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Speaker Schedule

Vik Verma

CEO, 8x8, Inc.

8x8, Inc.

Vik Verma is Chief Executive Officer at 8x8, Inc., the world’s first communications cloud provider, empowering over 1 million business users to communicate and collaborate across dispersed locations to deliver exceptional customer experiences. 8x8 is a pioneer in unified communications and customer engagement solutions with over 150 patents, driving global innovation in how companies communicate with their employees and customers.Verma is an engineer at heart who began his career at Savi Technology, Inc. (Savi), a leader in RFID and cloud-based technologies as a design engineer and went on to become the Chief Operating Officer and eventually the Chief Executive Officer of Savi in 1997. He holds eight patents and was named one of 40 “Technology Pioneers” by the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland in 2003 for a successful track record in building profitable businesses around emerging technologies.Verma joined 8x8 as a board member in 2012 and was appointed Chief Executive officer within a year to lead the company’s global expansion. He is the driving force behind 8x8’s market leadership in a 50 billion dollar unified and contact center communications market and its continued push for innovation in areas like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and data analytics. Under Verma’s leadership, 8x8 has evolved into a global player in unified cloud communications from its inception as a Silicon Valley startup.With more than 25 years of industry and management experience, Verma has successfully transformed several technology businesses through organic growth, international expansion and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Prior to 8x8, he was President of Strategic Venture Development at Lockheed Martin where he led early-stage technologies to new global commercial markets through collaborative incubators, intellectual property portfolio licensing and strategic partnerships with multi-national companies. Prior to this, Verma was the President of the IS&GS Savi Group, a Lockheed Martin technology and information services division providing real-time supply chain management and security solutions for government and commercial markets worldwide. His journey with Lockheed Martin began when he was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Savi, that was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2006.Verma holds a B.S.E.E. degree from the Florida Institute of Technology, an M.S.E. degree from the University of Michigan in electrical engineering, and the post-graduate degree of Engineer in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Subsequently, in keeping with Silicon Valley tradition, Verma left his PhD program at Stanford to join the startup world. He is also an alumni of the Executive Management programs for CEOs at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.Verma’s Florida Tech honors include being a recipient of the Faculty Honors Award (Co-Valedictorian) Class of 1987, the 1987 Tau Beta Pi Williams Fellowship, the 1999 Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, and being selected as a commencement speaker in 2002. He served on the Florida Tech Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2007 and rejoined the board in 2015.


Mladen Barbaric

CEO, Airgraft


Mladen Barbaric is a brand and product craftsman, and a serial tech entrepreneur. He is the founder of Pearl Studios, and creator of several successful brands and disruptive products. His companies have shipped millions of devices around the world to date. Barbaric now serves as founder and CEO at Airgraft, leading company strategy, brand and product direction. Having graduated from College for Creative Studies as an industrial designer in 2001, Barbaric started his career designing cars at Ford, then proceeded to work with a number of automotive brands, carving his view on the interplay between brand and product. In 2008 he founded Pearl Studios and focused on the development of brands, products and product platforms outside of automotive. He led Pearl to become a top boutique firm, working with major brands and helping launch a string of notable startups. Barbaric was involved in early development of wearables, teaming up with the likes of Qualcomm at the outset. He’s helped build Misfit, a pioneering activity tracker, amongst several innovative wearables brands. In the process, Barbaric became recognized for his ability to rapidly build lean teams made of outstanding engineers and designers, creating formidable impact while remaining small. His rigorous approach of “less and better” has resulted in a career defined by a consistent output of elegant solutions to very complex problems.Mladen is available for comment and interviews.


Aaron Newman

Co-Founder, BlocWatch



Merri Silverstein

Investor, Advisor, Bluangelinvestor


Merri Silverstein is an Investor who invested in many ICOs which brought her to also join a V.C. fund. She also advises start ups, started an app for the Blockchain space, mentors women in stem and has a great understanding of our present fiat and the future of digital currency. With two degrees in the sciences, Merris passion is captivating and she is looking forward to bringing more women into Blockchain through various sources of media. She has written articles on Crypto, been interviewed live and interviewed over 20 start ups for a TV pilot. She is passionate to see changes for a better world. 


Dawna Capps Evans

Chief Advisor, Cannabis Risk Management Association

Cannabis Risk Management Association

Currently serving as the Chief Advisor for the International Cannabis Risk Management Association; an International Affairs Association focused on managing risks for the global cannabis industry, specifically; political, economic, social, physical and legal through the sharing of information and best practices.Former Property/Casualty insurance executive with significant experience in roles focused on underwriting, business unit/regional leadership, strategic planning, building teams, and management of distribution and product development.Most recent experience related to the launch of an international P&C start-up company and subsequent Multinational Accounts Practice. Specialties include: International Cannabis Risk Management, InsureTech/ Start-Ups, Technology Insurance- I.T., E&O, Cyber-risk, Med Tech & Life Sciences and, Property & Casualty Underwriting, including Global Programs.


