Speaker Profiles

Keynote Speaker

Shobhit Varshney

Shobhit Varshney
IBM Services

Shobhit Varshney is a partner at IBM Services and leads the artificial intelligence (AI) practice in North America cross-industry. He is a trusted advisor to C-suites and a recognized global leader in delivering quantified business value by leveraging the transformative power of AI. He has 13 years of experience and a proven track record of partnering with Fortune 100 global brands on their cognitive enterprise journey. He engages with clients across a wide range of AI applications such as Conversational AI for Cognitive Care; Insights from unstructured documents; AI Vision; and Custom Deep Learning/ Machine Learning applications. He also holds multiple AI patents.

Across various roles at IBM, Varshney has had the privilege of working with and building world-class talent, curriculum, assets, and methods. As part of IBM's Chief Analytics Office, he leveraged analytics to transform various aspects of IBM's business. Having driven real-world transformation across a global enterprise, he gained deep understanding of the organizational challenges and what it takes to drive adoption of analytics.

Prior to joining IBM, Varshney gained experience in strategy consulting and deploying analytics in various domains ranging from bio-medicine, financial services, and technology at Bain & Co, Bloomberg LP, and Intel Corporation. He earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Johnson at Cornell, an M.S. in Computer Science (focus: Biomedicine) from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering and Math, summa cum laude, from University of Arkansas.

Speakers and Panelists

Gonzalo Otazu Aldana

Gonzalo Otazu Aldana, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Science
NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine

Gonzalo Otazu received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Tohoku University, Japan and completed experimental work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on how the brain adapted its response properties for solving auditory discrimination tasks. He has also worked in determining the role of feedback projections in olfactory recognition processes. His current research interests at New York Tech are in elucidating how the nervous system uses cortical feedback for robust generalization in the presence of novel distractors. Using these novel insights from neuroscience, he is designing robust algorithms for object identification in natural sciences.

Joanna Vorachek Austin

Joanna Vorachek Austin
Long Island Press

As the publisher of the Long Island Press, Joanna Vorachek Austin gets straight to the point. Shining light on where business intersects community, politics, and social, Austin connects the East and West with the North and South shores.

Prior to taking the helm at the Press, Austin spent two decades creating brands and building businesses with some of the world's leading global companies, including such household names as Maybelline, Olay, Microsoft, and Visa.

A serial marketer, early adopter, brand builder, business generator, and engaging speaker, Austin is always looking for the next big scoop.

Houwei Cao

Houwei Cao, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences

Houwei Cao is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). She was an adjunct professor at the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the Tandon School of Engineering of New York University before joining New York Tech. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2011, and worked on an RGC grant on automatic speech recognition of Cantonese-English code-mixing speech. She was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2014 and worked on an NIH grant on the computational quantification of emotion in faces and voice for neuropsychiatry. While at Tufts University from 2014 to 2015, Cao worked on an NSF grant on social robotics and Parkinson's disease. She was also an Insight Data Science fellow in 2015.

Cao’s main areas of research are signal processing; machine learning; data mining and its applications in human-centric data analytics, with emphasis on developing computational methods for speech recognition; text analytics; affect detection; and healthcare analysis. She won the audiovisual emotion recognition challenge (AVEC) in 2012. Cao is a member of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing (AAAC), and IEEE. She has served as a reviewer for numerous conferences and journals including Interspeech, ISCSLP, O-COCOSDA, IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, Speech Communications, and IET Computer Vision.

Hareesh Chandrupatla

Hareesh Chandrupatla
Data Scientist

Hareesh Chandrupatla is a data scientist and engineer specializing in the Big Data analysis of clinical, genomics, and laboratory datasets for clinical care and research. His work focuses on leveraging cloud technologies for collaboration, data management, and the development of AI and analytics workflows.

He has worked for over 10 years in research and development at leading academic, pharma, and biotech companies including the University of Pennsylvania and GlaxoSmithKline. He has also taught as an adjunct professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Rowan University.

Hareesh holds a B.S. in Asian Studies and minor in Biology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and an M.S. in Bioinformatics from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Dynkin

Benjamin Dynkin
Co-Founder and CEO
Atlas Cybersecurity

Benjamin Dynkin is the co-founder and CEO of Atlas Cybersecurity. He is also the co-founder and co-executive director of the American Cybersecurity Institute. Prior to that, he was the managing editor of the Journal of Law and Cyber Warfare, the nation's preeminent legal publication on cyber warfare. As CEO of Atlas Cybersecurity, Dynkin works with a wide array of businesses to deliver managed security and compliance services. In his capacity as executive director of the American Cybersecurity Institute, he has worked with federal lawmakers to develop policy on a variety of cybersecurity and cyber warfare-related topics. He has authored and contributed to dozens of articles in the fields of cybersecurity, cyber warfare, digital forensics, and e-discovery, which have appeared in publications including the New York Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, The National Interest, and SC Magazine. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Paul Ferrillo

