Lena Afridi
Policy Coordinator for Equitable Economic Development, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development

Lena Afridi is the Policy Coordinator for Equitable Economic Development at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. ANHD is a coalition of over 100 community groups across the five boroughs of New York City fighting for affordable housing and equitable economic development. Born in Karachi and raised in Queens, New York, Lena is committed to vibrant communities, good jobs, and safe and affordable housing for low and moderate income communities of color and immigrant communities. At ANHD, Lena helps implement policies that address economic and racial inequality in New York City through research, data analysis, and organizing. She also helps convene United for Small Business New York City, a coalition of community groups and small businesses across New York City fighting commercial tenant harassment and cultural displacement. Lena has worked across movements for over a decade, and connects issues of race, labor, and city planning. She was a 2016 Urban Design Forum Forefront Fellow and a 2017 Next City Vanguard Fellow. Lena holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Regional Planning Degree from Cornell University.

Alberto Altamirano
San Antonio, TX
CEO and Co-founder, Cityflag

Alberto’s interest in public policy and community involvement has led him to work at the Texas House of Representatives, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Senate and the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. Driven by his passion in technology, urban development and civic engagement, in 2015 he co-founded Cityflag, a civic technology company that developed the first social network for 311 services, which allows resident to report infrastructure issues such as potholes, outages and vandalism, while crafting ‘Civic Stories’ and building a more inclusive local government. In 2017, Cityflag also developed FixThis, a Rental Property Management platform that is designed to support both tenants and landlords by enabling them to document and communicate repair issues. His initiative to civically engage Millennials through the use of technology won him the VotoLatino Innovators Challenge and led him to receive a MacArthur Foundation Grant. Alberto’s Cityflag operation has also reached an international audience by innovating the governmental processes and developing a smart city platform for Delegacion Cuautemoc in Mexico City. Alberto was recently recognized by Forbes as a 2018 “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur” for his social work within the technology sector. Alberto currently serves as a contributing writer on Latinx politics and smart cities for the world Economic Forum, NPR Latino USA and Forbes Mexico. Alberto’s involvement in technology and public policy was recognized by the Aspen Institute Latinos & Society, where he serves as a Ricardo Salinas Scholar focusing on Latino Millennial political engagement. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and an Executive Education Certificate from the Hard Kennedy School.

Julian Alvarez
Austin, TX
Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor 

Julian Alvarez III is the Commissioner Representing Labor of the Texas Workforce Commission. Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed him to the three-member Commission on March 7, 2017. Commissioner Alvarez represents the interest of Texas workers with respect to TWC services and ensures that their concerns are considered in all Commission actions. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Alvarez served as president and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership fostering relationships and coordinating programs to advance regional economic development and employment opportunities. He also served as a Texas regional director for the U.S. Senate and advised on legislative and policy issues related to South Texas. Prior to that, Alvarez served on the South Texas Drug Task Force as a state trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). After his service with DPS, Alvarez inspired stewardship and leadership as the director of college information for Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Maximo Anguiano
San Antonio, TX
Vice President of Collegiate Outreach, BeVisible

Maximo Anguiano is an actor, activist, athlete, creative, entrepreneur, public intellectual, personality, organizer, and thought-leader out of San Antonio, Texas. He has emerged as one of the most talented and dynamic individuals of his generation. As a critical, intellectual voice on the intersection of culture, sociopolitics, and social justice. Maximo is a champion of the Latinx/@/a/o community and the ultimate cross-pollinator of innovation. He is the former executive director of the Adelante U.S. Edcucation Leadership Fund, brainchild behind Independent Creative Services, and the current Vice President of Collegiate Outreach at BeVisible Latinx. As a Master’s of Science candidate at Grand Valley State University, Maximo studied at Macquarie University in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia where he completed an ethnographic case study on the colonialism of the Indigenous Australian population- the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. He was a member of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Alexander Briseno Leadership Development Program class of 2016 and formermemeber of the Sigma lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated’s Board of Directors’ he currently sits on the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative’s Board of Directors and is the Chairperson at Tetro Audaz San Antonio. Through various community, artistic, and educational works, Maximo’s passion & charisma have electrified crowds; bringing a fresh, progressive and driven approach to changing the world. His recent film & theatre credits include, “La Llorona”, “Jotos del Barrio”, and “Dos Chicanos, Un Camino”. He has also recently been natures with various organizations such as Voto Latino, Latino Justice PRLDEF, NPR Latino USA, Univision News, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the University of Winsconsin-Whitewater, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Northern Illinois University Theatre for Change, RAW: natural born artists, and many more. Finally, Maximo credits his ambition and motivation to his number one fan: his mother. More information on Maximo can be found at www.maximoanguiano.com or on social media @blurbsmithblots.

