Hear from experts and industry leaders who are dedicated to providing Connections attendees with an educational and inspirational experience!
CNBC host, author, marketing change agent
Founder and CEO of Epic Foundation
Bonin Bough is one of the foremost-awarded marketing executives in his field, the host of The Cleveland Hustles, and the author of Txt Me (646) 759-1837. Throughout his illustrious career as one of the youngest C-suite executives in a Fortune 50 company, Bonin has spearheaded some of the industry’s largest global marketing campaigns across digital, mobile, television, print, and experiential, including the premier of the first ever 3D printed food product, the customizable, real-time 3D printed Oreo at SXSW.
As the Chief Media & eCommerce Officer at Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods), he created some of the first marketing programs across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Paramount Films, ABC, NBC, Fox, to name a few, and took precedence in fostering partnerships with startups including Instagram, Foursquare, and Buzzfeed. Prior to Mondelēz International, Bonin led digital marketing globally for PepsiCo, Weber Shandwick and Ruder Finn Interactive.
He is seen as one of the top mobile marketers in the world, having been named “Mobile Marketer of the Year” by the MMA. In 2013, he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement and has been listed in Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40”, Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, The Adweek 50 and PRWeek Power List.
Bonin’s prominence as a transformative activator has helped reinvigorate traditional marketing by combining innovative tech via breakthrough brand campaigns including Oreo, Honey Maid, Pepsi, Gatorade, and countless other billion dollar brands.
Alexandre Mars is the Founder of Epic Foundation and the serial entrepreneur who is rethinking philanthropy. After selling his startups Phonevalley (Publicis Groupe) and Scr00n (Blackberry), Mars decided to try something new - changing how the world approaches charitable giving. Now, he is using everything he learned from building tech startups to bring digital transformation to the nonprofit world.
Epic is built on a simple premise, if people understand more about the causes they support, they will give more to those causes. Each year Mars and his team research and analyze hundreds of organizations, the 20 that have the highest impact are added to Epic’s portfolio. Users can track the impact of the causes through Epic’s online community and the Impact app, letting them see where their money is going and gauge the impact of their contributions.
Through Epic, 100% of donations go directly to causes that positively impact the lives of thousands of children around the world. Their portfolio of vetted causes focus on youth, but Mars hopes his model will pave the way for NGOs and social enterprises around the world to adopt a modern, digitally charged approach to philanthropy.
Follow the link below to learn more about Mars, browse the Epic portfolio, and experience a model of giving built for the digital generation.
Experience a New Way to Donate
President and CEO
Michael Tessler brings over 20 years of business strategy and technology experience to his role as co-founder.
As CEO and president of BroadSoft, Michael is focused on bringing advanced carrier-grade communications
systems to service providers worldwide.
At Alcatel USA, as Vice President of Engineering in the Celcore organization, Michael was responsible for
all product development activities for several product lines. A member of the senior staff, Michael participated
in business strategy, helped manage the day-to-day, business activities, and led the business development
activities in China.
Prior to Alcatel, Michael held numerous senior management roles at Nortel and founded and led a services
development business unit that helped local exchange carriers build and deploy advanced services on their
digital networks. Michael has two patents in the area of local switching, AIN, and advanced call management
services and was a recent winner of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer, Scott Hoffpauir is responsible for guiding the technical vision and direction
for BroadSoft as well as promoting continuous product innovation. Driving the company’s strong reputation
of leadership and innovation, Scott manages BroadSoft’s engineering, operations and product management
Scott began serving as a co-founder and Vice President, Engineering of BroadSoft in 1998. Prior to BroadSoft,
Scott was Director of GSM Development at Celcore (DSC/Alcatel USA). In this role, he was responsible for
all product development on the GSM switching product. Before Celcore, Scott was senior architect for Nortel’s
GSM and Inter-Exchange Carrier switching systems. Scott holds multiple patents in the GSM, SIP, call processing
and switching areas.
Chief Digital & Marketing Officer
Taher Behbehani draws upon more than 20 years of operational, product strategy, and marketing expertise in
his role as CDMO. As a technology leader with a proven track record of getting in front of trends shaping
the industry, Taher is focused on guiding BroadSoft to its next growth stage and transforming the firm’s
vision into new product road maps to meet growing enterprise demand for mobile Unified Communications.
Behbehani has served in a broad range of leadership positions that cut across M&A and business development,
product management, business transformation and digital marketing – affording Behbehani with an unconventional
perspective that extends beyond traditional marketing. Past roles include executive positions at BlackBerry,
American Express, and Time Warner Cable.
In addition to global corporate leadership positions, Behbehani was founder of several start-ups and has
been a key investor and advisor to numerous market disruptors. His prior experience in these roles will
enable BroadSoft to apply a more analytical view of how users consume services, what new business models
create value, and the ability to leverage this data to drive adoption across user profiles and new distribution
President and Principal Analyst KelCor, Inc.
Brent Kelly is president and principal analyst at KelCor, Inc., where he provides strategy and counsel to key client types including CIOs, CTOs, investment analysts, VCs, technology policy executives, sell-side firms, and technology buyers. He is a passionate end-user advocate.
Brent has been an independent consultant and analyst since 2001, writing hundreds of articles and presenting at numerous public and private events. He has made real-world implementable and measurable contributions resulting in significant revenue/profit increases, product and process improvements, and/or strategic redirection for companies in telecommunications, manufacturing, electronics, oil field services, chemicals, and mining. Dr. Kelly has led teams developing real-time data acquisition and control systems (precursors to today's Internet of Things), and artificial intelligence systems capable of learning. He has been engaged in repeat consulting assignments for the largest tech companies in the world where his education and strong business experience allow him to identify emerging opportunities and to develop strategies and tactics to capitalize on these efficiently.
