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Keynote Speakers

George F. Allen

Former Governor of Virginia, U.S. Senator and Strategic Advisor to VT Group

At the conclusion of his term as Governor of Virginia, George Allen viewed with satisfaction the monumental reforms his administration achieved that made Virginia a national model in economic development, public safety, education accountability, and welfare reform. The Washington Post called Allen “one of the most influential governors in recent Virginia history”. The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently praised Allen’s campaign “among the most policy-driven campaigns in gubernatorial history.”

Keeping the promises he made to Virginians, and working with a Democratic-controlled General Assembly, Allen successfully cut taxes by more than $600 million; instituted high academic Standards of Learning and School Performance Report Cards; made neighborhoods safer with the abolition of parole; initiated historic, pro-work welfare reforms; enacted the nation’s first Public-Private Transportation funding system; repealed or amended 71% of all regulations; reduced the size of government with greater efficiency and accountability; and grew the economy – making sure the world knew “Virginia is Open for Business”. With added revenues, Allen was able to freeze tuition rates at universities and community colleges.

His administration recruited over $13 billion in new investments and created more than 300,000 net new private sector jobs. When Allen was sworn in as Governor in 1994, coal and cigarettes were Virginia’s top exports; after four years of Allen’s tireless dedication to economic-development, semi-conductors became Virginia’s top export, leading U.S. News and World Report to dub Virginia the “Silicon Dominion”.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, Allen advocated for policies to make America a leader in innovation and technology. He was Chairman of the Senate High Tech Task Force and created the Competitiveness Caucus. Allen founded the Nanotechnology Caucus with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), with whom he also co-sponsored the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research & Development Act in 2003 and the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 2004. Allen Sponsored the Minority Serving Institution Digital And Wireless Technology Opportunity Act Of 2005 and introduced a $1,000 per-child Education Opportunity Tax Credit in 2001, a modified version of which was passed later that year.

Allen was a member of the following committees: Energy and Natural Resources; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations (Chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee); and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Allen served in Senate Republican Leadership as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2004 election cycle.

Born to George H. Allen, a Hall of Fame football coach, and Henrietta L. Allen, a Tunisian-born survivor of the Nazi occupation of North Africa, George Allen started his life in Southern California and Deerfield Illinois, before attending the University of Virginia. Allen holds a B.A. degree “with distinction” in History and a law degree from UVA, and played on UVA’s football and rugby teams. Allen was named All-ACC Academic Team, Quarterback in 1972. After graduation from law school, Allen worked in Abingdon, Virginia as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Glen Williams in the Western District of Virginia and then started his own law practice in Charlottesville.

A self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative,” Allen had the distinction of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983 to 1991 and briefly represented Virginia’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1992, before a partisan re-districting maneuver combined his district with that of a more senior Republican Member of the House.

In 2007, Allen founded George Allen Strategies, which provides companies and individuals with insightful and effective counsel, consulting and strategic advice on a range of issues including energy, technology, and business development.

Allen serves as Co-Chairman of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative for the National Association of Manufacturers, and as Ambassador to the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN), a non-profit organization that drives adoption, and educates the market about the technical and economic advantages of fiber-based Passive Optical LAN technology.

Allen also serves and has served on the board of directors of several companies, including Armada-Hoffler (AHH-NYSE), Nano Risk Assessment Inc., the VT Group, and Lee Technologies.

Allen is the Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America’s Foundation and serves on the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors. Allen serves on the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering Foundation Board of Trustees and the Appalachian School of Law Board of Trustees. Allen is an Honorary Virginia Co-Chairman of Communities in Schools with Sen. Mark Warner. He serves on the advisory boards of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hampton Roads Proton Beam Therapy Institute at Hampton University.

In 2009, Allen launched the American Energy Freedom Center, serving as Chairman until 2011, and rejoining as Chairman in March of 2013. The Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that educates Americans on positive solutions and ideas for more American jobs, competitiveness and prosperity through the development and use of America’s plentiful energy resources and innovation.

As Governor, a U.S. Senator and a private citizen, Allen has led Trade Missions and continues to participate in international relations with Asian, European and Latin American countries.

In 2010, Allen authored his book What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.

He and his wife, Susan, reside near Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County and have three children: Tyler, Forrest, and Brooke.

Farukh Aslam

Sinclair Holdings, LLC

Farukh Aslam is a commercial real estate developer based in Fort Worth focusing on hotels, office buildings and upscale apartments. His focus is “Digital Ceiling” and “IoT” in commercial buildings. Aslam is deploying PoE powered lighting and other building infrastructure, such as video surveillance and access control using PoE. He is working closely with a major manufacturer to develop up to 55” LED TVs and inside building AC units to be powered using PoE. One of the most fascinating technologies Aslam is working on is “Digital Electricity” which is currently deployed in a historic building in downtown Fort Worth.