Paul Ferrillo
Greenberg Traurig's Cybersecurity and Privacy Group

Paul Ferrillo is a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig's Cybersecurity and Privacy Group. He focuses his practice on cybersecurity corporate governance issues, complex securities and business litigation, and internal investigations. He assists clients with governance, disclosure, and regulatory matters relating to their cybersecurity postures and the regulatory requirements that govern them. Ferrillo represents public companies and their directors and officers in shareholder class and derivative actions, as well as in internal investigations. In particular, he has coordinated numerous internal investigations on behalf of audit committees and special committees, and handled the defense of securities class actions alleging accounting irregularities and/or financial fraud.

Ferrillo is also the author of Navigating the Cybersecurity Storm: A Guide for Directors and Officers (Advisen 2015) and co-author of Take Back Control of Your Cybersecurity Now: Game Changing Concepts on AI and Cyber Governance Solutions for Executives (Advisen 2017).

Justin Fier

Justin Fier
Director of Cyber Intelligence and Analytics

Justin Fier is the director for Cyber Intelligence & Analytics at Washington D.C.-based Darktrace. He is one of the U.S.'s leading cyber intelligence experts, and his insights have been widely reported in leading media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Washington Post, and VICELAND. With more than 10 years of experience in cyber defense, Justin has supported various elements in the U.S. intelligence community, holding mission-critical security roles with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, and Abraxas. Fier is also a highly skilled technical specialist, and works with Darktrace's strategic global customers on threat analysis, defensive cyber operations, protecting IoT, and machine learning.

Mindy Haar

Mindy Haar, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Affairs; Director, Academic Management
NYIT School of Health Professions

Mindy Haar, Ph.D., RDN, CDN, FAND, was appointed Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Affairs, School of Health Professions, in September 2017. In this role, she provides undergraduate programmatic academic leadership, develops new programs and initiatives, and assists with faculty recruiting and mentoring. Enhancing student recruitment, admissions, advisement, and graduation are also her responsibilities. In addition, as chair of the New York Tech's Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, she oversees the undergraduate health sciences and health and wellness programs and the graduate clinical nutrition program. Haar has taught and developed courses in Lifestyle and Weight Management, Professional and Cultural Issues in Healthcare and Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and currently teaches Community Nutrition. She is active in on-campus committees and initiatives that promote the development of blended and online formats that make optimal use of technology. Her research has focused on factors affecting the perception of community and interactivity in health science coursework. A faculty associate of the NYIT Center for Sports Medicine, she has written and presented on health and wellness across the lifecycle.

Haar graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She earned her M.S. degree in nutrition education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Ph.D. in health sciences from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is a registered dietitian, a New York State-certified dietitian/nutritionist, a New York State-certified early interventionist, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, and an American Red Cross-certified instructor in swimming, lifeguarding, CPR, and first aid. In May 2015, she was designated as a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Kerstin Kleese van Dam

Kerstin Kleese van Dam, Ph.D.
Director, Computational Science Initiative
Brookhaven National Lab

Kerstin Kleese van Dam (2018 Woman of the Year Award in Science winner Brookhaven Town, 2006 British Female Innovators and Inventors Silver Award) is director of the Computational Science Imitative at Brookhaven National Laboratory, leading its computer science and mathematics R&D portfolio, from leading-edge research to operational infrastructure provision.

Prior positions include Associate Division Director at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the U.S.; Director of Computing at the Biomedical Faculty at the University College, London, U.K.; IT program manager and Scientific Data Management Group lead at the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the U.K.; HPC specialist at the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ); and Software Developer at INPRO, a research institute of the German Automotive Industry. Van Dam has led a range of multidisciplinary data management and analysis efforts in domains from biology to particle physics. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has edited two books on data-intensive science. Her research is focused on data management and analysis in extreme scale environments. For more details, see http://www.linkedin.com/in/kerstinkleesevandam.

Nicole Larrauri

Nicole Larrauri
EGC Group

Nicole Larrauri is president of the EGC Group, a marketing and digital agency with offices in Manhattan and Melville. A 15-year creative marketing and digital strategy veteran, Larrauri has led the strategic marketing direction for companies that include Canon USA, Brother International, Thompson Reuters, and Emerging Vision, among others. Under Larrauri's watch, the agency has been named an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company, an Agency Post Top 100 Agency, and a Google Premier Partner.

She has been named among the Five People to Watch in Advertising and a Top Advertising Executive. In 2015, she was among the Top 50 Most Influential Women. In 2019, Larrauri was selected as a member of the Forbes Agency Council. She has been published in Mashable, MediaPost, Luxury Daily, and AdWeek. Her board affiliations include The New York Foundation for the Arts and the Young Presidents Organization.