Julia Barraford-Temel
Austin, TX
Associate Director of Programs and Texas Expansion, Code/Interactive

Julia “Jules” Barraford-Temel is a former TESOL/TEFL and computer science teacher. Jules started her teaching career in San Diego, CA, then continued to teach in Concord, New Hampshire, Ankara, Turkey and Austin, Texas. She joined Code/Interactive to provide professional development for computer science teachers, build curriculum and develop university, nonprofit, and corporate partnerships. She is a curriculum developer, a professional development designer and a program consultant to schools, districts, and nonprofits. She is a trained facilitator and coach for Scratch, and SNAP! When teaching computer science and coding she realized the incredible possibilities CS education provided the students and their communities and decided to dedicate herself to expanding access to technology education to communities in Texas.

Eduardo Bravo
Mexico City, MX
CFO and Co-founder, Cityflag

Eduardo Bravo is CFO and co-founder of Cityflag. He has strong experience working in the private sector in both Mexico and the United States. Working as a management consultant for EY, he optimized business processes for Fortune 500 companies and delivered innovation strategies to upper management. He also worked in the project development department at the North American Development Bank in San Antonio, evaluating project-finance contracts and developing financial strategies. Eduardo is also co-founder of AEM Jovenes, an organization with deep ties to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Texas. He enjoys reading and practices triathlon competitively.

Natalie Campos Goodman
Houston, TX
Co-founder, IncentiFind

Natalie Campos Goodman is co-founder of IncentiFind an online database and application portal that connects commercial and residential, green-focused projects to incentives, ultimately reducing the cost (and headache) of going green. Her clients include real estate developers, brokers, leasing agents, building owners, tenants, home owners and builders, financial institutions, engineers, architects, general contractors, water efficiency professionals, EPC contractors, solar installers, and the growing list of clients she serves. Before devoting her work full-time to IncentiFind, Natalie started her career at NASA Johnson Space as a programmer and planner. Her career then took her to the Texas Medical Center where she managed the design and construction of a few one-of-a-kind research and robotics simulation laboratories.she then went on to serve large oil and gas clients in implementing sustainable designs on their real estate assets around the globe. Most recently she was a Sr. Sustainability Consultant to Fortune 500 companies with a focus on resilience for Texas cities.

Antionette Carroll
San Francisco, CA
Founder, President, and CEO, Creative Reaction Lab

Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit social enterprise that educates, trains, and challenges cities to co-create solutions with Black and Latinx populations to design healthy and racially equitable communities. Within this capacity, Antionette has pioneered a new form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for non-profits working for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. These experiences led to her background as a social entrepreneur, non-profit leader, and design activist.  Antionette is a Next City Vanguard, 2017 Essence Magazine #100 Most Woke Woman, 4.0 Schools Fellow, Subject Matter Advisor for Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, StartingBloc Fellow, and an American Express/Ashoka Emerging Innovator. Antionette is also an international speaker and facilitator, previously speaking at Microsoft, NASA, TEDxHerndon, AIGA National Conference, The Ohio State University, and more. Bring her to your next conference or community engagement convening. 

Marco Antonio Castro
Artist, Designer, Curator

Marco Antonio Castro graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications (ITP) Program at the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University and has worked as curator of exhibitions and art festivals in New York and Mexico. He was MediaLab Director at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he helped the museum to image art and its audiences in innovative perspectives. It created a network of brilliant and creative professionals dedicated to the vanguard in these subjects that propose visions for the futures of the culture. Prior to that, he works as the first Visitor Experience Manager at the Queens Museum, where he also conducted workshops on developing interactive experiences for diverse communities. As an artist, his work nourishes urban communities in practical and playful ways, such as his project, Bus Roots, which seeks to equip the roofs of urban buses with lush gardens. Marco contributed to the series proposed by the UN, Rio +20, is a member of the Climate and Urban Systems Association (CUSP). He is a TED Speaker-in-Residence and is currently a Research Fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, based at the Columbia University School of Journalism and an artist in residence at NYU-Digital Future Labs and an advisory board member for GreenPeace Mexico.