Additional Speakers

Ajay Aluri

Assistant Professor
West Virginia University

Dr. Aluri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management, College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University. His research interests include hospitality management and information systems, predominantly in the areas of wearable technology (augmented and virtual reality), Internet of Things, data mining, social media, and consumer behavior. Dr. Aluri has been invited to speak at several industry conferences, including HITEC (hosted by HFTP); IoT Summit; HTNG; IHMRS Show; HOSPACE; and NRA Show. He is currently serving as Director of Networking at the ICHRIE organization. His research has been published in several prominent industry and academic journals.

Pedro Anderson

Founder and COO
Winding Tree

Pedro leads business development and marketing efforts at Winding Tree. He is responsible for expanding adoption and use of Winding Tree across the industry.

Prior to Winding Tree, Pedro was responsible for driving adoption of the Attendify app from its formative years to a leading position in the Event Tech space. Pedro also founded "Firefly" a non-profit focused on training and preparing orphans for careers in the hospitality industry.

John Bell

Ajontech, LLC

John Bell founded Ajontech LLC after he retired as Marriott's Enterprise Architect. For twelve years he was also an Associate Professor for the Center of Applied Information Technology (CAIT) at Towson University. His work at Ajontech has centered on consulting in the areas of Enterprise Architecture, Security Architecture and Software Design supporting the financial and hospitality industries. He has been developing software based systems for more than 35 years and is an author and contributor to several books related to software development. Mr. Bell is TOGAF certified and is currently serving as co-chair for both the IEEE and Open Group SOA Reference Architecture groups. He also serves as co-chair for several HTNG workgroups.

Larry Birnbaum

VP Hospitality
VT Group

Larry Birnbaum continues to be passionate about the hospitality industry and providing technology solutions to enhance guests' experiences. Throughout Larry's career he has been in the forefront of new technology. At the start it was hotel operations and first generation call accounting systems with Hilton Hotels and franchise operators. Larry was engaged with development and deployment of first generation PMS software, interfaces and adoption of PC technology to replace proprietary servers with Encore Systems. Later, Larry was an early proponent of Wi-Fi for hotels delivering first, second and third generation Wi-Fi services and converged triple play services with StayOnline/LodgeNet and GuestTek. He has an established track record of long term productive customer relationships based on education to assist in the decision making process and service first. Today, Larry leads the Commercial Solutions sector of the VT Group which focuses on leading edge, secure managed, GPON technology to solve the new infrastructure challenges faced by owners and operators. He is a native of Atlanta where he continues to live with his wife Lynne and two children. When not traveling with his family, you can usually find him on a golf or tennis court.

Bob Friday

CTO & Co-Founder
Mist Systems

Bob Friday is CHief Technology Offier for the Wireless Networking Business Unit, part of Cisco's Network Services Group. He manages strategic wireless initiatives for the fast-growing WiFi (wireless LAN) and WiMax broadband (wireless WAN) businesses.

Friday's career has been focused on developing unlicensed wireless networking technology and products. He came to Cisco as the Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Airespace, the wireless LAN leader acquired Cisco in 2004. At Airespace, he leveraged his backgroun in the outdoor wireless service provider market to introduce a centralized controller architecture for enterprise 802.11 wireless networks. He was also responsible for location technology, mesh, wireless routing technology, radio hardware development, and radio resource management algorithms.

Prior to Airespace, Friday was Chief Scientist at Metricom, a wireless WAN infrastructure company, and was directly responsible for the performance and capacity of the company's nationwide wireless wide-area Ricochet network.

Friday has been awarded 13 patents. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science Degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University.

Florian Gallini


Mr. Gallini joined Interel in February of 2003. In 2005, he moved to Dubai to become Managing Director of the group responsible for leading Interel's regional business within the hospitality and residential real estate verticals. Mr. Gallini was appointed Group CEO for the company in December 2012. Of dual German and Italian citizenship, Florian grew up in Germany and graduated with a diploma in Economics & Management from the Libera Universita di Bolzano in Italy.

Paul Golden

VP Marketing
Wireless Power Consortium

Paul Golden is a transformative marketer with a track record for building brands, accelerating growth, and driving organizational and cultural change. His experience in wireless, telecom, technology and consumer packaged goods spans organizations ranging from Fortune 500 to pre-revenue start-ups.

As Vice President of Market Development for the WPC since early 2017, Paul focuses on WPC's marketing and brand strategies, PR< strategic partnerships and promotional initiatives to build adoption of the Qi standard for wireless charging.

