Ron "Buddy" Bayer, Chief Network OfficerWindstream 

Ron “Buddy” Bayer is chief network officer for Windstream. He is responsible for network engineering, architecture, network operations, and capital investment for the company as well as wholesale sales and operations. He was previously senior vice president of transport engineering, overseeing Windstream’s long-haul, regional and metro networks; inside plant facilities, and fiber deployment. 

Bayer joined Windstream in September 2014 from CenturyLink, where he was director of transport planning and engineering. He had previously held a variety of management and engineering positions with OnFiber Communications and MCI WorldCom. 

Bayer holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University. 

Brad Booth, Principal Network Hardware Manager, Microsoft 

Brad Booth is a distinguished leader in technology development and standardization. He is a Principal Hardware Engineering Manager in Microsoft’s Next Cloud System Architecture Group where he leads a team responsible for the development of next-generation optical connectivity solutions for Microsoft’s Cloud and AI datacenters. Previously, Brad has held technology strategist and engineering positions at Dell, Intel, and Bell-Northern Research. The holder of over 20 patents related to networking technologies, he has also received awards for his contributions to industry consortia and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards. 

Rupesh Chokshi, Assistant Vice President, Edge Solutions Product Marketing Management, AT&T 

Rupesh Chokshi is a dynamic leader in technology with a strategic focus for growth in global technology and telecommunications. He currently leads the product marketing team within Edge Solutions for AT&T Business which focuses on product management, strategy, and business development. Rupesh manages a significant global portfolio of market-leading, innovative technology solutions for global business customers. The Edge Solutions team is transforming services and networks using software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), and SD-WAN technologies. 

Most recently, Rupesh has developed new offers for the AT&T Edge Solutions business to create value for customers by marketing software-based solutions at the edge that are agile and scalable. These newly launched bundled solutions encompass the newest technology trends including SDN, NFV, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and IoT. 

Roy Chua
Founder and Principal
AvidThink

Roy Chua is the founder and principal at AvidThink, independent research and advisory service formed in 2018 out of SDxCentral's research arm. Roy was previously co-founder at SDxCentral where he ran both the research and product teams. Roy was formerly a management consultant working with both Fortune 500 and startup technology companies on go-to-market and product consulting. As an early proponent of the software-defined infrastructure movement, Roy is a frequent speaker at events in the telco and cloud space and a regular contributor to leading technology publications. A graduate of UC Berkeley's electrical engineering and computer science program and MIT's Sloan School of Business, Chua has 20+ years of experience in telco and enterprise cloud computing, networking, and security, including founding several Silicon Valley startups. 

Beth Cohen, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff - NFV/SDN Product StrategyVerizon 

In her role at Verizon, she develops Software Defined Network and Edge products, including Secure Cloud Interconnect and Virtual Network Services, a market-leading SDN product.  Involved in cutting edge technology since her days at BBN, the pioneering inventor of the Internet.  A leader in several Open Source groups and projects in the Edge and SDN Open Source communities, OpenStack Edge Working Group, and most recently, the Cloud iNfrastructure Telecom Taskforce (CNTT), a joint effort of the Linux Foundation - Networking (LFN) and the GSMA, that is creating a common infrastructure reference model and architecture to support the development of Virtual Network Functions (VNF) that will be used across the Telecom Operators and their supporting vendors. 

Erik Gronvall, VP Strategy and Business Development, CommScope 

Erik Gronvall is VP of Service Provider Strategy & Business Development for CommScope. He leads product strategy, design, and development for inside and outside plant connectivity solutions and works with customers defining the next generation.  

Erike has been granted over 50 patents on product design and network architectures in the Telecommunications space.  

He holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA at the University of St. Thomas. 

Kyle Forster, Director, Product Management, Anthos Services, Google 

Kyle Forster leads Product Management for a variety of Google's hybrid cloud initiatives.  Prior to Google Cloud, he was one the early pioneers of the Software Defined Networking movement and the founder of Big Switch Networks, a company he led from inception to acquisition by Arista Networks in early 2020.  Kyle spent most of his early career at Cisco in the wifi and cellular business units, bringing three products from concept to market and managing $100M+ portfolio of Cisco wireless products.  He holds eight patents spanning software-defined networking, mobile networking and security, a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton, an MS in Computer Science, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 

Jeff Heynen, Senior Research Director, Broadband Access and Home Networking, Dell’Oro Group 

Jeff Heynen joined Dell’Oro Group in 2018 and is responsible for the Broadband Access and Home Networking market research program. While at the firm, Mr. Heynen has expanded the Broadband Access and Home Networking area which encompasses cable, fiber, copper, and emerging wireless broadband technologies and trends. Mr. Heynen’s research and analysis have been cited in leading trade and business publications. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. 