Brent has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University. He has served two terms as a city councilman in his Utah community. He is an avid outdoorsman participating in cycling, backpacking, hiking, fishing, and skiing. He and his wife own and operate a gourmet chocolates manufacturing company.
President/Principal Analyst at KelCor, Inc.
Contributor to nojitter.com, the industry publication
Member of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants International (SCTC)
Mike van den Bergh
Chief Marketing Officer PCCW
Mike van den Bergh is an internationally-recognized figure in the global telecommunications and high tech industries, having held a wide variety of senior management positions in South Africa, the UK and Australia over a period of more than 35 years. Today, Mike holds the positions of both Chief Marketing Officer at PCCW Global and Managing Director of HKT Global Development Services. He is also responsible for Strategic Business Development within the company.
Mike was the Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Communications prior to its acquisition by PCCW Global in 2012. Gateway was the leading provider of pan-African connectivity solutions, delivering voice, data and value added services to Africa’s leading mobile operators, carriers and service providers, as well as to multinational enterprises. Mike was also a director of GTV, Gateway’s DTH (direct-to-home) TV business, which broadcast sport and entertainment television channels to 15 African countries.
Mike founded FirstNet in South Africa in 1991, which later merged with Gateway IP to become Gateway Communications. He has been active in the African telecommunications industry ever since, travelling extensively and spearheading Gateway’s drive into new markets across the continent and beyond.
As a member of PCCW Global’s senior management team, Mike continues to drive the expansion of the company’s business on a worldwide basis, with his portfolio including M&A, corporate strategy and business partnerships.
Mike has over the years chaired a number of industry associations, both in South Africa and internationally.
PCCW Global is the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider, which is majority-owned by PCCW Limited. Covering more than 3,000 cities and 140 countries, PCCW Global’s network supports a portfolio of integrated global communications services which include Ethernet solutions, IP solutions, fiber and satellite transmission solutions, managed services and solutions, international voice and VoIPX offerings, as well as a rapidly expanding range of value-added services including cloud-based services, Unified Communications and OTT (over the top) content and media solutions, and managed security services.
HKT Global Development Services integrates the PCCW and HKT integrated quad play to mobile and fixed operators worldwide, together with a range of value-added services such as Smart Living (smart homes) and smart cities, managed OTT video services, and the build, operate and transfer of FTTx and other operator-level infrastructure services.
Mike van den Bergh is an internationally-recognized figure in the global telecommunications and high-tech industries, having held a wide variety of senior management positions in South Africa, the UK and Australia over a period of more than 35 years. Today, Mike holds the positions of both Chief Marketing Officer at PCCW Global and Managing Director of HKT Global Development Services. Prior to its acquisition by PCCW Global in 2012, Mike was the CEO of Gateway Communications. As a member of PCCW Global’s senior management team, Mike continues to drive the expansion of the company’s business on a worldwide basis, with his portfolio including both M&A and business partnerships. He has also been instrumental in spearheading PCCW Global’s expansion into the consumer OTT and IPTV content delivery space, and is a director of ONTAPtv.com in South Africa.
Vice President and Principal Analyst Constellation Research
Alan Lepofsky, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research has more than two decades of experience in the collaboration software industry where he helps companies improve the way their employees get work done. Alan specializes in the Future of Work, researching not just software, but also how aspects such as company culture, work location, devices/hardware, transportation, and new business models impact the engagement between colleagues, customers, content and communities.
Alan has been with Constellation for nearly 6 years, where he’s published industry leading research papers on topics such as collaboration, project management, and digital proficiency and was recently interviewed live on CNBC discussing AI and augmenting the way we work. Alan frequently keynotes conferences, moderates panels and conducts interviews with reporters around the world.
Alan’s social following is impressive he is in Toronto’s top 100 tweeters and has over 16,000 followers on Twitter and close to 4000 on LinkedIn. Alan frequently blogs and has his own website which holds most of his content and allows you to reach him directly, it can be found here: http://www.alanlepofsky.com/alepofsky/alanblog.nsf .
Outside of his career Alan is a father of two, and tries to remain through high energy sports including spinning classes and ultimate frisbee. He has also travelled to most of the world but has still yet to visit Africa and Asia, he is a keen amateur photographer and has a very impressive portfolio of pictures on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanlepo/sets/1309391/.
Founder and Principal AnalystMcGee-Smith Analytics
Sheila McGee-Smith, the founder and principal analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant with a proven track record in new product development, competitive assessment, market research, and sales strategies for communications solutions and services. Her insight helps enterprises and solution providers develop strategies to meet the escalating demands of today’s consumer and business customers.
With more than three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to founding McGee-Smith Analytics, McGee-Smith was the Director of Call Center and Operator Services for The PELORUS Group for 12 years. Earlier in her career, she held sales management, market research and product management positions at AT&T and Dun & Bradstreet.
Ms. McGee-Smith has served as Enterprise Connect Contact Center Track Chair for the past ten years. Her views on the market can be seen in regular posts on No Jitter and on Twitter.
Ms. McGee-Smith earned her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University, with a major in psychology. She was awarded an MBA, with distinction, with majors in marketing and management information systems, from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Founder and Principal AnalystZK Research
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst of ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical and long-term strategic advice to constituents, including end-user IT and network managers; vendors of IT hardware, software and services; and the IT investment community.
Prior to ZK Research, Zeus was a senior vice president and distinguished research fellow with Yankee Group. Before Yankee Group, Kerravala had a number of technical roles, including a senior technical position at Greenwich Technology Partners (GTP). He has held numerous internal IT positions, including vice president of IT and deputy CIO of Ferris, Baker Watts and senior project manager at Alex. Brown and Sons Inc. Kerravala is heavily quoted in the business and technology press, and is a regular speaker at events including Interop and Enterprise Connect.