Dec. 10 IoE Day at Editor’s Conference – Speaker Bios and Photos
Renee Patton, US Public Sector Director of Education, Cisco
Renee Patton is the leader of US Public Sector Education at Cisco. In this role, she is
responsible for Cisco’s go-to-market strategy for education and manages a team of education
consultants who help customers realize their educational visions through the logical placement of
technology within schools, colleges, and universities.
She has over 19 years of business, management, sales, and marketing experience in both small
start-up and large corporate environments, including Siemens. She ran her own marketing
consulting firm for over seven years prior to joining Cisco full time.
Prior to moving into US Public Sector, Renee served as Worldwide Industry Marketing
Education Lead within Cisco’s Corporate Marketing Organization where she was responsible for
developing Cisco’s education messaging platform and driving Cisco’s position in the education
market. Prior to this role, she managed Cisco’s national E-rate Program and served as the lead
for US Education Field Marketing.
While studying for her Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford, Renee began teaching high
school English and French, coaching cross-country, and moderating the student yearbook and
newspaper. She then spent four years on the Los Gatos-Saratoga JUHS Board of Trustees and
was responsible for managing policy and a $20M district budget.
She brings a clear perspective to addressing business issues and an in-depth understanding of the
K-12 and Higher Education markets. She is particularly interested in trends driving the massive
shift in education delivery models, new educational approaches, and ways that technology can
help to engage learners and prepare teachers. Renee is a Lions’ Club Member and is on the board
of the Los Gatos High School Alumni Association. She holds a BA degree in English from
Santa Clara University and an MA in Education from Stanford University.
Chris N. White, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things/Internet of Everything Go-to-
Market Solutions General Manager, Sports and Entertainment Group Cisco
Chris White is Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Internet of Things/Internet of Everything
Solutions and General Manager of the Sports and Entertainment Solutions Group. He is
responsible for global go-to-market efforts to accelerate the company’s success with Internet of
Things Industrial Solutions, Smart and Connected Cities, and Sports and Entertainment solutions
for global premier sporting and entertainment venues. He is driving business outcomes to capture
the unprecedented opportunity of the Internet of Everything. This is a pivotal component of the
Company’s journey to be the #1 IT Company.
Kip Compton, Vice President/General Manager Internet of Things (IoT) Systems &
Kip Compton is the General Manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) Systems & Software
group. In this role, he leads Cisco’s product businesses focused on IoT. One of the company's top
priorities, the Internet of Things is the extension of Internet technologies to devices in industrial
markets (Utilities, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Transportation, etc.).
The IoT systems and software group provides a growing portfolio of products from embedded
software for sensors, wired and wireless connectivity (switches, access points), ruggedized (and
embedded) routers (for example for use in cars, trucks, trains, planes), surveillance cameras, and
recording systems. By 2020, there will be 50 Billion devices connected to the Internet (Cisco
Visual Networking Index Report, 2013).
Compton has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in systems, software, and
network engineering including roles in both equipment vendors and service providers. His areas
of interest include video, distributed systems, content distribution, collaboration technologies,
and digital media security.
In previous roles at Cisco, Compton was Acting GM of Cisco’s SP Video Software & Solutions
group, CTO for Cisco’s Video & Collaboration group and Vice President & General Manager of
Strategy & Product Management for the Service Provider Video Technology Group.
Compton served three years with Comcast as vice president of video and media engineering. In
that role, he led the team responsible for developing Comcast’s nationwide digital cable, content
security, video on-demand, and streaming media infrastructure and services.
Compton held roles at Cisco from 1998 to 2002 as director of technology strategy and later
director of entertainment solutions, responsible for defining Cisco’s technology and solutions
strategy in areas including cable, digital video, streaming media and XML/Web services.
Compton holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science and Master of Engineering degree in
electrical engineering and computer science, both from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Wharton School.
Compton has multiple patents in the areas of digital video, content security, and networking.
