George Kurian is chief executive officer at NetApp and a member of the Board of Directors. George joined the company in 2011, bringing his passion and relentless focus on execution to his leadership roles at NetApp. He was named CEO in June 2015.
Previously at NetApp, as executive vice president of Product Operations, George was responsible for the strategy and development of NetApp’s product and solutions portfolio. Before that, George was senior vice president of the Data ONTAP Group overseeing development of the Data ONTAP operating system.
George joined NetApp as senior vice president of the Storage Solutions Group, where he was responsible for the solutions portfolio and joint partner technology integration.
Prior to joining NetApp, George was vice president and general manager of the Application Networking and Switching Technology Group at Cisco Systems. George’s diverse background also includes the role of vice president at Akamai Technologies, management consulting at McKinsey & Company, and leading software engineering and product management teams at Oracle Corporation.
George is also an independent director on the Board of global health services company Cigna Corporation.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.
As president of NetApp, César Cernuda is responsible for leading the company’s global go-to-market organization spanning sales, marketing, services, support, and customer success. With more than 25 years of senior leadership experience, he will help NetApp transform quickly to capture new growth opportunities in enterprise storage systems and cloud data services.
With his passion for strong results; commitment to building diverse, high-performing teams; and experience in business transformation, César will lead NetApp to consistently win in a rapidly changing customer landscape.
César’s focus is driving customer success and speeding digital and multichannel customer engagements. He is repositioning NetApp by building on and expanding partnerships with the major cloud providers and other key strategic partners to ensure NetApp’s seat at the table for the digital transformation of all enterprise companies.
Before joining NetApp, César held various leadership positions in sales, marketing, and product development. He has more than 20 years of international experience, launching and growing businesses in major markets around the world. He worked at Microsoft for 23 years in senior roles, including vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for Microsoft Dynamics, president of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific region, and most recently president of the company’s Latin America and Caribbean theater and corporate vice president worldwide. He led successful market transformations and contributed to the fastest-growing parts of the Microsoft business.
In addition, César is a non-executive director at Gestamp, an international group dedicated to the automotive industry; an advisory board member of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; and a jury member for the Princess of Asturias Awards for Technical and Scientific Research. In 2019 the U.S.-Spain Chamber of Commerce presented him the Ponce de Leon Award for Executive of the Year. In 2018 and 2019 he was among the Hispanic IT Executive Council’s HITEC 50, which recognizes the top 50 Spanish and Latino hi-tech leaders worldwide.
César is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program and the Program for Management Development at IESE Business School – University of Navarra. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from ESIC Business & Marketing School.
James Whitemore is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at NetApp. He is responsible for advancing the company’s global marketing strategy and strengthening market recognition to accelerate growth.
As a veteran of the cloud computing, networking and storage industry, James has more than 25 years of experience leading and implementing successful global sales, product management and marketing strategies. A key part of the team since joining NetApp via the SolidFire acquisition in early 2016, James has been central to the development and execution of our Marketing strategy to reposition NetApp from storage to data and the cloud.
In his previous role as VP of Field & Demand Marketing at NetApp, James built and led a modern demand engine as well as managed Field and Partner Marketing, Demand Centers, Global Campaigns, Event Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social, Influence and Community Marketing.
James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Northumbria University in the UK.
Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.
Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.
Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and his alma mater the University of Chicago, as well as the Starbucks board of directors. He is married and has three children.
Arvind Krishna is chief executive officer of IBM. As a business leader and technologist, he has led the building and expansion of new markets for IBM in artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing, and blockchain. He has also played a significant role in the development of innovative IBM products and solutions based on these emerging technologies.
Over his 30-year career at IBM, Arvind led a series of bold transformations and delivered proven business results. He most recently drove the successful $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat – the largest software acquisition – that has defined the hybrid cloud market. Together, IBM and Red Hat give clients the unique ability to build mission-critical applications once and run them anywhere.