Paul co-founded Brand Slam, LLC in 2012. Brand Slam is a marketing consultancy helping US and globally based clients create and launch new brands and new products, develop more competitive brand strategies, and compete more effectively.

Previously, Paul served as CMO for Samsung's US mobile phone business. He transformed Samsung's marketing strategy, taking the brand to number one in mobile phone market share in the US and dramatically improving consumer's perception of the brand. Paul conceived the brand strategy and launched Samsung's Galaxy brand, propelling a 4X growth in Samsung's US smartphone market share during this tenure.

Paul's prior experience includes marketing leadership roles for Sprint, a JV of AT&T Wireless, Cox Communications and Kraft Foods.

Paul holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and lives in Plano, Texas.

Ted Harrington

Executive Partner
Independent Security Elevators

Ted Harrington serves the HTNG community as co-chair of the Door Lock Security workgroup. He drives thought leadership initiatives for Independent Security Elevators, the elite organization of security researchers and consultants widely known for being the first company to hack the iPhone. Mr. Harrington was recently named 40 Under 40 , where he was both one of the youngest inductees in the class as well as the only honoree from the field of information security. He is one of the lead organizers of SOHOpelessly Broken, the first ever router hacking contest at esteemed security conference DEF CON, and one of the lead organizers of the popular new hacking event concept IoT Village at DEF CON. He holds a bachelors degree from Georgetown University.

Dayna Kully


Dayna has over 35 years of experience in sales, channel development, marketing and senior level management, specializing in technology for the hospitality market. Dayna is a co-founder and partner in 5thGenWireless, a consultancy specializing in hospitality technology and strategic investment planning for everything wireless and in-room entertainment. Dayna has held leadership roles in numerous companies specializing in hospitality technology, including VP, Hospitality Business Development for Enseo, a digital media solutions firm; Sr. Director Vertical Business Development at Corning MobileAccess, a leading distributed antenna system provider; VP, Sales and Marketing for IP3, a broadband gateway supplier. Early in her career, Dayna successfully managed sales, technical and operations teams at GE/RCA and Williams Communications, later joining Nortel Networks' emerging optical and access group. Dayna later went on to lead successful broadband divisions as VP of Hospitality at both Everest Broadband and Mitel Networks. Prior to this, Dayna co-founded Brautovich/Kully, a product marketing firm offering expertise in the strategic marketing of telecommunications products. Dayna is actively engaged in HTNG, currently serves as Co-Chair as the Infrastructure Resource Team and has helped spawn multiple workgroups on topics such as Cellular, Wi-Fi, Central Authentication and Fiber-to-the-Room. Dayna holds a Bachelor's degree with honors in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Shrikant Shenwai

Wireless Broadband Alliance

Mr. Shrikant Shenwai is the CEO and one of the founders of Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). Under his leadership, the WBA has transformed into a global industry organization with 100 members, including leading wireless & broadband operators and technology companies who are strategically focusing on delivering the next generation Wi-Fi experience that is seamless, secure and interoperable.

With a global experience of more than 25 years in the ICT industry, Mr. Shrikant Shenwai has held several management and leadership roles in telecom, internet, IT and multimedia businesses. After starting his carrier with HP, he founded and successfully grew an entrepreneurial venture in India before moving to Singapore where he worked with leading telecom companies (StarHub & SingTel group), before taking over as the CEO of WBA. He has extensive experience in successfully building and managing partnerships/alliances and a proven track record in taking new initiatives and ventures from concept to operations.

Mr. Shrikant Shenwai is an Electronics & Communication engineer by training. Having lived and worked in Asia for many years, he currently lives on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia with his wife and two children.

Robert Shein


Rob is a Manager at PwC, with a strong technical background dating back to learning how to code at the age of 11, one year after the Apple II+ computer came on the market. Rob has approximately 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, in both the private and public sector. Most recently focused on the the power grid, he has done work for major corporations as well as two branches of the military in the field of Computer Network Operations. While at PwC, his primary focus has been on IoT security in the automotive space, hotel industry, and the federal government.

Dick Wagner

Director, Emerging Technologies
Marriott International

Richard E. Wagner is currently Director, Emerging Technologies for Marriott International, Inc. In this position, he is responsible for the evaluation and recommendation of emerging communication technologies that could be deployed at all of the Marriott Hotel Brands. Prior to joining Marriott, Mr. Wagner held similar network management positions for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC). He also spent five years as a Messaging Integration Consultant working on Fortune 500 accounts for Digital Equipment Corporation, and held management positions in software development for Citicorp and Mitre Corporation. Mr. Wagner holds a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MSEE in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.