2019 Meet the Innovators Forum Presenters
President, Anwaya Consulting LLC
Joanna J. Bryson
Associate Professor, University of Bath
Director of IBM Research
Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera
Senior Consultant, Hunter-Cevera and Associates and CEO, SacroNatura
VP and Chief AI Scientist, Facebook and Silver Professor, NYU
Yann LeCun is VP and Chief AI Scientist at Facebook and Silver Professor at NYU affiliated with the Courant Institute and the Center for Data Science. He was the founding Director of Facebook AI Research and of the NYU Center for Data Science. He received an EE Diploma from ESIEE (Paris) in 1983, a PhD in Computer Science from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) in 1987. After a postdoc at the University of Toronto, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories. He became head of the Image Processing Research Department at AT&T Labs-Research in 1996, and joined NYU in 2003 after a short tenure at the NEC Research Institute. In late 2013, LeCun became Director of AI Research at Facebook, while remaining on the NYU Faculty part-time. He was visiting professor at Collège de France in 2016. His research interests include machine learning and artificial intelligence, with applications to computer vision, natural language understanding, robotics, and computational neuroscience. He is best known for his work in deep learning and the invention of the convolutional network method which is widely used for image, video and speech recognition. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award, the 2015 IEEE Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2016 Lovie Award for Lifetime Achievement, the University of Pennsylvania Pender Award, and honorary doctorates from IPN, Mexico and EPFL.
Vice President Research & Development, The Dow Chemical Company
President and Chief Executive Officer, Keystone Community Corporation
Kevin McGinnis is leading the Keystone Community Corporation, a nonprofit organization leading the effort to build an innovation district in Kansas City, MO. Built on the tenets of placemaking, community development, urban revitalization and inclusive prosperity, the Keystone Innovation District will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the Midwest. Home to regional anchor institutions, corporate innovators and entrepreneurs, the district itself will be a “living laboratory” bringing the future of the built environment, mobility solutions and connected communities to life through collaborative scale of the research and innovation community.
Prior to taking on a long-term economic development project like Keystone, Kevin served as the chief executive officer of Pinsight Media, a big data and mobile advertising subsidiary of Sprint. He was also founder and managing executive of the Sprint Accelerator, a corporate accelerator and entrepreneurial center located in Kansas City’s Crossroads District. In his 20-year career at Sprint, Kevin has performed in a multitude of functions at various stages of new and emerging businesses – ranging from long distance in the 90s, to Sprint’s partnerships with cable companies, early product innovation leveraging the Internet to its current venture in wireless. His last role prior to leading the spin out of Pinsight Media was as vice president of product where he oversaw all of Sprint’s product platforms and operations. This range of experience has established Kevin as a thought leader in the communications and digital industry.
Daytime Emcee, Comedian
Don McMillan has a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He was a member of the design team on the world’s first 32-bit microprocessor. He went on to become a founding member of the startup company: VLSI Technology. Then in 1993, he was the $100,000 Comedy Grand Champion on "Star Search". He's performed on "The Tonight Show", HBO, and ALL over the Internet. His unique act combines smart comedy observations with his one-of-a-kind PowerPoint presentation. Don spends most of his time writing and performing customized corporate comedy shows for companies like Google, Apple, IBM, Ford and ExxonMobil. He has performed more than 800 corporate shows in the last 25 years and he was named the #1 Corporate Comedian by CBS Business Network.
Clinton O. Robinson, P.E.
Associate Vice President, Black & Veatch
Clint is the father of three publicly educated girls; a recovering school board member; and a registered professional engineer in a global engineering corporation. Individually none of these accomplishments are significant but in concert they are a powerful force towards better connecting education and business. Clint is the great grandson of one of the first three professors at the University of Kansas teaching Greek and Latin back in 1865. He is also the great grandson of an attorney that made elixir in his basement and founded the Burma Vita Corporation. This company was responsible for one of the most successful advertising campaigns with roadside jingles for the first brushless shaving cream, Burma Shave. It is not surprising then that Mr. Robinson has dedicated himself to finding ways to improve education and how we sell it. While serving on the Blue Valley School District School Board he helped create and implement the successful Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) which revolutionized how business and education work together for a common goal. Now while providing thought leadership in his industry to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities, he is never very far away from the topic of how to create jobs, fill the pipeline, and change the landscape of education forever. His motto is “learn to teach” which means 1) if you can teach it then you know it, and 2) there is no value in learning something if you are not willing to teach it to someone else.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM
Since becoming CEO in January 2012, Ginni Rometty has led IBM through the most significant transformation in its history, reinventing the company to lead in the new era of AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and quantum technologies, all delivered on IBM’s enterprise-strength cloud platform. Today, IBM is the world leader in AI and cloud computing for business, underpinned with trust and security.
Beginning her career with IBM in 1981, Ginni held a series of leadership positions across the company and led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, creating a global team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts.
Ginni has a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University, where she later was awarded an honorary degree. She also has an honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
She serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Northwestern University and the boards of overseers and managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She is co-chair of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Group and is a member of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.
President & CEO of Hydra-Stop
As President/CEO of Hydra-Stop, Chris oversees all management including Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Engineering, Quality, Marketing and Sales. Prior to joining Hydra-Stop in 2013 as Vice President/General Manager, Chris has held numerous executive positions with Fortune 500 companies in Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Asian Operations, Lean and Strategy. Chris’s most recent position was the Vice President of Lean Operations and Corporate Director of Supply Chain at Klein Tools. Chris has a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Illinois and graduated from GE’s Corporate Management and Six Sigma training programs. Chris enjoys the process of invention and has several US Patents.
Director of Project Strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One
Diana is the Director of Project Strategy in Virgin Hyperloop One’s Projects team and leads strategic company initiatives related to project and regional opportunities, analyzing critical decisions on project development to achieve commercialization goals and identifying key risks.
Prior to joining Virgin Hyperloop One, Diana was a strategy and management consultant at Oliver Wyman in New York, where she advised private sector companies and governments around the world on business and corporate strategies, risk and economic modeling, planning and operations, product development and market entry decisions, and strategic and regulatory trends. She is also a member of the Global Shapers community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Diana holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA-International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, where her focus was on the intersection of business, technology, and economic development. She received a grant from the Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation for her research on the development of an electric vehicle industry in China. She received her BA in Economics and International Studies from the University of Chicago.
2019 Edison Awards Ceremony Presenters
Comedian; Edison Awards Gala Master of Ceremonies
Bonnie McFarlane hails from Northern Canada but is still always cold. A national headlining comedian, McFarlane's radio and television credits includes an HBO special, two Comedy Central specials, as well as multiple appearances on Tonight Show and Late Show.
Bonnie directed an award winning comedy documentary called Women Aren’t Funny starring Joan Rivers, Rosie O’Donnell, Sarah Silverman and Maria Bamford. The film now airs regularly on cable television and is available on Sundance Channel OnDemand. She followed that up, writing her own memoir called You're Better Than Me, published by Harper Collins. Recently Bonnie wrote and directed a short filmed starring Nikki Glaser and Josh Segarra called Anything Boys Can Do, which was accepted into the Houston and Vancouver film festivals.
In 2018 the Huffington Post listed Bonnie as one of the funniest females you should know. Marie Claire Magazine listed her as one of the 50 Funniest Women Right Now. McFarlane also co-hosts a national radio show on Sirius XM with her husband based on her podcast My Wife Hates Me