Speakers

Paul Cutsinger

For over 2 years, Paul Cutsinger has been providing developers a hands-on experience to design and develop the next generation of customer experience via Alexa-- a voice-based user experience. 
Paul runs the Alexa Voice Design Education teams and works with developers, designers, brands, and storytellers around the world to create new voice user experiences. Prior to working on Alexa at Amazon, Paul worked at Disney.

 

Scot and Susan Westwater

Scot and Susan founded Pragmatic in 2017 to leverage their 20+ years of agency experience to help clients identify and solve their customer experience problems. Their consultancy helps clients navigate the modern digital landscape and develop solutions that are relevant to their business objectives and customers’ needs. 


Scot is a passionate digital strategist dedicated to helping companies better understand their customers’ challenges and needs. He combines these insights with his user experience expertise to create strategies that keep companies relevant in the increasingly fragmented digital environment.
Susan is a senior strategist with Ricoh USA, Inc. who uses customer-centric approaches and content strategy skill sets to achieve business growth. She is experienced in managing global, national and regional product launches and content initiatives across large organizations and small to medium sized businesses. 
 

Jackson Carson

Jackson Carson is the UX/UI Design Director at SnapEngage in Boulder, Colorado, steering the business towards delightful experiences for users. He also coaches and mentors businesses at Techstars, Galvanize, and abroad. He helps interdisciplinary and multi-cultural teams to empathize with their users, innovate, test, and learn.


With over 20 years of professional interaction design and creative leadership experience, Jackson strives to affect positive change in the world via applied design processes. He employs adapted flavors of design thinking, GV design sprints, lean and agile UX methodologies to solve big, hairy, complex, creative challenges with qual/quant data-driven solutions.


Jackson founded and operated the interactive creative agency, Wavelength Media Inc., for 15 years and has worked with companies and teams, large and small -- large enterprise, mid-sized, startups, and small teams. 

Ha-Hoa Hamano

Ha-Hoa Hamano is the Senior Product Manager of Emerging Platforms at NPR. In her role, Ha-Hoa evaluates new business opportunities for delivering NPR content on digital experiences on large screens, wearables, connected cars, voice assistants, and other emerging devices. Ha-Hoa leads a team of developers, tech writers, designers and data scientist to support a ubiquitous listening experience and craft end-to-end go to market strategy for platform launches.

Ilana Shalowitz

Ilana Shalowitz is the VUI Design Manager at Emmi. Emmi® solutions, from Wolters Kluwer Health, helps healthcare organizations extend the reach of care teams in and beyond the care setting, enabling them to build stronger relationships, enhance the care experience, improve health outcomes and support value-based care initiatives, while increasing revenue and reducing costs. 


Ilana works on building and leading a team that designs automated, interactive conversations that educate, support, remind, and ultimately prompt people to take actions towards better health. Conversations take place either at one moment in time or spanning across weeks, dynamically changing responses based on memory from past interactions.

Rebecca Evanhoe

Rebecca Evanhoe is a VUI designer for Mobiquity Inc. Mobiquity is a digital engagement provider that strategizes, designs, builds, and optimizes data-driven solutions for more than 200 leading brands around the world. They are a collective of unique individuals - over 300 employees spread across 3 continents and 9 offices - with a mission to humanize digital experiences. Their team of consultants, designers, engineers, and data scientists engages consumers, patients, and employees across all channels (including mobile, web, Internet of Things, and voice).


Rebecca has a background in UX writing and creating virtual personalities/interactions. She designs interaction flows and dialogue for voice interactions (e.g. Alexa skills, chatbots, etc.). She also collaborates with developers to build and test using AWS developer console and other tools.

Noelle LaCharite

Noelle LaCharite is Leading Developer Experience for Applied AI at Microsoft. Noelle is passionate about Solutions Architecture, Technical Training, and Technical Evangelism. She specializes in Conversational AI, Building Intelligent Apps, and Pre-Built Machine Learning.

She also performs keynote speeches and deliver workshops on Mindful Leadership, creating work-life harmony and crafting a vision for your life. Noelle delivers all-day workshops for associations, executives and universities to help develop their mindful leadership skills.
She specializes in speaking about conversational AI and her success as an Alexa Skill Developer.
 