Arvind previously was senior vice president of Cloud and Cognitive Software, where he pioneered the company’s hybrid cloud business, transformed IBM’s entire software and services portfolio and offerings for cloud, and grew the business. He also headed IBM Research, where he drove innovation in core and emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, cloud platform services, data-driven solutions, and nanotechnology. In 2016, Wired Magazine selected Arvind as “one of 25 geniuses who are creating the future of business” for his foundational work on blockchain.
As general manager of IBM Systems and Technology Group’s development and manufacturing organization, Arvind led the strategy for data-centric systems and the widespread industry adoption of open and collaborative technology standards. He also grew the IBM Information Management business by 50 percent.
At IBM, Arvind has been an outspoken advocate for learning at every stage of one’s career. He has made scientific contributions in a number of technical fields, including wireless networking, security, systems, and databases. In addition, he founded IBM’s security software business and helped create the world’s first commercial wireless system.
Arvind has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both institutions.
Thomas joined Google in November 2018 as the CEO of Google Cloud. Prior to Google, Thomas spent 22 years at Oracle, where most recently he was President of Product Development. Before that, Thomas worked at McKinsey as a business analyst and engagement manager. His nearly 30 years of experience have given him a deep knowledge of engineering, enterprise relationships, and leadership of large organizations.
Thomas’ degrees include, an MBA in Administration and Management from Stanford University as an Arjay Miller Scholar and a BSEE in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Thomas serves as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and Princeton University School of Engineering Advisory Council.
Bill Vass is Vice President of Technology at Amazon Web Services. In this role, Bill oversees more than 42 cloud and edge technologies that allow AWS’ customers to store, analyze, manage, and retrieve information quickly and efficiently. Bill’s teams deploy, manage, and monitor the cloud. They provide large scale storage; support gaming, large scale simulations, and studio rendering; provide data transfer and real time streaming services; lead AWS’ product development into the Internet of Things (IoT); create robotics and autonomous systems; support the Snowball Edge processing device systems; and lead AWS’ research and development into quantum computing. In short, his teams develop and operate the largest software defined storage, streaming, IoT, automated management, and monitoring systems in the world, used by web-based companies, consumer companies, enterprises, and governments.
Before joining AWS, Mr. Vass was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Robotics, Inc., a pioneering Data as a Service, cloud-based solutions company that designs and builds autonomous robots that serve a wide range of customers in the energy, shipping, defense, communications, scientific, intelligence, and environmental markets.
Prior to that, Mr. Vass was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Microsystems Federal, an independent subsidiary of Sun Microsystems with its own board of directors, where he was responsible for growing over $1.4B of revenue. His responsibilities spanned Product Development, Sales and Business Development, Marketing, Partner Management, and Service Delivery.
Before his role leading Sun Microsystems Federal, Mr. Vass served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Sun, where he defined and delivered the technology vision and architecture while he managed global deployments in support of Sun’s 50K business users. During his time as CIO, Mr. Vass significantly improved security, availability, and application delivery while reducing the overall operations cost of IT from $880M to $360M.
Mr. Vass had a lengthy public service career. Working for the Secretary of Defense in the Office of the CIO, he was on a team responsible the for oversight of a $35.5B budget, as well as system and software acquisition, research, development, and integration standards for over 6,800 IT systems. His organization managed networks, servers and applications across the Pentagon’s defense networks.
Prior to joining the Office of the CIO, Mr. Vass was CTO and technical lead for the U.S. Army’s personnel systems worldwide. Before his work at the DoD, Mr. Vass developed large-scale commercial Information Technology engineering and business systems solutions for defense system integrators, as well as the oil and gas and ocean engineering industries.
Scott Hunter has a unique blend of over 27 years’ experience of enterprise technology environments and over 7 years’ experience enabling organisations exploit public cloud solutions and services. He has led global teams to design, build, operate and optimise hybrid cloud solutions exploiting DevOps blended with strong governance and financial insight to drive innovation and leverage optimal cloud provider commercial models. Scott is very comfortable operating in the space between IT and the business to forge strong relationships and develop innovative solutions.