Jonathan Homa, Senior Director ECI Portfolio MarketingRibbon 

Jonathan Homa is responsible for shaping and communicating the value of the Ribbon Communications’ Packet-Optical network portfolio. Prior to joining Ribbon, which merged with ECI Telecom in 2020, Jonathan held a variety of senior positions at Nortel Networks and Xtellus, an optical switching startup that was successfully acquired. He served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and the Multiservice Switching Forum. Jonathan received a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from McGill University. 

Roopa Honnachari, Industry Director, Business Communication Services & Cloud Services, Frost & Sullivan 

Roopa leads the Business Communication Services practice, and contributes to Cloud Services Program at Frost & Sullivan.  She is an authority in the business network services space, with more than a decade of experience spanning  global market research, strategic growth consulting, and technical marketing in the communication services industry.  

Roopa & her global team monitor market developments across business network services to publish periodical market forecasts, competitive analysis and strategic insights.  Areas of coverage include next-generation intelligent services such as software-defined networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) based business services, SD-WAN, and established services such as MPLS VPN, Ethernet and Waves.  

As a recognized expert on the Carrier Ethernet Services Market in particular, and network & cloud services in general, Roopa is frequently invited to attend/moderate/judge/speak at industry events. She has been on the judging panel of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) awards since 2010, and moderate several panels on SD-WAN, Ethernet and cloud networking. 

Roopa’s education includes a  MBA in Strategic Marketing from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India, and a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications Engineering from Bangalore Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. 

Bhanu Krishnamurthy, Executive Director, Software Development & QA, Comcast 

Bhanu is a software engineering leader at Comcast and has been instrumental in the shift to cloud-native architecture for applications that traditionally ran on custom hardware. After successful trials, she is busy working on deploying this on a massive scale. Her current focus is on solving deployment and operational challenges that come with such scaled deployments. She is also involved in ONF’s open source data switching fabric. A software engineer at heart who enjoys staying close to the code and mentoring young software professionals. She has a Masters degree in computer science. 

Bill Lambertson, Global Director for Cloud, 5G Network and Edge ComputingIBM 

Bill is an IBM Industry Academy Member, Certified Executive Consultant, and currently the Global Director, Cloud Industry Solutions for IBM’s Telecommunications Industry. In this role, Bill provides Cloud industry expertise and leadership to Communications Service Providers (CSPs) around the world. Helping CSPs transform their business through agile multi-cloud and multi-tier platforms - designed for data and AI, with open standards and security technologies; spanning across three business domains; (1) Multi-Cloud for IT, (2) Cloud for B2B Enterprise, and (3) Cloud-based Networking to deliver new innovation in areas of SDN, 5G Core to RAN and at the Edge.  Bill also serves as a steering committee member for the Open API and Open Digital Programs at TM Forum, the leading industry association focused on driving the next wave of digital business growth 

Inbar Lasser-Raab, Chief Marketing OfficerDriveNets 

Inbar is a high-tech marketer with wide international experience and passion for networking. She joined DriveNets in 2019 to grow the company’s brand awareness and accelerate its business growth. Prior to joining DriveNets, Inbar was VP of Enterprise Product Marketing at Cisco’s Headquarters, supporting a $25B+ portfolio, and VP of marketing at Nokia. 

Sam Lisle, Business Development Director for Packet Optical TransportRibbon 

Sam Lisle serves as the North American Business Development Director for Packet Optical Transport for Ribbon Communications. He has more than two decades of experience in packet optical networking, serving in a number of leadership roles including product management, marketing, technology planning and corporate strategy. Sam holds several U.S. patents in packet optical networking and was instrumental in the definition of three generations of optical networking platforms. Prior to Ribbon, he held senior positions at Fujitsu and technical staff positions at Bellcore (now Telcordia). Sam holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech University. 

Gordon Mansfield, Vice President Converged Access & Device Technology, AT&T 

Gordon Mansfield is an accomplished, highly innovative thought leader currently responsible for AT&T’s converged access and device technology direction. Gordon’s team is responsible for the multiyear access and device technology roadmaps at AT&T.  He currently is leading the technology decisions for our 5G deployments.  Gordon has previously served as the Chairman of the International Small Cell Forum. In this role, he drove broad engagement within the international mobile operator community to build and define the global small cell ecosystem. Gordon has a demonstrated track record of proven leadership, broad technology savvy, proactive stakeholder engagement, and application of business/technical insight globally. 

