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Voice of the Car Summit Speakers

OBAID AHMED is Founder and CEO of Botmock, a leading chatbot design collaboration platform. Obaid concentrates on building Botmock’s success to make it a real driver in building the next generation of conversational apps. Previously, Obaid co-founded a design consultancy firm, OAK, where he led the technology and design teams to deliverover 400 projects.

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RACHEL BATISH is VP of Product at Audioburst where she leads product roadmap and strategy thinking, connecting unique audio and content listening experiences to consumers on cars, 3-party-speaker and headphones devices and apps. Prior to Audioburst, Rachel was founder of, a build-once-deploy-anywhere platform for voice and chat conversational applications, focusing on non-developers and complex use cases. She held a similar role at Zuznow. Rachel is also the author of Voicebot and Chatbot Design and has founded and participated in a number of organizations to promote networking and education in the AI and voice space. Follow Rachel on Twitter

ASHLEY MARIE CASHION heads up what3words in the US from Silicon Valley, with a focus on developing global partnerships across the automotive, mobility, tech, and logistics industries. She joined what3words in 2017 to build strategic partnerships, taking the lead of the Automotive and Mobility team soon after. Prior, Ashley spent nine years at CNN International, managing advertising sales across Africa and the Middle East from its London headquarters, with a stint in the UAE. She started her career at HGTV (Scripps Networks) in NYC, where she spent almost three years on the advertising sales team.

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DAVID CICCARELLI, with the help of his team, has for the last decade grown from the ground up to become a leader in the voice-over industry. As CEO, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. He successfully raised $2M in funding from the Business Development Bank of Canada, followed by a USD $18M Series A funding from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital located in San Francisco. David has participated in the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley and the Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York City. Follow David on Twitter

STUART CRANE, Voice Metrics CEO, is a software entrepreneur of 30+ years. In 1993 he co-founded CPR+, which became the leading enterprise software to the Specialty Pharmacy industry. After the company was acquired in 2013, Stuart started Voice Metrics, a business focused on delivering business information via voice assistants.  Follow Stuart on Twitter

ADAM EMFIELD is the Senior UX Manager at Nuance Automotive. He leads the Design & Research, Innovation, and In-Vehicle Experience (DRIVE) Lab, and is responsible for UX and usability for Nuance Automotive. He manages a cross-functional team that develops new ideas for in-vehicle experiences, and validates existing concepts. His team covers topics that range from looking at the problems users encounter today to predicting what changes will be necessary for the vehicles of the future. Follow Adam on Twitter

JOHN FOSTER is a technology industry veteran with a proven track record of strategic leadership and execution across the spectrum of stages, from startup through IPO. John has deep expertise in bringing nascent technologies to market across several industries, including voice, mobile, and search. Prior to co-founding Aiqudo, John was CEO of Quixey, a pioneer in deep mobile search. Past roles include the strategic transformation of InfoSpace which led to a highly successful outcome, as well as early roles with pioneering internet companies RealNetworks and NextLink. Follow Aiqudo on Twitter

FRED JACOBS founded Jacobs Media in 1983. Since then, Jacobs Media has been providing research and consulting guidance to brands throughout North America, including commercial, public, and digital media companies. Jacobs Media has co-produced three DASH Conferences in Detroit, bringing radio together with the automotive industry. For the last three years at CES in Las Vegas, Jacobs Media has created tours geared exclusively for broadcast radio executives. Fred’s mobile app company, jācapps (JAKE-apps), has been at the forefront of helping radio participate in the mobile revolution, developing more than 1,200 apps on both the Apple and Android platforms, generating more than 25 million downloads. In 2013, jācapps entered into a partnership with the Ford Motor Company to develop apps for compatibility in Ford’s SmartDeviceLink ecosystem. jācapps also develops skills for smart speaker devices. Fred was inducted in the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018. Follow Jacobs Media on Twitter


BRANDON KAPLAN is the Founder of SKILLED, an emerging technology creative agency, headquartered in NYC. Obsessed with technology throughout his life, Brandon founded SKILLED with the mission to bend emerging technologies creatively. SKILLED develops best in class VOICE experiences for Fortune 500 brands including PepsiCo and Starbucks. SKILLED treats conversational interfaces as a true omni-channel platform, ready to be leveraged by brands in order to drive engagement, conversion, and transactions. Follow Skilled Creative on Twitter


BRET KINSELLA is Editor and Founder of, the leading publication for research, news, and analysis of the voice and AI industries. He also hosts the weekly Voicebot Podcast, interviewing the entrepreneurs, engineers, and executives shaping the voice technology landscape. Bret is also a practitioner in voice app development, where he has contributed to the design of several popular voice apps on Amazon Alexa and Google Home. A past executive of Sapient, Accenture, and Harris Corporation and an officer in several startups, he has served Fortune 500 clients in the U.S., Europe and Latin America throughout his career. Follow Bret on Twitter


ANDREW KU is a Conversation Designer at Google. He has been on the front wave of building voice assistants, and is currently scaling conversational experiences to different automotive surfaces. Prior to Google, Andrew focused on designing new Alexa experiences for the Amazon Echo hardware product line. He is passionate about making bots and assistants ubiquitous, by helping people create helpful and assistive conversational experiences.