Associate Professor Mark Cowley is a computational biologist, whose main expertise is in genomics and precision medicine. Mark joined the Children’s Cancer Institute in 2018 as the Head of the Computational Biology Group, and now also the co-Head of the ACRF Child Cancer Liquid Biopsy Program.
Mark is best known for his translational bioinformatics research, having led the development of clinical-grade whole genome analysis, which has now been commercialised, and developed into one of the first whole-genome-sequencing-based pathology tests in the world. By developing the digital infrastructure that underpins the Zero Childhood Cancer clinical trial, Mark and his multi-disciplinary group are attempting to bridge the gap from vast amounts of molecular data to improved health outcomes, through making molecularly-informed treatment decisions in real-time, for children with high-risk or rare cancers. Mark’s research group is also investigating the impact of ‘non-coding mutations’ of children with cancer – mutations that occur in parts of the genome that don’t encode genes yet are thought to be important in other ways.
‘Precision medicine is the context of my work,’ Mark explains. ‘The aim is to improve outcomes for patients by understanding the molecular drivers of their tumours. We can use this data to improve outcomes in patients today, through making better treatment recommendations, as well as long-term to better understand cancer.’
Elaine Neeson is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Children’s Cancer Institute and a member of the Executive Team. She leads the Technology Services Group, responsible for all elements of the Institute’s IT including the commercial data centre, hybrid cloud environment, development and implementation of systems, and business intelligence. Elaine and her team work closely across all areas of the Institute to ensure technology services are aligned with strategic business needs and growth.
Elaine first joined the Institute in 2007 to project-manage its relocation into the Lowy Building on the UNSW campus. She subsequently moved through multiple roles including Risk and Compliance Manager, Head of Fundraising Operations, Strategic Operations Manager, and Head of Technology, before taking up her current role as CIO in 2018. Prior to joining the Institute, Elaine worked for many years in business analysis and project management across the superannuation and insurance sectors.
Anuj Kumar is the Senior Vice President of our Worldwide Public Cloud Sales team at NetApp. He joined our company at the beginning of fiscal year 21 and brings a uniquely cloud-centric perspective to our growth efforts.
Anuj joins us with more than 25 years of industry experience and has held global leadership roles at VMware, Rackspace, Verisign, and Red Hat. Most recently, as the vice president of global sales, strategy, and GTM at VMware, Anuj helped VMWare establish a firm presence in the single largest movement in open source, Kubernetes. He also helped VMWare build credibility within the application market, integrating two key acquisitions along the way, Heptio and Pivotal ($2.7B). At Red Hat, he lived in and built regions from the U.S. to the Middle East and Africa and India, pioneering open-source software and subscription engagements before it was mainstream.
Anuj grew up in India, moving to the United States in 1998. He has lived in nine cities over three continents from Dubai to Boston and now resides with his wife and two teenage children in northern Virginia. He likes to ride his road bike and play squash on occasion. His sports analogies will most likely include rowing, tennis, and football.
Sanjay Rohatgi is responsible for leading and growing NetApp’s Asia Pacific (APAC) business. This includes driving the data fabric experience, managing strategic partnerships, and developing hybrid multicloud products as well as solutions. He is the focal point for all country managers and cross-functional organizations that have operations in the region.
Sanjay joined in 2019 and brings significant value and passion to NetApp, having helped enterprise and commercial customers across the diverse APAC market and region with their digital transformation efforts.
An industry veteran, Sanjay has worked for 27 years in various leadership roles in IT, ranging from sales, business development, product marketing and consulting services across major MNCs in the region.
Prior to his appointment, Sanjay served as Senior Vice Present and General Manager for Symantec in Asia Pacific, responsible for leading sales, business operations and development. He has also held various senior leadership roles with Cisco in India, Nortel Networks in Hong Kong, Telstra and BHP Billiton in Australia, and British Telecom in the UK.
