Robert Bell is co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, where he heads its research, analysis and content development activities. He directs the multi-stage analysis of communities for the annual Intelligent Community Awards program and authors the in-depth profiles of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities that are core to ICF's mission. Robert developed and leads the Intelligent Community Master Class and Community Accelerator programs, as well as ICF's advisory services for communities, and is a frequent speaker at municipal and telecom events. More
Rodolfo Bellesi is Principal and Founder of Ikove Capital. Ikove is a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization. Through its proprietary Startup Nursery, in partnership with multiple U.S. research institutions, Ikove identifies and validates developing high-impact technologies, providing capital and commercialization resources to bridge the gap between R&D and VC funded rounds.
Prior to Ikove, Rodolfo was Senior VP of Technology at MB Capital Group, a Private Equity and Real Estate Group focused on proprietary deals in Northern Brazil. He was also Founder and President of BR Trading Consultoria LTDA, and acted as General Country Manager for the mining conglomerate Energold Brasil. Additionally, he worked at Teradyne in Boston, MA as an Application Engineer and Project Manager. Rodolfo earned his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio State University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Para.
Joel Carnes is a proven leader and an operations and innovation expert, who optimizes organizations and propels them to exponential growth in quarters, not years. He built new levels of success while leading operations and strategy at XPRIZE, driving the global leader in open innovation from $50M to $200M in three years. Joel then took the reigns as COO of SecondMuse, a global design firm that creates and operates purpose-driven business incubators and accelerators. In this role he led the Partnership group through the complete redesign and relaunch of the company, including creation of a new product that now accounts for 80% of revenue. His other accomplishments include executive leadership positions in operations and strategy for Activision Publishing and The Walt Disney Company, where he lived out a life-long dream as Sr. Strategist in R&D at Disney Imagineering. Joel has preached the power of innovation and the effectiveness of Human-centered Organizations around the world, in locales as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Tokyo, Budapest, and Washington DC. Audiences have included global business leaders, philanthropists, the general public, and the US Congress.
Moez Chaabouni serves as a Major Business Development Executive for Accela, provider of a robust, cloud-based platform of solutions that increase engagement, improve efficiency and deliver transparency to strengthen governments interaction with communities. He is a senior IT executive, a strategic and creative thinker with a global perspective and an expert in enterprise architecture, data management, governance, software development processes and industry best practices. In addition, he serves as ICF as Chair of the international jury that helps select the Intelligent Community of the Year.
Before he joined Accela, he served as senior account executive for Informatica, and as Deputy CIO with the City of Columbus, where as a member of the Director's office, he participated in the overall operations and administrative management of the Department of Technology by directing the activities of the applications, GIS, Quality Assurance, Database, and Architecture groups. Moez also lead the nomination team for Columbus to win the Intelligent Community of the Year in 2015, laying the foundation for Columbus to win the US-DOT Smart City Challenge in 2016.
Moez received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree as well as postgraduate PhD-track studies in Computer Science from Wright State University. Moez resides in Upper Arlington, Ohio with his wife Kathryn.
Craig Chambers develops and delivers executive education for emerging public sector leaders in innovation management and smart government. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is a catalyst for regional, state and national collective impact in the areas of entrepreneurship, energy and the environment, and public and social engagement policy. Craig has also served as Deputy Chief, Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the Ohio Development Services Agency, Senior Advisor on Commercialization to the US Department of Homeland Security and Co-Founder and President of Zone214, a nonprofit social learning platform for military veterans and their families.
Bill helps communities make the connection between telecommunications and economic development. As principal in Community Technology Advisors since 2000, he assists clients develop and implement programs of broadband infrastructure investment and technology promotion and training. Coleman believes that both are required for community technology and economic vitality. Prior to forming Community Technology Advisors, Bill managed Onvoy’s (now Zayo) Integrated Community Network (ICN) rural market development efforts. ICN, a Nortel Networks sales process, was a superb market development strategy to link a community’s economic development planning to telecom providers’ broadband infrastructure business planning, creating a win-win environment for providers and communities. Earlier, Bill staffed the MN Department of Trade and Economic Development Star City and Business Retention and Expansion Programs, working with local community teams to vision, strategize and implement local economic development programs. Bill is a current board member of PCs for People, a non-profit dedicated to getting computers into the hands of those without. He is a former board member of the Economic Development Association of Minnesota and the Midwest Institute for Telecommuting Education.