Ilya Meyzin
Vice President, Data Science Strategy & Operations
Dun & Bradstreet

Ilya Meyzin has corporate strategy and data science experience spanning over 15 years in multiple industries, countries and enterprise functions. At D&B, as a member of Chief Data Scientist’s team, Mr. Meyzin leads development of innovation capabilities such as graph network analysis, anomaly detection, unstructured text synthesis, as well as business development efforts and delivery of customer engagements. He participated in briefings to the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee on Big Data analytics. Recently Meyzin delivered a presentation to a US government audience on AI trends in the private sector. Prior to joining D&B, Mr. Meyzin worked as a strategy consultant advising Fortune 500 and private equity clients on growth strategy, market entry, as well as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures of businesses ranging from start-ups to multi-billion multinationals. His recent article on decision making was published in the CIO Review Magazine. Mr. Meyzin has a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University.

Michael Nizich

Michael Nizich, Ph.D.
Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center at New York Tech

Michael Nizich is the director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and an adjunct assistant professor of computer science at New York Institute of Technology. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in information technology in a variety of industries, including aviation, education, law enforcement, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Nizich has held IT leadership positions in both private and publicly held companies.

With more than 10 years of college-level teaching experience, Nizich holds a Ph.D. in Information Studies from Long Island University, a master’s degree in Technology Systems Management from Stony Brook University, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Dowling College.

Through ETIC programs, Nizich regularly connects both domestic and international students with internships and full-time positions in cybersecurity. He also directs New York Tech’s Center of Academic Excellence for Cybersecurity Education, designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, and serves as a member of the CTEA committee for cybersecurity for Suffolk County Community College.

Purna Prasad

Purna Prasad
Vice President and CTO
Northwell Health

Purna Prasad is a recognized leader, researcher, and innovator with three decades of experience in the field of clinical information technology and biomedical engineering. He is the chief technology officer and vice president for information technology at Northwell Health, New York's largest healthcare system. Prasad has a career-long record of accomplishment spanning information technology, clinical technology, and biomedical program development, infrastructure/architecture planning, solution engineering, and enterprise-wide integration.

He has consistently demonstrated repeated success delivering innovative, ground-breaking clinical information technology systems, solutions, and infrastructure models to enable dramatic expansion of clinical services, biomedical capabilities, and patient service capacity. He has directed best-practice projects and enterprise change management efforts to ensure continuity of mission-critical clinical systems serving the highest caliber of patient diagnostic, monitoring, and therapeutic support. He consistently collaborates with executive and clinical leadership teams to align all technology initiatives with short- and long-range business and needs, clinical demands, and regulatory compliance requirements. He serves as an end-to-end liaison to all business units, forging outstanding stakeholder relations, building cross-functional consensus, and facilitating technology adoption.

Prasad's pioneering work in clinical information technology research resulted in the first networked physiological monitoring system for acute care, distant patient care using telemedicine, computerized brain monitoring system, sleeping brain monitoring and diagnosis, and application of robotics in medicine. He successfully established the first information technology innovation center at Northwell Health in New York. This innovation center is a sandbox for the 66,000-strong Northwell clinicians, scientists, and staff to think differently. The center produced the first 3-D printed prototype of an artificial limb that enabled a wounded veteran to swim again. The center excels in using commoditized technology to empower patients to care for themselves and successfully tested the first unmanned air drone delivery of an emergency first aid pack.

Prasad holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, a master's degree in biomedical engineering, and a Ph.D. in information technology.

Kris Skrinak

Kris Skrinak
AI/ML Segment Lead, PSA
Amazon Web Services

Kris Skrinak is a Partner Solutions Architect and the Global ML Segment Lead for the AWS Partner Network. He started his career as a Quantitative Strategist at Goldman Sachs, developed predictive maintenance apps as an AI Engineer at ATT, and, prior to AWS, was Computer Vision Architect at GoPro. He founded and sold two Silicon Valley startups in finance and network monitoring: ClearStation and SiteRock. As the technical lead for horizontal support of AI/ML, he's the first line of support for AWS Partners, looking to develop or expand their use of these technologies across all markets including finance, healthcare and life sciences, public services, telecommunications, and e-commerce.

Nicole Daphne Tricoukes

Nicole Daphne Tricoukes
Senior Maverick, Heads-Up Display Systems, Chief Technology Officer
Zebra Technologies

Nicole Daphne Tricoukes is making the futuristic visions of science fiction real as part of the Chief Technology Office at Zebra Technologies. She is focused on advancing augmented and virtual reality heads-up display and machine vision systems enabling automation across enterprise. Tricoukes' work expands the human possibilities of wearable smart glass solutions in enterprise, making frictionless and uninterrupted workflow possible. She holds eight patents and is a fourth-degree black belt in Jiujitsu.