Sanjay holds an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia, and a Masters degree in Opto-Electronic from Strathclyde University, UK. He also holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics & Telecommunications from India. In his spare time, Sanjay is passionate about yoga.
Alexander Wallner is NetApp’s Senior Vice President Worldwide Enterprise and Commercial Field Operations, NetApp. He leads Americas, EMEA and APAC field organizations, leveraging best practices from our three geos, helping Enterprise and Commercial customers and partners to undertake their digital transformations. With the IT landscape in a state of flux and the value of data ever more important, he sees NetApp’s role as helping customers navigate a path to get greater return from their IT investments, accelerate their business performance and minimize their risk.
Alex has a strong history of leading sales teams to success at NetApp having recently led the EMEA geo as Senior Vice President and General Manager, during his tenure saw NetApp number one storage player in many market such as Germany, Austria, Israel and overall EMEA leader in the flash storage market for many quarters.
Having started at NetApp in 1999, Alex also has a wealth of partner experience having run the channel business in Germany Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. He started his career at m+s Elektronik AG. Alex holds a degree in Business Administration from FH Regensburg (now OTH Regensburg).
Brad Anderson is the executive vice president and general manager (GM) of the NetApp Hybrid Cloud Services and the NetApp Foundational Data Services business units. He is responsible for driving the strategy and execution for delivering NetApp’s portfolio of offerings that helps customers modernize IT with cloud-integrated flash solutions, and build private and hybrid clouds to deliver the same services and experiences as public clouds.
Brad spent nine years at HP Compaq as the senior vice president and GM of Industry Standard Servers, where he led the company’s $8 billion x86 server business. He spent seven years as president and GM of Dell’s $12 billion Enterprise Solution Group leading servers, storage, networking and software businesses. He helped Dell acquire EqualLogic, Compellent, and Force10, and he grew each business significantly to enable Dell’s transition away from a mostly OEM model in storage and networking. Just before joining NetApp, Brad served as president and chief operating officer of Gravitant, a cloud service brokerage platform company, where he played an instrumental role in growing the business and in selling the company to IBM.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jeff Baxter is Senior Director for Product Management in NetApp’s ONTAP Software & Systems Group. Jeff leads the team responsible for inbound product management for the ONTAP, AFF & FAS product lines. His team of Product Managers and Technical Marketing Engineers develop and communicate the future strategy for ONTAP solutions in the hybrid cloud. Jeff’s goal is to drive excitement about what the industry-leading ONTAP portfolio offers today, while also helping build a compelling vision of forward-looking innovation.
Previously, Jeff has held a variety of technical and strategy roles at NetApp, including serving as Chief Evangelist for ONTAP, and Field Chief Technology Officer for the Americas at NetApp.
Before joining NetApp, Jeff worked as an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton advising multiple government clients and performing numerous in-depth storage assessments. Prior to Booz Allen, Jeff was Manager of Enterprise Systems at George Washington University, where he led a team of 15+ storage and systems administrators. He had responsibility for enterprise systems including collaboration and virtualization environments, as well as a complex storage system spanning multiple Data Centers.
Jeff holds an MBA and BA from George Washington University. He is a NetApp Certified Data Management Administrator (NCDA). He has also has held VCP, SNIA, PMP, ITIL, and CISSP certifications.
Phoebe Goh has over a decade of experience implementing, integrating and helping people and companies capitalize fully on their enterprise technology investments. Her role in the Technical Team Enablement Office at NetApp spans the globe and drives collaboration, innovation and excellence across the technical presales team.
Phoebe has held a variety of roles in the IT industry, from system administrator to solutions architect. She has a passion for technology and making complex topics approachable, with a particular focus on “the cloud” and the myriad of opportunities that it brings. She’s open to discussing enterprise IT topics with everyone she meets: as a change-agent with an empathetic lens, Phoebe provides a fresh perspective to an industry that is moving faster than ever before.
