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6th Annual MCA Business Conference Keynote Speaker Bios

POSTED 08/02/2013

MCA Business Conference Back to Speakers
Dennis Snow, President, Snow & Associates

Dennis Snow
Snow & Associates
Dennis Snow’s customer service abilities were honed over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. There, he developed his passion for service excellence and the experience he brings to the worldwide speaking and consulting he does today.

He began his Disney career in 1979 as a front-line attractions operator. As he advanced through the company, Dennis managed various operating areas throughout the park, learning and applying the skills it takes to run a world-class, service-driven organization.

Dennis launched a division of the Disney Institute responsible for consulting with some of the world’s largest companies including ExxonMobil, AT&T, and Coca Cola. During this time, he presented to audiences in diverse locations around the world, such as South Africa, Australia, Mexico, England and Argentina. This division quickly became the fastest growing venture of the Disney Institute and experienced repeat business of nearly 100%.

He also spent several years with the Disney University, teaching corporate philosophy and business practices to cast members and the leadership team. While there, he coordinated the Disney Traditions program, which is universally recognized as a benchmark in corporate training. In his last year with Walt Disney World®, Dennis’ leadership performance was ranked in the top 3% of the company’s leadership team.

Today, Dennis is a full-time speaker, trainer and consultant who helps organizations achieve goals related to customer service, employee development and leadership. Some of his clients include Huntington Bank, BMW Financial Services, Florida State University and Johns Hopkins Hospital. His articles appear in a number of industry publications and he is a featured guest “expert” on customer service, on several business news-talk radio shows. He is the author of the book, Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life.

Related Article:  5 Costly Customer Service Mistakes Businesses Make, and How Your Company Can Avoid Them

Adam Steltzner, Lead Landing Engineer, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project

Adam Steltzner

Lead Landing Engineer
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project

As chief engineer and development manager for the Mars Science Laboratory focused on entry descent and landing phase, Adam Steltzner’s job was to ensure that the intricately designed NASA Mars rover vehicle, Curiosity, landed safely.

Steltzner was in charge of all the mechanical engineering elements of entry, descent and landing for the Mars Exploration Rovers. In 2004, he was among the scientists and engineers featured on the NOVA episode “MARS Dead or Alive,” which chronicled the process that ultimately delivered the rovers Spirit and Opportunity to Mars. (View the episode at www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars/program.html.)

Steltzner, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis and a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology, says today’s engineers must think critically to extend their skills and influence outside their area of specific expertise.

Now, he and his team design, build, and fly the systems that, at 50 miles above Mars, will slow the new rover from a speed of nearly 15,000 miles per hour and deliver it safely to the planet’s surface. “The technical job of designing and developing these complex engineering systems is challenging and very rewarding to me,” says Steltzner. “There are very few days when I don’t have a moment or two to think as hard as I possibly can. I like that.”

Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Robert Atkinson
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Dr. Robert D. Atkinson is one of the country’s foremost thinkers on innovation economics. With has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.

He is the author of Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012) and The Past and Future of America’s Economy: Long Waves of Innovation That Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005).

Before coming to ITIF, Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI’s Technology & New Economy Project.

Ars Technica listed Atkinson as one of 2009’s Tech Policy People to Watch. He has testified before a number of committees in Congress and has appeared in various media outlets including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News.

He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.

Alan Beaulieu, Principal, Institute for Trend Research

Alan Beaulieu
Institute for Trend Research
Alan Beaulieu has been a senior analyst, economist and principal with the Institute for Trend Research since 1990. At the Institute, he works in applied research regarding business cycle trend analysis, growth cycle trend analysis, and the utilization of cyclical analysis at a practical business level. The applied research conducted by the institute includes domestic and international economic issues.

Through the Institute, Mr. Beaulieu has been consulting and advising companies throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan on how to plan for, and prosper through, the business cycle with all of its ramifications on capital resource needs, labor, capacity, pricing, interest rates, competitive pressures, and gross margins.

Pronouncements from the Institute for Trend Research and/or Mr. Beaulieu have appeared in/on: the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Barron's, USA Today, Knight Ridder News Services, Reuters, CBS Radio, The Washington Times, and numerous other outlets. He has been a contributing Economist to national trade associations and publications.

Mr. Beaulieu is also a featured speaker at corporate planning sessions and association meetings. In this role he addresses thousands of corporate executives each year, providing them with early, accurate economic insights required to sharpen their strategic and tactical business planning efforts.


