About our speaker selection process
It is very important that the speakers we choose will not only be subject matter experts but engaging speakers as well. Our team reads through print and online publications, attends in-person events and scrolls LinkedIn for potential speakers. Then, we reach out and start a relationship. If we haven't heard them speak, we'll stalk them on Twitter for a while to make sure they're at least entertaining. We do all this to make sure that you, the attendee, the most important person in the room, has a great time.
Vice President, Information Security - TWE Solutions
Aaron Faby is TWE Solutions’ Vice President of Information Security, reporting directly to Chief Technology Officer John Marcato. Aaron joined TWE Solutions in 2016 to direct the information security initiatives at the company. Aaron’s strong background in networking, cloud, security and compliance have enabled TWE to become the leading provider of security focused managed services in the greater Los Angeles area. Before joining TWE, Aaron was a Chief Technology Officer at Xfernet, a data center in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for security and compliance as well as cloud initiatives. Prior to Xfernet, he founded and led a hosting company for 8 years before its sale to a larger industry competitor.
IT Manager - Buzzfeed
Brian Taniyama is the IT Manager for global support at BuzzFeed . His team is responsible for providing support of all shapes, sizes and colors as well as onboarding/offboarding services for BuzzFeed employees all around the world. He has been in management at companies such as Apple, One Kings Lane and Bed Bath & Beyond. Having spent time in many different aspects of IT and in companies of different sizes and needs, Brian brings a diverse view to IT and a focus on providing the best employee experience possible.
Learn more about Brian on LinkedIn
Sr. Manager, IT Operations - Tinder
Jeff Strauss is the Senior Manager of Information Technology Operations at Tinder. He and his team are responsible for building and maintaining critical infrastructure and services, including the network, cloud services, and endpoint management. Jeff has held senior engineering positions at Twitter and JAMF Software, as well as engineering and management positions in the entertainment and education industries.
Learn more about Jeff on LinkedIn
CTO - TWE Solutions
John Marcato is a seventeen year veteran in the IT Managed Services industry. After spending seven years in Boston Area startup Thrive Networks, John was able to take part in its acquisition by Staples Corporation’s B2B business division where he learned how MSPs are evaluated. Using this knowledge he moved to Los Angeles to become a partner in another MSP and then helped to found TWE Solutions where he is partner and CTO. TWE has grown exponentially over its 4 years in business, working to provide premium IT services and products to mid-market and enterprise sized organizations. John splits his time developing the service delivery team, devising and perfecting offered services, and consulting with clients infrastructure and IT strategy.
Master Technologist - Rubrik
Leah Schoeb currently works at Rubrik and brings expertise ranging from cloud infrastructure and virtualization to system and data infrastructure performance. Her latest work with infrastructure optimization and solid state technology. She draws over many years of experience in the computer industry helping systems companies with performance engineering and optimization, market positioning, benchmark evidence creation, and guiding industry standards development for system, virtualized, containerized, and data solutions. Leah has served in several leadership roles for performance architecture for companies, such as, Turbonomic, VMware, Sun Microsystems, Dell, Intel, and Amdahl.
Follow Leah on Twitter
Program Director - Founder Institute
Mercedes Bankston’s engineering background has allowed her to work for Cisco, NEC and Oracle designing and driving innovation within healthcare and education. Outside of large companies, she has consulted for companies architecting networks, streamlining communications, improving security, writing customized workflows and improving operations. In her spare time, she helps novice entrepreneurs launch successful businesses.
Learn more about Mercedes on LinkedIn
Cloud Advocate - Microsoft
Michael is a teacher at heart working in Azure Engineering at Microsoft as a Cloud Advocate. Coming from a career teaching at a community college in Madison, WI, his passion is for helping people learn the skills necessary to ‘skill-up’ their careers. Along with teaching, he is passionate about the IT Operations community. For the last 8 years, he has led up a global user group called The Krewe. This group provides a global network for the sharing of ideas and solutions for many in the Operations community.
Microsoft - Sr. Cloud Advocate
Phoummala Schmitt is a technical team Lead with a focus on messaging and collaboration, virtualization, and storage. She is a VMware vExpert and co-hosts The Current Status Podcast. In her spare time she also writes technical articles for the Petri IT Knowledgebase and blogs for 24x7ITConnection.com, Exchangegoddess.com, WeBreakTech.com, and The Register. Considered as one of the Top 50+ Tech Influencers and Thought Leaders You Should Follow.