Phoebe loves sharing knowledge and her enthusiasm for the NetApp software and data management portfolio. When not connecting with technical experts, learning about the newest technology, or planning a worldwide enablement strategy, you’ll find Phoebe creating content for her video series “Phoebe on the Go(h)”!
In her current role, Nancy Hart is responsible for driving material impact to the business using modern marketing toolsets. She focuses on reaching new buyers and new markets for NetApp’s expanding portfolio of products, services and technologies. Nancy is especially passionate about the opportunities for customers to leverage the best of public clouds and private datacenters to build new businesses.
Nancy is a 20-year enterprise storage veteran with positions at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and StorageTek in roles of increasing scope and responsibility. She launched her career in semiconductor manufacturing at Motorola in Austin, Texas. Nancy is a graduate of Kansas State University in Chemical Engineering and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is currently loving the city life in downtown Denver, Colorado.
Matt Hurford is the VP, Systems Engineering Director and CTO for NetApp in Asia Pacific and Japan. In this role he is responsible for managing the technical pre-sales team, technical alliances, solution architects, the cloud portfolio and supporting the sales teams across the region.
During his 10 years at NetApp, Matt has helped shape the NetApp Managed Service capability in ANZ in his role as a Professional Services manager. Since taking on the leadership of the Systems Engineering team he has built an industry leading pre-sales team and has been instrumental in local product management and developing utility commercial models for enterprise accounts.
Matt has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has held numerous roles; including mainframe systems programmer, automation specialist and infrastructure architect. He has a passion for managing people and has over 15 years’ experience building high performance teams.
Matt has a very broad range of experience covering many aspects of IT, including virtualisation, data analytics and hybrid cloud solutions. He holds a degree in science and still has a passion for ecology.
Anthony Lye is senior vice president and general manager of the Public business unit for NetApp. He is responsible for the strategy and execution to further NetApp’s cloud innovation across private, hybrid cloud and hyperscaler models and establishing the company as the undisputed leader in managing data and compute in a cloud-first world.
He brings more than 25 years of diverse leadership experience to NetApp, spanning roles in development, product management, marketing, sales, and as a high-tech CEO twice. He has focused primarily on cloud innovation for the past 15 years, most recently as the executive vice president and chief cloud officer at Guidewire Software and at Oracle where he was the senior vice president and general manager of CRM. His background includes leading teams worldwide and hands-on experience building applications and platforms working directly with the developer community.
Earlier in his career, Anthony served as president and CEO for HotSchedules, a vertical cloud company with applications for the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. He was previously the global president of Digital Platforms, Customer Relationship Management and channels at Publicis, the world’s largest digital agency.
Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering with honors from the University of Bath in Bath, United Kingdom. He serves on the board of Spoken Communications and is a member of the board of trustees for Bath University and an investor in both startups and venture funds.
Amiram Shachar is a hands-on technical leader with significant experience leading DevOps and software engineers to build and maintain large-scale cloud architectures and infrastructure.
Before Spotinst, Shachar was the Director of DevOps at a leading tech company and was responsible for migrating its internal data center to the Cloud.
While serving in the Israeli Military, he played a key role in managing and operating the IDF’s data center. As part of his role, he implemented VMware and virtualization for the first time ever in the IDF.
Jonsi Stefansson, CTO and Vice President of Cloud Data Services at NetApp, is a technologist, thought leader, and entrepreneur in both product/software development and operations. Inspired by innovation, Jonsi is responsible for overseeing the technical vision, development and engineering of pivotal products, including Azure NetApp Files (ANF), Cloud Volumes Services, Data Fabric, and several cutting-edge, emerging technologies.
His experience is wide ranging, from start-ups to large enterprises. He was the CEO of Greenqloud, which NetApp acquired in 2018, and spearheaded Greenqloud’s transition from an IaaS company to a pure software company focused on orchestrating Kubernetes (now known as the NetApp Service Delivery Engine). The NetApp Service Delivery Engine is the foundation that powers and manages ANF, CVS, and Cloud Backup Service (CBS).