Larry Bock

Larry Bock
Founder and Principal
Science Spark
Creator and Executive Director
USA Science & Engineering Festival

Larry Bock is Founder and Principal of Science Spark, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and is the Creator and Executive Director of the USA Science & Engineering Festival which attracted nearly 1 Million participants in its inaugural year.. He also created the wildly successful inaugural San Diego Science Festival, which reached 200,000 people of all ages throughout San Diego County over a 5-week period in Spring 2009.

Prior to founding Science Spark, Mr. Bock was a General Partner of CW Ventures, a 100M life sciences venture capital fund, and a Special Limited Partner to Lux Capital, a 100M nanotechnology-focused venture capital fund. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of FEI Corporation, the leading supplier of tools for nanotechnology research.

Mr. Bock was selected as by the US Commission for UNESCO as the nominee representing the United States of America in the international competition for the 2011 Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. He was selected by Venture Capital Journal as one of the “Ten Most Influential Venture Capitalists,” by Red Herring as one of the “Top Ten Innovators,” by Forbes-Wolfe NanoReport as the “Number One Powerbroker in Nanotechnology,” by Ernst & Young as a Finalist for “Entrepreneur of the Year,” and by Small Times as “Innovator of the Year” and “Top 3 Business Leaders of the Year.” He received the Einstein Award by the Jerusalem Foundation for lifetime contributions in the field of life sciences. He was one of a dozen individuals invited to the signing of the 3.7B 21st Century Nanotechnology Act by President George Bush in the Oval Office.


John Dulchinos

John Dulchinos
Vice President Global Automation
Jabil Inc.

John Dulchinos is Vice President, Global Automation for Jabil, Inc, the world’s 3rd largest contract manufacturer, where he is responsible for managing their global automation business. Prior to Jabil, he served as President & Chief Executive Officer at Adept Technology, Inc. where he also served as President and Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Robotics. He began his career as an automation engineer at Automated Assemblies Corporation.

Mr. Dulchinos is an active member of the robotics industry, having served on the board of directors of the Robotics Industry Association (RIA), the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC), the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) and the RoboBusiness Advisory Board as well as appearing on the 60 Minutes documentary “March of the Machines” and in the New York Times story “The Robot Factory Future”. He is also a recipient of the Dream-makers and Risk Takers Innovation award from the Livermore Chamber of Commerce.

He is an advisor to several Silicon Valley automation startups and has contributed to the United States long-term robotics roadmap. Mr. Dulchinos holds both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a concentration in robotics.


Christopher Prentice

Christopher Prentice
SVP America & VP Global Marketing
Mazor Robotics

Christopher Prentice holds the titles Senior Vice President, America and Vice President, Global Marketing for Mazor Robotics. Mazor Robotics is a medical device company founded in Israel in the year 2001. Mr. Prentice has been with the company since 2010, when it first began operations in the United States. Mazor Robotics' flagship product, Renaissance Guidance System, is FDA-cleared and CE-marked for spine and brain surgery. There are currently 56 hospitals worldwide that are utilizing Renaissance for spine surgery. The brain surgery application is still in the testing and development phase and a commercial release is expected in early 2014.

He has spent the past 15 years in healthcare management and focused on advancing new technologies in surgery. Prior to joining Mazor, Mr. Prentice held leadership positions in marketing & sales at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, Intuitive Surgical, Inc., and served on the leadership team of Tampa General Hospital. Mr. Prentice graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, has an MBA from Western New England University, and an MHA from the University of South Florida.

Harry Moser

Harry C. Moser
Founder and President
Reshoring Initiative
Harry founded the Reshoring Initiative to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. after worked for GF AgieCharmilles, starting as President in 1985 and retiring 12/31/10 as Chairman Emeritus.

Largely due to the success of the Reshoring Initiative, Harry was inducted into the Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame 2010 and was named Quality Magazine’s Quality Professional of the year for 2012.

Harry participated actively in President Obama’s 1/11/12 Insourcing Forum at the White House and won the Jan. 2013 The Economist debate on outsourcing and offshoring.

He received a BS in ME and an MS in Engineering at MIT in 1967 and an MBA from U. of Chicago in 1981. 

Jason Russell

Jason A. Russell
Senior Director
Michigan Chamber Services
As the Senior Director of Michigan Chamber Services, Jason Russell is responsible for all activities involving our insurance division which has over 300 insurance clients.  Jason also functions as an educational resource on the topic of Health Care Reform, for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce members at-large.  With over 15 years of insurance sales and leadership experience, Jason has proven a valuable asset to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and its’ membership.

In 1995, Jason graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, FL, with a BA in Business Administration, with a major in marketing.  In 2002, Jason graduated from Framingham State College in Massachusetts with a Master’s in International Education with a concentration in language acquisition.  

Jason spends his free time with his wife and two beautiful children in Grand Rapids, MI.  A native of Michigan, Jason enjoys golfing, fishing and working on his farm.

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Lisa Blake
Regional Sales Director
A Jacksonville, Fl. based firm that specializes in the administration of fringe benefit plans, COBRA administration and Retiree Billing, Health and Welfare Regulatory Compliance and Actuarial Services. She joined Medcom in 2011 as Regional Sales Director.
Lisa has worked in the employee benefit field for over 20 years and served in a Sales capacity for two major national insurance carriers and employee benefit consulting firm prior to joining Medcom. She has successfully grown and diversified Medcom’s administration and consulting practices to serve leading employee benefit consulting firms and employers throughout the U.S.
Lisa earned a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Tampa.

Joachim Reiss

Dr. Joachim Reiss
Vice President R&D
Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Imaging & Therapy Division
Joachim Reiss, Vice President R&D since 2000.  R&D of x-ray based medical equipment for surgical and interventional procedures (Angiography, Angiocardiology and surgery)

Significant product performance contributions to the industry
  • Zeego – first multi-axis angiography system based on an industrial robotics system
  • First biplane system based on flat panel technology,
  • DynaCT – first Angiography application with computer tomography imaging for interventional procedures

-  PhD in Computer Science
-  PhD in Electronically Engineering
-  Masters degree in Information Techniques


Neal Schaffer

Neal Scahffer
Author, Speaker
Maximize Your Social

A Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in a row and creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing Blog Windmill Networking (recently rebranded as Maximize Social Business), Neal is a global social media speaker who also teaches as part of the Rutgers University Mini Social Media MBA Program. As an author, Neal is best known for his definitive book on social media strategy creation, implementation, and optimization “Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success” (Wiley)  but has also published two other award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: ”Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing” and “Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.”

As a leading social media speaker, Neal currently speaks on social media at dozens of corporate, professional association, and online events each year. In parallel, he continues to consult with, coach, and train clients on strategically leveraging social media for their business. Since launching his social media strategy consulting business in January, 2010, Neal has worked with dozens of companies, from small startups and solopreneurs to Fortune 500 enterprises and a Grammy Award-winning celebrity. In addition, Neal is also founder and editor-in-chief of Maximize Social Business, a leading social media for business resource featuring industry thought leaders.


Michelle Figgs

Michelle Figgs
Senior Analyst
Motors, Motor Controls & Power Transmission Group

Michelle Figgs is a senior  analyst within the Motors, Motor Controls & Power Transmission group at IHS Electronics and Media. She manages the Motion Controls and Gearboxes & Geared Motors research. She has also produced reports on medium-voltage motor drives, stepper systems, and integrated motors.

Prior to IHS, Michelle worked as a researcher in the College of Natural Sciences at the University of  Texas at Austin, where she studied the optoelectronic properties of organic conjugated polymers.

Michelle holds an MA in computational chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in chemistry from the University of  Maryland, Baltimore Country. She is based in the IHS Austin, Texas office in the US and may be contacted at [email protected].


Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel
Sight Machine

Jon Sobel is a co-founder and CEO of Sight Machine, a technology company that merges machine vision and Big Data to assist manufacturers with quality. Jon has served on the senior management teams of companies in several pioneering industries, including Tesla Motors, Sourceforge, and Yahoo!. Jon is a graduate of Princeton University, the University of Michigan Law School, and the Wharton School.


Ritchie Logan

Ritchie Logan
VP of Business Development, Co-founder
odos imaging limited

VP of Business Development and a co-founder of odos imaging, Ritchie Logan has over 19 years experience in Sales and Business Development in high technology industries, coupled with a background in electronics engineering. Previously, Ritchie had key commercial roles with ON Semiconductor and Philips Semiconductors. He started his career at GEC Plessey Semiconductors as a developer of hardware video compression devices. Ritchie has an honors degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.


Stephen Derby

Stephen Derby
Automation Design
Pack Flow Concepts LLC

Stephen Derby is President of Distributed Robotics and Automation Designer for Pack Flow Concepts. He is a Professor Emeritus after being a faculty member of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for over 30 years. He has conducted research into novel robot designs and developed robotic work cells for many industries. He is a Fellow of ASME and holds 12 patents. He has published over 100 papers and is author of the text "Design of Automatic Machinery."


Richard Voyles

Dr. Richard Voyles
Associate Dean for Research
Purdue University, College of Technology

Dr. Voyles is currently Associate Dean for Research in the College of Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, Program Director at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, and is transitioning to the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House to advise on matters related to robotics and cyber-physical systems.

Dr. Voyles has been involved in robotics research and development for over thirty years in industry, government and academe and has been leading the Nati