Chelsea Collier
Austin, TX
Founder, Digi.City

Chelsea fosters collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve civic challenges, leveraging her experience in tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement and entrepreneurship. Chelsea is the Founder of Digi.City, Editor-At-Large for Smart City Connect, Senior Advisor for Texans for Economic Progress, and Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, one of 84 community spaces around the world committed to social and civic good. She is also a contributor to inc.com where she writes about innovation and smart cities. As a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow (2016), Chelsea traveled to China to study smart city innovation. She continues to build upon her knowledge of digital cities with recent travels and exploration of smart city strategies in Singapore, Manchester (UK) and Barcelona. Chelsea is active in her local and state community and serves on the St. Edwards’ University’s Dean’s Advisory Council, is member of the Austin Forum Technology Impact Advisory Board and is a founding Board Member of the Austin Technology Alliance and the Austin Technology Council’s Policy Collation. From 2013-2015, she served as Vice Chair and Commissioner for the City of Austin Community Technology & Telecommunications Commission. Chelsea is an Austin Under 40 Award recipient in Science & Technology (2015), a graduate of the Leadership Austin Essentials Class (2010) and has a Masters and Bachelor degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

Juan Pablo Escobar
Mexico City, MX
Co-founder and CEO, Codeando Mexico; co-founder Civica Digital

Juan Pablo is co-founder at Civica Digital, a civic tech company building digital tools to empower citizenship, based in Mexico. He has worked with open data, civic engagement and open innovation projects with local governments and civil society groups from Mexico & Latin America. Previously, he co-founded and served as Executive Director at Codeando México A.C., a non-profit organization that promotes volunteering programs for technologists on civic and public issues around the country. Prior entering the civic tech space, JP was a software developer and tech community activist. Currently JP supports the growth of computer science education through Hacker School Monterrey.

Drew Galloway
San Antonio, TX
Executive Director, MOVE San Antonio

H. Drew Galloway is the Executive Director of MOVE San Antonio, a grassroots, nonpartisan nonprofit organization building power in underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development, and progressive issue advocacy. Drew is also a thought leader on modern civic engagement and voting technology, speaking to thousands of people per year about the importance of 21st Century innovation in American democracy. In addition to fundraising, relationship building, and advocating, Drew helps to empower young changemakers from across the Alamo City. Prior to joining MOVE San Antonio, Drew was the New Politics Forum Program Coordinator at The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin. Complemented by a decade of private sector project management and leadership experience, he managed a portfolio of millennial-focused outreach programs and research projects charged with understanding and overcoming obstacles to civic engagement in Texas. Within this field, he specialized in the areas of civic technology, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship.  Drew interned in the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, the City of San Antonio City Council, and Bexar County Commissioner’s Court. Additionally, he has worked on several Bexar County political campaigns. In 2013, Drew founded The Civic Court Project, a nonpartisan initiative that encouraged constructive community-driven dialogue and civic engagement technology. The organization was awarded a Clinton Global Initiative University Commitment to Action designation.
Currently, Drew is also the District 8 Commissioner on the City of San Antonio’s SA2020 Commission on Strengthening Families Well-Being, the National President of the UT-System Archer Fellowship Alumni Association, and on the Advisory Councils of New Leaders Council San Antonio, CityFlag, and The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Civic Engagement. Drew graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.A. in Public Administration, Legal Studies, and Leadership Honors in 2014. 

Sam Garcia
McAllen, TX
Urbanization Advocate and Founder of Sam Garcia Architect

Founder and Principal of Sam Garcia Architect, a McAllen based firm.  Longtime advocate/student/observer of cities and urban design.  Envisions the future of the Rio Grande Valley and sees a thriving world-class metropolis emerging to form on of the principal gateways into the United States from Latin America.  Owns a dog named Max.  Likes to travel, hike, climb, and drink coffee.   

Jose Alberto Gomez, Ph.D.
San Antonio, TX
CIO and Co-founder, Cityflag

Dr. Gomez is an international expert on Information and Communication Technologies, Innovation and Digital Communication. He teaches Innovation Technology in Communication and is a member of the Communication Faculty Board at the Master’s Program of the University Autonomous of Tamaulipas, Member of the Research Group: Regional Development and Sustainability and Director of the Communication for Development Research Department. Currently, he holds a Guest Scholar position at the University of Texas in San Antonio collaborating with the Center for Civic Engagement on a project to reduce the Digital Divide and empower communities through the use of digital technologies in San Antonio.