Formerly, Jonsi served as Technical Director of Opera Software and led scale out and deployment of the Opera Mini project, which boomed to a global user base of 450 million. Thereafter, Opera Software executed a successful initial public offering (IPO) and was later sold for $1.2 billion. He started his career at IBM, going on to become the CEO of a highly successful start-up company.
When Jonsi is not traveling the world as a NetApp evangelist, he enjoys spending time with his four sons in his home country of Iceland.
As CTE, Matt Watts provides guidance on NetApp’s overall strategy and technology solutions to a wide base of customers and the global partner community. Matt is also part of the Global Sales leadership team providing advice and guidance on technology and transformation.
He is a sought-after keynote speaker who combines his knowledge of the IT industry with anecdotes and stories. On stage, Matt is known for bringing technology to life with witty, easily understandable examples.
Matt started his career in technology as an aircraft engineer and has since accumulated over 25 years of IT experience, 15 of which have been spent with NetApp. Prior to his current role, he oversaw a number of significant IT projects, managed a team of System Engineers responsible for providing installation and onsite support, as well as being responsible for IT outsourcing contracts. This experience has put him in contact with all levels of IT leadership, enabling Matt to understand, communicate with and support clients across a wide range of industries and sizes with their IT strategies.
Matt Watts shares his experiences and industry learnings on his personal blog www.watts-innovating.com.
Kim Weller has been working for technology companies on behalf of customers to host and protect their data for over 20 years. In her current role at NetApp, she looks for innovative ways to enable NetApp’s entire technical community to be more effective helping their customers drive digital transformation initiatives – with data at the heart!
Kim is active in NetApp’s WIT organization, hosting the 2018 tech showcase booth and presenting on the tech showcase stage. In her capacity as technology evangelist and architect, Kim is an accomplished presenter at a variety of other events such as VMWorld, NetApp Insight.
Kim has a degree in mechanical engineering with subsequent career evolution that allowed her to experience the joys of Information Technology and to grow as a people leader.
Max Park (18) is an American Rubik’s Cube speedsolver from California, USA. Currently ranked as the world record holder for the 3×3 One Handed, 4×4, 5×5, 6×6, 7×7 cubes. At the 2017 Paris World Championship, Max became the youngest World Rubik’s Cube 3×3 Champion at 15. Later that same year, he captured the U.S. National Championship and the Asian Championship in 2018.
With an ability to turn the cube at 10 to 11 turns per second (TPS), Max Park is considered one of the fastest speed solvers. But this is a far cry from Max’s early days. Diagnosed with autism at the age of two, young Max often found performing daily tasks with fine motor skills a challenge. Simple tasks such as putting on his socks or opening up a bottle cap was near impossible. At around 9 years of age, Max was introduced to a Rubik’s cube as a therapy tool to help develop finger strength and dexterity. Within a short time, Max was mesmerized by the cube and soon learned that solving the cube at blinding speeds. Not only did the cube foster his fine motor skills, but the speed cubing world had helped him develop his skills to socialize and learn how to make new friends.
Ivy Mix is Co-Owner and Head Bartender of Leyenda, her pan-Latin cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, backed by her long-time mentor, Julie Reiner. Leyenda pays tribute to her years of living and bartending in Guatemala, as well as extensive travels throughout all of Latin America. Leyenda has won many awards and has been recognized as being one of the best bars in America by Eater, GQ, Thrillist and others. In Spring 2020 Ivy’s first book Spirits of Latin America will be published!
With a long history of working in bars throughout the Americas, Ivy has been recognized by many within the culinary and cocktail industry as being one of the best bartenders in the country and in 2015 was named American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and in 2016 was named Mixologist of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.
