2019 Conference Speakers
Additional conference speakers to be announced shortly.
A. Charles Thomas
Chief Data & Analytics Officer
Charles Thomas is General Motors’ first chief data and analytics officer. As leader of the chief data and analytics office, Charles instills a culture of data-driven decision making.
The CDAO maximizes the impact data and insights have on business results, operational efficiency and effectiveness. Charles plays a crucial role in GM’s digital transformation to ensure customer, corporate and business data are managed as a strategic asset.
Charles has expertise leveraging data to drive strategy across B2B and B2C segments, digital and traditional routes to market, multiple regions, and industry verticals such as energy, high-tech, pharma, retail, and financial services.
GM is Charles’ third time as CDO for a major corporation. He’s previously led these efforts for Hewlett-Packard, USAA, and Wells Fargo.
Charles formerly sat on the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information advisory panel and is a consult for numerous programs across the country. He holds a PhD in Sociology – Organizational Behavior and Quantitative Methods – from Yale University.
He is headquartered in Detroit and lives in Austin with his wife and two children.
Catherine Bache, W’21
The Wharton School
Catherine Bache is a sophomore at The Wharton School studying Business Analytics, Management, and Social Impact. She served as an analyst for WCAI’s Accelerator Challenge in the fall of 2018. She has been involved in the Wharton Undergraduate Data Analytics Club as an Events Committee member and now as a WAF Co-director. Catherine is also involved in MUSE Social Impact, Wharton Women, and Girl Scouts at Penn. This summer, she will work as an operations analyst at QVC. Besides data, she loves hugs, speaking French, and musical theatre.
Victor Cho, W’93
Since joining Evite as CEO in June 2014, Victor Cho has re-directed the popular brand into a customer-obsessed company focused on bringing people together face to face. He has achieved revenue growth and taken the company into exciting new ventures, including text message invitations, donations for nonprofits, video, and sponsored content.
A passionate consumer advocate, Victor has a long history of reinventing online consumer products and businesses across a wide range of industries, including community (iVillage), financial services (Intuit), photo sharing (Ofoto/Kodak Gallery), expertise networks (AskMe), and more.
Prior to joining Evite, Victor was most recently the CEO driver of a holistic and multi-year turnaround effort at Kodak Gallery (formerly ofoto.com). Before that, he served as the Vice President and leader of Intuit’s web channel, taking the business from $300 million to $1.3 billion+ by fundamentally changing the company’s web strategy, organizational structures, processes and technology platforms. Victor also spent seven years at Microsoft, where he launched the company’s earliest Internet marketing and software-as-a-service initiatives.
Customer Experience Practice Lead
Katrina Conn leads Teradata’s Customer Experience Practice. She is responsible for helping some of the world’s greatest companies align their Customer Experience to high impact business outcomes. Katrina is focused on maximizing the value of customer data, analytics and interactions to provide contextually relevant experiences. She has helped companies drive top-line results, grow market share, and increase brand equity, by guiding marketing leaders in their transformation from reactive and predictive, to individualized customer engagement.
Prior to joining Teradata, Katrina has held several leadership roles as SVP of Strategic Services, VP of Marketing Services, Principal Consultant at IngnitionOne, Responsys Oracle, and several other marketing technology providers. Recognized and requested as a thought leader in digital transformation, marketing and innovation, Katrina has presented at conferences, worldwide, including Forrester, Dreamforce, Gartner, Woman in Retail and others.
Ryan Dew, C’13
Assistant Professor of Marketing
The Wharton School
Ryan Dew is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Data and Analysis for Marketing Decisions. His research explores how machine learning and Bayesian statistical methodologies can solve real world marketing problems, and enhance the capacity of marketing managers to make data-driven decisions. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing from Columbia University, and his B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. His research has won numerous awards, including the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science’s Dissertation Proposal Award, and the Marketing Section of the American Statistical Association’s Doctoral Research Award.
Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise
The Wharton School
Geoffrey Garrett is Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, Professor of Management at the Wharton School, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He became Dean of the Wharton School in 2014, and was previously a member of the Wharton faculty in the Management Department from 1995 to 1997.
Prior to his return to Penn, Dr. Garrett was dean of the business schools at both the University of Sydney and UNSW, in his native Australia. He served as President of the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and Dean of the UCLA International Institute before his return to Australia in 2008 as founding CEO of the United States Studies Centre. A highly cited international political economist, he has been a professor at Oxford, Stanford and Yale universities.
Dean Garrett is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, sits on the Advisory Boards of the Indian School of Business and the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. He is a member of the board of directors of Park Hotels and Resorts and is a winner of the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Advance Global Australian Award.
A well-respected commentator on global business, economics and politics in major media outlets, he writes a regular blog as a LinkedIn Influencer.
His academic publications include “Partisan Politics in the Global Economy,” “The Global Diffusion of Markets and Democracy,” and “The Encyclopedia of Political Science.” Dr. Garrett has led C-suite executive education programs on the global economy for Columbia, Stanford, UCLA and Wharton, and in Australia he developed thought-leadership collaborations with companies, including Chevron, Dow Chemical, GE, News Corporation and Northrup Grumman.
Dr. Garrett holds a BA (Honors) from the Australian National University, and an MA and PhD from Duke University where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
VP, Baseball Operations – Strategy & Administration
Brad Grant is the Vice President of Baseball Operations – Strategy & Administration for the Cleveland Indians. In his role, Brad assists the Baseball Operations department in all initiatives, including the coordination of capital projects and strategy in the areas of resource prioritization and allocation.