Lorenzo Gomez
San Antonio, TX
Chairman, Geekdom; Author, The Cilantro Diaries: Business Lessons From The Most Unlikely Places

Lorenzo Gomez III is an expert in ecosystem development and helped successfully convert a dormant urban sector of San Antonio into a thriving entrepreneurial hub. As the former CEO of Geekdom, the largest coworking space in Texas, and former Executive Director of the 80/20 Foundation, a philanthropic organization, he effectively engaged others in a vision and orchestrated their skills and strengths to create a new contemporary community of technology companies. As the current Chairman of the Board for both entities, Gomez is charged with generating the next 10,000 tech jobs for the downtown ecosystem. Having been responsible for populating the new downtown tech district with hundreds of small businesses, numerous tech groups, prominent accelerators and non-traditional educational organizations, Mr. Gomez’s has had a positive impact on the tech industry, economic growth and the revitalization of the area. Within the five-year development period, Geekdom, the heart of the downtown tech district, experienced 1000 percent membership growth, and those members generated 658 new jobs and $70 million in capital. Mr. Gomez is a compelling storyteller, a tenacious team player and a technologist with a passion for entrepreneurship. His professional experience stems from Rackspace, the largest managed cloud provider, where he worked closely with co-founder Graham Weston, to whom he still reports. He’s a co-founder of Tech Bloc, and he serves as board member, advisory board member and mentor for a variety of local and national tech and entrepreneurial organizations. He’s the author of “Cilantro Diaries,” a business book that relates real-life principles young adults should know before entering the professional workforce. Mr. Gomez is a San Antonio native and is married to his high school sweetheart.

Mark Hanna
McAllen, TX
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty

Mark Hanna started his career in banking at the age of 19. With a background in finance and real estate lending, Mark Hanna is now focused on serving south Texas as a licensed Realtor. When it comes to giving his time, he is focused on educating the region about the amazing opportunity South Texas has to offer. “South Texas is a sleeping giant” is something you will hear him say.

Michael Henderson
Austin, TX
Project Manager, Innovation Office at City of Austin

Michael Henderson served as a Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellow and Project Manager for the City of Austin. Driven to help the world through education, entrepreneurship, and technology Michael Henderson is also a community builder, conversation designer, children’s book writer, international connector. Michael is the co-founder of “A Tribe Called Brunch”, where he convenes, highlights, showcases community conversations. Michael is passionate about developing pipelines of talent in community building, design, and innovation. He spent the last decade developing pipelines of talent in community building, design, and innovation. He spent the last decade developing my expansive skill set by reachin, sharing, and empowering our world with technology both locally and internationally. For example, he reimagines

Indira Kempis
Monterrey, MX
Founder, Laboratorio para la Convivencia Urban

Indira Kempis has a Master in Public Administration and Public Policy by the EGOB of the Tecnologico de Monterrey and candidate for Master in Sustainable Development by the UNESCO.Latinamerican Forum of Environmental Sciences of Argentina Chair. Currently, she is the Director of the Urban Lab and has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as an international leader in citizen safety. The Viral Youth Network, which she co-founded, was awarded in 2013 by the world Bank as one of the most innovative initiatives in the world regarding youth participation in public issues. Indira received the 2015 CEMEX Award for Calle Morelos in the national and international categories, as well as the 2015 Urban Development National Prize awarded by SEDATU.

Daniel Lucio
Austin, TX
Community Impact Manager, Google Fiber

Daniel Lucio is a native of the rio Grande Valley who earned a Bachelors of Psychology from University of Texas at Brownsville and his Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. At Google Fiber, Daniel manages programs, investments and partnerships with public organizations and community stakeholders including the City of Austin, Austin public Libraries, the University of Texas and more. The programs and partnerships that Daniel creates focus on bridging the digital divide and creating STEAM learning opportunities for underserved communities. Daniel is also passionate about social issues and in his spare time volunteers with a number of nonprofits that focus on open data, social justice and environmental protection.

Mark Madrid
Stanford, CA
CEO, Latino Business Action Network

Mark L. Madrid is Executive Director of the Latino Business Action Network a non-profit focused on strengthening America through funding Latino research and education impact programs at Stanford University. Previously, Mark served as President/CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the 2015 United States Hispanic Chamber of the Year. Prior to serving in nonprofit executive roles, Madrid enjoyed a flourishing career in banking that began on Wall Street in 1995 with J.P. Morgan. In 2016 Mark was appointed to serve on the board of the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State University and was recognized by both his alma maters, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Notre Dame. He was awarded the Community Emerging Legacy Award by the UT-Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business named him the recipient of Mendoza’s Alumni Service Award. Mark holds a BBA from the UT-Austin McCombs School of Business, where he graduated with Honors and earned the designation as an Endowed Presidential Scholar. He graduated Cum Laude with a Master in Nonprofit Administration from the Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. He is an alumnus of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program. Mark created the Mark L. Madrid Scholarships, which are awarded to deserving Latina and Latino college students majoring in business from the UT- Austin, Notre Dame and Texas State.