Kyree Holmes

Kyree is a proud native Philadelphian who has lived all across the city. Originally on track to pursue a career in marketing, she serendipitously discovered the user experience field and fell in love with it. She is currently a User Experience Researcher at Comcast, leading research efforts to enhance current Xfinity products and services, including the Emmy Award winning X1 voice remote.

Now wanting to introduce others to the user experience field, she founded Onyx Valley, a community building organization designed to identify and prepare diverse talent for careers in the tech field. Launched in 2016 out of the Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship’s startup incubator, Onyx Valley has hosted several events and workshops to generate interest in user experience. Onyx Valley recently launched Onyx Valley Studios, a student-led design consultancy, which takes on service design projects to enhance public spaces used by Philadelphians.
Kyree is a graduate of Howard University’s School of Business and completed her Master’s degree in Design at Carnegie Mellon University.
 

Lisa Falkson

Lisa Falkson is currently Senior VUI Designer at Amazon. She has over 15 years of industry and research experience, specializing in the design, development and deployment of natural speech and multimodal interfaces. Her most recent work has included 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 BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Speech and Auditory Perception Laboratory at UCLA.

Navya Yelloji

Navya is a Product Manager of Voice Platforms at Gannett – USA TODAY NETWORKS and is instrumental in launching Voice applications for 100+ Gannett’s national and local news properties. Previously, Navya was a Product Manager at Witlingo and has overseen the deployment of several of the enterprise skills, including the Motley Fool, Meetup, Fish & Richardson, and Cooley LLP. Navya holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Brielle Nickoloff

Brielle Nickoloff is a Voice User Interface Designer at Wiltingo who leverages her passion for the intersection of language and technology to design engaging and efficient Far Field voice user experiences. Brielle works to develop quantifiable metrics to assign to specific components of an otherwise qualitative voice experience, in order to improve upon current and future designs of human-computer conversations. Brielle holds dual Bachelor's degrees in Linguistics and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Neha Javalagi

Neha Javalagi leads UX Research and Design at Witlingo where she contributes to designing meaningful and delightful voice experiences. As a coder of digital experiences and a decoder of human experiences, she is passionate about using user-centric design thinking for creative problem-solving. With her background in software design, interaction design and creative writing, she believes that conversational interaction design lies at the intersection of her passion and purpose.

Molly Morin

Molly Morin is an artist and educator working at the intersection of digital and analog practices. She makes material representations of information through generative drawing, soft sculpture, and digital fabrication. Through her creative practice, she develops critical and poetic approaches to making art with digital tools. Her projects set out to challenge assumed hierarchies, question our faith in data, and discover new means of making across traditional technical and disciplinary boundaries. She is an associate professor at Weber State University and recently presented her work in a lecture at the National Academy of Science a solo exhibition, Information Density at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

Julia Panko

Julia Panko is Assistant Professor of English at Weber State University. Her research explores the intersections between literary forms and media formats, drawing on genre theory, media theory, and information history. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled "Out of Print: Mediating Information in the Novel and the Book," which argues that the form of the print book, in its complex co-evolution with media and information forms, has had a substantial impact on the novel since modernism. Her second book project focuses on the intertwined histories of sound media, spiritualism, and Gothic fiction.

David Ferro

David Ferro has over 20 years of industry software engineering experience. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech. David is the Dean of the College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology at Weber State University and has also taught in History, Honors, and IS&T departments there.

Ahmed Bouzid

Ahmed Bouzid is Co-Founder and CEO at Witlingo, a Washington DC based company focused on building products and tool that enables organizations to deliver Ubiquitous Voice conversations on platforms such as Amazon's Alexa (Echo) and Google Home.


Previously, Ahmed was Head of Product with Amazon.com's Alexa/Echo group, and earlier VP of Strategy & Innovation at Genesys.
Ahmed has over 15 years of experience in the fields of Speech Automation and Natural Language Processing and has written extensively on Voice Automation and Voice User Interface design. He is the recent author of "Don't Make Me Tap: A Common Sense Approach to Voice Usability" and co-author of "The Elements of VUI Style."


Ahmed is a co-inventor on several patents, awarded and pending, relating to Natural Language Processing, Speech Automation, and Mobility. He is also founder of the Ubiquitous Voice Societty and co-Chair of the DC Chapter of the American Voice Input/Output Society (AVIOS).
Ahmed holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from The George Washington University, a Master's degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in the Philosophy of Science, also from Virginia Tech.