Ivy first served a drink when she traveled to Guatemala at 19 years old when studying at Bennington College. She lived and worked there for years, mixing in travels to Mexico to smuggle special mezcales and tequilas over the border. Giving her a unique and extensive knowledge base into the agave spirits field. In 2009, she started cocktail waitressing at Mayahuel and it was here where with craft cocktails that she saw how she could bring together her love for bartending and spirits with her artistic background. It was within a year that she joined cocktail historian and bar owner St. John Frizell at Fort Defiance. From there, she worked and helped open several bars throughout Brooklyn. In 2010, Ivy caught Julie Reiner’s eye and was hired to be on the opening staff of Lani Kai in Manhattan. It was not long until she was brought back to her borough of choice to work at Reiner’s flagship world-renowned bar the Clover Club. Four years later, she and Reiner opened up Leyenda across the street in May of 2015.
Additionally, Ivy has inspired the nation to rethink women’s role behind the bar. She conceptualized and later, with Lynnette Marrero, co-founded Speed Rack – a national cocktail competition that creates a platform for female bartenders while simultaneously raising money for breast cancer related charities. Speed Rack started in 2011 and has taken the world by storm, changing the way people view women’s role in cocktails. So far they have raised nearly $1,000,000 for charity. In 2019, they were honored receiving 2 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards: for Philanthropy and World’s Best Bar Mentors. Ivy is also the author of Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond, which was published in May 2020.
After graduating from Mayfield High School in 1973, got a temporary job at NASA’s WSTF (White Sands Test Facilities) in November 73 and got on permanent in January 1974 as a Fireman/Guard. Shortly after starting in the FD the Fire Chief talked me into using my nose (sense of olfactory) on the “Odor Panel”. The “Odor Panel” members are volunteers from WSTF which smell materials (after passing toxicity) that are destined for space inside the crew compartment to protect/defend our brave astronauts from possible obnoxious odors. We also must certify our nose every 4 months by passing the 10 bottle test. We must smell the 10 bottles, identifying the 7 that have odor, using the 7 primary odors of musky, minty, floral, ethereal, camphoraceous, pungent and putrid and identify the 3 blanks. After almost 2 years in the Fire Dept. decided to sniff out another position at WSTF, first found a job at the Warehouse (Tool Crib, Loan Pool) for a few years and then in 1978, landed a job as a Chemical Technician in the Molecular Desorption Analysis Laboratory, which is where they do the toxicity testing of the space bound materials. I left the laboratory twice, for a better paying position as a SCAPE (Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble) Suit Technician in 1981-1985. Which is a self-encapsulated, chemical protective suit, used with a liquid air back pack, used, when going into a hazardous area like the fuels MMH (Monomethyl hydrazine) and oxidizer N2O4 (Nitrogen Tetroxide) used in the space program and are highly toxic. While in this position, I got to see the shuttle Columbia land in March 1982 when STS-3 landed at WSSH (White Sands Space Harbour). I also spent a few years (1988-1991) on the Test Stands where the rocket engines are tested. Working with the fuel and oxidizer (hypergols, named above) used for firing the engines and with high pressures and cryogenics (liquid Nitrogen and liquid Oxygen). Returned to the laboratory in 1991 where I am currently and have become a Chemical Specialist and also Lead person of the Molecular Desorption Analysis Laboratory.
And of course I’ve belonged to the “Odor Panel” all this time (46 years) and have accumulated the record of 915 materials, which the closest to me is, low 600 something, and he’s retired!! When I had nearly 800 ” sniffs” it was recognized by NASA and the astronauts and I received the “Silver Snoopy” award on November 16th, 2004. An award recognized for human space flight safety and excellence. Astronaut Timothy Kopra come to the lab I work in and I was awarded the “Silver Snoopy” in front of my co-workers ( I have electronic pictures of the event if interested) which flew on STS-90. A few other awards received over the years are service awards of 5,10,15,20,25,30 and 40. Program Manager’s Award and just shortly after winning the “Silver Snoopy” award was selected to be “In The Spotlight” where you and your accomplishments become a poster and are posted on the company web site and the posters (I have a electronic copy if interested) are put up all over the world within the company.