John McGlinchey
Chicago, IL
Executive Vice President of Global Certification, CompTIA

As Executive Vice President of CompTIA, John travels the world explaining how critical it is for governments, businesses and educations to provide the most current certifiable IT training programs for their work-force and students. John’s own commitment to life-long learning began when he was a boy, growing up in a small village in northwest Ireland where he worked in his family’s supermarket. His first professional work was as an electrician in Ireland. Later, he moved to the uK and worked in sales with a variety of firms including prominent IT and business education companies QA and New Horizon. In 2010, he started with CompTIA in London as Regional Director for western Europe. He is now based in Chicago for CompTIA and manages the global certification program. With over 30 years of innovation and success in directing sales and customer experience, he is a thought leader in global sales leadership and tech education. He emphasizes the importance of cultural awareness, character and positive influence in the workplace, drawing from his own life’s journey. He is also an avid golfer who can and will happily tell you about his hole in one.

Felix Ortiz III
New York City, NY
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Viridis Learning

Felix W. Ortiz III is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Viridis Learning, is a technology company using a proprietary software platform to close the skills gap by integrating students, colleges and employers, especially in urban settings Utilizing Viridis technologies, colleges can better track and understand their students’ performance and outcomes, reduce student time-to-completion rates, and improve students’ employment placement. The Viridis platform allows employers to hire more quickly, cut recruitment and retention costs, and reduce churn with skill-based job matching. Viridis will also integrate with Salesforce Trailhead, Salesforce’s online, interactive and guided learning platform, to further workforce development within the Salesforce ecosystem. As a social impact tech serial entrepreneur, Ortiz has always focused on creating companies that do well by doing good. He has started several companies, including Visionary Trade & Export, a venture he founded at age 20 that led to multi-million dollars deals for the companies that he worked with and enabled for the individuals of those countries to receive quality food that they otherwise did not have access to. He has been appointed to several boards and currently serves as a Member of The Board of Directors to the New York City Technology Development Corporation, NY Hall of Science and the Osborne Foundation. In 2013, he served on the technology subcommittee of then‐Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in New York City. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Ortiz was national Co-Chairman of Gen44, applying his entrepreneurial experience and energy to encouraging civic involvement among the younger generation. Previously, he was a member of the Obama-Biden transition team’s advisory group for international trade and economics and served on the campaign’s national finance committee council. In 2016 Ortiz worked as a member of the technology working group for Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton; where they worked on creating policy plans that would enable positive technology impact for society. Ortiz has also spoken out publicly about the lack of venture capital funding for Hispanic & African American tech entrepreneurs. He is a constant advocate to ensure that the funding divide is closed. To date Ortiz has raised over $10M in venture capital for Viridis Learning and the continue is now expanding offices between NY, Palo Alto and Austin, Texas. Ortiz was a member of the U.S. Army 18th Airborne Corps and JAG Corps. He attended St. John’s University.

Javier Paredes
San Antonio, TX
Urban Designer

Javier is an Urban Designer for award-winning Muñoz and Company, the largest minority owned Design firm in Texas. Javier has played a critical role in the development of multiple Downtown Master Plans along the Texas/Mexico Border – including Brownsville and Laredo. He is currently working on the development of an Innovation Corridor, San Pedro Creek Cultural Park, a forgotten natural landmark that once marked the origin of San Antonio. Currently a concrete ditch cutting 2.2 miles through the heart of Downtown, the Creek has been re-imagined as a world class linear park that re-stitches a broken part of the city- consolidating Art, Culture, and Technology to create a vibrant Civic Place. Javier received his Masters of Architecture from The University of Texas- San Antonio. Here, influenced by friend and legendary urban theorist Nikos Salingaros, he conducted extensive research on Innovation Districts, Open Source Urbanism, and Algorithmic design, further formalizing his design philosophy– inevitably becoming a fierce proponent for Smart Cities. His Thesis project “Necropolis Espiral” a proposal for vertical cemeteries in Mexico City, was selected for the “2015 American Institute of Architects Emerging Professionals”, earning him national recognition. A true believer in citizen participation, he is active with ULI, AIA, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and LOOP San Antonio. When not thinking about placemaking, Javier enjoys traveling with his wife Jackie, catching up with his mother, or eating for free at his brother’s restaurant.

