Tech Trek

June 15, 2018


What is Tech Talk?

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New to this year’s A2 Tech Trek is Tech Talk. Before walking the walk, hear talks by leading local innovators at the Michigan Theater. Tech Talk is modeled after TED events. Speakers will each have seven minutes to talk about their innovations, what they see happening in the world of tech, and what they foresee for the future. Tech Talk attendees will also have the chance to submit questions for the speakers to answer.

The day of the event, start by checking in at:
Location: Michigan Theater – 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Tech Talk: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Who’s Talking?


Emily Drier, Ann Arbor Chapter Leader of Girl Develop It
Emily is an Ann Arbor Chapter Leader of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment. During her work day, she is the Project Manager for Boxcar Studio, an Ann Arbor web design agency. When not leading Girl Develop It in her spare time, Emily can be found running with her Shetland Sheepdog, Obie.

Greg Gage, Co-Founder & CEO of Backyard Brains
Greg Gage is the co-founder and CEO of Backyard Brains, a company started with labmate Tim Marzullo while a graduate students in the Neural Engineering Lab at the University of Michigan. Greg is a published neuroscientist and engineer and has help developed tools, curriculum and experiments that allow the general public participate, hands-on, in neural discovery. He is senior fellow at TED and has given many TED talks, a director’s innovation award winning investigator at the National Institute of Health, and was recognized in a White House ceremony for being a Champion of Change for his commitment to citizen science. In his free time, he enjoys changing diapers of his 2 young daughters.

James Goebel, Founding Partner of Menlo Innovations
James is a founding partner of Menlo Innovations. Menlo uses highly collaborative project teams to design and implement innovative products for clients that place high value on user adoption. He’s a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a certified Scrum Master, and has an MBA from Eastern Michigan University. He has practiced software product development for more than twenty years as a developer, team lead, system architect, project manager, practice director, and executive coach.

Lon Lowen, Senior Director, Engineering Operations at Arbor Networks
Lon Lowen has worked in data networking and Internet technologies for over 20 years starting with the NSFNet project at ANS in 1994. At Arbor Networks, Lon is responsible for driving engineering initiatives for the Arbor SP product portfolio, used by over 90% of the global Internet Service Providers. In addition, Lon is responsible for overall Engineering Operations at Arbor including Beta Programs, Security Assessment, Sustainment Engineering and Testlabs.

Daniel Moore, Technical Service Engineer at Universal Robots
Daniel is a Technical Service Engineer focused on Technical Instruction, pre-sales support, and application troubleshooting.  He’s spent eight years in automation, with a focus on robotic laser welding and cutting, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jon Oberheide, Co-founder & CTO of Duo Security
Jon Oberheide, or more commonly known as Jono, is the Co-founder & CTO of Duo Security, one of the most financially efficient and fastest growing SaaS companies in the world. Duo is a cloud-based secure access provider protecting thousands of the world’s largest and fastest growing organizations, like Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and Kayak. In his role, Jon leads product vision, the company’s security and the Duo Labs advanced research team. He is a well-known security expert who holds three degrees from University of Michigan, one of which is a PhD in Computer Science. Jon has also landed on the Forbes’ “30 under 30” list for his Android security research.

Andrew Sardone, VP of Engineering at Nutshell
Andrew is an Ann Arbor-based software engineer and designer, spending most of his time working on Nutshell. He enjoys architecture & industrial design, math, ruminating about technology, and building products. When not by a screen, he’s usually spending time with his wife or wrangling their two boys.

Chris Schneider, Senior Vice President of Engineering at LLamasoft
Chris Schneider is the Senior Vice President of Engineering with global responsibility for the development of LLamasoft’s suite of products. Chris brings over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software industry. After earning his mathematics undergraduate degree in Operations Research from the University of Michigan, he spent the first portion of his career as an Oracle DBA and data and systems architect for Oracle and Seagate in Silicon Valley. He has spent the past 15 years building and leading engineering and professional services teams for enterprise software organizations. Prior to LLamasoft, Chris was VP of Technical Operations at Blazent where he led the transformation to a cloud, SaaS-based offering with a highly secure environment focused on the financial industry.

Alon Yaffe, VP Product Management, Data Protection at Barracuda Networks
Alon is responsible for the strategy and planning of Barracuda’s data protection products, which are developed in Ann Arbor and help customers protect, retain and recover their data. He has been working in various roles related to software development for more than 20 years and loves technology as well as the people who make it happen.

Christina York, Founder & CEO of SpellBound
Christina is founder and CEO of SpellBound, an Ann Arbor-based augmented reality company that creates therapeutic experiences for children in hospital. SpellBound offers tools for distraction therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy and encourages positive engagement with treatment for pediatric patients. Christina is an information architect and user experience researcher by trade and spent 15 years designing technology solutions for health care and higher ed. She loves Star Wars AND Star Trek and she enjoys making solar system models with her two daughters.