Ruth Fisher, PhD

Co-Founder, CannDynamics


Ruth Fisher, PhD, is Co-Founder of CannDynamics, where she researches cannabis and designs algorithms and analytics to help medical cannabis users find products for their particular needs.Ruth’s work focuses on the technology and healthcare industries. She has helped companies, including Qualcomm and Amgen, in litigation support roles, analyzing market dynamics and putting values on things that are hard to quantify. She has also worked with start-ups, where she designed systems to collect and analyze information and provide meaningful and actionable information to users.Ruth is a systems modeler, an author, a teacher, a perpetual learner, and a baker. You can reach her at


Sri Srinivasan

SVP & GM, Team Collaboration Group, Cisco


Sri Srinivasan is Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Team Collaboration Group at Cisco. Sri is responsible for the Cisco Webex that includes Meetings, Teams, Calling and Devices, as well as a portfolio of on-premises and hybrid collaboration tools. Under Sris leadership, Cisco is creating a collaboration canvas to empower teams to perform at their best. This open canvas brings collaboration tools together with productivity tools and business processes for a simple, unified experience.Sri joined Cisco from Microsoft where he was GM for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise Apps business in the C+E/Azure Group. Throughout his tenure at Microsoft, Sri primarily focused on the business solutions division, bringing thought leadership to help build a partner-based business model for an upper mid-market on-premises ERP and eventually its transition to Hybrid and Cloud SaaS.Sri was responsible for Research & Development of the ERP Enterprise Edition for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly known as AX) and Common Data Service (CDS), the data substrate for the Azure Business Application Platform. Sri drove the successful transformation of an on-premises business to Cloud SaaS, a first of its kind on Azure, with an industry acclaimed offering as part of Dynamics 365. Previously Sri was the Engineering Director for Microsoft Dynamics AX through 2013. Prior to that, Sri was the General Manager for the Dynamics AX Customer Success Team where he built the team for the division, enabling the Solution Architect role, and the incubation of Life Cycle Services (SaaS Service for customer/partner driven ALM), which is now a mainstream offering for Dynamics implementations and rollouts.Prior to Microsoft, Sri was one of eleven Distinguished Engineers at Peoplesoft. Sri worked on the initial web transformation of business applications, with focus on performance and scale. Sri also worked on acquisition diligence, specifically on the merger of JD Edwards into Peoplesoft.Sri has a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology, India.


Sashien Godakandae

CEO, Enigmatic Investments

Enigmatic Investments

Sashien currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Enigmatic Investments, a technology driven investment fund that focuses on several long/short equity strategies within the public markets. He is an ambitious entrepreneurial-minded business development, marketing, and investment professional who has an innate ability at recognizing opportunities and driving value to indelible brands. Prior to founding Enigmatic Investments, Sashien worked in the burgeoning industry of the Smart Homes & Intelligent Buildings space where he led the Business Development, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for the sectors go-to industry association. He has consulted and worked with fortune 1000 companies such as Amazon, Intel Corporation, Google, and Honeywell and has forged relationships with many season executives.


Scott Benson

CSO, Fluree


With 20+ years of providing Enterprise Software solutions into various healthcare-related markets, Scott naturally developed an interest in applying blockchain and DLT to solving business problems. Intrigued by how blockchain could be built-in and combined with the qualities of an enterprise-grade database for business applications, Scott joined Fluree, leading their sales and business development efforts.


Mike Kramer

Co-Founder & CEO, FTZ


Michael Kramer has extensive experience in the financial industry. Prior to the inception of FTZ Blockchain, Mr. Kramer was the CEO and President of Sales for Red Sand Financial. He was the driving force behind global sales, strategic marketing, and company growth. During his tenure with Red Sand, Mr. Kramer was the impetus behind raising funds totalling close to $100 Million. Due to his expansive knowledge in the financial sector, he works with venture capital firms and hedge funds in the cannabis world. For over 10 years, Mr. Kramer served the public sector in the states of Pennsylvania and Florida in law enforcement and is a long term advocate for the legalization of cannabis.In 2017, by combining his vast background in finance and law enforcement, Mr. Kramer became the Co-Founder of FTZ Blockchain. He is committed to providing the government and the people with the essential technology for security, transparency, compliance regulation, and public safety. Mr. Kramer built FTZ Blockchain to provide the innovative and effective solution to the cannabis industry’s top concerns and play an integral role in helping to eliminate the black market.


Kate Matsudaira

Director, Google Tech Engineering, Google


Kate Matsudaira joined Google just over a year ago and is a Director in Google Tech Engineering. Her teams help build the infrastructure that powers Google. Prior to coming to Google, Kate helped build several successful startups that have gone on to get acquired by companies like eBay, O’Reilly Media and Limelight. Kate started her career as a software engineer and lead at Microsoft, and Amazon. She is a keynote speaker, published author, and has been honored with recognition like NCWIT Symons Innovator Award and Seattles Top 40 under 40.