Blair Christie, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Cisco
Blair Christie is Cisco's Chief Marketing Officer, with responsibility for the company's Global
Marketing, Corporate Communications, and Government and Community Relations groups. Her
organization is responsible for positioning Cisco's growth strategy, cultivating opportunities in
new and existing customer markets and growing demand for Cisco's solutions globally, as Cisco
establishes itself as the #1 IT company in the world.
Armed with data that underscored the $19T opportunity for private and public sector
organizations to leverage the Internet of Everything, Christie led Cisco’s award-winning
“Tomorrow Starts Here” brand campaign. The campaign utilized innovative digital and social
technologies, as part of a fully integrated marketing and communications campaign, enabling
Cisco to move to the #13 spot on Interbrand’s list of Best Global Brands and the number #1 spot
for B2B brands, according to CEB research.
Prior to being named CMO in 2011, Christie was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate
Communications and Investor Relations, overseeing global activities in investor relations, media
relations, industry analyst relations, and employee and executive communications. She also
managed Cisco's global studios, digital, social media and collaboration technology strategy
teams, rounding out an organization designed to innovate the message and the medium in
communications. Previously, she held a variety of investor relations and communications
positions at Cisco.
Prior to joining Cisco in 1999, Christie held several roles in investor relations,
government/public affairs, and corporate giving efforts at InterDigital Communications
Corporation, Aqua America, and PECO Energy.
At Cisco, Christie is an Executive Officer and sits on Cisco's Operating Committee, the 12-
member leadership team responsible for setting the corporate strategy, goals, and annual targets
for the company. She is passionate about education and serves as a member of the advisory
board for US2020 and as a director of the Arthur Page Society, and sits on the President's
Leadership Council at Drexel University. Recognized for her marketing acumen for one of the
world’s most recognized brands, in 2014 she was named one of the top 20 most influential
CMOs and one of the top five most influential CMOs in Big Data by Forbes; received the 2014
Brand Building award from Marketers that Matter; and was named one of Advertising Age’s
2014 Women to Watch.
Christie holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing and business administration and a
master of business administration degree, concentrating in investment management, from Drexel
Mohammad Qayoumi, President of San Jose State University
Mohammad Qayoumi is the 28th president and a professor of electrical engineering at San José
State University. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the American University of
Beirut and four degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a master’s in nuclear engineering, a
master’s in electrical and computer engineering, an MBA and a doctorate in electrical
engineering. He has over 37 years of engineering and administrative experience in several
universities. He has also published eight books and more than 100 articles and chapters in books.
He is a licensed professional engineer and a certified management accountant. A senior member
of IEEE and Senior Fellow of CCST (California Council on Science and Technology) he chairs
the cybersecurity and campus resilience for Department of Homeland Security. He was named in
Great Immigrants: Pride of America list by Carnegie Corporation.
John Delacruz, Professor of Advertising, School of Journalism and Mass Communications,
San Jose State University
John Delacruz is a tenure track professor on the Advertising Program at SJSU. He is responsible
for the creative track and developing links between industry and education as well as developing
projects for students both nationally and internationally. Primarily concerned with experiential
learning spaces and their impact on the creative disciplines (mainly advertising and graphic
design), John is championing the use of technology as a way to enhance and add value to the
Since the beginning of 2013 he has explored how NextGen technologies can open a window
on the world beyond the Valley for his students. Currently he is developing a series of
workshops aimed at inspiring faculty to also integrate this technology in their teaching and
Prior to this, John workedat Staﬀordshire University in Stoke on Trent, UK from 1999-2012.
During his time at Staﬀs, John initially began teaching on the Graphic Design Degree and was
later to redesign the Professional, Historical and Contextual Studies programs for all Design
disciplines in the former School of Art and Design: a mammoth task that resulted in the
embedding of contextual studies within studio practice. He then designed and ran an
innovative BA in Advertising and Brand Management that exposed students to the industry
directly. The integration of education and the workplace was key to the success of this degree
John has strong industry links in the UK with agencies big and small – from Fallon and
Pentagram to Crayon and Dare; the US – Bandujo Advertising and Design NYC (recent
winners in AMC’s The Pitch), and the EU where he was President of EdCom (the European
Foundation for Commercial Communications Education) – the educational wing of the EACA.