A 26-year veteran with the Indians, Brad spent 2007-2017 as the Director of Amateur Scouting where he managed all elements of the Indians’ selection process during the MLB Drafts. During Brad’s tenure as Director, he was instrumental in strengthening the club’s farm system and making key selections that have played a significant role in Cleveland’s success at the big league level. He was part of a team responsible for the development and application of an evidence-based player selection process that sought to reduce bias and emotion in a highly advocacy based environment. At the time, this was one of the first implementations of an algorithmic approach to player selection in professional baseball creating an enormous competitive advantage while also unleashing tensions in a deeply traditional culture. Since navigating this process Brad and team have consulted with other sport and outside industries to introduce similar selection models.
Brad continues to assist in the club’s scouting and player acquisition areas (amateur, international and pro scouting) and now serves as a bridge between baseball and business operations.
Nobel Gulati, W’94
Two Sigma Advisers, LP
Mr. Nobel Gulati served as CEO of Two Sigma Advisers, LP until December 2018. Prior to joining Two Sigma, Gulati worked at Citigroup as managing director in the global equities division and as head of ADR research and strategy in the global research division. He helped build Citigroup’s program, electronic and algorithmic trading businesses and was responsible for strategy and business development across global equities. Previously, he worked in equity research at ABN AMRO and NatWest. Gulati began his career with Raymond James, where he established the firm’s first Asian office, in India. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as a Joseph Wharton Scholar, with a bachelor’s degree in international finance.
Anna Nicanorova, WG’11
Vice President, Engineering
Anna Nicanorova, WG’11 is the Vice President, Engineering at Annalect. She oversees Annalect Labs, a space for experimentation and rapid software development within Annalect along with a wider range of engineering practices and technology. The objective of the lab to build marketing software and algorithms based on the latest developments in tech as well as needs of Omnicom agencies. Anna is Co–Founder of Books+Whiskey meetup and volunteer coding teacher with ScriptEd (Science Skill Center High School). She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and BA from Hogeschool van Utrecht.
Jason Park is currently a Data Scientist at Electronic Arts working on Social Listening and NLP projects to provide insights into the gaming market towards the development of titles like FIFA, Apex Legends, and Anthem.
Jack Soslow, W’19
The Wharton School
Jack Soslow is a senior at The Wharton School concentrating in Statistics and Entrepreneurship. He was the President of the Wharton Undergraduate Data Analytics Club and is the kicker for Penn’s Football team. Jack values both academics and athletics equally as he was named a Campbell Trophy Semifinalist and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Football Foundation. Jack has married his passion for Statistics and Sports by pursuing projects in sports analytics while at Penn. Upon graduation, Jack will be working as a Data-Scientist for Facebook.
John Whang, MD, FACC
Head, Integrated Evidence in Cardiovascular and Metabolism
Johnson & Johnson / Janssen Pharmaceuticals
John Whang, MD, FACC, currently is Head, Integrated Evidence in Cardiovascular and Metabolism at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he aligns the development and interpretation of evidence – randomized, real-world, and health economic – to support products throughout their lifecycle in the multi-stakeholder health care customer environment.
Previous roles include Executive Director, US Medical Affairs, Amgen; President, Real Endpoints; consultant at McKinsey&Co.; and attending cardiologist, Morristown Medical Center.
John is a graduate of Harvard College and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Program in Statistics
The Wharton School
Abraham (Adi) Wyner is Professor and Chair of the Undergraduate Program in Statistics for the University of Pennsylvania. His principle focus at Wharton has been research in Information Theory, Applied Probability and Machine Learning. Professor Wyner has participated in numerous consulting projects in various businesses, including as one the earliest consultants for TiVo, Inc, where he helped develop early personalization software. Dr. Wyner created some of the first on-line data summarization tools, while acting as CTO for Surfnotes, Inc. His interest in sports statistics has led to a collaboration with ESPN where Dr. Wyner was the PI on the ESPN-funded MLB player evaluation research project. He is a co-host of Wharton’s Moneyball on Sirius XM.
The University of Pennsylvania
Levani Zandarashvili is a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, with a passion for data science and machine learning. In addition to his experimental research, he participates in various data science and ML activities, such as Kaggle competitions, data science seminars and workshops, and other related activities at Penn.
EVP, CFO and COO
The Barnes Foundation
Margaret B. Zminda joined the Barnes Foundation in December 2007 as senior vice president for business strategy and operations. She was promoted to her current position in November 2011. As EVP, CFO and COO, Ms. Zminda is responsible for the Finance, Human Resources, Facilities, Security, Retail Operations, Group Sales, Visitor Services, Business Development and Graphic Design departments of the Foundation. In addition, this position has primary responsibility for the business relationship with the Foundation’s food service, security, janitorial and building engineering service providers. This position has a key role in short and long-term planning for the Foundation. Ms. Zminda served as interim Executive Director of the Barnes Foundation from January 2013 until April 2014.
From March 2004 until December 2007, Ms. Zminda was the chief financial officer of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association, with responsibility for the financial operations of the Philadelphia Orchestra, in addition to administration of the fundraising and capital budget activities for The Academy of Music of Philadelphia. Prior to joining the Orchestra, Ms. Zminda was treasurer and investor relations director for SPS Technologies, Inc., formerly based in Jenkintown, PA. Ms. Zminda worked for SPS for over 20 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility including corporate controller. Ms. Zminda holds a BS in Accounting from St. Joseph’s University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.