Michelle Mangione

Founder, High Heals Kitchen

High Heals Kitchen

Michelle Mangione is the founder and owner of HIGH HEALS INC (also check the company facebooks page here), a savvy and sophisticated cannabis business. Securely embedded in the brand are a wide range of cannabis disciplines. Michelle is also working with ASTM to create international standard, Dosey Dough, for dosing Standardization of THC and CBD for Cannabis and Hemp (Patent Pending in USA and Canada). The beginnings of Michelle’s enterprise were more of personal journey as she had been suffering from an illness called Cushing’s disease. Some of the debilitating effects include weight gain, high blood pressure, migraines, joint and muscular pain, general fatigue and anxiety. Severe pain was a constant reminder of her illness and opiate based, symptom masking prescriptions were not the cure. Many obstacles presented themselves including a diagnosis of terminal cancer, two separate pituitary surgeries to name a few but she was resolute to not just survive but also to flourish. Medications that covered up symptoms was not what she was interested in Michelle was seeking a cure. Though skeptical at first Michelle began using various products made from the extracted CBD compounds found in medicinal marijuana. She quickly discovered that the responsible use of cannabis was changing her life! An accomplished baker she naturally began making small batch edibles that offered a viable solution for chronic pain relief. Michelle’s compassionate spirit also guided her to infuse pet products with CBD for animals. Michelle’s heart’s desire is to own and help operate a sanctuary for wounded, abandoned and abused animals. In her mind’s eye this peaceful haven could be a place that brings harmony to both volunteers and animals alike. Because the needs are so great Ms. Mangione’s desire to see that all end users have access to dosing properly drove her to set the groundwork to aid everyone everywhere to safely and consistently dose infused products using her Dosey Dough app which is patent pending. Ms. Mangione’s sensed the deepest needs within the cannabis culture is uncanny selflessness. “If it is truly medicine we need a pipeline that permits transparency and accountability!’ Michelle’s greatest reach thus far is her pioneering a pathway to the most comprehensive, cloud-based tracking system. This patent pending system will create transparency regarding origins, quality and potency into the hands of every concerned patient’s hands.


Marie Douglas

Vice President, Global Technology Service Providers Sales, IBM


Marie Douglas is Vice President, Global Technology Service Providers (CSPs, MSPs, ISVs) Sales for IBM. She is responsible for and leads her team to work with Technology Service Providers, a NextGen segment that builds solutions for Customers based on solving a business problem with technology which include one or more IBM offerings.


Deborah Kestin Deborah Kestin Schildkraut

IBM Blockchain Ecosystem Marketing Leader, IBM


Deborah is currently the IBM Blockchain Ecosystem Marketing Leader and has served as Global Program Director for Business Partner Strategy for IBM Global Business Partner Marketing and developed the Emerging Leaders initiative to mentor and engage early career professionals. Passionate about community service, she is involved in many Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility projects and is part of the elite IBM Corporate Service Corps alumni. She also served in global program director roles for Digital Content Marketing and Value Added Distributor marketing. She developed and launched the IBM Business Partner Innovation Center program. Deborah was a 2019 CRN Women of the Channel honoree. She is a member of the CompTIA Blockchain Advisory Council and serves on the Women@IBM planning board. Deborah started her career in the world of advertising in New York City, serving as an account manager for IBM, SAP, and Sony. She serves on several non-profit boards of directors.


Sharon LaDay

IBM Blockchain Ecosystem Leader, IBM


Sharon LaDay comes to the blockchain industry with a background in enterprise infrastructure solutions, startup investing, and education technology. Prior to her current role as Blockchain Ecosystem Leader at IBM, Sharon was Vice President, Business Development for Macmillan New Ventures where she developed and executed growth strategies with a portfolio of startups. Her additional startup experience comes from her time at edtech startups like Wimba which was acquired by Blackboard Inc., and storage networking startups like Andiamo Systems which was acquired by Cisco Systems. Her other enterprise infrastructure experience includes product and platform marketing at EMC Corporation and VERITAS Software; and high-availability/disaster recovery infrastructure design as an engineer for Datalink. Sharon earned a BS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Eric Kirkland

Founder, Kirkland Law

Kirkland Law

Eric is the founder of Kirkland Law PC, and has the privilege of representing fast-growing companies in the US and Canada as well as private equity funds in the burgeoning cannabis industry. We provide a broad array of legal services with a focus on corporate structure, private offerings, secured debt financing, and tax matters. I have been the lead attorney on over $300 million in private offerings for cannabis companies since May of 2016. Eric also handles licensing agreements, equity incentive plans, and other legal issues that fast-growing businesses face as they expand. Eric also assists companies through the arduous permitting and licensing process, appear at city council hearings, and guide you through the many pitfalls that besiege many early-stage cannabis companies.