Executive journalist and specialist in global communication partnerships, teacher, impact investor and economic development innovator. Eli is an award-winning veteran journalist, teaching and consulting for international news media companies and universities following a 24-year career at CNN. He is a global leader in multi-platform news management, team-builder, teacher and coach with over two decades experience training international news organizations, directing breaking news coverage and developing ethical, highly motivated leaders in global journalism.
Eli also co-founded Sugarbush Valley (SBV) Impact Investments - A Social Impact Development Company and has joined the board of an Ohio-based renewable energy finance technology company called New Resource Solutions (NRS). On the NRS board, Eli taps into his background in environmentally sustainable economic development to connect non-profits and philosophically motivated for-profits and individuals to mission-aligned investment opportunities in renewable energy projects.
For more than a decade Eli has served as a director of the Sugar Bush Foundation, a supporting organization to the Ohio University Foundation. The Sugar Bush Foundation works with Ohio University and local communities to improve the quality of life in Appalachian Ohio by encouraging civic engagement and by fostering sustainable environmental and socioeconomic development, funding jointly-designed projects in the areas of zero waste, environmental protection and restoration, local foods and agriculture. An avowed tree-hugger who grew up on a beautiful wooded farm in Athens, Ohio, Eli practices sustainable forestry with family timber businesses in Texas and Ohio.
Roberto Gallardo is Assistant Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and a Purdue Extension Community & Regional Economics Specialist. He holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master's in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Gallardo has worked with rural communities over the past decade conducting local & regional community economic development, including use of technology for development.
He has authored more than 70 articles including peer-reviewed and news-related regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide, and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development. He is also the author of the book “Responsive Countryside: The Digital Age & Rural Communities”, which highlights a 21st century community development model that helps rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. Dr. Gallardo is a TEDx speaker and his work has been featured in a WIRED magazine article, a MIC.com documentary, and a RFDTV documentary. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and two daughters. Listen to Dr. Gallardo on The Intelligent Community podcast.
ICF co-founder John G. Jung originated the Intelligent Community concept and continues to serve as the Forum's leading visionary. Formerly President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance and Calgary Economic Development Authority, he is a registered professional urban planner, urban designer and economic developer. He leads regular international business missions to US, European, Asian, Indian and Australian cities, and originated the ICF Immersion Lab program. John is a regular speaker at universities and conferences and serves as an advisor to regional and national leaders on Intelligent Community development. More
Faith Knutsen has served the Voinovich School since 2008. Faith directs the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) project, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. SEE has a dual mission: bringing venture development services to regional social enterprises, which combine a market-based approach with a mission for social good, and capacity-building for philanthropic funders interested in impact investment. Faith lectures on entrepreneurship and venture development and aids in regional K-12 and college pitch competitions. Before joining the Voinovich School, Faith worked for 12 years in an executive role at Sunpower, Inc., an Athens Ohio-based, 60-employee research and development engineering firm. Her early career in international development began with a tour as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central Africa and segued into international consulting. Faith holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Ohio University.
Rob McCann is the founder of Clearcable Networks and the President of the Hamilton Technology Centre. He has been working with advanced broadband service deployments in mid-market and rural cable and telephone systems since 1998. He is responsible for building and maintaining technical, network, and application intelligence. Rob works closely with several carriers, cable systems, municipalities, and network service providers in Canada, the US, and the Caribbean providing them with the technology, integration, and business practices required to effectively operate voice, video, and data services in the changing broadband service provider industry.
Most recently Rob represented Clearcable as an inaugural board member of The Intelligent Community Forum Canada, a member of the Seneca College Communications Advisory Committee, and previously has served as a Director with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Ontario Chapter, a contributor to the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee, and a frequent keynote speaker at the Canadian Cable System Alliance, Canadian Independent Telephone Association, and National Cable Telephone Cooperative annual trade shows.
Rob’s active projects include work with ICF recognized Intelligent Communities by chairing the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Digital Infrastructure Working Group and providing technical insight to Sarnia’s Bluewater Regional Network. He was named the Canadian Independent Telephone Association’s 2016 Supplier of the Year and holds degrees in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and Economics from McMaster University.
