development of the FedEx Corporate Strategy, and has received awards for leading teams to create strategies that bolster both near-term and long-term success. Steven also leads the FedEx relationship with MassRobotics and guides emerging companies on product development for the logistics industry.

Joseph S. Stephens

Joseph S. Stephens

Senior Vice President, Global Planning, Engineering & Technology
FedEx

Joe Stephens is currently Senior Vice President, Global Planning, Engineering & Technology at FedEx Express, a position he assumed in June 2021. As Senior Vice President, Joe is responsible for an organization that encompasses Global Engineering, Research & Technology, Global Network Planning and Business Analytics, Operations Planning and Engineering, and Properties and Facilities. He was previously Senior Vice President of Global Planning, Engineering & Business Transformation.

Joe has over 32 years of experience in the transportation industry. He began his FedEx career in 1989 at the Indianapolis Hub where he worked as a handler. Since then, he has held numerous management positions including Manager; Hub Engineering, Senior Manager; Hub Engineering, Managing Director of Planning & Administration and Managing Director of multiple Air/Ground Freight Services (AGFS) Districts across the U.S. In addition, Joe has been a Vice President of the Memphis World Hub night organization and Vice President of the AGFS Southern Region. Throughout his career, Joe has worked in every U.S.-based region and led or contributed to various growth strategies including new hub construction and expansion projects in Anchorage, AK; Fort Worth, TX; Newark, NJ; Guangzhou, China; Greensboro, NC; Indianapolis, IN; and Oakland, CA.

Joe is a six-time recipient of the prestigious FedEx Five Star Award, the company’s highest level of recognition. He twice has received the FedEx Express QDM Quality of Excellence Award.

Joe has been active in the communities where he and his wife have lived. He served and volunteered with organizations such as Junior Achievement, United Way, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Greensboro Economic Development Committee and North Carolina-based Governor’s Logistics Task Force. A native of Indiana, Joe received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Jose Luis Susa Rincon

Jose Luis Susa Rincon

Project Manager R&D: Robotics and AI
Siemens

Jose Luis Susa Rincón is a R&D Project Manager at Siemens USA working on autonomous machines, AI, and robotics. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California Merced, a MSc in Robotics from the Ecole National d`Enginieurs de Brest (ENIB) of France, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Colombian School of Engineering of Colombia, and is a passionate engineer for robotics. Currently, he is managing several US Government funded projects with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) and has previously managed other projects related to educational robotics and hardware development of a translation system from electromyography signals into speech. His most recent research contributions were presented at the International Multi-Robot Systems Symposium in August 2019, and published in the prestigious scientific journals: the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. He has also worked as a lecturer for the University of California, Merced and at universities in Colombia. Finally, he is an author, having written a book teaching children the fundamentals of robotics and is a founder of 4 Venir, Inc., a nonprofit company for outreach in science and technology education in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Nic Temple

Nic Temple

Director Robotics & Automation
Hyster Company

Nic Temple is the Director for Robotics & Automation at Hyster, a company that designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a comprehensive line of robotic and manual lift trucks. He leads a team of business development, engineering, project management, aftermarket and application engineers to bring the benefits of robotic forklifts to warehouse operators and manufacturers across North America.

Prior to Hyster, Nic has spent 18 years guiding customers globally around potential pitfalls from being early adopters of innovation to ensure that achieve a true return on their investment. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from Virginia Tech and a MBA from the University of New South Wales.

Daniel Theobald

Daniel Theobald

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer
Vecna Robotics

Daniel Theobald is the Chief Innovation Officer and founder of Vecna Robotics, the autonomous mobile robot and workflow orchestration company. Daniel has decades of experience leading research scientists and teams of engineers in developing cutting edge technology. He has 67 issued patents and more than 30 patents pending.    Daniel has been on the forefront of robotics for more than 20 years, working closely with DARPA, DOD, NASA, NIH, USDA and many others to advance the use of robots and AI software to improve supply chain automation. In addition to founding Vecna Robotics, Daniel also co-founded MassRobotics, a non-profit dedicated to the global advancement of the robotics industry. Daniel is dedicated to the idea that technology can be used to empower people worldwide to live more fulfilling lives.

Jason Walker

Jason Walker

CEO & Co-Founder
WayPoint Robotics

Jason Walker is CEO and Co-founder of Waypoint Robotics, which designs and manufactures easy to use, industrial-strength, omnidirectional autonomous mobile robots. Prior to founding Waypoint, Mr. Walker Co-founded CyPhy Works where he served as Lead Roboticist and Director of Operations while working on contacts for DARPA, NIST, and the National Science Foundation. Walker helped grow CyPhy Works into a leading tethered drone supplier in North America. Prior to CyPhy Works, he was the quality and testing manager for the Roomba vacuuming robot at iRobot. Walker received a BSEE with a concentration in Robotics and Control Systems from Kansas State University.

Matt Wicks

Matt Wicks

Director of Robotics
Celestica

Matt leads the strategic development of Celestica’s global robotics portfolio. In this role he brings his passion for robotics automation and over 20 years of experience in senior roles focused on the development of advanced robotics solutions. Matt's deep expertise also includes material handling solutions and automation integration into high-volume manufacturing and distribution systems. A recognized and respected thought leader, Matt is the Chair of the Robotics Industry Association Board of Directors and serves on several robotics and supply chain industry association boards. 

Melonee Wise

Melonee Wise

CEO
Fetch Robotics

Melonee Wise is the CEO of Fetch Robotics, which provides collaborative robots for the warehouse and logistics industry. Melonee was the second employee at Willow Garage, a research and development laboratory specialized in robotics. While there, she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware and software. Melonee was a 2015 recipient of MIT Technology Review's TR 35 award for technology innovators under the age of 35. In 2017, Business Insider named her as one of eight CEOs changing the way we work. Under her leadership, the company won the MODEX Innovation award for the materials handling industry, as well as being named to RBR 50, a listing of the 50 most innovative robotics companies in the world. Fetch Robotics is a 2018 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

Rebecca Yeung

Rebecca Yeung

Vice President Advanced Technology & Innovation
FedEx Corporation

Rebecca Z. Yeung is Vice President of Advanced Technology & Innovation at FedEx Corporation, a global transportation and logistics service provider and home of the world’s largest cargo airline.  As an expert in both autonomous technology and logistics operations, Rebecca oversees strategic initiatives to accelerate digital transformation across FedEx. She led the latest company innovation, Roxo™, an autonomous delivery robot designed to transform the economics of on-demand deliveries. Her primary responsibilities also include integrating advanced technologies such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, sensors, and artificial intelligence into logistics operations to enable new delivery models and improve safety, efficiency, and the FedEx customer experience.  Rebecca is a seasoned executive with more than two decades of experience in emerging technology, strategic planning, marketing, business development, and management consulting.