Currently he is developing co--operative activities between the advertising program at SJSU
and the ad industry in the US and Europe as well as other Higher Education Institutions in the
US and Europe.
Quyen Grant, Project Assistant, San Jose State University
Quyen Grant is the Project Assistant for Social Work Education Enhancement Program
(SWEEP) at San Jose State University through Research Foundation. She graduated from
Fordham University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She
emigrated with her family at the age of five from Vietnam and lived in New York for over
twenty years. She’s been residing in San Jose, California since August 2013. Prior to this she
worked at The Infant and Child Learning Center, a non- profit organization that provides
services to families with children who has disabilities in Brooklyn, New York for four years.
She was the school’s sole secretary providing assistance and guidance for 30 staff members and
100 students and was personal assistant to the Director of Center-based Programs. Her main role
as a Project Assistant is to assists the operational needs of SWEEP. This includes, among other
things, providing support to the Principal Investigator and SWEEP members with various
projects such as travel arrangements, obtain visas, prepare itineraries for US project team and for
visiting professors and administrators from Vietnam.
Herb Sih, Managing Partner, Think Big Partners
Herb Sih is Managing Partner of Think Big Partners, an early stage, technology focused hybrid
business incubator, startup accelerator and innovation consulting firm located in Kansas City and
St. Louis. Think Big Partners’ (Think Big) core focus is to identify high value emerging
technologies and entrepreneur teams and accelerate them to commercial success. Think Big
works in the areas of emerging technology commercialization, corporate venturing and
innovation partnering, workspace design consulting and entrepreneur cluster based economic
Think Big was started in October 2010 and has assisted over 450 companies around the world.
Think Big is a Microsoft Ventures partner (one of only a few in the world) and has developed
technology / apps for their platforms. Think Big has hosted open innovation competitions,
hackathons and other innovation and entrepreneur related events for numerous Fortune 1000
companies and communities.
Prior to co-founding Think Big Partners, Herb spent 14 years in the investment industry with
Merrill Lynch, AG Edwards and a venture capital fund. Additionally, Herb has started numerous
companies, several of which became Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 companies, and has sold several of
them. Herb is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development.
Herb is a board member for The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri,
The Full Employment Council, various community task forces and several private companies.
Prior to working in the private sector, Herb was a military pilot in the United States Army. Herb
attended the University of Kansas and holds a Bachelor of Science degree.
Herb lives in Kansas City with his wife Melinda, three children. In his infrequent spare time he is
an avid photographer, aspiring musician and a marginal D-league hockey player.
Eric Johnsen, VP, APX Labs
Eric Johnsen is Vice President of Business Development at APX Labs, Inc., the leader in
developing enterprise software for smart glasses. He leads partnerships and channel strategies for
the company. Prior to APX Labs, Eric launched the Glass at Work program while on the
Google[x] team. He was an early leader of the team that built the Google Apps resale and
integrator channel in the U.S. and Asia, from nothing to $500 million in global revenue (now
more than $1B).
Dave De Yagher, Senior Manager, Field Operations, BC Hydro
David De Yagher, CGA, is BC Hydro’s Senior Operations Manager for the Smart Metering and
Infrastructure Program. He was one of lead initiators for the project since October 2005 and
continues to lead the team towards the completion of a fully compliant IPv6 multi service grid
network – an important step for BC Hydro’s Smart Grid journey. He also manages an
Operations team which includes the metering mesh, networking and meter data management. He
has overall responsibility for ensuring that the design, delivery and operations of BC Hydro’s
Smart Metering solution align with the required business requirements. David is a 25 year
veteran utility manager whose focus has been on business and technology. As member of
various standards and technical committees David has engaged multiple stakeholder and interest
groups to present the solution and help deliver a successful project.
