Jennifer O’Rourke serves as the Illinois Blockchain Business Liaison, where she focuses on supporting distributed ledger technology development throughout the state of Illinois. She also serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology at the Illinois Department of Commerce, where she leads projects focusing on economic development throughout the State. O’Rourke is also the Director of Public Engagement at the Chicago Blockchain Center.
Jennifer has put together a multi-agency partnership, no easy task if you know politics in Illinois. She has also included other governmental bodies, like the county of Cook. Then, she reached out to the business community and extended it to a public-private partnership.
Meltem is Director of Development at Digital Currency Group (DCG), a firm focussed on building and supporting bitcoin and blockchain companies, by leveraging its insights, network, and access to capital. In her role, Meltem leads the team that drives growth, network and strategy across a portfolio of over 100 portfolio countries across 27 countries, dozens of strategic investors, 3 operating subsidieries, and DCG's corporate partners and leading academic institutions.
Meltem holds a BA in Mathematical Economics from Rice University and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She helped create the MIT "Future of Commerce" online course and a member of the World Economic Forum Blockchain Council.
Senator Ben Kieckhefer
Senator Ben Kieckhefer serves as Assistant Minority Leader at the Nevada Legislature. His legislative accomplishments include the creation of Nevada’s first need-based scholarship program for community college students, the development of alternate routes to licensure for Nevada teachers, the creation of a statutory sunset committee to review state government operations, legislation cracking down on child sex offenders, and the passage of SB398-- the blockchain bill. Under Ben's leadership, Nevada is one of the first states to welcome blockchain-based companies to the state.
Allison Clift-Jennings is the co-founder and CEO of Filament since 2012. With an engineering background in both hardware and software as well as experience with startups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, she is well suited to both the business and technical aspects of Filament’s industrial IoT platform. Allison also serves on the Computer Science ∓ Engineering advisory board at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her personal interests lie in systems theory, permaculture, and analog music synthesizers.
Eric Piscini is a principal with Deloitte Consulting’s financial services practice, with 20 years of experience defining innovative strategies and solutions for his clients.. Eric serves global financial institutions – particularly with banking and digital payments companies – as well as technology companies and regulators.
Eric regularly speaks and writes on blockchain. He has been quoted on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, American Banker and CoinDesk.
He recently co-authored “Taking Blockchain Live: 20 Questions That Must Be Answered to Move Beyond Proofs of Concept,” which is informed by Deloitte's recent conversations with clients.
Patricia has over 25 years of experience in commercial finance. Her expertise focuses on forming captive financing companies, establishing vendor finance programs, and facilitating mergers and acquisitions within the commercial finance industry. Clients also benefit from her experience in business development, strategic pricing, business ethics, sales and marketing. After launching her career at IBM, Voorhees was an executive at GE Capital from 1996 to 2011, where she served in several key roles. In her initial position as vice president for business development, Patricia was responsible for establishing more than a dozen new vendor and captive finance programs. She then became managing director of business development for M&As, managing more than 14 acquisition originations. Later she was the company’s general manager of Office Imaging Finance, leading a small-ticket leasing business with $5.5 billion in assets and 450 employees. She also was GE Capital’s strategic pricing leader during the U.S. financial crisis.
Sarabjeet (Jay) Chugh
Sarabjeet (Jay) Chugh is a Senior Director Products at Oracle, responsible for PaaS services such as Serverless, Microservices, Container Native App Dev, Blockchain, and AI Platform. He has over 19 years of industry experience in Software Development, Product Management, and Marketing working in companies such as VMware, Pivotal Software, Cisco Systems, SunGard Availability Services, and many venture-backed Startups in SF Bay Area. He holds an MBA from Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley, M.S. Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and B.Tech from NSIT (University of Delhi, India).
Nathaniel is a blockchain/energy entrepreneur, co-founder of Energy Blockchain Network, and Director of On-Demand Energy Cloud at Correlate, Inc. Nathaniel has nearly 10 years of experience delivering
technology solutions to the energy industry’s utility, commercial, and industrial markets. He is a blockchain/energy thought leader specializing in Energy Technology Convergence.
Kingsley Edwards created Leet, an online skill-based platform, in 2013 with the vision of integrating cryptocurrencies with popular video games. Since then, Leet has participated in BoostVC, a blockchain startup accelerator, and is currently working with casinos directly to provide esports events and technology. Kingsley has been an outspoken advocate of cryptocurrencies for over four years. He started the Las Vegas Bitcoin Meetup in 2014 to help promote the adoption of cryptocurrencies locally among vendors and individuals. Kingsley joined the leadership team of Unikrn after its acquisition of Leet.
Tod Colegrove, Ph.D., MSLIS, is the Director of the DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He holds the doctorate and masters degrees in physics, and a master of library and information science degree with concentration in competitive intelligence and knowledge management.
With fourteen years of entrepreneurial experience in high-tech private industry, he taught physics and astronomy courses at the University for a number of years before joining forces with Libraries.
Named Head of DeLaMare in 2010, he has been actively working to catalyze change and enable the library to rediscover relevance in the communities it serves. The library has become an active and vital hub: a place where disciplinary boundaries fade as students, faculty and staff create synergies with the greater business and private community.