Mike Perez
Weslaco, TX
Weslaco City Manager

Mike R. Perez has been the Weslaco City Manager since December 2014. Mr. Perez has 39 years of public administration in local government experience. He worked for the City of Arlington in the City Manager’s Office as an Administrative Assistant. He was City Manager of Mercedes and Harlingen. He retired as City Manager of McAllen after almost 22 years. After retiring from City of McAllen, Mr. Perez went to work as a Private Consultant and worked briefly for the City of Hidalgo as the Interim City Manager among other private sector clients. He has mentored many of his fellow colleagues to become successful managers. Many seek him for his advice. Mr. Perez has been an active participant with McAllen Lions Club, is a past President of Texas City Management Association (TCMA), and member of the International City Management Association (ICMA) among other local organizations such as United Way, and involved in various church committees. He is married to his lovely wife, Diana and has three children – Michael, Christina and Marcus.

Annie Plotkin
Arlington, VA
Community Engagement Manager, Ashoka

Annie Plotkin Madrigal is the Network Manager for Ashoka U.S., Ashoka’s country program in the United States. In her role, she works on bringing together members of the network including Fellows, partners, supporters, and teammates to catalyze meaningful, nurturing, and fun relationships through events, communications, and facilitating connections. Prior to joining Ashoka, she has worked on issues of environmental justice, women’s rights, and educational equity for minority students in Washington, D.C.

Chris Ripley
Austin, TX
CEO and Co-founder, Smarter Sorting

Chris has 15 years experience working as an entrepreneur in technology and with chemical products. He’s known for his high energy leadership style, as a passionate public speaker, and for never ending creativity. He built and sold massive sales analytics platforms in the mid 2000s. He pioneered training techniques that have not only powered thousands of his staff through the years, but were adopted other major U.S. corporations. He built one of America’s first vertically integrated paint companies, using green manufacturing techniques to create new products. He built a sales application for Sprint in the early 2000s, long before the age of the app store. A native New Englander, Chris grew tired of the cold and moved to Austin in 2012 after throwing a dart at the map of the Southern U.S. His unusual background came together one afternoon in the Wal-Mart paint aisle when he happened to meet Austin Resource Recovery’s director. Their conversation led to an impromptu visit to the center where Chris was drafted to build ARR a latex paint recycling system. In the process, Chris realized that Austin, every city in America, and most large retailers were paying vast sums of money to have valuable resources incinerated. The problem, it turned out, was an issue of data and of human sorting. The solution was machine learning fueled data and a process that almost magically turns waste into a reusable product. From this, Smarter Sorting was born.

Uriel Sanchez Delgado
CEO, ULinks

Uriel Sanchez Delgado is CEO of Ulinks, a leading organization in Mexico of solutions for short-term international educational mobility, offering high quality, value- added services, innovative destinations and the opportunity for students mainly of upper-middle and high school to know and expand their future work. Uriel is originally from Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico and has received multiple entrepreneurship awards.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin
New Rochelle, NY
Director, Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) New Rochelle

Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist, creative director, and organizer who develops cultural communities at the intersection of art, technology, and advocacy. She is currently the director of IDEA New Rochelle, Interactive Digital Environments Alliance (IDEA) is dedicated to promoting, developing, and maintaining a vibrant new Creative Technology District in the City of New Rochelle’s Downtown Business Improvement District (BID). She is a member of the 2017-2018 cohort at NEW INC (the New Museum‘s cultural incubator). She recently was awarded the Engadget Alternative Realities Prize for her VR experience Your Hands Are Feet in collaboration with Sarah Rothberg. Amelia was a professor of time-based media art and performance art at Vanderbilt University for five years before returning to her roots in NYC creative technology, graduating from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 2015. In 2016 she went on to found and direct the DBRS Innovation Labs, an applied ai research lab that specialized in developing creative uses of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Amelia is the founder of the Stupid Hackathon, which now holds events around the world. She is a fellow of the Sundance New Frontiers Lab 2017 , a 2017 Sundance Institute Time Warner Fellow, a 2016 Oculus Launch Pad Fellow, an Artist in Residence at Pioneer Works 2016 and has her video artworks as part of the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum and the McCord Museum. Amelia is Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan.