People, Connections, & Difference Makers
The Open Voice Network
Ambassadors support the concept, direction, and work of the Open Voice Network. Each with notable platforms and influence, they are important to the outreach of the Open Voice Network through their public support and promotion.
VP of Aloha Health Network
Technology innovator, proud Dane and digital Viking, conversational AI and digital health ambassador, patient-, privacy- and security advocate; Peter Bentsen is driven to enable AI for Healthcare & Life sciences, in particular, to enable scale efficiencies, free up frontline resources to focus on patient-centric, outcomes-based healthcare.
Dr. Ahmed Bouzid
Founder and CEO of Witlingo
Dr. Ahmed Bouzid is Founder and CEO of Witlingo, a company that builds tools for publishing voice experiences, such as Alexa skills, Google actions, Bixby Capsules, Microcasts, and Audio streams. Prior to Witlingo, Dr. Bouzid was Head of Product at Amazon Alexa and VP of Product at Genesys. Dr. Bouzid is also an Editor at The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective and a contributing author at Opus Research. He holds 12 patents in Human Language Technology and was recognized as a “Speech Luminary” by Speech Technology Magazine and among the Top 11 Speech Technologists by Voicebot.ai.
As Chief Marketing Officer of Showtime Networks Inc., Donald Buckley led marketing for series including Homeland, Billions, Shameless, Showtime Sports, and Showtime Documentary Films. He created and led the marketing organization that launched Showtime’s Streaming OTT service in 2015. Previously, as Warner Bros.’ SVP, Interactive Marketing, Buckley founded its Interactive Marketing department. Among the hundreds of movies released during Buckley’s tenure were the Harry Potter and The Dark Knight franchises. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and is currently an advisor to a number of media companies and startups in voice tech, gaming, TV, content, social, data security, app development, and research.
Chief Executive Officer of Vendors in Partnership
A global executive and strategist in the retail industry, engaging stakeholders to collaborate in all aspects of successful new ventures from launch to results, and promoting thought leadership. Deep expertise in building/executing strategies to meet evolving needs, enhance customer acquisition, service & loyalty, and determine optimal organizational structure in ever-changing environments.
Director of Growth at Skilled Creative
Andre Costa educates executives, marketers, and emerging technology professionals on the power of Voice as a channel and as a user interface. He is driven to always communicate what’s possible today, what’s the long-term vision, and lead with creative leadership.
CIO Howl & Co-Host of Voice Spark Live
Intrapreneurial and strategic CIO / CTO with 20 years of leadership experience across agency, startup, corporate and nonprofit environments, including numerous high-profile global projects for Fortune 500 clients. He leverages a unique blend of skills at the intersection of technical leadership, creative direction, product management, and operations management. Ben has a history of ideating, designing, building, and deploying highly engaging, user-friendly digital products and experiences across web, mobile, voice, and event platforms. Ben is a weekly co-host for the Voice Spark Live Podcast covering thought leadership in AI and voice-first topics.
CEO of Thuiswinkel.org, President of Ecommerce Europe
Wijnand Jongen is bestselling author of the book ‘The End of Online Shopping: the future of retail in an always connected world’ and highly sought-after keynote speaker alongside his work at the Dutch e-commerce association Thuiswinkel.org and Ecommerce Europe.
Voice and Conversational AI Technology and Strategy Leader
Roger Kibbe is a leader in voice and conversational AI technology and a business strategy leader. He has a successful history of working with companies from early-stage startups to Fortune 500. Currently, Roger is Senior Developer Evangelist at Viv Labs and Principal at Voice Craft.
Conversational AI Evangelist & Executive Consultant
Leading new media veteran who helps companies onboard the new conversational channel. Founder of Project ZIlver: empower older adults with speech technology. Also founder of the Voice Commons: national, private by design, and open smart assistants for all. More at lens-fitzgerald.com.
Communications Advisor + Storyteller
Janice is deeply committed to inclusivity and appropriate use of data in voice. As a communications advisor, editor, and writer, Janice has worked on creative projects with major global firms, such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers as well as startups, enterprise clients, and the Open Voice Network. She managed content for VOICE’s 2018, 2019, and 2022 conferences. More at janicemandel.com
Partner at Candezent Advisory
A partner with Candezent Advisory, Gwen is the past Co-CEO of The Store, WPP’s global retail practice and serves as a board member of several retail tech start-ups.
Founder & CEO of RedFox AI
Nick Myers is a TEDx and International Keynote Speaker and has been featured in publications such as PR Daily, In Business Magazine, and the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing for his work with Artificial Intelligence and voice assistant technologies.
Digital Transformation Executive
Previous Global Solution Architect of Big Data & IoT CoE and Project Manager of SmartCities at SAP, Michael works with individuals, startups and enterprises in leveraging tech to drive business decisions.
CEO The Store WPP, Chairman BAV Group
Within his many roles, David is a leading authority on digital, artificial intelligence, and voice recognition in retail. David has authored a number of books and studies, including “A History of Retail in 100 Objects”; “The Third Era of Digital Retailing”; “Smart Shopping – How Artificial Intelligence is transforming the retail conversation” and has been featured on BBC, CCTV China, Phoenix TV China, CNBC, Yale, CKGSB and Cambridge Universities and The World Economic Forum, Davos.
Nicholas E. Sawka
Voice Spark Live Host & Voice First Influencer
Nicholas is a retired veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. Over the past 12 years he worked on communication analysis within the Search & Rescue field. He found his passion for Voice in 2015 when Alexa was released. In 2017 he began to develop for voice and currently hosts the Podcast Voice Spark Live which focuses on voice.
Editor at Large at RIS News
Joe Skorupa is a top influencer in retail technology as cited by independent media, a frequent speaker at conferences and webinars, and his blog, Retail Insight, was named the top retail blog in the country in 2019 by Folio Magazine.
CEO of Global Retail Alliance
Massimo Volpe has more than a decade of experience in International Retail organizations, learning, and innovation. As a citizen of the world, for work and passion, Massimo dreams to apply his experience to unleash a real wave of inspiration on innovation in the Global Retail sector.
Insights Director, Vixen Labs & Instructor at Voice Masters
Scot Westwater came to conversational AI and Voice after helping clients succeed in the digital and user experience space for over 20 years. His commitment to helping enterprises use conversational AI to solve business problems and improve customer experience manifests itself in his support of the Open Voice Network, his book (Voice Strategy), talks, articles, and online courses.
Strategy Director, Vixen Labs and Instructor at Voice Masters
After 20+ years leading marketing and digital strategy on the agency and corporate side, Susan shifted her focus to helping organizations understand and capitalize on the opportunity that is conversational AI. She is committed to education through her numerous talks, articles, book (Voice Strategy), online education courses, and work as part of the Open Voice Network.
Innovation Director at t2ó
Esther Checa’s professional career has been linked to various international consulting firms within the industry of knowledge management. Since 2003 she has been working in the advertising industry as an expert designer of online marketing products, defining transformation and digital innovation for large brands. Since 2017 she has been working on conversational marketing experiences and their integration into a funnel purchase. Esther has been a lecturer in the areas of Digital Marketing Strategy, Digital Transformation, Voice Search, Conversational Marketing, Natural Positioning (SEO), Content Marketing, and Online Reputation in Search Engines in several prominent Spanish business schools since 2008. You can find her supporting different initiatives for women’s visibility in the technology industry, including organizations like Ambassador in Women in Voice Spain, Mujeres Tech, and Women in Tech Spain.
Business Director for Mother Tongue (OMNICOM)
Valeria Barbero is Business Director for Mother Tongue (OMNICOM). Based out of New York, she heads one of the company’s largest accounts and leads the business strategy in the US. She has worked in different verticals in the broader language service industry; from software localization, to the adaptation of marketing materials, to market and cultural insights. Lately she is leading a program on the linguistic and cultural adaptation of voice-first content. She has a strong academic background in International Relations and Geopolitics. Originally from Italy, her life and career have taken her to Ireland, India, Silicon Valley, London and now New York.
Founder & CEO of Intelligent Health Association
Harry Pappas is a successful technology entrepreneur with a strong focus on the health and wellness technology sector. He is a speaker at many health and wellness conferences and trade shows around the world, and he and his team are the producers of the award-winning Intelligent Health Pavilion™, a technology-centric digital hospital.
Pappas is an internationally recognized thought leader with auto-ID, BLE, NFC, RFID, RTLS, sensors, voice, robotics, and wireless technologies. He is also the creator of the i-Home™ and Founder and CEO of the Intelligent Health Association, a global technology-centric organization dedicated to helping members of the healthcare community adopt new technologies while driving down the cost of healthcare.
Content Designer, WillowTree and Co-Moderator, Ethical Use Task Force
Emily is a content designer and a member of the voice innovation team at WillowTree, conversation/VUI designer, and professional violinist. She is a co-moderator of the Ethical Use Task Force, writing ethical standards and guidelines for voice experiences and contributing to the development of the Open Voice Network Trustmark program. Her passion is connecting to people through the construction of words and sound. She featured as a Voicefluencer on “The Voice Den” and co-hosted the podcast Voice Spark Live. Speaking engagements include VOICE Summit 2022 and VoiceTech Summit Americas. Awards include winning the Digital Assistant Academy’s Hackabot 2021.
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