With broad experience in the communications industry, Gordon has held key leadership roles at AT&T, Siemens Communications and the United States Air Force.  

Gordon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology. He has 51 patents awarded to date. 

He lives in Dallas and has two sons, Zachary and Matthew.  They are avid boaters and can be found on the lake most weekends when Gordon is not away on business. 

Kevin McBride, Principal ArchitectCenturyLink 

Kevin McBride is a Principal Architect at CenturyLink with more than 21 years of telecommunications and service-provider experience. His responsibilities include research, analysis, design, and socialization/evangelist, with a primary focus on network proximity-based Edge compute and network virtualization technologies. Kevin also provides strategic vision and implementation of the Edge computing and software-defined Infrastructure vision at CenturyLink across all technology domains. He holds more than 25 patents and pending patents related to telecommunications systems, video analytics and content packaging, IP-Ethernet network device management, cloud orchestration and management, SDN and NFV platforms orchestration, and intelligent data-driven network orchestration systems. Kevin serves as a Principal Investigator and participant on several DARPA future-networking and computing programs. He co-led the prototyping, development, and production deployment of CenturyLink’s NFV Programmable Services Backbone platform. His previous technical roles include network operations center environments, video platform testing and development, data center management, operations, planning, engineering, lab testing, new technology research and development, and driving emerging standards. 

Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology OfficerMEF 

Pascal is a proven technology thought leader, sales evangelist, product manager, and seasoned IP architect with decades of experience in internetworking, next-generation information systems, and communication architectures.  Pascal currently serves as Chief Technology Officer and Advisory Director to MEF. 

He is focused on cloud-scale architectures, real-time media networks, Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO).  He is a former Principal from Microsoft Skype for Business Global Carrier Group where he spent close to 10 years working on many real-time media and network technologies.  Pascal has done five startups with multiple successes, has received numerous industry awards, and has presented extensively in numerous events globally.  Pascal holds 4 patents with 25 additional patents pending and has co-authored many standards in the IETF, MEF, IMTC, and Broadband Forum (MPLS). 

R. Scott Raynovich
Founder and Principal Analyst
Futuriom

R. Scott Raynovich is the Founder and Chief Analyst of Futuriom. For two decades he has been covering a wide range of technology as an editor, analyst, and publisher. Most recently, he was VP of Research at SDxCentral.com, which acquired his previous technology website, Rayno Report, in 2015. Prior to that, he was the editor in chief of Light Reading, where he worked for nine years. Raynovich has also served as Investment Editor at Red Herring, where he started the New York Bureau and helped build the original Redherring.com website. He has won several industry awards, including an Editor & Publisher award for Best Business Blog, and his analysis has been featured by prominent media outlets including NPR, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and the San Jose Mercury News. He can be reached at [email protected] and follow him @rayno 

Dave Shacochis, VP, Hybrid IT ManagementCenturylink 

David Shacochis currently leads the Product Management team for Hybrid IT Solutions at CenturyLink, responsible for managed solutions across applications, infrastructure, and hybrid cloud.   As a senior leader within the product organization, he is commercially responsible for profitable growth, service design, and roadmap development across the global cloud core and the distributed cloud edge.  His experience with firms at the heart of the cloud computing revolution - such as UUNET, Exodus, Digital Island, Qwest, Savvis, Tier 3, and Level 3 - has built a wealth of IT service provider experience with a variety of clients across the public and private sector. 

Timon Sloane, VP, Marketing & EcosystemONF 

Timon Sloane is the vice president of marketing and ecosystem of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).  He leads the organization’s efforts to build an open-source ecosystem, thus helping to enable the broad transformation of the networking industry through the adoption of open source business practices. 

As part of driving ecosystem change, Timon is responsible for ONF’s marketing, membership, standards, certification programs. 

Prior to the ONF, Timon provided product and management consulting services to numerous technology firms, most recently with Ericsson where he was driving product strategy for the networking product lines. He has also help numerous executive roles in product management, marketing and engineering for firms such as Matisse Networks, Extreme Networks, NET, FlowWise and SCO. 

Timon received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Marisa Viveros, Vice President, Strategy and Offerings, IBM Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment 

Marisa is a VP at IBM, leading Strategy and Solutions for the Global Telco, M&E Industry. She is responsible for creating a portfolio of solutions to address the needs of clients as it relates to digital transformation, networks, optimizing core business functions, and creating new services. In her position, she is spearheading IBM strategy for Telco Network Cloud – including 5G and Edge, while developing the partner ecosystem. 