Phoummala aka Exchange Goddess can be followed as @exchangegoddess on Twitter.
Robert Duchesne III
FullMetal Cybersecurity - Founder and CEO
Robert Duchesne is the Founder/CEO of FullMetal Cybersecurity as well as a consultant for the United States Government. Before these roles, Duchesne was a Satellite Systems Operator in the United States Air Force and named military person of the year in 2014. As a Certified Ethical Hacker and a Certified Network Defense Architect the sole focus for Duchesne has been to work for that which is good. He believes that creating human firewalls through continuous behavior studies and education, can change the demeanor of our connected culture. A belief that cybersecurity is more than hardware and software, it’s about us, it’s about the people!
Learn more about Robert on LinkedIn
Sr. IT Engineer - Tinder
Rob Olague is a Sr. IT Engineer at Tinder. He is responsible for IT Automation Engineering and Infrastructure, as well as contributing leadership and mentorship to the IT Operations team. Rob has also been an IT Engineer at Vice Media, Compass Real Estate, and Edmunds.com, as well as a freelance consultant in other roles in both the entertainment and education sectors. Rob believes in the power of creative thinking to realize world-class IT outcomes.
Learn more about Rob on LinkedIn
CFO - Westland Real Estate Group
As the Chief Financial Officer for a national real estate group with over 20,000 units in multiple verticles, Shimon often feels like his job is just to play money tetris. After receiving his Bachelors in Finance he gained finance and business development experience working in several international high-tech startups. While earning his MBA he settled in Southern California to work as Portfolio Manager for Westland Real Estate Group. Since then, he has gained his MBA, moved up the ladder to CFO and received a prestigious movember award for his epic beard.
Learn more about Shimon on LinkedIn
IT Security Analyst - Charming Charlie
Stephanie Ihezukwu is the resident IT Security Analyst for Charming Charlie. She assists with creating and maintaining Charming Charlie's security posture. She is the creator and editor of StephAndSec.com, a blog focused on technology, inclusion and lifetime learning. It is Stephanie's life work to encourage and fight for more diversity and inclusion in tech spaces for more innovative and original collaboration. She spends her time mentoring high school students, hosting virtual labs via Women In Tech-a-thons, and learning as much as she can about any and everything. Stephanie believes that giving back to the community at every stage is very important. In addition to technology, Stephanie has a secondary passion in Psychology, so don't be frightened if you hear her discuss cognitive distortions or attachment styles. Her hope is to develop research that explores the dichotomy between human beings and technology.
Principle Technologist - Cohesity
Theresa Miller is a Principal Technologist at Cohesity. She is an IT professional that has been working as a technical expert in IT for over 20 years. She is a Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert, Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services), and has an MBA. Her areas of expertise are in the areas of Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory, VMware, Citrix XenApp and XenDeskop.
Todd G. Smith
IT Manager - Snap Inc.
Todd G. Smith is an IT Manager and Operations Manager at Snap Inc. He and his teams are responsible for deploying global infrastructure and collaborative multimedia solutions, such as video conferencing systems, network equipment, and technical event operations. He has held IT management positions at Facebook and various multimedia production companies. Todd has worked in fast growth startups through the IPO process where he has had to wear many hats in the IT and business finance fields, as well as build global teams from the ground up. His favorite aspect of his career is mentoring leadership talent.
Learn more about Todd on LinkedIn
Co-Founder - FullMetal CyberSecurity
Highly sought-after dinner guest Ty Atkin is a native of St George and has lived in many places ranging from Texas to Japan. Studied at Dixie State University and Utah State University. Ty is Co-Founder of FullMetal CyberSecurity and currently serves in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
A firm believer that anything worth doing is not only worth doing right but should be done with excellence. Ty strives to touch the “Corner Post” in all aspects of his life, not just in CyberSecurity. Hard work, self-reliance, respect, humor, determination and honor are not antiquated beliefs. “I want those values to be contagious and rub off on others when they interact with me.”
Ty’s wife Kate, is the classiest and prettiest lady in the history of... well, everything. True story.
Ty is a Swashbuckling Patriot, Debonair Rogue, and Stately Gentleman. Ty loves 80’s movies and music, being a Rock Star, Drag Racing, Firefly, and Grandma Atkin’s homemade Pumpkin Roll. Ty is proud to work with this most outstanding team at FullMetal CyberSecurity.
Follow Ty on Twitter.