NOELLE LaCHARITE is an evangelist at heart. She is passionate about Mindful Leadership, work-life harmony and empowering people to achieve their potential through emerging technology. She also specializes in helping brands develop skills for Amazon Alexa. Noelle is co-founder of a skill development company, Voice Skills Inc. She has spent many years as a trainer, architect, and evangelist for IBM, RedHat, EMC, Amazon, and now Microsoft. She has taught thousands of people the value and importance of voice technology, democratizing AI, and mindful leadership. Follow Noelle on Twitter


KATIE McMAHON is a tech industry veteran with entrepreneurial successes that include building and launching one of the most downloaded mobile apps of all time, Shazam. She currently serves as Vice President and General Manager at SoundHound Inc., which spent ten years developing the ground-breaking Speech-to-Meaning(TM) technology and the Houndify voice and natural language interface platform. Known for her ability to bring to market and scale new technologies and globalize brands, in 2002 Katie was recognized as the first foreign woman to launch a tech company in Japan. Follow Katie on Twitter


BRADLEY METROCK is CEO of Nashville-based Score Publishing, which helps creators find voice. Bradley founded podcast network VoiceFirst.FM, hosts the popular show This Week In Voice, published the audiobook Perspectives on Gender in #VoiceFirst Technology, produces the company's series of VoiceFirst Events, and founded the industry association VoiceFirst.Community. Quoted by organizations as diverse as The Mayo Clinic to Voicebot.AI, and cited as a top voice and AI influencer, Bradley has become a leading figure of the #VoiceFirst movement. Follow Bradley on Twitter


JONATHON MYERS is an entrepreneur, interactive digital storyteller, and a leader in the emerging voice space. He began his career in interactive entertainment as a creative writer and Boston-based independent game designer. In early 2013 Jon applied his leadership skills to a brand-new venture and co-founded Earplay to work on a platform for the creation and distribution of voice-operated interactive story experiences. Follow Jon on Twitter


RASHMI RAO is an award-winning technologist and leader with 20+ years of experience. She is currently Senior Director, Early Customer Engagement at HARMAN, responsible for go-to market strategy and leadership of early customer pursuits to address new and emerging Business Models and Cross-Divisional/Department product portfolio. Rashmi oversees and cultivates client relationships while driving technical knowledge and strategy across Business Units to bring unique and new products and experiences to the market. Follow Rashmi on Twitter


DAVE ROBINETT spent 18+ years in Marketing Research with Sprint, where he learned this fundamental insight: “you cannot make consumers jump through hoops to do business with you” – i.e., make connecting easy! A continuing issue for the AI assistant industry is “fragmentation,” or the difficulty of presenting a consistent user interface to consumers. These insights coalesced into the vision for “mobile direct response” using the universal mobile speed dial #250, and in 2014 Dave joined forces with MarketSphere to further build out the underlying technology platform, business infrastructure, and sales channels to support this rapidly growing technology business.  Follow Dave on Twitter

PETER ROJAS is a founding partner at Betaworks Ventures, a seed stage venture capital fund based in New York and San Francisco. He is also the co-founder of several startups, including Weblogs Inc. (acquired by AOL in 2005), where he created and was editor-in-chief of both Engadget and Joystiq; Gizmodo (formerly Gawker Media, now part of Univision); music discovery service RCRD LBL; and gdgt, a social commerce platform (acquired by AOL in 2013). Prior to Betaworks Ventures Peter worked at AOL as VP of Strategy and later as Co-director of Alpha, the company's experimental products

group. Follow Peter on Twitter

IAN UTILE is passionate about business development, team building, and public speaking. He co-founded Kukui Corporation, ranked by Inc. 500 as #76 in the nation, with 3,943% growth rate. A specialist in launching B2B SaaS marketing companies, Ian is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at the Runway Incubator and also at two international NPOs. Follow Ian on Twitter


NIKO VUORI is a proven entrepreneur with a passion for consumer products and technology. He has over a decade of experience in consumer Internet and social gaming, both as a founder with a successful exit, as well as a product- and business leader for category-defining companies of all sizes. Before founding Drivetime, Niko was co-founder and COO of Rocket Games, a leading social casino developer recognized as the fastest-growing social casino worldwide, posting over 600% year-over-year revenue growth. Prior, Niko ran product for ToyTalk and BranchOut, and held senior leadership positions at social gaming pioneer Zynga, responsible for all aspects of the studio's >$250 million/year business, across mobile and web. Follow Niko on Twitter


ARIANNE WALKER is the Chief Evangelist for Alexa Auto at Amazon, where she helps educate automakers and device makers about voice. Prior, she was head of automotive industry strategy at Oracle Data Cloud where she helped automotive marketers discover and implement the best possible audience strategies for their marketing efforts. Arianne’s automotive background began at JD Power, where she spent a dozen years providing direction on automotive marketing industry trends. Before getting into the automotive space, she did research for colleges and universities to help support administrative planning and decision-making. Follow Arianne on Twitter

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