Julia Asoni has been a founding member, leader, and consultant for tech startups in the DC area for over a decade, focused on driving growth, revenue, and impact for early SaaS companies. She is passionate about the development and implementation of AI solutions that drive efficiency while promoting positive social impact. As COO of Standup, Julia strives to transform government and enterprise efficiency with Generative AI, address complex challenges in proposal generation and evaluation, and convert enterprise knowledge into education materials. Her board memberships are focused on strengthening the tech and AI community in DC, and reducing barriers to entry and increasing opportunities for innovative private sector tech to work with the US government. Mrs. Asoni lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and three children.
Joti Balani, founder of Freshriver.ai, is a creative architect designing and delivering complex enterprise, human and systemic transformations with her multidimensional framework blending AI, Data Science, Engineering and Social Sciences. She leads transformative innovations at Fortune 100 enterprises to create emotional, economic and brand value with her team, who represent the empowered human race in all dimensions.
Greg Bennett is Director of Conversation Design at Salesforce, where he founded and leads the company’s first dedicated Conversation Design practice since its inception. As a sociolinguist, he shepherds a product and design vision at Salesforce that helps teams across the entire product portfolio create inclusive experiences that feel natural, helpful, and meaningful, and manages an international team of Conversation Designers who work with Salesforce’s Product leaders to define the future of conversational AI
Heidi Culbertson is currently the Senior Business Development Manager at Amazon, leading strategic partnerships for Alexa Aging & Independence. With over 20 years at the forefront of wireless, mobile & the internet-of-things, Heidi is a technology futurist and operating executive who's been a startup founder, a senior executive in growth-stage companies, and directed teams in Fortune 10 organizations launching emerging innovation. Heidi has been honored as a 2018 Voice AI Pioneer at Project Voice, a 2019 Top Influencer and 2020 Top Leader in Product & Design by Voicebot, and a 2021 Global Women in Voice DEI Award nominee. Heidi is a startup advisor, conversation design and product mentor, and sought-after speaker on the future of voice.
Lisa Falkson is currently Senior Conversation Designer at Amazon, leading a team of designers covering Alexa Communication, Social, Kitchen, Home Productivity, and Alexa for Everyone. She is the editor and author of “Ubiquitous Voice: Essays from the Field” and has over 20 years of industry and research experience, specializing in the design, development and deployment of natural speech and multimodal interfaces. Her most recent work includes next-generation voice user interfaces at NIO and CloudCar, as well as Amazon’s first speech-enabled products: Fire TV, Fire Phone and Echo/Alexa. Prior to that, she focused on early iPad/iPhone interfaces at Volio, and speech-enabled IVR applications at Nuance. Lisa holds a BSEE from Stanford, and an MSEE from UCLA.
Bret Kinsella is CEO and founder of Voicebot.ai, the leading source of research, data, analysis, and news about voice, AI, and synthetic media technologies. Bret has been named Voice AI commentator (2019-21) and analyst of the year (2020-21). He earned degrees from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
I lead multimillion-dollar IT, professional services, and marketing programs for government agencies, public companies, and private companies. Nothing makes me happier than to see these programs deliver meaningful impact for brands, individuals in their career paths, and the larger global community. My core competencies include team leadership, go-to-market strategy, brand management, agile program development and management, digital marketing, and crisis communications. My marketing leadership positions include serving global AI analytics firm Evalueserve as Vice President of Marketing Communications and edtech startup Legends of Learning as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President. I started and sold one of the world’s first social media agencies Livingston Communications.
MELLINI MONIQUE Voice Coach & Consultant, Vocal Culture Garden Mellini Monique is a leading voice expert and performance coach who has dedicated her career to empowering innovators, thought-leaders, and creatives to share their unique voice and vision with the world. With over 30 years of experience in public speaking, theatre arts, professional coaching, and expressive therapies, Mellini has made a significant impact in the field of vocal health and personal growth. Mellini served as the Lead Performance Coach for SXSW Pitch, where she helped aspiring entrepreneurs and startups fine-tune their pitching skills and showcase their ideas to a global audience. She also worked with the United States Department of Energy, training emerging sustainable energy scientists in vocal communication skills. In addition to her work as a coach and speaker, Mellini is the founder of Vocal Culture Garden, a boutique voice design & strategy firm that gives voice to humans and AI. Through her work at Vocal Culture Garden, Mellini has helped companies create space for more Diversity in Pitching™️, coached founders to move Beyond The Deck™️, developed corporate voice brand identities, crafted and curated educational and exploratory voice experiences and led private clients on a soulful voice discovery via her proprietary framework, Pathway To Phenomenal™️. With a PR and theater degree from Columbia College and a Master of Arts in Drama Therapy from New York University, Mellini is uniquely qualified to teach executives, high-achievers, entrepreneurs, and business owners how to architect and deliver their unique voice brands to create highly desired outcomes.
James Poulter is the former Head of Lego Group’s Emerging Platform team and founder of Vixen Labs and is a leading thought leader and keynote speaker on the future of work, voice technology, conversational artificial intelligence, and social media. In addition to his work at Vixen, James is the founder of Voice2, the UK’s leading Voice and Conversational Ai Community and previously as Head of The LEGO Group’s Emerging Platforms & Partnerships team as part of the Digital Consumer Engagement division, James pursued new technologies, platforms, and partners to build digital consumer engagement with LEGO customers, shoppers, and consumers on a global basis. Prior to joining LEGO, James worked for a number of the world’s leading marketing, advertising, and public relations firms including Edelman and Ogilvy leading digital marketing, mobile and social campaigns both in EMEA and globally as well as new business efforts for clients such as Diageo, Unilever, Bose, PayPal, HP, and Adobe. James is an experienced marketer and communications professional with over 10 years of experience. He previously was the Head of Social Media for LEGO’s social network for Kids, LEGO Life – which launched globally in 2017 and has since grown to over 2m active users regularly posting their content to the world’s first global and safe social network for kids. As well as devising and developing social features such as LEGO Life’s emoji keyboard, custom characters, and moderation systems, James oversaw the launch of LEGO’s global partnership with GIPHY leading the LEGO channel to accrue over 1 Billion GIF views in its first year.
Scott Ready, has served the education industry for 20+ years and has worked for 35+ years in accessibility. Ready’s first language is American Sign Language, and he has been part of the deaf community through his parents, who were former teachers at the Missouri School for the Deaf.
Noelle Russell is a multi-award-winning technologist with an entrepreneurial spirit who specializes in helping companies with emerging technology, Generative AI, and LLMs. She has led teams at NPR, Microsoft, IBM, AWS and Amazon Alexa, and is a consistent champion for Data and AI literacy.
Innovator with 20 years of experience in the broadcast, media and technology. Specializes in voice and conversational AI since 2018. Creator of award-winning solutions for the world's top brands. Led successful transformation projects within large organizations. Enthusiast and practitioner of generative AI. Builds global communities. Believes that the best way to learn is through action and experimentation.