I have for 20 years now been involved with the Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest (as you guessed it, the Judge of Odor), first involved with the local contest at WSMR (White Sands Missile Range) and then the National Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest in Montpelier, Vermont since 1999 and recently moved to NYC . The publicity from these have led to first, two old game shows, that tried to come back in 1999-2000, “I’ve Got A Secret” and “To Tell The Truth”. I figure I have at least 60 television appearances altogether including Discovery Health (two gentleman came all the way from Herefordshire, England), Discovery Channel (three gentleman come all the Sydney, Australia), Daily Planet (Canadian Discovery), ABC News (Judy Muller came from NYC), talk show “Caroline Rhea” and in April 2007 was on “Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch , been on Russian TV, Japanese TV was on Ellen Show, Steve Harvey Show and I am also a Stan Lee Superhuman. I have a full list if needed, which has led to numerous write ups in newspapers including Globe and Mail (Canada paper) Baltimore Sun Journal, El Paso Times and Las Cruces Sun-News to name a few and magazines including “Wired”, “Scientific American” (Steve Mirsky the writer called me Nostrildamus), “NewScientist” (UK), “Muy Interesante” (Spanish) and “Der Spiegel” (German).
Other things of interest: After leaving the Fire Dept was a volunteer fireman at WSTF for over 20 years. Big blood donor, have given nearly 6 gallons of blood (even though I pass out when giving blood and when I see blood). Ran a marathon (finished anyway!) in Albuquerque in 1986. I’m trying to write a book (and have been trying for lots of years), current working title “Does This Smell Funny To You”. I also did (survived) the 1st Rotten Sneaker Contest in Phoenix in 2003, at the Arizona Science Center and again in 2006. I also was featured in “Biography Today” Inventors and Scientist Edition, 2006.
In 2008, Chris founded The Black Swan Group, which specializes in solving business communication problems using negotiation solutions rooted in emotional intelligence. In May 2017, he published national best-seller “Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.”
Chris has used his many years of experience in international crisis and high stakes negotiations as an FBI agent to develop a unique program and team that applies these globally proven techniques to the business world. Chris and his team have helped companies secure and close better deals, save money, and solve internal communication problems between senior management and employees.
During Chris’s 24-year tenure in the FBI, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.
Chris has taught business negotiation in the MBA program as an adjunct professor at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He has also taught business negotiation at Harvard University, guest lectured at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland and The Goethe School of Business in Frankfurt, Germany.
Chris has been featured in TIME, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Inc., Fast Company, Fortune, The Washington Post, SUCCESS Magazine, Squawk Box, CNN, ABC News and more.
Caitlin Dechelle was born in Miami FL and currently lives in Los Angeles CA. At age six, she began her martial arts training and started competing at age nine. She enjoyed the excitement of competing and continuously perfected her skills. She joined the Paul Mitchell karate team and went on to earn 94 NASKA World Titles. Competing provided her the opportunity to travel the world. Retiring from the competition circuit at 23, she is pursuing her dream as an actress while putting her martial arts skills to work doing stunts. She is a brand ambassador for Garden of Life, Paul Mitchell Hair Care, Century Martial Arts and Rockstar Energy.
Jackie Chan saw her on ESPN’s US Open broadcast. He quickly summoned his team to have Caitlin join him in Chinese Zodiac. Caitlin had a co-starring role and did her own stunts as well. That was the beginning of wonderful friendship with Jackie.
Caitlin is known for Wonder Woman, Teen Wolf, Fast and Furious 7, Supah Ninjas, Bones, Agents of Shield, John Carter, Percy Jackson – Sea of Monsters, Ray Donovan, The Thundermans, Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Pretty Little Liars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Asura, Midnight Texas, Altered Carbon, The Hunt and Mandalorian Season 2.
Her short film “The Raid 2: Betrayal Hammer Girl Fight” quickly went viral. She played The Geneticist on MTV’s Teen Wolf Season 5. She was the lead stunt double for Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.