Kai Hui, Chief Technology Officer, Bitstew
Kai brings years of in-depth knowledge and experience in the utility market and has built an
exceptional reputation amongst his peers in the industry. He has been asked to speak at many key
industry conferences such as Cisco’s Internet of Things, Utilities Telecom Council Conference
As Chief Technology Officer at Bit Stew, Kai is leading the Software Engineering Team in best
practices, and an Architecture Team in maintaining technology strategy for the company and its
world-leading Grid Director™ platform. In this capacity, Kai maintains knowledge of
technology standards, industry trends, emerging technologies and key market drivers to ensure
the Grid Director platform maintains its leadership position in the real-time network operations
Prior to joining Bit Stew as Chief Technology Officer, Kai’s career spanned 15 years at BC
Hydro, including the past 4.5 years as the Director of Technology for the Smart Metering and
Infrastructure program. His responsibilities included Solution Architecture, Smart Metering,
Information Technology, System Wide Testing, and Telecommunications Design and Security
Delivery within the program. He also held leadership roles within Customer Care, Generation,
Engineering and Transmission and Distribution business units, where he served as Business
Information Services Manager, SAP Technology Lead and Contact Center Technical Lead. Kai
also spent 14 years in the Telecommunications manufacturing sector as an engineering and
Kai holds both a Bachelor’s of Technology in Computer Systems – Data Communications, and a
Diploma of Technology in Chemical Sciences. He also holds an AScT designation from Applied
Science Technologist & Technicians of BC, where he is also serves as a Council Director.
Eric M. Free, VP, Internet of Things group; GM, Smart Home and Buildings Division
Eric M. Free is vice president of the Internet of Things Group and general manager of Smart
Home and Buildings Division at Intel Corporation. In these roles, he is responsible for defining
Intel's vision for connected services in the digital home, forging strong industry partnerships
with the content and advertising industries, and delivering and managing Internet services that
allow digital media to flow across Intel-powered platforms.
Prior to joining Intel, Free served as executive vice president of Product Development for Rovi
Corporation, where he was responsible for the company's core software and web services
development. He also created and led the company's Embedded Solutions Business Unit and
served as vice president of Business Development and Strategy, head of business development
for the company's Entertainment Technology Group, and as an executive on the corporate
Prior to joining Rovi, Free headed business development for one of the first streaming media
technology companies, worked for several venture capital funds, and led engineering teams for a
multinational professional services firm.
Free received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Duke University, a master's degree in
engineering from Stanford University, a master's in business administration from Duke
University and a master's, concentrating in international affairs, from Georgetown University.
Julia Curry-Rodriguez, Associate Professor, Mexican Studies
I earned a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1988 from the University of Texas at Austin. My research
examines immigrant women and children, immigration, language minority educational
experiences, racial and sexual stratification, and other issues pertaining to Chicana/os in the
United States. I use qualitative methodology, primarily life history, oral history and participant
observation techniques in my research. I have held many elected offices in various professional
organizations. In the National Association for Chicana and Chicano studies (NACCS) I have
been the General Coordinator (2000), secretary (1998, newsletter editor (1999) and the Northern
California Regional Representative (1998-2000).
Currently I am the Executive Director of NACCS. While still a graduate student at UT Austin, I
was elected as the organizing and founding chair of the Chicana Caucus of NACCS (1985-90).
In Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), I have also held many elected offices,
including Chair in 1998-99. In the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) I served as the
Chair of the Discrimination Committee from 1989-91 and organized the conference program for
the annual meetings in 1989. In the American Sociological Association I was the organizing and
founding Chair of the Section on Latina and Latino Sociology. In the ASA I served as a council
member for the Section on Sex and Gender and served as former treasurer/secretary for the
Section on Race and Ethnic Relations. As a professor at SJSU I have served/or serve as advisor
to various student groups such as Mujer, MEChA, McNair Scholars, MASGAS and XGC,
Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE), and Balet Folklórico Luna y Sol.