Joseph Holbrook

Enterprise Blockchain Architect and Author, MyBlockchainExperts


Joe Holbrook has been in the IT field since 1993 when he was exposed to several HPUX systems on board a US Navy flagship USS JFK. He has migrated from UNIX networking world to Storage Area Networking(SAN) and then onto Enterprise Cloud/Virtualization and Blockchain Architectures. He has worked for numerous companies like HDS, 3PAR Data, Brocade, Dimension Data, EMC, Northrup Grumman, ViON,,, SAIC and Siemens Nixdorf. He also has been a contract technical trainer for HPE (3PAR), Hitachi Data Systems, Training Associates, ITPrenuers and Global Knowledge. Joe is also a widely published course author on outlets such as LinkedIn Learning, and Pearson O’Reilly. Currently Joe is the owner of MyBlockChainExperts and is based out of Jacksonville FL. He is also a frequent conference speaker and blogger/technical marketer. Joe is also a Certified Bitcoin Professional (CBP), Certified Blockchain Solutions Architect (CBSA) and Certified Blockchain Developer- Hyperledger Fabric- (CBDH) and avid Blockchain and Cryptocurrency geek. He also holds Industry leading certifications from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Brocade, Hitachi Data Systems, EMC, VMWare, CompTIA, HP, Cloud Credential Council, Palo Alto Networks and numerous other organizations. Joe is the author of “Architecting Enterprise Blockchain Solutions” Wiley January 2020.



, Poly

Mark Morgan

EVP of Strategy, ScanSource



Michael Patterson

Chief Executive Officer, US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development

US Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research and Development

Health Care Executive with over 25 years of experience in the following areas (Cannabis-Hemp Investing, Operations, Laws, Regulation, Compliance, and Management, Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, Home Healthcare, Therapy Management, Laboratory, Pharmacy Management, and Health Care Analytics).Michael is a subject matter expert in the Global Cannabis Industry with Gerson Lehrman Group ( and Guidepoint. He has spoken at numerous conferences including the 2019 UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference in Boston, FBI National Academy convention in Orlando, and CBD East Convention 2018 in Orlando.Upcoming speaking engagements include ONE Senior Place in April 2019, June 6, 2019 at the Cannabis Banking Summit in Pittsburgh, PA, June 22,23 in Atlanta, GA at the US Cannabis-Medical Cannabis Society sponsored Georgia Medical Cannabis Licensure and Education Seminar, and July 12-13 at Europe CBD Expo in London, England.Mr. Patterson is an Editorial Board Member for the American Journal of Medical Cannabis (AJMC), medical cannabis contributing writer for the Orlando Medical News Magazine and Florida MD Magazine, member of the Board of Directors for the Tourette Syndrome Awareness Foundation, and licensed Occupational Therapist and Nursing Home Administrator in 4 states.


Moderator List

Phil Edholm (Moderator)

President and Principal, PKE Consulting LLC & UC

PKE Consulting LLC & UC

Phil Edholm is the President and Principal of PKE Consulting. PKE consults to end users and vendors in the communications and networking markets. PKE works with our clients to deliver the value of the integration of information and interaction. Whether with Unified Communications or integration of communications and business processes, PKE has the experience and knowledge to transform your organization. Phil is also the organizer of WebRTC World Expo and Conference, the global eco-system event for WebRTC, the next major transformation in technology.Phil Edholm has over 30 years experience in creating innovation and transformation in networking and communications. Prior to founding PKE , he was Vice President of Technology Strategy and Innovation for Avaya. In this role, he was responsible for defining vision and strategic technology and the integration of the Nortel product portfolio into Avaya. He was responsible for portfolio architecture, standards activities, and User Experience. Prior to Avaya, he was CTO/CSO for the Nortel Enterprise business for 9 years. At Nortel, he led the development of VoIP solutions and multimedia communications as well as IP transport technology. His background includes extensive LAN and data communications experience, including 13 years with Silicon Valley start-ups.Phil is recognized as an industry leader and visionary. In 2007, he was recognized by Frost and Sullivan with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Growth, Innovation and Leadership in Telecommunications. Phil is a widely sought speaker and has been in the VoiceCon/Enterprise Connect Great Debate three times. He has been recognized by the IEEE as the originator of “Edholm’s Law of Bandwidth” as published in July 2004 IEEE Spectrum magazine and as one of the “Top 100 Voices of IP Communications by Internet Telephony magazine. Phil was a member of the IEEE 802.3 standards committee, developed the first multi-protocol network interfaces, and was a founder of the Frame Relay Forum. Phil has 16 patents and holds a BSME/EE from Kettering University.