Andrea McKinney is a community builder focused on system transformation. Passionate about the public service and supporting positive change, she has a demonstrated history of successful delivery of major initiatives in the private and broader public sectors including provincial government, municipal government and health care.
As General Manager of Corporate Services, Andrea is accountable for digital transformation and government modernization at the city. Previously, she served as chief innovation officer for the Top7 community Hamilton, Ontario, and at eHealth Ontario from 2010-2016 as the Senior Director of Regional Integration and Provincial Partners. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
As Digital Equity Officer, Geoff works with a team to ensure equity and inclusion play a central role in 21st century economic development, leveraging Chattanooga’s unique technological assets to develop, test and scale next-generation solutions. He is responsible for program and project management for gigabit application development, digital equity infrastructure and inclusive Smart City strategies.
Prior to joining The Enterprise Center, he managed innovation and technology programs at the Public Education Foundation and was a project coordinator for the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund’s portfolio of startups in Chattanooga.
David Staley is Director of the Humanities Institute and Director of the Center for the Humanities in Practice (CHiP). He is an associate professor in the Department of History – where he teaches courses in digital history and historical methods – and holds courtesy appointments in the departments of Design – where he has taught courses in Design History and Design Futures – and Educational Studies, where he leads the "Forum on the University."
He is the author of Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019); Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Computers, Visualization and History, 2nded (Routledge, 2014) and History and Future: Using Historical Thinking to Imagine the Future (Lexington Books, 2007).
Among his recent publications, he is author of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) reports "Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025," and "Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Scenarios for the Future of the Book," and "Futuring, Strategic Planning and Shared Awareness: An Ohio University Libraries' Case Study" in The Journal of Academic Librarianship.
He is host of the "Voices of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences" podcast. In addition to his written work, he has designed and curated both online and physical exhibitions and has published numerous visual compositions in digital media. From 2003-2008, Staley was the Executive Director of the American Association for History and Computing (AAHC).
Mayor Allan Thompson brings a unique brand of passion to municipal leadership and a strong commitment to citizen engagement, collaboration and service delivery innovation. His vision is a connected, sustainable and inclusive community where we are all #CaledonProud.
He was first elected to public office in 2003 as a Caledon area Councillor and then elected as a Regional Councillor in 2006. On December 2, 2014 he was sworn in as the seventh Mayor of the Town of Caledon and is currently serving his second term.
Mayor Thompson is the Regional representative on the Board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and is the Chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), advocating for and providing leadership to, 444 municipalities across Ontario.
Mayor Thompson is a lifelong resident of Caledon, a proud husband, father and multi-generational farmer.
Tom has been helping entrepreneurs build great companies for most of his career. He’s formed multiple venture capital funds, founded angel groups, and is an active angel investor. As the CEO of Rev1 Ventures, Tom has built an experienced team that has invested in more than 75 startups and added more than $70M in capital to the Columbus, Ohio region in under five years. This growth has helped Columbus to be named one of the fastest-growing startup cities in the US according to the Kauffman Foundation and Rev1 named the Most Active VC in the Great Lakes region, according to Pitchbook. Before forming Rev1, Tom spent much of his career focused on innovation, startups and early stage capital – first from the corporate sector within Battelle – and then regionally, building innovation and startup support systems in Oklahoma, Ohio and advising several regions of the United States and the United Kingdom. He feels strongly that in order to fuel startups, you must connect the assets in your own back yard. This includes corporations, service providers, academic and research institutions, and public sector entities. He’s the author of The Entrepreneur’s Path: A Handbook for High-Growth Companies.
Jim is a Co-owner of Small Town Tech. He has a PHD in Land Resources, a Masters in Ecological Anthropology, and a Bachelors in Human Factors Engineering.
He has also spent four years in Madagascar, two of which he spent living with a hunter gatherer tribe. All of this seems like overkill to own a computer store.
Louis Zacharilla helped found the Intelligent Community movement. He is the developer of the Top Seven and Intelligent Community of the Year Awards programs. He helps the New York-based think tank communicate the importance of developing viable and innovative communities and cities audiences worldwide and oversees the new Institutes of the Intelligent Community Forum around the world. He is a frequent keynote speaker and a moderator at conferences and events. He appears regularly in the media to discuss the impact of broadband and access technologies on the rebirth of the world’s communities. More