Featured SpeakersBethany Plaza
VP, IT Services
For 25 years, Bethany Plaza has been an energetic and outspoken leader in the IT industry. She has played a pivotal role in helping individuals and business thrive while solving Technology challenges. Drawing on her unique blend of solutions-oriented, strategic thinking, and person-centered leadership development, she has helped a wide range of organizations meet and exceed their goals in business.
Bethany has owned and sold five companies-most recently she sold her IT Services company to a publicly traded company-RCM Technologies, Inc. She now heads up the IT-professional services divisions-to support the most cutting-edge technologies-including AI, Security, and HCM solutions.
Bethany is a master of team dynamics and recognized as a change leader in the ever-evolving IT industry. Bethany is able to help leaders develop cohesive models that value and integrate the myriad skill sets located within the organization.
More than a savvy professional, Bethany is a leader of leaders. While her clients regularly need help in the mechanics of developing a successful organization, they also need wise companions to motivate and guide them; to instill hope and confidence in otherwise uncertain circumstances. Bethany makes it her mission to help these individuals find success and fulfillment for both their businesses and themselves.
Bethany also serves as a National Director for Women in Technology, International. WITI's mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership, and economic prosperity.
head of North American operation and senior vice president,
Steve has built a career-transforming, customer experience. By taking a 360-degree view of the customer, Steve makes sure each employee has the actionable knowledge necessary to make better decisions and serve customers in a way that increases loyalty, referrals, sales, and satisfaction.
In his role with Panviva, the omnichannel knowledge cloud company, Steve consults with hundreds of companies annually on their CX strategies. Industry associations, publications, and Fortune 500 companies invite him to speak and write about CX best practices in healthcare, finance, utilities, insurance, and telecommunications.
A successful entrepreneur in his own right, Steve has built and sold six companies. Each company has held to the mantra of "the customer is at the center of the universe." When he is not driving CX strategy, Steve plays the guitar and mentors young entrepreneurs. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and sons.
CEO and Founder
Brand and Buzz Marketing
Parna Sarkar-Basu, a tech advocate, helps companies navigate the digital era and created the robot technology category and ecosystem along with the founders of iRobot.
Leveraging her two passions - technology and brand building - Parna humanizes corporate brands, builds thought leaders, simplifies the complex and creates industry buzz to elevate companies to new heights. She has been instrumental in propelling tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets, including artificial intelligence, enterprise software, storage systems, robots, agtech, health tech, and mobile.
Recipient of multiple awards, Parna has led marketing and communications functions for various global companies, including Kaminario, iRobot, iCorps Technologies, Invention Machine (acquired by IHS), and PTC. She now serves as a strategic advisor to entrepreneurs and CEOs in the United States, and Europe, and works with their team on a variety of initiatives, including corporate and product positioning, new market entry, innovation marketing, and digital transformation.
She appears frequently as a speaker at key local and industry events - from innovation and entrepreneurship to tech trends and emerging technologies. Parna also serves as the VP of marketing for WITI (Women in Technology International).
Chief Product Officer
As the Chief Product Officer of Luminoso Technologies, Ying Chen leads product design and development for the firm's portfolio of products focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU). Prior to joining Luminoso, Ying has spent decades leading Fortune 1000 organizations and VC-backed startups to deliver award-winning product solutions that have resulted in these organizations grow in their existing market while pivot into new ones.
Most recently, Ying led the global go-to-market and strategy at Pegasystems for the firm's digital process automation platform, including launching new capabilities such as robotic automation and intelligent virtual assistants. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and contributor to publications on topics related to digital transformation, technology trends such as chatbots, and product management.
Ying holds a bachelor's of science degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master's degree in business administration from Boston University.
V.P. Business Development
David Clear is Vice President of Business Development at Vecna Robotics. He leads the Business Development team in bringing Vecna Robotics' flexible and agile autonomous solutions to the warehouse and logistics market. Clear cultivates strategic partnerships with global fortune 500 companies, privately held organizations, and government agencies. Before joining Vecna, Clear worked in the retail and logistics industry, overseeing process improvement and auditing throughout Lidl Ireland GmbH network and leading Loss Prevention at Heatons Stores. Clear went on to spend five-plus years consulting with start-ups and SMEs on expansion, marketing, product, and fundraising strategies. He holds master degrees in Business Administration and Philosophy- Operational Risk Management from the University of Glasgow's Adam Smith School of Business.