Mirko Voltolini, Global Head of Network On Demand, Colt Technology Services 

Mirko Voltolini is Head of Network On Demand at Colt and joined the company in 2002. He is responsible for leading the effort to architect and develop The Colt IQ Network and product portfolio to deliver an online digital customer experience; allowing clients to order, design and manage their network services on-demand. Mirko has also held several senior roles in technical development and engineering at Colt. Prior to joining the organisation, he worked at GTS/Ebone, Italtel and ICT Consulting; an independent telecom consultancy company. Mirko holds an MSc in Telecommunications Engineering from Politecnico of Milan. 

Aaron Werley, Chief Technology Officer, Zayo 

Aaron Werley is CTO – Lit Services for Zayo Group, based out of Boulder, CO.  He oversees multiple technical teams responsible for the network architecture, planning, implementation, and network orchestration efforts necessary to support Zayo’s global optical and packet network. Aaron also leads the Lit Services’ program management team focused on improving process and systems involved in service implementation and delivery.  Originally joining Zayo in 2007 through the acquisition of PPL Telcom, Aaron has held progressively increasing levels of responsibility across multiple organizations including IT, Network Support, Engineering and Architecture. He has 15 years experience engineering and operating service provider networks specializing in Ethernet, IP, and WDM Technologies. 

Aaron received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.  He currently resides in Erie, CO with his wife and three daughters

Tom Williams, Vice President, MarketingAcacia Communications 

Tom is responsible for global marketing and communications activities for Acacia. Prior to Acacia, Tom spent 14 years at Optium and Finisar Corporations, where he held various management roles, including Director of Product Line Management for high speed (>100G) transmission products. Tom has also held positions at Lucent Technologies and Northrop Grumman Corporation. He has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Widener University. 

Michael Wynston, Director of Global Network ArchitectureFiserv 

Michael Wynston is an experienced leader in Network Infrastructure in Financial Services for over 25 years. Michael is highly skilled at leading and managing teams in Infrastructure through complex globally scaled projects. Using agile management methods, Michael has lead transformations of IT Infrastructure at multiple Fortune 100 Financial Services organizations. 

Michael currently leads Global Network Architecture services at Fiserv with a team in North America, South America, APAC, and EMEA developing new infrastructure focused on leveraging leading-edge technologies to provide the business with the ability to scale faster and with cost efficiencies. Michael has also lead Infrastructure teams in China engaging in procurement through the Public Bidding process. 

Jimmy Yu, Vice President and Analyst for Optical Transport MarketDell'Oro Group 

Jimmy Yu joined Dell’Oro Group in 2001 and is responsible for the Optical Transport and Microwave Transmission & Mobile Backhaul Transport market research programs. Mr. Yu is a recognized authority in his areas of coverage and has written articles in various industry magazines. Mr. Yu is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events, including OFC, OIDA, Photonics Society, and the Next Generation Optical Networking. 

Jim Poole
Vice President of Global Business Development
Equinix

Jim Poole is Vice President of Global Business Development at Equinix, leading Evolving Edge strategies focused on 5G, private wireless, MEC, subsea cable and SATCOMs.  He has a 30+ year background spanning the IT, telecommunications and content technologies industries.  Jim joined Equinix from Roundbox, Inc., a provider of mobile broadcast software, where he led business development and sales.  Prior to Roundbox, he was Vice President and General Manager of Network Services at SAVVIS (now Lumen), responsible for business line P&L, product management, marketing and strategy.  He also held senior leadership positions at C&W Americas, dynamicsoft and UUNET.

Phill Coppin, Head Global Application Engineering and PLM, STL

Phill Coppin is Head of Global Application Engineering and PLM at STL. He has been with STL for over 17 years, handling multiple diverse roles during this period. An acknowledged optical fiber and OFC expert, he has managed Quality, Process Improvement, and New Product Development for both, OF & OFC operations for the organization. Prior to STL, he has worked with British Telecom and Corning. Phill has completed his degree in Physics from Loughborough University of Technology, UK.

JEFF FINKELSTEIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGYCOX COMMUNICATIONS

Jeff Finkelstein is the Executive Director of Advanced Technology at Cox Communications in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a key member of the engineering organization at Cox since 2002 and led the team responsible for the deployment of DOCSIS technologies, from DOCSIS 1.0 to DOCSIS 3.0. His current responsibilities include focusing on creating future network technologies. He was the initial innovator of advanced technologies including Pro-Active Network Maintenance, Active Queue Management, DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0, and the Flexible MAC Architecture.

Jeff has over 50 patents issued or pending.